I am doing my best to write more regularly, so I entered Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads challenge. This stretched my comfort zone significantly, as you only have 12 hours to enter and I worked nine of those.
Nevertheless, I jotted down 250 words based on Slowtime, an amazing concept soundtrack album by my friend Paul Ramey.
Every Waking was the same. Adrenaline forced through his veins woke him from enforced sleep. Enu’s lungs spasmed; the first gasp after a year was always the sweetest. He vaulted from his cryochamber, shaking off dreams dark and restless.
The chronometer read ‘Next Sleep: 29 days, 23 hours’.
He hummed as he crossed to Elaida’s cryochamber, entering the code. The unbreakable crystalline cover slid back with a soft phoosh. He stared in horror at the body. Her pale hair fanned out on the pillowslip. Her features were almost identical – snub nose, pointy chin. Could this be Elaida? He’d heard of the Sleep corrupting memory.
Her eyelids fluttered and opened. Brown eyes. Elaida’s were blue. Her eyes were cornflower blue, though they had only ever seen pictures of cornflowers in books.
He stared down at this woman, this stranger who was his wife.
She sat up, “Enu, darling. I missed you so much.”
She smelled false. His bare toes dug into the soft dust. Non-Elaida clambered out easily and wrapped her arms around him. This woman’s muscles were not cramped from long disuse. She had not Slept; she had been placed in Elaida’s box.
The woman sensed stillness, “Enu?”
“Just tired from Quietus.”
“Sleeping a year will do that,” she said, patting his bottom.
Far above him, on a plateau overlooking the blasted landscape, the Keepers stood silhouetted against the harvest moon.
“He knows,” said one, glasses glinting.
“He only has 29 days left. What can he do?” said the other.
I did win an honorable mention, which is quite exciting. Below is my snazzy badge and the comments from judge Cara Michaels:
Cara says: Best ‘Story I Want Moar Of. Now, Plz. K, Thx.’ I loved the concept, the setting, the MC that just knows something is wrong… and then these mystery figures watching over him. Great stuff. Deliver the whole story to my inbox ASAP.