Shore – Photo by Sue Vincent
I looked at the faces around the dinner table. There wasn’t a spark amongst them, they all looked tired and about ready to fall down on the spot. It had been rough going and the future didn’t look any easier.
That was it. Something had to be done to keep everyone upright. After dinner I sat and thought about it.
It was obvious that we as a family were unstable and likely to collapse, and that we as individuals were almost as bad. I knew that I was pretty close to that point where the gravity of the situation might take over. I needed something to hold myself together, to prop me up. I knew that if I was stable, it would be the first step in keeping us all upright. One solid beam could do it.
But how do you fix the foundations of a person and a family? Continue reading
Tortor was a warrior and understood how the world worked. He shook his head as he looked around the earthworks and the stones. He approached the man who was obviously in charge.
“Hey you, what’s your name?”
The man slowly turned and studied Tortor as if he were an insect.
“They call me Tim, Tim the Enchanter. What do you want, Tortor the Stonehead?”
Tortor’s mouth dropped. It wasn’t just the insult, but he had no idea how the man knew his name. Regaining control, he tried to drill holes into Tim the Enchanter with his eyes. Failing that he said, “Look here, Tim, I know a thing or two about defense. The ditch needs to be on the outside of the earthwork, not the inside. What good is this going to do when the defenders can’t reach the wall and the attackers will just climb right over it as if they are out for a Sunny-day picnic?” Continue reading
Consciousness slowly flowed into Seb, like the tide over the sand flats. Nothing is there, and then you notice the waves coming closer. Eventually the water is at your feet. Seb noticed the glow long before he became aware that he was awake. Hearing and feeling, like his consciousness, faded in a bit at a time. First it was a numbness that admitted “numb” was not necessarily “nothing”. It slowly grew to cold and pain, while the slight ringing in his ear grew to a ringing roar.
In the back of the roar Seb could hear the continuing battle. He could feel the ground shake from the concussions.
“But Mother,” Seb said, “You always say things like that. You call me special, and yet every child of every mother is special. If we are all special, then none of us are.”
“Ah, but to a mother they are all special,” she said. “And you are. You, Seb, are extraordinary.”
“No, I am a nothing, a nobody, like everybody else.”
Seb thought back. He tried to understand how he ended up face down in the cold field. Continue reading
Iz frowned at Ty. He was hunched over the steering wheel, grimacing and gritting his teeth. It was bad, very bad.
“Look honey,” she said, “it was only a game.”
“Only a game?!”, he said. “It was the Super Bowl and we lost.”
“You make it sound like it was you playing instead of the employees of a franchise of a multibillion dollar corporation that…” Ty’s glance told her that he was in no mood. She faced forward while he watched the road. There had to be a way to reach him, if only she could figure it out. Continue reading
He stood watching out of the front window, his mind blank. He didn’t know how long he had been staring when he came back to himself.
“What am I doing here?” he said to himself.
He thought about her, about the argument. She’d been missing since the afternoon before. The last thing he could remember was that she’d come home from work and they’d argued. His memories were hazy but he knew she must have left in a temper. At the very least she wasn’t around all afternoon and still hadn’t returned. She’d be back, though, he knew she would. Watching out of the window wouldn’t help, the watched pot effect and all. She was most likely at work anyway, given the time of day. Continue reading
Super Moon – Nov, 2016
Jim looked over at the small group laughing over their drinks. His frown deepened. He flipped his chair around so he was suddenly at their table.
“Haha. So, Gail, why don’t you tell us your favorite Earth memory next?” Jim asked. “You know, so we can laugh over old times and people who are long gone? No? OK, I guess it’s my turn for a memory.”
The laughs had dried up and the others looked at Jim almost pleading, as if asking with their eyes for him to stop, to not talk, to turn back to his own table.
“My favorite memories are from the week before we were sequestered. Yep, fun times,” Jim said. “I remember walking through town, looking at the vacant eyes. Everyone was telling them it would be alright, but they knew, oh they knew. They were living corpses, just waiting for the end. Continue reading
(Trigger warnings. This isn’t pleasant ;) )
I could see the consciousness return to her body. I knew she’d be mostly lucid since she was waking from normal sleep, the effects of the drug having long since worn off.
“How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Huh? What? Where am I? Who…?”
She was till blurry, but the confusion was to be expected. She was wrapped up in blankets on the cold soil, the rows of corn seeming to radiate infinitely from our position.
“I.. I can’t move. I can’t move! Where am I?”
“Shh, shh,” I said. “You’re fine, but I had to, you know, bind you so you wouldn’t bolt and hurt yourself. You’ll be free soon.”
“Who are you? You didn’t…?” Continue reading
Lt. Cmdr. Shiana Bell watched Captain Grey enter the ship’s commons. As always her mind went to his ballet like beauty as he made his way to her. There was nobody in space who moved as gracefully in zero G as Capt. Leonard Grey.
“I assume, Lt. Cmdr., that you are requesting to leave duty for some shore leave down Earthside.” Shiana nodded. “Good, you deserve some rest. Have a great time and I’ll see you in a month.”
“Thank you sir,” Shiana said. “Are you heading Earthside?”
“No, I have a lot to do on board the Magellan. I’ll stay here. As usual.”
Shiana bit her lip. She had forgotten that the captain never went Earthside. “If you don’t mind me being so bold, sir, a little change of scenery never hurts anyone.” Continue reading
A spark of color entered the big sky, spinning lights, whirling and flashing as the object approached. The rotation slowed and stopped as the large disk hovered above me. The lights dimmed, revealing the silver craft. It slowly descended in front of me on a small tongue of flame. Large insect legs sprouted from nowhere to cushion the landing. A ramp extended out towards me. The silver above the ramp dissolved into an opening. Three short creatures descended the ramp. The silver of their outfits contrasted with the dark green of their skin.
“Take us to your leader!” the front alien said. His antennae pointed at me.
“You’re joking, right?” I asked.
The front alien stood stiffly upright, as if slapped. “What?”
“Are you like a bunch of kids taking their parent’s flying saucer out for a spin or something?” I asked. Continue reading
The starship winked into existence in the void between planets. Disregarding all laws of physics it decelerated from near light speed to a mere 50 km/s. The large ship continued to slow at a more believable pace as it approached the planet. It would take only a few simple calculations to discover that the giant ship was preparing to enter a medium orbit around the planet at about 10,000 km above the surface, just above the inner Van Alan Belt. Being over six km long, the starship was spotted by the planet’s inhabitants long before it had past the planet’s single large moon.
I couldn’t believe the news. Not only was extraterrestrial life discovered, it was orbiting Earth. It was up there, I had seen it. The usual conspiracy theories sprung up about what the object we could all see in the night sky really was, but even a good pair of binoculars could make out details that proved the ship was not of this Earth. My eight inch refractor gave me an amazing view. Continue reading