Friday, November 12, 2010

Flash Fic Party, Day 14: Verdus!

It's Friday (yaaaay!) and you know what that means (boooo). Or maybe you don't. But I'll tell you.

Today marks the last day for flash fics and my lovely guest authors. I know, it's the saddest news ever, please don't cry--wasn't it was fun while it lasted? I've saved one of my favorites for last, written by Verdus the emo-tree (still shocked at how prolific he was for this challenge. It really blew me out of the water).

Thanks to all my guest writers who contributed fics, and to everyone who stopped by to read their stories over the last couple weeks. You are awesome!

Happy reading!

Author: Verdus
Word count: 418

Even from hundreds of meters away, the blast sent me sprawling onto my face. One second I'd been walking away from the latest settlement to run us out of town. The next I was flat on the asphalt with half my face scraped off by road rash.

Struggling to recover my wits and the wind knocked out of me by the shockwave, I pushed myself over onto my back. Surprisingly, this didn't help much as I thought it would. Sure, I could desperately heave my lungs without being constricted by the pavement, but the shockwave had kicked up so much debris that I was gasping down more dirt than air.

Nina was already standing by the time I came to my senses. Whether she'd simply recovered faster than I had or just hadn't been flung down in the first place I'd never know, and she wasn't likely to tell me. Shielding her eyes against the glare of the sun, Nina gaped in astonishment back in the direction we came, seemingly oblivious to the wind whipping her chocolate curls into a frenzy.

Following her gaze, I just barely saw the smoke trail before it finished dissipating. Stabbing down from the heavens like the finger of God, it led straight to the ruin where Graywall used to be. Even looking at it right in front of me, I could barely believe my eyes. Where just minutes ago there had been homes and shops, broken and crumbling though they may have been, now there was only a choking cloud of dust expanding from an impact crater. The settlement's eponymous concrete barrier had been strewn across the landscape like a sand painting, completely shattered by the impact blast of... what, a meteorite? A satellite whose orbit had decayed since all the radios had gone silent? It didn't much matter at that point. Fifty people had lived in Graywall, maybe sixty. Now they didn't, and though no science of man could ever prove it, I knew that it was because of me.

Tearing her eyes away from the vista of devastation behind us, she looked down at me, still flat on my back. She continued to stare for a moment, her dust-streaked face a shifting mix of incredulity, black humor, and just the barest hint of fear as I looked back up at her, dumbfounded. When she spoke, her voice was one of gentle, almost teasing reproach.

"Jesus, Peter... Now look what you did."

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