short story

Flash Fiction – Night Runners

 

droneTrying to keep to the shadows,  Flint hurried through the streets, desperate to make his escape.  He glanced over his shoulder—no drones in sight—but, they were coming.  They were always coming.  It was just a matter of time before the incessant hum of their motors filled the air.   He darted down an alleyway, dove into a dumpster and covered himself with garbage.   The foul stench was a small price to pay for concealment.

Closing his eyes, he took a shallow breath and willed his racing heart to calm down.  Now was not the time to panic.  Now was the time to regroup, to prepare for the next phase of his mission—to get back to base camp with his precious find.  His hand moved to the pocket of his jacket, feeling for the pack of batteries.   The relief flooding his body was short-lived as the dreaded humming drew closer, echoing in the alley.

He lay still, waiting for the drones to leave.  After what seemed an interminable wait, the hum drifted away.  It was time to go—he knew this—but something in his gut warned him to stay put—so he waited.  Two minutes.  Four minutes.  Five minutes more.

And then it happened…

The sound of a drone as it started up…  He stopped breathing – his attention focused on the mechanical whining as it receded down the alleyway.

The operators, he realized, were getting smarter—powering the motors down—operating in a stealth mode, waiting for their prey to expose themselves.   Cautiously, he exited the dumpster.  He crept down the alleyway, hugging the building walls.  The going was slow but slow was good when it meant the difference between freedom and captivity.

The first rays of sun painted the morning sky as Flint entered the compound.  Quiet voices welcomed him.  He looked at the worried faces.  “Where are the others?” he asked.

They shook their heads, unable to answer.  But it didn’t matter—he knew what it meant.  The Community wasn’t safe.  They had to move and move quickly.  The Guard were masters of extracting information and considering the missing Night Runners—nothing needed to be said.  They gathered their meager possessions and separated, hoping that smaller groups would offer a better chance at survival.  With any luck, they’d find each other again.

Note:  This is a piece I wrote several months ago. After reading it last night, I tweaked it a bit. It’s one of those stories that keeps tickling the back of my mind and on occasion, I find myself checking in with Flint – just to make sure he’s still alive and well…  And he is. At last check, he had met up with his buddy, Clem – but that’s a story for another day.

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Author Interview – Varun Kumar

Thanks for stopping by to meet Varun Kumar, the author of An End To The Thrill.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Varun-Kumar-I was born in New Delhi, India and I’m currently pursuing my PhD in Electrical Engineering in the US. Writing has always been my hobby- ever since I started reading Enid Blyton as a kid that my mom used to get for me, I was interested in the art of story-telling. I moved on to The Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie and then Sidney Sheldon. Its then I decided to start writing something of my own. An End to the Thrill is the first of the very many to come-a collection of 9 short stories, each story having a thrilling, surprising end. Thus, the name of my book.  I feel my ideas are limitless and I will definitely expand my genre to something other than science fiction fantasy in the near future.

Each writer has their own unique process.  Tell us about yours. 

I used to make up characters everywhere-in school, at home, in the shower, everywhere. I finally started penning them down little by little-whatever came into my mind and would read it over and over again. Every time I read it, I would have a different idea of what’s to happen. I would pen them down too- finally deciding on the best one.

Your book is a collection of science fiction short stories.  What drew you to this genre?978-1-62516-154-3-VKumarCover

I believe that I have a wild imagination and I can make up characters that readers can easily relate to. Writing in this genre has no limits, I can create my own world, my own ‘real’ characters and my own laws. Thus, science fiction.

I am always impatient- I’m so impatient that I cannot wait to tell the reader as to what’s about to happen. Thus, the short stories.

Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams.  Do you remember your dreams and have they ever inspired a story or a scene in a story?

Absolutely, I think I remember all my dreams. I should have probably mentioned that most of my characters were created in my dreams- with a little tweaks made to them in the shower 😉

When it comes to your writing career, where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would want to see myself as the author of various books- all of them in different genres, each one making an impact one way or another.

Connect with Varun:

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Purchase Link

 

WOOHOO!

partying

If you follow my blog, you know that I love participating in Benedict Nicholson’s Six Word Story Challenge.

I’m always amazed at how one prompt can inspire so many different stories.

This past week’s prompt was BETRAYAL.

My attempt was:  A bribe accepted.  A witness dead.

And I’m celebrating!!!

My attempt won!!!

Click here to visit Ben’s blog and if you haven’t participated, give it a try.  You might be surprised by the number of wonderful stories out there!

Book Review – Beyond Vica by T.C. Booth

Beyond Vica is a young adult, contemporary short story.  It deals with some sensitive issues such as sickness and death.  Below you will find my spoiler free review.

Book Description:

beyond vicaGabby and her two best friends share a constellation in the sky named VICA. The trio named the constellation that tells the tale of their childhood friendship. Now that Gabby is fifteen, this tale written in the stars means more than ever.

Gabby finds herself facing the threat of losing her best friend, Sam to cancer. On top of that, she develops a crush on the other friend, Brody. She fears the friendship will fall apart and feels alone. To complicate matters, Sam’s condition brings back memories that Gabby has not allowed to surface since she was five.

As Gabby’s world crashes down on her, she’s forced to face the realities of life, death, grief, and love. How will she survive without the friendship that’s written in the stars?

What I Thought:

Beyond Vica is a short read (approximately 75 pages).  BUT – don’t let the length of this story fool you.   It carries a big emotional impact.  Within the first few pages, I was hooked.   The author grabbed my heartstrings and didn’t let go.  I enjoyed the writing style.  The characters felt real and the story flowed at a nice pace.  TC Booth has rendered a tender story of friendship, love and loss that I highly recommend.

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**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**