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15 Minute Ficlets

creativity in a hurry

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Word #1
15 minute fic
crazedturkey wrote in 15_minute_fic

Hello and welcome to the inaugral week of 15_minute_fic. I'm crazedturkey and I'll be your moderator for the evening! Please give the doorman your coats, and don't forget to check out our specials!

Welcome to 15_minute_fic !

Don't look at the word until you are ready to write. When your fifteen minutes are up and you have completed your ficlet, you may either post it as a response here, or post a link to the ficlet in your own journal. If posting on your own journal, please hide the prompt word in some way (ie. under an LJ-cut) in order to avoid spoiling it for others.

Today's word is: Garble

You can copy and paste this code when posting your ficlet if desired.


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The quality of the sound was patchy. Hisses and clicks on the line could be deliberate interference, or just the way the line was laid. Hard to tell, for the inhabitants of the bunker. They'd been down there too long, since the very beginning of the war when, rightly or wrongly, they decided to barricade themselves inside as the first bombs dropped. The old networks had held, of course. But it was beginning to become clear that the seriousness, the initial desperate seriousness of the preparation for the big drop, had not been extended. As time went on, the shoddy nature of more and more of the items was becoming apparent. It simply hadn't mattered, then, not as much as new movies and dancing all night, simply lounging and talking philosophy. They had been divided, and it was now that they were paying the price.

"I think that it will all be over soon." said the waiting voice on the other end of the line. Hadley had never met the voice before, but she knew everything about her. Her phone pal, as they called it. Every now and then, in the isolation, just often enough to be a treat, they could communicate with one of the other bunkers. A little variety. A little soul. Hadley had told her things she would never have dreamed she'd tell anyone-and she probably never would again. "They'll let us-" And a crackle on the line, and the voice began to get distorted. "Seeyah, inshantena, absolutely, and then we will keeso haramb again." It was the first time the mechanical system had caused such a blunder. Hadley didn't quite know what to do, and only called into the handset anxiously. "Sarai? Sarai, I can't quite hear you.."

"Kiso? Hanarai d'kan...please, I can't hear...yawoh evand d'shai.." Sarai's voice seemed to be getting more desperate. Just a conversation, a conversation about nothing. But a conversation that might never take place again, for the machines could not be repaired. Hadley's family had contracted out the electrical services, and understood almost nothing of how their own miniature home functioned. It was a realization that grew large in her, as the words through the voice piece grew increasingly distorted and stretched, and she began, unconsciously to rock. "I love you. I love you. I love you." she repeated, childish, as though that fact, that power, could take it all back, erase the world. The very repetition seemed to have a power in itself, as on the other end of the phone, the distortion seemed to normalize, the same incomprehensible words said the same incomprehensible way. But three of them. Was it the same? Was it 'I miss you', or 'I hate you' or even 'Fix the handset'? They could never be sure. Hadley could never know, but she held on to the phone, continuing to speak, continuing to listen, even when the words finally began coming without even a trace of humanity. So did her friend. It was only when the last words were heard as a wash of sound that she allowed herself to put down the phone, and move back into the room with her family.

"Oh, Hadley dear. I was just about to-" began her mother, with a certain dreary stoop to her shoulders "-go looking for you." Hadley finished her mother's sentence, and walked towards the old shoulders. She lay her head on her mother's neck, and staring at the cold, implacable wall, she moved her lips silently as her mother spoke, in tune with the words. "We've a lovely treat for dinner tonight, dear. I bet you'll never guess."

Deep in her head, something tried to scream, but she couldn't quite make out the words.

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