Featured Stories, Week of August 5, 2018: "The Fable of Fallen Rainbow" and "The Seve
Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at our weekly meetings. For this week's featured stories, we rolled a D10 for three different lists (a profession, an object, and a situation) and used the three prompts we got to write a short tale:
We had twenty minutes to write.
The Fable of Fallen Rainbow
By Asher Silberman
Prompts: Grocer, fine smoking pipe, hootenanny
A parade of slate-blank trucks pulled through Vandana farms in the dark of night. Three-hundred and sixty people worked in the hundreds of acers of fields harvesting squash. Little flares from their glowstick-flashlights bobbed like an ocean, each point a slightly different color. Music drifted off the central office as folks on break watched over the rainbow smattering of workers, smoking.
"Do you ever think who'll eat this?" a bone-person asked.
Saloc shrugged and exhaled a sunrise-purple haze which turned that same slate-gray out of the light. "I like to think goes to who needs it; dinner tables, pumpkin carving."
"Have you heard of anything out there? Beyond the Rainbowlands?"
Saloc glanced at the latest truck in the caravan; being filled with plump, fresh-smelling squash. She pondered this faceless system they were feeding. "Once, a harvest festival got out of control." She pulled on the collar of her shirt, showing a gleaming metal vertebrate in her upper spine. "I got between two hot tempers, broke it up but left in an ambulance."
The first time he put a hand on her body she winced. This was the 34th time and a shiver still ran down from the vertebrate.
A stilt-legged announcer warbled by with the morning prayers. “I do not seek protection, only a moment to myself. A moment undisturbed by the plights and prayers of my own creation.”
Saloc shook her ashes into the ashtray and went back to evaluating squash.
The Seven Fluids of Rablistar 3
By Erik Engman
Prompts: Law enforcement, specimen in a jar, an eclipse
Space Officer Lucius (or Lu for short, because he was.) blinked his eyes again and again. He was slowly getting used to the darkness of the rocky tunnel around him.
“Hey, Bub!” He called down the tunnel. “Bub, where are you? Buuuuuuuuub!!!”
His voice echoed back, mocking his fear. Lucius started to sweat, like he always does when he gets anxious. He didn’t like being alone in scary places. He didn’t like being in a crowd in scary places, either. Frankly, he just didn’t like scary places. Or mimes. He sure hoped there weren’t any mimes around.
Distant footsteps broke the silence. And they were getting louder.
“Bub? Is that you?” shakes Lu nervously. “Or is it someone coming to kill me? Because if it’s someone coming to kill me, I’m not here.”
Space Officer Robert (Bub for short, though he was tall and slim,) came rounding the far corner at full speed. He was carrying a large jar.
Lu relaxed. “Hey, Bub! I found you!”
“Here!” Bub stuffed the large jar into Lu’s arms. It was warm and contained a yellowish, greenish liquid. “And run!” Bub continued running down the tunnel.
“Run? Where are you going?” Lu asked.
Back where Bub came from, he heard more footsteps.
A lot more.
A whole lot more.
Lu understood. He started running. He didn’t know what from. But at least it wasn’t mimes. They would have just silently run in place. Maybe in an invisible box. How did they DO that? He shuddered.
“This way, Lu! Come on!” Bub ran faster.
Lu ran as fast as he could down the tunnel behind his partner. He hated running, and his aching feet were reminding him of that fact with every step.
“Hey, Bub! Why we gotta run like this? I don’t think my poor little legs can make it.”
“Because,” Bub explained, “The eclipse is about to reach it’s crest. Once that’s over it’ll be too late. And those natives are hot on our heels!”
Lu listened behind him. “I dunno, Bub. I think we lost them.”
A bevy of poisoned darts wooshed past his ear and embedded into the cavern wall next to him.
“I don’t think we lost them,” stammered Lu, all the color going out of his face.
“Just hold on to that jar with your life, Lu!” Said Bub. “We’re almost there.”
“What’s in this jar, anyway? Water?” Lu asked as he looked down at the jar. “Funny color for it.”
“Lu, it’s not water.”
“What?!” Lu scrunched up his face. “What is it?”
“Oh, quit it, Lu. It’s only urine from the psychic cows of the Raston Cliffs.”
“Yes, I most certainly am,” said the liquid, bruskly. “And would you be so kind as to please be more
careful with me? I don’t want to spill and seep into the crevices of the cave floor. It’s positively nasty down there!”
“Bub! Buuuuub! The liquid is talking!”
“Of course, it is,” Bub explained. “It’s psychic.”
“Psychic urine. I think I should have let the natives kill me…”