Fiction

Reaching #AtoZChallenge #SixMonths #ZombieBlogHop

16 Jun , 2019  

Six months into 2019 and I can’t even remember where I hid my resolve for safekeeping, I thought. I began clawing, frantically, through the contents of my shoulder bag. Jerry would kill me if I’d lost another pencomm, already. Two, just this month! Pricey ones, too. Running my index finger along an unfamiliar, serrated edge of dull metal, I paused to peer into my purse – “The Abyss,” Jerry called it – and pulled out a small bit of cheap brass shaped like a key.

It wasn’t mine.

I had seen keys in the curio shop, so I knew what it was. But why was this small relic lying at the bottom of my bag? No one used keys, anymore. Everything opened with a handplate, these days. If you were supposed to enter, it let you. If not, tough luck. Biometric devices had replaced the illusory security of locks and keys long before I was born. I hadn’t seen a lock outside the Museum of Santa Clara, so a key was not of much value to anyone. Some people liked to decorate with them, but I’d never understood why. The oddest part was, it looked…new. I just sat there, pondering.

Jerry must be wondering, by now, if I’d stood him up. We’d had plans, and I was running late.


Six months into 2019 and I felt as though I was already six months behind. I’d come out to the park, as I did most Wednesdays, to enjoy a peaceful, sack lunch and gather my thoughts before the afternoon staff meeting. Time to get my game face on. I reached into my bag for a bright, plummy lipstick to make me look less cadaverous. Maybe I could pass the dark circles around my eyes off as that trendy, “smokey” look, but not with lips that looked fresh from a morgue fridge. As I pulled out my lipliner, or what I thought was my lipliner, I stared for a moment, perplexed. That’s not lipliner, I muttered. But what the hell was it? It looked a bit like a pen, but there was only a convex bit of glass where the point should be.

Just then, the slender cylinder began to emit a low, strangely pleasant, hum. Turning it in my fingers, as one might twirl a pen, I felt the delicate click of a button, and the humming stopped. “Hey!” I heard a man’s voice, close enough to make me jump out of my skin. “Where have you been? I’ve been trying to reach you for the past hour!”

“What?” I whirled around, but there was no one nearby.

“We had plans – for tonight, remember?”

The “pen” was talking to me. I peered into the barrel of the thing. “Ouch!” I yelped. A bright flash of light had blinded me for a second, and I’d dropped the thing. As I bent to pick it up, I noticed the tiny man staring back at me, hands on his hips, looking bemused, and comically angry.

“Who the hell are you?” we gasped, in unison.


To be continued…


I received this tag from Parul at Happiness and Food, and I am passing it on to Shilpa at A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose!

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41 Responses

  1. Now you’ve got me wondering about who the hell he was, and wanting to read the back story!

  2. Damyanti says:

    Not fair, Holly. Don’t keep us hanging–come on!! πŸ˜€

  3. […] received this tag from Holly and I am passing this on to […]

  4. Unishta says:

    Like everyone else, you’ve got me thinking too. But is the pencomm real or pretend ( as my granddaughter would ask me? Sorry, but I get so confused with what is real and what is not these days. Somethings in real life are so strange and somethings in the make-believe world are so realistic.

  5. Shilpa Garg says:

    Wow! That’s an intriguing and interesting start to a story!! Looking forward to the next part!! πŸ™‚

  6. Balaka Basu says:

    I had a smile on my face while reading this post. Looking forward to the next part Holly.

  7. Parul Thakur says:

    That is so cool! And you were right. I would not have guessed this in my wildest imagination πŸ™ˆ
    Looking forward to reading more.
    Parul Thakur recently posted…25 things I loved over the last six monthsMy Profile

    • LOL – I just didn’t want to do the half year retrospective. Privately, it’s good to reassess. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to read it, though, any more than I wanted to WRITE it! πŸ˜€

      The story’s been kicking around in my brain for a while. An offhand comment by another friend, on Facebook, gave me the “hook” I needed, and with her permission I stole it. There’s another, similar, story that I’m wanting to write, and I may end up making an anthology of them.
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Reaching #AtoZChallenge #SixMonths #ZombieBlogHopMy Profile

    • BTW, the next installment goes live in about 20 minutes.

  8. Shinjini says:

    Now I’m curious! Who was the man? And is this one of those many worlds/time travel stories? Oooh! I’m intrigued!
    Shinjini recently posted…Art journal tutorial: how to paint a mixed media portraitMy Profile

  9. Shalini says:

    Ah, you’ve got me thinking! I will check out the previous and next part too πŸ™‚

  10. I’m really curious. I enjoyed reading this.
    Reema D’souza recently posted…5 lessons that 2019 has taught me so farMy Profile

  11. Vinitha says:

    What an intriguing story, Holly! I want to know what happens next. Will read the rest. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! Hope I can keep you reading through the end! (I have no idea when that will be. As I’ve been discussing with my friend Alicia, I’m a “pantser” – making it up as I go. I’m fascinated by the “plotters” of the world, who can outline and do character sheets and make a roadmap to follow, but it’s not my natural way of telling stories. So odd, even to me!

  12. Aesha Shah says:

    Hopping to the next part right away. I am glad I read this today so I didn’t have to wait for a day to know what happens next.

  13. Shilpa Gupte says:

    What happens next??? Pray, tell us fast, Holly!
    I love reading such ‘futuristic’ kinda stories or watching such films. I always wonder how life will be 50 years from now. Will it be as they portray in films?
    Waiting for the next part.

  14. What happens next? What happens next?

  15. I know who was that? Alien. Alien, it was. And that pen wasn’t a pen, it was an instrument from the Men In Black guys trying to erase the woman’s memory. Without a doubt, six months from now she will still be saying the same thing – ‘I am six months behind.’
    I loved the storytelling here πŸ™‚
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…When the calling comes… #ZombieBlogHopMy Profile

    • LOL, you do realize that according to my TOS, all ideas freely given in comments are mine too steal?

      But for that, I’ll give you two insider facts: not an alien, and not a memory eraser. Also, if it’s a pen, it’s a very bad pen. It has no ink!

  16. Apeksha Rao says:

    More please! I wanna know who the tiny guy is. Very well written.

  17. Anagha Yatin says:

    Wow! Seems to be a futuristic SCiFi. Oh man… I am hooked. Cant wait to see how it unfolds, Holly.

  18. That’s amazing.but, stranger coming out of pen is a bit scary. Would love to read the next part.

  19. This piece of fiction is really intriguing. I want to read the other stories related to it. Wish you loads of luck for the coming years.

  20. Looking forward to more of this. That little man sounds creepy!!!
    Magical Mystical Mimi recently posted…THE EARLY BIRDMy Profile

  21. Debbie D. says:

    Zombie Bloghop? Sounds intriguing as does the story! There must be more, yes? I’ll be sure to browse around and check.
    Debbie D. recently posted…THE HISTORY OF WINEMy Profile

  22. Gilly says:

    Wow – where can I get one of those pens! πŸ˜€ I’d like a little man to sit on my desk and discuss ideas with me while I’m working. That would be so cool. Can’t wait for the next part.
    Gilly recently posted…Thomas Crapper – The Name That Launched a Thousand S***s (you fill in the blank!)My Profile

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