Monday, 7 July 2014

Don't look Up

                                    Image courtesy of Free Images

                         Don't look up, don't even think about it.

Alice was right of course. Looking up would be fatal. So we carried on walking the subways of Boris because that's where we belonged. On the subways. The ever changing, ever twisting, ever screaming subways. We were tired but they made sure we didn't even think about looking up or slowing down.

We walked two by two. Not exactly safety in numbers but luckily today all we had come across were a couple of maintenance droids and a single One Tail that had copped it during the night. Alice has stared at it with morbid curiosity but I kept my eyes on the path. I felt sick to the stomach already and concrete walls are the safest thing to look at because dead One Tails and Two Tails are everywhere and most of them are half eaten.


They only scream in monosyllables. Move,Get Up, Stand Up and Faster being their favourites. You can't get into a conversation with a subway, they talk at you, not with you. They talk at you and kill you. There's nothing in between.

We feel like we're breaking. The only time we get to rest is during the night when we get seven minute rest periods but most of us walk and sleep at the same time as well as shitting and pissing and walking. Most of us are walking skeletons. We wear what we can grab and most of us are shoeless.

The subways are getting longer all the time. You can hear their construction in the background, a metallic wind amongst the sounds of our groaning and puking and wailing.
The No Tails are building the subways 24/7 and I've heard that soon we will have underground tunnels to crawl down when our legs have given way. Underground tunnels to live in, to crawl in. Underground tunnels to die in.

And soon we will be invisible to the inhabitants of Boris. The rightful, worthy,
No Tailed inhabitants of Boris.


                                                 (C) Albert Atherton

                                                                                                        334 Words

Written for this week's Light And Shade Challenge. A great place to meet other writers. Why not have a go yourself? You want to write? They Don't Bite! Not unless you ask them nicely.


  1. Wow... I don't even know what to say.

    That was so heartbreaking to read. It was like I was walking along with them, despised and treated worse than dirt as well.

    This was very well written!

  2. Thanks Martha :) yep Boris isn't a nice place

    Ally :)

  3. A very bleak, dystopian landscape, all the more dire because you've made it so real.

    1. Thanks Tara, yep wouldn't like to live there :)

      Ally :)

  4. So morbidly realistic. I imagine that is how asian-americans felt when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps. Worthless.. very well written and food for thought

  5. That last final and so powerful. Wow, my parrot. Nice work!

    Valerie (The Word Pirate)

  6. Powerful writing.

  7. WOW! You pack a punch in a few words. This was wonderful. My favorite was this line: "You can hear their construction in the background, a metallic wind amongst the sounds of our groaning and puking and wailing." I loved the sensory images in this line, especially the "metallic wind." I also like the story concept of "no-tails." It's a bit bleak, but also interesting.

    Isn't it amazing what our imaginations can create? The fun is letting the stories emerge and not backing down from them.

  8. I am not normally enticed by sci-fi or the like, but this engaged me from the first sentence. I thought about not being able to look up..and I think that might be just as bad as dehydration or lost cable TV to me. I would lose the magic of life. That is what the No Tails are taking, the possibilities.

    Wow! So incredibly well written

  9. Astonishingly good and atmospheric - what an intriguing world

  10. Very spooky and unnerving Lyssa M x