11 October, 2019

Fiction Friday - Good Eats (part 2)

Image courtesy of D.B. McNicol.

This story continues from last week's post. Find it HERE.<<

Ginger looked left and right, as if preparing to cross a street. The curved hallway seemed identical in both directions. The same pale grey walls, fading into the distance.

She listened, and heard no sound louder than a faint mechanical hum. Was this place sound-proof, or was she the only one around? Giving a resigned shrug, she muttered, “Only one way to find out,” and turned to the left. One step toward the darkness beyond, and the next set of hidden lights illuminated the patch of hall beyond. 

Aha! That’s how this will work! Motion sensors. She shouldn’t have been surprised.

The floor wasn’t carpeted, but it was soft, as if coated in a layer of rubber flooring, like a gym. Her bare feet didn’t make a sound. It dawned on Ginger that the hallway floor was warmer than the room she just left. Must have been above a refrigerator room.

Looking back, she realized that the lights faded out after she passed through each section. This happened three or four times before she came across a door identical to the one she had exited. It was on the opposite side of the hall, the outside of this very large, circular building. No knob or handle on the door, and it didn’t move when she pushed or tried to slide it. She peered in the small window. It was a dark room and took her a minute to focus on what she was seeing. It looked like computer servers. Rows and rows. A really big room. 

Okay. This place is big. Got it. If the hallway made a full circle, that would be quite huge. She made a mental note to look for stairs or an elevator to search other floors, too.

When the next section’s lights came on, she saw another door nearby, and peered in that one, too. This room was similar to the one next to it, but with a bank of monitors on one wall. Angling her head to see better, it looked like every monitor showed the room she had awakened in. No… A few monitors seemed to have lumpy figures still on the bed/table in the middle. Most were empty. No monitor showed anyone up and moving around.

What was going on?

The next door she came to was on the same side as “her” room. Ginger hurried to the door. Was it another sleeping person?

Gleaming stainless steel fixtures under bright lights filled the room inside. Stacks of white things stood on some of the countertops, and random items hung down from above. It took a minute to realize that this was a kitchen! The white things were trays, plates, bowls. The things hanging down must be cooking utensils. They looked different from what Ginger was familiar with, but then, she had never been inside a professional kitchen.

She couldn’t resist pushing at the door, but it didn’t budge. Then a pair of shadowy figures walked past, back beyond a couple of the work-tops, so she couldn’t really tell what they were doing. Her hand moved to knock on the door and get their attention, but she looked around. No one else was in the hall. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to be there. Ginger lowered her hand and moved on. 

So far she hadn’t learned anything except that she was in a big, lonely building. Someone was here, in the kitchens at least. Maybe this floor was underused.

As she considered her findings and lack thereof, another door came into sight. This would be next to the kitchens. A storeroom? A pantry? She peered in.


Ginger’s jaw dropped as her eyes attempted to take in all of the vast garden within. Again, she was locked out, relegated to watching through the small window. There were plants in rows like a vegetable garden. With neat rows of trees around, possibly orchards. The light inside was dim, like dawn, so she couldn’t see the end, but this building had ample room for an ample garden. Seeing movement out of the corner of her eye, she peered closer, looking toward the left. There were large animals standing together eating grass.

Cows! That’s where the meat came from! Well, wait…

From the clump of animals in dim light, she couldn’t make out if they were cows, or horses, or what. There was so much to look at in the garden. Smaller animals skittered around among the plants and trees. Slowly, the light increased. It really mimicked daylight well.

Clever. Emulate the sun’s rhythm.

Looking over at the cattle again, Ginger smiled. The light was playing tricks on her eyes. The cows looked blue in this light. Or horses. Or… something else?

As the light increased, she tried to guess what vegetables were in the garden, but she didn’t recognize any of the greens showing above ground. Her eyes kept going over to the animals, which continued to look blue. Ginger frowned. Everything else looked normal shades of green or brown. If it was the lighting, shouldn’t everything have a blue tinge?

The animals were unclumping and she noticed someone walking toward them from the far side, near where the kitchen was. There was probably a door between the two. 

As one of the animals ambled closer to Ginger’s vantage point, she clearly saw that it was, in fact, a variegated blue pattern on the animals hide. The animal turned suddenly and Ginger squinted. 

Six legs? And blue?

The figure in the shadows selected one of the beasts, and Ginger could clearly see that he wasn’t human at all. His grey skin gleamed in the bright light, and arms that reached nearly to his feet forcefully pushed the beast toward where the kitchen doorway opened into shadow.

What did I eat?

Ginger fainted.

Every Friday, a new flash fiction story, inspired by reader comments, when possible. Feel free to leave a prompt for future use in the comments below. Today's prompt was "Good Eats" given by Liz A. of Laws of Gravity.<< Thanks, Liz!


  1. I was kind of expecting that they were fattening her up... You know the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"? So glad it didn't go that direction.

    1. Yes, I actually do know that episode!
      I haven't any motivation for these aliens, but for flash fiction, it wasn't really necessary. I guess if I wrote more on this theme, maybe it would turn dark.


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