That resonance is the most useful word science has given us. I encourage you to use it at all points in time, especially if writing trashy sci-fi.
In a darkened control room illuminated only by the flickering light of a dozen screens, there sat a man astride two worlds. Here he viewed into the collective dreaming of thousands, the twisting the turning, the maelstrom, the war of visions and conceptions turning around a central point. It was here that Bill sat, looking in on the dreamers, on the contention in their mouths. He smiled a soft smile. This is what he had hoped to see, it was not cruelty that made him smile at their strife, but this would support his thesis, his final dissertation for a degree in tumblodynamics. By day a videographer, a martial arts coordinator, but now he pursued his avocation, a student of the illusory, of the subtle dynamics of an imagined community.
A middle aged man, walked across the threshold, and his eyes lit up. Any sense of tedium quickly faded, the bordello had that effect, inside there was just fun. The girls were beautiful and sophisticated, they wouldn’t likely have gone down the path of easy money like this at any place but the Lethe Bordello.
Flash-fiction roulette #4: returning home to find dead family (it was a rather specific prompt, I added the sci-fi)
Commander Clinton Laster, the hero of the battle of the quantum fissure, receive his last salute of the victory tour and entered the En-Dis cell. His vision clouded and unclouded. But even before his atoms were disentangled, even before he was again a single person standing in the fields of Algidus he knew something was wrong. His eyes were clouded with the double-scene effect from entanglement, but he could smell it. It was sweet. Too sweet. It should have been earthy, musty and heavy with sweat and compost. This wasn’t the season for wildflowers or fruits, but the smell hang in the air, a growing, terrifying, noisome crescendo of intensity as the entanglement built to completion. So in the instant the image of space-base 2776’s En-Dis cell faded completely, he was already terrified.
A corpse washed in off shore. A corpse: naked, frozen, and wealthy. They called her the queen ice-bitch of finance. The most powerful single woman in the world, or so they used to say. Every piece of shit reporter in town was already trying to step on their mothers back for an edge, usually the gulls served the role of filth around here, but today these vultures were in a frenzy. In the ice-bitch was battered, bruised, naked and frozen. All she had was a picture of herself, in all her strikingly haughty beauty some ten years ago, with a child, boy of maybe 10, eyes sparkling, and on it written in her own hand “for my son”.
I leaned in and kissed her softly on the neck. She turned with a start and a jump, eying me with fear. What caused me to act so brash, so brazen. Ego? no, I had been intoxicated by her, I had grown tumescent. She could see it couldn’t she? She could see the inevitability, that she would fall in love or lust, tonight she would fall, and as she lay I would take her. Her eyes were cold and narrow. Defiant? Expectant? Was this fear of what I would do? Fear of what she would do? I would warm her this night, she must have been able to see that. The inevitability of it all. She walked without sensuality, but she teased at it none the less. She may as well have had her dress sewn about her. Her skin that showed was flawless, and I was moved with passions of the flesh that surely were beyond control of such a mortal man. Surely, she saw it, the inevitability. She must have. Placing my hand in her thick brown hair, and guiding her mouth to meet mine. Her eyes widened in the meeting. Surely by then she had realized it, the inevitability. We were locked in this dance by all that we are. I was captured by orbit of her sex and she could not escape the inevitability. What came to pass, must of have come to pass. The coming was inevitable.
Thick slick slime on the decks, grown heavy with algae and grog, “heave you rat bastards, heave up from the depths the treasure of legend”. An ugly crewman slipped on a patch of rotting wood, and fell face first into the mizzenmast, his face now even uglier as it spurt blood from a broken nose. A grand chortle went up among’st the deckhands, even as sudden weight jerked them all forward. The Captain glared downward, a greedy glint in his eyes, brooking no delay, he called “heave. If we’re not clear of these waters before the dreaded whale-eels come to call, I’ll chum your hides, and make my escape on the dinghy.” Finally after great crate cleared the waters edge. They heaved it up still further, onto the deck. “Open it!” bellowed the captain. And the quartermaster approached with a heavy pry. The besotted wood warped and groaned, his pry-bar struggling to grip. Finally the long lost cache was freed. A bounty of glinting silver discs lay before them. Placing one in the ancient cradle, they waited with bated breath when alas, the holy words blared forth, and they all joined in as if in prayer
In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the everyday affairs of life it is more useful to reason forward, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically.
A Study in Scarlet, A. C. Doyle
I am not a great fan of this story, but as with almost all stories of at least a little renown there was something I thought worth noting. The logic Mr. Holmes here espouses seems to me to be the cornerstone of all those gifted in dissembling. Those who construct narratives, for whatever reason, need to be able to reason in this manner.
Though I think he undervalues it in the ‘everyday affairs of life’, if we spend the time to construct the narrative that leads to a given effect we are much more likely to not take undue umbrage.
Coming soon a handful of flash-fiction stories I wrote a while back playing a game of writing-prompt roulette. Quality very not guaranteed.
|Zhàozhōu:||“What is the Way?”|
|Nánquán:||“Your ordinary mind—that is the Way.”|
|Zhàozhōu:||“Can it be grasped?”|
|Nánquán:||“The more you pursue, the more does it slip away.”|
|Zhàozhōu:||“How can you know it is the Way?”|
|Nánquán:||“The Way does not belong to knowledge, nor does it belong to non knowledge. Knowledge is illusion. Non knowledge is beyond discrimination. When you get to this Way without doubt, you are free like the vastness of space, an unfathomable void, so how can you explain it by yes or no?”|
|Upon hearing this, Zhàozhōu was awakened.|