short story (science fiction) 856 words

Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2006 11:40 pm
Short Story Under 1000 words

Title?? (undecided)

Prisoner 1

I am a prisoner on an Alien spaceship.
No, please hear me out.

I've been here ten years now. I count the days.
They allow me to keep an account of my imprisonment; in fact they encourage it. They didn't wipe my mind when I came here, but they erased certain memories. I don't know who I am or how old I am. My hair has begun to turn grey, but I'm not sure if the cause is solely one of aging. The atmosphere in the apartment I'm locked in does not seem toxic, but I worry about radiation, that sort of thing. Not that I know what to look for. I never bothered with science lessons at school.
Before I came here, I was a pianist. They let me keep that part. That's why I'm here. I play for them. On an alien-made upright piano that sounds sweeter and crisper than any piano I have ever heared before. I know this, because they allow me to watch recorded footage of humans playing the piano from around the planet Earth.

They were disappointed to learn that I couldn't play Tchaikovski's 1st Piano Concerto No.1 in B Flat, but after ten years of alien training, I am now more than able to do so. I sometimes imagine that I am playing at the Royal Albert Hall. I know that there are more fashionable venues and that the Concerto would sound dead to my ears after learning it on my alien instrument, but it's not my performance that I think about really, it's the human audience out there, barely visible to me in the dark, sitting very still, listening as I play. How I long to be close to a crowd of my own kind, instead of here, somewhere lost in a cold galaxy.

They call me 777:0MH.
Some of the friendlier ones started calling me "man" about four years back.


Prisoner 2

Hey, you gotta get me outta here. Really. I'm not kidding. I'll tell them everything. How Hollywood made them look like stupid rubber muppets with cute baby eyes and how we kept some of their brethren locked up in the desert while we 'ran some tests' on the poor bastards.
I'll name names, draw maps. I'll even donate my sperm.

No, they're not treating me badly, it's this f*cked-up human that I've gotta live with. The man's insane. It's never ending. Tchai-f*cking-kovski? I'll show him f*cking karate. I'll slam the lid down on him.
Of course, they love him. Why wouldn't they? He's their musical pet.

Me? Before I came here, I was a doctor. That's right. Me.

Anyway, I've been promoted - to a vet. Understand? My job is to keep their pet healthy. Can you believe it?

The worse thing?
I know he's enjoying it.
All the adoration. He laps it up. I don't think they have any idea what torture they are putting me through. I've been here nearly six years.
Please. Help me. Get me the away from this man and his f*cking piano.

They call me 777:1MH


Prisoner 3

Right. Well, the first thing to tell you is that we're not in a spaceship at all. Those two are delusional.
You could say they're in denial. One thinks the table and chair we have by way of furniture are a piano and stall. You should see him getting ready to 'play.' It's both hilarious and horrible. I watch him lifting up an imaginary piano lid and running his fingers across clear air. For him, the piano exists and he's so convinced of it, that he's driving the other one insane. Torturing his mind into hearing the music. It's miserable to witness.
We are prisoners, true enough. We live behind a locked door.
I'm not sure where.
The guards are certainly human but not recognisable as being from any particular continent.


Well before this… before I came here… actually I can't remember. It's odd, because the others can. They remember being a pianist and a doctor. They've retained everything they ever learned about their trades.

Who was I?
So far, I can't remember. Whatever I was, it can't have been important, because no one's asked me any questions about it. I mean, why would aliens want me? I'm no one - they haven't needed me for the four years that I've been here, where as they are forever bothering the doctor with questions about the pianist's health and well-being.

I admit that things are very strange here - but the alien spaceship thing is utter rubbish. I'm sure that soon it will all make sense to me; that it will come back to me. Who I am. Why I'm here. Where I am.

Anyway, if I were being held prisoner on an alien spaceship, wouldn't I be seeing aliens?
I think I know what's really happened. I must have taken a bang on the head at some point and soon I will wake up.

My prison number is 777:2MH

Guard Report
British Cell

prisoner 1 (the pianist) calm

prisoner 2 (the doctor) end of denial/ slightly agitated

prisoner 3 (the piano-tuner) recommended ready for memory reformation/truth realization.


Endymion 2006
856 words

Thanks for reading it. Thought I'd critique it a bit myself.

I know the ending's weak (why would they want a piano-tuner when they can produce a perfectly tuned piano in the first place? I don't know, they just did. Maybe they wanted the piano tuned by a human ear - who knows?)

It's also a very short, short story - but I wanted to keep it under 1000 words.
Just a personal challenge

Also, reading it through, I think it's a bit clumsy and a bit obvious, even a bit silly. Still, I kind of like it. It's the sort of thing I liked to read when I was about 13. It's meant to be kind of humorous.

I'm too knackered to think of a title - it's nearly five in the morning and I've been at this all night.
Like to hear any thoughts from SF readers. Or suggestions for a title.
Thanks again for reading it.

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Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2006 11:49 pm
I'm an avid SF reader, what thoughts do you want to hear?
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Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2006 03:57 am
Chumly wrote:
I'm an avid SF reader, what thoughts do you want to hear?

I dunno....

"Give up the booze, Endy"...?

Or how about, "Don't post things up at 5 in the morning."...?

I just read it through and I know it's shite.
It was real when I wrote it though.

ho - hum

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Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2006 04:04 am
I do understand how you feel, only with the hindsight of time do you know if that great feeling went somewhere real. Who am I to criticize?
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Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2006 04:29 am
I'll keep trying.
Thanks for the chat.

Time for me to think about sleep.
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