Saturday, 8 May 2021

Flash Fic Challenge: Sunset Warning

 Sunset Warning

(This story takes place in the post-apocalyptic Split universe of "Holding Onto Day", but is otherwise not connected to it)


An alarm went off in the virtual auditorium. "Ten minutes to sunset! This is your ten minute warning!"

There was a muffled groan from the students. "Sunset comes so early in winter, it's not fair."

The professor shook xer head. "Earlier every day until solstice, my dears. Go ahead and prepare, we'll pick up the lesson after it sets."

Images shifted from faces to ceilings across the auditorium as tablets in a score of tiny settlements were placed on floors or tables so that they wouldn't be temporarily lost in the shift. Students shifted and stretched, set down their notes, yelled the warning to anyone in their settlement who might have missed it. The preparations were routine, something they had done every day of their lives (or that their parents and guardians had done for them), but still a necessary chore.

"One minute to sunset! This is your one minute warning!"

A score of human teenagers did last minute checks and stood back.

Sunset rolled through, shifting the world outside the fairy rings that encircled each tiny settlement, and every person inside them. Clothes and held items vanished, replaced by whatever the person had been wearing or holding when sunrise caught them. Items that weren't being held, remained as they were

And every person shifted with the change, from human, to non-human. Minotaur hands and werewolf paws picked up tablets again, gryphon claws tapped cautiously, unicorn noses nudged buttons.

The professor tucked xer dragon feet comfortably under xem, scooped up xer pointer with a twist of xer flexible tail, and waited until all the faces had reappeared in the virtual auditorium. "Now, as I was saying before I was interrupted..."

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