It's not always easy to look at a picture and come up with a story, that's part of the challenge of prompts - not only in choosing them, but in using them. You have to look beyond the obvious and find a story that can stand alone without the image.
This week Mark Morris did just that and is this week's winner:
This week's winner is:
Mark A Morris for :
The Elevator is Out of Service
The man in the worn uniform rolled his eyes. “I don’t know about it being the rush hour. It’s seems like it’s always this busy.” He rolled the toothpick he was chewing to the other corner of his mouth. “I don’t mind telling you – it grates on you after a couple of millennia. The constant noise, the stench of all these people, the way they have to push through you to get to where they need to be. We had a man smuggle a handgun down here a couple of decades ago. He took out seven innocents before he got trampled down by vigilantes.” He nodded, looking wistfully across the landing. “That was a good day. One of the very few I can remember.”
The stairways above and below us were congested, people hopping and flitting down them in a continual irregular mass. The escalators to either side were both stalled, but they were still being used, the crowd surging and then stopping and then surging again, slowing every time someone fell down the steps. Nobody ever got up again – not ever. It was strictly one-way traffic and like a riot that never stopped.
“Not that anyone’s without guilt here, of course.” The landing attendant grinned, his features hawkish and his teeth more like tusks, if ever a being could ever manage to speak with such an accumulation of ivory in its mouth. “Every one of us is damned. That’s the way it is here. The good people get the freeway and they’re chauffeur-driven to their ever-after. It’s us shits that get the stairways and have to make our own way down.”
He paused. His eyes had a far-away look in them. I imagined he was reliving the occasion, hearing the shots and then the screams, the shouts and the inevitable pounding of heels against the bodies.
“His remains were like raspberry jam, I recall. The kind that has pits in it – only it was bone fragments.” He smiled and then I had his attention again. “Now tell me,” he said. "What was it you wanted?”
Congratulations, Mark! Well done. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of: The ATA Flash Fiction contest!