September 11, 2012

A Spot of Fiction: Part 1

I thought I'd do something completely different and post up a little piece of ongoing fiction I recently started working on. The concept was conceived simply as a creative writing exercise. I don't know much more about the world itself, the characters in it or what's happening any more than you do. The few restrictions I've placed on the work are simple:

1. It takes place on Earth, set in the modern day.
2. Anything can happen.

I started with the simple premise of a man who wakes up alone somewhere. Everything after that just sort of...well we'll see.

Want to come along for the ride?

Part 1
Dazzling sunshine strikes my face as I open my eyes. I'm lying on my back, staring up at a clear blue sky. Tall, golden grass waves in a gentle breeze all around me.

I sit up and look around. I have no obvious injuries that I can see or feel, no blood or anything around me to indicate why I was unconscious at all. Come to think of it, I have no idea how I got... wherever the hell it is I am. Further to that, just who am I anyway?

Oh shit, who am I?! A welling of panic rises in my chest.

Trying to calm down and not freak out entirely I stand up and turn in a full, slow circle to see that I'm outside of some sort of industrial complex. The place has been long out of use and is covered in rust, grime and dust. The outer chain-link fences are in pretty rough shape and debris from some kind of industrial accident is all over the place. Did something explode here, or was there some kind of battle?

There don't seem to be any bodies around, and other than the grass undulating in the wind I can't see any indication of movement. Looks like I'm all alone here.

Walking toward the entrance to the facility I find a fallen sign near what looks to be the entry gate to the complex. Brushing some of the dirt and debris off of it I can read a little bit of it. It says "Myrmi--n ----- Pr--es--ng -aci--ty". There is some smaller text below that, but I can't quite make it out. The sign is too damaged and worn. OK a processing facility of some kind. For what and by whom? "Myrmigon, Myrmidon, Myrmisen..." I muse. Do any of those words sound familiar?

I snap my fingers in instant recognition. "Yes! Myrmidon is the name of a company. Some kind of pharmaceutical company that I was...I was..." I stop talking to myself. I don't remember what I was doing here or if I even was here before now, and standing alone in the middle of nowhere, talking to myself, is even a little more insane than I want to appear at the moment.

I head toward the gatehouse. "I wonder if there's anything useful inside." It's a tiny little cube made of cheap plywood which is barely still standing. The gray and peeling paint on the outside might have been white at some point in its history. Digging around inside the gatehouse I find a small messenger bag hidden under some broken boards. It's covered with a light layer of dust but looks very familiar. Wait, this is my bag isn't it?

Yes, here's an identification card. Most of the text is worn off, as though the card has been carried or handled often, but that's my picture on it and I can make out the name Gregory Markov beside it. Wow that's my name? Why doesn't it sound familiar...and what's this card for?

I look through the rest of the pockets of the bag and discover a bottle of water, a lighter, a deck of playing cards, a wallet empty except for some cash (looks like around $125 or so) and a cellphone. Well, I can keep myself entertained with a few games of solitaire I guess. Flipping the phone over it looks undamaged, so I thumb the power button expectantly.

Nothing happens.

Damn! If the phone had some power and I could get a signal, I could have loaded up a map or a GPS location and tried to find out where the hell I am. Shouldering the bag I look around and realize that dusk is quickly approaching. I must have been sitting here for longer than I'd thought! I better find a place to hole up for the night, or at least get out of sight. A quick look inside the gate and...

"Ah there!" There's a two-story building just inside the fence that looks like it is still largely intact so I make my way through the rubble around the gatehouse. The compound is eerily silent and seems entirely deserted. I approach the building warily, and wonder to myself why I'm being so bloody cautious.

"Stupid son of a...," I grumble out loud. "You don't know how long you were lying there in the grass, or how you even got here in the first place! Can't hurt to be a little cautious." I cough out a nervous little laugh, slightly embarrassed that I'm talking out loud again. Apparently I have a bad habit of talking to myself, great.

There is a single, heavy steel door on the near side of the building. Excellent, that looks like a way in. I look up and down the outer wall of the building, checking for windows or movement inside. "Whoa shit!" I hiss to myself as a dim light flares to life in a second floor window. There's someone or something inside this place!

In a full crouch against the side of the building I look around to see if I can find another structure where I might be able to hide before it's fully night. I don't want to risk running around in that place without knowing whether the owner of that little light is friendly or not. And I'm sure as hell not wandering around a not-completely-abandoned building in the dark!

Casting my gaze around the complex I spot another building but it's well on the other side of the square marked off by the sagging perimeter fences. If there's someone watching from that window, or any of the others windows for that matter, there's no way I'll make it over there without being spotted.

"Well," I mutter to myself, "let's see what else I can find." I edge toward the far end of the building as darkness falls completely, covering my world in a thick velvet shroud of black.

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