Tag Archives: SciFi

2011 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Gid (#REN3 Part Three)

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The Shared World of Renaissance:

Part One: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil

Part Two: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Doc Stovepipe

The Prompts for Week Three:

  1. The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
  2. Betrayal is in the air.
  3. Relationships unravel or strengthen.
  4. A long-kept secret is revealed.

Word Count: 594

Part Three: “…the only truth that sticks.”

Gid looked at both men, and did not like the way they felt.  Something was very wrong here. Lil held onto his arm in a bear hug way. He liked the way her body pressed into his, bringing back instant tactile memory of their recent coupling, but he did not like that she brought him to Doc Stovepipe. He especially did not like Digger, who all in Renaissance knew as trouble, and Gid had stayed out of his way.

Gid invoked a silent protection chant. He saw Lil look at him just then. “Huh?,” he thought. “She felt that. Lil’s more than she lets on.” Gid tried to put some space between him and Mississippi Lil, but she was not letting him. Physically she held onto his arm. Magically, she had bound him. Gid felt it, deep.

She whispered in his ear: “When you came, you came to me completely. Don’t doubt that for a second.” Out loud, she said to Doc and Digger: “He’s mine, so let’s get this over with.”

Digger laughed a dry dirty guffaw and got up. Doc glared at Gid, then rose and put on his Stovepipe hat. He picked up his mug of Renaissance Brown Ale and downed it in one swig, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his coat. Gid noticed this, disgusted, hating the man even more, which  he thought would have been impossible.

Lil had told him of the sexual degradations Doc had imposed on her. Gid took great affront to all she told him. He knew she wasn’t chaste, and Gid wasn’t a choir boy himself, but he never once forced himself on anyone, never beat a woman, never treated one like a slave.

When he looked at her, first on that stage, and then later, he thought he felt what love at first sight must be like. Lil was nothing like the girls he knew in Renaissance. There weren’t that many his age, and he hadn’t felt much of anything about any one of them. Lil was different, and he had hoped…

Gid was compelled to follow along, side by side with Lil, behind Digger and Doc. He tried to yell out to Amy, the bartender, or any of the other few patrons he knew in The Last Stinkin’ Battalion, but his mouth would not work. “Shhh, lover…don’t get all worked up. Remember, Lil has a plan all of her own,” she said into his ear, as the group made their way through the darkened town streets.

The foursome make their way out of the town limits and wound up at the base of the Main Gauche mining hills. The opening to Heriot’s Pass had been boarded up; Doc and Digger were undoing that now, removing a few planks. Enough for all of them to squeeze into. Gid noticed Digger had a lantern which he had not noticed before; they must have had this here already, and planned out, he thought alongside the inner chants he hoped would give him some chance of escape. Gid was kicking himself for skipping out on too much of his trainings.

They came to an opening, where four tunnels branched off, and Gid noticed the chalk markings on the rocky ground. “Damnation, Doc’s a Schiavonaist,” he wailed inside, finally finding a fear he held off. Digger came and extracted Gid from Lil’s deathlike embrace, putting him dead center of the markings…but not before she had passed him something cold and hard into his hand.

Lil caught Gid’s eye and nodded, mouthing to him “Use it well!”

End of Part Three

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CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of the story?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, below in comments, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” she gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  or descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive.  😉

Post those thoughts in the comments you leave and I’ll either choose one OR have you all come back to vote on the choice (Poll time, I think), and the item that gets chosen will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your webrsite, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.

Stu

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Part Four: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution (coming 10/26/2011)

Last Prompts: Friday, October 21,  2011

Special Side Story: Renaissance: Missing Air (this is set in the future and has ties to the Doc Stovepipe story)

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The following two stories have nothing to do with the Doc Stovepipe stories above, but are set in my Renaissance world:

Renaissance Teaser: Prissy’s Story

Renaissance Teaser: Jewel’s Story

Syndrome of the White Knight

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Shelly was a hot mess, and Robert was in heaven. She was a damsel in distress: tied up in knots over past relationship indiscretions; a dragon sized horror of a boss; bill collectors moving in on her like speeding locomotives; and she was hanging off a cliff waiting for a diagnosis about a medical “female” problem.

Shelly also had mild OCD, was forgetful (“early senility,” he thought, “though she’s only 32.”), appeared to be dyslexic (she had “trouble reading“, she said), had a number of phobias, and a slew of other things. Robert saw it as his right-Man Right!-to not only come to the rescue but to hold all the answers and to TAA DAA! save the day!

Robert could not have been more wrong.

This was Shelly’s pattern. Used to it as she was (for she was a very introspective hot mess) she used Robert as a means to an end. His White Knight symptoms got in his way again, clouding any sound judgment he might have had. He paid her bills, ran interference with Shelly’s ex (who punched Robert in the nose, breaking it), and got himself fired by calling in sick too often to take care of his “damsel” and her ogre of a boss. The Doctor was out of his range, but it amounted to a big case of “nothing much” and it was easily forgotten by Shirley, after a visit to a walk-in clinic.

Once he lost his job, he lost Shelly too. She texted him that she was back with Frankie (the one who broke Rob’s nose). “Thanks for everything, but blah blah blah. Oh, and could you pay one last bill for me?”

He did.

And this was Robert’s pattern. He’d fall head over heels for any woman most would consider damaged goods. Illnesses, ill luck, illogical stories that afterwards made no sense but had Robert riding in on his white charger. He had learned American Sign Language in the hopes of falling in love with a beautiful deaf woman. He volunteered at soup kitchens, hoping to find that love of his life down on her luck.

When alone, Robert lived in his books of King Arthur and felt he was born so out of time that he would always be alone. The moments he was “needed” was when he shined, his inner goodness polished to a brilliance that sparkled. Those moments didn’t last too long, and the chinks in his armor were beginning to wear Robert down. His ideals of love were getting tarnished. It was becoming harder to bounce back with each sounding defeat.

Three months after Shirley’s betrayal (he saw all of the betrayals months later) something different happened to Robert. He met an un-needy woman.

Diane was healthy, intelligent, funny, strong (both emotionally and physically), was her own boss with a healthy income, had no Daddy issues, all ex-boyfriends were out of the picture, she owned her own condo, had solid investments, and the only thing that Robert felt was wrong with her was one huge honking thing: she liked Robert. He was baffled by this concept, and the fact that he liked her too, but he wasn’t sure how to go about dating her. Let alone be in a relationship.

That all changed on their seventh date. They had had a great time at the movies (a little bit of a make out session in the dark that Diane instigated). Dinner was an experience: an Indian meal that almost burned his tongue and mouth lining out due to severe Lamb Vindaloo (Diane plied massive amounts of Raita into Robert’s mouth, not letting him touch the water glass he originally went for). Once he cooled down and the sweat stopped pouring out, he did admit it was the tastiest food he ever had. It didn’t hurt she played footsie with him. They walked hand in hand, arm in arm, leaned against and poked and snuggled and snogged (she loved that English term).

It was while they were walking back to her place that their tickling of each other became an almost Dire Consequence! Laughing so hard while they chased and connected with each other, they started to cross the street. Neither saw the white Chevy Suburban careening down the street towards them. The driver, a platinum haired bimbette from Norwalk, was on her cell phone with her boy toy and  paid only the slightest attention to her so called driving.

This is what happened in a flash: the driver noticed Diane and Robert, braked and honked; Diane heard the honk, saw the behemoth out of the corner of her eye and hip bumped Robert towards safety; and Robert, hip bumped, threw out his arms, caught Diane, and pulled her to safety onto the sidewalk they had just left.

They were left panting and frazzled as the driver just drove off (she did get her head handed to at another time, but that is another story). Diane had her arms wrapped around Robert, and his were around her. His eyes gleamed with pride, saving a woman who really did not need saving, and his curse was thus broken. As long as Diane would have him, he was hers.

Diane’s eyes gleamed with pride too. She saved a man who so needed to be saved, and he was in her arms.

The white knights went up to her condo and rode the night away in glory…

…and they lived happily ever after.

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Announcements:

First: I am proud-REALLY PROUD-to announce that I will have a second story published come October 31st, 2011!! My story “Trolling for Loving” will be in a new Paranormal Anthology (title and ordering information TBA). I have a few other submissions out there right now, and I am writing a few more while semi-neglecting my novel (not for long: I have a new burst of energy for that). This is being ebook published by the same wonderful people at Ethics Trading and all proceeds go to charity.

My first published story, “Redhead Riding,”  is in Dawn of Indie Romance, and can be ordered on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.  Please support the very worthy cause…and me, too. Eight stories to whet your romantic whistle.

Second: I am co-hosting an exciting writers challenge in October called The Rule of Three Blogfest (you’ll see the badge on my sidebar). At this moment, on 9/21/2011, YOU  have TWELVE more days to sign up. Over 40 writers who blog have taken this challenge…and there is plenty of room for you.

I really hope that more of my readers take part in this. We have a lot of great writers participating, and there are also prizes!!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Poll: Vote For Fave Stories *Updated

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Hello and Welcome:

I have been writing almost daily (well, I have been, but not always posting on Tale Spinning) and the responses to continue certain story lines was intense. If you have not visited here before, I created a poll to see which stories have resonated most with my readers. The links to the stories are below the poll, so if you are just discovering my work, you have a one stop page to check them out. Please take a look and post if you have any favorites you’d like to see me continue. You also can vote for up to THREE of the tales.

Yes, I have been writing since, and those will be on another poll, at a later time.

THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!

Work In Progress (No Title),               Look at…/Epigamic,                  Thou Premonished…,

The Spenetic Tango                             Bushwhacked

Little Animal,                                        Night Abduction                       Beware of Falling Cows

Redhead Story                                       Birdsong: The Walkabout Man

The Valley of Katarrh

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Isabel Bush: In the Silence of the Day  I am really pleased that someone found the original purpose of this blog on my About page: oh, go there. 🙂  (yes, I’m being lazy and cranky today).

Theme: Exploration
First Sentence Prompt: Waking up at camp, on their third day, Esteban was famished.

The Valley of Katarrh

Waking up at camp, on their third day, Esteban was famished. On his way to pee, he kicked Charlie awake. “It’s your turn for fooding,” he said as he walked to the edge of the branch, pulled down his briefs, and let a streaming arc. It sputtered over the side, and went sailing down the hundreds and hundreds of feet. “Damn, that feels GOOD!”

Damy growled as she brushed off the moss-like substance that crept over her while she slept. “Damn this tree. Damn this moss. And damn YOU, Esteban! Three days. Katar Singh! I wish he would strike you down for suggesting this…monkey shit climb.”

Still prone on the wide branch, tied in place so he wouldn’t roll off, Charlie began to laugh. Again. He had been doing that since late the day before, when Felicia stumbled over part of the “green stuff”, as she called it, and fell…and fell…and dropped out of sight, where it got to the point they couldn’t see or hear her anymore. Charlie told Damy that he could have sworn it had moved, in Felicia’s way. She told him he was just experiencing shock. Charlie wouldn’t stop looking at the Bryophyta.

They had already taken samples down in the Katarrh valley. “Katarrh. Some joke,” Felicia had laughed their first morning at the root of Helios Hyperion, the tree that would be her death. “All this green covering. It looks like something huge took a massive sneeze all over the place. It’s disgusting to look at, and it smells like…”

“…your fooding,” Esteban piped in. His back was to her, hands on hips, head tilted all the way back to look up. Felicia side kicked him in the rear. He just laughed. “We are going up! Tomorrow. Pack tight, pack light. Looks like we have a long way to go before we reach the tip of the spine.”

Damy stared at Esteban. Feeling the glare, he turned to her. “We’ve been over this again and again. Yes, we have to climb. No, we can’t take a lifter. The last time we used the lifter to gain samples from the other giant, we shredded it. It almost burned down this part of the valley. We. Will. Not. Do. That. Again. Understood? You can glare all you want. I don’t care, Damy. I don’t care anymore. We climb tomorrow.”

Now, three days later and Felicia dead, Damy wished she had fought more. She saw no point to exploring UP like this. Euryphaessa’s surface had been mapped out, analyzed and sorted by the the crew on Giganteum. The real exploration, in her opinion, needed to be down, into the tunnels, the caverns and deep water pockets that filled this ugly planet.

The teams had been assigned aboard the space ship, and it was just her luck to be stuck with Esteban. She disliked him from the minute she met him, years before. Arrogant, self absorbed and dismissive of anyone that was not…him. He was Senior Field, and he did not let anyone forget it.

Charlie had by this time quieted down and flash warmed their morning meal. He sat away from any moss covered area, watching it as he ate. Yesterday morning they had all noticed how the moss seemed to be on them in places where no moss had been when they went to bed. Esteban blew away their  concerns.

“Look around you. The green crap is all over the place. It was dark, we were tired. Get over it.” Felicia and Charlie had looked at each other while Damy ignored him, as best as she could.

So, Felicia was dead, Charlie was losing it, and Damy wanted to go back. “Now, Esteban. We’re not even beyond the main trunk. Who else is going down?”

Esteban ignored her. Inserting the climbing filament rope into the spring-load chamber, he sighted, shot, and hit and upper branch. Adding another, he tested their security, attached his clip, and gave the nod to Charlie. Packed, he clicked his link behind Esteban. Charlie looked at Damy, sighed, and climbed along.

“Bastard.” She clambered after.

The third night was the same as the second. They had reached a point before darkneww overtook the valley. They did their business, “fooded” (Damy hated that expression of his), and tied themselves down, and slept.

The fourth morning.

Damy stood over the moss covered bodies of both Charlie and Esteban. She had tried to hack them out, but only succeeded in cutting their bodies. No blood seeped out. Cutting through, she was able to tell right away. They were both dead.

She still had green mass over her back and left side. Sleeping as far away from Esteban as she could,  finding solace on a track that had branched out from where the others had set up. Damy was sure there was none of the green where she settled down. Now, a large portion of the area was covered, and the smell was as bad up here as it had been down at the base of the tree.

Screaming, she tried to imbed her knife in the moss near Esteban’s head. Tried.

Whipping around her hand, a tendril of green snapped. The knife went flying over the side.

Before any verbal reaction could be uttered, tendril after another wrapped around her writhing body. Face enclosed, with a trail of green running into her open mouth and down her throat, Damy felt herself being lifted. Up she went, not down like she wanted, not down, where unknown to her all the teams there were already feeding the planet.

She was last.  She gave of herself without meaning or wanting to, and it took a long time.

It gets more complex as it get older, and higher. The tip of the spire sprouted a new growth.

Night Abduction: Jade Ruby Steampunk Adventures

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Night Abduction ©2011 `girltripped

Jade Ruby’s lips were turning blue. She had been flying high, staying out of the sensors reaches. Too much longer at this altitude and she’d freeze all over. Jade dipped her Acacia wood wings and dropped hundreds of feet. Too fast. Her breath caught in her throat where her heart was also trying to escape from. She leveled out, still above the sensors (she prayed), and hit the SteamBird 4.0 L V7 8 stroke control, sending her spiraling forward. Soon, Jade was over the rebel camp base.

Her NiteGoggles 10X fit tightly and worked better than expected. The heat signatures of Kad’s captors came into view as Jade cut the engine, and power-glided down to the copse of  trees behind their base. The wings folded up and around her back, a thick wooden armor to protect her from rear attacks. It was heavy, and not the easiest  thing to move in, but that and her Brighid leather jacket and britches, had saved her life a few times. Jade would rather live with the struggle then not live.

Jade drew her Cogswell Pepperbox 12 shot percussion revolvers out from under her jacket. Checking once again that they were fully loaded, Jade made sure  that each foot she placed did not break a twig, kick a stone, or get caught in an upraised root, sending her sprawling. Her advance was slow but sure. It took her close to three quarters of an hour to make it to the tent that had only glowing aura.  Kad’s. Jade was sure of it, checking the responsor meter that it matched.

Her best friend since childhood, Kad always got herself in trouble by doing what she always wanted to do.  Kad wanted to be friends with Jade, the Captain’s daughter, and she made it happen. Kad led Jade into more scrapes, more scoldings and more fun then Jade felt she would ever had experienced, if Kad had not come into her life. There was no way she was going to let Kad get hurt if she could help it.

Jade thumped out, on the base of the taut tent fabric, the pattern that was a secret message between the two of them: two hard beats, followed by three staccato beats. “It’s me…I am here.” Jade waited for the answer back, but instead her Kad laugh.

“Took ya long enough. Get me outta here!” Loud enough for Jade to hear. She hoped she was the only one who heard it.

Putting away one Pepperbox, Jade drew out her Bowie Outrider and sawed through the thick material. She caught a glimpse of Kad looking at her.

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

The slit in the tent wall opened enough for Jade to slide through. Using the knife, she cut away at the rope bonds holding Kad prisoner against the inner tent pole. Kad stood up and stretched, stifling a “oh God it’s good to stand!” groan, and smiled. She was half a head taller then Jade. Looking slightly down, she bent over and gave her a long hard hug, and an equally long hard kiss.

Jade pushed her away, just slightly. “I missed that, but we have to get the hell out of here before the Rebs stumble in here.” She looked Kad over, mussed up and black and blue over her left eye, her lip swollen, and parts of her attire torn. “You  OK?”

A slight nod, never taking her eyes off of Jade’s, and then Kad went over to the trunk that was to the right side of the tent. “Give me your Outrider, Jade.” Jade did, and Kad had the knife point into the trunk lock and picked it open in no time flat. Handing the knife to Jade, over her shoulder with the hilt towards her, Kad opened the trunk lid.

Inside was her equipment. Her Steambird, her pistols, her Acadia wood wings, her leather jacket. Putting them on, Kad turned just as the Reb Captain, whose tent they were in, walked through the front flap.

Before he could draw a weapon or call out more then a “Wh..” Jade hit him twice with the butt of her gun, surrounded by the leather glove on her hand. The Captain went down. Jade asked “Did this bastard do anything more to you then the  eye and lip?”

Kad walked over and kicked the Reb in the face. She just looked at Jade. Finishing putting on her gear, Kad told Jade to take some of the rope that held her and to bind “that bastard” on the ground.

“We’re taking him with us, Jade. He’s one of their Caps, knows more than he should. That’s good for our side, bad for him. You ready?”

Jade starred at the heap on the ground and sorely wanted to blast a hole through his head. Without looking at Kad, she asked “You think he’ll be that much use?” Kad walked over, put her  hand over Jade’s hand that was holding the pistol, and with the other she lifted Jade’s chin. She nodded.

Putting away her Cogswell, Jade helped Kad get the Rebel out of the back slit, along the way she came, and through the copse. Springing forth their wings, locking them in place, Jade and Kad held onto the Cap between then, using harness rigging they normally use to carry parcels. It would be uncomfortable for him, and neither of them could care less.

Hoping they were far enough away from the camp, they powered up. Just as they were ready to go, they heard a commotion behind them.

“Guess we better get outta her now,” Kad said, syncing up with Jade for their launch.

Jade looked over. “Love you!”

“Same here!”

They hit the control at the same time, and soared into the sky with their “prize.”

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Author’s Note: I came across the photo that graces the top of this story at deviantART.com.  It is by a duo named girltripped, and I want to thank them for allowing me to use it. I was inspired to write SOMETHING when I first saw it. I love Steampunk, and the books of Cherie Priest. This visual just felt like something she might write about, so…it’s my “fan fiction” homage to her writing and to the picture. Hope you like it. It’s my first foray into the world of Steampunk.

Little Animal

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“c’mere, ‘Animakul.’ c’mon… ” Sally whispered, trying to coax him out from hiding. “Billy and Angel are gone. They won’t hurt us, they’re just meanies.” A cool beginning of Fall light wind blew Sally’s dark brown hair into her face. She “pfffdd” it out of the way.

An answering, tiny huffing came from her jacket pocket. Lint was shoved aside and shaken off as her Animalcule poked his very small head out and “wiffed” at her. Sally, grin wide, held her hand out by the pocket, and ‘Animakul’ jumped on it and plopped it’s very tiny behind in her palm. Blowing him a kiss, she lifted ‘Animakul’ to her shoulder, where he settled into the epaulet that her brother had sewn to the jacket. Just for her, and ‘Animakul’.

Brandon was the one who introduced her to ‘Animakul’ a couple of weeks ago.  He was almost five years older then she was, and at six years old an eleven year old brother who did things with her was heaven. Usually.  Their parents were busy around the house that Saturday, and Sally was “getting in the way” (“I just wanna help!”).

“Brandon,” their Dad yelled out from the basement. “Could you PLEASE take Sally outside and watch her?” Brandon had already heard the rumblings and had tried to make it to his room, but his mother eyed him from the living room as he tried to get upstairs. She shook her head and gave him The Look. He turned around, got Sally from the stairs to the basement, and walked/pulled her out of the house.

Twenty-one minutes later, Brandon had had enough. “Let’s take a walk,” was all he had to say. She ran behind him, swatted him in the tush, and ran giggling away towards the back woods. “Hey, Sally..not there…,” he moaned, but he was already giving chase. He just hoped no one was watching where they were  going. They had both been warned not to go there without an adult.

It wasn’t too long before he caught up to her, caught her, and they tumbled down tickling and being tickled. Rolling on the uneven ground, they careened into a small mound of rocks and dirt by a Rooty Tree. That was Sally’s naming, one day she and her Mom went for a walk. She had almost tripped over a tree with a lot of roots wending this way and that above ground. “Rooty Tree, don’t you trip me!” All older trees were now a Rooty Tree.

“Ow! Something bit me,” Brandon exclaimed, reaching around and then through the small outcropping. He stood up and held something in his hand, something small and just a tiny bit fuzzy. It had four legs, and kinda looked like a tinier gerbil (they had them at school as class pets), but it’s face was flat,  it’s ears flopped over, it had TWO straight tails (which was weird itself)…and it was BLUE. Well, bluish patterned. Sky Blue mixed with Purple, crayon wise.

It had tiny claws that dug into Brandon’s hands, which hurt a bit, but it was making the loudest tiny angry sounds he’d ever heard. He was just going to put it down and back, when Sally, who had been screeching “LETMESEELETMESEE” grabbed the creature from him.

Before Brandon could issue a warning of any kind, the little thing quieted right down, and made a small, very contended sounding, “wiffle.” The next half hour was spent arguing with Sally, Sally with Brandon, the thing wiffling, over why she should, shouldn’t, can’t, will, NO, YES…until Sally won, and took the thing back to the house, reallllly quietly up the stairs, and into Brandon’s room.

He got online and Googled and Binged and Yahooed, but he couldn’t find any picture or reference of what that thing was. Sally had run downstairs to the kitchen, got a carrot, and ran back up as fast as she could (her Mom noticed and smiled, then frowned, went up to check if either of them brought home another wild animal, and, seeing nothing, went back downstairs) while Brandon did his interwebby thing.

One word, in his search, struck Brandon: Animalcule, “a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye.” Well, it wasn’t that small, but he thought it was a cool word. He told it to Sally, after she bugged him to tell her what he found, and she thought it was cool too.

“Hi, ‘Animakul’,” she said as she petted it, and ‘Animakul’ wiffled. Brandon tried to correct her, but ‘Animakul’ it was.

The two weeks into Fall went fast, from warm like weather to needing a jacket, which was perfect for sneaking ‘Animakul’ out of the house in her jacket pocket. ‘Animakul’ stayed by her at all times, especially when they were outside. Sally talked to it (still not knowing or caring if it was a boy or a girl ‘Animakul’), fed it, stroked it, sang songs with it, tried to play games (but, that was hard to do, not knowing the type of games an ‘Animakul’ would like to play) with it, and was overjoyed in her own pet. Her ‘Animakul’.

Billy and Angel had surprised her, first coming to retrieve their ball which came rolling into her back yard. Neighbors and not friends of either Brandon or Sally, they teased her, called her names (seeing that Brandon wasn’t around) and threatened to take her hat. ‘Animakul’ had been shoved into Sally’s pocket real fast when she saw the ball, having an idea whose ball it was. “MOOOOommmmmmMMMMMMMMMYYYY!” she bellowed.

Before any action occurred from the house, the two ran off, ball in hand. Angel was laughing, but Sally did not like that laugh.

‘Animakul’, from his (yes, his) perch on Sally’s shoulder, under the epaulet, honed in on the sound of the running feet, and nasty laugh. His teeth vibrated, and his mind was set. He would pay a visit to the boys, tonight, after Sally went to sleep. No one threatened what was his.

Epigamic

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Epigamic

ep-i-GAM-ik \  , adjective;  Attracting the opposite sex.

Jake had never had any problems with women. Getting them, that is. Keeping them for any real length of time..that was a continuous problem for him. It was one of the great things about Leeza. She was there when he needed her, he was there when she needed him, and that helped make them a great team on their flights. When they got back to base, they could go troll where they wanted, with whoever, and once a job came in, they clicked again..and again..and…

no more. He floated in a recovery tank, hooked up, tagged in, injected and pumped in and out, and Jake was aware most of the time. He was so full of pain suppressors that he floated much more then he as actually floating in the healing fluids. Jake knew one thing, remembered one key thing: Leeza would no longer be his partner, in any way. He didn’t get to keep Leeza anymore.

The Epigamic was almost blown to hell when the star blast went off. The only thing that was lucky was that the ship was on the other side of the Collector, the side away from the nuke induced Nova. The Collector ate the majority of the energy blast, but enough of the residual shock sent the ship into spasms, crushing part of the Epigamic, shearing off any external parts.

The hull was breached in a number of places. His ship..their ship immediately kicked in the LifeFoam(c) Suspension, injecting both of them first with sleep inducing comaphine. The LifeFoam enveloped the two of them, protecting as best as it can.

It was too late for Leeza. The blast blasted a hole next to her head, into and out of her head, and she was gone before anything happened in the pit. Jake was gone into that no dream land, suffering damages as well before it all kicked in. The damages were extensive, but fixable. He lost his left eye. They grew one back for him. The fingers on his hands had been roasted, the skin peeled away to the bone. They grew new skin for him. Whatever was punctured, or broken, or missing, was not that way by the time Jake was allowed to leave the tank and take to a bed in the ICU ward. Everything was back to normal, that is, except for how guilty he felt. He never felt guilty..not like this.

The crippled ship was pulled back by the recovery team that went after the Collector. He was more out then in, but he heard the accusations, heard about Leeza, heard about the damage to the Epigamic. Jake also heard a voice that no one else heard: “You killed her, you bastard. You killed Leeza,” he went over and over in his mind.

He could rebuild the Epigamic with the credit he’d get from the Energy Control. Jake and Leeza always pulled in good solid rads, and this was no exception, so he could rebuild the ship, his credit, himself physically. He could not rebuild the one thing, he realized with more sickening to himself truth, that meant more then he ever would have admitted to himself before.

“I’m sorry,” he said staring up at the ceiling when any of the Meds came to talk to him. The staff began to call him that instead of Jake, or Captain Todd, or Patient #56902.

Two weeks after he was out of the tank, a visitor came to see Jake. “Oh, you want I’m Sorry,” the duty nurse said with a smirk. “He’s in the third room on the left, second bed in.” Jake’s visitor gave the nurse a confused then dark look and continued down the hall, into the room and stopped at the second bed, looking down on Jake.

“Wake up, you son of a bitch,” Mr. Waymahr said, kicking the bed frame. Jake, already awake, opened his eyes and looked at Leeza’s father, who was glaring at him. “Good. You’re getting out of here soon, Jake. I’ve got a job for you as soon as the repairs on the damned ship of yours is ready to go. You’re not going to like this one little bit, and I don’t give a rats ass. You understand me?”

Jake just shook his head yes, then said “I’m sorry.”

“You bet whatever nine lives you’ve already used up you’re going to be sorry!” he murmured, then turned and left without looking back.

Jake took in a deep rush of air, and let it out slowly, hoping to deflate himself in the process. “I’m sorry,” he said again, and “Shit!”

#5MinuteFiction: Apology

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Hi..I do owe Leah Petersen and everyone at #5MinuteFiction an apology for not commenting on where the story idea came from yesterday. Leah runs this once a week writing contest from her blog Write Me!

The contest runs every week, on Tuesdays.  At 1:30pm EST, she posts a word prompt that you then have FIVE MINUTES ONLY (hence the title of the contest) to take the prompt and GO GO GO. There is only a fifteen minute window to write and post, as no entry posted after 1:45 is eligible to be considered.

Yesterday’s prompt, by the way, was: Gravity.

I only found out about this the previous week and entered too late, but I was ready this time. It WAS big fun, and I do hope more people glom onto this. I’ve been enjoying the  writing contests I’ve been finding  and the A to Z blog challenge that got me hyped on this blog.

PLEASE show your support for Leah and other #5MinuteFiction writers!

Look At All The Pretty Stars…

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LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY STARS

“Twinkle, Twinkle, really big star..don’t blow up until I’m afar,” Jake hummed-sang to himself, as he cut the side thrusters, the life support, all the unnecessary instruments in the ship…all the unnecessary ones. At this moment.

At this moment, when he needed to get the fuck away into safe dark space before this one blows the shit out of him.

Jake’s job was to collect energy, causing near dead suns to give off their final energies in one great Battery Recharging sublimation into final flame out. All he had to do was fly the Collector into the right area (“alignment with Federal Central still a go” said Leeza, his co-almost dead cohabitant), drop the Servilenuke right into the heart of the sun (Pink Floyd blasting away as he did so..”oh, the oldies are still the best) and then getting the hell out of there. Let the Collector collect the energy blast. He just wanted to keep collecting heart beats at this point.

The ship was crippled. The planet he was circling around, it’s gravity was too strong. He waited too long, got hit by that fucking meteor, concentrated too long on screwing Leeza for a “job well done”…and now they were both screwed. He put all the energy into the drive to get them out of here, pushed this and pulled that and commanded the computer to haul ass…

Nova, so bright.