Formerly posted in May under the (accurate, though unimaginative) title “Ambiguous Plot,” this revision began purely as an exercise to get the story down to 100 words or less.
It surprised me to see the story becoming stronger the more I cut out of it, though I'm sure this would have been obvious to me if I ever did more than one creative writing exercise per year.
Anyhow, here it is, clocking in at exactly one hundred words.
(Don't be surprised if this is not the final version I subject you to. In fact, I'm mulling over the potential of transforming this piece into some sort of semi-interactive multimedia storybook/poem/film hybrid.)
The lamp turned green and I stopped.
Red now, start again.
I abandoned her to her complacency.
Thirteen months onward, four lifeless worlds apart, ninety-seven seconds and I'll be dead.
“It'll be your undoing,” she warned, unclear if she meant the mission or leaving her.
The search was, at first, promising. But days became weeks and progress slowed. Five months in we bottomed out.
The lamp turned green and I shifted uncomfortably.
“I had a dream about it,” she sighed.
She did this often. I feigned concern.
Red now, that's better.
My final breath.
Far away, she wept.