FLASH FICTION - THE CREATURE'S PIPING SONG

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Happy Saturday, everyone!

If you haven't already figured out from the title... I'M SHARING SOME FLASH FICTION TODAY! Flash fiction is a story under 1,000 words. I've done some in the past on the blog, and it's a fun exercise to get away from all the novel writing once in awhile.

This flash fiction is a Pied Piper retelling in space.

Though I had to rewrite this story multiple times, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I hope you enjoy -- I'd love to hear what you think. :D

[I also posted it on Wattpad, so if that's your thing, you can go read The Creature's Piping Song here.]


I arrived without a sound. Without terror, without threat. I meant the humans no harm, though the horrified looks on their faces portrayed otherwise.

The captain jolted. The officers gasped. Everyone froze as I stood there -- the foreign alien -- tentacles floating carelessly above my head.

Beep, went their maintenance systems. It went off steadily, unlike the crew's breathing and heartbeats. I sensed their fear. I sensed their desire to run. To destroy me -- to be a hero and save themselves.

So I acted before it was too late. I raised my hands -- isn't that what the humans do to look innocent?

A roach crept along the floor, pausing to glance at me.

I just wanted to help. I just wanted to know what it was like to be one of them.

"What do you want?" the captain growled. I felt his nerves, his thoughts, thinking that I meant to kill them. That I was nothing more than a killing beast, here to destroy them all.

I twisted my hand, gazing upon it with curiosity. My dark skin was cracked, covered with scales. Sharp, angled claws protruded through the stubby tips of my fingers.

Is this what terror looks like?

"I want to help," I said. But they didn't understand. Human minds are small. My words sounded nothing more than a garbled mess of angry snarls, that their minds translated to, "DEATH IS NEAR!"

I watched as hands crept toward weapons.

Am I that easy to kill? I wondered. Is my image that revolting?

My eyes closed. My tentacles twisted and formed and melded together. I allowed myself to relax.

I played my song. Quietly at first, and then louder, letting it float its way to the corners of the room, under the floor, into the ship's operating systems.

I called for the roaches.

It didn't take much for me to find out about the ship's infestation problem. The worry hung in all their thoughts -- the realization that the space roaches were slowly destroying their ship, along with the passengers inside.

I called, and the roaches came. They slipped through the cracks in the floor. They wormed their way out of broken wires and compartments. They all came to me.

As the roaches followed, I did what any other human would do -- I announced a price. Sketching the number, I scratched the floor with a claw, sending a sharp, grating sound into the air.

Seven thousand. That was my price.

The captain's mind was slow, and he muddled over this for a moment. His brow hardened when he finally put everything together. I could hear his thoughts as he stared at me with a firm expression. This creature wants me to pay it for taking our roaches? Human money?

Creature. Is that all I am?

The captain nodded. "Rid the ship of the roaches. The money is yours."

I bent to the floor, song quieting. The roaches gazed at me, patient, waiting for my command. My body pulsed; the power inside increased. I raised my arms, forming a circle with my looping tentacles. I created a dark portal, leading into the empty void of space.

The roaches skittered inside. I looked up to see the crew staring at me, mouths open and eyes wide.

I took a bow. I rid them of their roaches. This is what they wanted, and now they had to understand. Now they had to see me as an equal.

The captain shied away as I held my hand to him, outstretched for the payment. "Go," he hissed. "You have no use for men's money. Leave while there is no problem between us."

The curves on my scales lifted. He meant to go back on his deal. He meant to betray me.

But how -- after what I had done? I saved their ship and their lives.

The captain stood, arms crossed, glare pinpointed on my yellow eyes. "Go," he repeated, and I knew there was no changing his mind.

Just as I arrived, I left without a sound. One moment I was there, the next I wasn't. Instead I watched their ship from a corner of space.

There, in my corner, I fumed. I raged. Roars rose from my throat, and hatred burned deep in my soul.

What did I do wrong to be treated like this?

Was I really nothing more than a creature to them? Easy to push around and ordered what to do?

Fine.

I shuddered as my body flexed. Spikes released, claws sharpened, my melody intensified.

If they refused to treat me as an equal, then I would rise above their puny minds and souls. I would unleash my power.

I would show them what it's like to be ignored and rejected.

I hurled myself to their ship. This time I arrived with many sounds. Loud, crashing notes of song, screeching in their ears. Revenge -- that's what I felt as they screamed and writhed.

"AM I THAT MEANINGLESS? IS IT THAT HARD TO TREAT ME AS AN ALLY IN THE GALAXY?" I screamed this in their faces, though they could not understand.

I took my place at the front of the ship -- exactly where I had placed myself before. I went silent.

The crew went silent. Their faces reflected pale, white creatures.

Creatures that refused to pay my price.

My eyes closed, and I gifted the crew one, final performance. The melody rose, but this time I did not take roaches. Instead I took those who still yet didn't know the cruel ways of this universe. I took those with small minds I might be able to change.

The cadets -- the young officers. They followed my song's commands and marched into the portal.

And I walked after them, with the desire to teach proper manners of the galaxy, and the intent to never return.

I arrived without a sound.

I left with distant echoes of my piping song.

- - -
<3,
katie grace

thanks for reading!! hope you enjoyed. <3

45 comments :

  1. That was mildly terrifying, yet awesome, and if you decide to continue this, that would also be awesome.

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you liked it. Mildly terrifying is a good thing to feel when reading this. :P

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  2. THE FIRST LINE... AND THEN THE LAST LINE ?!?!

    I love reading the pieces of writing you share <3 I'm not really a sci-fi writer (although I adore the idea of writing sci-fi) and I really think it's great combined with classic tales, like the Lunar Chronicles.

    Your writing style is really light and intense at the same time. Does that make sense? IT'S A COMPLIMENT I ASSURE YOU <3

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

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    1. IT TOOK ME AN ETERNITY TO WORK OUT THE FIRST AND LAST LINES BUT I AM GLAD IT FINALLY FELL IN PLACE.

      Ahhh, yes. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series. <3 <3

      AWH THANK YOU. ahdjskl you're so sweet.

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  3. Woah! That was amazing! I love it. :D I've never tried writing sci-fi, but then again, I've only just recently started reading more sci-fi books.

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    1. *nod* Yeah, I started reading a lot more sci-fi before actually writing it. There are so many possibilities to do with the genre, so I'm excited to explore it some more. :D

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  4. *rereads this story because PERFECTION* I just /love/ this adskjflahsdkjfhasdkjfh *flails forever*

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  5. Well goodness gracious, I would like to read 49,000 words more of that story, please and thank you. :D

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    1. Daww, this comment made me so happy. xD

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  6. The Pied Piper in SPACE, oh my gracious *flails*. I WANT MORE, I NEED MORE. Hand over the rest of the story, oh Katie friend *grabby hands*.

    Seriously, this was the coolest idea ever. I REALLY want to write a Pied Piper retelling someday, there are so many different plot bunnies that would explode into existence if I allowed that idea to fester xD.

    Anyways. THIS WAS GORGEOUS, I NEED MOOORE. :D It was great to read more lovely Katie-words! <3

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. EEEP! *flails* I'm so glad you enjoyed. And I'd really like to see a retelling from you. There are so many different paths you can go with this story. It's so weird but so interesting. :P

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  7. Oh my goodness, the AWESOMENESS IS OVERWHELMING!!!!!!!!

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  8. That was SO COOL!!!!!!!!! I loved reading from the "creature's" point of view and the whole thing was awesomely creative!
    I know you were trying to get away from the novel writing stuff, but if extended, that could make a pretty good novel.... XD

    <3

    audrey caylin

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    1. Aww, thanks. XD
      I'll keep it on a list for future story possibilities... just in case. :P

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  9. This is a really cool twist on the Pied Piper story.
    The Pied Piper is a story that's always been really interesting to me. I actually once started a story set after the Pied Piper story, in a different place, but where Pipers are a thing rare but heard of. Where the Piper is looking for an apprentice.
    I've always kind of paired the Piper and sirens in my mind... The Pied Piper's song is a diluted siren's song. Like, a siren can sing the song with her voice, but the land-dwellers with the song have to use instruments, like a pipe.

    This is really cool. I was completely wrapped up in the story.

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    1. Oooh. o.o
      Faith... you should write that. That sounds amazing. O.o

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  10. Dude. DUDE. This is so cool. I love things that offer a different perspective from the one you usually see. Most sci fi is seen from humanity's perspective, and if it is from the "monster"'s perspective, it's usually more sad than anything else, painting the humans as horrible monsters and the aliens as innocent. I really like how you handled that in this. I love your style, by the way!

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    1. Ahhh thank you, Erika. ^_^ It would really be interesting to make a full story out of this, so it's something I'm going to have to consider. xD

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  11. DUDE THAT WAS SO GOOD. I love how you showed it from the perspective of something the humans were afraid of and just aksjflkj IT'S SO GOOD. SERIOUSLY CAN WE HAVE MORE FLASH FICTION FROM YOU? *wants*

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    1. AHH THANK YOUU. agshsjal HOPEFULLY SOMEDAY I SHALL WRITE MORE. it's really fun. xD

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  12. OMG This was so good!!!!!!! *WIDE EYES.

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  13. I arrived without a sound... I left with distant echoes of my piping song.

    YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER!!!

    Micaiah
    notebooksandnovels.com

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  14. Nice, Katie! I love the first-person perspective for this flashfic piece. Really unique with an alien's perspective.

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    1. Thank you!! I started out with the human's perspective, but it just didn't fit. So I rewrote it with the alien's perspective and it turned out a lot more interesting.

      Thank you for reading. <3

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  15. Wow! That was phenomenal. You 'evoke sensation in the reader' as E. L. Doctorow once said.

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  16. O_________O
    KATIE.
    KATIE GRACE.
    WHAT IS THIS EPICNESS?????

    Pied Piper in SPACE?
    I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
    I CAN'T EVEN RIGHT NOW.

    I mean just...wow. THAT WAS BRILLIANT. AND CREEPY. AND I LOVED IT.

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    1. AHH CHRISTINE IT MEANS A LOT TO HEAR THIS FROM YOU. eeeek. Thank you so so much <3

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  17. Aw, I love it! It's so sad, but also really cool. I never would have thought to retell the Pied Piper as sci-fi (and the roaches? That's pretty great)

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    1. Yeah, the Pied Piper is kind of a depressing tale. :P But I'm glad you enjoyed anyways! :D

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  18. I loved it. I couldn't tear my eyes away even if I had wanted to.

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    1. Yay! That's exactly what I want to hear. Thanks so much for reading, Anna. <3

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  19. That was so good! I love it, so amazing and creative to do a Pied Piper retelling in space!!

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  20. Okay so I agree with your first commenter: mildly terrifying but cool. XD Great job, Katie!!
    jeniquablog.wordpress.com

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    1. *fist pump* I've done my job, then. XD Thanks!

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  21. I must say, I wouldn't like it as a movie because I'm just that big of a baby XD

    I actually saved it to my Wattpad, so I'll reread it to give you one more view (and star). Please post more stories to Wattpad, I used to be so addicted (Now YouTube unfortunately took over but I need some motivation to finish that novella I started last year XD)! I love that platform, some people blow me away with their writing!

    Including you! But eh, you have a thing for songs, don't you ;) Not that I'n complaining, I really liked it (Although I have not the faintest clue what the Pied Piper or God-knows-what is)

    You should do flash fictions more often! Another blogger I really like used to do those (itsjustraquel.com), but she hasn't in a while...

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