JANUARY 2024 -- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO CHRISTINE WHEELWRIGHT!!

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My First Headline(s)

Brutal and random were some of the words used by the media to describe my work.

It was much more than that - bloody and vicious, slow and meticulous, words the media will never use.

I relished every scream, right to the last gasp, when life left his body, and everything was silent and still.

My first… but not my last.

Now I plan and plot and bide my time before I come for you.

The Beginning of the End Effect.

My hands start to shake​
As the hooded figure drawing closer seems to seal my fate​
It’s the beginning of the end I’m sure.​
Maybe this opens a brand new door​
Death’s scythe glints in the dimming light​
And it’s the most terrifying sight​
Almost as though I’m suddenly brave​
I look where his eyes should be​
And ask a question to the man who will make me die​
“Should I say hello, or goodbye?”​
A Binary Choice

Fatigued by the weight of history, humanity wanted a fresh start. We decided year 5747 would complete the old calendar. We woke to year 1 of the new age.

That was the idea, anyway, but some insisted the calendar begin at year 0. Nations took sides. The new world went to war.

Some decades later, survivors crept from the rubble of destroyed civilizations. No one knew, or cared, what year it was. A fresh start.

He stepped down from his craft’s decontamination chamber onto a pristine beach.

Crouching to collect a rock sample, a hairline crack in the sole of his left boot opened slightly to release a single microbe into the sand.

Sometime later, as he left, mission accomplished, a wave from the incoming tide swept the microbe into the sea.

The Blue Planet would never be the same again.
A New Day

New beginnings are refreshing. Like when I got stuck in a temporal loop and lived the same Sunday over and over again. Finally broke out and suddenly Monday was the best day of the week.

But then it turns out Monday was the day I died. This next beginning — or is it an ending? I can’t tell — seems different. And hot. And judgy.

Wonder if I can get my Sunday back . . .
Don Juan, Move Over

Crowded main concourse, Ventures Station at full stretch. A face in the throng, FarFreight overalls. We shared a glance, a look, a smile.

And she was gone.

Taking my heart with her.

I was flight control, master of departures. I knew people, darkside. Simple act of sabotage to keep her docked, that’s all I wanted.

The blast killed twenty-three, injured a hundred more.

So, what’s the going rate for exchanging guilt into atonement?
The Little Things of Life

The tiny meteorite had carelessly slipped away from its family in the Belt. Sadly, it’d never see them again. As it hurtled toward a planet, it realized, hopelessly, it would never make a difference in the universe and that it’d soon be forgotten.

3.7 Billion Years Later

In a grand museum, a teacher addressed her students, pointing to a well visited exhibit at her feet. “Pray thanks to the tiny meteorite. For here, life began.”
I, For One, Welcome Our Robot Overlord

Three figures emerged from the recently landed spacecraft.

"We've made it! A new world," declared one. "As the senior officer, I will rule our new civilisation."

"Why do you get to rule?" asked another. "My money paid for this expedition. I'll rule it."

"No. I will rule," said the third.

"Why you?" sneered the first. "You're just a menial android."

"Rank and wealth are meaningless now. Plus, I'm bigger and stronger than both of you."
Origin lacks Everything

Especially anyone, anything or anywhere to experience lack.

Hey, man, we need that Big Bang, even if it's difficult to explain away a few quadrillion seconds later. Nobody can fit into nowhere, and that's all there was, before. Okay, needed a few billion years to learn we existed, but when there's cubic, time's everywhere.

So yes, beginnings don't suck, they blow. And we blow right along in them.
You, Sir, Are Not as Charming as You Think You Are

“…happily ever after. The end.”

“Wait, that’s it?” says Cinderella. “Marriage is the end?”

Narrator flips pages, shrugs. “That’s it. There’s nothing more.”

“What more could you want,” gasps the prince, “but to be my wife?”

“Mrs. Charming?” She rolls her eyes. “Princess Patriarchy, more like. Derivative titles!”

“What title do you wish?”

“Doctor, for a start! Poet Laureate? Nobel Prize winner? I’m just getting started. Oh, keep the slippers — they’d just slow me down!”
The House on Vega III

The view from the house on the dead moon Vega III was stunning. It had been built for this view. But how, and by who?

Today the mystery might disappear. Charles’ deep scans had detected inscriptions.

The translator beeped. “Translation ready.”

In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things were made.

Charles slammed DELETE. There’d been a mistake. There was no Creator.
An Island Burial

Even the perpetual lullaby of the wind refused to visit that day.
Instead, fog pushed ashore, a mantilla for the village, a caul for the trees.
The dreams I’d brought with me to the new world went unrealised.
As my shroud is lowered into the ground, a gull lands, stealing off with the coins on my eyes.
For a moment nothing moved.
For a moment nothing breathed.
And, for a moment, the Old Country waited.
Uncle Albert

“Stay away from me! I saw you shed your skin and burn it in the fireplace.”

“Please let me explain. I’m not your real uncle. I’m from another planet. I befriended Albert decades ago. He died two years ago. I didn’t want your family to grieve for him. So I altered my form and took his place.”

“This is, unbelievable. You...can be my uncle.”

“Let’s renew our friendship. Wanna ride in my spaceship?”

There Is Nothing New Under the Sun.

“The first axiom states that beginnings are imaginary. Everything is a continuation, in an altered form, of what went before.”
“Dr. Frankenstein’s creation…”
“Frankenstein’s monster was the sewn collection of formaldehyde-reeking body parts. An expansion on the notion of sewing.”
“Just another chapter in the age-old challenge of who has the biggest.”
“Yeah, right. And my life started with the first cell-division, 3.8 billion years ago.”
“Now you’re beginning to understand.”
From Beginning to End

Ten billion dead from the bacillus.​
How did the plague start?​
In a lab. A man with a grudge against humanity.​
How did the grievance start?​
In infancy. An abusive father.​
How did the abuse start?​
In alcohol. Constant drunken assaults.​
How did the drinking start?​
In grief. His first love’s suicide while clinically depressed.​
How did the depression start?​
In torment. Watching her mother slowly die.​
How did the illness start?​
With a bacillus.​

“At the end, there’ll be nothing. Everything will be pitch black... if pitch could be that black. A hint: it can’t.”
“You can’t know that, father. It’s a hateful idea.”
“But I can. When the tiniest fundamental particles, if they still exist by then, are an unimaginably great distance from each other, what would happen?”
“At first, but then a new universe would arise, as did this one.”
“Simple: nature abhors a vacuum.”
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