Cherry Blossom

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Cherry Blossom

Postby mario72486 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:50 pm

This is something I submitted a while ago for National Public Radio's Three-Minute Fiction contest. The goal was to write a short story with 600 or fewer words that could be read within three minutes.

The contest ended last week, so I figure now it's okay to post my entry. Hope people enjoy...


Cherry Blossom


April 12, 1945


This is the last day I shall ever know in this world. Today, I’m finally ready and able to do my duty for my nation. I try my best to rest up for my mission, but the bomber rocks back and forth, keeping me awake. I realize that now isn’t the time for personal needs and wants. After all, I’ll be sleeping again soon enough…


My people are now in greater danger than ever before. Those American dogs have invaded Okinawa, a stone’s throw away from the mainland. I’ve heard the reports from the front line; we’re losing ground and precious lives quickly. If something drastic isn’t done, our enemy will be one step closer to wiping us out. We have the capability to stop them, to strike utter fear into their hearts; but it will take more than service to use it…

The Divine Thunder God Corp has conjured up a most ingenious instrument of destruction. The commander called this new weapon most innovative and powerful. However, it requires our ultimate sacrifice. He asked for pilots, and I volunteered. Death awaits war-going pilots one way or another; if I am to die, I will die the most effective, most glorious death by inflicting the greatest damage on our enemy…


I’m shook awake by one of the bomber’s crewmembers. “We’re nearing our objective,” he says. I am also told my target is unable to move thanks to one of my brethren; he gave his life to cripple the vessel. His sacrifice shall not be in vain, and neither will mine. I’m ordered to prepare for takeoff. At last, the moment of truth has arrived…

As the bomber enters cloud cover, I climb down into the cockpit of the Ohka nestled within the bomb bay doors. It’s ironic how a name so beautiful has been given to such a devastating weapon. It is a rocket-powered aircraft with an aluminum fuselage, short wooden wings, and a warhead packed with over a ton of high-explosives. I had only been trained to use this weapon with a glider, so this will be the first time I fly the real thing. Even so, I have to make this count…


When the signal is given, I deploy like a torpedo. At first I float down to Earth elegantly like a flower petal. When the time is right, I pull the trigger on my control stick. The boosters kick in, and I am thrown back into my seat as the craft rockets forward. I am going faster than any plane the Americans have. I can see the ocean now, and I raise my weapon’s nose slightly. I shall make my final run at wave top level…


The enemy ship is on the horizon, smoke billowing out of its wound from the previous attack, and I’ve been spotted. Its main weapons are disabled, but its secondary and antiaircraft guns open fire. Flak explodes all around me, but it is futile. Nothing will prevent me from fulfilling my mission, my destiny…


I edge closer and closer to the destroyer. I narrow my eyes as I aim with the targeting sight in front of me. I throw all my cares, doubts, and hopes aside. If my skills are true, I will hit them dead-center….


Three seconds from impact…

Two…

One…
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Re: Cherry Blossom

Postby BeeAre » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:05 pm

read aloud on the radio it is not bad.

read here it is pretty crappy and boring as far as writing goes.

the raw reporting style works when you are describing it vocally as a performance piece or monologue because you can drum up each line with emotions and parses that you can more cleanly convey without need for special texts.

as it stands, you would need to heavily edit the STRUCTURE if not the words of this piece to make it a better thing to read rather than speak.
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Re: Cherry Blossom

Postby mario72486 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:12 pm

BeeAre wrote:read aloud on the radio it is not bad.

read here it is pretty crappy and boring as far as writing goes.

the raw reporting style works when you are describing it vocally as a performance piece or monologue because you can drum up each line with emotions and parses that you can more cleanly convey without need for special texts.

as it stands, you would need to heavily edit the STRUCTURE if not the words of this piece to make it a better thing to read rather than speak.


That's the main gripe I have with this piece. It was designed to be read aloud, allowing the speaker to add more emphasis when needed. This is essentially a test bed for the style, and it sounds good when approaching it as a monologue.

The original was actually in a completely different style, although incomplete. When preparing it for the NPR contest, I took the basic structure and rebuilt it, per se.

Certainly not one of my finest creations, but there are other, longer stories in my collection I can be proud of. I may end up posting one of them eventually.

But thanks for the constructive criticism, BeeAre. I'll be sure to take it into account should I plan on reworking this in the future.
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Re: Cherry Blossom

Postby Mirak's Mod Ghost » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:45 pm

You could record it and show it.
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