Monday, March 16, 2015


I pulled a random book off my shelf: I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury (A book I actually have not read all the way through).
I used a random number generator to choose the sentence starting on the eleventh line on the two hundred and seventy-fifth page.
I wrote for ten minutes.  This is the story I got.


“You make it sound like a plague drove them-.”

Elizabeth lost her train of thought as we passed a week-old corpse lying in the gutter.  Rags that were once an expensive business suite hung from the shriveled body. 

I had tried to remove all human remains around the grocery store where I had found the young woman.  The task had wasted over a day, and I had become careless toward the end.

Taking her hand, I guided her away from the body. She was dressed in cut-off jeans and a pink tank top.  I wore a Hazmat suit. 

“There was a plague,” I told her.  “Millions were dead before the cities could be evacuated.”

“Is anyone still alive?”

“Of course, but they are hundreds of miles from here.”

“What about me?  Do you have another one of those suits?”

I snorted.  “You’re the last person in the world who needs one.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’ll see.  Do you remember anything at all?”

“Not really.  I was in the grocery store with my mom when I bumped into this man and suddenly people were screaming and he was puking up red.  Things got fuzzy and I saw… It must have been a dream.  When I woke up I was still in the store and you were there….”

We rounded a corner, and before us stood the first living thing we had encountered since leaving the store. 

The white horse approached us from the other side of the street.  It had a starved, skeletal body and kept its muzzle low to the ground.

“Oh, baby…”  Elizabeth moaned.  “She looks so sick.”

“She’s fine.  She’s in her natural environment.”

The horse whinnied and nuzzled Elizabeth.  The woman kissed the animal’s nose.  “Hey there beautiful.”

“I’m glad you like her.  She belongs to you.”

Elizabeth continued to pet the horse, completely unaware of the three other figures sitting behind us on horses of their own.

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