SciFi? Or Reality?

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longknife
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SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by longknife » November 26th, 2013, 9:45 pm

Zargoma

The pain coursed through his body.”Please let me die,” he groaned through dry lips.

Something washed over him and he moaned, in pleasure.

“It will help the muscles and tendons. But it will take a bit more to restore the damage to your nerves.”

The soothing female voice came from behind. Niguel took a second to realize he lay on a hard surface – no, giving a bit. He opened his gray eyes and looked around. He gasped in fear. Stars. And Galaxies. And nebulae. So many he couldn’t comprehend them. And they glowed below him. Turning slightly, he saw more above.

“You must drink something,” the soft voice urged.

Niguel heard the splash of a fountain and carefully rolled over. A triple tiered fountain happily bubbled, sparkling clear water pouring down. It took a great struggle but he managed to make it to his knees to crawl over to the life blood he so desperately needed.

The bottom tier was filled with warm – almost hot – water. The next was cooler and the nectar from the top was nice and chilly. He gulped down the water, not caring that it could come back up. He noticed what appeared to be a bowl filled with soap and happily lathered himself, sliding down into the bottom tier to luxuriate in the warm water.

Much more able to move, Niguel took stock of his surroundings. Sparking stars,as far as he could see, above and below. Then, he turned and saw a chair with a bright white fluffy towel. As he removed it from the chair, he noted an article that appeared to fit his waist and a large, white robe.

He donned the robe and the same female voice said, “Come. Eat. You need the nourishment.” Turning, he saw a table with two chairs, one occupied by a small figure wearing a white robe similar to his. He lowered himself gingerly into the chair – still disturbed by seeing a panorama of stars below. There was a bowl of something similar to oat meal and a steaming cup of something that was not quite coffee.

After the first savory spoonful, he wolfed down the remainder, realizing the hunger coursing through his being.

“It is not yet what you are accustomed to. But, we will soon discover your wants and needs to provide you with better sustenance.”

“Who are you,” he growled, after sipping some of the hot beverage.

The figure pulled back the cowl, revealing the face of a perfectly beautiful young woman. Her curly golden tresses matched the unblemished complexion and startling green eyes. “My name is Zargoma. I am to be your guide during your orientation period.”

“Orientation period?” His voice clearly showed fear. “Where am I? What is this place?”

“Please calm yourself, Niguel. All will be explained to you in good time. Right now, we need to conduct some tests. Please lift yourself onto the examining table.”

Turning, Niguel saw a most unusual medical table. Instead of human figures, it was surrounded by mechanical instruments and an arch similar to an MRI. He thought about ignoring the order, but something in the young woman's eyes told him it would be wiser to do as told.

The machines probed and pricked, but not painfully. The hood slid over his head and he felt electric emanations as it examined him. The machines managed to get a urine and stool sample before Zargoma told him he could rise.

Without a word, she led him to a door leading into a room furnished like an apartment.

“This will be your temporary lodgings until all the results of your examination. The communication device will allow you to view the same programs you might wish to see back home.”

He stepped inside and spent several minutes examining the rooms. Zargoma stood in the door, waiting to answer any questions. The thundering in his head lessened with every minute and, after finding a bottle of what appear to be beer, he took it to an arm chair and sank into it. He popped the top to discover it was indeed beer, a strong lager in fact. He found a remote and turned on the set, finding it showing a national news program in process.

“Please relax. I will return in a while to introduce you to the exercises you must undergo.”

Before he could ask, she disappeared through the door, closing it softly behind her. Uneasy about his situation, Niguel hurried to the door to discover it was unlocked. But, looking outside, all he could see were stars above and below.


Niguel fell asleep in the armchair, some unusual British show playing on the entertainment center. He awakened to the aromas of cooking meat. The girl stood in the kitchen before something that almost looked like a microwave oven. When she opened the door, she removed a large platter and carried it to the small table. “Come. Eat. I am certain you will like this much more than your morning meal.”

Niguel did as she bade, sitting down to stare at a beautiful T-bone steak, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and pepper flakes. Steaming vegetables also lay on the platter.

“Are you going to join me?” he asked after finishing chewing on a huge piece of steak.

The girl shook her head, then changed her mind, going to the machine to say something, then remove a bowl filled with something similar to what he had eaten in the morning.

“Is that all?”

She smiled. “This is what this body will accept.” Seeing the questioning surprise on his face, she said, “I have taken this form so as to not frighten you. Perhaps when your training is more advanced, you will be ready to view me as I am.”

“Training?”

“Oh yes. You have a great deal of training ahead of you. We will start as soon as you have finished your meal.”

As they stepped through the door of the apartment, Niguel stopped, amazed at what he saw. The area below his feet was bluegrass with a gravel path leading to a large bubble. In addition, eucalyptus trees grew in clusters, mostly atop small hills. The biggest surprise were the birds. Most were quail with a number of doves and a couple of crows circling overhead. He could see small mole or gopher holes, explaining the presence of the predators.

“Does this please you?”

Niguel turned to the slight figure next to him. “How...?”

“You will soon learn. It is part of your training.” After a pause, while leading him to the bubble, she add, “Our tests show that you are unusual for your race as you are capable of using approximately twenty-two percent of your brain.”

Niguel didn't answer, pondering how he had always had intuition that was unexplained/

The door to the bubble was open and Zargoma handed him inside, telling him to sit. “The seat will adjust to accommodate you.”

He lowered himself and found something soft en-gird him. A pair of ear muffs slid into place.

“This tube contains an energy drink when you need it.”

The tube was located to one side of his mouth and he tried it. It tastes like honey, he thought.

Instead of ink blots, a series of pictures scrolled in front of him. There came a mixture of beautiful scenes and others of absolute horror – the monstrosities of his race. Cute little kittens and babies – not exactly his favorite – next to bodies disfigured and other scenes of people crying, begging, and pleading for mercy – which was not given. Niguel felt himself clenching his fists, avid to stop the horror.

Much to his surprise, some of the scenes actually showed attackers being driven back and even exploding. As for the scenes of beauty, he could actually hear sounds and smell aromas.

The scenes faded and the door opened. “Come, it is time for your midday meal.” Zargoma led him to a picnic table with a carafe of icy lemonade, a huge corn beef on rye sandwich, and a generous portion of German potato salad.

“What was that all about?” Niguel asked between bites.

“Unlike most of the species we have encountered, yours has a very high emotional level. We are testing the strengths of those emotions to determine if further advancements can be made.”

“Advancement?”

She made a sound similar but not quite like a sigh. “It is difficult to explain in terms you will understand.”

“Try me. I don't think I'm stupid.”

“Your tests show you come from a belief that, after death, one goes either to heaven or hell. Is that not right?”

Niguel nodded.

“The reality is a bit more complicated. When one dies, the Guardians determine to which level of reality you will go. Those who have purposely harmed others will have their being terminated. Beyond that, there are various levels of existence depending upon the manner of life one has lived.

“The Guardians?”

Zargoma paused. “It would be closest to your belief in a God. They are those who have advanced almost beyond our ability to understand and who determine the fate of every being brought into existence.”

You indicated there are many races.”

Yes, billions to the tenth power. And we find another every day.”

Niguel gave up trying to comprehend and asked what was to happen next. She led him back to the bubble where he spent an endless amount of time making choices, sometimes between two and others before many more.

This time, when Zargoma led him away from the bubble, it was to a full-fledged house with a balcony containing a hot tub and swimming pool overlooking a view he recognized as the Pacific Ocean.

“To make you feel as comfortable as possible.”

Expressing his need for food, she led him to the kitchen. “This is your food dispenser. All you need to do it tell it what you want and it will provide it for you.”

“Give me a salad with French dressing, Turkey white meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, and vegetables.”

Nothing happened.

“Think your desires.”

Niguel did.

Again nothing happened.

“Try harder. Concentrate.”

He envisioned what he wanted and strained to make it so.

The interior of the machine became misty and when it cleared, he opened the machine to remove what was inside. The salad was a bit wilted and the entree was tepid.

“It will get better with practice. Do you wish me to do it for you?”

Niguel grumbled that he would deal with it. “I'll do better next time.” He then asked as he started in on the salad, “Am I alive or dead?”

“Does your body not perform all the same functions as before? Can you not feel yourself?”

Niguel pinched his arm and felt the pain as ever. “So why, again, am I here?”

“You are undergoing testing and training to determine what will become of you next.”

“Have many others of my kind come here?”

“Just one to my knowledge. He was named Leonardo, a most brilliant dreamer of his time.”

“Leonardo da Vinci?”

“I believe that was his name. A most imaginative and talented individual. Unfortunately he was simply too talented for his time on your world. He was overwhelmed with the possibilities of afterlife and The Guardians found it better to move him onto a place he could comprehend.”

“So, if I complete your testing and whatever, what will happen to me?”

Zargoma lowered her face. “I do not know. That is not for me to decide.”

“So why should I continue all this?”

“That is your choice to make.”

Niguel's training increased apace. Within a short time, he was able to wish for an icy beer and watch it moved through the air from the food dispenser to his outstretched hand. He no longer had to go near the dispenser to order what he wished. And, he reached the period where he often awakened to find himself hovering above the bed.

“What is this doing to me?”

“The tests and situations are increasing the ability of you to use more or your brain's capacity. The latest tests show you now have approximately forty nine percent of its ability at your disposal,” Zargoma told him.

“And what happens when it reaches one hundred percent?”

The girl – as that is what he thought of her – paused. After some time, she responded, “To my knowledge, no being has graduated from this training with more than seventy five percent of it mental capacity available for use.”

Niguel noticed something else changing within him. He could now sense all of his bodily functions. He felt the air entering his lungs and could control how long until it was depleted of useful elements before being expelled. His muscles and sinews increased in strength. The gym he created in the house got full use and he could not lift tremendous weights and run at a pace ten times he previous best.

However, he soon discovered that muscular strength and speed were not needed as most of the difficult tasks were completed with his mind.

Niguel did not notice at first, but the surroundings began to return to the unlimited stellar vista of when he first awakened. Other than the house and the training cube, everything was open to Eternity. But, another vista opened. With his enhanced vision, he could now see for an amazing distance in which he saw little islets where other beings seemed to be undergoing the same training as he. Some of the creatures were almost recognizable while others nearly beyond comprehension.

“You do not fear what you see?”

Niguel turned to Zargoma and sucked in a breath when he saw, not the young human girl he had come to know, but a creature of somewhat reptilian form.

“Not fear. Just disbelief. You have taught me that Creation has endless forms and it is but a matter of becoming accustomed to those distances.”

“That is good, human. It appears you have completed your training.”

That caught Niguel by surprise. “Done? What does that mean?”

Guardians.”

“Is there some kind of ceremony?”

Zamora made a sound similar to a laugh. “No. Not in your terms. Just return to your home and things will proceed as they are meant to be.” With that, she turned and left, not walking or flying but skimming across the expanse until she/it disappeared from sight.

Niguel settled into his arm chair, listening to music and savoring an icy Heineken. “What happens next?”

*****

He opened his eyes, feeling soft cotton sheets beneath him. A faint streak of sunlight lit portions of the room that appeared like any other hotel room he had ever stayed in.

“Was it all a dream?” he softly muttered.

Then, he bolted upright, clearly remembering the horrid pain from multiple gunshots. His hands explored his naked body and found no scars.

“It was all a dream?”

He then wondered at the time and was shocked to see a digital alarm clock floating in front of his face. Without thinking, he wished to see outside and the drapes parted, showing a view of tropical sea stretching to the horizon. A long way from a dingy alley in St. Louis.

The End

[The idea for this story came to me late in the night this past Saturday. It took me 3 and a half days to finish it. I'm open for comments and or honest criticism.}
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longknife
Posts: 185
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 2:03 pm
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Re: SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by longknife » December 8th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Thanks to comments/suggestions from other sites, I've re-written this piece and am posting it next.

Feedback/comments?
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longknife
Posts: 185
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 2:03 pm
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Re: SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by longknife » December 8th, 2013, 6:06 pm

Zargoma

Awareness. Pain! Agony in every fibre of his being. He silently begged for it to end.

He heard nothing but the beating of his heart, the racing pulse of blood flowing through his veins and the quick, shallow intake and exhale of breath.

Where...?

Niguel clearly remembered chasing the perp into a dark alley. His gun held out in front of him with his high-beam flashlight, he searched the darkened doorways and behind large trash containers. As there was no running figure, he knew the man who had killed the storekeeper had to be nearby.

Something hit him. He heard the sound of a gunshot before realizing he was shot. He tried to turn, but found himself frozen in place. Another excruciating pain exploded in his chest and his hands went numb, the pistol and flashlight falling to the pavement. Another and another bullet slammed into him and he finally fell, his face in a pool of runoff from one of the containers.

Darkness.

A tingling sensation washed over him and he moaned in pleasure.

“It will help the muscles and tendons. But it will take a bit more to restore the damage to your nerves.”

The soothing female voice came from out of nowhere. It took a second to realize he lay on a hard surface – no, giving a bit. Niguel opened his gray eyes and looked around. He gasped in fear. Stars. And Galaxies. And nebulae. So many he couldn’t comprehend them. And they glowed below him. Turning slightly, he saw more on every side.

“You must drink something,” the soft voice urged.

Niguel heard the splash of a fountain and carefully rolled over. A triple tiered fountain appearing from nowhere happily bubbling, sparkling clear water cascading down. It took a great struggle but he made it to his knees to crawl over to the life blood he so desperately needed.

The bottom tier was filled with warm – almost hot – water. The next was cooler and the nectar from the top was nice and chilly. He gulped down the fluid, not caring that it could come back up. He noticed what appeared to be a bowl filled with soap and happily lathered himself, sliding down into the bottom tier to luxuriate in the warm water.

Much more able to move, Niguel took stock of his surroundings. Sparking stars,as far as he could see, above and below. And, no sign of the source of the voice he had heard. As he completed the circle, he saw a chair with a bright white fluffy towel. As he removed it from the chair, he noted an article that appeared to fit his waist and a large, white robe.

He donned the robe and the same female voice spoke. “Come. Eat. You need the nourishment.” A popping sound drew his attention to a table with two chairs, one occupied by a small figure wearing a white robe similar to his. He lowered himself gingerly into the chair – still disturbed by seeing a panorama of stars surrounding him. A bowl of something similar to oat meal sat there, along with a steaming cup of something that was not quite coffee.

After the first spoonful, he wolfed down the remainder, easing the hunger coursing through his being. The hot liquid was unlike anything he had drunk before, but seemed to add energy to his presence.

“It is not yet what you are accustomed to. But, we will soon discover your wants and needs to provide you with better sustenance.”

“Who are you,” Niguel growled, after sipping some more of the hot beverage.

The figure pulled back the cowl, revealing the face of a perfectly beautiful young woman. Her curly golden tresses matched the unblemished complexion and startling green eyes. “My name is Zargoma. I am to be your guide during your orientation period.”

“Orientation period?” Fear tingled at the ends of his nerves. “Where am I? What is this place?”

“Please calm yourself, Niguel. All will be explained to you in good time. Right now, we need to conduct some tests. Please lift yourself onto the examining table.”

Niguel saw a most unusual medical table, once again appearing from nowhere. Instead of human figures, mechanical instruments and an arch similar to an MRI surrounded it. He thought about ignoring the order, but something in the young woman's eyes told him it would be wiser to do as told.

The machines probed and pricked, but not painfully. The hood slid over his head and he felt electric emanations as it examined him. The machines managed to get a urine and stool sample before Zargoma told him he could rise.

Without a word, she led him to a door leading into a room furnished like an apartment. Again, the structure had miraculously appeared.

“This will be your temporary lodgings until all the results of your examination are processed. The communication device will allow you to view entertainment you are accustomed to.”

Niguel stepped inside and spent several minutes examining the rooms. Zargoma stood in the door, waiting to answer any questions. The thundering in his head lessened with every minute and, after finding a bottle of what appeared to be beer, he took it to an arm chair and lowered himself into it. He popped the bottle top to discover it was indeed beer, a strong lager. He found a remote and turned on the set, showing an American national news program.

“Please relax. I will return in a while to introduce you to the exercises you must undergo.”

Before he could ask, she disappeared through the door, closing it softly behind her. Uneasy about his situation, Niguel hurried to the door to discover it was unlocked. But, looking outside, all he could see were stars above and below. Everything else was gone.

*****

Niguel fell asleep in the armchair, some British show playing on the entertainment center.

The aromas of cooking meat awakened him. The girl stood in the kitchen before something that almost looked like a microwave oven. She opened the door and removed a large platter, carrying it to the small table. “Come. Eat. I am certain you will like this much more than your previous meal.”

Niguel did as she bade, sitting down to stare at a beautiful T-bone steak, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and pepper. Steaming vegetables also lay on the platter. A tall glass of ice cold milk stood next to the plate. Did she read my mind? he wondered.

“Are you going to join me?” he asked after finishing chewing a huge piece of medium rare steak.

The girl shook her head, then changed her mind, going to the machine to say something. She then remove a bowl filled with something similar to what he had eaten in the morning.

“Is that all?”

She smiled. “This is what this body will accept.” Seeing the questioning surprise on his face, she said, “I have taken this form so as to not frighten you. Perhaps when your training is more advanced, you will be ready to view me as I am.”

“Training?”

“Oh yes. You have a great deal of training ahead of you. We will start as soon as you have finished your meal.”

They stepped through the door of the apartment and Niguel stopped, amazed at the vista. Bluegrass grew beneath his feet with a gravel path leading to a large bubble. In addition, eucalyptus trees grew in clusters, mostly atop small hills. The biggest surprise were the birds. Most were quail with a number of doves and a couple of crows circling overhead. He could see small mole or gopher holes, explaining the presence of the avian predators.

“Does this please you?”

Niguel turned to the slight figure next to him. “How...?”

“You will soon learn. It is part of your training.” After a pause, while leading him to the bubble, she add, “Our tests show that you are unusual for your race as you are capable of using approximately twenty-two percent of your brain.”

Niguel didn't answer, pondering how he had always had intuition about things that always came true.

The door to the bubble was open and Zargoma handed him inside, telling him to sit. “The seat will accommodate you.”

He lowered himself and found something soft en-gird him. A pair of ear muffs slid into place.

“This tube contains an energy drink when you need it.”

The tube was located to one side of his mouth and he tried it. It tastes like honey, he thought.

Instead of ink blots, a series of pictures scrolled in front of him. There came a mixture of beautiful scenes and others of absolute horror – the monstrosities of his race. Cute little kittens and babies – not exactly his favorite – next to bodies disfigured and other scenes of people crying, begging, and pleading for mercy – which was not given. Niguel felt himself clenching his fists, avid to stop the horror.

Much to his surprise, some of the scenes actually showed attackers being driven back and even exploding. As for the scenes of beauty, he could hear sounds and smell aromas.

The scenes faded and the door opened. “Come, it is time for your next meal.” Zargoma led him to a picnic table with a carafe of icy lemonade, a huge corn beef on rye sandwich, and a generous portion of German potato salad.

“How long was I in there?”

“Time has no meaning here. Everything will adjust to your bodily needs.”

“What was that all about?” Niguel asked between bites.

“Unlike most of the species we have encountered, yours has a very high emotional level. We are testing the strengths of those emotions to determine if further advancements can be made.”

“Advancements?”

She made a sound similar to but not quite like a sigh. “It is difficult to explain in terms you will understand.”

“Try me. I don't think I'm stupid.”

“Your tests show you come from a belief that, after death, one goes either to heaven or hell. Is that right?”

Niguel nodded.

“The reality is a bit more complicated. When one dies, the Guardians determine to which level of reality you will go. Those who have purposely harmed others in what you consider an inhumane or evil will have their being terminated. Beyond that, there are various levels of existence depending upon the manner of life one has lived.

“The Guardians?”

Zargoma paused. “It would be closest to your belief in a God. They are those who have advanced almost beyond our ability to understand and who determine the fate of every being brought into existence.”

You indicated there are many races.”

Yes, billions to the tenth power. And we others every day.”

Niguel gave up trying to comprehend and asked what was to happen next. She led him back to the bubble. Before he stepped inside, he hesitated. “Do my bodily functions continue here? I have a need...”

Zargoma quickly reassured him not to worry. “The enclosure will allow you to relieve yourself.”

He spent an endless amount of time making choices, sometimes between two and others many more.

When Zargoma next led him away from the bubble, it was to a full-fledged house with a balcony containing a hot tub and swimming pool overlooking a view he recognized as the Pacific Ocean.

“To make you as comfortable as possible.”

Sensing his need for food, she led him to the kitchen. “This is your food dispenser. All you need to do it tell it what you want and it will provide it for you.”

“Give me a salad with French dressing, Turkey. A leg and some white meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, and vegetables.”

Nothing happened.

“Think your desires.”

Niguel did.

Again nothing happened.

“Try harder. Concentrate.”

He envisioned what he wanted and strained to make it so.

The interior of the machine became misty and when it cleared, he opened the machine to remove what was inside. The salad was a bit wilted and the entree was tepid.

“It will get better with practice. Do you wish me to do it for you?”

Niguel grumbled that he would deal with it. “I'll do better next time.” He then asked as he started in on the salad, “Am I alive or dead?”

“Does your body not perform all the same functions as before? Can you not feel yourself?”

Niguel pinched his arm and felt the pain as ever. “So why, again, am I here?”

“You are undergoing testing and training to determine what will become of you next.”

“Have many others of my kind come here?”

“Just one to my knowledge. He was named Leonardo, a most brilliant dreamer.”

“Leonardo da Vinci?”

“I believe that was his name. A most imaginative and talented individual. Unfortunately he was simply too talented for his time on your world. He was overwhelmed with the possibilities of afterlife and The Guardians found it better to move him onto a place he could comprehend.”

“So, if I complete your testing and whatever, what will happen to me?”

Zargoma lowered her face. “I do not know. That is not for me to decide.”

“So why should I continue all this?”

“That is your choice to make.”

Niguel's training increased apace. Within a short time, he was able to wish for an icy beer and watch it move through the air from the food dispenser to his outstretched hand. He no longer had to go near the dispenser to order what he wished. And, he reached the time where he often awakened to find himself hovering above the bed.

“What is this doing to me?”

“The tests and situations are increasing your ability to use more of your brain's capacity. The latest tests show you now have approximately forty nine percent of its ability at your disposal,” Zargoma told him.

“And what happens when it reaches one hundred percent?”

The girl – as that is what he thought of her – paused. After some time, she responded, “To my knowledge, no being has graduated from this training with more than seventy five percent of its mental capacity available.”

Niguel noticed something else changing within him. He could now sense all of his bodily functions. He felt the air entering his lungs and could control how long until it was depleted of useful elements before being expelled. His muscles and sinews increased in strength. The gym he created in the house got full use and he could lift tremendous weights and run at a pace ten times his previous best. He went down to the beach and often ran barefooted in the warm sand. At some point, he turned and raced into the ocean, swimming back to the shore just below his abode.

He soon discovered that muscular strength and speed were not needed as most of the difficult tasks were completed with his mind.

Niguel did not notice at first, but the surroundings began to return to the unlimited stellar vista of his awakening. Other than the house and the training cube, everything was open to Eternity. But, another vista opened. With his enhanced vision, he could now see for an amazing distance in which he saw little islets where other beings seemed to be undergoing the same training as he. Some of the creatures were almost recognizable while others nearly beyond comprehension.

“You do not fear what you see?”

Niguel turned to Zargoma and sucked in a breath when he saw, not the young human girl he had come to know, but a creature of somewhat reptilian form.

Breathing deeply, he replied, “Not fear. Just disbelief. You have taught me that Creation has endless forms and it is but a matter of becoming accustomed to those differences.”

“That is good, human. It appears you have completed your training.”

That caught Niguel by surprise. “Done? What does that mean?”

“The Guardians will determine what is next to come.”

“Is there some kind of ceremony?”

Zamora made a sound similar to a laugh. “No. Not in your terms. Just return to your abode and things will proceed as they are meant to be.” With that, she turned and left, not walking or flying but skimming across the expanse until she/it disappeared from sight.

Niguel settled into his arm chair, listening to music and savoring an icy Heineken. “What happens next?”

*****

He opened his eyes in a dimly lit room. He lay atop soft cotton sheets. A faint streak of sunlight showed portions of the room that appeared like any other hotel room he had ever stayed in.

“Was it all a dream?” he softly muttered.

Then, he bolted upright, clearly remembering the horrid pain from multiple gunshots. His hands explored his naked body and found no scars.

He then wondered at the time and was shocked to see a digital alarm clock floating in front of his face. Without thinking, he wished to see outside and the drapes parted, showing a view of tropical sea stretching to the horizon. A long way from a dingy alley in St. Louis where he had died.

The End
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longknife
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Re: SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by longknife » December 12th, 2013, 8:05 pm

Reactions?

Comments?

Anything?
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Re: SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by Shawnald » December 19th, 2013, 5:40 pm

Well your rewrite is much improved over the first version, Longknife.

One of the tropes people always roll out at a time like this is "Well, I'm not a reader of Sci Fi, so ______________ ." I'll spare you that indignity.

I refer to this particular style of story as a "Whiteboard plot." Every four paragraphs everything we know gets wiped away and we start over. The reader IS Niguel, for all practical purposes. As Niguel tries to make sense of the nonsensical, so does the reader. The moment the girl tells him (me) "All will be explained to you in good time," that was my "Waiter! Check Please!" moment. At that point I felt like Niguel and I were both being jerked around.

Again, this certainly wasn't a bad read. You've got good mechanics. But it's difficult to emotionally commit to a story where the POV is a bucking bronco of confusion and I'm not sure why I am supposed to be invested in the protag beyond our mutual confusion. I didn't perceive Niguel as having a distinct voice or his own personality. That's tough to do with a bedridden protag who keeps shifting realities and phasing in and out of consciousness.

Perhaps if Niguel had croaked out a John McLean-esque wisecrack early on before the third or fourth whiteboard wipe, I'd be more invested? Maybe? Maybe.

Thanks for sharing your story.

longknife
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Re: SciFi? Or Reality?

Post by longknife » December 21st, 2013, 3:31 pm

Shawnald wrote:Well your rewrite is much improved over the first version, Longknife.

One of the tropes people always roll out at a time like this is "Well, I'm not a reader of Sci Fi, so ______________ ." I'll spare you that indignity.

I refer to this particular style of story as a "Whiteboard plot." Every four paragraphs everything we know gets wiped away and we start over. The reader IS Niguel, for all practical purposes. As Niguel tries to make sense of the nonsensical, so does the reader. The moment the girl tells him (me) "All will be explained to you in good time," that was my "Waiter! Check Please!" moment. At that point I felt like Niguel and I were both being jerked around.

Again, this certainly wasn't a bad read. You've got good mechanics. But it's difficult to emotionally commit to a story where the POV is a bucking bronco of confusion and I'm not sure why I am supposed to be invested in the protag beyond our mutual confusion. I didn't perceive Niguel as having a distinct voice or his own personality. That's tough to do with a bedridden protag who keeps shifting realities and phasing in and out of consciousness.

Perhaps if Niguel had croaked out a John McLean-esque wisecrack early on before the third or fourth whiteboard wipe, I'd be more invested? Maybe? Maybe.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Wow! That threw me for a loop. Have to mull it over.

But, thanks loads for the time you took and our reply.
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