Electric Dreams

Part of a thing that might be part of another thing. It probably needs an ending or another part or a first part really…

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is my response to one of them.


Benton turned in his seat looking over towards where Blake the OpsCom stood hands on hips staring at the bank of screens.  A hundred different images flashed before him and his gaze flitted from one to the next searching desperately.

“Sir we have her on screen forty seven now, she’s in 1692.  Status red.  She is way off of her time line and it looks like she’s got herself into some real trouble.”

“Jesus Christ” exclaimed Blake stepping forward.  “Bring her up on main comms.  Full resolution, all channels.”

Benton’s fingers flashed across the keyboard and the image jumped to two large screens on the wall above the array of smaller ones.  The screen crackled with interference and the sound was patchy, but from their angle they could see a grey sky swirling above a thick crowd in front of a large oak tree.  There were probably thirty people all told, all dressed in little more than rags and the signs of hard and desperate lives etched across their gaunt faces.

The wind whipped autumn leaves around their feet and dirty faced children huddled against their parents as a larger, round bellied ruddy cheeked man came into view.  Dressed all in black save for the crisp white collared tunic beneath his heavy brass butoned jacket a number of mothers pulled their children close as he stood and stared.

“Are you certain this is Cassie’s feed? Can we get boots on the ground?” Blake asked, panic in his voice.

Benton shook his head.  “It is her sir weve have the genesis protocols in place and confirmed but we can’t get assets in place in less that 30.  We’d need to recalibrate the chamber and we don’t even have a full geolocation.  She’s somewhere on the east coast but she’s so far out of time the techs can’t get a solid ping.  Her tracker is bouncing all over the place.”

Blake remembered his training.  “Officers never run” he told himself.  Dont scare the troops and all that but it was easier said than done though.  It was his wife out there and every sinew in his body told him to run like hell.   “Order Brave team to suite up anyway” Blake instructed. “And tell the techs to get the chamber ready and to get me that geolock asap.  Nothing else tops this.”

Benton nodded.  “Sir, yes sir.”

Blake looked at his watch as the image blurred and then sharpened again.  The man grinned a black toothed smile and licked his lips slowly.   His bulbous and heavily veined nose gave away his love of liquor and the tight fitting tunic was a certain sign of priviledge and power.

“I will ask you just once more” he shouted with a flourish of his hand in which he held a heavy leather bound book which Blake assumed to be a bible.  “You will tell us where you came from and how you know of these things of which you speak.  They say you dream of these things and cry out in the night as if haunted by the dark one himself.”

“She bears the mark” a stooped old woman in the crowd shouted shaking a stick on which she had been leaning.  “And I hear her speak of metal birds that fly and horseless carriages that speed across the land.”

The man raised his hands to the sky.  “She claims to know that which no man can know” he proclaimed and the crowd murmered.  The screen shook momentarily as a stone was thrown that seemed to strike her in the chest.

“Christ Cassie what are you doing there” Blake shouted desperately as the screen panned down and he could see her bare feet where she stood on a pile of wood.  Blake turned his eyes wide and panicked breathign heavily.  “Benton come on man, get me that geo lock now damn it.  We need to get her out of there before they…”

“Sir the techs have said they cannot get a lock.  She’s not showing up in any of the known time streams.  She’s invisible to us and without the lock we cant pull her out.”

“How the hell can she now be showing up?  We’re getting her feed aren’t we.  She’s there.  We can bloody well see her.”

Benton lowered his eyes and tapped at his keyboard as Blake returned his gaze to the screens.

“Where is your tongue woman” the fat bellied man barked, “do you not know the punishment that awaits you?  Have you nothign to say for yourself?  Does the old woman tell the truth?”  He turned to the crown and raised the book in his hand and they cackled and began to shout.  A young boy picked up a stone and pulled back his arm to throw it before his mother grabbed his hand and took it from him sharply.  The screen focussed on her and Blake could see a sadness in her face.

“Benton.  Geolock NOW” he shouted.  “We need to get her out of there before they…”

“If you will say nothing woman then we must assume you cursed” the man shouted spinning around and approaching Cassie.

Cassie seemed to shake her head but said nothing.

“Say something damn it” shouted Blake.  “Do something Cassie you’ve been trained for this.”

Again the screen crackled and blurred and then panned across the crowd as they became more and more agitated and vocal.  Slowly the angry twisted faces came into view and then disappeared until once more only Cassie’s feet could be seen.

“If you will not speak then you will burn” came the now cruel and manic man’s voice.   The crowd bayed and howled as a fiery glow flickeder across the screen.  “You shall return to the place of darkness if you will not repent.”

Blake turned to Benton but Benton just shook his head and looked back down. Fighiting back tears and with clenched fists he turned and walked towards the exit of the room.

“Screens off.  Get me that lock and inform Bravo team to prepare for recovery.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves of Autumn

Gerald stared out across the broad lawn, leaves skipping across the surface as the wind chased them through the garden.

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is my response to one of them.


 

Gerald stared out across the broad lawn, leaves of red, gold and brown skipping across the surface as the wind chased them through the garden.

“Can I get you anything Gerald” a kind faced nurse asked, pulling the rust coloured blanket up onto his lap.

Gerald looked at her over the rim of his glasses for a moment before answering.  “No.  No thank you” he said slowly.   He was pretty certain that she was new but something in the back of his mind told him that he knew her from somewhere.  Somewhere else though.

“Okay dear” she said walking away smiling. “Dinner will be at seven, it’s pork chops tonight, your favourite.”

“Did you hear that Albert?” He asked the man in the blue pyjamas sat next to him.  “It’s pork chops again, third time this week.”

Albert didn’t reply and stared out into the distance.  Albert always stared out into the distance these days though he did enjoy the pork chops.

“Is she a new one Alfred?” Gerald asked him without expecting a response.  “I’m certain she is but she seems to know I like pork chops.”

Albert blinked.

“No I don’t quite remember either” Gerald continued.  “Everything seems a little fuzzy you know.”

Albert blinked again.

“And I’ll tell you another thing, not only are we eating a lot of pork chops Alfred but it seems to have been Autumn for a rather long time.  Do you even remenber when it was anything but Autumn because I don’t.”

Gerald pulled back the blanket from his knees and let it drop to the floor.  There was a word he was looking for but he couldn’t quite find it and then just before he had it he felt it slip through the his grasp like the wind that whistled through the trees outside and teased the leaves until they sailed to the ground.

His old gnarled fingers gripped the arms of the chair as he attempted to lift himself up onto his feet.  He felt a shooting pain in his stomach and stood bent over.

“Gerald, what are you doing?” came the voice of the new nurse before he was able to steady himself.   His legs felt weak, like they hadn’t been used for a long time.  He looked down at them noticing how thin they seemed.

“Come on you” She said placing a hand on his arm and easing him back into the chair.  “Whatever is he like eh Albert?” She asked Albert smiling.

Albert stared straight ahead though Gerald noticed him stiffen ever so slightly.  He didn’t remember much but he didn’t remember Albert being so fat.

“There really is no need to be up and about Gerald whatever is the matter?” She asked sharply.

Gerald tried again to stand but felt once more her arm on his shoulder and this time more forcefully and he sat back in the chair.

“There’s something wrong here” Gerald said as she once again put the blanket on his lap.  “Everything feels wrong, what’s going on?” He demanded.

The nurse’s eyes narrowed and she placed a hand on each of his shoulders as she leaned in towards him.

“Now Gerald let’s not get upset, you know how it effects Albert.  There really is no need to concern yourself and you don’t want to miss out on pork chops tonight now do you?”

She stared deep into his eyes and it sent a chill through him.  He scrambled in the recesses of his mind, everything a blur and tried to remember something, anything.

“What have you done to me?” he whispered as she continued to stare at him, pinning him where he sat.  “What have you done to Albert and why can’t I remember?  Why is it always autumn?”

Albert.  That was it.  He hadn’t always been like this.  It wasnt’t always pork chops and autumn.  Before there used to be…

“Gerald, you really need to settle down” she said, her tone now ominous her smile long gone from her face.  “You’re upsetting Albert see.”

Gerald turned slowly and saw that Albert was staring across at him, tears running down his fat cheeks.

“Albert I…”

Nurse stood upright looking down at him.  Gerald suddenly felt very small and there was a knot in his stomach.

“Now shall I get you those pork chops?” she asked with her fake smile now plastered once more across her face.  “I’ll fetch you some too Alfred.”

Gerald nodded as Albert continued to stare at him before nurse settled Albert back into his chair.  She straightened him up and again he faced the wall as she tucked Albert’s blanket tight around his legs and patted his stomach.

“Albert loves his pork chops don’t you Albert.”

Gerald watched her walk away and push through the double doors at the far end of the room.

“Albert, what’s going on” he whispered.

Albert turned towards him, his eyes wide and breathing heavily.   A mix of pain and fear was etched across his face.

“Christ man what is it” Gerald pressed.  “What’s going on?”

Albert opened his mouth to scream holding his stomach but no sound came out.  His face contorted and eyes bulged as his mouth continued to widen and his face reddened.  His lips, stretched thin,  turned white and then began to bleed as his voiceless scream continued and his eyes began to roll back into his head.

Gerald forced himself from the chair once more, his heart pounding in his chest and his head spinning.  He looked about and began to move as quickly as he could towards the double doors.  His legs felt like they would buckle beneath his as he shuffled in his slippers, and turning back he saw Albert reach out an arm towards him and even in this state it seemed to him to be somethign of a warning.

He slowed as he reached the doors and stood pressed against them, breathing heavily.   Nothing made sense, nothing felt real.  he shot a glance back at Albert and saw he was slumped on the floor in fromt of his chair.  Surely the only thing he could do was to call the nurse.

Gerald reached for the door handle but before he could push through them he heard the voice of the nurse beyond them.

“Just get those pork chops ready” he heard her bark.  “And add extra we need to fatten them up.  The pupae are getting hungry and Albert’s will be ready to hatch before the spring.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firestorm

It’s funny but when you join up you think it’s going to be endless excitement and adventure, and sometimes it is, but what they don’t tell you is just how much time you’ll spend sitting around.

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is one of them.


>Log date 2243>>

>Location>>>Confidential>>

>Status >>>Transmitting>>>>>

It’s funny but when you join up you think it’s going to be endless excitement and adventure, and sometimes it is, but what they don’t tell you is just how much time you’ll spend sitting around.

‘Hurry up and wait’ seemed to be the mantra most days once we’d finished basic training , and even with all of that down time there wasn’t much to see on Mars at all so when we were posted to the Orion system everyone couldn’t wait to get star side.

We were stationed about five hundred thousand miles off of Rigel because it was a known dropping in point for the Confederacy, and brass figured that it was best to wait for them and hit them as soon as they dropped out of faster-than-light.  What Brass didn’t figure though was that they had the drop on us and when we dropped out they were already there waiting for us with most of their fleet.

They say your training just kicks in instinctively when it needs to but you know, I remember the klaxon’s sounding shrill as we scrambled across the deck and seeing the Aspidistra getting torn to shreds through the hanger doors, and I wanted to be anywhere else.  Jenson didn’t even make it much beyond the main hanger when a Fed ship took him out and most of the lads didn’t suffer much better.

I took a few of them out before I ran out of ammo but they were all over us because nothing had prepared us for just how ferocious and desperate they were.  Picking us off one by one they didn’t seem to have any regard for their own lives and they just wanted us dead.  All forward vessels were taken out within the first few minutes and those of us that scrambled were no match for them.

I was left drifting when my main power drive took a hit and I guess I was lucky because I was dead to rights but just slowly drifted beyond the carnage.  With my comms down and only life support ticking over I watched as a huge nova bomb took out the main attack carriers of the Foreshadowing and the Callista.  In the silence of space they simply evaporated into a billion shards of pulsating light and in a blink of an eye 15000 lives were lost.

I think it’s been five solar cycles since I saw the last of the explosions, time escapes you when you’re drifting through nothingness, and I don’t think anyone is coming to find me.  Power is low and there is less than a few hours left in the reserve tanks.

I’m not sure this will ever reach anyone, it probably won’t, but if it does then tell my folks I’m sorry I ddn’t write more often.

Status >>>Received>>>>>

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Walter McDad

Really not sure where this came from…

You can listen instead of reading if you prefer.

 

 

Old Walter McDad finds such joy in the sad

The depressed and the rather quite tragic

He would dance with delight if your shoes were too tight

Spilled your tea on your crotch? Oh quite magic!

Caught your knob in your zip? Caused your foreskin to rip?

He would high five in great celebration

Birth defects?  He loves those.  Diabetic? Lost toes?

Well to him they’re such cause for elation

 

Enjoys watching the poor, mocks the sick and what’s more

Steals the cash from the tramps at the station.

Takes a dump on your lawn, tells your kids to watch porn

Big wide grin at your grandma’s cremation

Fingers crossed at the vets they declare that your pets

need to be put to sleep with much haste

Phone the docs and the answer is that you have cancer

He’d take joy, he knows its in poor taste

 

For Walt spends all his days in such terrible ways

Don’t ask why he just does ‘cos he can

At a hundred and one he’d still rodger your mum

He’s a rather quite nasty old man

So watch out and beware at the top of the stair

As he’d gladly push you in the back

You go head over tit and he’d chuckle and sit

Watch you bleed as he enjoys a snack

 

Beginnings – 5 – Unexpected Revelations

The tale of Darren and Julie

M does a marvellous set of prompts each month, today the prompt was Spontaneous Eruptions.  I am sure you aren’t surprised at what I came up with.  I recorded it too though so you can listen rather than actually reading it.  See how kind I am…I hope it works.

 

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2018/07/01/july-writing-prompts/


The tale of Darren and Julie

 

Once a chap said “I Do”, his wife said she’d be true

And in bliss they did spend all their days

In bed things were quite hot and they cared not a jot

For the flaws in their deeds and their ways

 

For they say love is blind but alas her behind

Grew quite plump and his ardour it waned

And he seemed now quite dull and there came then a lull

In the bedroom “Boring!” she complained

 

“Well your cooking is foul” he proclaimed with a scowl

She complained that his chores were undone

and with pinky quite crooked she complained how he looked

“You’re a cow” he did cry “like your mum”

 

There were slamming of doors, and so started the wars

And she went for a drink with his mate

So he signed up online had a jolly good time

Second base from an internet date

 

They fought over the cat she poked fun at his fat

Rotund tummy, he scoffed at her thighs

So she scratched up his car, he cut up her best bra

And on facebook he posted foul lies

 

So she slept with his dad and that made him quite mad

So she dry humped a tramp near some bins

Then he had a tattoo of her name and some poo

She jerked off a red head pair of twins

 

And at last it did end, for they just could not mend

The sweet love that was now oh so broke

And they went separate ways but that’s not how it stays

Even though its been weeks since they spoke

 

For one night on the booze he did text “I did lose

Something dear how I wish wed not split”

And she lonely and sad (and she quite missed his dad)

Said “I miss you come round in a bit”

 

Now they’re trying again and it might end the same

Or they could this time round find love true

Now he needs to just find a tattooist most kind

To remove what he inked near his bum…  

 

 

Beginnings – 4 – Spontaneous eruptions

The legend of Arty McFarty

M does a marvellous set of prompts each month, today the prompt was Spontaneous Eruptions.  I am sure you aren’t surprised at what I came up with.  I recorded it too though so you can listen rather than actually reading it.  See how kind I am…I hope it works.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2018/07/01/july-writing-prompts/


The Legend of Arty McFarty

 

Once a fellow of some girth, a man of little joy or mirth

Who sad spent all his days self loathing and most glum

Teased by all and not respected and each night upset reflected

On his life which was quite empty and no fun

 

He had no wife and children none and friends alas were all now gone

And so he pondered his existence and felt small

And he came to the conclusion he was under the illusion

That he really ought to not be here at all

 

Quite intent to bring an end and without life or love or friend

At the cliff top he now stood, but lo a vision

It was the ghost of his dead mum and she insisted with his bum

He’d seek revenge on those who point with such derision

 

She spoke kinds words and reassured and from the cliff top he was lured

And she reminded him that he was in her heart

and he indeed possessed a gift and it so gave his heart a lift

when she proclaimed he had the world’s most fearsome fart

 

And so with deadly fierce eruption he blazed a trail of fowl destruction

Wreaking vengeance on all who had made him sad

At work he let off in a lift, three people had to miss a shift

it made a lass have fits and nearly killed one lad

 

His bottom spewed such fearsome gases that his neighbour now wears glasses

When into her letter box he let one out

He could hear her scream and stumble and she dropped her apple crumble

And threw up when out into the street ran out

 

He blew off down at the store and the milk curdled and then more

Or less the whole place had to be evacuated

At the pub he was oft goaded so near the fire he exploded

Watched it burn with joy, oh how these folk he hated

 

Farted then into a pram and in the face of an old man

then on a beggar who would oft be rather rude

And to a church he made a visit, left his own unholy spirit

and to a shelter where he dropped one on the food

 

And so he found his true life calling with his anus most appaling

Havoc he did wreak and eyes did stream

And all his days he spent unleashing anal thunder most unpleasing

Vile bottom burps most nasty and oh so obscene

 

 

Beginnings – 2 – Turning back Tuesday

Serena stared at the news headlines scrolling across her vid implant as she weaved her way through the mass of morning commuters. Grey skies stretched into the distance, the rain seemingly never ending, and pulling her hood over her head to keep off the rain she watched as the report showed the fall of Mombassa and the rout of the Central African Forces.

M does a marvellous set of prompts each month, and whilst I couldn’t face anything more than the nonsensical last month after my In-Between effort of May this month I am good to go again and am going to do a series of things that could be the beginning of something.  The prompts give me something to latch onto and to see what I can do with them and will be between 250 an d 500 words.  They may be the beginning of something they may not.  Sometimes I need to see it on paper to know how I feel about an idea and whether it will grow wings all of its own.

Today the prompt was Turning back Tuesday.  I am sure you can see why…

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2018/07/01/july-writing-prompts/


Serena stared at the news headlines scrolling across her vid implant as she weaved her way through the mass of morning commuters.  Grey skies stretched into the distance, the rain seemingly never ending, and pulling her hood over her head to keep off the rain she watched as the report showed the fall of Mombassa and the rout of the Central African Forces.

 “Hey watch yourself” barked a dark suited man as she nipped in front of him, clipping the briefcase he was carrying.

 “Sorry mate.”  She raised a hand by way and smiled to herself.  People could be such stiffs. 

 Stood waiting for the lights to change Serena changed channels to ‘K-Pop-100’.   Above, the buzz and whine of the faster vehicles darting through midtown filled the air, their neon undercarriages cutting through the gloom, while down at ground level the heavier transporters and trams rumbled through the puddles.

 A breaking newsflash interrupted Serena’s vid as the lights blinked green and momentarily distracted she stepped out into the road.  Before she could finish the headline she heard a scream and felt a hand on her shoulder and was dragged back onto the pavement as a heavy goods wagon thundered past inches from her face, the wind throwing back her hood.

“Oh my god” she started but as the words left her mouth everything froze. 

Everywhere fell silent, unmoving, people mid stride and cars suspended in the air. 

“Who the hell stopped her?” came a harsh voice from the crowd waiting to cross the road.  “This was carefully planned.  What threw it off?”

 “No idea sir” came a second voice, this one more timid than the first.  “Timings seem to be about a second out according to my readings.  I can rewind and recalibrate if you want.  We have enough time to do it over.”

 There was a pause as a tall blonde haired man pressed through the bodies in front of him and stood in front of Serena.  He wore a long dark coat over black trousers and shirt and his face was gaunt and pale.  He reached out a hand and caressed her face. 

 “Shall I do it sir?” The second man asked as he squeezed past the unmoving pedestrians, a glowing tablet device in his grip.  “We have about a minute to redo and resync the time line.”

 The taller man sighed and cracked his knuckles before turning quickly and disappearing back into the crowd.

 “Okay, rewind and redo,” he shouted, “and let Head Office know she’s incoming.”  He paused for a moment before continuing.  “And Po” he added menacingly.

 “Yes?” said Po as he punched at the screen of the device in his hand.

 “Don’t get it wrong.”

Beginnings – 1 – The Right of Wrongs

The pale lights lining the corridor flickered and dimmed as the ship descended slowly towards the planet surface. Je-Sar grimaced as the unfamiliar pull of gravity dragged on her, every movement suddenly a huge effort.

M does a marvellous set of prompts each month, and whilst I couldn’t face anything more than the nonsensical last month after my In-Between effort of May this month I am good to go again and am going to do a series of things that could be the beginning of something.  The prompts give me something to latch onto and to see what I can do with them and will be between 250 an d 500 words.  They may be the beginning of something they may not.  Sometimes I need to see it on paper to know how I feel about an idea and whether it will grow wings all of its own.

Today the prompt was The right of wrongs and it got me to thinking about right and wrong (obviously I hear you say) and the wrong of right and the rite of wrong and so on.   

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2018/07/01/july-writing-prompts/


The pale lights lining the corridor flickered and dimmed as the ship descended slowly towards the planet surface.  Je-Sar grimaced as the unfamiliar pull of gravity dragged on her, every movement suddenly a huge effort.  The black clad guards pulled at her arms to keep her on her feet, their heavy jackboots clanging on the metal plate flooring..

“On your feet” the taller of the two barked. “You’ll get used to it soon enough.  Now get in there.”  He punched a flashing green button in a panel and it turned red and a door slid open with a hiss.

The second soldier laughed, his eyes cruel and a hand on his rifle. “It’s time to go home” he said.  “We’ve looked after your kind long enough.”

Je-Sar fell through the door and turned to watch as it clanged closed behind her.  The pod was small, with her arms spread wide she could touch all four of the plain metal walls that stared back at her.  Save for a low metal bench along one side and a thick rimmed portal window there was nothing else inside.

She stared out through the small window as the planet below grew larger.  A vast arid landscape stretching as far as she could see.  It was A home she had never known. 

A world to which she was being returned because there was no longer room for her kind up there.

Avalon

I’m going to keep doing these as the mood takes me and they’re kind of snippets or starts or ideas and mostly just done to see how they feel when I press ‘publish’.  I think one will stick then I will carry on with it.


Avalon sat on the old porch swing kicking her legs playfully and singing to her favourite doll.   The night air fell cool on her skin and as the swing creaked in time with the song of the crickets she watched the sun set slowly behind the mountains.

“Bed soon Avalon” shouted her mother from inside.  “We have a long trip tomorrow and need to be on the road to Picayune before seven.”

“Yes mom” said Avalon as the last rays of light sank below the towering peaks and the feint ribbon of fire on the horizon gave way to darkness.  “Can I have just five minutes more, I want to watch the stars with Ophelia?”

“Okay sure” her mother replied over the clink of the dinner dishes “but no longer.  I don’t want you to be tired when we see grandma.”

Avalon squeezed her doll tight and pointed out across the dark fields into the moonless sky, the silhouette of the barns and water tower now barely visible as night fell.  “Ophelia, that’s Sirius, the brightest star in the sky” she said knowledgably.

The family farm was huge, and with barely a light to be seen for miles the milky way blazed a trail across the night sky.  Avalon loved nothing more than to sit out, and though she was only nine already knew most of the major constellations by sight.  

“Look there” Avalon said excitedly pointing to the west just above the tops of the mountains.  A meteor blazed and then fizzled to nothing in the atmosphere.  “There will be more if mother let’s us stay up.”

She kicked her legs and pushed off on the swing, the squeaking quickening.  Another meteor burnt up on the horizon and her mother called again.

“Come on now you two, time to come and get ready for bed”  she said popping her head around the screen door.  Avalon considered asking to stay up later but the look on her mother’s face already told her it wasn’t going to happen.

“Yes Mom, coming” she said hopping down,  and with Ophelia hanging by the arm she skipped across the porch singing quietly under her breath.  On the other side of the door she could see her mother wiping dishes in the kitchen, but before she could get inside there was a flash of light as bright as day and a loud bang filled the air.

Avalon instinctively fell to the floor clasping Ophelia tight and tried to cover her ears to block out the noise.  She heard her mother shouting from inside the house and hurried footsteps on the wooden floors but everything was shaking, and unable to move she stayed curled up in a ball in front of the door.

“Honey, move, I can’t open the door” she heard her mother shout over the sound of breaking glass.   Heart pounding she peered through her fingers as the bang was replaced with a roar that sounded like a thousand waterfalls crashing down together and a bright green light lit up the yard in front of the house.

Her mother screamed and Avalon felt the door dig into her side as her mother forced it open.  “Avalon, come on” her mother shouted lifting her from the floor and into her arms.

“Wait, Ophelia…” she said panicked reaching for the doll that had fallen from her grasp, but her mother was already running across the porch with her.

“No, there’s no time” she said as she took the steps two at a time and stumbled out onto the wide grassed area in front of the house “we need to get to the car now.”

The car was at the other side of the house, and she regained her feet she set off across the lawn.  The noise grew louder with every step and the light began to pulse and flicker obscuring everything and making it difficult to make out the way.  She felt her mother’s hand pull her head tight to her chest as a violent wind whipped up dust all around them until there was no way they could see which way was forward.

“Take my hand” she shouted putting her down on the ground.

The wind rocked her and unable to see anything but the dust and bright green light she fell to the floor.  “Mom I’m scared” she cried as her mother reached out a hand to try and locate the house to get her bearings.  

“This way” she shouted and dragged her by the hand through the swirling dust and wind.  Avalon covered her eyes as they ran and there was a familiar crunch of the gravelled drive underfoot and as she stumbled again she felt the cold metal of the truck against her shoulder.  “Quick, get in” he mother said and there was a click-thunk as her mother forced the truck door open against the wind as it grew in intensity.

Avalon scrambled into the footwell and turned to watch her mother clamber in but as she reached inside there was a roar as the wind pulled her from the vehicle and screaming she was thrown beyond Avalon’s view and the vehicle door slammed closed.

“Mom” she screamed as she pulled the handle and pushed against the door –  but the wind was now too fierce and it slammed back each time she attempted to open it.  She pressed her hands against the glass and stared out into the night desperate to see the shape of her mother heading back to her, but there was only the bright green light and the swirling dust carried on the wind that buffeted the truck.

Staring out into the night she waited, tears cutting through the dust that covered her from head to toe.  She brushed her hair from her face as the roar of the wind grew louder and louder and the light brighter until quite suddenly, without warning,  it stopped.  Darkness returned and as the dust slowly began to settle she saw a shape walking towards her through.

“Mom” she shouted pulling at the door handle and pushing against it with everything she had.  This time it gave way and she scrambled down, the gravel crunching beneath her feet.  “Mom, mom over here” she continued and ran arms flung wide as her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness.

“Hello Avalon” came an unfamiliar voice and she stopped in her tracks.  It was deep and rasping and as the dust cleared, her heart racing, she stared at the shadow as it emerged from the settling dust.  It was like nothing she had ever seen, taller than any adult – dressed all in grey – and skin grey like that of a shark.  It was vaguely human in appearance with large eyes set wide in a broad head.   There was no nose, only small nostrils and a wide lipless mouth stretched across the face.

Avalon tried to scream, tried to run, but her legs would not move and nothing came out when she opened her mouth.

“Come now” the creature said scooping her up in his arms, “there are people waiting to see you.”


https://fivedotoh.com/2018/06/05/fowc-with-fandango-picayune/

 

 

 

#FOWC – Inertia

Fandango has kindly provided the prompt: “Inertia”.

Going to try do these in 500 words or less I think and use them to try a few new ideas and see if anything sticks.  A bit like the room 101 stuff  – they may be starts, or ends or middles.  We shall see.


 

Gill clled to McCabe as he stood staring out into the inky blackness of space.  “Captain, sub light inertia drives have gone off line due to a massive solar burst.  Switching to impulse.  We will breach real time barrier in 60 seconds.”

The deck shook as McCabe walked over to his chair and buckled in.  After 6 years they were so close to being home, this was the last thing they needed.  He punched the comms button on the arm of his chair and a siren blared out across the ship.

“All crew brace for real time barrier breach in 30 seconds.”  He looked back at Gill.  “Bring us out gently son.”

The Aspidistra lurched as she slowed, every atom of the ship and those within her stretched across the immeasurable expanses between the stars that powered the ship.  McCabe held his hand up to his face and watched it dissolve into a million stars before his eyes and then reform as they smashed through into real time.

“System status ” he barked, the massive ship still shaking.

Jennan the second office scanned the battery of screens before him.  “All systems online Sir, real time confirmed – Sol cycle 2245.”

“Gill, location please.”

McCabe waited before asking again.

“Gill, please confirm location.”

Gill turned slowly.  “Captain – we’re about three weeks out from Earth on impulse drives sir, just short of Mars orbit.”

The look on his face told him there was more.  He unbuckled his belt and strode over to where Gill sat behind a bank of screens.

“Spit it out lad what is it.” He said trying to interpret the data flooding across the displays in front of him.”

Gill knew that if not for McCabe none of them would be here, they all knew that.  The war with the Va-a had taken it’s toll but he’d promised to bring them home and he was a man of his word.

“I’m sorry sir” he said “but were too late.  She’s already gone.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/128784227/posts/17390

Mission Primary – Part 7

Seems a nice day for it.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “It went off with a bang and a hiss”.  What followed was this.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Part 5 can be found here.

Part 6 can be found here.

Sylvester sat in his favourite chair and watched, mouth wide and bowels churning as the end of the world arrived. His first thoughts as he watched events on the television unfold was that it was a Tuesday, and if  Armageddon was going to arrive on any day his money would not have been on a Tuesday.  If he was a gambling man, which he was not, he would likely have plumped for a Friday afternoon because Friday was wholly more interesting as a day than a Tuesday and far more likely to deliver events of interest.  Even a Monday would have been worth a few dollars as a side bet given its position as one of the least favourite days but no, he would most definitely not have picked a Tuesday.

“Charlotte” he called shifting uncomfortably in his chair, “Charlotte I think you might want to come through and take a look at this.”

“Must I really” his wife replied from the kitchen sounding a little flustered.  “I really want to get these pies in the oven.  Can’t it wait?”  She was a patient woman for the most part but his constant hollering from the comfort of his chair made her want to smother him in his sleep.

Sylvester continued to watch the television and turned up the volume.

“That’s a bit loud” Charlotte shouted.  He really needed to wear his hearing aid more often.  She paused for a moment listening.  “Did they just say something about an attack?” She asked.  Sylvester did not reply.  “Sylvester, what’s going on?” she shouted.  “Sylvester?”

“Confound it woman” he snapped turning in his chair and shouting back across to the kitchen , “you need to come and look damn it.  The pies can wait.”

He heard the oven close and his silver haired wife shuffled through from the kitchen, her ‘Grandma Knows Best’ apron covered in flour and wiping her hands on a dish cloth.

“Oh my” she said looking at the screen as she approached, her face a mix of shock and confusion.  “Is that a…?” Her voice trailed off.  She sat forward and then spoke again.  “Are they..?” she continued but again she didn’t quite have the words and they were left hanging in the air more in hope more than expectation

“Ahuh” Sylvester replied as Charlotte sat down slowly in the chair next to him.

“And what are all those red dots on the map?” she asked pointing to the screen as a graphic flashed across it.

“Same thing all across the planet” Sylvester answered quite matter of fact.  “Looks like this is it Lottie…”

Charlotte picked up the Bible from the small table next to her chair, placed in it her lap and folded her hands together on tip of it.  “I don’t think this is in the Good Book.” She said without turning towards Sylvester, her eyes fixed on the screen.  “What’s going on Sylvester?” She asked.

“End of the world, that’s what it is” He answered standing up and heading over to the drinks cabinet.

“On a Tuesday?” she asked shaking her head.  “Make mine a double.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary – Part 6

Beyond the moon.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Time blossomed then shrivelled”.  The idea filled head with thoughts of time passing and age and forgetting the important things that have gone before.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Part 5 can be found here.

Henderson looked out into the void of space, the moon now disappearing into the distance as the Callista prepped for her faster than light jump.

“FTL Jump in twenty” barked the Comms, the service deck eerily quiet save for the odd scurry of activity in prep for her first leg on the journey back home.

“We had to, you know that right” came a voice, causing him to start.  It was one he recognised and one that made his stomach churn and his fists clench.  “Marcus told me you’d were down here.”

Henderson turned around and stood to attention.  “Captain, yes sir” he answered, shoulders and chin up.

“Carl, at ease” Grenville said, “It’s just you and me you can drop the Captain shit.”

“You had to?  Really?” Henderson snapped.  “Christ on a bike James do you have any idea how many people you just fried?”  He took a step towards the officer, fists still clenched.

“You think I don’t know that?” Grenville replied, “You think I did this without a thought for those that might still be alive down there?  You know as well as I do that if that thing gets off planet all the colonies will suffer the same fate.”

“There were people we could have saved, we could have helped them still.”

Grenville paused, loosened his jacket and pointed out across the deck towards where the moon.  “You know I’m second generation colony Carl, you know I probably still have people down there just like you do.”

“Then why the hell couldn’t you wait?” he asked turning to face him.  “I guess you’re going to tell me you were following orders.”

Grenville looked old.  Older than he ought to.  He was barely recognisable from the man he had known for so many years – and as a boy for as many before that – and that he had served under on the Juliana, the Aiden and now on the Callista.

He put a hand on his shoulder.  “So what now James” he said turning to look back out into space.  He wanted to help, to tell him it was okay but it wasn’t.  They weren’t kids anymore and sometimes you needed to knwo that things weren’t going to be alright.

“We’ve burned the earth’s atmosphere, saved the colonies and now we head home to a heroes welcome?” he said sarcastically.

Grenville buttoned up his jacket again and sighed.  “It’s not quite over yet Carl” he said, a new sadness in his voice.

“Command are still nervous and despite wiping out every living thing they’ve just sent new orders.”

Henderson balled his fists.  “Why the hell are you telling me this James, why me?  Serious don’t you have a first officer or a dozen senior officers you could tell?”

Grenville turned to walk away and then stopped, pausing before speaking again.

“Five minutes after we jump the entire store of Fed nova clusters in the bunkers just outside Berlin, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Singapore will detonate and rip the whole damn planet to pieces.”

“My god James, I don’t want to know okay.” Henderson snapped, his eyes wide and nostrils flared.  “Just do what you have to okay and leave me be.  Please.”

Without turning around Grenville headed off towards the service deck exit.

“Sorry Carl” Grenville said and the service deck blast door began to close and the comms confirmed 5 minutes to FTL jump.  “I’m just sorry…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary Part 5

Somewhere out in the dark of space

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Spacing out in shadow’s doubt”.  Mostly it had me thinking of confusion and consternation.  The story continues for now I guess…


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Cal scoured the holo screen looking for any sort of sign that there might be something still out here.  The scans were picking up the moon about three hundred and eighty thousand clicks away, and it was visible through the port windows but that wasn’t what he was after.  He knew earth should be here, the maps weren’t wrong.  The coordinates weren’t wrong.

“It should be here Desi” he insisted.  “I don’t understand where it could be.”

“Maybe it’s just a myth Cal” Desi said staring out into the darkness.  “Do we really know it was ever here.”

“Hell Desi of course we do.” he said angrily.  “This is where we’re from, this is our home.”

“It’s not my home” Desi replied.  “And it’s not yours, you were born on Seranos just like me.  Let it go Cal, let’s just go home we are already in enough trouble as it is.  Dad is going to kill us when he finds out we’ve taken his ship.”

“Do you never wonder why we’re forbidden from returning Des?  Why they always tell us that Earth was abandoned to protect us all but no one even knows where it is anymore.”

“Not really no” Desi replied.  “It’s a myth Cal, a bed time story. ”

“Then why were dad’s maps locked away?  Why has no one even been back to look in 800 years?  That’s not right Des.  It must still be out here somewhere.”

The screen flashed briefly and a data stream ticked across slowly. Cal stared at it for a while.

“What is it?” Desi asked not really caring.  She just wanted to go home before Dad found out they were gone.  Cal was always getting them into trouble, and despite him being a year younger she always found herself drawn to whatever wild plan he had in his head.  Once Cal had found the Maps in his father’s unlocked safe a few months ago he had become obsessed with the idea of Earth.

“Just what looks like an asteroid belt, nothing major” Cal answered.  “We could go take a look I suppose.”

“Cal come on” Desi said turning off the screen.  “Let’s just go home Cal there’s nothing out here.”

“Then why the Moon?”  He snapped bringing the screen back up.  “If the moon is here the earth must be here.”

“Cal let’s just…” She began and then stopped and pointed slowly out into the darkness.  “What’s that?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary Part 4

Somewhere out in the dark of space

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Jumping Jupiter can’t get stupider”.  I didn’t get much further than the idea of Jupiter.  Let’s see if I can continue the story with it.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

 

The Callista’s comms crackled into life as the roar of her huge primary engines fought to steady her descent into orbit around Ganymede.  Saturn’s gravitational pull was massive but if they could land on the moon it would give them the protection they needed to work on replenishing their hydrogen supplies.

“All crew standby for important comms” it ordered.

Henderson sat up in his bunk and reached for his chewing tobacco.  Stuffing a wad into his cheek he banged a fist against the bottom of the bunk above.

“Marcus, wake up” he shouted.  “You’re going to want to hear this.”

Marcus stirred, mumbling incomprehensibly.

“Serious man, wake up.” Henderson barked.

“Okay, okay” Marcus said throwing back his blanket and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.  “I’m awake see. God man how serious can it be after what we just witnessed?”

Henderson chewed slowly before responding.  There are some things you’re never going to forget seeing and what the Callista had just done was one of them.

“They’re going to say it was for the best, you’ll see.  They will have some excuse for what they did but there is no justification for it.  None at all.  You don’t do that to an entire planet you just don’t.”

Marcus jumped down from the top bunk and walked over to the small sink in the corner of the room.

“What do we know man” he said filling a cup with water.  “Things have been messed up for so long now.

“Messed up?” Henderson snapped.  “My god Marcus what we just did goes way beyond just ‘messed up’ surely you see that.”

“Honestly?” said Marcus taking a drink.

“That a question?” Henderson asked.

Marcus put the cup down on the edge of the sink.  He was a tall lean man, about 6 foot 2 with broad shoulders and a narrow waist.  A large green and black tattoo of a snake across his right shoulder seemed to writhe as he moved.

“You know how I feel about Earth” he said, “it’s not my home and they are not my people, I’m a colonial and I’m proud of it.  My allegiance is to my family and my clan and the only reason I’m on this ship is because I need the money.”

“Do you really feel nothing? ” Henderson asked.  He knew Marcus was an off worlder and like so many of his people he hated Earth but even he must feel something, surely.

“Sorry no, I don’t” he said defiantly, pulling out a chair at the small metal table in the middle of the room and sitting down.  The ship lurched suddenly and then, with a roar of the engines , was again steadied.  “Earth have done nothing but steal from us and use us Henderson” he continued, “I almost feel relieved that it’s over.  Things will have to be different now.”

Before Henderson could respond the comms sounded again.

“This is Captain Grenville” it began.  After a lengthy pause it continued.  “Today you witnessed the destruction of our home planet…”

Future Perfect 2

The tour shuttle cruised slowly above what remained of New York City harbour and came to a halt and hovered, her anti-grav fusion engines little more than a feint hum. 

Jay peered through the flap of his small grubby tent, once white but now a mottled mass of browns and blacks.  The storm seemed to have passed and already the sky was filling with the thick acrid smoke of camp fires.  He pushed through to the outside and looking about, the thick mud seeping over the top of his shoes.

“Where you going boy?” Snapped the old man from the tent opposite.  “You better be careful out there”

He might only be 13 but he had seen enough to know how to look after himself.  Mr Brabbin was harmless enough, he had lost his wife and three children to the plague so could be forgiven being grumpy.

“I will Mr B” He said reaching down and patting the lump in his pocket, checking it was still there.  “I’ll bring you back something.”

“Good boy” Mr Brabbin mumbled climbing back inside his tent “just like my Jacob”.  Jay watched him disappear and headed off across the camp towards the river without bothering to secure his own tent, it wasn’t like he had anything worth stealing.

Through rows and rows he walked, people emerging and getting back to what they spent most of their days doing, which was not a great deal.  Dirty faced children milled about and the smells and noise of a million refugees filled the air.  The food drops were due soon, which was the highlight of the day, but outside of that it was a pretty miserable hand to mouth existence they lived.  Each week an envoy from New York would fly over and update them with the latest immigration status, and each week it was the same old story.  New York was full.

Even from this far out he could see her in the distance, her hab-zones reaching high into the sky.  They were so large they dwarfed the old skyline, huge structures of concrete and glass built to house those that were lucky enough to make it in before they stopped all movement in an out of the city.

He followed the line of tents until they lead him down towards the shoreline, the black waters of the harbour stretching out before him in the distance.  He picked up a rock and threw it at a sign that warned that a one hundred metre wide stretch of land around the water’s edge had been mined.  He winced as the rock ricocheted from the sign and rolled across the ground.

He climbed up onto an oil drum and reached into his pocket pulling out a ration pack, ‘Courtesy of the New York City State’ stencilled across the silver foil packaging.  Sitting there watching the shuttles buzzing around the high towers of the city in the distance he bit off the corner and squeezed the contents into his mouth.  Probably Banana but it was hard to tell.

As palls of smoke drifted from the camp out towards the water’s edge he watched the supply drones growing larger as they headed across the bay towards them, large spider like craft with their legs wrapped around the containers of food and water.  They would drop their contents and then monitor the distribution from above, with any sign of unrest ensuring that perpetrators would soon discover that they were also heavily armed.

He craned his neck as they buzzed overhead, shouts and commotion from the camp filling his ears. He finished his ration pack and screwed the packaging into a ball and tossed it towards the warning sign and watched it fall to the ground into a pile of the discarded silver packages.

The sound of a patrol boat in the harbour caused him to look up and hurriedly he pulled a small notepad and pencil from a pocket and scribbled the time and a description of the boat.  Leafing back through the tattered pages he noticed that it was running a minute late.  Pretty unusual for automated craft he thought.

For a while Jay just sat, scribbling notes into his book and watching the shadows grow longer as the sun began to dip in the sky.  It wouldn’t be long now.

Soon two men emerged from the tents heading towards the shore about forty metres away.  It was the nightly ritual, a run for the city and a chance of a life away from the desperation, death and disease of the camp.  Dressed in little more than rages, their faces gaunt and eyes sallow they moved slowly, the setting sun warm on their backs.

They paused at the edge of the restricted area and then, without speaking, set off towards the waters edge.  Jay watched, his heart racing and the paper in his hand shaking as step by step they drew nearer and nearer to the waters edge.  A step became five metres and five metres became ten.

He noticed one turn to the other and smile but in that moment there was an ear splitting thud and an explosion of dirt and fire and both men were thrown up into the air like rag dolls.  Limbs torn from their bodies they didn’t even have time to scream before they came back to earth in a plume of smoke and falling debris.  The taller of the two set off a second ear splitting explosion as he landed and he disappeared in a pink mist spread across the ground and reflected in the late evening sun.

As the smoke drifted away Jay uncovered his ears and flicked through the pages of his note book.  On a small diagram of the shore front he marked the spot where they had triggered the mines.  Their loss was his gain, and it had him one step closer to his own freedom…

Future Perfect 1

The tour shuttle cruised slowly above what remained of New York City harbour and came to a halt and hovered, her anti-grav fusion engines little more than a feint hum. 

The tour shuttle cruised slowly above what remained of New York City harbour and came to a halt and hovered, her anti-grav fusion engines little more than a feint hum.  The low winter sun glistened off of her silver sides and inside her passengers pressed themselves to the windows.  To the east and out towards the Atlantic they could see the city lights were already burning brightly, 25 million people crammed into towering glass and concrete hab-zones.  To the west the refugee tents stretched as far as the eye could see, fires burning and palls of acrid smoke twisting and writhing into the sky.

Caleb pulled on his father’s sleeve.

“Why don’t they move to city dad?” He asked pointing to the tents.

His father paused.  “There just isn’t room son” he said looking away.  “The city is full.”

“Full?” Caleb said confused “we have a spare bedroom?  We have lots of bedrooms.”

“It’s just full son” he said putting a hand on his shoulder.

Caleb looked at his father and knew that it was best not to ask again.  He was a patient man but some times you had to know when to stop asking questions.

“Where do they come from?” he asked.

“From the south” his father answered “they’re the ones that made it.”

Caleb knew about the South, his tutor had talked about it.  “They’re the ones that survived the plague? ” he asked.

“They are yes, many died but it could have been much worse.”

Caleb sat upright,  he knew about this too.  “Tutor said that if it wasn’t for the great wall we would all have died, we’d have been over run.”

“Exactly” his father replied proudly, “if it wasn’t for the wall none of us would be here now…”

T is for Tea

Drink up before it gets cold.

I have written on the matter of Tea on a number of occasions though it was rather a long time ago and very few people have actually read them.  So I am going to rehash these two posts because, as I recall, they were fun and the first also touches on tea-bagging which you dont get to read about every day.  The other is about Aliens, and everyone loves aliens right.

https://afterwards.blog/2017/07/29/more-tea-vicar/

https://afterwards.blog/2017/07/27/the-intergalactic-language-of-tea-daily-prompt/

Admit it, you thought it would be about Trump right 😉