Facsimile Forest

A busy Friday to bookend a busy week.  I’d still like to try my best to keep up with Madison Woods’s Friday Fictioneers and so I’ve written another piece of flash inspired by her photo prompt:

Madison’s site hosts the original image along with her story.  Other authors’ stories will be linked in the comments section there.  Here’s the link to follow:


I intially hit a proverbial brick wall with this one but eventually something sparked/short circuited the synapses and several ideas collided at once.  ‘Facsimile Forest’ ended up being the winner.  I hope you enjoy it.  Thank you for stopping by 🙂

‘Facsimile Forest’

The vanishing haunts me still. I remember being swallowed by a prowling, inky void and a crushing loss of sensory input. Then came the chamber, inconceivable in immensity and design. My new home.

They have subjected me to a labyrinthian maelstrom of alien environments, gravity and perceived time shifting with no discernable purpose. And each time I near the fringes of sanity, they use their nanotechnology to conjure a companion for me. These fabricants now serve only to deepen my dementia and despair.

Today I find myself waking in a facsimile forest to the speculative nuzzlings of a pensive, wet nosed dog. Something is different here. Behind the eyes. I begin to weep. This dog is real.


25 comments on “Facsimile Forest

  1. janmorrill says:

    Very frightening. Even the relief that the dog is real holds an ominous foreboding. Well done.

    Here’s my link:

    • Thanks Jan, I saw the dog as a possible ray of hope for the poor guy, but your read works equally well. One of the benefits of Friday Fictioneers is being given fresh perspectives on your writing. 🙂

  2. What a bold narrative. What an interesting story. In structure, I think its similar to mine, in that its more of a narrative journey than a physical one.


  3. Sandra says:

    Excellent; this really portrays a man at the end of his resilience, and then the introduction of that one final straw – reality … Thanks for the read.


    • As always, very kind words Sandra, thank you. It’s good to know that the plight of this guy was evident from my writing; you always hope something will work but can never be too sure how others will read it. 🙂

  4. unspywriter says:

    Very nice and poignant and a great twist at the end. Almost a companion piece to mine:


  5. Quill Shiv says:

    Astounding work, Andy! I’m not convinced at this point if the MC is insane, or if this is a sci-fi piece, but either way, it works beautifully and I love it.

    I especially love the ending–a “real” dog. It means he is regaining sanity, or the nanotech has progressed enough to create real things, OR another is trapped with him.

    My link is: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/dichromatic/

  6. TheOthers1 says:

    Whoa. That’s the kind of thing that’ll mess you up. Losing touch with what’s real. Are they torturing him? I’m glad at least the dog is real though I worry for this character. Nice work.

    My attempt: http://unduecreativity.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/a-little-longer/

  7. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Andy,

    Way, way outside of the box. I honestly didn’t think it could be done. Your story said a great deal in a short span of time. The conclusion, with their inclusion of a real dog in his environment was spooky and kind of sealed the deal regarding suspension of disbelief for the reader. Good job.




  8. Jeannie says:

    I wasn’t sure where you were going with this but by the end–wow! It spoke volumes in such few words. Having the dog be real was the perfect touch for someone on the fringe and disconnected from all he knew to BE real. Great job!!


  9. elmowrites says:

    Wow Andy, you take us to a really dark place with this, and then I don’t know whether the ending gives a tiny ray of hope, or just more despair! Fantastic job!

    I’m over here: http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/friday-fictioneers-lucy

  10. Hi Andy,
    I so glad the dog escaped. I struggled coming up with a story for this one, too, but I think you came through with a good one. Especially like the word fabricant!
    Here’s mine: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  11. teschoenborn says:

    Excellent, the word choices, the unique nature of the piece, all hooked me and kept me reading.

    Here’s mine: http://teschoenborn.com/2012/03/15/friday-fictioneers-2/

  12. niiko47 says:

    Another fantastic story from you this week, Andy. Your use of language always impresses me and this time is no different!
    You went to such an original place with the prompt, completely away from the direction most others took. So much story in such a short space and, judging by the comments others have made, you’ve got imaginations running wild as people speculate on what is really going on!
    The sign of a truly great writer and story.


  13. Andy, I’m at a loss for words–terrific piece. I’d have to agree with each remark made and then multiply by three. Great job! I loved it. One of my favorites.

    Mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html

  14. miq says:

    Wow! My mind is going in circles trying to figure out the situation the MC is in. I hope you expand on this. You’ve managed to write something that is horrifying and poignant. Well done.

    Mine is here: http://threedescriptors.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/flash-fiction-18-watch-dog/

  15. Madison Woods says:

    I loved this. The middle paragraph contains my favorite phrase: “They have subjected me to a labyrinthian maelstrom of alien environments…” and the concept is an excellent one to flesh out for a novel. Have you considered that?

  16. tedstrutz says:

    I did enjoy. Wow, many wonderings… why is he there… how did a ‘real’ dog show up… that he could tell by the thoughts in the eyes. Yes I enjoyed the ‘start’ of a good story’

  17. Quill Shiv says:

    Congratulations! You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

    Click here: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/the-versatile-blogger-award-or-more-things-you-didnt-want-to-know-about-me/

    And collect the image, and read the instructions on how to pass the love

    • Hi Rinn, thank you so much for this very kind nomination and congratulations on your own award. I’m so sorry for the late response to this. I have had a very full plate of late. I’m very pleased and honoured that you recommend me as a writer but I’m not sure that I qualify as a blogger of any particular merit 🙂
      That said, it’s very kind and lovely of you to send me this and I very much enjoyed reading your ‘acceptance speech’.
      All the very best,

      • Quill Shiv says:

        I understand having a full plate, so don’t worry about taking a while to get back to me. I know what you mean, RE: blogger v writer, but I thought I would pass it along in the spirit of “writers of merit.”


  18. Excellent story, unfolds beautifully and with a great sense of despair – and pulls in the prompt right at the end with just the right amount of sentiment. Loved this interpretation, extremely strong writing here. Great work! Also, want to know who is doing this and what the dog will be for…interesting….

    My entry is over here: http://joannakneilson.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/flash-fiction-friday-send-mitsy/

  19. Haunting, indeed. Would love to see this developed further.

    Here’s mine: http://wp.me/p24aJS-3m

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