{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
alexwitney would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Twilight Cone

By alexwitney All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Scifi

Short Story

1

‘Mum?’

‘Yes dear.’

‘Clare from the rooms above told me that,’ she paused struggling for breathe, ‘that ice cream used to be a once thing.’

‘A treat?’ questioned her mother looking anxiously down the queue of people in front of them. Each person sighed heavily in turn, with painful short sharp intakes, shuffling slowly forward towards the vendor at the end of the street. The midday sun beat down and each faded mass dripped with milky sweat.

‘Like for fun?’

‘Kind of, we would have it after meals or as something for a special occasion on hot days,’ she looked up at the rooftops and the oncoming shade it would bring.

‘I don’t think I would have liked it as a treat,’ said the child through blue lips. Her black sunken eyes, stunted height and a slender frame hid teenage years.

Her mother smiled a toothless grin, ‘me neither baby, me neither.’

2

At the front of the queue the vendor sat in his faded van. He leaned forward and squinted slightly as a familiar face hobbled slowly to his window.

‘Long time no see Mickey,’ coughed the Vendor, ‘you look like shit mate, to be honest I thought you’d died. You didn’t look well the last time I saw you and that was months ago.’

‘Been away on business,’ said Mickey forcing a smile. Every movement and word took effort, his frame filled the vendors window and hid the snaking queue that twisted behind him. A death was on him, his bluish-grey skin was thin and covered a gelatinous fat, each fold pitted, stretched and scarred.

‘You looks as though a blue would be up your street today Mickey,’ said the Vendor realising he wouldn’t make it through the week.

Painfully raising his head through tortured breathes, Mickey scoured the price list attached to the side of the van. His eyes fell and he shook his head, ‘It’ll have to be green I’m afraid, monies tight you know’.

‘I understand,’ said the Vendor nodding. Pulling out a paper bag in the shape of a cone, he poured a curl of blue in the bottom before filling the rest with green to the top. ‘Sixteen credits,’ smiled the Vendor, ‘take it easy Mickey, don’t let this shit get the better of you. You hear me.’

‘Thanks,’ said Mickey smiling. He handed the small plastic discs to the vendor and forced a slow walk back away through to the alley opposite. The blue might give me a week, he thought scooping the ice cream to his lips with his bare hands.

3

‘Terrence!’

‘What?’ he replied, distracted by the upper levels view of the snaking vendors queue that wrapped around the block and into the sun killed streets.

‘A meeting with the higher ups,’ said the man at the door, hidden by the shade.

‘Okay, I’ll be through in a moment.’ Terrence looked down at his emaciated frame, the veins pulled up to the surface and dead patches, calluses of forgotten skin littered his arms. Better they’re on the outside, he thought as his stomach rumbled.

‘How can I help gentlemen,’ said Terrence walking through to meeting hall four and taking a seat in the large empty room.

‘You’re in charge?’ asked the taller of the two. His skin was white and pale but not covered in death, his breathing was slowly and easy.

‘Yes, in the district,’ replied Terrence admiring the clean whites of his eyes.

‘Good, we have a problem,’ said the Blue Suit, turning to face Terrance for the first time, placing an expired cigarette in the empty ashtray at the centre of the table.

‘You smoke?’ asked Terrence amazed.

‘Yeah I guess,’ he replied smiling a thin slither.

‘We need your help, there are decisions being made at a high level and we need your input,’ said White Eyes returning the conversation to the matter at hand.

‘Sure.’

‘We need to get a general quick understanding of the district. How are people? The people on the street. How are sales?’ asked the Blue Suit.

‘Nobody’s buying blue or yellow, even I can only afford green and I’m on a decent wage. It’s all that people can get themselves these days you know.’ Terrence smiled a grimace and opened his hands expecting to be berated.

The suits looked at each other uncomfortably and then focused back on Terrence. ‘You shouldn’t buy green, we would strongly advise against it.’

‘Yeah sure, I would prefer yellow you know, it’s more to my tastes but we had a shortage a few months back and it’s still not getting up to standards. How’s the liquid storage coming along I thought that might become something. In the news they said that we might get drinks again, shakes and cream.’

‘Stop,’ interrupted the Blue Suit, ‘just stop, that isn’t a consideration anymore.’ White eyes saw the colour fade from Terrance and nodded Blue Suit into an explanation. ‘You’re pretty high up in this,’ Blue Suit waved his hands about, ‘and you should know the origination of the ices available.’

Terrance nodded slowly, looking lost.

‘The algae that contaminated the food, it still attaches to the liquids, all liquids including the melted stock. If we don’t freeze the milk as soon as it’s collected algae grows and causes the problems that meats and cereals got. Green is a result of low level algae in ice cream from milk not frozen or adapted quickly enough, it’s not as deadly as with the others but it’ll still kill eventually.’

Terrence dropped his hand below his sides and sighed. Tears welled up and his lip shivered with a desperate loss of any function. The last remnants of colour left his face and he gagged dry bile onto the floor beside him.

‘Keep yellow for yourself, that’s the reason for the shortage’.

‘The blue is good though right, you add nutrients, that will make it better, if I can just get some to have, get it returned from the vendors. Say it’s contaminated. Oh God, I gave green to my family, we had it so many times. I just couldn’t afford yellow,’ sobbed Terrence.

‘It’s not nutrients that’s in blue, we add pills to blue. Painkillers and intolerance rejecters, it only prolongs the affects of daily intake. It’s nothing that can help you now.’ White Eyes stiffened up and looked to the door, ‘We’ve heard enough, I think we can report this’.

‘I didn’t want to believe, I didn’t. We’re all going to die,’ said Terrence, his head in his hands. Blue Suit walked slowly past and placed a soft hand on Terrence’s shoulder as he threw up more black bile.

4

The corridors of the central building smelt of dried milk and damp. The linoleum floor squeaked as a man with bright white eyes followed slowly a man in a blue suit.

‘Do you think he knew?’ asked the Blue Suit.

‘Yeah probably, the rumours have been making the rounds. That was the last stop. It makes sense if he knew.’

‘The world was so normal, before this, before the contamination.’

White eyes smiled broadly, stopped and turned to face his partner. He checked the corridor was empty before talking. ‘You’ve made a decision?’ asked White Eyes in a controlled forgiving tone.

‘I think so.’ Blue Suit looked to the square plasterboard tiles above him and pulled his last cigarette from an open pocket.

‘I think we’d made our minds up long ago, there’s not enough to go around.’

‘And what there is, is not worth the lives it creates,’ interrupted Blue Suit.

White eyes nodded and swallowed the realisation, he shuffled anxiously waiting for the conclusion.

‘Do we have enough nukes to cover the world in one go?’ asked Blue Suit.

‘More than enough.’

‘Thank fuck.’


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, alexwitney
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

mariamalkorashy: Simply alluring, I have become addicted. Now the rest of this message is simply words because it notified me saying that my Review was to short haha. It has done it again so yup I am still here writing once more haha.

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

Jessica: I loved the title of this story, and that is what got me hooked. But reading this from beginning to end, it was amazing. How the character changed from someone on two legs to an animal on four was great. The emotions on this story is one to be remembered. There are a few grammar things that need ...

cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...

Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

farziex3: I think this novel is perfect because it had erotic, romance, and towards the end was a twist so I was just on the edge of my seat reading this book. It was honestly really amazing. I haven't found a book I actually liked to read for almost 2-3 years and this was a great book to start off. Makes ...

Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...

nirrmitshah: A truely touching story where you'd be at the edge of your seat for the most time. even though the starting might seem rushed, the story was extremely interesting and entertaining. I think certain parts could be added detailing the Mynds's culture. As well as more details on the Jhanthru history....

More Recommendations

Deleted User: It was a great hook. I do not like reading scifi because they end up being like all the rest but this one kept me wanting more.

Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!

jigglypuff314: Feeling sad that you can't watch your harem hentai in class? This is the book for you! No one will suspect a thing (other than your boner) as you scroll through pages of some of the best porn you'll ever be able to imagine!Spectacular details and a wonderful tug of emotions, you won't know whethe...

Chevonne Prinsloo: I loved this book.. I didn't want to stop reading it! just my kind of book... I really love how the plot of the story carries along. I hope there are more books to follow after this one! I like the way she describes how Rogue is feeling and the way she shows the emotions going through Rogu. I als...

ryder: This is an excellent read. From beginning to end the author showed his creative and imaginative writing skills. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and sorrow: This book has it all. I strongly recommend this book, and I am already recommending it to my friends.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.