Tag Archives: #13WeekStreak

13 Week Streak: 02

[500 Words]Thain in Vain teamed up with Drafty Devil to bring us the 13-Week Streak flash fiction challenge. Here’s the next challenge:

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Timelines are just what you’d think they are: Destinies realized when our path diverges. The illusion of that choice has confounded philosophers through the centuries. How can I choose one path over another? What happens to the timeline in the discarded choice? Timelines collapse when I take the right fork over the left. There are those that believe that the unchosen path continues in an alternate universe. But, if these choices are realized in alternate versions of ourselves and timelines, then is choice even relevant? Still, some believe that destiny is self-correcting. If I choose left over right, and right was my destined fork, will fate conspire to bring me back to the right path?

It would be easy to make a decision if there were a map that indicated all the important decisions to be made in life. But even if there were such a map, would this decision even be on it? I think that in the grand scheme of destiny that this decision is inconsequential. Perhaps it is but whimsy of a fickle deity in an uncaring universe. After all, if this forked path is unimportant enough to be marked on a map, what value does it truly have on my reality?

But what is destiny? Is it the culmination of endless minor decisions? A lifetime of unmarked and unimportant forked paths is no life that I care to live. What would that mean to my life thus far? But then again, what about the multitudinal universe? What of all those unrealized decisions littered along the path I’ve trodden? If each path has been conquered, then all decisions are worthless.

Maybe I was a hero along a different forked path. But, if that’s true, then so should the opposite be true: I could’ve been a villain. But how do these unrealized realities affect this reality? If I could break through from one reality to another, what would I learn about myself? Would these new versions of myself even be me?

It’s easy to say that I’d still be me in the scope of a short path. Here, an hour from camp can only have a finite number of divergent paths. I think that those iterations of myself are me. But what about a forked path two hours ago? Two weeks ago? The exponential diversification of reality can’t be properly understood by a mere mortal. Would something I did a lifetime ago result in a different person?

“This is not one of those times,” an exasperated voice intones. I turn to see my companions waiting patiently for my decision.

I see her face beaming and shyly peeking over the wickered basket clutched to her breast. A basket patiently awaiting the fruits of our journey. Waiting for my decision. For her, I make these decisions without regret.

“I think the orchard is this way,” I declare with false confidence. We follow the right path, but a part of me begs to question what reality lurks down the unchosen path.


13 Week Streak: 01

[500 Words]Thain in Vain teamed up with Drafty Devil to bring us the 13-Week Streak flash fiction challenge. Here’s the first challenge:

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“I feel like we’re not supposed to be doing this.”

Matt turned to Victoria with a mischievous grin. “We aren’t!”

“Aren’t?” Victoria inquired.

“Doing this,” Matt declared.

Victoria forced a smile. Her eyes darted to the proximity indicator. Matt and Eric “borrowed” the shuttle from Steven’s father’s yard. Steven called it a yard, but the six low-orbit shuttles that constituted “the fleet” were ramshackle at best. More patchwork than shuttle, and no one would miss this one. It would be sold for scrap after the long weekend. Eric was a wizard with all things transport, so the three youths fixed up the shuttle for their weekend getaway.

Matt took her silent musings for acceptance. “Besides,” he continued, “the ‘Captain’ thinks we’re still in dock around Europa.”

The proximity warning bellowed it presence into the tiny cockpit. The comms burst into life with Eric’s excited voice. “We’ve got a whale!”

Matt smiled, leaned over the control panel, and entered a sequence. The gray featureless walls quickly subsumed to transparent. Victoria looked over her shoulder and met Charlotte’s eyes. She snuggled closer to Steven, her eyes wide in anticipation. Eric and Stephanie’s chattering from the rear compartment droned on over the comms. The ‘captain’ sat dark and impotent, light reflecting off its smooth surface.

Victoria gripped the armrests of the navigation chair. They were less than an hour into their adventure and they were about to see their first whale. The weeks of planning for a trip that would last only a few hours had finally reached fruition.

“Shit! Shit! Shit!” Matt whispered next to her. “Too close!” His face paled as energy discharge danced along the hull.

“Protect the ‘captain’,” Steven’s excited voice sounded out over the comms.

Matt’s fingers danced over the beveled glass. Victoria felt the acceleration as he rotated their shuttle so that the pod, dubbed “the captain,” was rotated away from the breach.

“We’ve got another one!”

Eric’s voice was no longer lilted with excitement. Now it was a resigned dread.

The hues of blues and purples crackled at Victoria’s feet. When the whale burst from the portal, the leading edge materialized and sheered the captain from its moorings.

The quick trip to watch celestial phenomenon was looking more like a death sentence. Alarms and warnings shrieked and flashed with intensity that the situation required.

“We’re caught in their wake!”

Victoria thought that Eric’s voice was starting to grate on her nerves.

The shuttle tumbled end over end and as they cleared Jupiter’s atmosphere, Europa came into view. Jupiter, then Europa. It repeated again and again.

“Boaty McBoatface.” A new voice intoned over the comms. “Do you require assistance?”

Victoria slammed her hand on the panel in front of her. “Yes! We’ve lost our drive pod!”

“Understood, Boaty McBoatface.” The panels in the cockpit turned blue as their rescuer took control of their shuttle. Bursts of compressed gas righted their spin and they prepared for the trip back to Europa to face the consequences of their soirée.