Tag Archives: serialized story

Invitation #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

(Note: This is the second chapter of yet another serial…  The first chapter is here (Note2 – if you read the first version on my last story, Timeless, you may want to read the second take as there were a few changes))

Michael glanced over at the man next to him. The man had finally came up with “Alexander, but my friends call me Alex”, but nobody believed it, and nobody could imagine calling him “Alex”.

Michael still wasn’t sure why he had invited this stranger to stay with him.  The guy was just plain strange.  But he obviously had no place else to go.  And the police were still searching for some sign of who he was.

The police said that there were no records on Alexander Karios any place in any country.  Fingerprints came back as nothing. No military, criminal or missing person records seemed to fit.

The landscape became more wooded as they drove. Alexander spoke for the first time since they got in the car. “We’re leaving the moors?” Continue reading

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When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 7

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Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Note – This is Chapter 7 (and final) of the story.  See chapter 1.)

The world rolled by just outside of the car’s window.  The sun had recently set and the western sky still glowed yellow, but the black of night was creeping in.  It wouldn’t take over, of course, since the suburban lights illuminated the entire sky.  There was still no simulation playing in the car and it was moving at a constant 100 kph.

Jesk didn’t notice. He just sat, staring forward with vacant eyes.

Strangely enough, he was not thinking about Thara nor about Adi.  His mind was on the young Jesk, the young Brey and their parents. He even was thinking about their dog, Rex. He rarely thought of them at all, and when he did it was just in passing, but for some reason Brey’s funeral had brought back the memories long forgotten.  The good times and bad. All of those shared moments.  All of the things they did, saw and talked about.

He thought of Brey teasing him mercilessly, but with love in her eyes.  He thought of Mom making peanut butter sandwiches.  When had he last eaten peanut butter? The day before the accident?  He thought of day to day activities, of TV and family trips, sitting around the table at dinner talking about school.  He remembered Brey having a date when she was a freshman in high school and how he had teased her, getting her back for all of those times she embarrassed him in front of his friends.  Rex was there for years, his constant companion. And, of course there was Dad.

Jesk frowned. Continue reading

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 6

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Note – This is Chapter 6 of the story.  See chapter 1.)

People. Crowds of people crammed into Ryk’s tiny house, smashed elbow to elbow together. And what a house it was, or perhaps it would be better to say “what a house it wasn’t”.  It had only the most basic furnishings and extremely limited automation. There were no robots, not one. No simulation equipment in any room. No environmental controls beyond “heat”. No scented breezes, just the smell of food and that sickening smell of people.  People. Sweating, coughing, sneezing, sniffling.  Breathing! To have to put up with the rot and decay known as death at the funeral was bad enough, but Jesk had to actually be with people, many of whom had the stupid assumption that they needed to hug him.  “You lost your sister, poor man.” He did his best to keep his anger in check, but he had been at a low simmer all afternoon.  Thara would pay for it when they got home.

Where was Thara?  They had been separated soon after they arrived.  He had been pulled aside to listen to some of Brey’s friends talk at him while Thara watched over Adi as she played with the snot-nosed kids of his loser sister’s idiot son.  A few other kids where there as well, all germ factories. It had been over two hours.  What had she said?  And to whom?

Jesk first noticed Adi.  She was on the floor, like a peasant, playing with several other kids.  They had toys that weren’t animated.  They had no electronics nor robotics of any type.  There were no simulations involved and there was nothing that was genetically engineered.  They were playing with dead, non-interactive things, as if it were the Middle Ages.  And she was actually smiling and laughing! Continue reading

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 5

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Note – This is Chapter 5 of the story.  See chapter 1.)

The room was crowded.  Too crowded. There were all types of people shuffling through, milling about and sitting in the rows of chairs. Most were wearing “nice” clothes, though it all looked cheap to Jesk.  He was sure his silk boxers cost more than the most expensive suit or dress in the room.  And it was warm, too warm for “winter”; people were sweating.  He heard a sneeze and some coughing. There was sniffling, the cold and flu season made worse by the sudden changes from freezing to sweating.  All he could think of was the germs.  Not that it would matter to Brey.

Jesk couldn’t help but to stare at his sister. Thara had made sure that, as family, they sat up front.  He didn’t want to look at any of the rabble in their cheap suits and snotty noses and there was not much else in the room to look at other than Brey. Continue reading

When the Elephant Bumps the Mouse House – Chapter 4

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Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

(Note – This is Chapter 4 of the story.  See chapter 1.)

The waves lapped gently at the beach, though a little farther down the waves were bigger and came closer to crashing. Terns were skirting the wave tops, darting around, occasionally hovering for a moment, before diving for small minnows. A gull could be heard crying above the sound of the surf. The sun beat down, hot and heavy, but the salt-tanged breeze from the ocean was refreshing.

Jesk watched Thara as she helped Adi read her book.  He shook his head. It was a real, honest to goodness paper book. He didn’t know such things still existed.

“Susan, walked, on, the sand. She, saw, a….” Adi’s little face scrunched up in concentration.  “I don’t know this word.”

“Sound it out, Sweetie. What are the first two letters?” She had a smile, an odd one he hadn’t seen before.  It made wrinkles appear around her eyes.  He didn’t like that.

“’C’, ‘R’.”

“Good.  And what does that sound like?”  Actually, she looked like a mother, not a teenager.  He wanted a teenager as his bride, not a “mother”. Continue reading

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

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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

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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

Renewal – #writephoto

renewal

Photo by Sue Vincent

This is the 31st and final chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Note – I posted three chapters that did not follow one of Sue’s prompts.  Here is a brief overview in case you don’t have time or inclination to read them (or you can skip to today’s chapter at the **):

Chapter 28 – The Book Again – Ed finally reads his great uncle’s book which included the four “lost” chapters.  His understanding is influenced by his talk with the Other and he sees it in a different light and understands that his great uncle was not making predictions or talking about destiny, but talking about his own reality.

Chapter 29 – The Answer and More Answers – When Ed arrives at Mr. Brown’s house, The Grubb announces that he has found the answer to alpha, the fine-structure constant.  He walks through a seemingly simplistic arithmetic formula which Liza points out joins old numerology with modern quantum physics.  Mr. Brown’s son, Philip shows up, as does Lauren.  There are more answers.

Chapter 30 – Dreams – All of the dream sequences from earlier chapters are brought together into one and are finally resolved, with Ed finally figuring out his life.

**

They left the house when the sky was just beginning to lighten in the east, not speaking as Lauren drove out into the deeper moor.  After about 10 minutes she pulled off to the side of the road.  It wasn’t a very good parking space, but they would make do.  She and Ed climbed to the top of a small hill and stood, hand in hand, not saying a word, just watching as the sky turned pink and then orange and then burst into full color as the sun rose.  They both felt it, the renewal, as if it wasn’t just a new solar day, but a new day in their lives and the start of a new era of the world. Continue reading

Dreams

English Countryside

This is now the 30th chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

Ed walked through the arch and glanced around.

“Pillars,” he said out loud.

He was in a giant room, seeming to stretch to infinity in every direction.  The unseen ceiling was support by row after row of Doric columns.  Periodically a free standing arch was placed in the middle of the avenues created by the columns.

Ed took a few steps deeper into the room and took his bearings.  The room was very dimly lit, a perpetual twilight.  Uniformity that disappeared in the misty distance.  But what was that?  A faint light from one direction?

He stopped.  He had been here many times before, lost in this forest of stone.  Hadn’t he recently solved the puzzle?  The faint light seemed to be sunlight, but he knew it wasn’t right.  He slowly turned and saw it, a very faint green, much dimmer than the sunlight that he knew was a mirage.  That was it.  That was the way he must go.

As had happened before, the longer he walked towards the green the more the columns grew less evenly spaced and less uniform in size, rougher and more organic.  Soon he was in a forest at the way sign. Continue reading