Home > Fiction > The People Within Without

The People Within Without

Here’s my contribution for Adam Icke’s Storybook Corner for July/August.

I think this would probably be better as a “short story” rather than a 500-ish word flash fiction, as I’ve crammed a lot of story in there, but here it is anyway!

 

Here’s the logo.

ogre-castle

And here’s the photo prompt!

100_1857

“You’ve done it this time!” screamed Saliyah. “You know what this means.” Saliyah’s yells changed to tears as Reliakh took her in his arms, gently stroking her hair.

“That’s enough, Reliakh,” said the uniformed guardsman at the door. “Come with us now, please.”

The “Within”, as the citizens called the huge city, was the last bastion of mankind. After centuries of chemicals, wars and heavy mining the majority of the Earth was a barren wasteland. The Within kept the survivors, some hundreds of thousands, safe within hundreds of interconnected bio-domes. Air was cleaned, food and water recycled to bolster that grown or collected.

Still, resources were limited. The population was strictly controlled. There was no room in Within to feed and keep those who broke the law. Eyes were everywhere, watching, waiting for any indiscretion.

Reliakh had broken the law.

The only punishment – exile Without. From shoplifting to murder, the penalty was the same.

Reliakh had stood in the market and preached to all around – the air Without was safe! The Earth had surely healed by now. Keeping the People Within was just a method of control! Rise up! Rise up! And so he was to be exiled.

Judgment was swift Within and, despite his begging and the tears of his life-mate, an hour later Reliakh was Without, staring across the wasteland. The first surprise – he could breathe. He had been right! He could live Without and return some day, alive and triumphant.

Scattered around were bodies in various states of decay. Other exiles, unwilling to leave the only home they’d ever known, begging for re-admission until they starved to death. Reliakh determined he would survive. He headed off in the direction of some vegetation he could see on the horizon. Vegetation! Further evidence that Without was safe.

After some hours he spotted a low structure and headed towards it. Already he was feeling ill – evidently the air Without was not safe. Fear grew as he realised that maybe he had been wrong after all. Tired, he arrived at the structure and managed to light a small fire by striking small stones against the metal of his Citizen ID band. Night was drawing in, and it would be a cold one. The smoke was drawn up into the tiny structure and out the top, almost as if it had been designed for it. At last he fell asleep.

Drawn by the smoke and the glow from the fire, the People Without had come in the night. They had never eaten so well! Such succulent, tasty meat. Where had it come from? One ripped an arm from the corpse and munched appreciatively, juice running down his face. Another, the leader, looked out across the plains, wiping the last of Reliakh’s brains from his chin and licking his lips. He pointed at the glow on the horizon, emanating from the bio-domes of Within.

More meat would be there.

He raised his arm and as one the thousands of the People Without rose and headed toward their new feeding ground.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    August 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

    Wowsa! I like this one, it has a “Twilight Zone” feel to it, only slightly more gruesome 🙂

    Like

    • August 17, 2014 at 7:09 am

      I’m glad you like it! It was all a bit “squashed in” but I was having trouble thinking of a story.
      It would have been gruesomer with more words 🙂

      Like

      • August 17, 2014 at 8:06 am

        Ali, You should make a short story out of that. In a blog
        subscribe to at the following link, you can link to a list of literary mags that publish short stories: writerunboxed.com/2014/08/10/how-to-get-your-short-stories-published-in-lit-mags

        It’s messy, but well-written and very creative. I intend to try, at sometime in the near future, to write short stories. Your comedies are really good also. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

        Like

      • August 17, 2014 at 9:59 am

        Thanks for that link. Some good advice there too for prospective submitters.
        Thanks 🙂

        Like

  2. August 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Ali, A typo occurred in that last comment as I was having computer problems. It should have read, “In a blog I subscribe to.” The link didn’t take, but I tried it, and when you type it out in your search machine, it links. —Susan

    Like

    • August 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I think for a link to be clickable you need to put the “http” bit at the front. Thanks again!

      Like

    • August 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Ali, You’d be the perfect person as a computer programmer to give that kind of advice. I should have thought of the http:// . Thanks. —Susan

      Like

  3. August 17, 2014 at 9:11 am

    So many questions left unanswered here. Susan is right you do have the makings of a short story.

    Like

  4. August 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Ooooo

    Like

  5. August 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Like in The Time Machine 🙂 You and H.G. Wells, a good combination.

    Like

    • August 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I knew it sounded familiar 🙂

      Like

  6. August 18, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Great story. This certainly could be a lot longer.

    Like

    • August 18, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Indeed, it’s like one of those films where they manage to cram two thousand years of history into the first 3 minutes so they can get on with the action.

      Like

  7. August 18, 2014 at 2:33 am

    I agree that this is a great story concept and should be expanded! Perhaps a short story posted in 749 weekly installments…

    Like

    • August 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Ha ha. You would know, Mr WWTBAM 🙂

      Like

  8. August 19, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Yes, that Evilsquirrel, would know, horrible idea for you DrAli. Don’t you dare do that to me.

    Great story, your writing the way I like it. Yeah!!

    Like

    • August 19, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Don’t worry, I’d never manage to commit to a long-running serial 🙂
      I’m glad you liked the story! I may expand it to “short story” length at some point.

      Like

  9. August 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    How delightfully gruesome 🙂 I think you should definitely consider expanding this one and making a short story of it. I could visualize this one, I think it has the potential to make a fantastic movie… albeit terrifying.

    Like

    • August 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks!
      I may well expand this, several people think it would be a good idea so it’s not so “squashed”.
      Selling it as a movie – that would be good (for my wallet) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. August 21, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Kool, even if they couldn’t get in, they could just wait outside for exiles lol. Great & gruesome tale 🙂

    Like

    • August 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Very true. It’s a win-win for the People Without.

      Like

  11. August 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Yes, please, do expand this! It is fantastic.

    Like

    • August 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks! I think I really will have a stab at expanding this story, it needs to be longer to do it justice. I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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