#32 - Rejection

“Wake up, Joan."

The voice seemed to be coming from a long way away, through layers of foam or fabric. Woozily, Joan forced her eyes open, then squinted against the bright lights of the room.
The shape of a man was stood next to the bed, his body covered in a thick black cloak; he was holding some sort of staff – no, she realised, it had a long curved part at the top. A scythe?

A comatose patient is summoned through time at the moment of her death; what awaits her in the distant future? A standalone short story about time travel and death.

This generally grew out of a couple of things; first, there's a really interesting set of studies done by John B. Calhoun about mice that I've basically riffed on here. The bulk of it is based on fact though; the mice in the experiment did begin to react negatively towards each other, and some did spend their whole life preening and never actually entering their society. I read a story that was part of the Humble Bundle the other day, Uglies, by Scott Westerfield, and I wondered at the time if it was related at all to the Calhoun experiments. Turns out it's not, but it shares some of the themes.

As always, I would love to collaborate with you! If you have short fiction that you would like me to include as a standalone episode of Pocket Fiction, drop me a line!

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Music: “The Pyre” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By attribution 3.0.