There is, in fact, a form of fiction shorter than flash: the drabble. A mere one hundred
words, not a word less, not a word more, it forces the author to distill meaning into
its most concetrated form. This week, the pitch was to create a drabble from each of
the major food groups of Speculative Fiction: Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror, and, as a
bonus, pure SpecFic itself.
“It is a fact, I believe,” said the archimandrite, “that the Gods use the planets as marbles. As indisputable as the day is blue.”
“If that were so,” the chamberlain pondered, “would not the sun be the shooter, and the earth, the agate?”
“I think, you’ll find, that the earth is the greater orb,” the sophist told him, “and thus the shooter. The moon and sun, then, are the agates, as logically they must be.”
“Whichever way,” the gravedigger mumbled softly to himself, “we’ll all end up outside the circle eventually.”
Meanwhile, the Gods lined up for their next shot.
Day 1: Have pulled back the veil. Dropped like a bottom quark through the holes in existence and come up on the other side. A whole world awaits. Spectacular!
Day 7: Discovered another person, a woman, but she has no interest in discussion. Coming home soon.
Day 8: She is interested in mating. Constantly. Never coming home.
Day 15: Drained. Woman has exploding universes in her eyes. We are outside of time here.
Day 33: Today, we peeked back through the holes and watched the universe ticking. She is pregnant; our children will span the gaps someday. I am home.
Around here, the sinks all spout ruddy brown water and the roofs are caving in. Two days ago, I saw three men carrying a large package, white linen with rust spots; they glowered at me with fish eyes. I pulled the curtain and sat back down. Yesterday, they were moving packages out next door.
A dull fog is hunkering over the town like a red wine hangover. The sink spouts filth into my glass and I drink it, then go back to pressing the sheets. The boards on the front porch squeak. I look forward to wrapping myself in linen.
Somewhere around the end of time, every word dried up. Eventually only one hundred were left. Somebody sat down and spat them slowly onto paper as best he could, making careful little spaces for periods, question marks, commas, or exclamation points.
“Perhaps semicolons,” she said, looking over his shoulder. Wind whispered subtly past, picking away participles, snatching at syllables like sand in a sandstorm.
Keys clattered together, vainly keeping pace with each letter falling silently from eternity.
“Amazing, how all we have anymore is just ceremony.” Her green eyes fluttered. Another clause was wasted.
Soon nothing remained but an ellipsis…