Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins

This flash fiction is brought to you by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds
who offered these three random sentences to choose from.
“The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.”
“A poetic pattern retains inertia.”
“The criminal disappears after the inventor.”
The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins

That’s what the news said this morning.
It took long enough to gather all those violins. I’ll wager those crazies never imagined we’d be able to find one violin nevermind a hundred. But by God we did, and they sure did the trick. Sucked the air right out of the place and killed everything in there. Now all that’s left is to go in and clean up the mess.
That’s our job.
Well, mine and my crew. We go in and clean up after unfortunate events, make the place livable again for all the settlers. By the time they pay their 2K, there won’t be a hint left of what happened.
Of course, when we first get there, it’s a nightmare. Dead people everywhere, kids that will never grow up, blue babies in cradles, people clutching at each other…We don’t look hard. It’s better not to. We just put the bodies in the bags and load them onto the trucks for disposal.
Still. It’s hard not to notice how hard the crazies held on to life, right to the last. I see a couple clasping hands so hard we have to put them in a bag together and a boy –
They look so normal. Like us.
Don’t look.
Just load the bodies.
After that we clean the place out so that there's nothing left. Not a scrap of clothing, a dish, or a toy. By the time we’re done every house and business is empty and ready for new occupancy. Move in condition.
That’s what the settlers want.
After the job is done the haul is divided equally and that plus our hazard pay will hopefully see us all through 'til the next job, which could be next week or next year. It depends on how soon another borderland pops up, though these days it seems the crazies are everywhere.
It’s dark when we part ways behind the walls, safe in our little neighborhoods where the air smells like something other than death and chemicals. The light at the back door guides me and soon I’m inside and home.
I sneak into the room at the end of the hall where my boy lays sleeping, tucked in his bed with his thumb in his mouth. I pull his hand away and give it something else to hold onto: a small blue floppy rabbit with a music box inside.
Small hands pull the rabbit close and I smile, but only until I remember the other boy, the one that died before he could ever open the prettily wrapped box that had the rabbit.
Damn crazies. They should’ve known better.


  1. that was witty and interesting

  2. Quite a whirlwind! Befitting the crazy prompt sentence.

  3. I want to know more about these crazies. Cool story.

  4. This was quite clever! Need me some crazies.

  5. Sounds like something that could possibly expand into a longer SF story???

    And, by the way, I enjoyed your novel, West of Paradise! Fun read. :)

  6. Oh, what fun! Great job, Marcy.

  7. The one problem with good flash fiction - it's like eating a single potato chip. I always want more.

  8. Oh wow. Great job. So well done!

  9. Well, that was creepy! :O I love creepy!

    Your new header reminds me of "MIne!" "Mine!" from Finding Nemo. ;)

  10. Funny... I was thinking the same thing as Lexa when I saw your header, Marcy. Terrific pic...

    Also agree with Lexa on your FF.... Creepy... well done.

  11. Oooooh, that was good. Maybe you should consider writing a book...? HA! (I enjoyed your book, by the way.)

  12. Very interesting and creative!

  13. This is such a great piece - I want to read the entire book! Maybe there will be one. :)


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