Tag Archives: Science Fiction

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 3

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Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Note – This is Chapter 3 of the story.  See chapter 1.  Note 2 – the viewpoints of Jesk are purposefully disturbing.)

The stars were bright and crystal clear. The majestic form of the Milky Way stood out forming the perfect backdrop for the towering peaks of the high mountains. The air was filled with summer nighttime sounds of the song of crickets. A loon call, lonely, like a spirit calling from a different world, echoed across the landscape. A cool, fragrant breeze blew in off of the mountains.

Jesk thought about getting under the warm covers, but he actually enjoyed the goosebumps that rose up on his body.  It was a feeling that pushed beyond his bland comfort zone where he spent 99.9% of his life, and yet it was safe and familiar.  He felt alive. He reached over and patted the bed beside him.

For a moment he wished Thara was there lying next to him in the bed, not for sex, but for shared warmth and companionship.

He quickly grew angry, first at himself, but since he could never be angry at himself for long, at Thara. What was she thinking, telling him what she was going to do and telling him, actually telling him, what he should do as well?

The goosebumps went away and he began to sweat in his angry heat. Continue reading

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 2

elephant-2910293_960_720

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Chapter 1)

Tall pines stretched towards the sky. The forest was thick in all directions, receding into darkness. A table was in a clearing between several towering trees. Three people were at the table for dinner. The man lifted a knife.

The knife sliced through the steak as if it were butter.

“I had Robreto Tabis program the steak today.” Thara smiled.

Jesk frowned at the meat on his plate. “The celebrity chef?  Well, he did a terrible job.  It’s over cooked.” He pointed to the cut end of the meat with his knife. “It’s supposed to be pink for two and three quarters inches, this looks pink for no more than two and half! I can’t eat this garbage.”

Thara held her smile. “Please try it, Honey.  Robreto guarantees his work, but you have to eat it first.  And please don’t throw it out.  Steak is expensive.”

Jesk scrunched up his face and stared at his wife. “Expensive?  I thought I heard you try to justify a 35-million-dollar pet not a half an hour ago!” Continue reading

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 1

elephant-2910293_960_720

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

Jesk took a deep breath of the fragrant breeze.  It smelled of nature, of unspoiled forests. He sighed and continued the call to tie up loose ends.

“That means that the Margeson Contact is complete and watertight, right?” Jesk asked, seemingly to the air.

A crow flew down, landed a few feet in front of him. It turned its head and watched him for a minute with a shiny eye, cawed and flew off.

“Yes sir,” his assistant and lawyer Merl’s voice came from came from slightly to the left and in front, towards the meadow and slightly downhill.

“Good.  I left the office early today. Lock it all up on your way out.” A vulture was making lazy circles in the cloudless sky, but was soon gone.

“Yes sir.  Have a good weekend.” A deer walked into the meadow near were the voice was coming from.

“Goodbye.”

Jesk leaned back in his chair and only half paid attention to the pleasant landscape around him.

Ignoring Jesk, the deer moved deeper into the field. Beyond the meadow the shadow of a deeper forest has half guessed in the green haze and perhaps even some higher hills off in the far distance. Facing forward, the trees grew a little thicker to the right, away from the little glen, and sloped downhill away from him, where it was possible to make out distant tall mountains through the trees.  To the right the ground sloped down even more to a small, fast flowing brook only a dozen feet from where Jesk was sitting.  It seemed the ideal spot for trout, with a tree shading the bend in the stream. Although the sun was bright, it was a perfect 72 degrees with just a hint of a fresh breeze. The deer continued to graze in the field to his left while a red tailed hawk flew overhead.

Jesk leaned back even more and half dozed. A fly could be heard buzzing by him, but he ignored it, letting the noise fade into the background as he relaxed and let the week melt away.

A large bump jolted Jesk. He jerked up, suddenly wide awake. Continue reading

Imagination – Take 2, The Story

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Photo by Sue Vincent

The buildings rose two or three floors around, grey and brown, mostly aged brick and sandstone, though some of the older buildings showed signs that the neighborhood once had a little more opulence, with local marbles showing here and there, though there was even more crumbling concrete mixed in, concrete that mirrored the broken sidewalks.

Barry noticed Trish draw a little closer, he was sure unconsciously for there was nothing threatening, the streets and sidewalks were remarkably clean and the few people they saw looked fine, but it seemed that just the neighborhood itself made her more than a little uncomfortable.

“Why did you insist on coming out to this neighborhood?  We’re in town to visit my family, not to visit every decrepit spot in town.”

“This is were Rodrigues used to live and work.  Before the Transborgs got him.”

Trish turned towards him with her oddly passive face. Continue reading

Buckle Up, My Dear

Through the portal

For some reason I had an idea about reading a want ad where you had to go to April 6, 1971 to answer.  I Googled April 6, 1971, and this story appeared out of nowhere….

***

It started when I was looking through a want ads page from a very Alternative paper, The Random Times.  I found all of the typical things, of course.  There were the hilarious, such as “Clairvoyant wanted.  But you knew that, right?”  No name or address or number given.  Others were chilling.  How about this?  “Are willing to do anything?  No qualms or regrets?  Sent to P. O. Box”  No need to fill in the rest.

I had The Rite of Spring playing very loudly as I read.  It made a great accompaniment to the words.  The rhythms.  Those big chords.  It was fitting.

I was about to give up with a laugh when one ad caught my eye.  “Prominent Time Travel Company looking for Time System Engineer.  Apply (address deleted by editor) between 1 PM and 3 PM on April 6, 1971.”

I searched the date.  In the music I was listening to, the sacrifice was being danced to death.  And then I saw it.  April 6, 1971, the day Stravinsky died.

The music ended and The Firebird came on.

Rebirth.

It was a sign. Continue reading

When It Is All Said and Done

Another Red Day

I thought I saw Vick today.  It would be so strange if really was him.  I’d like to talk to Vick, ask him what he thinks now.  A lot has changed in the three years since I last saw him.

Only three years?  Really, that’s all it was?  It just seems a life time ago.  I have become set in my routines, as we all have.  It’s just, well, it’s hard to imagine what the world was like back then.  After I saw the man I thought was Vick, I did think about it and remembered that conversation.  Or perhaps it was a lecture.  Maybe a sermon.  Hell, Vick was pretty charismatic and could have drawn a crowd if he were reading a dictionary.

We were in the little pub where the locals all met.  And there was Vick, shooting his mouth off, as usual.  But this time, the looks in people’s eyes were very different.

“It isn’t so bad, you know,” Vick said.  “In fact, it is for the best.  You’ll see.  When all is said and done, this will end up being a good thing.  We’ll see a much better, fairer world.  Hell, I guess I said that wrong, because few if any of us will see the benefits, but our kids and grandkids will.”

There was a silence.  Ted had turned down the TV so everyone could hear Vick.  As usual for this time of day, the news had spouted off the grim statistics and the dire warnings.  They paraded experts through and they all predicted gloom and doom.  What did Vick know that they didn’t? Continue reading

Blue – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Ian raised his hand.  The laughter and giggles died down.

“Do you know know what I miss more than anything?” he asked.

Kupar laughed.  “A good ale?  15 year old whiskey?”

Ian smiled but shook his head.  “Blue.”

“Blue?”  Mike asked.  “Haven’t you taken a look at Meaghan today?”  Meaghan put a finger on the top of her head and slowly spun around.  She was tired and dirty, having spent half of the day in the mechanical room getting the air scrubbers to work again, even if not as efficiently as they should have been.

“Yeah, she is stunning in her light blue coveralls,” Ian said.  “But that’s not what I was thinking.”

All eyes were on Ian, with a few suppressed giggles about his sudden serious tone.

“When I was a kid my parents had a camp on the coast.  We were back in on some rocky bay that was surrounded by mountains.  Gorgeous.  I used to get up before the dawn to watch the sun rise over the water.  I can remember the glowing blue sky matched by the equally glowing blue water.  The hills in the hazy distance faded from blue to purple.  The golden sun light would slice through the clouds and I’d be transported to heaven.  Even as a kid I’d watch the sky and say that it didn’t matter if I lived or died after seeing paradise like that.  The days on the water were the best of my life.  That’s why I wanted to be a voyager, a sailor of the stars.”  Ian looked out as if seeing something beyond the gathered people, beyond the doomed ship. Continue reading

Luna – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Their signal was lost.”

“What?”  The ringing of my phone had woken me from a deep sleep and my head was still foggy.

“Sorry, ma’am.  The signal was lost, all telemetry data gone.”

I still couldn’t register what was happening.  Zoe?  How could this be?

“Did they crash?  Impact on landing or…?”  I glanced at the clock.  It was 4 AM.  They weren’t supposed to be on the surface for two more hours.  I had planned on being up and observing in real time.  Well, real time minus the second and a half delay as the signal crawled across the 385,000 km.

“No.  The lander had separated from the station as scheduled.  The trajectory was fine and they had plenty of altitude.  We can see it and cannot see signs of a hull breach or any signs of catastrophic event, but there is no signals of any type coming from the lander.”  It was a familiar male voice, but I still wasn’t sure of who I was talking to.

“When did this happen?”

“We lost the signal about a half an hour ago, Dr. Barnes.  We wanted to give them a chance to respond before we contacted you.”  Was it the Administrator of NASA? Continue reading

Security Meeting

White House Marine 1

Someone stuffed a coffee into the president’s hand as he entered the Situation Room.  He glanced around.  If it was a full-blown meeting of the National Security Council, there were a few people behind him, but there were also a handful of extras, mostly from the military or intelligence.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs looked as groggy as he felt.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” he said as he took his seat.  “Well, technically morning.  What was so important that you had to get me up at 3 AM?  Are we at war?”

“No sir,” the Director of National Intelligence said.   He looked over at the director of the CIA.  “Jim, can you brief the president?”

“Good morning Mr. President.  Our sources tell us that the dictator of Iritastan has been assassinated.”

“Iritastan?”  The president looked unsure.  “I guess get State to write up a nice condolence and I’ll look at it in the actual morning.  Where’s Carol?” Continue reading

Siren’s Song

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(This story is based loosely on Stars, a story I wrote last week for Friday Fictioneers)

From the depths of her sleep, Captain Verónica Martinez became aware of the song, and the song permeated everything.  It wasn’t played on a known instrument, but sounded like a long forgotten lover whispering sweet nothings in her ear, or a baby crying for help.  The song was the sound of the surf on a hot day and the wind in the trees on a cold night.  It yelled, “I need attention,” while whispering, “Come to me, my love.”  It drew her in and sucked her life after it.

Nothing she had experienced was as compelling.  Or as frightening.

Verónica pulled herself awake and heard the sound echoing through the ship.  Immediately she jumped onto her council and shut off audio on the ship’s system.  It took just a few seconds to pinpoint the source.  She had to cut it off. Continue reading