Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 18
Challenge #8: Write a story that opens with the first sentence from another author’s piece this month, and includes the username of a different author in a creative way. It must use at least three words of the following five words: “flash”, “flasher”, “flashers”, “flashing”, or “flashed,” and at least three of these five words as well: “viva”, “fist”, “fistpump”, “community”, or “madness.”
“This can’t be right.”
SC:\Frank.les looked up from the script. “Hm?”
S:\ebast.ian held up the proof copy of the programme, servos whining in annoyance. “It says here that the part of Othello will be played by Leonardo DeadCaprio. You can’t have a zombie playing Othello! If he’s still dead in the sequel then the whole time machine plotline just falls apart!”
“Oh.” SC:\Frank.les’ ocular LEDs flashed reassuringly. “The theatre’s looking to shore up its relationship with the zombie actors’ union. Hopefully make our performances more accessible to the undead community. We’ve also got Helena Brainham Carcass for the role of Desdemona.” She scanned a little further down the script, LEDs flashing rapidly. “Oh, wait. Deadsdemona.”
S:\ebast.ian raised a hydraulic pincer to his forehead and gave a sigh of despair that only a Mercurial thespiandroid could perform. It was perfect to within a tolerance of six point two nanofacepalms.
“This is the thirtieth century! Zombie theatregoers want zombie actors. It’s inevitable.”
“It’s madness!” S:\ebast.ian detached his hydraulic pincer and swapped it for a lifelike latex fist, which he proceeded to shake angrily. “It’s an insult to the works of William Shatner!”
“That’s what they said about the first robot actors.” SC:\Frank.les gave a meaningful flash of her LEDs. She leaned in, speaking quietly. “After all, C-3Piago was originally played by a human in tinface!”
S:\ebast.ian’s CPU fan whirred loudly for a few seconds.
“Alright,” he said at last. “We’ll give DeadCaprio a chance.”
If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:
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Flash Fiction Month 2014, Day 19
Challenge #9: Write a science fiction story featuring at least one non-human character. It must also include the phrase “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”
“What light through yonder window breaks?
It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”
“Beautiful,” whispered Splirda from the front row, dabbing a tissue to her eye with one of her many facial gnathopods. “He may be young, but I doubt there’s been such a moving performance since Lemon Nimrod originally took to the stage a thousand years ago.”
Splurg leaned forward, peering through his thick omnifocals. “I don’t get it,” he grumped. “Who’s that guy? What’s going on? Why is that battleturret made of plywood?”
Splirda sighed, exasperated. “That’s Romulo. He’s in deeply in love with Juliet, but they can’t be together because he’s a Montagen and she’s a Capulet: Montag II is stuck in a bitter war with planet Capule, much to the consternation of the United Federation of Planets. The plywood battleturret is part of a sacred Thespian tradition. They don’t use any hologimmickry in these performances.”
“O Romulo, Romulo, Wherefore art thou Romulo?
Deny thy D’era and refuse thy fame;
Or, if thou wilt not…”
“Why is the female Earth-creature flailing about like that?”
“It’s an all-human acting troupe. They’ve only got the two arms so they’ve got to move about a lot in order to convey the proper sense of drama.” She leaned in close. “If you’d gone to last week’s performance of Othello 2: Moore’s the Pity you’d know all about it. They held a very informative Q and A session afterwards.”
Splurg blew contemptuously through his five lips. “If you have to know all this stuff for it to make sense, it can’t be very good.”
Sprilda harrumphed and turned her attention to the play.
Things went on much as they had done before, and Splurg almost dozed off. But then something changed. There was a scuffle of activity on stage as the one known as Mercutron drew a raygun from his belt.
“Tribbalt, you rat-blaster, will you walk?”
“I am for you.” Tribbalt drew his too.
Romulo approached, his gently flailing arms perfectly illustrating his wish for peace. “Come Mercutron, put thy phaser up.”
But alas, it was in vain. Mercutron and Tribbalt lunged for one another, both weapons scattering really far away across the stage. As they began to grapple, blaring music rose from the orchestra.
Suddenly, Splurg realised that he was really quite enjoying this, and Sprilda knew it. “Okay,” he said reluctantly. “It’s not all bad, I guess.”
“I told you!” Sprilda beamed. “William Shatner’s the best playwright who ever lived!”