Home > Fiction > Storybook Corner – Pulse

Storybook Corner – Pulse

Here is my submission for February’s Storybook Corner. This is a 300-500 word photo prompt hosted by talented fiction writer Adam Ickes. Here’s the cool logo.


Why not give this a go yourselves – you still have a couple of hours left for February! The word limit gives a little more scope than many of the photo prompts out there. You can read all the submissions by clicking on the little blue froggy below.


Arthur looked up at the clock. Eighteen minutes past ten. Always eighteen minutes past ten. It had been eighteen minutes past ten ever since the Event.

There had been many events in the recent history of the world, but when one heard the word “event” these days, one knew which Event people were referring to.

Seven years ago, a normal Saturday. People going about their day. Working, sleeping, eating. A perfectly ordinary day.

Until the Event.

Until a massively coordinated, supposedly impossible worldwide terrorist electromagnetic attack took out everything. All electronics, electricity, phones, everything went. Planes fell out of the sky. Hundreds of millions of cars smashed into each other. Billions of small fires as the electrics blew, killing – who knew how many? Children of the Earth, they called themselves. No-one had heard of them before. No-one had heard of them since.

Saturday, 15th July 2034 at eighteen minutes past ten. The day everything changed. The day the world, the world Arthur knew, ended.

He looked across the broken plaza at the military checkpoint. It hadn’t taken long for the military to take charge. Some of their equipment was EM-hardened. They still had radios, computers, working generators, vehicles. Guns. Lots of guns. So now they were in charge.

Approaching the checkpoint, he picked his way through the rubbish, across the broken, neglected pavement, past the beggars – so many beggars. Why were they asking him for food? He didn’t have any. Nobody had any. The Event was the great leveller. There was no more “rich” or “poor” – everybody was poor now. Everybody except the top military, of course. The only currency now was power.

The guards checked his ID. Gave him the usual pat-down and found the chocolate bar he’d worked days to earn. The sergeant grinned at him, unwrapping it and stuffing it in his mouth. Arthur knew better than to complain. People who complained “disappeared”.

Once through the checkpoint, he walked through the dilapidated streets, almost deserted now as curfew approached (this “temporary” measure had turned out not to be quite so temporary after all). He made it to the dank, broken-down cellar he called home just as the curfew siren blared its raucous warning. The familiar smell of damp greeted him and he lit a candle. He was grateful for this cellar – most had less. He unlocked the padlock on the door in the corner and went through, casting his eye over his workbench, cluttered with bits and pieces of electronics, even a small battery. He smiled.

This one would work, he knew. Even EM-hardened military tech would succumb to his latest device. This time all people would be equal, moving out of the broken cities, living together in harmony, working the land. This time Children of the Earth would succeed.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    March 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    The rebels are planning a strike back? Nice! Great story (as usual)!


    • March 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Thanks! Yes, they didn’t quite get all the tech the first time, but if at first you don’t succeed try, try again.


  2. March 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Next step: find a way to get rid of all those pesky guns. Nice take on the prompt. Glad you managed to get it done before the next prompt.


    • March 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      I was wondering if anyone was going to mention the guns 🙂
      I’ll try to do my story a bit earlier next time now that I’m more settled in my new house and edging back into a routine. I actually though I had until the weekend and got quite a shock when I went to add my link!


  3. March 19, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Wow, what a great story. I wasn’t expecting the ending at all … again. He wouldn’t have been a physicist by any chance would he? Just checking … you know 🙂


    • March 19, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      For once I wan’t expecting the ending either. I usually come up with an idea plus an ending (often the exact words) before even starting writing but it came to me half-way through this time.
      I think he would be a physicist, yes 🙂
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  4. March 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Damn… I hope my blog will still work in my damp cellar.


    • March 20, 2014 at 5:24 am

      Your blog will work anywhere, ES 🙂


  5. March 20, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Oooh, I loved your story — ’twas eerie! -I’ll definitely link up next time… the new one should be out soon… fun! 🙂


    • March 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

      You get a whole month to come up with a story too, so there’s no mad rush like there is with some prompts.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the story 🙂


  6. March 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Ah!! this levelling is done only in fiction isn’t it !! That’s a good story 🙂 I am glad atlast I got to reading your posts !


    • March 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Only in fiction – at the moment 😉
      Thanks for the likes and comment – I just headed over to yours – the cutest little amigurumi 🙂


      • March 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

        Thanks for hopping over and for the generous likes 😉


        • March 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm

          You’re welcome! There are several sites I keep meaning to re-visit but there never seems to be the time to do them justice, but I got there eventually 🙂


          • March 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm

            So true. We have so much talent and information out there to share and learn and it is so frustrating that we cant manage our time and priorities well 😦


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