The Fire of The Gods

March 20, 2012 at 10:58 PM | Posted in Fiction | 3 Comments

This week’s challenge was to write any story at all, under 1000 words, with this title: The Fire of The Gods. I only think of one thing when I think of the Fire of the Gods:
So pack up your shit and go catch some more of this over here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: The Fire of the Gods

Sam woke up with a horrific headache.  What the—
Where am I?
And holy piss-fuck, what was that sound?
Gradually his surroundings came into focus.  Okay.  He was outside somewhere.  He was naked.  He felt his face, not realizing immediately that if his face had permanent marker on it, he wouldn’t feel it.  His buddies went to great lengths to prank the first one to pass out.
Goddammit, he hoped it was just the woods, and not the zoo or someplace public.  The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is all about location.  There was that sound again.  That’s a big-ass animal.  Fuck, I probably am at the zoo.
He stood up slowly, and his spinning head zeroed in on the backpack that was under him.  Attached to the flap was a greeting card.

Sorry we had to do this to you, buddy, but you were just out of control.  We all have families and careers, and you still booze it up like college.  You’re fucking 30.
Consider this your reboot.  You’ve been bitching about having nowhere to go, dead-end job, life sucks, blah-blah-blah.  We figured it was a cry for help.  And we were tired of listening to it.
We hope you enjoyed your last drunk.  It was necessary to load you up so your body would go through the portal.  It turns out Brad wasn’t completely full of shit about his genius cousin that went to MIT when he was 12.
The stuff in the backpack here will help you get started.  Stay sharp.  Watch your back.  Good luck.
The guys.

Sam went back and forth in his mind between realizing the implications of the letter, and thinking it had to be a hoax.  It had to be bullshit.  He picked up the pack and started walking.  It had to be—
As he cleared the trees and brush he saw that he was on a bluff, overlooking a valley.  No sign of civilization anywhere.  The loud trumpeting sound was louder now, and he looked down.  A group of a dozen men, hairier than he but just as naked, were attempting to take down an elephant with just spears and clubs.  Elephant?
Fuck me, that’s a mammoth!

Sam regained consciousness with the taste of his own vomit in his mouth.  He uttered his first words face down in the dirt.  “I have to stop doing that.  That’s how I ended up in this shit.”  He rolled over and found that he was surrounded by people.  Were they people?
About a dozen or so, men and women and a few kids.  Most of them were doing their own thing, but about four of them were watching him.
“Well, you look human enough,” he said as he sat up slowly.  He wasn’t sure what to expect.  Was he a captive?  The watchers grunted when he spoke.
Well, let’s go with it.  “Perhaps I can use my anthropology degree after all,” he said, nodding.  “Nog, Rog—it’s a pleasure to meet you.  I hope I got your names right.  Man, you guys are hairy.”  He smiled while he said this, because body language is everything.  Exude confidence.
“You guys sure do smell, don’t you?”  He nodded, and they nodded with him.
“Well, you appear to be human.  I don’t see any latent features from—“
Sam was smashed across the face with a club.  Nog and Rog were still nodding.  Rog hooted, and made some weird noises, then covered his mouth hard with his hand.  Sam got the message.  No one likes to be lectured to, especially cavemen about anthropology.

Sam wasn’t clear on his status, because for a long time he was not allowed to wonder to far from the group.  He surmised that this was how a clan maintained genetic diversity, by taking in others.  No one wanted to hear his theory, but he was presented with the eligible ladies of the clan from which he did pick a comely but hairy female for a mate.  Her tribal name was Lo.  Sam called her Lorraine Evelyn Stanford, after a girl he had a crush on in eighth grade.
Sam had never got to first base with Lorraine, but he fucked Lo like an animal.
As long as Sam stopped that ridiculous chatter, he had no problems.  He was older than most of them, and possibly wiser—if not slightly better educated.  The most important things he learned in school came from high school wood shop and metal shop.  He fashioned better weapons, and improved sharpening techniques, and began the long process of trying to make a bow and arrows.  They had about 100 different grunts, so he mastered the language easily.  If everything didn’t taste like mammoth, they would need more words.

After many seasons, Sam was now the leader of his clan, and they were prosperous.  His people looked up to him with a god-like reverence, which he encouraged.  He had three women now, two currently with child.  They would add to the seven children he already had.
His people were naturally nomadic, but he taught them to do it with a purpose.  They traveled south when the leaves started to turn and north when the trees began to bud.
Sam had all that he ever wanted.  He had a family and a wife and concubines.  Rarely now did he reflect on that last night in his own time.  He was being a drunken ass, just like they said.  Barely able to stand, but still willing to fight, he was dragged to another bar where they would make a special drink for him.  They called it “Fire of the Gods,” and that’s the last thing he remembered before he woke up here.
Given the choice he would have taken an intervention over time travel.  Still, there was something else he missed more, and it had taken many moons for the cravings to pass.
It was a helluva way to quit smoking.


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