Moore Writes #3

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in General Insanity | 0 comments

I bet you thought I forgot about you, didn’t you? Come on. You can admit it. Well I didn’t! It just so happens I was actually writing something new. Since November last year I haven’t written anything but Forgotten Magic so I’m kind of relieved I actually felt the itch this week. I decided to change the name of this little column, because I like how Moore Writes sounds.

This is a bit of a character profile from something new. It will never make it into the book, but it’s part of my ‘getting to know you’ process to write out a few scenes with my characters just so I can get a sense of them and find their voice. Right now it feels like this will be a straight-forward distopian, but that could always change. This particular lady wakes several decades after some sort of cataclysm and finds the world very different from the one she fell asleep in. Only about a thousand word peek. I have to keep some mystery!

This is a completely unedited first draft, so please excuse the roughness.

-C


Andi lifted her face into the sunlight and concentrated on blocking out the cacophony of sound behind her. The warmth of the sun drove the lingering chill from her body, but didn’t feel quite right. Not that she trusted the fragmented memories that rose like waves into her awareness, descending once again into the inky darkness of her subconscious too quickly for her to sense more than the vaguest of forms.

The droning alarm gave a final choked whine before cutting off once and for all. The silence left in its wake was almost disorienting after the constant noise. She shook her head, hoping to clear some of the fog that drifted there, but was only rewarded with a cloying dizziness that would have emptied her stomach if there had been anything inside. She rested her head against the metal door frame to avoid falling to her knees as her stomach heaved. Her hands shook as she drew in a harsh breath and steadied herself.

She looked around the room she had just passed through to reach the outside. Dark computer terminals, two chairs knocked to the ground, and a closet marked ‘emergency use only’, it had to be a control room for the complex she’d been in. She headed to the closet and fumbled with the latch for a moment before her fingers cooperated. She didn’t know what she’d hoped to find hidden away for just such an occasion, but inside there was nothing, not even a layer of dust.

“Figures.” The rough sound of her voice echoed in the empty room, upsetting the uneasy silence that had replaced the dying klaxon.

Andi didn’t dare go back to the room she’d woken in. The choking cloud of chemicals had almost done her in the first time. Then there were the forms she’d only barely made out in the darkness and confusion, mummified corpses entombed in enclosures exactly like the one she’d found herself in on waking. Curling fingers of dread gripped the back of her neck. With effort she willed the gruesome images away and concentrated on getting herself out of this alive. Though she was having trouble with her memory, at lease her sense of self was intact.

She checked the pockets of the white coveralls she wore and found nothing, not even pocket lint. The logo sewn into the right breast wasn’t one she recognized, the letters A and E inscribed in a circle in green and blue. She searched the drawers in the control room, coming up with a disappointing handful of paper clips and rubber bands that she stowed in the hip pocket of the coveralls.

Glancing back at the room passageway she’d entered through, she dismissed the idea of going back to scrounge a second time. She had no idea about the source of the black smoke, or what prolonged exposure might do to her. She returned to the exit and climbed the stairs to look outside, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the brightness. Cracked earth and scrub brush stretched to the distant horizon in every direction, unbroken by hills or trees.

A rumble from somewhere under her convinced her that she needed to get moving. She climbed the rest of the steps and hauled herself outside, crouching for a few seconds and looking around before standing. Even from the higher vantage point, nothing in the landscape stood out. Where the devil was she?

She strained to put together her memories of where she’d been before waking, but they eluded her. The harder she tried to grip them, the quicker they seemed to slip away. She filed that as a problem to deal with later when she had the luxury of time without the threat of something exploding under her feet. She picked out the largest shrub in her field of vision and moved toward it.

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