The Fence

So, in the absence of my normal weekly story, I’ve decided to post a different single-shot story that I wrote for class a couple weeks ago. It had some specific limitations, including having to be written in the present tense (ugh) and exactly one page. Anyway, enjoy. Or don’t, up to you…

Lonely and bored, Ainsley was always lonely and bored. As he sits on the back step, he sees a squirrel climbing a tree on the other side of the fence. He sighs, wishing he could go play in the woods and find a friend to play with. Maybe a turtle or a frog, anything really. But the fence, the fence stands tall in defiance of this desire. Eight feet of dark pine separating him from everything to be found outside.

Walking inside the house, he finds his mom sleeping on the couch with the TV on. He tiptoes over to the front door, but the lock denies him escape. Returning to the yard, he glares at the fence with every ounce of his ferocity. He has tried climbing it many times, but the smooth wood offers no footing. But past failure does not discourage him from trying again. He goes to the one place where a knot in the wood provides some small amount of grip, and struggles with all his might. Still the fence defies him.

Frustrated, Ainsley vents his anger into his ball, kicking it across the yard. It bounces off the fence and returns to hit him in the head. With the blow comes inspiration, and he picks himself up to run inside. Returning with an extension cord, he stabs the end into the foam sphere, which he then kicks with all his might. The ball soars over the fence with the cord trailing behind, and again the child begins to climb. With the cord and the knot to help, he gets his hands on the top of the fence, and tries to pull himself upward. He only gets far enough to get a glimpse of the other side before his strength fails him. Hanging there for a few moments, he waits for his strength to return. Then every muscle in his body strains to get him up, and this time he makes it. Carefully dropping down, he sets off in search of adventure.

‘Till later


Dust: Part 51

The Start
Previous Part

“Wow, I really do glow…” Keegan said as they viewed both pieces of footage side by side on Rick’s laptop.

“Yeah,” agreed Rick. “Doesn’t it look weird?”

“So it takes about twelve seconds to dissipate entirely, then about thirty five before I start coming together again in the other room.”

“Which is even weirder looking.”

“Then it takes about seven seconds before I, uh, fully reconstruct.”

“Plus a couple seconds of blank staring.”

“So how do you think the time between dissipation and reconstruction scales with distance? It can’t be linear or I would’ve taken hours to get here from home…”

“But it only takes like fifteen minutes to walk here.”

“Right, but it takes five seconds to walk from the living room to the kitchen, and yet this takes more than thirty.”
Keegan played the videos again. “Aw shoot!” he exclaimed, as he stood up and ran into the living room.

“What is it?” Rick asked, following.
Keegan entered the room, squatted down, and looked at the floor.

“Sorry about your carpet, I forgot that I singe things…”

Looking at the small mark where Keegan had stood for the test, Rick shrugged. “It isn’t that bad. Trust me, I’ve done worse things to this carpet.”

“Well I still ought to be more careful…”

“Anyway, when are you gonna start fighting crime and stuff?”

Keegan stared at him for a few seconds then rolled his eyes.

“What? You could totally do it, and now with the teleporting thing you’re totally safe from getting followed back to your secret identity after you’re done.”

“Can you bring my camera to work tomorrow?” Keegan stood up again, stepped onto the singed bit of carpet, and started to glow. “I’d rather not try bringing it with me, might break it…”


“Thanks, see you later.”

Next Part (Due ???)

So… I’m thinking of taking a vacation/figure-out-where-I’m-going-with-this break. I’m really starting to feel like I’m stretching this out farther than I should be without having a plan, and stagnation is a real risk. So this is the end of year one, year two will start at an as of yet undetermined time.

‘Till later


Dust: Part 50

The Start
Previous Part

“So I was just fine all day, other than a headache I had around noon, but I think that was just a bit of dehydration…” Keegan said over chat after work. “How are things on your end?”

“They were just acting like nothing happened,” replied Tamaya. “I asked a couple people if anything happened over the weekend and they said there was nothing.”

“So what does that mean for me?” Keegan asked.

“I really don’t know,” she admitted. “As far as I could see they are still waiting for you to show up on a missing person report.”

“It could just be that they’re hiding things from you…” offered Rick.

“It could,” Tamaya agreed. “I just don’t know.”

“Well I’m going to test some things. Rick, do you still have my camera? I forgot to ask for it back after the roof thing…”

“I have it?”

“I think so, didn’t you offer to carry it after you caused that activation?”

“Oh shoot, that’s right. I’ll look for it.”

“Okay, I’ll meet you at your place.”

“Have fun,” Tamaya said. “And let me know what you find out.”

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Dust: Part 49

The Start
Previous Part

Day 19: Subject has escaped containment by blocking the sedative and triggering an activation. Given my analysis of the symptoms he was experiencing he is no longer in need of constant sedation, either he is dead by now or he has overcome the issues. It won’t be long before I know which it is. As such, I will be backing off, keeping an eye on the experiment from a distance. By giving the subject some breathing room hopefully he will explore applications neither the agency nor I ever would have considered.

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Dust: Part 48

The Start
Previous Part

When he finished his moment of staring blankly into space, Keegan gave a little victory shout and raised his fists in the air.

“Yeah! I can’t believe that worked!”

He had made it out of the glass box and into his house. He immediately went to his computer to tell Rick and Tamaya, but when he pressed the power button nothing happened. Looking behind the case, he saw that all the cords had been unplugged.

“What the…”

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Dust: Part 47

The Start
Previous Part

“Let’s see…” Keegan said to himself as he began planning his escape, “First I suppose I should figure out how to keep the sedative from kicking in.”

Glancing around as much as the tight space allowed, he noticed two tubes ending in holes in the corners of the box closest to his head.

“So it’s an inhaled drug,” he observed. “I mean, it kinda had to be, considering I don’t have any tubes or anything poking into me…”

He shifted around some more, trying to locate the means by which the device detected his temperature, but he found none.

“Okay, so I guess my best bet is to block those holes…”

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Dust: Part 46

The Start
Previous Part

For Keegan, life became like a constant bad night when you can’t stay asleep. Repeatedly he would wake up to the dark room, lie still for what seemed like hours, then the burning headache would return and ravage him until the machine kicked in and returned his sleep. He had no way to track the passage of time, and while it felt like days he knew better than to trust that feeling.

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