Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Flash-Fiction Breakdown :: Vampire Pirates in Space

Suddenly, the vampire pirates found themselves in space.
    “Great,” said Olnurk upon waking. “Who are we going to find to eat out here?”
    Inrika slapped him. She was a bovineterian. “That’s all you ever think about.”
    The ship drifted along in the blackness. The vampires gathered on deck and stretched. Frederick looked at his watch and saw it had stopped at five o’clock. It must be morning on Earth, he thought, and smiled to be standing outside in the day time.
    “Well, look,” Minerva began. “We might as well adapt if we are going to be here. We’ll have to start by rationing. Inrika, gather the blood bags from below and count ‘em up.”
    Todd meekly raised her hand. Minerva glared at her and nodded.
    “Um, well, um, it seems,” Todd stuttered. Finally she looked at her feet and was able to gather  her thoughts. “Well, the atmospheric pressure and loss of oxygen seems to have had a negative effect on the hum--I mean, blood bags.”
    “What are you saying?” Minerva asked.
    “Well, they’re dead.”
    “What about the cows!?” Inrika was pulling at her hair.
    “I’m sorry, they’re dead too.”
     Todd tensed her shoulders as she felt Inrika gearing up to kill the messenger.
    “I knew it,” Olnurk said. “I knew we’d have nothing to eat out here.”
    With no sunlight to bother them deep in space, oxygen being nothing any of them missed, and the subzero temperatures feeling like nothing more than a light breeze, all the vampire pirates had to worry about was their ever-present hunger.
    On their second day (or night, who could tell?), Minerva discovered that she could steer the ship by rotating the wheel as if the abundant nothingness were an ocean. Olnurk climbed the lookout and stretched his telescope. He spotted a flickering light in the far distance and Minerva charted their course.
    “What about gravity?” Todd asked shyly.
    “What about it?” Inrika was busy huddled in a corner on deck, hugging her knees and rocking back and forth, trying not to think about how thin she was becoming.
    “Well, why doesn’t it effect us? We have mass. Why don’t we just…fly away?”
    “Why don’t you just fly away,” Inrika snarled, and went back to her rocking.
    An extremely long and painful time later, many sleep cycles after Inrika had foolishly tried to feed off of Olnurk in his sleep, Frederick spotted land.
    “Planet, ho!” He yelled.
    Minerva instructed everyone to tie off the sails as she steered them into the planet’s ionosphere.
    After landing, the vampire pirates disembarked the ship onto hard and dusty ground.  There was no light here, and in fact it was almost as dark as space, but of course the vampires could see fine. They could see a green-tinted town not far off, smoke rising from it, indicating some form of life.
    In the town, they found its citizens. Small, many-limbed creatures who possessed wide foreheads, below which sat only a nose and two mouths. The vampires disrupted some kind of festival or town meeting, as the creatures were all lying on their stomachs in the dust while one creature in the center stomped around and clicked with one mouth while whistling with the other.
    “Okay, mates,” Minerva addressed her group. “Let’s see if these little guys bleed.”
    The little guys did bleed but only a little, and it was bitter and dissatisfying. But the vampire pirates had to eat. They soon discovered that ten of the creatures, consumed in succession, would get them through the day (or night) at least feeling energized enough to round up the next day’s meal.
    “I see you’re not a bovineterian anymore,” Olnurk observed of Inrika.
    “If there were animals here, I’d eat them,” Inrika responded, licking blood off her teeth. “Anyway, what are these things? They’re not human. They live in dirt and lay around all day. They can’t even talk.” The drooping creature in her arms whistled and stomped one heel lazily against the boards of the ship.
    Even though they couldn’t communicate, Minerva eventually organized a sort of treaty. If the creatures would increase their birthrate, the vampire pirates would decrease how many of them they ate every day. It was a win-win. Meanwhile, she sent Frederick and Todd, with a hearty supply of blood bags, to scout for other towns, and hopefully, tastier creatures.
    “This is better than our old home,” Minerva remarked. “Nothing in our way. Nothing against us. Paradise.”
    Each sleep cycle, while the vampire pirates lay in their coffins aboard their ship, the creatures lay on their stomachs in their homes, listening to the stomping of their neighbors’ feet, their whistles and clicks carried on the wind like secrets.

[Original Assignment: Write a two or three page story that includes the fantastic, some kind of fantasy elements, and some kind of social or political oppression. 

Professor's sole comment: "Appealing in a random kind of way."]

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