I got out of the habit of writing when our baby was about to be born earlier this year. Now we have a wonderful baby girl who is nearing six months of age. I have been trying for some time to start writing again, but this has been much harder than I would have imagined it. Part of this is just that neither my wife nor I has as much free time as we used to. But even when I had time, I found myself unable to get words on the page. I am sad to say that this has frequently left me cranky and irritable. However, today I wrote something again. It's not a whole story - just a short scene. It might be the beginning of something new or it might remain just a scene to tickle the imagination with questions about what comes next. Either way, it was the first time in a while that I really felt my imagination working like it used to.
So I wish to share this little espresso shot of fiction with anyone who wishes to read it. It's not much yet, but it felt good...
Rocketman and the Narrow Escape
A Scene By Daniel Emery
The stranger sat in front of the tea shop in the crowded open air market. His head was bowed low over his tea cup, and a grey hood was pulled down over his eyes. The owner had been put off at first by the guarded appearance of this foreigner but was reassured when he heard the perfect accent-less hindi with which the man spoke. Any foreigner who spoke as well as this man did was obviously not a street thug. Indeed the shopkeeper found the man's stillness as he drank his tea so full of peace that he actually slowed the rapid fire pace of his bartering down enough that his customers could negotiate a reasonable price. As for the customers, they saw a quiet, possibly sick man stoking the fire of his health over a hot cup of tea.
It was not until the woman approached that the shopkeeper had any idea that something was amiss. She was pale with black hair cut in the flapper style and dressed in what looked like a man's pinstriped business suit, except there was nothing male about the way this suit outlined her strong athletic build.
Her eyes locked onto the still form of the stranger. The shopkeeper was just turning to greet her, the first word of the first line of his rapid fire sales pitch for tourists forming on his lips, when the woman thrust a hand inside her jacket. The man at the table leapt to his feet, exploding up from seat with such force that the table overturned and his tea cup flew into the air. Before the shopkeeper knew it the man had taken two great lunging steps away. The woman's arm whipped out from her jacket with the strangest weapon the shopkeeper had ever seen. Its shape reminded him of the rockets he had seen on the covers of science fiction stories. There was even a short metallic antenna at its nose. But unlike those rockets which always seemed lighter than air, this weapon looked solid and heavy. It let out a high pitched whine as she aimed it towards the stranger.
The man was moving fast, so fast that the other customers barely had time to open their eyes wide in surprise before he was past them. When he reached the last table he leapt over it with the ease of a track and field champion clearing a hurdle. As he leapt, the whine from the woman's weapon increased in intensity, and a burning hole appeared in the side of the teapot beneath the leaping man's feet. Steam from vaporized tea burst out of the holes, momentarily obscuring their vision of the running man. An instant later, it cleared, and the woman drew a new bead on the stranger. A smile formed on the woman's lips. The man was racing toward a stone wall - a dead end. The high pitched whine of her weapon increased once more.
The man didn't slow. If anything he seemed to have only increased his speed as he headed towards a collision with the ancient foot thick wall. The shopkeeper thought he saw the air waver in a thin line between the woman's weapon and the man. Dust exploded from the wall, and then the impossible happened. Placing one foot upon the wall the man jumped upward. There was the sound of an explosion, and then the man shot straight up into the sky! The man's hood fell back from his face, but he was moving so fast that all the shopkeeper could see was a shock of sandy blond hair. And then he was gone.
The shopkeeper blinked, as beside him, the table where the stranger had set came to rest and the tea cup clattered to the ground. Shouting erupted amongst his customers. What had just happened? What had they witnessed? The shopkeeper turned to look at the woman, but she was already moving away. He shouted and ran after her, jostling his way through a crowd frightened by the sound of the explosion. She rounded a corner. The shopkeeper spun around it...and the woman was gone!
posted by D @ 1:10 PM
I love stories - especially speculative fiction, and I named this blog Brief Glimpses of Somewhere Else because I think of each story as a window into another world.
If this is your first time here, I recommend "Legacies" and "The Great Puzzle", both of which were nominated for a 2006 Parsec Award. You can also find "Timmy, Jimmy, and the Beast of Tagmart" as well as "Late Shift at the Souleater" in the podcast anthology Voices: New Media Fiction available at podiobooks.com.
My Girl Friend's Dead - A One Act Comedy
Legacies Part III
Legacies Part II
Legacies Part I
[About The Spirit's Dream (Version 2)]
The Spirit's Dream (Version 2)
Timmy, Jimmy, and the Beast of Tagmart
The Great Puzzle Part III
The Great Puzzle Part II
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