Author Archives: mmwelch

About mmwelch

Speculative fiction author, musician, librarian, fan of dessert

Stories from Refuge – 117 – “He died dreaming of Aboveground.”

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-94, dialogue between H.G. and Jill White, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.12.29

18C is haunted, did you know that? Those tunnels down in the south end of Refuge, there’s a lot of bad news coming out of them, but it’s mostly Section 16 and 17 where you hear all the stories, especially the sub-tunnels. All the crime and the drug runners and the people getting locked in when the air scrubbers go down. Sec 18 isn’t nearly as much trouble. It’s still poor compared to 21 and 22 where the people who work for Government live, but mostly things are quiet and there isn’t that much trouble.

Except side tunnel C. There’s trouble there, but you have to live there to hear about it.

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Stories from Refuge – 116 – “Everyone stopped to listen to him and I got away.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-93, dialogue between N.R. and Jill White, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.12.27

I know you. You’re the one who arrested my brother. Not the mind-reader, that was someone else, and when that guy was done messing my brother up he said this short little woman came along and actually slapped the cuffs on him, grabbed him like her hands were made of metal and marched him down to Confinement. He swore it was a bot that grabbed him and started talking to him and he wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to tell him bots can’t talk.

You never got me, though. You got my brother but you never got me. You want to know why?

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Poetry Corner: Orange?

Just capture color,
the instructions say
But immediately my words kick in –
What color is that?
What words would I use to describe it?
How do I name it?
Because this is the mind:
constant awareness,
constant grasping

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

I took my contemplative photography exercises on the road to Flagstaff, since it’s too hot to go out and take pictures at home right now. This is the color of the resort buildings.

Stories from Refuge – 115 – “The next time I sang I didn’t get caught at all.”

(c) Svedoliver | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-92, interview with I.A., recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.12.26

Here’s what happened the first time I was arrested. I was on the train car and we’d gotten stuck in Section 24, something going on in the junction with Sec 8 that we couldn’t see. People were getting restless, the car was actually starting to rock back and forth, and there was muttering going around. What is it this time, another riot, or just the bots breaking some heads up ahead of us, someone saying they knew someone who could shut the bots down for good, that kind of thing. It wasn’t long before a gray suit came by, of course, looking for anyone who was going to start trouble. I saw him walking along outside the car, peering in the windows, and someone in the car starting crying, this thin little high-pitched wail. I’m not sure the Empath was actually throwing anything out there, I didn’t really feel anything, but I knew things were about to go sideways.

I wasn’t really planning what I did next. I could have broken a window or thrown a punch or any number of things. What I did was start singing. I don’t remember what song. I just belted it out at the top of my lungs.

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Stories from Refuge – 114 – “I always just did my job, tried not to think about it too hard.”

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report C-28, interview with Nate Smith, recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.12.23

She apologized when she came back. Min did. I’m a medical tech in 5 North, I give the paramaniacs their sedatives, and I’m the one who took over from Fred Browne when Min came in and he couldn’t sedate her. He got bothered, I don’t really understand why, but then we never really talked to each other. They don’t hire med techs who like to chat. Put the needles in the arms and don’t listen to them when they try to scare you, that’s what we get told to do.

I did it for years. I shot sedatives into Min’s arm and she went to sleep, and I listened to her mumble something about not dreaming. Then one day they came in and told me to wake Min up, take her off the sedatives. I thought she’d start dreaming again and that would be bad, but I didn’t think about it too hard.

Don’t think about any of them too hard, I’d tell myself. Just do the job.

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