Monday, August 31, 2015

Flash Fiction - Into the Rift

Confession: I never write flash fiction. I basically never venture out and write anything but whatever current novel I’m working on at the time. I always feel guilty writing something else when I already have a novel that needs my attention, so I. . .never do. BUT right now, since I finished Burning Thorns, I don’t actually have a current writing project going. I’m free. So I did the unthinkable. I wrote a flash fiction piece. Bum bum BUMMM.

My Pack (my online writing group of fabulous girls) has this thing called “Writer Dares” where we post random writing prompt pictures and write little flash fiction pieces should one of the prompts inspire us. Except I never write any. (See above paragraph.) But a picture was posted a couple days ago that was too intriguing to pass up, and I want to keep my writing muscles strong even though I’m on break, so I spontaneously sat down and started writing. The result was something far different than I’ve ever written, but I think that’s what made it fun. Now I see the appeal of this whole flash fiction business. I had a BLAST writing this thing. It’s bizarre and probably makes no sense, but it was fun nonetheless, so I thought I’d share it.

I do hope you enjoy!

Writing PromptThe prompt pic that inspired the whole thing.

Into the Rift

She was stuck.

He shouldn't have used the watch, he shouldn't have tried to bring the auburn haired girl back with him.

She was stuck, and it was his fault. He knew, he knew and he did it anyway…

Time was not to be tampered with.

That was the number one rule in the Organization, ingrained in each student's brain—taught, spoken, written, again and again and again to the point that they mumbled it in their sleep.

Do not tamper with time.

But how could he keep her in that horrible future?

How could he leave the girl with auburn hair?

The girl he fell in love with.

Trying to ignore the tremors in his deep breaths, Lucas gripped the cursed copper watch in one hand and with the other thrust the syringe's needle in the crook of his arm. There was no time to try to fall asleep, he had to use something to knock him out instantly.

Because the girl he loved could only be found in his nightmares.

As consciousness slipped away, hot energy vibrated from the watch. The mildewed walls of the abandoned subway snapped away like a light switching off and then he was there once again, standing in the midst of crumbling, burning buildings and cracked streets. By now he knew every scream, every buzz of the drones circling above, with OTT painted in white on their wings and their weapons pointed at her.

She stood in the middle of the chaotic street, facing her coming death bravely. Bravely, just as she faced the corrupt rulers of this wretched future and dared defy them.

Lucas watched himself rush by, straight for her, twisting the dials on the watch as he ran. Just as he grabbed hold of her arm, the current Lucas, the real Lucas, looked away. He had relived this nightmare too many times. Even with his eyes shut tight he still heard her scream, and the flash of blue light pierced through his eyelids.

He had tried to take her to the past, to his present, away from this future she lived in.

Do not tamper with time.

Taking someone, especially someone as important as her, away from their timeline would alter all of time. So the cursed watch tried to fix his mistake and froze her, imprisoned her in the Rift, the place in between time. She was stuck there, and even after half a dozen times trying to get her out he was no closer than when he started.

But he wouldn't stop trying.

Forcing his eyes back open, he darted for the blinding blue light encompassing her and his past self. The only way into the Rift was to revisit his past through his dreams, or nightmares. The watch read his conscious and, as long as he put himself in the exact spot she entered the Rift, it would transport him there. At least until the watch drained of energy.

He gritted his teeth as searing pain tore into his whole body, pulled him away from time and into the in between. She had felt this pain, she experienced this burning, ripping sensation. He had tried to save her and instead caused her agony.


Hands caught him before his legs gave way, and when he met her golden-brown eyes the pain ebbed.

"I told you not to come again," she said, her brow etched in worry.

"I had to."

"You're killing yourself! Your body can't take many more trips like this."

"I don't care."


"Raina." He gently moved a stray strand of that bright auburn hair out of her face, calming her.

They still stood on the cracked streets, but all was silent. Time hung suspended around them. The people who had before scattered to get away from the attacking drones were now frozen in place, their mouths still opened in silenced screams. Walls collapsing from the fire had stopped midair. The threatening buzz of the drones had quieted. And yet even in the stillness the world quivered. Blurred around them, like looking through a windshield in a rainstorm.

Such was the Rift.

Lucas studied this unnerving world. Though almost identical to his memory, his nightmare, a few small details were different. Such as the man to his left holding the little girl with her face buried in his shoulder. And in his memory the building just in front of him was half collapsed, but here it stood almost whole.

None of this was surprising. After all, everyone's memories were different. And he no longer stood in his own memory, but hers. He had entered Raina's world, and somehow he was going to get her out.

He set the watch again for the far future and snagged her hand. He had tried so many different combinations in the past, maybe the future would work instead. It didn't matter where they ended up, as long as they were together and she was safe.

"Lucas, please don't. It's not going to work. You have to let me go."

"Never." He squeezed the watch and the world flashed around him. More pain, more screams, then darkness.

His eyes adjusted to the dim light and he found himself in an all too familiar dank subway. Alone. He hissed and slammed a fist into the wall. The watch wasn't powerful enough to transport anyone from the Rift. Not away from their own timeline. And so each time it sent him back to his last location. In the abandoned subway he now called home as he hid from the Organization.

He broke the number one rule, and if they found him he would pay.

When he applied for the Organization of Time Traveler's school two years ago, he had no idea he was stepping into a world of corrupt, power hungry maniacs.

The watch had to recharge, and each time he had to wait those two hours was pure agony. The minute the blue light indicating full power blinked on, he snatched up the watch, shoved the needle in his arm, and returned to his nightmare. He embraced the blue light and was with her in the still, blurry world once again.

Without even looking at her, he began adjusting the watch to a new time, but his fingers trembled violently over the dials and white spots obscured his vision.

"Lucas, stop."

His eyes moved to hers and found tears rimming them.

"You're dying." Her voice was so quiet, so defeated. She slid her hand to his and hovered a finger over the watch clutched in his palm. "It wasn't meant to be used like this. Your body can't handle coming here over and over again."

"I'm not going to leave you. Don't you see, Raina, you won't even age. There is no time here. You'll be imprisoned in this place of nothing for eternity."

"I know. And that's why you have to let me go."

He swallowed the dry lump in his throat. "I…I can't."

"It's the only way. Everything will go back to normal. Both our timelines will be sorted, you won't even be on the run anymore."

"But you'll die." He could not mask the crack in his voice.

"Lucas." She pressed a hand against his cheek and smiled through her tears. "Before you came, I was so lonely, lost in the hate of the world. You showed me what it is to be loved. Now it's my turn to show you."

Before he could stop her, she snatched the watch out of his hand and backed away.

"Raina, no!" He dove for her but it was too late, the watch was already doing what it so desired to do. Her fading body glowed with blue light. "No, you can't. You can't! You'll die. Those drones will kill you!"

Wind stirred around her and whipped up her auburn hair, and her body became more and more transparent. And yet she smiled. A wide, gleaming smile that had captured his heart from the beginning.

"Even a time traveler can't predict the future," she said. "But you can change it. Never forget that." Her last words came in a whisper. "I love you, Lucas."

Then his world exploded into excruciating light.


Lucas snapped up with a gasping breath. His eyes swiveled from left to right, but there was no deadly drones, no collapsing buildings, dark subways.

No Raina.

Instead he sat in a bed in a stark white room.

A familiar room.

Snatching up the tablet at the bedside table, he checked the time and date.

June 23, 2319. 7:08 a.m.

This was the day he had stolen the watch, the day he changed everything, the day he went to the future and met Raina.

But it hadn't happened yet.

He once more took in the white room. His room, at the Organization.

Time had reset.

Everything was back to normal, before he tampered with time.

But he still remembered. His fingers balled into a fist. He remembered and he would never forget.

Throwing off the covers, he jumped out of bed, slipped his shoes on, and headed for the door. A bright yellow sign to the right of his door halted his steps.


He read the white words, the number one rule. And then he ripped the whole sign down and dumped it to the floor.

Because every single person ever born tampered with time. That's what people did. They changed the world, they changed the future. He could tamper with time without using a time traveling watch. Instead he could use his current life to make a difference, like Raina did.

He could strive to stop the corruptness of this organization.

After all, those drones with their guns pointed at her had been sent by the Organization of Time Travelers. The future version of the Organization he stood in now. The one that would eventually use their power of time to take control of the world and murder the girl he loved.

But not if he could help it. He'd stop them now and make the future a better place.

A place the auburn haired girl could live in.

He couldn't predict the future, but he could change it.


  1. Oh my GOSH. Christine, that was INCREDIBLE. O_O That ending was so satisfying yet intriguing and ajkdfkasl. Oh my land, you should totally write flash fiction more often. That was AWESOME. And so creative. And so heart wrenching. And terrific. And. :') How long did this take you? Did you get this idea straight up from looking at the prompt, or did you sit down and think about it for a bit? AHH. This was SO awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! :')

    1. GAH. Girl! Your comment made my WEEK. Thank you!!!
      I'm thinking I really could get into this flash fiction thing. It's fun writing little pieces without worrying about it being a full novel or anything. Great for writing exercises and trying new styles!
      It took me around 2 hours, I think. And I actually didn't get the idea OR think about it. I just started writing and it came as I went. Honestly, I had NO idea what I was going to write. I had this vague idea of a girl trapped in some sort of in between time place and that was it. It all came as I wrote. It was as much a surprise to me as the readers. XD But I love writing like that and discovering the story as I go along. It was a fun, wild ride!

      Thank YOU for your comment. Your enthusiastic comments make me grin every single time! ^_^


    1. Okay I should be more coherent... *coughcough*
      I don't even know what happened but I think it was amazing but what maybe it was sad I don't know my brain doesn't work because this is wow. DOES HE SEE HER AGAIN??? BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO AAHHH. (Can you ship people who are only 1700 words long...?)
      But wow. This was so incredibly well written. o.o I don't know how you do it, Lauri. I NEED TO READ ALL OF YOUR THINGS OF EVER BECAUSE YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Also this has a futuristic/thriller/dystopian/steampunk/time-travel vibe and I think you're super good at ALLLL of those things. o.o
      Lucas and Raina are awesome names.
      Also, him tearing the sign down. O_O WOWNESS. So powerful.
      The whole THING is powerful! GAAAAHHH. All the wording is amazing.
      I don't know how you can pack SO MUCH into a little short story! JUST. ALSKDJFLSKDJFLSKDJLKJ.
      Can't do the wording, okay.

    2. *sputters*
      I think you broke ME!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO RESPOND.

      I hardly know what happened myself. It was all very confusing. XD It was kind of...bittersweet? It doesn't HAVE to be sad. I left the ending open to the readers to come up with their own conclusions, so theorize away. It's a time travel story which means ANYTHING can happen. *grins*
      Well, I think I've shipped people who are like two sentences long. There seems to be no rules with shipping. XD (And, I'll admit, I was shipping them quite a bit while writing...)

      I think it WAS kind of all those genres smushed together. Really, I'm not sure WHAT genre it was. I had no idea what was going on. But but but you think I pulled it off well? *squees* That makes me so happy. Thank you, dear!

      I just keep reading your comment over and over again giggling like a hyena.

  3. This is GREAT, Lauri!!!! I especially love the end, the part about everyone who is born tampers with time and that he can change the future.


    1. *beams* Thank you so much, Lody! That makes me happy, because the ending was the hardest part for me. I couldn't quite figure out how to end it on a not completely heartrending note. XD I want all my stories to have at least a gleam of hope. I'm so glad it came off well.

  4. Wow.
    This is AMAZING. I want more, but I know that this is the end! :(
    I love to write flash fiction, mostly because I'm too lazy to complete my other unfinished novels. It's a really bad habit. ;)


    1. You are so sweet! Thank you!!! ^___^
      That is the problem with flash fiction, it's too short. I always want more when I read other people's.
      I think a LOT can be learned from writing pieces like this. It's a great way to explore different styles and genres without having to write an entire novel, and it helps one learn to keep their writing tight. So there's nothing wrong at all with writing them!

  5. That was so good, amazing really. I loved it Christine, so intense and well written. Just wow...
    Your writing makes me so happy, your characters are always so engaging, I feel for them the poor dears.
    Loved that bit at the end, about how everyone tampers with time, genius.

    1. Aaaaahhhh, girl! Your comment is making me grin so big!
      That means a TON to me! I wasn't sure if the characters got enough development, I was worried they felt a little flat. I guess that's the one problem with flash fiction, not enough room to dig too deep into characters. But it's still fun!
      I'm so glad you liked it! The ending was actually the hardest for me to write. I wanted to end it with a little hope but it took some thinking to figure out how.

      Thank you so much, Skye! <3

  6. Oooh! This was so good! I love the characters (seriously, they seem so real even though I just "met" them). Plus, TIME TRAVEL!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Oh my, thank you so much, girl! I'm glad the characters came off well, I wasn't sure how deep they were, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.
      TIME TRAVEL. YESH. One of my favoritest things. I wasn't surprised one bit that my first flash fiction piece was about time travel. XD

      Thank YOU for reading and your sweet comment. So happy you liked it! ^_^

  7. Whoa. Just ... whoa. This is so incredible! I already love the characters! I can't believe it only took you two hours to write this piece of awesomeness! You did an amazing job, Christine! ~Savannah P.

    1. Oh, girl, this made me so happy!
      I think it didn't take too terribly long because I actually wouldn't allow myself to stop and think. I purposely forced myself to keep writing even when I had no idea what was going on. I just wanted to see what would happen. It was quite an experiment! A very fun writing exercise.

      Thank you so, so much! <333

  8. Can I say something about this piece of flash fiction? I'm going to be brutally honest here, so brace yourself.
    I didn't like it.
    Seriously, this makes my brain crave more. Not to mention that it makes me wish I had come up with the idea! I'm fascinated with time travel. It's complex, and yet it just grabs my attention. This writing dare didn't do just that; it practically yanked me off my chair by the lapels!
    Lucas sounds like such a determined hero. He wants to save Raina even at the cost of his own life. And then she's also a hero by sacrificing herself so that he won't die. I'm so happy that he still has a chance to save her!
    I know lots of people have already said this, but that whole " everyone tampers with time" thing? It was pretty darn epic. And this corrupt Organization sounds like it would be a lot of fun to write about!
    So yeah, if you couldn't tell, I adored this flash fiction. It was just awesmazing! :D You must write a full-length novel about this. In fact, I plan on finding a piece of music to go with this. Just give me a bit of time, and I'll let you know when I find the right track! ^_^

    1. Okay, I think I've found the perfect piece of music. If you don't think so, you can let me know. But I think you will agree. ;) I'm so nice I'll even give you a link! The track's called "Journey Through the Portal" by Audiomachine. ^_^
      Enjoy! :D

    2. AAAAHHHH!!! How do I even speak words right now after all this niceness??? Seriously, I don't even know what to SAY.
      Day = MADE

      Whoo, fellow time travel lover! I ADORE time travel. Like...I'm obsessed. It was no surprise at all when this decided to become a time travel story. I think it was inevitable. XD It's suuuch a fun thing to play with.

      Raina sacrificing herself for him was a total surprise to me. But I was happy both of them ended up being the heroes in one way or another. It was fun!

      This story keeps lightly nudging me, trying to make me decide to make it a full novel one day, and I'm just like, "Nooo, I have too many novels I already want to write!" But, one day, I may drop my guard and find myself writing it. That happens sometimes. >.> So who knows, it may be a novel one day! Just probably not any day soon...

      DAT SONG.
      That's PERFECT!!! And even the name goes with it!
      Also I love Audiomachine, they make the BEST writing music. I discovered them via Pandora not too terribly long ago and was immediately hooked. In fact, I may have heard that one before on Pandora. THANK YOU THIS IS PERFECT!!!
      I think it was Tracey who I told one day that I may just make you guys my official soundtrack finders. You find the most perfect songs!
      This is so great, I love it!

      THANK YOU!!! For everything! You've seriously just made my day. My WEEK!

    3. It's so cool that it just kind of... happened as you wrote. And then at the end, you'd be like, "Whoa!" At least, that's what my reaction would be. :P I can imagine that time travel would be a lot of fun to work with! :)
      Another unintentional element? Sweet! You should do more of these. ;)
      Well, I need to know about it the day--heck, the HOUR--you decide to make it a novel! ^_^
      I thought so too! I just recently discovered Audiomachine; they've got some epic stuff! I think my favorite album of theirs that I've heard so far is Phenomena, which is where this track was from. I knew there was something from that album that fit, so I previewed several songs on iTunes. When I got to this one... O_O I listened to the whole thing on YouTube, and it was decided.
      I feel like you mentioned that to me as well. But I would be happy to take up the job! ^_^
      You're welcome! :D

  9. Wow!!! That was great, Christine!!! :-)
    Absolutely lovely!!!
    Definitely very touching and heart rending, but ultimately uplifting tale!!!

    Terrific job. :-)

    1. That means so much to me! I'm glad it didn't come off as TOO sad. I was trying to end it at least with a little hope. THANK YOU!!! <3

  10. I have a confession to make: I was planning to comment here (because even though I'd already read this beautimous thing and given you my thoughts, I had to make it public)... But I wasn't going to comment until I'd read it over again. Because, as I said, it is beautimous and amazing and full of alskdfjalskjfa-ness. AND THEN I WENT AND FORGOT TO READ IT. And then I unforgot--that is, I remembered...and here I am to say I LOVE THIS PIECE OF FLASH FICTION TO SMITHEREENS. Lucas, Raina, the time traveling concept, the watch, the intensity, the desperation, the OTT--all of it! I seriously want a whole novel about this stuff to curl up and read on some long, rainy afternoon. ^____^

    1. Aaaahhh! You are so precious! This made my day that you read it AGAIN. And all your sweet words! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! <3333 Who knows, maybe someday it'll be a novel...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...