This week’s flash fiction challenge by Terribleminds.com follows on from the previous weeks challenge. The previous weeks challenge was to write a corker of an opening line. Chuck Wendig would then choose the lines that he thought were the best. Well this week, we have to use one of those opening lines as a starter for a piece of flash fiction. Any genre, any style, but it has to be less than 1000 words as.
The line I chose to start with, well it’s kinda obvious as it is the first line but I will write it here as well out of a sense of completion.
“My brother’s birth was preceded by three distinct and inexplicable phenomena.”
You see what I did with it? Well, I hope you like it and feel free to add a comment or two.
Flash Fiction: Phenomena
“My brother’s birth was preceded by three distinct and inexplicable phenomena. Firstly, all the electric stuff went completely nuts; TV’s, car radios, electric toothbrushes, you name it they wouldn’t work. Then everybody over the age of fifty died, all on the same day. Mum said it was awful. No-one knew what the hell was happening.
Just as we were getting over that, they arrived. Of course, by ‘they’ I mean our wonderful alien overlords. Where would we be without them? Oh yeah, free and not being hunted down and to the point of extinction.
There’s resistance to these aliens. There are people who don’t want to just sit down and be killed, then mushed up and eaten. There are people willing to do what has to be done. Me and Si grew up in the resistance, and this is all we know. We’ve seen pictures of green grass, tall buildings and animals, but we’ve only really seen mud, ruins and the odd cow. Si had got himself a tattoo of something called a lion, Mum said that lions were strong and brave and that it was appropriate. At the time I thought she was just doing that Mum thing.
It was to be Si’s 21st birthday today. We were gonna scrounge a cake, and everything. Mum always said a Birthday needed a cake but we never really saw why. I suppose it don’t make any difference now that they got to him. They haven’t killed him though, we all wish they had but that’s not their way. You don’t wipe out your workforce and your food supply that just ain’t smart. They’ve put a controller in his brain and now he’s just another of their slaves.
There he is, down there, in what’s left of that factory carrying god knows what for his new masters. At least I know he’s in no pain, but he’s not the brother I grew up with. He’s empty. That stupid way he used to laugh at his own dumb jokes, how he’d always find some reason to be happy even in all this, every part of him has been taken by them.
Maybe it should make it better for me knowing that he isn’t feeling anything, but they took his mind and his clothes. He wanders that factory like some goddamn brainless-zombie and he’s butt-naked, they took everything from him, and they got his dignity too.
Today, I’m gonna help my brother. I’m gonna save him, even if it means killing him… but I’ve got something bigger in mind. You see that giant 50-foot metal spider looking thing? Kinda hard to miss, right? Well that is what is controlling all the drones, that’s the control hub. That heavily armoured piece of shit is the link between the aliens and the drones. Take out the hub and the link will sever. I can rescue my brother.
I just need to be careful and quiet and make sure I remember to take this fuck-load of explosives with me and I can take it down. Its sensors are at the front, so as long as I stay at the back it won’t see me coming. I plant the explosives and then BOOM, its down.”
The drones were milling around the ruins of an old arms factory. It had been one of the first targets they destroyed, and there was nothing left of it except for piles of rubble and scrap metal in a very large crater. Each drone worked tirelessly carrying arms full of old metal, roof tiles, bricks, old oil drums, anything that still had a purpose back to a storage area.
One drone, a drone with a very distinctive lion tattoo on his shoulder, saw someone ran over the hill towards the control hub. The drone slowly shuffled back to the storage area to unload as the man ran up to the hub and placed something at its feet. He was there for several seconds and the hub hadn’t noticed. Then he ran away, he ran in the opposite direction to the hub, but he’d been spotted. The hub turned to face the fleeing man and fired. The drone emptied his arms, turned around, and saw the running man being torn apart by gunfire, just as an explosion went off at the hub’s feet that engulfed it in orange flame.
The hub crashed to the ground and burned, as the drones stood on and watched the wreckage. Then they stopped. Every drone fell to the floor, as if they were nothing more than broken dolls, and they all just lay there.
“The first thing I remember is waking up, butt naked in an old crater. My brother was dead, they’d killed him. They would pay for this…”
For more pieces of flash fiction check out my flash fiction page.