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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Maine Character on February 20, 2010
"Somethng you might call "strange", this is a short story about a man who lives in the future world of chaos, finds books the only comfort."

A Futile End

The rain came down cold, and harsh as it splashed violently off the rooftops.

The night was black, the moon nor the sun shined anymore.

The world had always tried to keep it economy friendly, when in reality, they forgot about how war would affect the planet.

Now a black smoke hazes over every dark city in the country.

The streets are crime ridden with the foulest of criminals.

Dark, hung over buildings are suffocated in spray paint, but it is usually too dark to tell what they say.

A man sits in his library, with his books stacked high on shelves that he has no motivation to reach for anymore.

Nobody cares for literature anymore, and he cares for nothing else.

His kitchen is bare, as well as his living room, which has a black and white T.V. in front of his tattered and worn green couch.

His face is scruffy from too many lazy days without a shave, but his hair is slicked nicely back.

He smokes a cigarette, and he lets the smoke drown his face as he peers into his thick, heavy books.

He wears a red dress shirt, and black jeans.

He does not wear any jewelry, for he knows that he will be mugged as soon as he leaves the safety of his home.

He always keeps twenty dollars in his wallet however, so that the muggers don't get mad at him for not having money and kill him.

Usually, on a normal day, he would just sit in his dying leather chair, and read for the whole day without even remembering to eat or drink.

However, this is not an ordinary day.

A knock at the door startles him while he studies, and putting himself together, he walks to the door, and looks through the peep hole.

A bald man with nothing but a long gray coat on, stands there, begging to come in.

Taking a kitchen knife, and holding it behind his back, he unlocks the door and lets the guy in.

He is drenched in water from outside, and he coughs a little at the smell of the cigarette smoke in his house.

Sitting down in a rickety old bar stool he has in the kitchen, the bald man begins to speak with urgency.

"Are you Walter Pettycock?"

"Yes, " replied Walter, "Who are you?"

The man looks around the room surrounded in peeling green wallpaper.

"What year is it?"

Walter doesn't answer, and the man asks again, more annoyed.

"What year is it?!"

"2030" Walter says getting ready to strike his knife at him like a scorpion.

"Good," The man says, looking around the apartment shaking.

Walter notices that the man is completely naked underneath the gray coat, and offers him some clothes.

The man thanks him gleefully, and starts to head into his bathroom.

"Wait just a minute!" Walter calls out. "You're not going into my bathroom ya' crackhead, go into the living room to change!"

After changing into a dark blue sweatshirt and some jeans, the man comes back out and thanks him, but he has a message.

"Well then, out with it!" Cries Walter.

"Very well." The man says "But your not going to believe me."

"Let me guess, your from the future, right?" Walter interupts.

The man blinks and is speechless, but he manages to regain control of himself and reply.

"That's exactly it." The man said. "How did you . . ."

"I watch a lot of movies" Said Walter, interupting again.

"Ever see Twelve Monkeys? The Terminator? Back to the Future?"

The man becomes grim.

"I am from the year 2050, we do not have television. There is going to be another war, but this will be a war attacking our entertainment. Think of it as a form of physiological warfare."

Walter becomes silent, then reacts. "Why are you here?"

The man replies quickly, as though he's memorized what he says. "I am here to warn you about the new library that they are going to make in town."

Before Walter interupts again, the man puts his hand up, and continues.

"They are going to ask you to be the head librarian, but you need to be strong and say no. If you accept, the library will grow, and grow until during the war, the world's smartest minds will collect there, and it will be bombed.

On exactly September 12th, 2033, you will all be killed, and the last hope for our country will perish, and the other countries will gain the upperhand.

"You speak of other countries. What countries will attack us?"

The bald man is sol em as he is handed some tea from Walter.

China, North Korea, and japan are all going to attack our entertainment, and being Americans, you won't know how to survive with a nationwide blackout, and a broken mailing system.

All stadiums will be bombed, and all professional sports players, actors, and movie directors and producers will be assassinated.

The nation will be left with only your library, and the whole country will depend on it for some source of entertainment by actually reading books.

It will attract smart men who will show you how to win the war, but it will be in vein if the bomb goes off.

"Where will the bomb go off?"

It will be planted around the foundation, and it will colapse into a ball of fire.

"So I'll double the guard around the foundations." Walter said with simplicity in his voice.

"It's no use, the bald man said, if you double the guard, they will be corrupt, as well as any other security you have."

Walter was taken back by this, but wondered quickly to himself why he was so surprised in this world.

Before the man continued, Walter asked his name. If he is going to refer to someone who told him these things, he might as well have a name.

"I am 09049." The man said in a mellow tone.

"090. . .what?!"

"I was created in a lab Mr. Pettycock, they don't name us in there, they simply give us numbers. A normal Human can't go through the time machine, it will kill them. Scientists found that it wasn't the machine, but it was the things going through them. So they created me along with other 'hybrids' to go back in time. That is our purpose."

"Why haven't I heard of your kind before?" Walter asked.

"Because we are a secret kind, we don't go around saying it to the world because you will think of us as what you call 'nutcases'."

"Wait a minute," Walter said slowing down to think.

"Who have you sent to warn?"

"We've warned politicians, young children who are to become world famous warriors, some actors and actresses who make the biggest differences in the war."

"Then why are we at war, and how do you know if it really worked?" Walter asked, puzzled.

"Because depending on if they heed our warnings or not, will be in my memory, every time somebody changes an outcome, I grow up with a different memory. Am I making myself clear?"

". . . No."

"Let me explain in more detail. If an actor, like. . . Kenau Reeves is assassinated, then I would remember it as Keanu Reeves being assassinated, but if he heed our warnings, then he is not assassinated, giving me the memory of him escaping his assassination.

"Does he live make it thought the assassination?"

"Yes, but he is later shot in his home."

Walter takes in all of this heavily, but he now understands.

"If I chose not to agree to this library, then who takes my place?"

"A man named John Ross takes the Library mr. . ." The man suddenly looked puzzled.

"You look like that man who turned down the library." Said the man.

Walter looked at him with uneasy eyes, I suppose I turned it down then.

Narrowing himself on the man, he speaks to him.

"Sir, what happened to the library?"

The man looked back up. Because you didn't accept the offer, the library went out of business. Now thanks to you, we lost the war!"

"What did I do?"

"Because the Library went out of business, our world leaders did not have a place to gather, their knowledge, and plan the victory to the war! Walter Pettycock, if you do not accept the offer, we will lose the future war!"

The man seemed hot tempered, and before walking out of his apartment, Walter called out to him.

"Wait! Where are you going?!"

The man looked back at Walter daring him to do anything about it.

"I have been programed to kill myself after giving a message." With that, he slammed the door shut, leaving Walter in awkward silence.

He was not sure what to do, it was futile to lose.

He'd rather go down with a bang anyways. He would accept the offer.

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