So for this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge, Chuck Wendig gave a list of 20 subgenres to choose from. Out of the list, you are to choose two of these subgenres and write a short story that mashes up the two subgenres you chose.
So I used a random number generator to pick which two subgenres I’d write about. The number generator gave me sword & sorcery and biopunk. So for this short story, I’ve begun to weave a tale about a young thirteen year-old girl named Liza Fitzgerald born into a dystopian world who goes on a quest to find the missing sword Alexandra, which is supposed to be a sword that can be used to both heal and destroy the world of Terra.
Oh, and just to let you know, this is only the beginning of the story. I haven’t come anywhere close to finishing this piece because I believe what I’ve written has the potential to become a novel I write in the near future.
Liza’s Journal Entry #1: Going on an Adventure
It’s the year 2032, and our country is at the brink of collapse. Most if not all of us are poor, due to lack of health care, and having to constantly work to put what little food is left on the table. The government is controlled by the rich and wealthy, who use all their power and wealth to help themselves, resulting in the eventual collapse of the middle class.
Our country Terra is constantly at war. Our evil tyrant in charge Jafar sends out military troops over to other countries to kidnap and steal their people to put them to work as indentured slaves.
Every day, Terra’s populace increases, but there’s still not a lot of food and places for these people to go, due to the wealth’s need to own everything, yet not feed the population they have under control. So these people who’ve been taken away from their homelands live on the streets, which are nowhere near safe for anyone to live.
Living on the streets is dangerous because people are becoming desperate, stealing from each other in the hopes of being able to make a little extra money. Some have even gone so far as to kill, hoping they can make some money by selling the body parts of their victims.
Even the news and media, who used to be on our side, have completely turned against us. Every day, the media broadcasts live video of our inner city, boasting about how far Terra has come in advancements of technology. Trying to tell us how great our leaders are, that we should be thankful for living in Terra. And because our media has been paid for by our wealthy leaders, they then make bold promises that they’ll lead us out of war, and that those of us who’ve remained loyal to them will be paid for it when the time has come.
We’ve come such a long way in technology, yet we can’t even feed our own people and make sure everyone is safe? Yes, that definitely makes perfect sense.
But despite these terrible conditions, we have one last hope that everything will be alright. In the news many years ago before they’d been paid off, there was talk about this magical sword called Alexandra that would bring this horrible tyranny to an end. Alexandra was created by one of our mad scientists who goes by the name Rafiki in a genetic lab. Word has it that this sword has both the power to heal and destroy, making it an item our tyrant leader really wants to get his greedy hands on.
Luckily for us though, nobody knows where Rafiki has put it. Because on the day the news mentioned Alexandra to the world, Rafiki and the sword vanished, and haven’t been seen ever since. But ever since that day, Jafar has vainly sent his men in search of this sword only for them to return empty handed.
What Jafar doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one looking for Alexandra. When word got around that there might be a way to end this tyranny, the leaders of our city got together to discuss the best way to search for this sword without Jafar knowing about it. Upon reflection, our leaders made the decision to send some of Terra’s children to go in search of the sword upon their thirteenth birthday so that Jafar wouldn’t be suspicious of our city’s inhabitants. But like Jafar, the children who’ve gone before me have returned empty handed.
Hello, my name is Liza Fitzgerald, one of the city’s children. Today, I’ve turned thirteen years-old, and have volunteered myself to go on this journey to find the missing sword. I know the trip will be difficult, that there’s a risk of me not coming back, but I’m not at all afraid.
Ever since I heard about Alexandra and the trip children here take in search of it, I knew this was my destiny. I know I might never find it, since obviously none of the other kids here have, but I have faith that everything will be okay. For I am Liza Fitzgerald, and I’m not at all afraid.
With a loud thud, I closed my journal and stowed it away in my black backpack, which is within arm’s reach of the bottom bunk of the bed I slept on.
It’s currently early morning here, with many more hours left to go before I leave this crammed city to go in search of the sword.
Wow, I can’t believe it, I think to myself. I’m finally thirteen. I’ll finally get the chance to leave this horrible place for a little bit. Get to explore, maybe even see what some of the other cities look like. I know anything is better than my life here anyway, living here so close together it’s almost hard to breathe.
I spend the next couple hours between staring at the one window that looks to the outside world, and looking at the bunk bed ceiling above my head. I try to ignore the smell of decay and death surrounding me as most of my roommates are either sick or haven’t taken baths in weeks. Not too surprising though, considering our water rarely works and Jafar and his wealthy buffoons don’t care about whether we have good hygiene. As long as we can work all day, he could care less if we are physically or mentally stable.
Looking outside the window, all I can see is a downpour of rain washing along the foggy streets. Also not very surprising because it rains here in Terra every day ever since Jafar took over. We rarely get any ray of sunshine. When we do, it’s always when we least expect it or it comes right before another downpour of rain and storms takes over. But as I take this opportunity to look outside, the rain slowly clears away to reveal a ray of sunshine peaking its head around the corner.
As the sun slowly lifts above the clouds, I get myself changed and ready for this journey. I pack what few belongings I own, including the staff that was given to me by my mother to channel my magical abilities.
You see, some of the inhabitants here in Terra have magical abilities, powers they can use to their advantage whenever it suits them. I’m one of those people, born by two parents who use their powers as their second set of armor before going out into the world. Being magic wielders, we are both respected and feared by those around us. But we are also the most protected because we are much harder to kill or injure, even when facing the most dangerous of foes, making us perfect targets for Jafar’s evil purposes.
Which is another good reason for me to leave. I don’t want to be a pawn for whatever else he might have in store for Terra. I’d rather die out there than continue to stay here and be used in whatever way Jafar sees fit. So I better leave now while I have the chance. Before it’s too late.
With my backpack full to the brim and staff in tow, I leave the cramped bedroom, trying the best I can not to wake up my comrades. I tiptoe from the hallway into the kitchen, which is in total darkness.
Then all of a sudden, the blinding kitchen light is turned on, and I hear a loud chorus of “surprise!” shouted by all of my loved ones.
Great. It looks like they’ve thrown me a surprise party.