A Very Short Story of Untimely Events

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very short story about James and Luke; two brothers who wrestle wretched condidtions in order to stay alive. With each other, death is not conceivable. But when everyone is escaping,and air running thin, the brothers feel their biological clock ticking, encouraging the unthinkable...

Submitted: December 17, 2013

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Submitted: December 17, 2013

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The absence of breeze haunted James like crops without rain.  The rugged, voluminous building shrivelled one’s skin and squeezed the life out of the living.  The endless structure enveloped lurid, unnatural light that radiated permanently.  The place never slept - it was nothing like life in the fields.  James was not alone; he and his brother Luke wrestled the wretched conditions of the noxious edifice, and together death was not conceivable.

Things seemed bleak at best when minute after minute their companions from birth absconded unannounced, sometimes more than one at a time.  The disappearance caused Luke and himself to be left behind to appreciate the vile taste of stagnant, timeworn air.  It had been a week since they’d been plucked from home.  It had been a week since they’d seen the sun, or the stars, or the soil.  It had been a week since they’d breathed country air.

Escape was only possible with help from the Strangers.

It had been four days that only three had remained, and optimism and belief of escape was becoming non-existent.  Time was defeating them.

“Pssst, guys,” a voice resonated through the paper-thin walls behind the two, “your only way out is to eliminate him.”

James looked over at Luke, flustered.

“The Strangers don’t help the weak and worn,” the deep tone becoming more anxious.

The voice was right.  If the Strangers would help any of them, it would be Roger.  His muscly physique and smooth skin was preferred by the Strangers.

A thin layer of skin crusted around James’ body, and the dire pit of death was now within sight.  He knew what he had to do.  James looked over at Roger and was pleased to see him curled up in his premeditated, mid-afternoon nap.  This was the time to strike.  James waddled sneakily towards Roger across the synthetic floor, trying not to disrupt his blasé, restful imaginings.  As James approached Roger’s magnificent build, the contempt to eradicate it only grew.

Roger’s soothing slumber soon became a deeper one.

James examined Roger’s bruised, blemished figure and felt nothing but remorse.  He was automatically immobilised by the apprehensive terror which now faced him.  James glowered at the profound, blackened holes in Roger’s skin and a wave of trepidation swept over him.  He focused on the stainless steel wall adjacent to where the voice propagated, and in the reflection saw his once clear body cracking and browning.  Stark images of Roger’s injuries began to appear on James’ body.

James turned to Luke, who was puzzled by the anguish on his brother’s face. 

He stared at Luke and the voice played subconsciously in his mind.  The strangers don’t help the weak and worn.  Shadowing over him, he realised of the two, his brother was far stronger and his skin was impeccably unaffected by the harmful toxins.  He was in line.

Air was running thin, time was running out.

Your only way out is to eliminate him.  The harmful murmurs which tested James’ morality were not diminishing.  Only way out.  His hunger to live was overpowering his ethics.  Eliminate him.  James was desperately trying to contest the voices.  Together, death was not conceivable.  Even he didn’t believe himself.

Luke’s once flawless skin was now heavily discoloured.  His head thumped to the ground, rendering him unconscious.

Down, down, and staying down.

James had lost himself now.  Hyperventilating, he looked around and saw the bodies lying comatose around him.  He watched his reflection.  He saw his whole body severely blackened from head to toe, as if covered in copious amounts of black smoke.

A noise interrupted him.

Once a faint echo, the sound transformed into continuous thuds which consistently grew louder.  James smirked.  His anticipation grew as the thuds were becoming more pronounced.  The thuds then transferred into a picture.  It was a woman.  Her rose red stilettos bounced exuberantly and juxtaposed her rich, wavy, auburn hair.  Her sapphire eyes glistened in the artificial light, and jarred sharply toward James.  A dimple formed on her plush, left cheek with a hint of a smile.  The towering, powerful lady became motionless as she reached him.  She swiftly examined the three of them, and elegantly extended her hand to James.  The lady clutched the brothers and ripped them from each other, throwing Luke back and collecting James.  She moved James into a small chamber and entirely skinned his body, later hacking at his flesh.

The willingness to survive in the supermarket would be soon replicated by the next bunch of stocked bananas.  Desperation would strike when their biological clock begins to lack liveliness, encouraging brutal violence, until only the finest banana remains.


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