Mimi Resourceful stood aboard the Nimbus and called halt. The turbines went into reverse as the sky in front of it tore open. The abyss spat out black lines, unfurling into text.
“A tear in the fabric of fictionality.” Mimi stared into the void. The words ‘Amorphous’, ‘Pulchritudinous’, and ‘Anagnorisis’ galloped past.
She gripped the ship’s wheel. “Onwards!”
* * *
Julius leaned on his balcony rail, looking up at twinkling stars. A feeling of ennui had come over him the last few years. The empire building game was getting old.
As he watched, the moon disappeared into a black hole. Julius backed away, wondering if this was to be his time for judgement and realising he was not ready to be asking forgiveness.
Something appeared to be coming from the hole. It looked like words. Julius watched, flabbergasted, as ‘Barbarian’ raced past, chased by ‘Catalyst’.
Julius didn’t have time to run before the void closed over him.
* * *
Doctor Frank jumped in his seat as the room split in two. A moist smell mixed with the aroma of ethanol as a rogue ‘Cicatrize’ trotted around the room.
Doctor Frank put down his scalpel and sewing needle as the word ‘Chiaroscuro’ joined the first.
“Susan,” he called. “I think you should see this.”
* * *
Trev lay in the hospital ward, bandaged thoroughly. He was about to doze off when a gaping hole opened in the world before him. Eldritch words marched out. The first to appear was ‘Dauntless’. Trev puffed his chest out at that, until he saw it was followed by ‘Defenestrate.’
Trev only had time to grab his Sergeant’s hat off the table before he was swallowed. The gurney bounced, then fell several feet. A hand touched his shoulder, causing him to start.
“You all right, Sergeant?”
Trev blinked up at the young man, dressed in a soldier’s fatigues. The badge on his chest read Marshall. Trev nodded in response, pulling on his hat.
“Can you walk, sir?”
“Yes, I think so.” Sergeant Scrum allowed Private Marshall to help him to his feet. His hospital gown gaped a bit at the back, but Marshall gave him his jacket to wear over it. “Where are we?”
Vague shapes covered the hazy landscape, creating an outline that might have been buildings, or mountains. It was only when they passed one of the structures that they saw it was made entirely of books. Words scuttled across the ground like beetles. ‘Google’ and ‘Excelsior’ scattered from under their steps.
“It appears to be some sort of alternate fictionality,” the Private replied, helping Sergeant Scrum forward with an arm around his shoulders until Sergeant Scrum spotted the belly of a familiar floating ship.
“You…skank!” he called to the woman in the feathered hat. She turned to him with a raised eyebrow. At her side stood an older man with frizzy white hair, and a much younger woman in a lab coat. “You set this up, didn’t you? You and your time machine.”
“You mean my time machine!” A man in a toga announced, striding towards them. “Who are all you people?”
Mimi Resourceful looked from Julius Caesar to Sergeant Scrum and sighed. “I do believe we’re in a round-up. How else do you explain this nonsense?” She nodded to a vacuum cleaner that stood to one side next to a mop and bucket.
Before they could discuss the matter further, another black hole opened in the sky, emitting the words ‘Summoned’, and ‘Terminus’. Behind them came a very pale woman.
She looked at Mimi with narrowed eyes. “Do you have any idea how much work you’ve made for me this month?” Her pale gaze dropped to the ground. “You’re almost as bad.”
Susan squealed and jumped back when she saw the black widow spider scuttle past.
‘Legend’ bounded past them next, followed by a man in a leather vest carrying a bow. A hunched middle aged lady chased him, waving a bouquet of flowers. They raced past a young man who stared up at the sky through bright blue eyes, seemingly transfixed by the expanse.
‘Elemental’ brought with it a young man who introduced himself as Maxwell before setting a stack of books on fire. And ‘Codpiece’ preceded the entrance of a quartet of unusual figures, who seemed to blur together. The main head was a blonde woman with a rather pronounced Adam’s apple.
“Is the world ending?” asked Ziggy Stardust.
As she spoke, a tiger trotted by. Its stripes seemed to spell ‘Facetious’, right before a man in a curly wig, riding an elephant appeared in their midst.
“It’s a recall,” said Mimi. “Everyone still alive appears to be here.”
“What do you mean ‘still alive?” Asked the Minister, his gaze flickering over them. “How many aren’t alive?”
“You’d be surprised,” replied Death. “And to think, it all began with some celery.”
“Wait,” came a wheezy voice. The vacuum cleaner rolled forward. “Everyone alive?”
The group looked each other with a collective shrug. “Seems like it,” Mimi said.
“One is missing,” Vacoom said, rolling away. “Run. While you still can.”
The cleaner trundled off leaving the others to look around in confusion.
“Oh no,” Death said, drawing the eyes of the others.
At first there was nothing to see, only the sound of a faint chuckling coming from the fog. Trickles of dark liquid began to run across the ground, ink oozing from the pages of the stacked books.
The mist cleared to reveal an orange carrot, standing on top of a pile of massacred books. Ink ran in rivers, staining the ground black, and swirling around the ankles of the characters.
“Everyone together,” ordered Mimi Resourceful, striding forward to stand by Sergeant Scrum’s side. The others moved into a rough formation behind the pair.
“This doesn’t end today,” Scrum added.
The carrot laughed and the black ink flowed, rising to their knees. Scrum and Mimi exchanged glances.
“Let’s do this.”
And then they charged.
FFM Day 31
Challenge: Incorporate the following 31 words: Celery, Moon, Forgiveness, Excelsior!, Judgment, Dauntless, Terminus, Amorphous, Barbaria, , Flabbergasted, Pulchritudinous, Twinkle, Ennui, Anagnorisis, Ethanol, Skank, Defenestrate, Moist, Summoned, Chiaroscuro, Legend, Elemental, Eldritch, U, furling, Ending, Cicatrize, Catalyst, Codpiece, Facetious, Carrot, Google.