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Friday Flash Fiction: The Witch on Oasis

February 22, 2008

So I’m not sure if this is out of bounds for Friday Flash Fiction, but I used it to work through a scene for a longer piece of work I’m working on.

I also end up going over the 1000 word mark a bit.  Oh well…I’ll try something shorter next week.


Kira sat in the back of the bar trying her best to be inconspicuous.

The sounds and sights and other data flowing into her headgear was a rush of input that was ubiquitous in the modern world. Unless you were an all-nat, you got used to it and let your agents and filters refine the noise of life into a manageable din.

She listened and watched and observed and let her augmented systems organize and prioritize and point out pertinent facts to her.

The murder was all the news. Oasis had never had a murder on board her before. Everyone was talking about it. It was already being romanticized; a KNIFE fight! A knife fight on a cycler. Whispers of awe spread around the bar. The ancient barbarity of the act making the perpetrators legends before the blood was cold.

Kira scowled. She knew the murder was no chance thing but a planned assassination attempt.

[The fools must have known it would fail.] She thought.

They knew her husband well enough to know he would best any modern man in a knife fight.

[This was merely a faint.]

Matters were dire, Gabriel was compromised. They were toying with him, letting him know they could get him at any time.

[Why toy with us?]

“Can I get you a drink?” Kira started at the voice. She hadn’t noticed the tall dark haired woman standing next to her.

“uh…I already have one.” She answered.

[Where did she come from? I should have noticed her?]

The other woman was stunning. A full two meters tall with straight black hair, wearing a functional gray outfit, perfect for moving around in the varying gravity environments of the spacecraft. On her, the outfit looked tailored and perfect, as if she would not allow it to be anything but.

“aahh I see now…” And she sat down, uninvited, next to Kira and ordered a martini with a nonchalant flick of her finger and toss from her headgear.

“Can’t get a good scotch out here, but a martini, that’s just clear alcohol, if they use decent vermouth and an olive or two it’s passable.” She said with a sly smile.

Kira consented to acknowledge her, it would be worse if she kept trying to ignore her, “Yeah that’s why I stay with gin and tonics. At least the flavor hides the synthetic…ness.” She trailed off lamely

[Why am I so nervous?]

“Don’t be nervous, I’m not hitting on you…unless you want me to?”

Kira coughed into her drink, splurting the sip out over the bar.

“..cough..ahh…I’m straight.” She noticed her headgear was spitting out a lot of noise, she reigned in the disturbance.

[God she’s got me all twisted!]

The martini came and the black haired stranger offered a brief toast to Kira, “To the future…and the past.”

Kira raised her glass uncertainly. She wasn’t getting any reading on the other woman, nothing was seeping out from her headgear, she was holding a tight filter. That took concentration. Was she an all-nat? No, there were interface connections and the simplest of b-cards exposed.

[She’s so tight, I thought I was good?…]

“My name is Valen.”

“That’s an interesting name.”

“It’s very old.”

Kira was starting to feel trapped.

[She’s one of them.] “I..uh…I” But she was suddenly having trouble remembering what she was going to say.

“I…”

“Yes?” And Valen smiled, “Yes…Kira? You were about to say something?”

[…my name…she knows my name…] But Kira’s thoughts were thick like glue.

“Who…I…” Kira dropped her glass and seemed to be able to watch its fall in slow motion: the glass tumbling…seven ice cubes, 1…2…3…4…5…6…7..seven…now it was halfway to the floor…the swizzle straw was floating free…

…the lime-cube was half dissolved

…a drip hit her shoe

…the light sparkled off the edge of the glass…

[YES KIRA! I AM ONE OF THEM!] Kira heard inside her head.

SMASH! Her gin and tonic hit the floor and became a thousand pieces of ice and glass.

Kira wanted to scream, but had no voice.

[YOU WILL COME WITH ME!]

[…no][YES]

[…no][YES!][…yes]

KIra felt compelled to go along, she was a shattered being, both at once knowing it was the right thing to do and hating it. Wanting to shout “NO!” while calmly speaking “yes”. Her mind was cracking, her vision narrowing, her hands trembling.

She started to teeter over to her side.

The black haired woman leaned over and grabbed Kira, keeping her from falling, “Easy girl, let’s get you back to your cabin.” Valen turned to the bartender, “She’s had a bit much, I’ll take care of her.” [YES I WILL!]

Kira let herself be half led, half carried out of the bar. The rightness so wrong, nausea welled unbidden from her stomach. She started feebly to say something but vertigo wiped the effort away as she fought to maintain consciousness. She went along with the black haired woman; to Valen’s cabin door, they both entered.

The door closed behind them, it had all happened so fast.

“Ahhh…Kira, you don’t know how long I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.” She dragged the near comatose woman to the bed in the room and laid her on her back. Kira was unable to move, she was unable to do anything more than blink and breath.

“It’s a pity about Gabriel, I would have liked to bring you both back to meet my Brother and the family.” And she chuckled at that. “You know who I am don’t you.”

[…yes…you’re the witch…]

[AHH YOU’RE STILL IN THERE GOOD.]

“The next two months would be boring if I had crippled your mind.” She smiled an evil grimace, “The witch eh? I am called that sometimes yes. I won’t disown the title. But it is a bit short and nondescript for the skills I possess.”

[…please…please…let…me go…]

“No, no my dear,” She laughed lightly, almost innocently, “We are going to enjoy ourselves, you and I. We shall become the talk of Oasis. The two stunning women together…ooooh are they lovers? It will be scandalous.”

[….no….please…]

“You’ll love it dear…I will make sure you do. And by the time we reach Earth, you will disembark with me and no one will think anything of it at all.”

“You will come to meet my brother and the family.” [AND YOUR FATE WILL BECOME THE SAME AS THE REST OF YOU SPANISH BASTARDS!] It was like she was shouting in Kira’s head, Kira’s eyes remained open and blankly staring at the ceiling. But pain like lighting was ricocheting inside her skull.

[…I’m not Spanish…]

“I know.” [BUT YOU MARRIED ONE.]

Hope left Kira then, she couldn’t scream, she couldn’t even cry.

“Now, let’s begin with some questions…”

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One comment

  1. “refine the noise of life into a manageable din.”

    A great line.



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