This story landed me 2nd place in my group, and a spot in the top 125 out of over 6000 writers, to compete in the third and final round of the 2021, NYC Midnight 250 word micro-fiction challenge!
Genre. Action. Word.
Sci-Fi. Pushing someone into a swimming pool. Lock.
24 hours. Write!
Backyard pools. Scenes for summertime bliss and play, no place for a homicide detective to be spending an evening.
“Bot’s not showing anything unexpected, boss,” Fong said while swiping gestures through his glasses, vector graphics displayed in-lens allowing him control of the airborne drone. At their feet, the water writhed with the motion of something living. A reflective swirling metallic sheen blocking light from below its surface. Detective Woo reminisced, the ghost of his baby brother fooling around poolside after dark. A slip. A fall. A drowning.
Not his fault, the psychiatrist would continue to say.
“No word from the owners?”
“No responses yet, boss.”
“The house closed up?”
“Lock and key.”
Woo pulled a coin from his pocket, tossed it at the pool. It bounced, coming to rest on the tile. He dragged a wooden deck chair to the pool’s edge. “Help me lift this.” Together they hurled it at the reflective layer. The surface protection glitched, momentarily vanishing then reappearing, giving a brief glance at a headless body drifting beneath the water, simultaneously cleaving the chair in two. One half remained below.
A uniformed officer approached from the home’s rear glass doors. “There’s a severed head visible on the kitchen counter. Scanned and ran it through Facial Recog and got a hit. It’s the home owner’s son.”
Pushed their own child into a swimming pool with an active security layer. Not my fault, Woo reminded himself, picking up his coin, his brother’s memory no longer distant.
Lucien Telford 2021
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Short Fiction Writings
These are a collection of short stories, flash fiction, and micro fiction I've written largely for NYC Midnight, where I made the final round of the 250 word micro fiction challenge 2021, beating out more than 6000 other writers to compete for cash prizes against 124 other writers. I did not place with my final entry.