Fiction Fragment Friday
Some weeks I start writing and it just flows out. Before I know it I have a thousand to fourteen hundred words and feel like I could go on much longer. Other weeks I struggle for inspiration. This has been a stressful week and when it came time to write it did not just flow. There will always be weeks like that, but the most important thing about a writer is that they write. In the past a struggle for inspiration would have led to me doing other things, but I take my writing more seriously these days. I can always just sit and write whether I’m in the mood to do it or not because I have made it a habit and a part of my life.
I think my best work will always come when it feels easy. The best stories though don’t always come from the best start. It is more important to get something out because you can always come back for a second or third draft and turn the core idea into something greater. Here on this blog you all get to see those first very rough drafts. The ideas that are being shared are fragments and not the final picture. The best of these ideas can be mined for something more.
This week’s story started as often does with a phrase popping into my head. The phrase or line is usually something new, but this time I decided to take an old cliché line and craft something new from it. “The ground disappeared out from under me.” How could I twist that into something more interesting? Was I able to? I will let you be the judge of that.
The ground disappeared out from under me. I don’t mean that I tripped, went over a cliff, or was flying. The ground literally disappeared under my feet. One moment I was walking along in the park and the next the ground in a ten foot and growing circle around my feet suddenly was no longer there. I was floating in the air over a hole so deep I couldn’t see the bottom of it. My mind was at war with itself trying to decide if I should be reacting or continue denying the reality of what I was seeing.
Before I could come to my senses and decide what to do gravity took my options away from me. I went from floating to falling down the hole. I mostly stayed near the center of the hole, but occasionally drifted to the side. Anytime a leg or a shoulder rubbed up against the dirt and rock sides pain shot through my body from the impact. I felt like I left my stomach behind and fought to keep from vomiting. Without any idea how long or far I had fallen I came to accept that I was going to die. When I saw a light rushing up towards me I knew it was all over.
I woke up in a large open field staring into the sky. I wasn’t sure what type of grain surrounded me, but as I stood up I realized it was almost as tall as I was. My arms and legs were scrapped up from bouncing off the walls of the tunnel, but other than that I didn’t seem to be hurt at all. The nausea was still there though and I couldn’t help but bend over and vomit in the field. Without any idea where I was I just picked a random direction and started walking.
I walked for hours. My legs were sore, my feet hurt, and I was drenched in sweat. I wasn’t particularly out of shape, but I didn’t have any water on me and the sun was beating down on me. Each step felt like it drained the energy from me, but I had no choice. I continued walking.
I reached the top of a hill and saw a small village at the bottom. Village is the best word I can use to describe it. There were a handful of wooden buildings along a worn path, a large stable with horses, and a stone church of some sort. I didn’t recognize the architecture or see any power lines. I resolved myself to the possibility that these people might not be able to help me get home, but at the very least they should have water. I managed to stay on my feet as I stumbled into town and headed for the first building on the right.
I walked into the strangest Inn I have ever been in. The bartender had horns, the waitress had pointed ears, and the man I assumed was the town drunk had green skin. They all turned and stared at me with looks of curiosity. Finally the barkeep spoke up. “Well never seen one of whatever you are around here. You look exhausted though sit down and I’ll get you a glass of water.”
I sat down at the closest table grateful to get off of my feet. The barmaid approached after a few moments and sat a glass in front of me. I tried to speak but my voice came out extremely raspy from dehydration. “Thanks. Where am I?”
“Shhhh, don’t try to talk yet. Just take a drink first.” I took a drink and let the water cool off my throat. She put her hand on my shoulder and it glowed brightly. I immediately felt better than I had in a long time. I even felt a missing tooth regrow in my mouth. It was one of the most amazing sensations I’ve ever felt.
“Thank you again. Thanks so much.” I was struggling to keep myself composed. “Where am I?”
The bartender spoke up. “Yer in the Feinting Goat Inn.” I was trying to think of a way to explain that I was asking in a broader sense, but before I could form the words another patron came in. A large clockwork possibly steam powered machine walked in on two legs and approached the bar. It’s chest opened up and a tiny gnome hopped out onto the bar stool. It set down a coin and the bartender slide a glass in front of him. They didn’t say a word. The gnome took the drink, slammed it back, jumped back into his robotic suit and walked out of the Inn.
I looked down into my glass. “I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore.”
The barmaid looked at me. “Oh sweetie Kansas isn’t real. It’s like Humans. Just a fairy tale to scare children.” She patted my hand and went back up to the bar. I had seen enough Anime in my time to finally understand what had happened. I fell through a hole in reality to another world and I had no immediate way to get back home. That was the first day of a brand new life.
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