The following is the result of this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge at Chuck Wendig’s blog. The challenge last week had participants come up with a title (without a story), this week it has them choose one of last week’s titles and make a story from that. How to Sing Butterflies on page 4 of the comments struck a chord with me, so I picked that one. Thanks to Medina who came up with it.
This is the first time I’m doing the challenge at Chuck Wendig’s. I’m always looking for good flash fiction challenges. I like flash fiction for it being so much to the point.
Speaking of which, on to the story:
How to Sing Butterflies
Muffled notes escaped the convict’s gag. Did the architects’ talent to conjure objects with their voices still work when obstructed? Dubious, but then again nobody really knew how architecm worked. Like electricity and so many powers before and since it, the technology had been discovered and used long before anybody understood what it actually was. A genetic mutation, a one in several billion event, discovered, isolated and copied to create a caste of people capable of conjuring any object from pure air by instinct.
Nobody knew how coded proteins on these people’s dna could manipulate quarks to form anything anywhere. Nobody knew why the ability used soundwaves or if they were a mere side effect or the method of change. Nobody knew why the music was always so beautiful when by all logic it should be random noise.
The girl just sang. Like any architect, she had sung before. This is how she ended up in front of a firing squad. Singing notes of mystery. Several monstrosities had attacked Tokyo in the last six months, ranging from nightmarish bugs to kaiju with everything in between. In court she said she wanted to create something beautiful, tried and tried, but always something eldritch came from it. She claimed there was just one thing missing and she would find it. The Architecm Guild had wanted to save her, the only architect to ever sing something to life.
In the end, she was just deemed too dangerous. The very knowledge of the possibility of singing life was. So it was all a secret. Nobody knew of the process and there had never been another option how it would end. Even making it illegal to create life by architecm was avoided not to give anybody any ideas.
The girl sang through her gag as the firing squad aimed. She sang as they readied. And then, as they fired the end of the melody became indistinguishable from the sound of the guns. Had it been the same sound from both guns and girl? There was no way to tell now. The final moment had happened quickly and pointlessly.
And then, everyone saw. Above the soldiers they flew. A pair of butterflies dressed in a color that didn’t exist.