“Drifter” just took one of the runner-up spots in the June WeBook Monthly Challenge!
The stories were bound by the very unique guidelines of Come to Your Senses. This meant that the senses of taste, touch and smell were the only senses permitted. Sight and sound were not allowed to tell the story.
I Hope You Enjoy It
A very special thanks goes out to all of the WeBook members who helped me write and shape this story!
And… check out WeBook in general. It is a place where writers can learn to hone their craft and readers can help writers craft better stories.
The guidelines in themselves presented a challenge, but the winner of the contest, Alina, rose to the occasion and wrote one of the best flash-fiction stories I’ve read to date. Don’t miss out on her story… A Friend Like No Other
I like to float. I drift. It’s what I do. I float along, searching for you. The world around me swirls and flows, and I drift along. I know you are out there, drifting too. There is no light, no dark, only us. You are my purpose, my one and only goal, and I am very patient. A nudge from another pushes me off course, but a quick series of contractions is all I need to correct my path. I am guided by nothing more than the internal need to find you.
I feel the warmth from above, penetrating deep into my world, caressing me every so slightly with a soft, radiant heat. The warmth translates to more energy for me, a much needed boost to my current, lethargic state. I have to get out in front of the pack, if I’m to find you before the others. I can sense you. I detect the presence of your passing all over my body, and it spurs me on incessantly. You are close.
I like to float, and I like to play our game: a drawn out version of cat and mouse, relying purely on chance. Our meeting must be destiny. How else can we explain the insurmountable odds against the two of us crossing paths in such a large expanse of world? We are connected by a larger web, one which cannot be seen or sensed, though it is there just the same. We are intertwined, you and I, yet we have never met. Your existence calls to me. You are burned into the very fabric of my being, and I’ve searched for you since the day I was born.
I let my arms drape low in anticipation. I know that I’m too early, but I cannot resist the overwhelming commands shouting at me from within. They are undeniable. My contractions quicken as I revel in the fact that traces of your scent are wafting in to me from every direction, though the concentrated stream of chemical signatures is what I follow. My body realizes that this is just another obstacle to overcome, a ruse to be avoided, if the real prize is to be had. I don’t have to think about it, my body moves in response to the information flowing in from outside, and the internal commands written into my genes.
The competition is fierce, as the tell-tale turbulence of combat washes pressure waves all around and over me, confirming the conflicts erupting within the group. I speed my pace to flee the melee, my needs and instincts relentlessly driving me on. Stopping to fight will only put you further ahead of me, and I can tell that you are very close now.
Something touches one of my arms, then begins shaking and writhing violently, so much so that I am in fear of losing the appendage. I act fast, flexing my arms and contracting my body as fast and as hard as I can. I twist, writhe and spin my body in a circular motion, all the while the thrashing from below continues. I know it’s you down there, I can tell. Each thrash of your body, every desperate breath and the vibration of your elevated heart rate are written into my genes. My body responds in turn to each of your actions, following a script laid out billions of years in the past.
I flex again, extending even more tendrils of hollow tubing, tipped with harpoons, into your soft body. The poison flows freely, and I can feel you slowing. I can feel your heartbeat decreasing in the number of beats, as well as the strength of those beats. Your breathing is shallow and labored. It won’t be long now.
You resist and fight valiantly, but it is all for naught. We are destined to be together, you and I. The more you move and try to escape, the more you tangle yourself in to the web of death that is my collection of arms. Your flailing fades to sporadic spasms, as the last of your efforts are slowly and inevitably expended. I slowly begin to retract my arms, pulling you in closer to me, where we will have our final embrace.
We are drifters, you and I, and now we have found each other. Of all the seemingly random paths the two of us could have taken, fate has made our paths to converge. It must be destiny. As you lay still, though not completely lifeless in my arms, I continue to reel you in. It’s almost over. The anticipation of your arrival is nearly overwhelming. Something touches another arm and starts to writhe. It’s you again, isn’t it? I can feel you all around me now.
I will eat well today.
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