Flash Fiction Extra: Alchemy



AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece about artist May Ellison is not part of the novel. This is also a Sunday Scribblings post. Please to go the Sunday Scribblings for more fun!


Sand. Then a silk scarf from a looted department store. Next, a pot over a propane flame, where the water boiled into steam and rose into a tube, condensing as water again in another basin. If she wanted to be extra-sure, she could pour the cooled water into glass bottles and lay them on a dark surface in the sun to pasteurize.

May’s water was good and she had no need to fight or beg for water filters like some of the other young people did since the pandemic. Her education had been good for something, at least. Clean water was more precious than gold in the wreckage of the city.

But May had little real interest in science; such things were a means to an end. Her true love lay in the chemicals she combined into brightly glowing colors to light her ramshackle shop, and in the acids that etched the glass and plastic detritus of civilization that she made into jewelry and baubles.

No one needed decorative things to survive, but they soothed her in ways pure water never could. Survival of the body was a simple matter. Saving one’s soul required a different kind of alchemy.


14 comments:

sg beatty said...

got my curiosity going... I'll have to come back to follow the story..Old Grizz

Tumblewords: said...

Excellent!

Dee Martin said...

Love love love this little May snack.

Thomma Lyn said...

Awesome. I'm fond of May. And your last sentence is perfect. :)

Stan Ski said...

More to life than just survival - have to have something to survive for...

Julie said...

You have my attention. Not so much the content, but the clipped style.

linda may said...

Cool, I ant to read more of this.

Sleepy Kitty said...

Very evocative. I loved this. A little science to fuel the body but something else to fuel the soul. I like it :)

Carina said...

Very good writing! I am intrigued already.

Janet said...

Just popped over from Weekend Writer's Retreat - now I'll have to spend some time wandering around your place. The writing definitely hooked me - your style, the voice, and the philosophical look at a world obviously in turmoil, but a soul in need of fulfillment. Great job :)

oldegg said...

An intriguing introduction to a post apocalyptic survival scenario and making things beautiful in a devastated land?

I am sure you will have a lot of fans wanting to know more and to see the character develop.

one more believer said...

it is a perfect snapshot of things to come!!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

When I saw that you'd done some Steal Tomorrow fiction, I was hoping May had been involved with the prompt somehow. It fits her.

Alice Audrey said...

She is one of the few people who is actually happier because of the pandemic. Her and the twins.