The Possibilities Are Endless

In Fiction on October 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

The Possibilities Are Endless

Thousands of papers, tiny strips the size of fortune cookie fortunes, whirled about him in a shrieking vortex — nipping, biting, and opening his skin, driving him to a hopeless delirium.

“You must choose, Mr. Burgess, or eventually you will bleed to death,” the voice from the loudspeaker said.

George didn’t know if that was true, or if the voice had even been real (he had lost a lot of blood, after all) but after thirteen hours he had grown almost too weak to stand.

He reached out, wincing as his palm was stung again and again, and finally closed his hand on a strip.

The air went still, the swirling papers fell softly to the floor, and for the three hundred and sixty fifth time George opened his hand to read: ‘Please Try Again.’

This story is my response to Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction. In honor of the one year anniversary (Happy Birthday, FSF!) I went back and based my story on the original prompt from all those weeks ago: delirium. Head over to Lillie’s blog to read the others, and leave your comments, criticism and links below!

My Last FSF Story: Dead Man Walking

  1. I just had a Kafka moment there. Really nasty, and very well done.


  2. Frightening! A well written post for #5SF birthday – delirium indeed 🙂

  3. Wow, Brian. This is one of those truly terrifying stories in that it seems like it shouldn’t be scary but actually is. I hope it’s all a dream and he wakes up soon!

  4. I loved the first part and thought it was incredibly intense, but then the conclusion came…Wham! Wow! Great writing!

  5. A truly scary story.
    Loved the last line – highlighted the futility of his task so simply yet so vividly.
    Thanks for a great read.

  6. It reminded me of a film (which typically I can’t remember the name of) – not the words but the concept – the futility – the damned if you do/damned if you don’t concept – great writing!

  7. I wonder if the deck is stacked against him? Do all of the slips of cutting paper say the same thing (except maybe one) or has he the luck of getting the same one 365 times? Creepy and thought provoking. A great job as usual!

  8. This is great, Really “Theatre of Cruelty” stuff. Awful and brilliant. Bravo.

  9. I wondered the same as Andy…do they all say the same thing? Definitely a nightmare!

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