Prama Saves the World (10 One-Hundred Word Bits From 10 Prompts)

Genre:Sci-fi
Word Count:1,000
Rating:10+
Muse:All the color prompts from my prompt table
Summary:If regular, everyday humanity could see time passing, it would be red- a deep, brimming red that was ready to spill over into eternity and infinity and death before anyone could stop it.

PRAMA SAVES THE WORLD

1. RED

At ordinary speeds- which most human beings almost always live in- one cannot see time pass. That is good, because if regular, everyday humanity could see time passing, it would be red- a deep, brimming red that was ready to spill over into eternity and infinity and death before anyone could stop it- and that would drive them mad. Prama, however, can see time passing, she can slow it down until it is nearly imperceptible or speed it up until it splashes against the edges of the universe, sloshing out like juice rushing out of a well squeezed blood orange.

2. ORANGE

One of Prama’s favorite memories of home is the soft peach brightness of the sky. The sky here is blue or grey or black of night. The only time it ever takes on a tint anything at all like her home is when it is momentarily painted with irregular stripes in oranges and reds and purples as the turn of the Earth brings the day’s ending. Orange never fills this sky though, never surrounds her with the soft, sweet peach of home. One day, when she has finished what must be done, she will revel in an orange sky again.

3. YELLOW

The device spills bright yellow energy out of its seams when it’s on full. Prama throttles it back after a few minutes to avoid damaging the abandoned building she is working in. A fire, with all its attendant nuisances would be a bad thing for her to have to deal with, just now. The lower power will delay her, but aside from Prama’s homesickness, this saving humanity business doesn’t have a timetable, not when she can control the color-speed of time. She just has to ensure that time around her work doesn’t overshoot the event she is meant to stop.

4. GREEN

Enough slow-time has passed that Prama needs to eat. She stops the device- the split she was sealing glows ominously, but does not expand- she can leave it for a short slow-time. On the street, she blends in as she was taught in academy and finds a note machine. The Human characters “ATM” are printed on it. She pulls the sequencer from her cloak and sets it against the ATM. She doesn’t remember the conversion, so she has it give her the maximum amount. If she needs more, she’ll come back. The machine whirs and small green papers roll out.

5. BLUE

Prama exchanges green notes for a bottle of the tart liquid and a bag of small round crunchy things that she must eat. They are both colored blue and remind Prama of how shifting to different parallels feels. Shifting feels blue- bright and wondrous and a tiny bit nauseating. When Prama was very young, she had shifted to save her life- the Kallitiffgna attacked- it was the only way out. She’d never shifted before and she wasn’t very good at it. On that first shift, she ran the color-speed of time up so fast that combined with shifting, it made…

6. PURPLE

The sky is that same sickening clear blue as Prama returns through the narrow city streets to her work. Even without her detec-device, she can find the warehouse with the time-reality-split in the northwest corner. PowderPuff Inc. is repeatedly painted in great lurid purple characters on the building’s exterior. These letters haunt her dreams- giant purple monsters that are a cross between Human writing and Kallitiffgna attack droids. In her dreams, she never quite gets away from them. She does not allow herself to imagine that to be in any way symbolic of how long she will remain on Earth.

7. BROWN

Inside, Prama drops her brown paper bag at the sight of a human standing next to the time-reality-split. The bottle makes a disconcerting cracking noise as it hits the muddy ground. The human turns, searching for the noise’s origin. She should have stopped time before the bag hit the floor and she certainly should do it now, so she can hide herself, her work, the split. Seeing such a thing tends to disrupt the already disorderly thoughts of humans. It makes them crazy. Prama doesn’t stop time though- she is too distracted by the dark brown of the human’s skin.

8. BLACK

Earth cultures make little sense to Prama, even though she studied them in-depth at the academy to train for her work. That this man, who is clearly brown in skin color, is called “black” bothers her. It is a trifling thought for her to be focused on when she should be protecting the split from this human, when she should be protecting this human from the split, but it is where she is focused, nonetheless.

“Oh hey,” he says. “Didn’t see you there.” He turns back to the time-reality-split. “Have you seen this thing?” He steps closer to it, pointing.

9. WHITE

Prama stops time before the white-cold split swallows him up, but not quickly enough that he won’t be consumed by it as soon as she restarts slow-time to resume her work. He hangs there in non-time, the silent world all around him, a quizzical expression on his face. He had just begun to realize that something extraordinarily bad was happening to him. She spends the non-time equivalent of weeks and months and perhaps years, trying to figure out how to save him from the fate of spending eternity inside the time-reality-split, in the white cold light of nothing and no-time.

10. COLORLESS

There is nothing Prama can do. The human will be lost when she allows time to begin again so that she can fix the very thing that threatens him. The Earth- his world- waits to restart, waits to go forward to its shining future. Prama must let that world go on. She must let all the worlds go on- her own peach-skyed home sits as stilled as the building she is in, and she cannot let it remain still. She breathes deep, makes a wish for blessings on this already lost human, and lets time slip colorlessly into forwardness again.

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Categories: fiction, science fiction, very short stories | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Prama Saves the World (10 One-Hundred Word Bits From 10 Prompts)

  1. Rob

    I like this a lot. I like how the colors are expressing intimate things like emotions and fear and joy as well as mundane things like potato chips and the dumb way we humans deal with skin colors. Nice job.

  2. Thanks, sweetie.

    Wait, you got potato chips from that? They were blue. You must be one of those weird, tree-hugging vegetarians if you eat blue potato chips.

    For the record, it was some kind of blue raspberry skiddles knock-off candy in my head.

  3. Rob

    I am, in fact, a tree-hugging, blue potato chip eating vegetarian. I’m growing them in the back yard, too. Blue potatoes, that is.

    But, you knew that.

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