Another flash fiction piece for you today, one that I wrote back in the summer. The prompt was Dolls, so I had some fun with it. Runs a little over 900 words. Hope you enjoy!
She actually winked at me, I couldn’t believe it! A Doll, and Evangelina to boot! Of all the people here, in this enormous arena, she had chosen me. If I dropped right now I’d still be in Heaven, no matter if my soul flashed north to the heavens or south to the infernal. All the Dolls were beautiful, of course, and great, but Evangelina, she was different from the others.
The Dolls were, yet again, playing for the title, the championship, against the massive Brutes. I had to kick, scream and beg, but I had somehow secured the creds and purchased one of the last common tickets to the event. I didn’t have the big money to grab a front row seat, and I couldn’t even see the private boxes, but it didn’t matter. I was there, in person, with a view others would kill for. A view that I had killed for.
Evangelina ran by the proofed clear glass, pausing there, hopping back and forth on nimble feet. She had glanced back then, and with the crowd roaring around me, her eyes had fixed on me, just for a second. I knew it, felt it, that she had picked me, made me special. The neon and flashing ads, the brilliant scoreboard overhead, the domed arena, all of it paled to what she had just given me.
There was a buzz in the crowd as the game started, a loud siren call signaling the beginning. I wish I could remember all the details of the game, the feints, the collisions, the dizzying runs. The Dolls flew from spot to spot, corner to corner; their opponents – large hulking monstrosities, many with weaponized body parts – looked dimwitted and slow in comparison. Evangelina was a force, pure, primal, and she controlled the game from the very start. I just knew, in my core, that she had saved this game, this majestic performance, for me alone.
I remembered, on rare occasion, to glance at the scores that hung over the arena; it was difficult, my eyes didn’t want to stray from the work of the Dolls and my Evangelina. The Dolls were comfortably ahead, up by six, and then twelve, and then thirty. The crowd delighted in their runs, cries of awe as the Dolls danced around the Brutes, shouts of joy after every score; curses when the enemy managed a score of their own, rage-filled expletives when a Brute’s hammer blow landed.
It was all perfect, a night to be remembered forever. And that answered everything that happened next, like the eclipse of a sun.
Evangelina practically glowed, like an aura of finesse and perfected skill radiated from her soul. She was untouchable, perfect, dazzling. It was vivid at that moment; she stopped at that spot on the floor, the same spot where she had given me her touch, her gaze, right by the glass. A Brute thundered towards her, thick, serrated arms overhead; its maw opened in a howl of anger and malice. I was captivated by her movements, fluid and graceful, and I smiled, the conviction and certainty in me that the beast wouldn’t – couldn’t – touch her. Nothing could, if she didn’t want it to.
A powerful fist came down in a crash, on top of my beloved Evangelina. Her face cracked, and my heart lurched. A seam appeared, a thin line that ran down the side of her face, at her jaw line. Her legs – sinuous, sexy, thin and strong – buckled. My mouth opened but no sound erupted from within, my vocal chords frozen in terror. She spun off of one hand, held to the floor, trying to wheel away.
The second fist landed with a hollow pang of superlight metals and the screech of gears and fragmented motor assemblies. Parts flew. A thick cloud of dust and debris burst out from what used to be the Doll of my life, a star gone supernova in a split second. Fluid spattered onto the glass, marred its surface. A hush fell over the crowd, stunned to silence in that instant, like they all waited for Evangelina to spring back into action, unfazed and unhurt.
She didn’t. I numbly observed the Brute bound off towards another Doll, raised edges of its arms and fists thick with a dark, viscous fluid. The wreckage of Evangelina was very still, smoke drifting from the remains. The crowd resumed its furor, the fallen Doll forgotten in the rush of continued action. I stared for what seemed like hours, willed her back, silently demanded that she not desert me, not now.
I could barely watch the rest of the game. The world faded into obscurity, scrambled into a faint, maddening haze, and nothing mattered. Cheers erupted occasionally, a buzzer and music, but it was all background noise. Flashing lights, neon and running lines of color, they all dimmed, like my world had gone gray scale. The only splotches of color centered on my angel, the battered thing that had brought me to life so long ago. The only thing that caught me, grabbed me, was the crushed and broken corpse of the cyberform, a heap of rubble in the one corner of the arena I now cared about. One second she was a woman, real and alive, and the next she was a shattered toy, bits of plex-steel and fiber scattered like so much trash.
I cried all the way home. She had winked at me.