Free Fiction Friday: “Alternate 7816JS”

Another Friday, another serving of free fiction. This time it’s one of my earliest attempts at writing science-fiction, featuring a character I may very well try and revive one day: a nasty customer called the Censor…

“Alternate 7816JS” was published by the flash fiction site 365tomorrows in 2006 and is available to read here. So…a decade ago? Eesh. Needless to say, there’s a certain…roughness to the style. It’s not as crisp as it could. Not as polished. Then, the stuff I’m writing now will probably seem somewhat crude next to something published in, say 2026.

You know…if I’m still getting stories published a decade from now, and not dead or pumping gas for a living.

Anyway, the Censor. What a horrid creature. A time travelling bureaucrat. A chronal auditor. A man (well, clone) who erases divergent realities with a smile and a wink. He does so love his job, after all. I don’t really recall what inspired this one, other than wanting to write something short and science-fictional, with dinosaurs in it. The Censor went on to appear in a few more stories, and his personality got a bit more developed in each one, though we never really find out much more about who he works for or what their purpose is.

Every couple of years I consider trying to revive the Censor, possibly in a longer story. I haven’t managed it yet, but I imagine I will, when the right idea comes along.

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