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     The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.

     But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?

     My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I decided to heave one leg in front of the other on my way to the railroad tracks, where I’d surely meet Amy McHollister following them to the shrinking creek northeast of town. Sure enough, at Hampton Street I noticed a disheveled hoodlum study the movements of her feet in front of her. How long had she gone without sleeping this week?

     It became increasingly hard to tell what mental state she was in. On the path to the creek, she rarely moved her hazel eyes from the ground, her lips tightly sealed in a thin line. But once we’d brush past the scratchy overgrowths and reach the shore, either the tears would trickle down or the lips would curve upward. It was her way, and I respected it.

     I followed beside her, and we walked in silence. Ahead on the path, a bloody mess was strewn about on the dust. Some opossum or something, probably mauled by a mountain lion or beaten to death by some tard who didn’t know better.

     Amy’s eyes were on it, though, and that was enough for me to interject. “Not a good idea,” I said. “We don’t know how long it’s been sitting there.

     Her pale hand crawled over her stomach as we passed. I didn’t blame her. The ache was tearing at my innards, too.

 

     We plopped onto the banks of the creek around dusk, and picked at the dirt until the boredom forced our mouths open.

     “Y’know,” she started, her quiet, soft tones a relief from the crackling madness of silence in my eardrums, “I think I’d like something to change.”

     I looked at her, studied her intently, saw the emptiness in her eyes and the dirt on her face. “Everything already has changed,” I replied flatly, letting my head bounce against a rock on the ground as I leaned back. “So now we have to roll with it.”

     “Why do you keep coming here?” she blurted. She already knew; even though I’d never told her directly, she knew exactly why I followed her into a gradual oblivion.

     I pretended not to hear. My eyes searched the bloodshot sky for planes that’d long since stopped flying. The mosquitos feasted on me in my carelessness. It really didn’t matter now.

     I felt the ground beside me thump against my arm, and her hand found my cheek. “Despite all the troubles,” she said, “I’m glad you’re here to share them with me.” She pulled my head in her direction and pressed her gentle lips against mine. Our first kiss. We stayed that way for a full minute before she pulled away and giggled. Her laugh was a bell chime; it resonated in my very being. For an instant, everything was okay.

     “When it started, people called it a miracle,” she shook her head and gazed back at the creek.

     “It is,” I assured her, spreading a dumb smile on my face and locking our filthy hands together. “It’s a bloody, stupid miracle.”

     We shared a refreshing laugh.

The cure for the human condition had come.

A bit of flashfiction I'd had in my head for awhile. A pretty dark (but also sweet) short story about life after deathlessness.
668 words in total, took a little under 45 minutes of hard concentration.


1. Is there any confusion one can come across when reading this piece?
2. What, specifically, would I need to improve with my writing or this piece?
3. What, specifically, would be my greatest strength with my writing or this piece?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2014-07-24
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle by Sinergy-v2-0 is a clever riff on tropes that never completely loses its source. ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconartbyfieldsofsage:
artbyfieldsofsage Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I so enjoyed this.  I may have to read it again as a night time  story ... and then let my dreams follow the miracle.  Congrats on the DD!
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for reading! :D You're an awesome opossum, friend!
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:iconartbyfieldsofsage:
artbyfieldsofsage Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are very welcome:) (Smile) 
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:iconaerta:
aerta Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014
aaa wow this is great!! 
It's so well written and everything is so vivid, it really caught my attention from the first line!
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for enjoying it! I'm glad you liked it! :)
Reply
:iconbec-junkie:
BEC-JUNKIE Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Professional Artist
((This is awesome!))
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You are awesome, too! And thanks! :)
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, friend. :)
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
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:iconfishybusiness54:
This piece is just...wow. So beautiful.  I'm pulled into your world from the first sentence, and the rest of the story never lets me off the ride until the very end.  Your descriptions are beautiful and vivid, although I think it's your narrative voice that is your biggest strength here.  There's not much setting description in the story, but that doesn't really matter, since your character's voice is so engaging and all encompassing that it seems to create a setting in itself - the bleakness of humanity's existence as expressed through your narrator.  There's so much power behind the words you use and so much life in your characters...and I really feel like no matter what I say, I can't do justice to your story because it just left me with a WOW. I love the fact how, despite society's disintegration and how desolate humanity's existence has become with immortality, you still leave us with a beautiful moment of love - a feeling that regardless of mortality or not, continues to persist. 

In terms of critique, I think I was a little confused at first about what the cure to the "human condition" was.  It didn't immediately hit me that humanity was now immortal, although I was able to get it by the end of the story.  I'm not sure if that was your intention or not, but perhaps making that a little clearer in the beginning would help?  Other than that I have no specific comments to make about this piece.  This sounds very polished, and accomplishes an amazing amount (in terms of story and characterization) given the short length.

Awesome job! I'd love to read more of your stuff and look forward to seeing you post more stories in the future :D 
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much for reading! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I didn't think deathlessness should have been the focus so much as the message conveyed about hope and love. :)
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Now comes the portion where I need to give back to all of you awesome people. Thanks for reading this piece! Almost cried this morning when I woke up from an almost sleepless night to see all of this. You guys are what makes dA awesome!
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:iconlightsonluna:
LightsOnLuna Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The first line was what got me in and it got better from there.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you liked it :). Thank you for reading!
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:iconthebringeroftime:
TheBringerOfTime Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
One word Torchwood
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's what two other people told me today lol.
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:iconthebringeroftime:
TheBringerOfTime Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
XD 
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:iconc-a-harland:
C-A-Harland Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
This is a wonderful piece and you do a great job of transporting the reader into this desolate world.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for taking the time to read it! It really means a lot to me. I'm glad you liked it.
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:iconcypherfox:
Cypherfox Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014
This is a wonderful piece of flash fiction, a phrase I wasn't actually aware of before this. :)  As I read it, it drew me in to think about what would be the point of striving, improving, and doing if we could never die.  What minimal level of existence would we sink to without that motivation.

But then there's another 'human condition', the need to be with others.  Not as universal as death, perhaps, but fairly so.

The story very cleanly drew me through these reflections as an undercurrent of the brief 'day in the life eternity of', and left me feeling contemplative of both conditions.

I do not have any specific recommendations for how to improve your writing here; this is very clean.  I'm not sure I am particularly well able to imagine the locations (the creek, tracks, and town) from the text, but that's okay as they're just background for the human story being told.

The greatest strength in this piece is how you don't explicitly say why society collapsed, or what might pass for motivation after deathlessness.  You don't tell the reader, you let them eke it out of their own mind, as they try to understand why things appeared to have gone to seed so quickly.  The realization is so much more powerful for coming from the reader's own 'brainstorm'.
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:iconriverovstyx:
Riverovstyx Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved this! For a flash fiction it's way better than any short fiction I have ever read, even in my short story college class! The only thing that I thought was a bit cliche' (But this is all in my opinion, it means nothing) was the "bell chime kiss", "blurted out" and "full minute." While I disagree with most about using things like "she spat" "she crooned" "she barked" etc, blurt sounds almost like burp. Like she is burping words because when people blurt words, it's almost like a clucking chicken. 

Bell chime laugh is only cliche because I have read it so many times in all fiction genres and types. Your readers will imagine the right laugh, just so long as they know why she is laughing. Describing laughter is a pain though, because "sweet, high pitched" laughter sounds like some annoying little girl doing scream laughs that only her parents love. So I feel the pain.

A minute long kiss would leave my lips exhausted. Are they making out? How are they kissing? A first time kiss, to be meaningful, should only be a taste ;) Maybe three to five seconds. Leave your man holding his breath, letting it out a little while after the kiss once he remembers to breath. :)

Beautiful and intriguing flash fiction. More more more!!
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:iconthecrippler:
thecrippler Featured By Owner Edited Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Well written although it reminds me of Torchwood: Miracle Day in concept.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, someone else said that, too. I had no preexisting knowledge on anything to do with Torchwood until it was mentioned earlier, ha. :)
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:iconguardiandragon1:
GuardianDragon1 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I found this piece to be both engaging and intriguing. I must admit, I leapt to a vampiric conclusion, despite the fact that it is never made exactly clear as to what type of deathlessness these two are dealing with. Walking about in the sunlight would suggest not, but healing wounds dissipates the idea of thoughtful zombies. Whether or not it was the intent, it works with this piece, and makes it that much more enjoyable to contemplate a world of restless disenchanted vampires. Well written, and well done!
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You pretty well hit it on the head. The intent wasn't really to focus on the source of deathlessness so much as to emphasize the characters' reactions to a world that's falling apart, and how they can still find comfort in each other no matter how bleak the future looks.
Reply
:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And thank you so much for reading it. I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :)
Reply
:iconshadowtailblazelan:
ShadowtailBlazelan Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014
Me: Toothless 
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You - - - >Hug < - - - - Me. Thank you.
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
1. Is there any confusion one can come across when reading this piece?

I got it clearly with some careful reading. 

2. What, specifically, would I need to improve with my writing or this piece?

The deathless thing may be seen as a little vague, but for me I wasn't sure what he kept coming to. Maybe some clarity would help.

3. What, specifically, would be my greatest strength with my writing or this piece?

Your tone and your imagery. 
Reply
:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, thanks for checking out another one of my pieces! Your input is most helpful and appreciated!
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
No problem!
Reply
:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
1. Is there any confusion one can come across when reading this piece?

A little bit, but I managed to get my head around it in the end. 

2. What, specifically, would I need to improve with my writing or this piece?

Hmm... I dunno, I think maybe clarifying the whole deathlessness thing? At first I thought this was about zombies or something, haha.

3. What, specifically, would be my greatest strength with my writing or this piece?

The ideas. It's a genius idea, very clever. 

I guess you got inspired by Torchwood: Miracle Day? ;D
Reply
:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually had to look up what that Torchwood reference was after you posted. I suppose I wasn't ha... :) The similarity is uncanny, though. No, this story actually formed entirely around the first line, because the first line was one of the products of a self-conducted experiment for me to think of attention-grabbing first lines.
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:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
Haha, those experiments usually succeed =P
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And I just thought it was too good of a line not to use in a story... This was one of the weirdest reason's I've ever written anything.
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:iconblackvinyl:
BlackVinyl Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I like this. It reminds me of a short horror story I read not too long ago about the exact opposite. About a new form of being destroying humanity, not deathlessness because death was inevitable. It's so good and so short. =)
Reply
:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, that sounds awesome! Do you have the name of the story? I'd love to check it out for myself! ^^

And thank you for your kind words. :)
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:iconaetherguy:
aetherguy Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is brilliant.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
ty :)
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:iconlissomer:
Lissomer Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
Oh my goodness, this is incredible.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I'm glad you think so. :) Thanks for reading it!
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:iconlissomer:
Lissomer Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Writer
Thanks for writing it!
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:iconlingtina:
LingTina Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This was excellent. I could relate to the characters and the scenery. Keep up the outstanding work.
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:iconthe--inheri7or:
THE--INHERI7OR Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. And thanks for reading. :)
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:iconsleyf:
Sleyf Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Brilliant read, I love the tone of this and the way you described the decaying insanity of it all, but also the hopelessness of a world where no one dies, this is a great read, I think your greatest strength is the way you managed to build this world and make it believable and interesting in such a short piece
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