Wowzers! It’s November already and time for our third writing challenge. Remember to head on over to the Voting Page to vote on your favourite pieces for October’s Fear Challenge! (Or September‘s if you missed it) (All these hyperlinks and not a man in site….)
Welcome to the November challenge! We’re revolting! I mean that we’re writing about revolution, obviously. Though remember, Dagna fans, that there’s more than one definition to revolution and revolting and I expect with the smarts in possession of our writers, we’ll be seeing some pretty awesome writing at the end of this month. Which leads to the Example piece, written once more by our very own Shaking Steven Archer. So please, enjoy his thing, then go and read more things, because reading is good!
This month has also been given a bit of a twist, the guys were given the chance to influence the example piece by throwing suggestions at Steve. All writers ignored this task, earning them a point for standing up to authority! Now what else could happen this month for bonus points?
October 29th, 2042
She sat and waited for the results to come through. Every fibre in her being had screamed with impatience as the computer slowly jittered along its loading bar.
The lights of a car stole a glimpse through the blinds coveting her solitary sanctum. Alienware hardware buzzed all along the desk as she stroked key after key to create her swan song.
She moved the chair back and reached over to her right. Lifting the arm of her classic vinyl player and placed it, needle aligned, at the edge of the record that sat upon the device; the driving piano piece lead way into the song Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen. She stepped onto her chair and took a deep breath, steadying her nerves for her big moment.
And then she kicked it from beneath her.
The taught rope creaked under the sudden weight.
October 30th, 2042
The phone cut through the daze that had stolen Detective John Radley from his case file sprawled out on the desk in front of him. The Super’s gravelly harsh voice exploded through the receiver so loud that Radley held it away from his ear a whole 5 inches before accepting that it wouldn’t blow his eardrum.
“Radley! This is the 6th cadaver this month and still you have nothing for me. Board are calling a watchdog in 10 minutes, and your ass better be standing at the head of the table when I get there!” The phone clicked as the super ended his comms link. I’m glad I didn’t take that implant after all, thought Radley as he placed his ancient phone device down.
In recent years, the tech world had exploded with Replican Industries leading the worlds advanced tech programs into a new age. Every citizen now had an implant at the age of 18 that turned the brain into its own smartphone device. You could call, google, film, email, play music and much more at a literal blink of an eye or click of the fingers. Radley had opted out of this implant as he held true to the thought that we were now one step closer to dehumanisation completely. The only implant that he had accepted was the compulsory AI manipulation glove implants in his hands that allowed him to integrate with all tech within the depo.
He stepped into the meeting room to find 5 floating bubbles with faces on them, each belonging to councilwomen and the supers. The door closed behind him to allow the firing squad to commence…
November 1st, 2042
He sat with his back against the metallic wall of the city. Since the fall of Washington after the election of Trump many years ago, Washington had slowly slipped into decay. What was once a vibrant and energetic state had become a small hovel in the middle of nowhere. All tech companies had moved back to New York, leaving the once all powerful capital of power as a smelting pot of angry Virginians condemning the names Hamilton and Jefferson as if they had planned this all along.
Incoming Call, Toto…
Ah, here she goes, he chuckled as he dropped the butt of his cigarette and accepted in call.
“Plissken? What the hell is going on?! I heard the news in Nebraska this morning. Springsteen swinging from her light fitting, that’s the 6th this month!” Her breath rattled as she panicked and stammered; obviously the syndicate falling apart was causing the remaining members to do the same…
“Plissken? You gotta be there!”
“How is the weather in Kansas this time of year?” He asked jovially, “Is the breeze up?”
“Damn it, Snake! This is not the time for jokes! We’ve lost Oregon, Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan and Georgia. This wasn’t part of the plan! You wanted to make the States great again but you’re killing off the major players like they’re mere pawns…”
A muffled gunshot rang out in the comms chat and then the line went dead, shortly after Toto.
“So much for holding the line, Rosanna…”
He cut the call and pulled his cigarette case from his pocket, accidentally pulling out the boat tickets as well. As they landed on the floor, the date glimmered in the moonlight. The 5th…
November 3rd, 2042
Radley looked like a panda, the bags under his eyes dragging him down closer to the desk; his head bobbed once more. Below him was a map of the States, the 7 States involved were floating above the rest like some ethereal vigils. One the next panel of his desk was a pattern decoder, working on the points that might be involved and how they were linked other than in the actual murders.
“It sounds like a part of the end of the world, doesn’t it?” A voice said behind him. Startled, he scurried around his desk to hide the less desirable content from view of Sandra Cohen. Cohen was a full bodied Irish immigrant from some long lost country across the pond. “REM? They were popular about 50 years ago.”
“I don’t think they knew how close they were to the truth. Each victim is a leading figure in the remaining cities of the US. Ever since they gave presidency to Justin Bieber.” He had little to do with politics, but even Radley knew that was a bad call, especially when his opposing candidate was Bill Nye.
“This may help you, new intel of a body found in California. Jack Napier, a union rep for the dock workers over there.”
November 5th, 2042
Plissken grinned as he walked into the docks of Florida. His old identity had been dropped as he stepped through those gates, heading out to the gothic remains of Europe and leaving this empty shell of a continent dead in the wind. He pulled a device from his breast pocket and clicked the button. The ticket attendant cleared his throat to get Plissken’s attention.
“Erm, sir? I need your boarding tickets and passport please?”
“Of course, young man. Awfully close for this time of year isn’t it?”
The ticket attendant looked at him somewhat confused though dropped his gaze to the ticket and passport in his hand.
“That’s an awfully odd name, if you don’t mind me saying sir.” The boy was starting to sweat in his uniform, looking Snake in the eye.
“My parents could never decide what first name to give me so it’s hyphened to John-Paul Starr. I prefer to go by my middle name but my dad and his dad share that name.” Said Plissken as he took back the paperwork. The ticket attendant chuckled.
“I guess that would make you George the Third then, sir?” Snake winked as he turned to walk away and onto his new life.
“I guess that’s right, my boy. Now please, I must catch my boat.”
He strode away whistling some long forgotten song about Ukraine girls and Georgia being on his mind as the ticket boy looked down to his new tablet. The headline flashing across the device was that a series of timed explosions had brought the country to a standstill, overhead imaging suggesting the resemblance of the once Great Britain’s flag. Snake took one last look back at the nation he loathed so much.
“Just doing what one Guy couldn’t. For this is the world we live in!”