This week’s flash fiction challenge set by Terribleminds.com is simple. All I need to do is write a piece of science fiction or fantasy within 1000 words. That’s it. Sounds simple, eh? Well it turns out that I found it a lot more difficult than I would have liked to, working almost without any boundaries. I’ve been playing RPG games both on and off the screen for the best part of my life, yet when I tried to think of a fantasy or sci-fi plot, all I got was this high-pitched ringing sound in my head and an eventual nose bleed.
Then it came to me, a flash, a tiny thought, somewhere to begin and by god before I knew it I was actually writing the damn thing.
I was writing this…
Flash Fiction: Different Worlds
The tunnel was damp and as far as the light would let Captain Lewis see, completely endless. The rough stone walls dripped with an iridescent pink slime, that bubbled and spat at as he crept down the tunnel. His strong plate armour pitted and dented from countless battles reflected the pink glow of the slime. He was sure that there was nothing in this tunnel that would be a match for him, yet the acrid smell and slime he was squelching through gave him reason to be careful.
He had been charged by the king to recover the Sacred Goblet of Anderian from the catacombs of Torl and nothing would stand in his way. He was a brave and noble fighter fighting the scourge of darkness for the good of all that is pure and good.
He walked down the tunnel and the pink slime became thicker underfoot. Soon he was knee-deep in the sludge and he still couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. Each step was harder than the one before and his thighs burned from trudging his way through. When he took the next step his foot didn’t make contact with the bottom of the tunnel. Instead his foot sank further and further down in to the slime. Lewis could do nothing as gravity took hold of his heavy armour and dragged him down through the slime, falling through to the room below and landing on his back on a large rock.
The chamber he’d fallen through was filled with the same glowing pink slime as the tunnels above. The stone chamber was bare except for a few skulls and half eaten corpses and the large rock he had fallen on to sat in a sea of slime. Lewis pushing himself up on the rock but this rock wasn’t hard like stone, it was much softer, and he was sure the thing was starting to move. His suspicions were confirmed when the rock rose up out of the slime, tentacles flailing and lashing, while a birdlike beak peered at him from the end of a very long neck.
Lewis had heard of these creatures before and in truth felt the fool for not spotting it earlier. It was a slock, short for slime rock. slocks are large nasty monsters that feast on the foolhardy adventurers who stumble into their pit.
Lewis may have been taken by surprise this time but he was no easy catch. As the tentacles lashed at him Lewis dodged each one, swinging his sword at each one that attacked him. With each successful hit chunks of tentacle fell from the monster.
‘Foolish slock’ Lewis though to himself ‘A monster of true darkness can never hope to conquer good.’
Using its last few undamaged tentacles the slock unleashed everything it had at the suddenly outmatched warrior. One tentacle knocked the sword from his grasp, while two others grabbed his legs. The beaked head of the monster stared at Lewis from only inches away before screeching angrily.
Lewis was not out of tricks yet. Reaching into his belt he grabbed a small red bottle of liquid and threw it at the monster’s head. Flames engulfed the surprised slock for a second, and out of fury and anger threw Lewis across the cavern.
Lewis’ sword was still across the cavern, stuck in the pink slime behind the approaching slock. The warrior was going to have to find a way to his sword or another way of defeating the slimy creature. The monster had started to regenerate; the tentacles Lewis had hacked off were growing back. If he left it too long he would be fighting a full strength slock with no weapon and no advantage.
He had no other weapons to use, just a bottle of liquid he’d taken from a pedestal in an earlier room. It was either use that or die. Should he drink it, rub some on his tongue or just throw the bottle? It could be any of them, but there was no time to think. Grabbing the bottle from his belt he hurled the bottle as hard as he could towards the slock. The bottle smashed in a glow of golden dust. Nothing happened for a few seconds. The slock was surprised but kept advancing towards Lewis who readied himself. He was willing to go hand-to-hand with the monster if he had to.
Then it started. It was small at first. First the tip of the tentacles started to turn, the slock roared with confusion as it watched the rest of his tentacles turn stiff and golden. Lewis took a few steps back watching the creature slowly but surely turn into solid gold. The head of the slock thrashed from side to side as the magic spread throughout its body, cursing through the veins in its neck until the magic finally reached the head.
Lewis stared at the golden slock statue in front of him. Two large emerald eyes stared back towards him. The value of the slock statue could make him a very rich man, but he was here to find the Goblet of Andarian and he will not be distracted.
A loud noise echoed through the cave, a gravely buzzing sound. Lewis grabbed his sword from the slime and turned to face the noise.
Lewis’ communicator was buzzing. He reached out of his bed, and picked it up, pushing the little green button. ‘Ensign Lewis, all senior officers are needed on the bridge’ said the official voice of the Captain.
Lewis cleared his throat ‘Yes sir. Is there a problem?’
‘It’s a spatial anomaly of some kind but I can fill you in when you get here’ announced the communicator.
‘I’m on my way, Captain.’ Lewis clicked off the communicator and readied himself for his very ordinary duties aboard the S.S. Hypnos.