TIC TOCC week 4

I just wanted to pop in and share the results of this week's TIC TOCC exercise.  This time I tired something a little different for me, writing with a futuristic sci-fi setting.  I read the prompt when it arrived in my inbox and then I let the ideas percolate.  This seems to be the best way for me to work.  I just wait until the story idea starts to form and then I know that I'm ready to start writing.  The words started to flow when I was in bed last night, but I put them off until today (sometimes that doesn't work and I lose the idea).  The 20 minutes flew by, but that's all I had to devote to the story today.  It's my last day in Cleveland and I have a lot I want to cram into the day.

So, here's my unedited bit of writing from this week's prompt.  Thanks, again, to Kat for putting together TIC TOCC!

From a distance it looked normal.  Beautiful, even.  The cliffs, the beach, the water.  A spectacular view from here.  But Lorelei had heard the sirens last night.  It seemed that they were sounding more and more often, despite the governor's clean-up strategies.  Sewage, toxic waste and other deadliness followed the currents and made its way to the shore unhindered by the underwater nets and filtration buoys.
Lorelei picked her way through the rockiness at the edge of the woods, stepping carefully to avoid turning an ankle.  No one came out here much anymore and she didn't want to be stranded.  She cradled her camera with her left hand and used her right for balance or to steady herself on a rock or a thin, struggling sapling.  The trees were growing.  Not well and not beautifully, but they did grow.

Orange warning tape barred her way.  Beach closed, the signs proclaimed, but Lorelei slipped beneath the tape.  Unless she swam in or drank the water, her risk of contamination wasn't much higher at the beach than it was in town.  The air they breathed, the food they ate, the water that flowed from the tap.  They were contaminated, all of them.  The water treatment plant made the water less deadly and household air filtration made it easier to sleep, and food, well, was eating an apple rinsed with bleach solution healthier than eating an apple straight from a tree?  If you could find a tree.  What soil was it growing in?  What rain fell on it?  An apple a day?  Were factory produced proteins and vitamins a better option? In the end everyone dies.

From this distance the beach no longer looked beautiful.  Even if the chain gangs were to spend each day here on clean-up duty, there would still be trash washing up, blowing in, materializing as if by magic.  Trash, dead animals, sometimes even a person.  

A crab scuttled across a pink flip flop.  Lorelei crouched down and carefully focused her camera.  The crab stopped, as if watching her.

"You're a beauty, aren't you?" she murmured.  

It was rare to see an animal that hadn't mutated and wasn't injured or ill.  This crab was perfect.  Like something you'd see in a photo on the net.  A photo from before.  If the governor were to see her photograph he'd use it as evidence that his clean-up schemes were working.

"You're just tough."

The crab scuttled away and disappeared down a hole in the sand.


  1. Oh wow - I love me some sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia fiction and this was great. Truly, I want you to write the whole novel now. Well after you enjoy your last day in Cleveland. But then straight to work - I want to read a novel sized continuation of this. :-) LOL. No pressure. But it has really captured my imagination.

    I am so glad you're keeping me company on this TIC TOCC adventure. Thank you. Kat Xx

  2. these 20 mins of writing just leave me drooling for more....between you and Kat...ahhhh its almost frustrating :) I definitely want to find out more about Lorelei!
    I hope you have a WONDER-full last day in Cleveland......sending BIG hugs to you and your husband....I hate goodbyes or rather "see you soons" XOX
    ps...I would LOVE to join in your gorgeous giveaway..but feel that would be far to greedy :) Good luck to everyone taking part XX

  3. Succinct and interesting! I like the bit about the crab scuttling across a pink flip flop!

  4. I regularly dream about a post-apocalyptic landscape. There seem to be loads of films and tv progs about it too at the moment! Loved your story - really got my imagination going and the sense of hope was a nice touch.

  5. Wow, great story, you really have me intrigued! (as a side note, I have relatives in Wis. been there many times myself!)

  6. Thanks so much! Glad you liked the bit of story. Maybe I WILL return to it and see what will happen next!

  7. I thought your descriptions were brilliant, summoning up the nightmare-ish landscape quite vividly. I found myself thinking, rather Lorelei than me!


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