Flashathon Hour 6 Prompt: From A.C. Crispin

If you’d believe it, when we get to the end of this hour we’ll already be halfway through the inaugural Flashathon.  To pull back the curtain, I wrote and scheduled all these posts yesterday, so by now I might be thinking “inaugural? More like only!”  Hopefully everyone is still going strong, keep in there!

This hour’s prompt comes from A. C. Crispin.  It’s the single longest prompt of the event, I promise, so I figured setting it right in the middle would create a nice hump and let us all go downhill from here.  So let’s go!

If we’d gotten here two hours ago, this child would still be alive, Maceo thought, staring down at the small, too-still body.  Red desert clay had sifted down, filming the wide-open eyes.  They had been blue.  Maceo sighed.

Wow.  That’s dark.  But then, I love dark.  As always, use it, enjoy it, don’t use it, just create!  I’ll see you in the comments.

A. C. Crispin is the author of bestselling Star Wars novels and Star Trek novels, but her most famous genre work was the 1984 novelization of the television miniseries V. Crispin and noted fantasy author Andre Norton wrote two Witch World novels together. A.C. Crispin has been active in SFWA since soon after joining the organization in 1983. She and Victoria Strauss created SFWA’s “scam watchdog” committee, Writer Beware, in 1998. Crispin still serves as the Chair. Writer Beware warns aspiring writers about the numerous scam agents and publishers that infest the Internet these days. Crispin and Strauss have assisted law enforcement in bringing several infamous con artists to justice. Before submitting your work, visit Writer Beware. A.C. Crispin’s new book is the prequel to the mega-popular Pirates of the Caribbean films. Pirates of the Caribbean: Price of Freedom, and chronicles how Disney’s infamous film pirate first became a pirate captain. Her major science fiction undertaking is the StarBridge series, which will be reissued in omnibus editions from Meisha Merlin in 2007. Crispin’s newest work is an original fantasy trilogy for Harper/Eos, The Exiles of Boq’urain. Book one, Storms of Destiny, was released August 2005, and she is hard at work on Book 2, Winds of Vengeance. Book 3, Flames of Chaos, will be her next project. She currently teaches writing workshops at Anne Arundel Community College and Dragon*Con in Atlanta.


  1. avatar

    #1 by N.R. Brown on October 22, 2011 - 5:15 pm

    Story removed per author’s request.

    • avatar

      #2 by Dana Gunn on October 22, 2011 - 5:27 pm

      wow, not only did I get a quick shiver from this one, but in my mind, I saw the SyFy logo at the bottom of this scene! :D

  2. avatar

    #3 by N.R. Brown on October 22, 2011 - 5:15 pm

    Oh and…FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. avatar

    #4 by DLThurston on October 22, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    If we’d gotten here two hours ago, this child would still be alive, Maceo thought, staring down at the small, too-still body. Red desert clay had sifted down, filming the wide-open eyes. They had been blue. Maceo sighed.

    He picked up the still corpse. There had to be answers. But staring into the non-seeing eyes he couldn’t find any.

    At some point this job was supposed to get easier. He’d never heard anyone actually say this, it was only what he told himself whenever he hit these situations. The lie that kept him going through this job. He carried the body to the small truck, opening the chilled trunk and placing it gently inside. He closed the hatch and started through the roadless desert. There wasn’t anything around for miles, no cities, no roads, no signs of civilization.

    The truck bucked and shook against the uneven terrain. He considered the small corpse in the back, had a brief damnable thought about how comfortable it might be. Or would have been. The GPS kept him on a heading to the road. From there it was another hundred miles to Taos. To the brutalist building on the outskirts of the town. He knew the way by heart, knew every rock and cactus in this part of the desert. Every pothole on the state road.

    He carried the small corpse into the facility. “We were too late on this one.”

    Luca shook his head. “With the others,” was all he said. Maceo put the body on a small gurney and squeaked it down the hallway. Towards the large room where his breath would hang around his head like a wreath. Towards the small doors, each meant to hold another of the little children that fell from the sky.

    He pushed the drawer in, closed the door. Tried not to think about the odd sheen to the child’s metallic skin, the large, blue eyes devoid of pupils.

    He didn’t want to know where they came from, he didn’t want to know why they were coming here.

    He just wanted it to stop.

    He pulled a label out. Number 314. God, had it really been that many already?

    314 dead. One living. Babbling and talking in a language none of them could understand.

    One day they’d have an answer. One day they’d know how to stop it.

    But not today.

    “Maceo,” he dreaded the rest of the sentence. “We’ve got another one.”

  4. avatar

    #5 by Day Al-Mohamed on October 22, 2011 - 5:26 pm

    Story removed per author’s request.

  5. avatar

    #6 by Jennifer Brinn on October 22, 2011 - 5:31 pm

    Wow, what a prompt. I didn’t write a flash piece, I started something longer. I thought I was writing a fantasy, then it turned into SF with sentient plants. Very very cool. 500 words and counting.

  6. avatar

    #7 by Day Al-Mohamed on October 22, 2011 - 5:36 pm

    We’re en route!

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