This week's challenge from Flash Fiction Friday was to write something weird.
Since we are at the beginning of a brand new year, I think our first prompt for 2016 should be to write something weird. How should you write a weird story? Well, first of all, you’ll select one of the starter sentences from the ones listed below. Then, you’ll write a story that’s dark, sinister, strange, mysterious, bizarre, twisted… I’m sure you get the idea. Let’s check out your selections.
- When I left the room, it was in the corner by the window.
- She found begging distasteful, but what other choice did she have?
- He hoped he would be able to outrun them this time.
- When they first arrived, it had been with the best of intentions.
- We pounded as hard as we could, but the door would not open.
You can take your story down a horror path, cruise it down a sci-fi highway or jumble those two genres together. The point being, when we get finished reading your story, we do not want to feel all warm and cozy. We want to be shaken, rattled, rolled, and taken on a wild ride.
So, pick a starter and get to writing. Weird awaits!
I tend to write weird stories as it is, and couldn't decide at first which sentence to use. I picked one, then decided to include all of them in my story. It's just over 1200 words.
A LIttle Bit of Weird
When they first arrived, it had been with the best of intentions.
The aliens were one eyed, green and tentacled, not unlike the ones in the Simpson's cartoons. They said they were here to observe only, and to help us develop as a race and improve ourselves. They even relocated some of our neighbours, to a brand new beautiful town, they said. A few people remained suspicious of their real motives, convinced that they were there to do experiments, but they were in the minority.
I didn't see any close up for several months, then one morning I woke up in a strange bed, in a strange room, with one of them standing near me.
"Greetings, earthling," it said. "Welcome to your new home. Please, explore and enjoy. Many of your friends are here too. You'll find your every need will be catered to."
I supposed I'd been expecting this some day. I grabbed a robe and nodded. "Thanks, I guess. First off I need a coffee."
When I left the room, it was in the corner by the window. Just watching me. The back of my neck felt like I'd been bitten or something, but when I felt around with a tentacle there was just a small lump.
The aliens were true to their word, eager to meet our every need, in return for just observing us. Every few days someone new would appear in our little town, but I noticed that occasionally people were disappearing too. I had thought they were just heading back home, so when my neighbour came up to me in a panic, saying she was leaving too, I didn't see the problem. However, she'd apparently overheard some aliens saying they needed more people for the dissection labs, to study further. She'd also heard that I was on the list too - it was to be our whole street. She didn't think she could run, but was hoping they'd have pity on a single mother like her if she really poured it on. She found begging distasteful, but what other choice did she have?
"You can negotiate," I said. "Find out what they really need, and give it to them."
And I did just that. I approached one of them, and pointed out that I was a very average, very normal person, not really worth studying. However, I was a very good judge of character, and knew all the little quirks and peculiarities of my fellow townspeople, so would be glad to help find good specimens for them. After he/she/it conferred with the others, I had a deal.
They took my neighbour, in spite of her efforts, and then others that I selected. I hated doing it, but it was me or them. It looked like I'd found my niche. I was good at this, at picking ideal subjects, at convincing them it was just for another better place. I was sort of proud of new abilities.
The aliens noticed them too. I was no longer bland and boring, I was now unusual enough for them to want to study. As in poke around into my brain - literally. I was lucky to see the latest list for people to be picked up, and there I was, right at the bottom. I had time to make a run for it. Maybe I could cut through backyards and alleys before they got to my place, and make it out of town.
I almost made it too. I was just climbing the last fence, only a few hundred feet from the forest edge, when there was a sudden pain in my neck and my muscles all went limp. I fell back to the ground with a thump, and just lay there.
"Better to wait until dark," he said.
I turned and looked. There was someone hiding in between a shed and the back fence. He smiled, and held up a metal chain with blinking lights intertwined in it. He wore another one around his neck.
"And you'll need one of these to block the security signals. You can use my prototype - it's good enough in a pinch I think. Come on, crawl over here."
To my relief, my limbs worked again, so I crawled over.
"I'm Dan," he said. "And you?"
"Allan. What's that thing? Did you make it?"
"Yes I did. I was a technician in the army before this. Served my time overseas, repairing electronic control systems. This device is a suppressor, that blocks all the signals the aliens broadcast to keep us from seeing reality."
"Like what," I said.
"I'll show you. Here, turn around, I have to fasten it in the back right over their implant."
I sat staring at the back yard while he fastened the chain. There was a click, and a moment of dizziness, and then everything changed. The suburban backyard, with its trim bungalow, lush lawn, sparking swimming pool, and tall redwood fence, all disappeared. In its place was a small shack, a dirt yard, and a stagnant pond, all surrounded by a chain link fence.
"Holy crap," I said, and turned back to Dan.
I recoiled back. "Christ, what happened to you?" He had a long green tentacle instead of a right leg, a camera lens instead of a left eye, and the whole side of his skull was replaced by a clear plastic panel.
"They've experimented on us all the time," he said. "The chips block our perception, so we think we're in this happy little perfect town while they just observe us."
"But your head," I said. I extended a tentacle to point then froze. "Christ, where's my arm. When did this happen."
"Weeks ago, probably," he said. "You probably noticed it then, but thanks to the device it didn't really sink in."
"Well it's sinking in now," I said. I sat down heavily and leaned against the wall. "What do we do? Can this be changed back? Is everyone like this?"
"Yes, everyone they took," he said. "All modified in some way or another, as part of their experiments."
"So, now what?" I said.
Dan didn't have much of a plan other than waiting until dark, climbing the fence, and heading through the woods.
He hoped he would be able to outrun them this time.
"This time?" I said.
He slapped his right leg, his tentacle. "I lost this leg in the war, so was on crutches when these slimy bastards first showed up. At least I'm more mobile now."
Once the sun had set we hopped the fence and headed for the forest. We were about halfway there when there was a series of hoots behind us.
"Damn," he said. "They must have noticed that our signals are blocked, Come on, we can lose them in the forest."
I looked back over my shoulder- nobody there yet. When I turned back, the forest was gone. We were now in a plain white room, running toward a large glass door. On the other side was what looked like the main street of my old town, with people walking about in the dusk. I grabbed Dan's arm as he faltered.
"Come on," I said. "You can do it."
The hooting behind us was getting louder as we reached the door It was locked. We pounded as hard as we could, but the door would not open.