Wednesday, April 6, 2022

#IWSG #SFF #AtoZChallenge Exiled

#AtoZChallenge 2022 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter

A speculative fiction short story from a dreamer

A continuous #sff story during April. May Rose is the main character (🧑🏽 they/them pronouns).

The next session was minutes away. May fetched Jade.

"It would be safest for you to be silent during the session unless I ask you a direct question. You will be exiled if anyone suspects your twin sister was meant to be here."

Jade pouted and toyed with the edge of her sweater. "I'm not meant to be here?"

May took a deep breath. "There is a slim chance that your hand won't register because your sister was chosen instead. Only a two-percent margin of error. You shouldn't think about it."

The lie passed easily. Jade shrugged and agreed. Of course, May knew that might change once the first session took place. The students had to learn why they were here. 

Everyone gathered in the lounge nearest to the garden. It had the most comfortable seating, the most relaxing view of any room, and it was nearest to the main dining room. A large screen flicked on. 

"That's the grocery store I was in just before coming here," one student said while motioning to the screen.

May nodded. "Each square contains the last recording of the places from which you were taken. Hopefully, you know of the events going on in your time."

A student laughed. "Any specific dumpster fire? The news was basically a dystopian novel opening."

May dug their nails into their hand. The student thought it was bad back then? 

"You are about to witness what we call the devastation. Prepare yourselves." May pressed a device and the images on the screen played simultaneously. Grocery stores, shopping areas, parks, schools — all lit in a blaze of blinding fire. Each square faded to black. Moments later, images of rubble and char replaced all the scenes.

Some students gasped. Others cried. The one who remarked on the dumpster fire cursed.

"Nuclear weapons or gigantic space asteroid? Or both? It really was something horrible every day. How many died?'

May tapped a handheld device. "Opal, is it?"

The student shrugged. "It wasn't. But that's what this place calls me, so I guess it is now."

May nodded. "Humans did the damage to ourselves, as far as we know. There's no evidence that the devastation came from space. As for your other question, billions."

Opal cursed some more. May looked to Jade. She had moved to the window seat and was staring at the garden. May flicked the large screen, changing the small images to one large one. It was of a spaceship passing the moon. 

"The few survivors would not have lived long. Food was scarce. Water was rare and unsafe. You don't want to know about the sky. All life would have ended, and Earth would have been blinked from existence. But then the overlords came."

The screen showed the ship entering the atmosphere, the ruined sky turning blue again. 

"Not all can be repaired or replaced. The overlords have set a countdown. Viable surviving life will board ships and be taken to other worlds. Earth will need a long time to recover."

"Little green men taking us to Mars? Or gray ones with big black eyes moving us beyond Pluto?" Opal punched a pillow as she asked her question, bitterness spewing from her mouth.

The screen showed a new image. Large animal-like creatures stepped out of the spaceship. Two students remarked with cooing sounds and exclamations that they were cute.

"Earth's animals were what drew the overlords. But they have come to appreciate the human species. Like the domestic dogs and cats of your time, we are the pets now. Well, not we, as I lack the qualities. There are no fertile females capable of birthing unmutated babies. I look human enough to you because my mother was pregnant when the devastation happened. I am called May Rose because I am the only one born in May of my year to survive, and Rose because that is the place where I was born. June Glacier died in childhood. July Ice and Quintilis Cave are alive, though I am only in touch with one of them. No humanlike children were born after that from this timeline."

Jade looked away from the window to May. "But you seem to be our age, maybe older."

May nodded. "There has not been a Homosapien birth in over twenty years. You were all meant to die in the devastation. You all agreed to come here. The reason should be clear. The overlords are willing to bring the human species back from extinction as pets."

#AtoZChallenge 2022 tribute badge

Porno for Pyros - Pets


Shout-out to Alex and the awesome co-hosts for today:

Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise - Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

April 6 question -

Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I interviewed Will Damron, an audiobook narrator and debut author. That concludes almost everything I know about audiobooks.

Shoutout to Jemima Pett's Biggles. You might now have some idea how your prompt will eventually be used this month. 😉🐹🤴🏽

Please also visit: The Insecure Writer's Support Group Book Club on Goodreads.

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  1. I always knew cats and dogs will overthrow humanity and a big way :-)

    Ronel visiting for IWSG day The Difference Between Reading Books and Collecting Books
    and for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: E

  2. That's great you intervewed someone about audiobooks. Hopefully, you learned things from it that would help if you ever want to make an audiobook of one of your stories.

  3. Interviewing someone probably gave you a good idea of the process.

  4. I definitely would not want to be someone's pet...wait, I'm married - LOL.
    Janet’s Smiles

  5. A continuing story for A to Z is ambitious. Way to go! And I love that May's pronouns are they/them. I've played around with a minor character who uses he/they pronouns and enjoyed the creativity of swapping between the two pronouns. Definitely doing what I can to be more inclusive.

    I'd love to read this story as a full piece, all at once. :D

  6. So, humans will now be the pets from the large cute animal-like aliens? Did any other species also survive on Earth?
    Thanks a lot for the song, I liked it when I was a tween but I didn´t remember its name. :D

  7. Well that's quite the jump into the dark stuff J, you've almost distracted me from wondering about Jade ;) But having written one of these during A-Z, I know that being patient is required.

    Debs visiting this year from
    Making Yourself Relationship Ready


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