Busy Monsters: Flash Fiction


Creator: Wim Van den Eynde. Source: abandonedplaygrounds.com. Picture prompt provided by The Scribe’s Cave. Check it out!

Clouds stalked the bright sky like drifting plastic bags pregnant with latrine water. Avie quickened her cadence down the path she’d been taught no drone could access, where her shadow’d been smothered an hour before. She was the group’s swiftest trail runner, even with the pokers* she wore.

She nearly spiraled to her knees cresting a clot of invasive roots about 5½ kilometers from home. Instead, her palms took the force, bore brute furrows of scrapes. In one lupine motion, she wiped her hands on trouser legs and sprang up from the crouch. In that tunnel of oak and hemlock before she reached the wooden ascent—the home straight—felt like—and was—danger incarnate.

Sage would be waiting in the sanctuary of the park. Nicking his ragged nails in the relative safety of the unlit “House of Horrors” of old.

Not much farther!

Mantras quick-stepped through her head as she prodded her stride to open despite constricted lungs and leaden legs. What she carried was important, for Fire Season was approaching at what she sorely remembered had been dubbed “the quicksilver pace of progress” by the Dex.

Progress was profit and profit was progress to the beings who called themselves the Deus ex machina. The Dex were one with their technology in the same way that Avie’s people had turned from its corroded facade in most facets of their daily lives.

When Avie’s foot struck resounding wood, her body should have flooded with relief. And it almost did. But for one thing.

Her shaded eyes fell to one pertinent symbol on the wall of the hill entering the group’s eastern enclave. “The Ape” mingled among graffiti, in drone-sensitive ink. In effect, their haven had been DM’d, or drone-marked, and the Dex would soon be coming for them.


*Pokers: Slang for shoes so rotted that toes, heels, or other foot anatomy pokes through.


This short fiction piece, or flash fiction, if you will, was written especially for the Scribe’s Cave Picture Prompt #28. I encourage you to seek out these WordPress challenges, such as this one, and to have fun and learn all you can from your fellow writers and passionate readers. If you guys and gals would like it, I can post the “long-form” version of this story, about 532 words, that I whittled down to this 298-word flash fiction. Fire away your feedback cannons, folks — and thank you!

7 thoughts on “Busy Monsters: Flash Fiction

  1. This reads like a glimpse into a much larger story, as much flash fiction is wont to do 🙂 I would love to see it revealed in parts!!

    • Thank you for your encouragement, A.R. Hope you are getting lots of responses to your (picture) prompts. They are lots of fun and great “practice,” if you will.

  2. An interesting piece of writing. It’s good to come across someone else who writes Sci Fi and is into dystopian fiction. I’ll look forward to reading more of your work.

  3. What an awesome first sentence. Wish I had your vocabulary. The writing certainly stands as distinctive out amongst a lot of the blogs i look at. Some ambitious moments in this too, the repeated ‘-‘. Seems progressive. Great heavy sense of foreboding, and ending the way it does. Would be good to read the longer version if you would post it.

    • Yeah, me either. So, I either coined it or stole it! 🙂 Thanks as always for visiting, Janna. Hope you guys had a great Fourth and the computer has been (re)vaccinated successfully!

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