Tag Archives: flash fiction

An update and a new road ahead

Afternoon one and all!

Welcome and/or Welcome back if you’re returning, I’ve been working a little bit ahead of schedule with an unexpected amount of free time to work on my writing. While I have things in a fair place I wanted to put out there the latest snippet from the newly retitled piece
“The Plague Road”

It’s a work-in-progress that I will be fleshing out over the next several weeks as time permits while working my original novel idea.

If you’d like to read the story in its entirety as it stands so far, check out my deviant art page with the full thing here.

Otherwise, continue below the line for just the latest addition.


They started to walk, the countryside laid out before them changing from a sea of overgrown weeds and plants to a long stretch of dead grass. Caleb followed behind Schultz, a written-on map held open in front of him. He matched the small markings on the page to the weathered road signs, worn down from the years of neglect. The road itself was littered with cracks and potholes, entire sections broken off or eroded away entirely. Caleb kept his eyes fixed on the map, glancing up from it whenever they approached anything with a note beside it. The crisp, clean, white paper long since aged to a muted shade of yellow-brown. Even so, following the lines of that tattered old map had brought them that far, Caleb reasoned.

“Just over this ridge here, looks like there’s another town…” He said, finger hovering over the mark on the map.

Caleb glanced back and forth between the map and the hillside in-front of them. He slowed, peering up the shallow hill that rose up like a stairway to the sky.

“Doc you think we should maybe go a-” he stopped and looked around. Schultz was gone. Caleb looked about nervously for a moment before noticing the doctor up ahead. Already on his way up the side of the hill.

“Hey, hold up!”

Schultz didn’t respond, only marched ahead, one foot after another, as he pushed up the stretch of ground before them.

Caleb’s legs were already numb with soreness. The jagged broken highway they had followed for miles paired with the relentless heat of the mid-afternoon sun beating down on them was wearing him down. He barely even felt his leg muscles as they worked to stretch and contract with every step. To the top of the hill, then they’d rest, he’d convince Schultz of that much, he had to.

“Doc, C’mon, slow down,” Caleb said, taking big gasping breaths with his hands on his hips as he finally caught up.

The jagged outline of the town, like a broken toothed smile, came into view as he reached the top. The town of Stillwater. It was a tiny place, the words “safe” and “small” scribbled next to it on the map.

“Swear you’re tryin’ to kill me.”

Schultz turned, the oversized beak-nose of the mask pointing toward him.

“Look how close we are.”

Schultz gestured to the shadowed outline of the city at the foot of the hill.

“No point stopping here…”

“Knew we shoulda gone ’round.” Caleb mumbled.

 


-Sam

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Mechanical Kingdom – Update

Hi again!

Oh, how time flies when we’re having fun…

Well, I wouldn’t call the recent months to be fun in the traditional sense but I certainly did get a lot of school course work done still working toward my degree. However, now that it is over with and my free time is my own again, I wanted to get back into my writing, diving headlong in and hoping for the best. So, after tackling several writing prompts, nearly a weeks worth to be exact, this was the latest snippet of what I’m hoping to make a recurring appearance, at least once a week, giving an update to this or other character/stories that scream for my attention while I work on my main novel.

 

Originally, this was posted over on my deviantart page, but for those of you who’d rather not be dragged away over there to see, just check below the line for the latest submission!

As always, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read. Happy to read comments/thoughts/suggestions if you choose to leave ‘em.

 

Thanks!

 

-Sam

 


 

Caleb stood up from the recently deceased body and sighed.

“Schultz, that’s the fifth this week…” He said, scratching his head as he stared down at the lifeless man.

“And it won’t be the last,” Schultz nodded back toward the road, “c’mon,” he added and turned and walked away. 

”There’s always more…” Caleb mumbled.

He adjusted the over-sized bag on his back, centering the heavy load between his shoulders. The various bits and pieces within shifted and settled with every step as he trotted after his friend. As he caught up, he didn’t say anything, only fell in step behind him.

They walked for a time without a word. The whisper of the soft breeze rolling through the overgrown grass as it passed between them. The sun had already started to climb high into the morning sky. The birds, their vibrant shades of blue and red and brown, zipped along the full, billowy, clouds. He’d never told Schultz, but it was his favorite part of their time together. Not the rushing from city to city, not the ever-present threat of bandits and burglars along the abandoned highways, but the long stretches of open field, the grounds reclaimed by Mother Nature over the years, that lay between them and their destination.

Caleb watched the slow-rolling clouds keep pace with them for a long moment before breaking the silence. 

“You still think its worth it?”

“Do I think what is worth what?”

“All of this. Movin’ place to place even when we find a fair spot we could stay? Trying to help folks even when most of ’em don’t want to be helped?”

“Everyone wants help, Caleb,” Schultz gestured his arms open wide from under the folds of his long black coat, “there is still a reason to live, even if some don’t see it.”

He stared at Schultz, a silent hope for more than to justify their endless travel. Schultz continued silently. 

The long, crooked, cone nose–like the beak of a bird–jutted out from the mask over his face, as if pointing the way. Green lenses set into large, round, copper goggles reflected the light over the eye sockets. Dr. Schultz maintained the unsettling mixture of man and crow to his appearance, like the plague doctors from the stories of old. Only they weren’t fighting a plague.

“Caleb, you’re a good man, but I beg you to have faith in the work that we do.” Schultz said. He fished around in the folds of his coat and pulled out a golden locket that hung on a chain around his neck and flicked it open. 

“How could we live with ourselves, once we arrive, if we hadn’t done all we could along the way?” He closed the locket and tucked it back into his layered clothes.

“Where to next?” Caleb asked.