Day 1: New Friends

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-01


Welcome to Fyretober! For the next month I will be bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!. Today begins day one: New Neighbors.

Enjoy my first entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Pheonix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Franlin sighed relieved when the pod’s door swept open. Tarin rushed red and wheezing from having run. She glanced at the clock. “You shouldn’t have taken the time to shut the experiments down. You cut that too close.”

“I know. I know.” He waved away her concern, slammed the pod door closed, locked it sealed. “But if I hadn’t then–”

“It would most likely be someone else’s problem.”

Tarin trembled as he stepped from the door. Franlin tucked her hands behind her back to conceal her own jitters before he faced her.

No one enjoyed moving day. Ever. But the lottery went on, everyone moved whether they willed it or not. Being caught away from home pod’s spelled disaster today. As did messes.

Franlin turned and plucked their son from his highchair she set him in to calm him. Not even two yet and he already experienced nerves with moving day. She glanced at the handful of cereal scattered over the chair’s tray.

She should sweep the mess up and deposit it in the recycler. The pod’s rearrangement would shake everything abruptly. Anything left lying about would go flying. She glanced at the clock again. No time. She didn’t want to go flying.

Tarin grabbed the chair as Franlin lowered the secured seats from the wall and strapped their son into the toddler seat. “Is there anything else we need to do?” Tarin asked as she heard the highchair’s locked click closed.

Franlin shook her head and seated herself. She yanked out her own harness and secured herself. “Nothing we’ve time for.” She glanced about the pod, noting the cereal on the floor. Nothing they had time for, she reminded herself forcefully.

Tarin darted for his own seat as the alarm blared throughout the complex. A metal click clack shook the pod as the docking clamps released. The Mag-gravs jerked the pod off the deck, and they chamber rocked slightly.

The move had begun.

Franlin squeezed her eyes closed. She’d been through countless moving days in her life. Well, she could count. They happened twice a year like clockwork. The pods were crammed into the station’s hull where only a few accessed the outer wall. To try and make the distribution fair, the pods rearranged every six months.

An abrupt process that if you were foolish enough to be caught out during meant nearly certain separation from your family. When the pods settled, sometime different sectors would be arranged.

Sometimes seemed far too often. There was no guarantee you could reach your old home again. She hoped this time she wouldn’t have to change professions again. Or wind up near the recycling plant.

The hum built into a rumble as the mag-gravs surged into high gear. The pod jerked forward, and Franlin reached to cup her son’s head in her hands. His harness should hold his head relatively still, but she worried.

The pod jerked sideways. Forward. Once even backward. Franlin closed her eyes, hoping it ended soon.

The rearrangement was assigned by lottery. Everyone had equal chance for a prime location. Or so they said. Franlin doubted that as well. She had yet to experience a move she enjoyed.

Tarin screamed beside her. Opening her eyes, Franlin peered at her husband. He held a hand cupped over his eye. “Dang cereal.”

Franlin winced as guilt flitted through her. But she had done everything she could, and he’d been late. They could have done more if he’d been on time.

The pod shuddered jerking another direction. Besides, hopefully not much longer, they’d settle, and they could get help.

More shudders. More clunks. More rapid direction changes. The pod dropped down, and Franlin heard the clamps reengage.

The sirens sounded marking the rearrangement’s end.

Franlin released her restraints and her son’s. She lifted him from his seat and rested him cooing on her hip. Tarin still covered his eye. “Open quote is it bad?”

“Stings still.” he said, rubbing it. Franlin knew him well enough to hear the under exaggeration. Between his blinks she could see it blazed red.

Franlin’s grabbed his hand, pulling him behind her when he released his restraints. “Let’s see where our nearest medic is.” With her luck, the medic would be a trek away. Squaring her shoulders, Franlin led Tarin to the doorway, opened it, and marched out.

Wherever the nearest medic resided, they’d be out and about already. No move happened without someone managing to get injured. Didn’t matter how careful everyone was, and this time had been their turn.

Franlin glanced left, right, and a voice called from her left. “Need attention?”

Franklin sighed seeing the medic approach in his blue uniform. They’d managed to settle right next to a medic. Perhaps with this move her luck had turned.

“My husband’s eye got struck by debris during the move.” She guided Tarin forward and stopped before the medic as gears whirred nearby. The medic took Tarin from her pulling out a light as Franlin turned toward the sound.

The wall across from their pod parted, half sliding up and half down. Beyond the wall views showed a clear view into space. The moon shone brightly, and Franlin smiled. Definitely a lucky move.

“Franlin is that you!” A high-pitched voice rose and fell in a squeal.

Not a lucky move. Franlin swallowed and turned toward the woman. Rosalee. Franlin hadn’t seen her since the move cycle before she’d married Tarin. She’d hoped never to see Rosalee again.

“Oh, and honey, you’re helping them already? Aren’t we going to be just the best of neighbors?” Rosalee threw her arm around Franlin’s shoulder and pressed against her.

Her son squalled in protest and Fralin switched him to her hop opposite Rosalee. Franlin pasted a smile on her face. Six months. Six months and the pods would rearrange again. Hopefully she’d never have to see Rosalee again.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day1

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

0 thoughts on “Day 1: New Friends

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *