Tag Archives: sci-fi

Human or…

Really-changed

A woman jostled Conner as she pushed her way past him.

He swore under his breath.

It wasn’t as if he was going slow.  In fact, he was at almost a jog as he headed for the security line.

He hated air travel, and being late for his flight made it even worse.

The line for security stretched forever.  Obviously people were back to flying after the latest scare.

He joined the line, just two back from the woman who had pushed him.  Animal.  He took out his phone, double-checked his ticket, then looked at the time. Continue reading

Darkness #writephoto

dark-clouds-on-a-sunny-day-darkness

Photo by Sue Vincent

A cosmic switch went from “on” to “off” and the darkness followed.

Of course it didn’t feel that way to the people living at the time.  To them, the race to the end was an imperceptible crawl. The Final Event, the “switch”, had been decades in the making and many years in the execution.  Even after the “switch”, the light still hung on for decades and the people were deluded into thinking all was fine as they slowly died out.

But to the planet Earth itself, the span of a few human lifetimes was as nothing, less than a cosmic blink of the eye.

The remaining crew of the spaceship Endeavor, having aged less than five years in the over three centuries of travel at close to the speed of light, looked over the barren landscape of what was once home. Continue reading

Shimmer #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Spiff watched the clock-slaved workings of the tides.  He stared fascinated as the shimmering water rushed over the land.  He had seen it all before, but the speed still took him by surprise.

Once again, as it had every other day, a strangely shaped figure approached just in front of the water’s edge.  He waved as always, but the figure ignored him.

Ignoring the figure in turn, Spiff set his focus past where the tides had shredded his ship as it pushed it against the rocks, and out towards the horizon.

The sky began to shimmer orange and yellow.  It wasn’t a strong effect, more like a mist, at least at first.

But then, as the star left full noon and began to set in the west, the form of the gas giant, filling the entire east side of the sky was visible beyond the blue atmosphere.

After watching the huge planet grow more distinct for a few minutes, Spiff turned to go back to his makeshift camp.  He had to hurry to beat the water, which, pulled by the immense planet, rose over a hundred meters at every tide, before receding back down, many, many kilometers away.

“Wait!”

The odd figure advanced past the onrushing water and strode up to Spiff.

“Perhaps I can help get you home.”

The sea shimmered read and gold as Spiff’s starship rose above the surging ocean.

Spiff climbed up the ramp just as the water reached him.

As the door closed, he heard the creature say, “Next time you stop for a visit, be more careful where you park!”

***

If Spaceman Spiff” doesn’t sound familiar, maybe it should…  It was Calvin’s alter-ego in some of his best fantasies (comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)  Spaceman Spiff was either crashing his spaceship on distant exotic worlds or being captured by aliens.  Occasionally, the alien would turn out to be his mom, and actually help him (it was humiliating enough to be rescued by the alien without that kiss on the cheek!)   For some reason, every time I looked at the photo, I saw the huge gas giant in the sky, back beyond the clouds, and can hardly believe it isn’t there!  So I wrote it in…

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto weekly challenge.  She provided the photo at the top, as well as the key word, “shimmer”.

The Skull

jaw-prompt

Photo by Shari Marshall

I studied the little foyer as I waited for Mr. Klieber.

Real marble floors.  Nice touch.

A Hudson River School painting on the wall. It was in the books, but not one of the top artists of that school.  Beautiful none the less.

A late 19th century French bronze based on a Roman marble that was a copy of on an earlier Greek bronze.

I smiled.

Mr. Klieber certainly knew what he was doing

And I knew that what lay behind the mahogany door was far more interesting than the art in the foyer, which was mostly high-priced decorative items to impress those who had more of a sense of price than of value. High culture for people who were uncultured.

The door opened and a middle-aged man entered.  He frowned at me.

“Higsworth told me a known colleague was here.  I don’t know you.  You can see yourself out.”

He spun on his heel and was about to go back into the main house. Continue reading

Glass #writephoto

glass

Photo by Sue Vincent

Jay looked across the lake at the distant mountain. Nothing was moving over the glassy water.

Good.

He slipped the kayak into the water, stepped in placing his little backpack on the floor between his legs, and pushed off. After a couple of hard paddles to get the boat’s momentum up, he relaxed into a routine of gentle, quiet, yet efficient strokes.

Silent. That was the key word. Didn’t need anyone to hear, and there were a lot of ears, not to mention the Guardian.

After several minutes, Jay glanced back. The kayak created a small wake as it sliced through the smooth water. Eddies swirled where his paddle had pushed the water back, propelling his tiny craft. The shore was receding, but still near, too close. There was no movement, his theft had yet to be discovered. Continue reading

Final Battle

I enter a corridor. It is a trap. I know it is, and they know that I know.

A quick scan revels nothing. There are no obvious explosives, no beams or triggers, nothing. Innocent.

I move slow, slow and methodical.

There is a book that talks about moving to blend in with nature so your footsteps cannot be detected, to mimic the wind across the sand. What can I mimic as I feel my way down the giant spaceship’s most important corridor? And yet I know my movements stay below that ½ decibel over background that is so important.

A door. Closed. Locked.

I know I can enter, but at what cost?  I would lose time and make a racket.

I scan as well as possible, yet I can’t tell if the room behind is occupied, there isn’t enough data.

I think for a tenth of a nanosecond and move on. I wouldn’t forget that the door was there, a potential enemy, a menace. Continue reading

Early Man

Mammoth

It was a gorgeous day. The sky was that dark blue that is reserved for only the nicest of autumn days. A herd of deer foraged in the meadow overlooking the glacial stream. The clear water of the stream sparkled like diamonds in the warm sun. Birds flitted back and forth, from one shrub to the other. In the distance the dark green blur of the boreal forest could be made out in the distance.

How could anyone be unhappy on such a day?

But Dr. Stevens was unhappy; very unhappy.

“A few measly thousand years for the first ones to arrive from Asia, but I arrived early,” he muttered. “Too early. And…”

Through the voice of the rushing water and the singing of the birds Dr. Stevens heard and felt a deep rumble. He sighed and turned to look, knowing what he’d see.

The herd of mammoth were on the move again, once more trampling over the remains of his destroyed time machine.

*

I wanted inspiration for a new story, so I picked an old drawing at random. Here it is :)

Out of Place – Chapter 3

stars

Note – in June I posted the first two chapters of this story (See Chapter 1.  See Chapter 2).  Chapter 2 was one of my least popular posts looking at number of likes and views since my first year of blogging in 2014.  I had already written Chapter 3 at that time, but decided to not post it since people seemed to not like the story.  Well, I’ll try again ;)  Here is the third chapter.

*

I took a sip of the dark beverage.

When I was a freshman, a friend’s girlfriend made me a drink that she called “hot cocoa”.  It was actually some cocoa powder, yerba mate, cinnamon and other spices in tepid water.  She said it was full of energy.  It was bitter but had odd notes that were just beyond description.

I took another sip.

This beverage was similar, though I liked it better.  More than that, it really did give me energy.  More than energy, it calmed my rebelling stomach erased all signs of alcohol. It cleared my head, but my mind continued to spin.

“So this place is a portal?” I asked.

“Maybe a multi-portal.  A confluence?  A hub? It isn’t just a simple passageway,” Threck said.

“Hundreds of worlds?”

Threck shrugged. “Hundreds, thousands, millions, who knows?”

“You say they are different worlds spread throughout the one Universe, some perhaps billions of light years from others, not different Universes?” Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 2

See Chapter 1

“Eric.”

The female voice calling my name was familiar.

“Eric.  Wake up.  Now!”

Was it Emma, the girl who sat near me in Econ?  She was pretty hot and I was sure she sometimes flirted with me as I talked to her before class.  She didn’t stick around after class long enough for me to find out.

“Eric, hurry.”

I opened my eyes.  It was very dark, but worse than that, I couldn’t focus.  Even the shadows were blurry.  I could barely make out the female figure leaning in close over me.

She had a hand open-palmed on my shoulder and gave me an occasional shove. Continue reading

Out of Place – Chapter 1

“One, two, three – what do I see?” My words were slurred.  “Four, five, six – stucco instead of bricks.  Seven, eight, nine – to go inside would be fine.  But it is three, four, five and I’ll never return alive.”

I was home for Spring Break.  My college friends were all someplace warm and my townie friends, well, in the two years at University I had outgrown the ones that hadn’t moved on.  They were all like Matt.  All Matt talked about was the “Two H-s”, hunting and hockey.  His eyes blurred if I brought up anything bigger, even local politics. Mention, say, Noam Chomsky, and his face would shut down.

I had been over to Matt’s house, but got bored with his little minded attitude and wandered away.  I soon found myself in front of number 345 Cedar Street saying that little chant I had made up when I was all of 12 years old.  “Two, one, zero – if I do it, I’ll be a hero.” I could see my breath in the cold air.

I had always wondered about old number 345, a wonder that bordered on obsession during my middle school days.

Old number 345, yeah, what a house.

Oddly enough, it sat between 337 and 351, as if an entire block was missing except that one strange, out of place house. Continue reading