Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Snippets

Been a while since I've posted one of these!  Here's a piece from the short story I'm working on.  It started as a free write from January of 2010.  Three children (Niall, Tobin and Sarika) have just awakened Malin from a hospital bed in a government complex.  As she struggles to remember how she got there, she convinces them to help her escape:

Niall charged the door and bulled it open; Tobin squirmed under her other arm to steady her.  They entered the corridor together.  The antiseptic light stunned Malin.  She squinted to block it out, her feet slipping on the tiled floor. 

“We snuck in through the break room,” Sarika said hurriedly, leaning to guide her in that direction. 

The painful spear of approaching thoughts sliced into Malin’s consciousness.  “Not that way,” she said.  “They’re coming.” 

Sarika hesitated.  “But …” 

Niall took charge.  “There must be stairs,” he said. 

They reversed direction, harried skidding.  Malin would have laughed if claustrophobia and confusion hadn’t held her in their grip.  She needed to get away from here.  She had been held prisoner by people she could almost recall, pieces of names and glimpses of faces – but if it had been three hundred years, as Sarika said, they would all be dead.  It was their descendants who guarded her now, and they had made her – the Dreamer – into a legend. 

Between them and the stairs stood an imposing security door.  The three children halted in dismay.  Malin was forced to stop with them. 

“It will only take voice commands,” Sarika said, tone dull.  “We’re trapped.  And now we’re all going to get into trouble.  We’ve gotten the Dreamer into trouble!” 

Clarity touched her, a cooling wind.  “No,” Malin said, “you haven’t.”  She reached out to the thoughts of their pursuers, picking up amber and brown.  The color and pattern had everything she needed to know:  timbre, pitch and words. 

“Command – open door,” she said in a gruff alto.  The pair supporting her jumped in surprise. 

The door parted like a curtain.  Malin leaned forward, reclaiming her balance.  She still felt a traitorous quiver in her ankles, but she had to ignore it.  “Let’s go.”

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