*Originally Published 1/12/15*

*Good Day! Today’s addition to, 40,000 A Rough Draftis 971 words, written in 48 minutes! Before you get on to the reading remember they can’t all be winners. I had a tough time getting going this morning and ended up wasting 15 minutes writing three different opening scenes then promptly deleting them. The final story is okay, but I wish I would have been able to get going a little sooner and not have to rush as much.

On the other side of that, I managed to bang out 971 words in 48 minutes, the whole writing session only took 1 hour 3 minutes! Kinda proud of that, cause after the first few minutes I wasn’t sure if I would make the word count. I’m also going to start logging the stats underneath the title for how long the whole process took. 

Anyway enjoy and as usual feel free to leave any thoughts you may have on the comment board. Have a good week.*


Deus Ex Machina

Word Count: 971

Writing: 1 hr 3 min

Editing: 21 min

Total Time: 1 hr 24 min


“I see him in my head sometimes. Alone, standing on a hill. Or maybe it's me, I'm not even sure I can tell the difference anymore. Hell, you're the first person I've talked to in more years than I can count.” A gust of wind kicked up leaves and scared the fire under the logs. “I've always assumed I was the last one. A man alone,” he paused staring deeply into the fire. The flames danced light pink and yellow on his long golden hair. “And him. Of course him.”

“How old are you son?” The old man asked, his voice crackling in unison with the fire. He stroked his long beard slowly, entranced with the man across the clearing.

“No real way of telling. I stopped wondering about time altogether long, long, ago.” His voice was still young and strong. Though there was a knowledge that lay heavily on his words. A knowledge one can only attain after a great many years of learning.

“Yes, yes I can see that,” the old man said more to himself than to the other man.

“How have you survived old man? How has he not come for you the way he has for every other living thing that used to walk on this planet?” The man finally took his eyes from the fire. “I found you simply wandering around, as if you were out for an evening stroll. Surely that is not how you have protected yourself for this long.”

The old man smirked invisibly under his long beard.

“I've just been lucky I suppose.” The blonde man's eyes returned to the fire. A breeze rustled leaves above them and ash rose from the burning wood while both men sat silent.

“Very well,” said the blonde man finally. “But he will come for you. You must know that? He comes for everyone eventually. My time will come as well, but I intend to keep it at bay as long as possible.” The old man continued to smirk as he stroked his long beard.

“Is that so?” He asked, more fascinated with the man across the fire with every passing word.

“It is indeed,” he said looking at the old man now, eyes daggers of seriousness. “I have watched first hand, and from afar, as he murdered entire cities. They didn't know it was coming, not a single one. He's not anyone you would ever expect. Just a small, regular looking man. At first. Then he starts the killing. Devouring each and every soul, growing more powerful with one death at a time.

I'm sure he's the Devil, I simply don't see any other explanation. But not the traditional Devil from the Bible,” he paused and wrinkled his brow. “An old man like you must be familiar with the Bible right?” He asked, suddenly realizing the last survivor's he'd met could barely speak let alone read or write.

“I am,” said the old man, his invisible smirk now an invisible smile.

“I thought so. Anyway, as I was saying. I don't think he is the traditional Devil in the sense of commanding hordes of demons, and running hell. That would mean that I believe in a heaven, and I'm sorry if I offend you sir, but I can't believe that. If there was a heaven than I would hate to see what torture happens there. That God let one man exterminate life on an entire planet without so much as lifting a finger.” The blonde man stopped speaking again and the two simply looked at each other. The flames were dimming and if they intended on keeping the fire going it would need more fuel soon.

“So you run then? That's your life?” The old man was almost too giddy to sit still, and his hand moved faster through the long, coarse hairs of his beard.

“What else is there? Anyone who has even thought about taking him on has been killed. For years I have watched life on Earth disappear little by little. Once the humans were gone he started in on the animals, wiping them out species by species. There is nothing but running. I am simply lucky he has no taste for plant life or I would have starved to death eons ago. And unless you intend to share the secret to your own longevity then when I wake up tomorrow; I will run.” The blonde man realized he was almost yelling and his breathing was fast and heavy. The flames illuminated his face in a series of ancient shadows, and the old man could see the wrinkle of anger over his eyes.

The old man stopped stroking his beard and chuckled lightly. Then again a little louder, and again, louder still, and again, and again. Until finally he was laughing so hard his body rocked and he clapped his hands.

“What exactly do you find so funny old man?” The blonde man asked, yelling so he could be heard over the bellowing laughter. The blonde man stood ready to spring on the man across the fire when the laughing stopped.

In a flash the old man was on his feet, staring the blonde man in the eyes from across the fire.

“For as long as we have been sitting here you still haven't realized. I've been listening to you yammer on about God and the Devil, hoping and waiting for you to put it together.” The old man's voice no longer crackled, it flowed equally as smooth as the blonde man's own. “But it seems, even after all this time, you were right. They never do see it coming.” The young man's eyes widened with a hopeless knowledge as the devil sprung across the fire.

 


 


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    40,000: A Rough Draft

    Welcome to my collection of forty Scifi, Horror, and Fantasy short stories. Every Wednesday during the year 2015, I wrote a new one thousand-word short story in one hour, gave myself thirty minutes to edit, then published it here. 

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