F3: Binary Visions

I’m quite disappointed in myself. I’ve posted just a couple of pieces of flash in the last… what, four or five weeks? That’s pretty poor form (just like flash, the naysayers cry). All I can say is that I’ve been busy lately. I’m sure most of you reading this know what it’s like to have work kicking your ass for weeks on end, leaving you a drained and empty shell at the end of the day. Fun times, eh?

All effort to connect my laxity to the release of little-known independent title Grandiose Thieving of Automobiles the Fourth is misguided, seditious and punishable by death (unless you buy more copies of our book).

I’m pleased to say that we may have a couple of new Friday flash fictionists amongst us: Gaie Sebold, who to the best of my knowledge is the first of our Orbital ’08 panel attendees to join us in posting flash online, and Sarah Ellender. They’ll be posting on alternate weeks; the first piece, from Gaie last Friday, is titled Folie A Deux.

My F3 for this sunny and glorious week is a continuation of Turning Point, following on from Gareth and Justin’s additions in the comments thread. Last time around I imitated Gareth’s voice, so it’s only appropriate that this time I try at Justin’s. We’re metafictional, baby!



The manilla feels rough beneath Sara’s fingers, recalling Jules’ skin: flecked, pocked, cratered. But the swirling, elegant loops, inscribed with what may have been a quill pen, are Alejandro’s. There is the faintest scent of sweat and musk and cut fibre-optic cable.

Sara opens the envelope quickly, her breath held, paused, unsure. The note tucked within unfolds itself with robotic precision, sparing her nervous fingers. Distantly, Sara hears a roll of thunder. The lightning comes after but she does not notice.

The note inside the envelope is written in a cramped, childish hand. Sara gasps and sits down on the bed, pulling the perspiration-saturated sheets around herself. This is Jules’ handwriting.

It says, “Not like this.”

Sara looks up and Alejandro is before her. He is naked, standing with the casual pride that drew her to him through the Brownian motion of festival crowds. He looks at her and smiles. Sarah continues clutching the sheets to her breast, the note held before her.

“You don’t have to worry about him any more,” Alejandro says. He puts out his hand. He is holding a mobile phone. Its faceplate is aglow with blue light, and it casts Alejandro’s rich brown skin in a pallor of plasticity.

Sara reaches for the phone but it, and Alejandro, dissolve before her. They burst into the patternless dance of static, fading sharply with a pop. Sara feels the pressure in her ears lose equilibrium, and she bursts into tears as what is left of Alejandro crumbles into waste heat and fragmented clusters.

String{NO_ANSWERS_THERE} whispers the data, and it slips away through the cracks of myth and dream.

7 Responses to “F3: Binary Visions”
  1. Justin says:

    Well, I suppose that serves me right…

    :D :D :D

  2. GLP says:

    Spot on with the style. Justin, what’s it like looking in a mirror?

  3. Justin says:

    Bemusing, but in a pleasant way.

  4. Shaun CG says:

    I’m glad to have bemused. ;)
    I’ll be back to writing in my own style, whatever that may be, this Friday.

  5. Neil says:

    I like it for itself as well – and it gives you more on a second reading. Not always true of flash.

    Nice one.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Global cyberpunk, as experienced by a highly strung synesthete. Cities; dreams; sufficiently advanced technology; the porous boundaries of reality and illusion. Memorably parodied by Shaun in Binary Visions. […]

  2. […] Shaun wrote this story.  It made me laugh so hard, I almost peed a little. […]