Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 54: The Killing Ghosts

This is the 54th a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

The Killing Ghosts, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 24th January 2012

Word count: 697

Theme: alien invasion, resistance, war, survival, humanity, myth, legend

The story:

I got so scared, I felt I was alone facing things that shouldn’t even exist, never mind being in a relatively unimportant city in England. Whether they should be there or not, it was irrelevant.

The day had been going so well, I had a date that night, my job was going well, everything in life was grand. A few months earlier I’d Peru much had nothing to lose, but the day they came, I lost everything important, except my life.

It was mid-September when astronomers first saw the objects in the night sky, they were a wonder, unexplainable, mysterious globes of compressed liquid. Of course we didn’t just assume they were peaceful – though we didn’t even know about brains then. When it was obvious that they were on a collision course with the Blue Planet the US military took control of all efforts in regard. to the strange phenomena. They’re best efforts didn’t even cause the globes of liquid to waver, they kept coming.

Still life went on, the world split into three types of people. First off the were your traditional end of world types, (most figured them for loons, including me at first), then there were eager and excitable scientist types, lastly there was everyone else who couldn’t conceptualise what was happening, it was just this thing in the news. Sure it was the topic of many conversations but we didn’t understand, and it was years away.

So it was quite a shock when the center of Leeds was rocked by an immense exclusion as a globe crashed right into it. I’m told this was only a small one, but I was within five miles of impact it never felt small. It was the advanced unit, there to probe and test how we’d react, the rest of their armada arrived a month later, with sporadic advanced drops in medium cities around the world in between.

Continue reading

Still struggling…

I’m still struggling with writers block. It’s spread from my ability to write fiction, to my ability to write poetry, and write here. It is having a decidedly melancholy affect. I’d hoped a bit of travelling might snap me out of it, but no such luck.

I think I need a crisis, I had a crisis this time last year, and coming out of that crisis I started writing again. However, the new improved me deals with problems a lot better, so few even get close to a minor crisis, never mind the life altering ones from last year.

I am now quite scared of NaNoWriMo looming over me, I’ve got the ideas, but without the ability to actually write, it’s fairly meaningless.

I could create a crisis, however that doesn’t fit with the new me that works hard not to get life in a state. I’ve gotten into pretty bad financial trouble this year (after years of owing no more than £400 at anyone time), however I’ve even dealt with that so that I’ll be debt free again in by this time next year, and am comfortable with that.

I could quit my job, which does have double benefits, it would be a major crisis, I wouldn’t be able to fix easily, and I would have time to write. However, I’d have nothing to write on, never mind anywhere to actually write – so possibly a level of crisis too far.

Likely, it’s still temporary, and that once November hits, I’ll be flying. I’m actually planning on doing something insane for NaNoWriMo (assuming I can find the ability to write again), and that is enter NaNoWriMo twice. That’s right, I’m aiming for the 100,000 words in a month bracket. I’ll be doing it with two different stories – however I personally feel that 100,000 in a month, on one story, that could retain 75% to 85% of it’s words after editing, might be worth pursuing. I was tempted to do it one story, however, I worry that I’ll balk under the challenge and settle for 50,000, I don’t want to settle. With two entries, settling is still a win and a failure, to have a true win, have to achieve both.

What I’ll aim to do, is get the first one complete in the first fortnight, and the second in the second fortnight, so I’m not having to switch between stories (which I can do, but might cause problems).

For now though, I’d settle for some good writing for the rest of September, and through October.

Another problem with writers block, it forces you to analyse every idea, as you seek the in roads to it, that will allow you to translate imagination to words on a page.

I just had a brilliant idea for a poem, for about a second, before I realised it’s a subject that’s been more than adequately covered in myth and legend.

There was tiny spider (but with long thin legs) in the bath, and it was stuck, but kept trying to get up the sides. It’d get so far, and then fall, but used it’s web to limit it’s fall, then tried again, then the web broke – so it started over, and nearly gets to the top, and then falls again.

Eventually, it drifts along the length of the path, trying to find a decent climb, and it makes it! I actually felt quite happy for it (even as I don’t have any like for spiders after being bitten by one, yuck). Then the damned thing, not satisfied with it’s monumental climb (they’re not after all known for escaping baths), then proceeded to climb a shampoo bottle. It must have realised it was disappointing when it get to the top, as it got back down again. Teetered on the edge of going back in the both, but instead choose to use the grouting to climb up to the ceiling instead.

It was amazing to watch. Unfortunately, it’s already a well observed phenomeon, kind of – Robert the Bruce famously is supposed to have seen a spider trying, and failing, then trying again, to get a web from one side of a cave to another, and it inspired him to try again and rebel against Edward. He still failed, but the moral is no less true.

As I said, it was amazing to watch – even more amazing, aside from this ickle spider, there was a much bigger spider (where the ickle one had legs no thicker than a hair, this had legs that were like 0.5mm – and a much bigger body and mandibles that were very visible (shudders). To be fair, I suspect they were the same breed, but probably the bigger one was considerably older (I believe a week might be descriptive enough of age in the life cycle of a spider – but I’m no arachnologist afterall), just sat there watching. I couldn’t decide if it was keeping the little spider as an emergency meal for later, or not. After the little spider escaped the bath, it turned and was facing the wall (it had been facing the length of the bath for the entire time little spider had been trying to escape), so I wonder if it was thinking, damn – if only I were smaller, and lighter, with legs that could find every tiny bump and gap to get me up – I could make it. Or maybe it was just cursing it’s luck, as the little spider succeeded, while it had sat and done bugger all.

Well there you go, like Robert the Bruce (allegedly), that little spider has inspired me too – because I’ve written a few words. Maybe I will write a poem about the two spiders… it’s a subject that may have been covered, (but then, lets face it what hasn’t?), but it was a pretty major thing for me.

I love moments like that, I once wrote down a few pages about a pigeon with a clubbed foot that I saw at the train station while travelling to work once. Still have it, might share that too. In fact, I think I might share inspirational animal stories everyday next week, I’m feeling well and truly inspired.

Thanks for reading, if you did 😉

JL Legend