So, this post was supposed to be my entry for my Flash Fiction Challenge #5. I received a fantastic prompt from Blue:
A man buys time – literally. What is the cost?
I mean, what a great prompt! And I actually had a story going whose concept I’m quite intrigued by. But then I realized that I was going way over my thousand-word limit and that the story is just too big to condense. So, I switched to a different story. The problem is, this was yesterday. And I had other things I had to do in getting ready to go back to school. So, now I have two unfinished stories in response to this prompt but nothing completed.
And after I gave everyone three weeks instead of two…
I feel really bad about this. I’ve posted my story late before (for my first challenge, I think), but I’ve never not completed it. I just couldn’t fit it in this time, unfortunately. Not the best start to what I am determined will be a better writing year than 2017. However, I’m not giving up. I do want to apologize to my readers and the other participants of this challenge. I will be giving both of you feedback. For the time being, though, I’ve decided to post the beginning of my story, so you can at least see what I was working on. I do intend to finish it, and, if you like it, I’ll post it here when I do.
The other two participants in this challenge, however, did finish their stories. You can find them at the following links:
Blue - The Silversmith
Athelas - Flash Fiction
I am very proud of them both, and you should go check out their stories!
As for my attempt, without further ado:
They were busy today. They always were.
Dylan Forsythe’s lips tightened as he watched the revolving door across the street, always in motion, the last rays of sunlight glinting off its glass. People going in, a look of hope or fear on their faces. People coming back out, those looks generally smoothed into a long line of despair. The lump in Dylan’s stomach grew with each new face.
Of course, there were exceptions. There was the pretty young red-head, her chin held high, a smile on her lips. She had clearly gotten the news she’d come for. Few did.
Dylan studied the soaring stone building, windows staring out like gateways to the depths of hell. There was no sign, but it didn’t need one. This building was the country’s only place to purchase the most precious commodity in the world: time.
Heart beating faster, he leaned against the cool brick beside him and pulled up his sleeve. The counter fit snugly against his wrist, a sleek blue with silver digits: 3 days, 8 hours, 17 minutes, 24 seconds.
His breath caught, and he slid to the ground. Only three days left.
Just over three days and he’d be dead.
He glanced across the street again to the building. The Department for the Regulation and Dispensation of Time. A mirthless smile twitched at his lips. A pretentious name to fit a building full of pretentious bureaucrats.
The harshness of a metal stamp against marble echoed through his head. The doom of the words now etched across his request form. Extension denied.
He pulled the folded paper from his jacket pocket, gaze searching for the official reason he already knew by heart: Essential capacity, easily replaced.
Easily replaced. That was the final judgment on Dylan’s life. After nearly twenty-five years, the government had deemed him worthless.
I actually wrote quite a bit more to this story, but now you’ve got a feel for it. What do you think?