Another Assignment

Beads of sweat roll down the preacher’s forehead from the bright studio lights.
“You pick up your GUN and you call me! Call me on 555-GOD-LOVES-YOU.”
He sings out his last few sentences, his body shaking and his face flushing beetroot red.
“And… clear. We’re off the air, Father.”
“Thank you, son. My best performance yet, don’t you think? Prepare for twice as many hits as last night.”
“Yes, Father.”
“I’m getting too good for this gig.” He grabs the Egyptian cotton towel roughly from the runner and wipes his brow.
*
Controller Gibson sits in his office, watching the preacher on the CCTV. He signals his attendant to bring the preacher up to his office. He unlocks and opens the top drawer of his desk, removes the taser, checks the charge.
*
“Now? But I’m due back on in ten minutes. I can’t lose my spot at the top.”
The attendant stands mute. He gestures down the corridor towards the Controller’s office.
The preacher starts sweating again.
*
“Father, please, sit down,” Gibson rumbles.
A recording of the Controller plays: “As you tap your feet nervously, you pick up the taser.
As your hand begins shaking, you close your eyes and jam the taser onto your head.”
The preacher froths at the mouth; dots of spittle spray onto Gibson’s mahogany desk.

He sits back, hits Save. Referencing someone else’s story. Brilliant.
Still under the word count. Best story yet.
And a few days early, too.

He folds the laptop shut and turns on the TV.
“You hear my voice, telling you about the LORD!”
He shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

Four-on-the-floor

Ahoy there, me hearties!

Monday 21st March 2011 will see the first Theme of Volume IV (4 (four)) of MicFic. Wow!

Almost a year from the very first Theme of Light on 31st May 2010. Woo!

For Volume IV, we’re going to mix it up a little. Each Theme will be an image, rather than words. In addition, the word limit can be varied between 100 and 500. As usual, 50 on either side is okay, unless explicitly stated by the Theme-setter (i.e. in the case of a Drabble).
There are loads of great places to find images. Teh Gogglez, obviously, but Flickr / Creative Commons and Wikimedia Commons are also great resources. Post your own in the comments!

[In related news: why did I not know of Feghoots until now?]

The King

“I just… I just don’t see how this is helping,” he said, head bowed.

“You don’t need to see. You don’t need to understand, Elvis. You just need to follow orders.” The Colonel stood up, making motions to leave. He felt a pang of pity for the soldier, remembered when he was in a similar situation many moons ago. A few less sequins, though. A lot less junk food.

“Colonel,” he said, edging closer, “it’s not me.” He glanced around, afraid that someone was watching, listening. “I can’t pretend to be this person anymore. I don’t think I’m fooling anyone. And this.” He brushed a burger aside and picked up a sheet of music from his make-up table. “Blue Suede Shoes. Carl did this, a few months ago. An extra body was shipped in for him, he burnt through the first one so fast. Why do I have to do the same song again?”

The Colonel sighed, ran his paw through his slick-backed tentacles. He brushed some glitter from his insignia. “Listen to me, son,” he said, placing his hand gently on Elvis’s shoulder. “This planet is important to us. Not just you and I, not just the military, but our people. Our race. This Thread is important to us.”

Elvis looked at his mentor and tears welled up in his eyes behind his sunglasses. He longed to be free of this body, of this place with its heavy gravity. He turned to his mirror and wiped his eyes. He stood up and shook his hips at his reflection.

“Well, it’s one for the money…”

Searching

Three years it has taken you. You hope it will be worth it. You hope they will be worth it.

You tweak the equations on your device and the sigil on the floor glows a little brighter. As you stride towards the bow of your boat, your foot catches on a scuba mask. You pick it up. It belonged to Nikos. He lasted the longest before deserting you. Jumped ship in Siciliy, cursing your name and your obsession.

At the bow, you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths of the crisp morning air, lick a few crystals of salt from your lips. The air around you crackles as the elements of the sigil start to twirl and spin like the cogs inside a watch: you’ve found them.

You toss the mask overboard as you bound down the deck to the mast and the coil of nylon rope you’ve had sitting there since you set out three years and seven shipmates ago. You throw yourself against the carbon fibre and start lashing yourself to it in a bluster; you can’t be sure how much warning the sigil gives. As you pull the last knot tight, burning your shin, your hear them. Hear their song.

Beautiful. The most beautiful thing you have ever heard. Tears form in your eyes. You have found them.

Wings and lithe limbs form out of spray and twinkling reflections. Their faces are radiant, smiling beatifically at you. The spray whips against your cheek, harder, then forms into claws and teeth; their smiles turn. You realise your mistake. You are glad to be alone as the claws start digging into your flesh. Your screams do not drown out their song.