Fear and Responsibility

It’s October.  This is traditionally the month where short fiction pieces are contributed to SU.  Last year, I tried to create a story around a concern that is near to my heart, and the result was a disjointed, unfinished mess.  My fear, that the centralization of many e-readers to single sourced databases could result in authors’ works being deleted from existence or the attribution shifted unfairly, was just something I was unable to adequately address in a short piece.   I wanted to present my thoughts on the subject but did not have the time or skill to do so in a piece of fiction that was anything less than fragmented and awful.

Mindful of that, I kept it short this year:

RESPONSIBILITY

Carter Green woke with full recollection of his dream.  He knew without looking at the clock that it was 3:37 a.m., and he knew that the warmth on his cheeks was blood.  His eyes had bled; they always did.  The dream had been of someone about to die.  He knew the time, and he knew the place, and he knew how.  He also knew it could be prevented only by his direct intervention.  This time it was a child, or rather it was children.  A school bus would be hit by a truck in just over three hours, with sixteen immediate fatalities.

The day before, it had been a family, also in an easily avoidable car accident.  A day before that it had been a teenage cheerleader who volunteered at a home for the elderly.  On Monday, it had been a pregnant mother choking on a piece of steak.  The weekend had featured an Eagle Scout and a kindergarten teacher.  Horrifying visions of violent death that he could avert.

And if whoever was sending these dreams would do it at a reasonable hour, maybe he would, Carter thought before changing his pillowcase and drifting back to sleep.

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