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An Unfortunate Event · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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Falling Sky
I was a child on the day when the sky vanished. I remember looking at the sun as my mother clutched me. Klaxons blared around us and the hum of the fusion generators revved to a fever pitch so intense that the vibrations from the floor made by feet numb.

I heard her crying. Sobbing into my bright yellow jumper as her arms threatened to squeeze the air from my lungs. Words were meaningless to her and my questions went unanswered. Her own shaking joined by the world around us.

Colonists were rushing in every direction throughout the square. Some carried bags loaded down with possessions, others had tool boxes filled with wires and devices emitting their own piercing shrieks. They were all yelling, screaming at each other to move or run or come help. One man was staring up at the sky and laughing, tears streaming down his face.

Above us the sky had darkened from a light sapphire blue to a deep aquamarine as emitters around the perimeter of the city shone like miniature suns. The tower in the middle sending an unbroken beam of light to connect to the dome and as I watched pulses emanating from it made the dome thicken and darken.

The world slowly dimmed, leaving only lamp posts that themselves began flickering. Until only the dome with it’s effusive glow stood to hold back the growing blackness that rose up against it.

Beyond the sky I knew there rose a dark seething tide that stretched past the horizon. It reached upwards with a haze so dense that the sun and moon disappeared into its inky depths. I watched as small glowing specs shot out from its surface. Some flew upwards, others burned out, and one grew larger and larger until it smashed itself across the dome before us in a blazing spectacle of ash and dust.

My mother, freed from her stupor, dragged me to the side and huddled behind a raised garden bed as everything resounded from the impacts against the dome. With one hand she clutched me to her chest while the other tapped a disk mounted at her waist. A pale blue bubble spread around us and the cacophony dulled as it hardened and died the world a pale blue.

We stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity, she clutching me while I watched all light bleed out of the sky until only the dome’s dim light illuminated anything. Strikes against the dome had tapered off from a constant pounding to a distant rumble and I could see the brown earth that covered it, shifting slowly and glowing in places.

When at last everything was quiet my mother raised her head. The brilliant beam in the city’s center had shrunk to little more than a flickering thread and in the far distance areas of the city were flickering with orange flames. When she dropped the shield the air smelled sulfurous and burned, the breath in my lungs suddenly felt thin and I began coughing.

She began speaking to me, reassuring me as forms began moving all around us. But I didn’t pay attention. My eyes were still fixed on the sky. On the point beyond the dome where the sun had been. Where the light had gone out forever.
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#1 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
I'm not quite sure:

What's happening here. I think the dome solidifies before anything hits it, so why is part of the city on fire? And if the dome does solidify before anything hits it, how does our narrator see things smashing across it? And what are these things? Part of the "dark seething tide that stretched past the horizon"? And what does that mean, anyway?

I just couldn't get this one to work for me...

#2 ·
· · >>Monokeras
There are some missing commas, and you could stand to be more judicious about what you use as sentence fragments. It's fine to have them, but modifier phrases that use a verb like "Sobbing into my bright yellow jumper as her arms threatened to squeeze the air from my lungs" make for awkward sentence fragments.

Nice atmospheric depiction of a destructive tragedy, which seems like a volcanic eruption covering the city's protective shield. A number of usage mistakes have me thinking this is another entry by someone whose first language isn't English. I don't know what message you want me to take from this, though. The city gets destroyed, and that's it. I don't have a reason to care about these characters over any other. It's also odd that it's told in first-person past tense, implying the narrator lives beyond the end of the story. How does he survive? What is life like for him afterward? There can be subtle consequences like this to the choices you've made about the story's tense and narrative voice. If you really want the story to stop there, it would probably work better as present tense or a third-person omniscient narrator.
#3 ·
This is a bit weird to understand, and I wonder what it means. I agree with >>Pascoite that there are stylistic issues. "It’s" instead of "its" is something so cringey to me. Also: "the breath in my lungs suddenly felt thin and I began coughing. She began speaking to me, reassuring me as forms began moving all around us."; despite the paragraph break between these two sentences, there are three almost consecutive *began*.

To echo what >>Baal Bunny said, I’m not sure what's going on here. The most likely hypothesis I can think of is that somehow the sun explodes. But then, if this is the case, nothing earthly could resist such a devastating event. Nor is there any reason why that would happen, except by conjuring up energies far beyond our skill to muster, even for the millions of years to come, assuming we survive that long.

All in all, it’s not badly written, but it’s difficult to relate with, and, most of all, it leaves us with the one important and unsolved mystery: how did the narrator manage to survive amidst that catastrophe?