Five Minute Writing

My blog article https://magic-phil.co.uk/2018/01/18/free-writing/ on Free Writing shows how the following story was written.

On one of my courses I was set 5 minutes to write as much of a story as I was able.

As I mentioned in the above article some people do this as an independent art form. And it is surprising when put to it just how much you can accomplish in just 5 minutes.

I haven’t put this through any kind of editing process so here it is warts and all. I hope it proves interesting to someone reading.

“One of the man animals has escaped Siltha”

“What? How old?”

“This one is 18 – prak458”

“Mother save me – a dangerous age; set the mechdogs on his scent and restrain him before any damage is done”

“I think that it maybe too late”

“Who?”

“One of the volunteers, from the last group, we hadn’t time to psychologically scan them all, this was one of the ones we hadn’t got to yet”

“How old?”

“She is 21”

“Underage, unlicensed, the penalties are more severe…”

“It is a pity, this man was the result of selective breeding, we had hoped …”

“How did he get out?”

“Well the suspicion is that she released him”

“That must never be divulged. Is she from good family?”

“Her mother is a major benefactor to the programme”

“Justice must be seen to be done. In normal circumstances I would specify gassing, but I think in this case – lethal injection, recorded for public viewing. It is regrettable, but an example is needed and protracted death is indicated. Ensure that a screening is specified for the monastery.”

Prak was certain that no man had ever been outside of the monastery in his lifetime. Of course there were dreamers, the old men who spoke of half-forgotten days when it was possible to run out in the fields. There were few men now and none left their cells unescorted. The monastery was a prison, but Prak was now slowly realising, also a refuge. There was already a shrill whistle from unknown flying machines which scanned the monastery from overhead. There was little time.

Why had she done it? He was in the programme, almost certainly would have been licensed in another 7 years, as long as he proved docile.

She had come to his cell at evening prayers. He shouldn’t have, it was only afterwards that he remembered he should first have checked the birth records. He should have been licensed. He should have been medically screened. He knew all of these facts. His actions were unforgivable. He had only a vague idea of the death awaiting him, but he did not imagine it would be swift or gentle.

And then when they were finished she had turned on him, screamed at him, struck him, raised the alarm. The change in her was as instantaneous as it was unfathomable.

Until he had started to panic, looking for an exit, then she had sat, calmly and watched . He wasn’t certain but he thought that he had seen a small glint in her expression. It was as if the pleasure came not from experiencing him. The real pleasure was in watching his fear, watching him run.

No man was ever free at visitor time. This fact had helped him as he fled the bright corridors and out into the darkness. It was impossible for a man to escape – so complacency let him run, and run, and run yet further. Till the gasps came in quick succession and the pain in his chest finally overcame the panic.

The alarms were quieted now; he had found a hiding place, deep in the rubbish holders. The smell was diabolical, but there were no alternatives, no cover, no escape routes. The site around the monastery kept clear, to allow the aerial spybots and the mechdogs hunt more effectively. The lights of a settlement far down the valley side, too far to run. And when he got there; how would he survive – one man animal – alone.

The induction – when they were still whelps – the mechdogs films. They had shown there was no way out. The mechdogs were efficient, empty, ruthless – no one could escape.

He remembered the film of the last man that escaped. That film so old now, long before the monastery. That low servo-whine as the mechdogs set on the man’s trail. He almost imagined he could hear that whine now…

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Author: Phil Maud

Keen on privacy and IT Security. A volunteer counsellor. I use blogging to improve my writing.

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