Monday, August 20, 2012

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Prison Break

It's that time again.  Chuck Wendig, over at Terribleminds, has yet another flash fiction challenge this week.  This time, he provided us with several settings/scenarios, and we had to pick one and write a story in it.  The choices were:

  • In the middle of a prison riot.
  • Chinatown during a hurricane.
  • In the Martian suburbs celebrating the Red Planet’s independence.
  • In a haunted mountain pass.
  • On the battlefield during a war between two races of mythological creature.

I chose the setting of a prison riot.  This is the idea I came up with.  It comes in at exactly 1000 words.  Enjoy.

The Prison Break
Photo From:  State Records NSW of Flickr

The guard is a mean motherfucker.  I’ve dealt with him all too often.  He called me names, he mocked my sexuality, he trapped me in iron chains and beat me.  I don’t even feel a twinge when I pop my hand over his mouth and slide my knife between his ribs.  He instantly goes still, slumps.  As I set his body down, I bump the iron bars and feel my skin sizzle.  I ignore it for now.  It won’t be much longer and I’ll be out of here.

I shove him over on his side and rummage through his clothes.  I feel a long, large lump in his pocket and shove my hand in deep.  When I wrap my fingers around the object, white-hot pain lances up my arm.  My hand feels like it’s engulfed in flames.  I bite back a scream and rip my hand out of the pocket, flinging the object into the back of my cell in the process.  I see it bounce off the wall and clang to a stop halfway back to me.  An iron key.  Bastard.

I wrap the bed sheet around my hand, pick up the key, and unlock my cell door.  The first step I take out of the cell, I stop and take a deep breath.  I let my bare toes curl and scrape at the floor.  soaking up the freedom for a moment and savoring the feeling of no longer being held in by iron.

“Hey, Teeth is making a break for it!”

I whirl around to the person who said that and hold my knife up to my lips, shushing them.  The satyr bows his head and looks up at me with big, watery, dark eyes.  Before my time in here, it would have broken my heart.  Now I just sneer.

“Will you shut the hell up?  You’re gonna let the whole place know.”


I unlock his cell with the key, then I hand it to him.

“Go open as many cells as you can.  We don’t have a lot of time before the guards start missing fuckface over there.”

He nods and hobbles off, clomping as loud as a goddamned horse.  Maybe I should have started with someone a little more stealthy.  Too late now.  I rush off to the next cell.  Unlike the others on this block, which mostly feature the traditional barred cell doors, this cell features a solid stone door.  I press my hand on it, close my eyes, and I’m inside.

The minotaur is laying on his cot.  A cigarette dangles from his lips, and I pause for a moment to take in that strange image before I shake it off and explain my plan.  While I talk, the minotaur doesn’t move, he doesn’t blink, and I’m not even sure he’s listening.  He just stares up at the ceiling and puffs on his cigarette.  When I finish, he waits a few moments before responding.  It’s not much, just a flick of his eyes over to me and a nod.

Back outside, the pandemonium is starting to get going.  The poltergeists were let out and have started playing catch with a rolled up cot mattress.  The leprechauns are tumbling and rolling through the halls, laughing and dancing little jigs, throwing gold around like it’s confetti.  The vampires stand in a dark corner and stare out at the madness with bloodshot, hungry eyes.  It’s probably been a few years since any of them have fed, if their balding heads, heavily wrinkled skin, and lean bodies are a testament to anything.

I’m scanning the room, trying to relocate the satyr when all of the lights go out around me.  I can see they’re still on, but it’s like none of their luminescence can reach me.  I turn around and greet the night fae with a sigh.

The night fae are all in a similar stance: slightly leaned back, arms crossed, staring out through black, razored bangs.  Their gothic style doesn’t suit the light blue jumpsuit they’ve been forced into, and it takes an effort not to mouth off.  I guess I can’t stop a small smirk because the leader curls her black lips into a snarl, exposing her pointed teeth.

“Teeth, what you’re doing isn’t going to work.  You’re not going to be allowed back into the Ministry of Molars.  They kicked you out for a reason.”

“You know it’s not just about my position in the Ministry.  How do you think I ended up in here?  That fat, pompous ass deserves what’s coming to him.”

The leader opens her mouth to say something else when the guards burst in, each armed with a different weapon.  Some carry stakes, some carry silver, some iron, some just carried guns.  They may not kill, but they hurt like a bitch.

The sight of a stake must enrage one of the vamps, because the whole legion of them dives at the mortal men with an ear piercing shriek.  Then the chaos really starts.  Guards flood in like cockroaches, taking up station at every exit, while still more join the battle.  I see one guard chasing after a giggling leprechaun.  He nearly catches up with him when the little guy flips backward and uses the guard’s balls as a springboard to hurl himself forward.

The night fae move to surround me.  I close my eyes, put all my energy into visualizing the stone door, and send the minotaur my thoughts.  The explosion is deafening.  The minotaur steps through the dusty hold and lets out a roar.  He turns, sees me, and charges.  The night fae vanish in a swirl of shadows just as the minotaur reaches them.  I grab hold of the minotaur’s horns and swing myself up onto his shoulders.  I hunker down as he bursts through wall after wall, until I feel the cool night air on my skin.

“On to the Faeworld!” I shout.  The minotaur nods, hunches over, and picks up speed.