Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Prompt: Prisoner of war, rapper, flight, plastic flowers

The screen by the door flickered to life. “CZ19374, report—”

“Black Ice, man. Ima here, all ears,” Charlie Zickman, known as Black Ice to thousands, or at least dozens of adoring fans on Lunar Station 7, tossed his playing cards in the air and leaned against the wall, arms crossed and fingers splayed in an illegal gang salute. He was never in a gang, but it looked cool, and it really pissed off the administration, so he used it all the time.

“CZ19374,” the implacable voice might have carried the slightest hint of irritation, which made Charlie smile. “Report to loading station three.”

Charlie sketched a middle-finger salute over his eyebrow and sat silently until the screen went dark. Loading station three? They were shipping him out. Where? He cued his neural implant to scan the news and alert him of anything that might be relevant while he packed his scant belongings into the cotton duffel they allowed each prisoner.

One extra shirt, one extra pair of loose cotton pants, one thin paper journal and a nub of pencil, one copy of Haiku by Matsu Basho, tattered around every edge and dog-eared on most pages. A small portfolio with a handful of paper letters and photos. Not much to show for this two-year gig on Lunar 3, he thought bitterly.

His implant pinged for his attention. He sat on the bunk and scanned the search results. News on Earth, news on the Moon. Hey, he missed the Academy Awards again this year? Wait, backup. What was that? Ah, very interesting. But where did he fit in? Nothing to do but go along for the ride, of course.

He picked up his duffel and stood in front of the door. “Black Ice ready to report to loading station three.”

The door dissolved and he stepped out, following the lighted path than led him to the loading station. He was careful to step on the floor lights – if he deviated more than two steps, the hallway would become electrified and he’d be knocked on his ass. He’d quickly learned not to give the guards the satisfaction.

Dogs in house

Time writing
~25 minutes

January word count

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