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Different Road
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TITLE (EDIT)
Different Road
DESCRIPTION
Charlie is running scared. Will he find his way before his precious time runs out?
[521 words]
AUTHOR
Sue (Sooz) Simpson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm thirty nine, recently single again. I have two boys Cli' (pronounced clee) Real name Christopher and Mark. I'm a care in the community nurse and formerly (when I was married) an occupational Therapist working with the mentally ill on a secure unit. I love reading and writing and meeting people. I hate offal, seafood and intolerance. I keep dog, cat, polecats, rats and reptiles. And for seven years ran the second largest reptile sanctuary in Britain. Apart from having my lads, I think that's probably the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Writing wise, I've been the main fiction writer for Legends magazine for three years.And have two books published 'Lizard's Leap' published by Quillusers, and 'Better the Devil You Know' soon to be released by Bestbooks.Um I drive a knackered old Astra, and ride a two litre trike. I live in the lake district of England, and am happy. :-)
[January 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
sooz.006@virgin.net
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (84)
A Fork In The Road. (Short Stories) A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words] [Mystery]
A Twist In The Tail (Short Stories) - [963 words]
Agony (Short Stories) The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words] [Comedy]
Agony 2 (Short Stories) Morew from the irrepresible Aunt Nasty (May be deemed offensive). [1,077 words] [Comedy]
Angel Stew (Short Stories) The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words] [Comedy]
Anne (Short Stories) - [707 words]
Apple Of His Eye (Short Stories) Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words] [Drama]
Attractions (Short Stories) People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words] [Drama]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock (Short Stories) A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all about? [2,144 words] [Drama]
Barriers (Short Stories) Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words] [Thriller]
Breakfast In Bed (Short Stories) She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words] [Horror]
Car Trouble (Short Stories) Boys will be boys. [496 words] [Comedy]
Cat's Chorus (Short Stories) - [1,332 words]
Cherry Blossom (Short Stories) - [435 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. (Short Stories) The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would help. [630 words] [Drama]
Creeping Up From Behind. (Short Stories) You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tell you. [925 words] [Drama]
Dark Solitude. (Short Stories) A woman alone on the moors when a storm threatens, but this is no ordinanry storm and that is no ordinary lady. [1,434 words] [Drama]
Dawn Rising (Short Stories) He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words] [Drama]
Deadly Persuit (Short Stories) Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words] [Drama]
Deep Blue Eastern Light (Poetry) I've never been to Budapest, but I saw an image on a postcard, it was misty and had a sort of dreamy quality about it. I wondered about the spirit of Budapest. Hope I've done her justicce. [204 words]
Empty House (Short Stories) This had been her domain, now it was only a shadow. [649 words] [Drama]
Find Me A Place (Poetry) Everybody needs somewhere to run. [193 words] [Drama]
Finding Fleur (Short Stories) Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words] [Drama]
Four Minute Warning (Short Stories) - [476 words] [Comedy]
Freedom By Another Name (Short Stories) He's an imposter [557 words] [Drama]
Furtive Glances (Short Stories) Always the last to know! [891 words] [Drama]
Galaxy (Poetry) Let Venus bear witness and Mars be our guide. [139 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Short Stories) - [991 words] [Drama]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty (Short Stories) It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words] [Comedy]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! (Short Stories) There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words] [Mind]
Jasmine And Gardenia Love (Poetry) - [417 words] [Erotic]
Jinny (Poetry) - [176 words]
Just The Ticket (Short Stories) You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words] [Drama]
Knockers (Short Stories) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words] [Drama]
Little Bird (Short Stories) He liked fragile things [1,406 words] [Drama]
Lizards Leap (Novels) Four children buy an intricately carved frame from a school fair. A crazy old woman chases them desperately wanting the carving for herself. What is the mystery surrounding the strange frame? [5,753 words] [Adventure]
Long Walk Back To Jurassica (Poetry) Evolution and progress or three million steps backwards? [323 words] [Drama]
Lookingthrough The Window (Short Stories) - [401 words]
Madness Becomes You (Short Stories) She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no difference. [394 words] [Drama]
Making My Way Back To You. (Short Stories) She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had struck. [1,926 words] [Drama]
Memberwhen (Poetry) Memberwhen that mystical word of long ago memories. [189 words] [Drama]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. (Short Stories) The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words] [Drama]
Mourning Glory (Short Stories) One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a little girl trying to be a child. [1,786 words] [Drama]
Mumbles From The Madhouse (Novels) It was her first day on the secure unit and somehow she had to see it through. [2,215 words] [Drama]
My Friend The Tiger And Me (Poetry) I wrote this for my little boy when he was having trouble at school. [942 words] [Animal]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza (Short Stories) - [552 words]
One-Man Race (Short Stories) He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words] [Drama]
Out Of Print (Short Stories) A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words] [Drama]
Outrun The River (Poetry) The snow was melting fast and he owed it to himself and his seld of dogs to make it to safety. [145 words] [Action]
Pact Of Joy. (Short Stories) Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words] [Drama]
Play With Me Please. (Short Stories) - [322 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) (Short Stories) Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so easily offended. Continuing sexploits of Dark Solitude. [3,390 words] [Erotic]
Room For One More (Short Stories) The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words] [Drama]
Rush Hour (Short Stories) - [419 words]
Sally (Short Stories) - [2,268 words]
Sinister Music (Novels) She had no psychic ability, so why had fate chosen her to foretell of the spate of brutal murders? [6,114 words] [Drama]
So This Is My Life Then (Short Stories) - [517 words] [Comedy]
Space Walk (Short Stories) May Cause offense. [1,290 words] [Drama]
Spirit Dancer (Poetry) - [514 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine (Short Stories) The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts now turn to revenge? [1,843 words] [Drama]
Tangled Web (Short Stories) Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words] [Drama]
The Band Played On (Short Stories) - [1,486 words] [Drama]
The Big Picture (Short Stories) The little girl was a great artist, but her subject matter was giving cause for concern. [776 words] [Drama]
The Comet. (Short Stories) Remember! [796 words] [Drama]
The Dinosaur (Short Stories) - [1,523 words]
The Half Empty Glass. (Short Stories) They had no idea of the horror they were walking into. [3,030 words] [Drama]
The Hhmmm Efect (Poetry) - [783 words]
The Iceberg (Short Stories) She had to break the hold they had on him... release him from his parents grip. [410 words] [Drama]
The Joker (Short Stories) - [2,032 words]
The Lovers (Poetry) - [124 words]
The Mark Of Jack (Short Stories) The start of something maybe. [1,044 words] [Drama]
The Old Enemy (Short Stories) I just hope I've got the names right. [253 words] [Drama]
The Rosary (Short Stories) May cause offense. [422 words]
The Spark (Short Stories) - [557 words]
The Thirteenth Station (Short Stories) - [8,024 words] [Horror]
The Village Green. (Short Stories) - [559 words] [Drama]
Three Mile Gap (Poetry) So close and yet... [285 words] [Drama]
Tomorrow Lies Beside Us (Poetry) - [239 words] [Drama]
Tusk (Short Stories) - [1,012 words] [Drama]
Under The Whether (Short Stories) - [1,626 words]
Watching And Waiting (Short Stories) - [1,253 words] [Drama]
White Icing (Short Stories) - [1,385 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser (Short Stories) - [114 words]
You Are My Sunshine (Short Stories) - [1,285 words]
Different Road
Sue (Sooz) Simpson

Charlie ran down the road, he was agitated. Was this the right direction? So many times it seemed he had stumbled into a dead end.

He could feel the expansion of his veins as blood surged through them with each beat of his heart. His eyes were bugging with the exertion; his feet ached with pounding down the endless lanes. His mouth was dry; respiration’s harsh as he panted through parted lips. He needed a drink.

Right turn, run. Left turn, run. Left turn dead end.

He spun on his heels and doubled back the way he had already been, desperately trying to remember the confusing sequence of turns in reverse.

He stopped momentarily, disoriented.
“Which way? Which way? Oh hell which way?
 
He wanted to stop. How easy it would be to just give up now, to quit. Lie down and curl foetaly, allowing the haze of blessed slumber to engulf him.
He pressed on willing his legs to run once more. He had no idea why he had to reach the end, knowing only that it was what he had to do. Why does a river run downstream? Why does the sun rise? Why does Charlie have to reach his goal? The same reason as last time. The same reason as next time, the same reason as every time.

He increased his speed, tortured lungs urged to bursting, diaphragm open to its limit, gasping for precious oxygen.

Shaking his head, he forced the threatened blackness from his peripheral vision. His mind cleared as the darkness retreated, thoughts focusing.

“ Must think clearly. Must think clearly”

He had lost weight, his bones were now visible, vertebrae raised and defined, each one protruding, clearly separate from its neighbours. How long now since he had eaten? How long since he had tasted sweet water? His hair was matted and dirty and he smelled strongly of his own waste products.

He turned the corner. It was a dead end.

He missed his friends and family, was isolated and alone, he hated being taken from them. Maybe at the end of this road they would be waiting for him. Or at the end of a different road.

Retrace, retrace, think, concentrate.

Time was running out. His mind was unhelpful as he tried to remember how long he had been running, or how much time he had left. He felt desperate, alone, scared, determined. He HAD to reach the end.
 
Right turn. He almost collapsed with relief. There was the end ahead of him. He’d done it. Extra reserves, extra speed as he burst through the gate at the end of the course.
Professor Harland lowered her clipboard.

“Four minutes twenty eight seconds, and its a tougher maze. He’s clipped three and a half seconds off last weeks time. Amazing what a little hunger can do isn’t it?”
She gazed benevolently down at her creation, like a mother marvelling for the thousandth time at her clever infant.

The large Black rat finished drinking, and turned hate filled human eyes towards its creator.

Charlie was the world’s first rat genetically bred with implanted human intelligence. Charlie cursed his human emotions. If only he also had human vocal chords to them how he felt.



 

READER'S REVIEWS (6)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"This story really grips right from the start, tremendous sense of dramatic tension. Just a couple of quibbles. First sentence - do you need 'he was agitated'? Why spell out the obvious? 'Foetaly' in line 13 - is that a real adverb, it doesn't look right somehow. Also, in the last paragraph you seem to be saying that human intelligence implies human emotions. Surely the two are quite sepsrate. I did enjoy the story though. And I did not see the end coming!" -- Moya Green, Tamworth, England.
"This one reminded me strongly of "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniuel Keyes, one of my all time favourite books. The central character of that book is Charlie Gordon, and Algernon is a mouse with near-human intelligence. I agree with the previous reviewer, this work isn't as well written as your later stuff and is just played for the trick ending. It's okay but I know you can do a lot better." -- David Gardinerd, London, England.
"Moya I am terrible for making up words to fit my cause. If I can't think of one that sounds right, I'll just make one up that does. So in answer to your question,um probably not :-) Thanks for liking this I'm not fond of it myself. Thank-you." -- Sooz, Dalton, England, Cumbria.
"You are starting to worry me David, you are getting to know me far too well. Of course as usual you are right, this was written just for the twist ending, and it's another one that I don't like. I'm dying to find one that I disagree with you on and can say, 'Well I really like this one' but it hasn't happened yet. Thanks David." -- Sooz, Dalton, England, Cumbria.
"Barry’s Review: I’m sorry Cameron, but I couldn’t bare to read this piece. If you have another I’ll be happy to look at it though. Achy’s Review: Hopefully I can find the time to give this an Achy Special " -- Cam Davis.
"Well I don't think it was *that* bad Barry :-) and thanks to Arch and Cam. " -- Sooz, Dalton, England, Cumbria.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 1999 Sue (Sooz) Simpson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1742
 

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