Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WEP: Red or Green?

Update!

Red or Green was chosen for the Encouragement award by the WEP team. Thanks so much and congrats to the others. It was great to read new voices in the challenge this month and I hope those writers continue to join in the fun!


***

It started in her toes.

A tingle that ran from the baby toe on her right and grew across her body until it hit the final toe on the left.


The next wave reached her ankles, then legs. Each wave of tingles higher and stronger until her entire body shook with them. And it took only seconds.


When she’d lived on planet, she’d experienced earthquakes. This disorientation was similar but the specific directionality differed.


Momentum wanted Liane to move left, but the cause had to be on her right. At the rate the waves were growing, if she didn’t find and fix the cause soon, she’d be space dust before she handed over command to the next shift.


By the time she reached the engine room, the deck was buckling beneath her feet, comms were inoperative, and panic was trying to claw its way up her throat.


The door had been cracked and as she approached, the deck rolled in another wave and the door fractured into pieces.


The engine room itself was unrecognizable. Metal lifting and rolling. 

Screens shattered. And bodies trapped in the debris.


Grief and despair battled against her control but she moved forward into the chaos.


Walls weren’t supposed to buckle, floors weren’t supposed to roll.

And the engine wasn’t supposed to pulsing with an angry orange glow.


Nothing she’d seen in any of her decades had prepared her for this and Liane wasted precious seconds simply staring.


The next wave threw her into the bulkhead and brought her focus back. From this angle she could see the body of the engineer, arm outstretched toward the wall.


Crawling to the body of her friend, Liane saw he’d been reaching for a panel with two buttons.


Engineering gobbledygook covered the wall and she wished she’d paid more attention during those classes.


More waves. More cracks and breaks. More screams and anguish.


Red or green? Stop or go?


Which button was he trying to reach?


The entire ship shuddered around her.


Liane closed her eyes and pressed red.



***


This story is part of the WEP Challenge.

Click on the link to read the other entries.

Have you joined the challenge yourself? Jump on in -  the people are awesome. I've learned a ton by participating!


WEP Great Wave


55 comments:

  1. It should always be the red button! ;-)

    Your post is included in this week's Roost Recommendations. I share the Roost Recommendations posts on Twitter with readers looking for their next read.
    https://ornerybookemporium.blogspot.com/2021/06/roost-recommendations-15-june-2021.html

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    1. LOL - I'm with you, red all the way!
      Thanks for the share!

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  2. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?!?!?

    Also—Engineering gobbledygook. Love it.

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    1. LOL - sorry!
      I always think of Star Trek writers who would put in something like Tech Talk when writing scripts and just move on!

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  3. Well, are you going to tell us what happened? Did the waves stop? Love this sentence - 'Each wave of tingles higher and stronger until her entire body shook with them.'

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    1. Thanks, Kalpana!
      I think we'll just leave Liane there :)

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  4. Hi,
    You had me totally caught up in your story. I hope she chose the right when she pushed red.
    Well done, Jemi.
    Sbalom aleichem

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  5. Lorty, I hope she chose well. But star dust can't be all that bad, right?

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  6. Ooooh.
    Stop or go.
    Red for danger, green for growth.
    I do hope she made the right decision. And will wonder about it today (and probably for several days to come...)

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  7. Superb! The tension is so high, it gripped me. I felt her danger as if I was there.

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  8. Hi Miss Jemi
    I'm a big syfy fan so I loved this story. It's well-written and I felt like I was right there on the deck experiencing those waves. I like stories where the MC has to make important quick decisions and for sure Liane was caught in that predicament. Red? Green? Hey, maybe both at the same time. Not nice to leave me hanging. Lol. Thanks for an exciting read. Hope it has a happy ending. :)

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    1. Hi Lenny - so great to see you in the WEP Challenge!!
      I hope it was a happy ending too - Liane deserved it!

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  9. Very intense and electrifying... Nice build up and I always a joy good cliffhanger. Well done, Jemi!

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    1. Thanks, Michael - I don't like cliffhangers in novels, but in flash? Fair game!

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  10. Whoa, cliffhanger extra-ordinaire! What a wild ride, Jemi. I was with Liane all the way. So many good touches, especially the engineering gobbledegook! We'll never know whether it was red or green. Great flash for the prompt. Waves in space...

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  11. Great story with an awesome cliffhanger. Will we ever know???

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  12. You are cruel, leaving us with that cliffhanger! I'm going to believe she hit the right button, but even then she'd be in pretty deep doo-doo.

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    1. I always like the happy endings best, so I hope she did too!

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  13. Great take on the prompt! I love the ending too! But I'd hit the green button! Oops! :)

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    1. Thanks, Renee! I'm not sure which one I'd choose!

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  14. Hi Jemi - well you've had us all guessing and I'm sure we'll want the amber button soon - to give us more time! There's definitely more for Liane to do ... does she get back to earth, and what's happening up there - airwaves perhaps! Fun story thank you - Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary! It's always fun to see what's happening "out there"!

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  15. Was it the right choice? Like so many choices, we may never know. Nice entry.

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    1. You're exactly right! We so often don't know!

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  16. Oh my, what a choice! Only two options, one right and one wrong, but knowing me, I'd end up making the wrong choice. This was such an engaging story, and that ending was a real cliffhanger!

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    1. LOL - I'm with you! If there's a quick choice to be made, don't ask me to do it!!

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  17. Ooooo...totally action packed Jemi. And the cliffhanger..I hope we get an instalment next time.
    -Sonia

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  18. Oooh gripping!! Magnificent take on the prompt -great space waves. And a whopper cliffhanger ending, too. I was with Liane all the way right till she pressed the red button. It should totally be red for an emergency, she is a wise warrior woman.

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    1. Thanks, Nila! I'd have pressed the red too, although I'd probably have been cowering in a corner!

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  19. Nicely done! I love the suspense at the end. It makes her struggle the main point of the story. I love her path from recognition to possible solution.

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  20. Oh boy, a cliff hanger. Will she save the day? Well written.
    Nancy

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  21. Thank you Jemi for this tale. Full of pace and rhythm. Enjoyed reading no end.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I can't abide cliffhangers or non-endings in novels, but I love them in flash!

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  22. Cliffhanging here! Pulling for red to be the right call, but I know it is. Great contribution to the WEP this time around.

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  23. ooh, love it. Lots of powerful movements making me motionsick! Um... maybe red, but...

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    1. LOL - sorry about the motion sickness! I hope it's red, too!

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  24. A tense piece, loved the tingles.

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  25. Hi Jemi - congratulations on your Encouragement Award - what a choice ... Red or Green - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary - I'm not sure what I would choose!

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  26. Congratulations on the award.
    Read this one after "The Wave of a New Dawn" by Michael Di Gesu. In "The Wave of a New Dawn" a sentry in a Puerto Rican sentry post was battling for life in midst of strom the post being inundated by storm flux. In Red or Green, the imagery, hence, seemed familiar and repetitive. Repetitive seemed the undecided open ended story telling. Probably, all induced by the prompt.

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    1. Thanks Sanhita. I enjoyed Michael's piece as well

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