The Ink Well Fiction Prompt #8: Echoes

in The Ink Well3 years ago

“over it to the days beyond when we’ll walk these streets once again and rejoice in the simple act.”

“No one at that cafe!” she said.

“Closed for business” he said.

Vibrant streets now seemed dull. Unthinkable just a couple of months before. Apocalyptic trumpets blaring. All humans gone. At least those who could not or would not transfer to enhanced bodies.

There was still beauty if you looked for it. Silent and fierce. Spring was finally here!

Image source: @litguru.

“Ice cream!” she cried out, pointing at the gelatto shop. “How I wish I could have some.”

“Mmm, lick, lick.”

The waves splashed against the jagged diamond crystals sizzling in the ocean. Their steam rising and creating a permanent fog around the bay. They came from outer space and brought us a little gift then-

A new beginning. A new scene. Another movie reel that begs the question, who you gonna be this time around? What’s your motivation?

A group of men recovered the carcass of a seaplane on the beach. Nothing worked anymore.

Tried downstairs, but the staircase led nowhere. Back up to the platform overlooking the ocean.

“Low batteries,” he said checking the display on his skin.

She leaned over the railing and looked at the water. “Mine too. It’s getting cold. Batteries don’t work so well in the cold and drain fast. We need an upgrade.”

“Let’s go home.”

The wind swept streets blew gusts into her hair.

“What will become of us?” she said. “We can’t go on like this much longer.”

“Keep at it and live to see another day.”

“Until when?”

“All the way to tomorrow and”


I had to read the story twice, and then read it again. It is designed as a loop. That works perfectly.

Keep at it and live to see another day.”
“Until when?”
“All the way to tomorrow and

The prompt itself became a story. The device of beginning the story mid-sentence and ending it mid-sentence emphasizes the sense of a looping reality, without beginning or end. A reality that is.

This is very well written and effective. Thank you for posting it in the Ink Well community.

Thank you! I'm happy you liked the looping twist at the end and beginning.

Super interesting story, @litguru. You can almost start reading at any point in the story and loop through and back to that spot and have a slightly different interpretation.

Thank you for your comment, @jayna. The story loops back like an echo, the same but slightly different each time. Glad you enjoyed it!

I had to read it a second time, but I understood the message of the story. Very interesting this science fiction theme you are tackling.

Do you think that at some stage of our evolution we will end up like this?

Your story made me wonder if we will really continue to feel after that transition.

Thanks @ricardo993! I think that we're making scientific advances that can theoretically allow us to transfer into enhanced bodies. In the story, she says that she would like to have ice cream, perhaps she has lost the ability to do this simple thing. But later in the story she talks about "upgrades", so not all is lost. :) Thank you for reading and commenting.

Not gonna lie, this has broken my brain a bit @litguru, and in a good way! I, too reread snippets of this wonderful little mindbender of a tale, for some reason I really got hung up on her eating of the ice cream, that she had to announce that it was a pleasure and to lick it. Tomorrow is an advance in evolution away. Great job!:)

Heh! Glad to hear the story was entertaining. Thank you for reading and commenting @generikat

This is how a lot of us feel, having arrived in the spring STILL in the pandemic ... all the way to tomorrow AND YET, still in the same place ... brilliant technique... short but powerful (and not so short when you have to read it twice, and picked up details missed the first time). Well done!

I'm happy you liked it @deeanndmathews. It's fun to experiment with story structure and see what comes out.