All in Flash Fiction
If you went far enough down, you could actually hear the silence. That was what they said. Werrinbae didn’t think it was true at all, and no-one went deeper than him.
Spring wind carried the scent of apples through the windows, so strong it seemed that they were close enough to bite. Firm, crisp flesh and fresh juices just a bite away, red and golden skin breaking beneath teeth to spill sweetness over lips and down chins.
To look at, it’s nothing special at first glance. Agriculture, with cows and sheep plodding over gently rolling green fields, golden swathes of grains hemmed in by low rock walls on one side, wire or trees on the other. Oats, obviously. They grow a lot of them here.
The old oilskin had been cold and greasy to the touch when he’d put it on, but now as the wind dug icy claws into his skin and sought the cracks in his clothes, he was thankful for it. The old castle loomed above him, dark even against the blackened sky, and before him lay the path.
In the distant past, when animals wore human faces and magic lived in the soul, Snail was a powerful magician of great renown. Where other magicians made their livings performing healing spells or illusions to entertain crowds or hunting the great monsters that roamed the far reaches of the imagination, Snail had chosen a different path.
The day had started off well for professor Frank Rouass, but had taken an unexpected nose dive around lunchtime, when an alarm had been set off. What kind of alarm, Rouass was unsure - the knock-out gas had been piped through the ventilation at approximately the same time, and it left his recollection blurry.
The problem with modern technology, Khopesh mused as he dug through wires and displays, was that the things weren’t tested by anyone who actually had to use them, and everyone seemed loathe to install so much as a tiny ‘manual override’ button in case some tyke smacked it and sent trillions of dollars hurtling to a fiery doom.
Tanya smiled sleepily, hearing the sounds of cooking creep beneath the door and into the cosy bedroom. Luxuriating in the purple satin sheets, she stretched cat-like for a moment before sliding out from between the bedlinen and padding to the door.
Only thirty-nine years ago, people had to live with all the detritus of their lives, all their messy emotions and foolish embarrassments swirling through their brains, making it hard to think straight, see clearly.