See the sun rise
Ok, flash fiction here. Basic principle is to take an event from someones life and twist it into something fantastical in some way whilst retaining the heart of what the event was about/signified. This is the second proper draft of this, and I'm not altogether happy with it as I think I've copped out on one or two things and gotten too engrossed in a few others. Still time to rewrite at a later date.
P.S. Formatting stupidity is not my fault but the bloody blogs.
I met a man once in the infirmary; he was waiting to see one of the nurses and grumbled about how they were already behind schedule. He told me a story about a sunset that for his love froze the motion of the entire world.
Now see the sun rise over a scarred desert of blackened red rocks, the glowing horizon of scorching fire, blazing red and molten gold, stretching across the horizon from end to end. Advancing with inexorable slowness; casting deadly light in its wake. On the desert floor the red rocks smoke and pop as the ice and condensation of the night flash away in a haze of tumultuous air that twists the moisture up high into the sky.
High above great herds of floating tents made of skin and sinew float along on the thermal currents, their great jaws hanging open to catch whatever flotsam comes up on the wind. Whilst on their great leathery backs swarms of smaller kites hop about and peck in the deep crevassed wrinkles of skin for the even smaller creatures that live there amongst the mould and dirt. As they peck, they keep one stalk-like eye in constant motion; always looking around the sky, for the flash of light that signals a hunter’s approach.
On the ground once more a flower blooms in the darkness. Delicate sapphire blue petals curling upwards, entwined around each other in a lattice; forming a bulb above the pale green stem. Which becomes ever thicker as it falls to the floor, where it’s roots are like those of a tree, gnarled and twisted bitter by age. Sensing the sun’s approach the plant responds, from its trunk-like base begins to raise a shell made from tendrils of obsidian like fibre that twist themselves with serpentine method around the base, and begin to rise up layer by layer towards the flower, racing once again to beat the onrushing light.
The devastating day pushes on, but in the half light between day and night where scorching heat and freezing cold do not hold sway there is movement. Across the desert moves something with agility surprising for its construction; a monstrosity of clanking iron and steel, covered all over in a film of fine red dust. Great piston like legs loping along and crushing whatever is in its path in thunderclaps of sound and explosions of blood red sand. Around its head a halo of panels are turned to face the sun, reflecting multi-hued rainbows across their shimmering surfaces.
This great creature of ingenuity slams to a halt mere meters from the flower, where the tendrils of armour are almost reaching their zenith, and from it’s face comes another creature, this one smaller and covered in heavy red layers of clothing and equipment that jingle on it’s back and arms. It’s face is covered by a long beak-like mask and it’s eyes are hidden behind tinted black glass. In a few short loping steps it stands above the flower, and drawing a ice-white knife it reaches in with long supple fingers through the tightening web of obsidian black fibre, that shakes with rage at what is to come, and with a deft motion cuts the flower from the stem and scoops it out and into a brass container; which sizzles with some strange energy.
Above the kites scream a warning as out of the sky a great silvered hunter sweeps out of the suns rays, armour plated wings beating great strokes as it’s sword claws slice through the tents, sending great clouds of smaller kites flying about in tumultuous mayhem. Then it’s first attack complete the hunter stops, hangs in mid air before with another great wing beat it arches back in amongst the kites, jaws open to catch its dislodged prey.
I walk out of the infirmary, the man’s story all but forgotten in the picture he had painted for my mind. Still lost in my thoughts I move towards the exit, and step out onto the great steel decked promenade, below I can feel the throb of the cities engines pushing us up and along the desert floor into the night. Towards the sunside I can see the great terraced gardens where the food is grown, a flowering paradise in amongst the clouds, constantly chased by day but never reaching night.
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