Corn-y Fiction

Under The Empyrean Sky
I’m all about spreading the love. So I’m going to give away a copy of the Kindle version of Under The Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig.

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow ? and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael’s tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He’s sick of the mayor’s son besting Cael’s crew in the scavenging game. And he’s worried about losing Gwennie ? his first mate and the love of his life ? forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry ? angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn’t seem upset about any of it. Cael’s ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.(less)

I’m gonna make you work for it though. I want you to write a piece of flash fiction for me. Write something between two hundred fifty and seven hundred fifty words. Corn needs to play a central part. Make it funny or scary or sexy, I don’t care. Post it here in the comments or post it to your blog/social media site and put a link here so I’ll know about it. Just to take any sense of favoritism or anything else out of it, the winner will be chosen a week from today by random number drawing.

If I don’t get at least five entrants I won’t do a drawing, so encourage folks to check out the contest!

11 thoughts on “Corn-y Fiction”

  1. Scrounger ran through the field as fast as his little legs would take him. The last time he came here the dog nearly ate him up.

    It wasn’t easy being a field mouse these days. The Days-With-No-Rain had extended longer than he or his parents could remember. The humans called it a “drought”, Scrounger didn’t care what the humans called it he just knew that it meant he was growing hungrier every day.

    Yesterday he’d found some water, before that, it had been two days since his last drink.

    The dust in field was up to his belly. Normally he would have no trouble crossing the field but the shifting dirt made it difficult for him run. Occasionally he’d lose his footing and get a mouthful of the dreadful dirt. If he could eat dirt Scrounger wouldn’t be so hungry because there was plenty of it as far as he could see.

    Scrounger caught the scent of something in the air. Turning towards the smell, Scrounger pumped his little legs faster and faster. If he was the first one there he’d eat today. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. Scrounger bounded over a mound of dirt and saw what he’d smelled earlier.

    A dried, brown nugget of corn sat in the dirt. Scrounger’s mouth began to water at the thought of eating the kernel of corn. It wasn’t much but it would keep him nourished for at least another day or two.

    Tucking the corn into his mouth Scrounger turned to head home. A dark shadow fell over him. The little mouse looked up just in time to the crushing jaws from the dog swallow him whole.

    Bowser knew this little mouse wasn’t much to eat but it would keep him nourished for at least another day or two.

  2. “Please have a seat officer Henry.”

    The internal investigations officer waived me to a seat in the interview room with a smile. I had been in here so many times I didn’t even want to think about it but always in the seat he was in, and never on this side of the table. Well there was that one time when I was 16, but that is a different story.

    I took the offered seat and tried to relax. I knew what this was about, it could only be about what had happened the other night. It had only been the most outrageous night of my life.

    “We are here to talk about what happened on May the 4th of this year.” He said once I have had a chance to sit down

    “It is easy in the light of hindsight to see where things went wrong. It is easy for some armchair, never had to face real danger, quarterback to sit back in his over-stuffed, way-too-cushy chair and talk about how you should have done this or you should have done that. But I am telling you. When you are on the front lines, and things are happening and you are in the moment, it is a different story.”

    “Look I am not hear to judge you. I am here to gather information. The committee will be the ones to make any judgements.”

    “Right.” I know his kind. “Fine, let me tell you about what happened the other night.”

    he turns on his recorder and indicated for me to begin.

    “Joe and I were on patrol.”

    “This would be Joe Carpenter your partner?”

    “Yeah, that is him. He and I were on patrol. We decided to head down by the movie theaters on Third and main. The new Star Wars movie was coming out that night and we knew there would be all kinds of folks dressed up and there might be some fights.”

    “We parked near the head of the line and got out, planning to just walk around the parking lot, and make sure no one was causing any trouble. It was then that we saw them.”

    “Who did you see Officer Henry?”

    “I was getting to that. Three guys all dressed as storm troopers. They walked around the building as if they owned the place, they had fake laser rifles and everything. Joe and I were about to tell them that they could not take the weapons in the theater, when someone from behind us starts shouting, and this is where it really gets weird.”

    “Go on.”

    “These two kids are shouting at each other.”

    “No that can’t be true.”

    “Yes it is.”

    “No, I’ll never join you.”

    “Come on, think about it there is no star wars without Binks.”

    “At the mention of the annoying character from the recent movies, the crowd erupts. There were people shouting and It looked like a fight was going to break out. But then these storm troopers. They come up and one of says to me. We can handle this. They leveled their weapons and open fire on the crowd. Only these things are not some prop. They are firing something at the crowd. I can see the people recoiling. I don’t see any blood yet but.”

    “Go on officer Henry what happened next?”

    “From there it just got weird. Joe and I both drew our weapons. We ordered the troopers to stop firing but they didn’t. Then three guys in robes showed up. They pulled out their light sabers and I could feel the heat coming off these things like they were real.”

    I wiped my forehead remembering the whole thing. It all seemed so absurd now, but at the time.

    “So I tracked on the Jedi and Joe kept his weapon on the troopers. I knew that if either of them had real weapons two guys with police issue guns were not going to be able to do anything. I saw some of the people in the crowd go down under the fire of the troopers, that was when the Jedi stepped in. I saw something go flying as they took their first swipe at the troopers and I thought maybe one of them lost a finger or something. Those Jedi weapons were known for cutting off hands and arms.”

    “Officer Henry, you do realize that Star Wars is completely made up. That the Jedi lightsabers aren’t real. right?”

    “Well yes, of course but if you had been there and seen these things. Felt the heat coming off them, well. That was when I let off a round. I fired up into the air and every one hit the deck. As I looked down at the people on the sidewalk a saw pop corn kernels all over the place. One of the Jedi’s weapons had been left on and was in the middle of a pile of the stuff and the kernels were popping like crazy.”

    “The whole thing was staged?” He tried not to laugh.

    “Yeah, all of it. The Jedi and the storm troopers, about half the crowd right down to the guy who started the argument. They were all actors.”

    “What was supposed to happen?”

    “The guy was supposed to start the fight. The troopers would come in to put down the rebellion, and the jedi would come in to stop them. The troopers guns fired pop corn kernels, unpopped. The Jedi’s light sabers were designed to pop it. They would shoot at the Jedi and it would pop all over the crowd.

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