It was bound to happen. I knew there would be a day I’d be loathe to post what I wrote. I’ve half-consciously been putting off writing anything narrative. I just didn’t feel “ready.” But without anything else to bs about, I figured it was time. So I cobbled together an exercise for myself.
I set the clock for an hour, and used these four websites to generate my elements.
Wikipedia.org (random article): Fort Klamath, Oregon (an unincorporated community in the middle of nowhere)
http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3: (last quote on the first page) “The important thing is not to stop questioning” –Albert Einstein
Here’s what came out in the hour:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
The sweat and blood from their flight from the compound made his hands slick. Joseph gripped the man’s hands as best he could, but he could feel the man’s fingers sliding out of his. His heart pounded and he had a stitch in his side, but he redoubled his efforts to keep the man from falling.
“Please…You have to help...I can’t hold on.”
“Everything they’ve told us is lies.”
In the distance, Joseph could hear the dogs.
“They’re coming! We’ve got to…”
One hand popped free.
Joseph begged, “Please. Try to pull yourself up. I can’t…”
“Look at me!”
Joseph stopped struggling and met the man’s burning gaze.
“If you stop. They win.”
Joseph stared helplessly back. The man seemed satisfied.
”Now run.” The man let go. He slipped without a sigh into the inky chasm.
One heartbeat. Five. Dogs barking.
Joseph lurched to his feet and stumbled blindly through the brambles. He tried to run in a straight line, keeping the gorge to his left, but without any light he soon lost all sense of direction. He hoped each step wouldn’t end in space.
This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. Not twenty-four hours had passed since they’d made the breakthrough in the lab. Years of research, countless failed tests. Then suddenly…They’d barely gotten the cork out of the champagne when the helicopter arrived and whisked them away to a secure location to “replicate the process and begin implementing a vaccine protocol.” Fort Klamath was a secure facility, but not the kind with a lab.
His legs were quivering and the stitch had grown a twin on the other side. But still Joseph ran. He thought the sound of the dogs might be receding when he slammed headlong into a large, metal something, knocking him flat. Whatever it was gonged with his impact. His head swam and as he struggled to clear it, he thought he might vomit. Somewhere close by a hatch opened.
He felt the pinch of the electrode and the first metallic wave of electricity before everything went black.
4 weeks ago