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Thursday, April 26, 2012

#FridayFlash: Escape

I woke up this morning with the first line of this story. It wrote itself from there.


Source: openclipart.org
It was Tolkien that gave me the idea about escaping into a book — and not just in my mind. I was in high school, reading Lord of the Rings, at a time when everything in my life just seemed pointless. The idea of the whole world depending on you? Priceless. Things got better, as they always do when you’re that age, and I soon forgot about it. But an idea, once planted in your head, never really goes away.

Then I found I needed it.

It’s not something you can find on the Internet, but if you want it bad enough? The formula is out there. There are hints about it woven into our culture. Dive into reading, the summer library programs urge us. Get lost in a book. Another phrase, escapist literature, is out of circulation these days. Only the names change.

I won’t be the first to take this way out. I believe the most notorious desperado of my generation, DB Cooper, never jumped out of that airliner. Sure, he chucked out a packet of money, and it was sheer luck it landed in the Columbia River to be carried downstream. But the only dive he took that night was into a book. I don’t know which one, and it doesn’t matter. How do you extradite a criminal from a story?

I’ve picked a sci-fi story for my own escape. Again, which one doesn’t matter. There are problems, of course. You can’t have a book without problems. But it addresses the big issues like climate change and peak oil, and cancer patients have a one-time, outpatient procedure. Permanent cure. And did I mention that health care is truly universal in that world? My skills are a good fit, so I won’t have much trouble blending in.

So this is good-bye, I guess. I wouldn’t live more than a few months if I stayed, no sense in prolonging the agony. Maybe you’ll read the book I’m about to dive into. You probably won’t know I’m there — but if you read about a grateful cancer survivor? Say hello.


  1. Well goodbye and good luck. Hope you find your destiny in the book!

    LOL Unusual idea Larry! I like!

  2. Larry (or is it "Dan?"), you seem to know just a l-i-t-t-l-e too much about D.B. Cooper. And the prospect of "Escape." Coincidence, confession or shrewd publicity strategy for your soon-to-be-released White Pickups ? I can't wait to see you showcasing your book on "America's Most Wanted." ;-)

  3. some tantalising threads in here which leave one wanting more

    marc nash

  4. Oh this feels like there is more and you're just not telling it, was it the end or only just the beginning for him? Like Marc said, you leave us wanting more. ^_^

  5. Hey, Larry, nice idea. =)

    There are a few books that have people escaping into, or out of, literature, but they are often by accident, and usually deal with the adventure thereafter. Your flash touches on real, human reasons for actually seeking the doorway. I like it. =)

  6. Not tempted to escape into one of your own books? You'd know how everything worked and how to handle all the major powers.

    Cute idea. I suspect it would be very popular if people ever learnt to pull it off.

  7. Ha! Sometimes, I wish I could do that.

  8. Brilliant idea! I wouldn't mind that. Especially if I could jump from book to book.

    And the universal health care sounds good!

    Just imagine if it was true, millions of Twilight fans would disappear overnight! :P

  9. Larry, I am a big fan of escapism, and I read loads of books, maybe we'll bump into each other in one of them. :)

  10. I think we've all thought about this at one time or another! But the character you've created - and their reason for wanting to escape - is really great. :-)

  11. When I was young, I always wanted to live in the story worlds. Of course, the needs is a good story will often require a world that's in the balance and needs help. I like this escapist idea.

  12. This reminded me a little of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books but with a far more human spin to it.

  13. I think is one of my favorites of yours. And truer words were never spoken than these: "But an idea, once planted in your head, never really goes away."

  14. :-P This story led to me spending a rather pleasant morning reviewing everything I could find on-line about D.B. Cooper. If he pulled a book-dive, where did the two parachutes go? It would help explain why the vast majority of the money was never found though. He must have picked a contemporary so the money would be usable.

  15. I'm with Helen, what aren't you telling us haha....
    Nice work Larry

  16. There's a great voice in this piece.. so self-assured but perhaps underneath scared about where he/she may end up.. Great idea too.. wouldn't it be fantastic.. I'll jump into your if you jump into mine!!!

  17. Oh the whole idea is so tempting Larry! specially a sci fi book - grand, just grand.

  18. Thanks everyone! I know I haven't shown it this time, but I do cherish all commenters.

    Sonia, I think he'll find… something ;-)

    Rachel, that had me chuckling at odd moments all weekend. But if I was D.B. Cooper, and I jumped into a book, which book are we all in now?

    Marc, if you can figure out which book he jumped in, there's "more"! ;-)

    Helen, I think it's the beginning for him.

    Thanks, JohnX!

    Peter, Stephen King wrote Umney's Last Case in which he displaced one of his characters (who got dumped into our world). He wasn't happy about it…

    Tony, me too!

    Craig, I'm trying to find a downside to all the Twilight fans disappearing. Just not happening. :-D

    Steve, don't forget to identify yourself — I'll buy you a pint.

    Thanks, Jack!

    Aidan, I suspect a Utopia would spawn a villain just to make things interesting…

    Thanks, Icy — I'll have to look those books up now.

    Danni, I've lived that quote… a story i "lost" was still in my head waiting for me to re-use it when the time came (it was one of the original "Accidental Sorcerers" episodes).

    Katherine, what's to say he didn't take the chutes with him?

    Brainhaze, I didn't tell which book!

    Tom, what does a terminal cancer patient have to lose, right? ;-)

    Brinda, welcome to the free-range insane asylum!

    Now off to a belated read/comment on all those I missed…

  19. This was super cute! Love losing myself in a good book.


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