Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Word Count Wednesday & Halloween Flash Fiction

Well, with being sick, my brain has been mushy and I have no word count to offer besides the 400 words I wrote for the Halloween Flash Fiction.  And that will be our key phrase for this week's installment of flash fiction, if you feel so inclined.  Write 400 words and include somewhere in it the phrase, "my brain felt mushy."

Haha.  I just know this one is going to be good.  Leave your 400 words in the comment section.

How did you do on your word count this week?


Debra Allen Erfert said...

I gonna try!!!!

Melanie Goldmund said...

Hope you feel better soon, Julie!

I can only offer 400 words, too, for my flash fiction.

Emily Gray Clawson said...

I'll try the flash fiction. Should be fun!

Word count - 35OO on my book with Jennifer. 2800 on a random story beginning that just struck my fancy. Doubt it'll turn into anything but it was sure fun while it lasted.

Debra Allen Erfert said...

400 words exactly! (Not including the title)


There are brief moments before sleep where consciousness drifts like a heavy fog. I’m aware of movement, but they’re not my own. The sound of shoes shuffling against a smooth floor and soft rustling of fabric draws my attention away from the sterile odor of ammonia mingling with the stench of stale vomit. Duel tones beep softly somewhere above my head. I listen because that’s all I can do. Movement seems beyond my control. I try to lift my arm. I can’t even get my fingers to wriggle. I’m aware of dim light through my lids—and of people breathing.

“Isn’t there any hope, doctor?”

A woman’s voice. Do I know her? Trying to remember makes my brain feel like mush.

A man’s heavy sigh floats through the air, along with it the scent of sour garlic.

“No, I’m afraid not. Her latest PET scans show the same thing—no brain activity.”

“Sarah’s family will be here soon,” the woman says, touching my arm. I can feel her cool fingers against my skin.

Who is Sarah. Is she me? Is that my name? I don’t remember that. Why can’t I remember?

The doctor says, “We’ll remove her life support after they can say goodbye.”

Life support? The beeping! I must be in a hospital bed. But why? What am I missing? He said Sarah has no brain activity. If I’m her, then why can I think? He must be wrong. I feel my chest rise, but with it comes another sound—the whirring sound of a machine, snapping, sucking. Life support.

More shoes move across the floor. Did they leave? The light scent of perfume stings my nostrils. Sobbing constricts my heart. Can’t they hear the change in the beeps? They’re closer together, I’m sure of it. Just look—listen! Please!

“Missus Miller,” the doctor says softly. “Take what time you need with your daughter. Uh, where is Sarah’s husband?”

My mother? I have a husband?

“He said he’s made his peace. Brian said to do what you need to do.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the doctor tells her.

There’s a tug on my arm. It hurt. Someone who has no brain activity can’t feel pain. Something’s wrong. Stop! A loud click, and the beeps stop. No! Another click. I can’t breathe. Help me! I’m not dead. I can’t be. Please . . .

“Doctor! Turn the respirator back on. Sarah’s crying!”

Jon Spell said...

A bit less than 400, but I stopped when I was done. I promise, my story idea completely came from the writing prompt and not any other books I may have read recently. Or not read.

I opened my eyes for the first time since… well, as I learned later, for the first time ever. I was lying on my back staring up at a starkly white ceiling with no lines or lights. An aide came to my side and expertly gripped my head while putting an object in my ear. It emitted a soothing hum and she put it back within the folds of her robe.

The white hooded robe was a uniform I recognized. She was one of the elite medics. I wondered how I ended up in such a place as to garner her attention. I began to sit up slowly. She nodded in encouragement, so I stood all the way up. I expected to feel wobbly after an unknown amount of time in a hospital bed, but I felt Titanex solid with newfound strength.

I looked around the room and saw another aide, with a grey robe examining a round object that I could only partially see. I moved around (him? Her?) to get a better vantage point and saw a human brain floating in bio-fluid with silver sensors strategically placed. It was contained in a squat, clear cylinder with no visible seams. I didn’t stop to think about it; I just reached out in wonder to touch it. The Grey gently guided my hand back to my side.

He said, in a voice barely above a whisper, “Let me save you some time and me the hassle of fending you off. Your brain feels like mush.”

My brain? That was MY brain? My brain “felt mushy”? I was seriously regretting checking the box on my portal profile for “donate body to science.”

Janice Sperry said...

Debra and John - I love your stories!

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Thanks, Janice!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra and Jon you guys are amazing! I love your stories! So creative.

Jon Spell said...

No reason you can't have a sci-fi Halloween story, right? ;)

Debra, yours had a nice emotional punch to it. If you have the stomach for it, you should find Stephen King's short story : Autopsy Room 4. It's a similar situation to yours, but gut wrenching. Oddly humorous ending, though.

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Jon, ugh! I found out a long time ago that I can't stomach most of Steven King's writing. It's just too gory for me. With a title of Autopsy Room 4, I have a good idea what it's about. No thanks!

In fact, my fantasy wondered farther and has Sarah making a struggling recovery and finding out her husband was the driver of the car that put her into the hospital in that deep coma. The crash might even have been semi-intentional. A whole manuscript might develop from this 400 word flash fiction. Hmmm . . .