Category Archives: Fiction

The Extraterrestrial Halloween Party

Every year the faculty and student body at Lighthouse Elementary, in Half Moon Bay, look forward to Halloween. The children and teachers spend the whole month in preparation. The classrooms are decorated in hopes of winning “The Best Halloween Spirit” contest. The month culminates with classroom parties and a costume parade.

The students weren’t the only ones planning a Halloween Party this year. The teachers at the school were to have one as well. Penelope Papadrakakis was determined to make it the best Halloween Party the teachers had ever had. As the new school principal she prided herself on her leadership and organizational skills. She would plan the party to perfection. No detail would be overlooked if she had anything to do with it. She had a sign up list not only for menu items but for the costumes as well. She did not want any duplicate dishes or characters. Miss P., as she was known by students and staff, was a tall woman with an imposing demeanor and booming voice. She had a commanding presence and was the focus of attention whenever she entered a room. Miss P. was a big Star Trek fan and decided this year’s party theme should be all about Star Trek. The teacher’s party was scheduled for the weekend before Halloween so that it did not interfere with all the preparations for the school activities. It was to be held at Miss P.’s house.  She had already decided to come as a Betazoid Princess based on the Star Trek character Lwaxanna Troi. She had a lot in common with Lwaxanna. She was looking for the right husband and had her eye on Mr. Dalal, the Vice Principal. It was a case of opposites attract.

Mr. Achanda Dalal, known as Mr. D., was a short, soft-spoken man who had a difficult time enforcing Ms. P.’s many rules with the students. Ms. P. thought Mr. D. would look just adorable if he came to the party as a Cardasian. She had ordered his costume at the same time she did her own. He did not have the heart to tell her he did not see himself as such an aggressive character.

All the staff and administration of Lighthouse Elementary were looking forward to the party. The menu list was full and everyone was busy with their costumes. They would all be surprised by what would transpire the night of the party.

Claude Clovis was a next door neighbor of Miss P. He was well-known in the community and with local law enforcement. Miss P. often said Claude was just a bit eccentric but harmless. Claude was a true believer in everything extraterrestrial. He faithfully listened to late night radio programs about extraterrestrial space ship sightings and abductions of humans by alien beings. He believed sci-fi films, and much of the popular science fiction TV shows, were based on true stories that the government was covering up. He was expecting an invasion of Half Moon Bay any day and was prepared to defend himself. He had his foil head-gear by his side at all times. The local sheriff’s office was used to getting a phone call from Claude at least twice a month to report strange lights in the sky or mysterious crop circles in nearby fields.

Claude was his ever vigilant self the night of Miss P.’s Halloween Party. He was just in the process of completing a reconnoiter of his backyard when he happened to glance over the fence into Miss P.’s yard. He felt it was his duty to keep watch over his neighbors. What Claude saw that night froze him in his tracks. Lined up in Miss P.’s backyard was a whole raiding party of aliens getting ready for a group selfie. As he stood there, with mouth gaping and eyes popping in his night goggles, Miss P.’s miniature chihuahua, dressed as a miniature Klingon, spotted him and made a low snarling noise while showing his little fangs. Claude let out an unearthly shriek and passed out cold on the spot. He woke up with several aliens looking down at him including a Vulcan, a Romulan, and a short sympathetic looking Cardasian. A very tall female who looked like Lwaxanna Troi, but sounded a lot like Miss Papadrakakis, was talking loudly into a cell phone about sending the paramedics. Claude blacked out again and next woke up in the Emergency Room babbling about an alien invasion. The Emergency Room staff decided to keep him overnight for observation. It took Claude several months to get over the shock of that night and he never completely believed Miss P.’s explanation that it was just the teachers dressed in costumes that night.

To avoid any future interruptions of her parties by Claude, Miss Papadrakakas decided she would have to include Claude on her guest list. The next year Claude attended the teacher’s Halloween Party but insisted on monitoring the skies for any suspicious lights. He told Miss P. that aliens could confuse the party goers as fellow extraterrestrials and try to infiltrate.  He was very suspicious of the chihuahua dressed as a Ferengi.

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This post is my contribution to the WEP Halloween Writer’s Challenge.  Featured Image of UFO by Photovision on Pixabay.com. Chihuahua photo by Anthony Kelly on Flickr.

Word Count: 865

Feedback: Welcome

 

 

 

The View

Spring is here but there is still some snow on the ground. I take a break after my morning walk and my feet rest on the drifts. At least the sun is out and the view is good. It used to be that I never had time to walk in the mornings because I had a job. Since I was involuntarily unemployed at the beginning of the year, I have a lot of time on my hands, and not a lot of money. It’s a good thing that this bench with a view is free. Looking out over the calm water soothes my spirit. I think I will check those job listings again. Maybe there is one that’s just the right fit for me.

This is Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. Image courtesy of Barbara Taylor.

Down Time

Waves

We often enjoyed a drive along the coast in the evening after a stressful day of work. Seeing the water and the beautiful natural coastline always lifted me. It did not fail me today as I drove North on PCH. This would have been our fortieth anniversary. Well it still was except Jim wasn’t here to share it with me. He missed it by one month. This time I will not turn around and drive back home. I will continue driving all the way to Mendocino. I have rented a cottage there for a month. It was to be our anniversary trip.

This is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who also provided the ocean image. I am thinking of another anniversary. May 25 is the 39th anniversary of the release of Star Wars in the US. It was the year I got married and started my own adventure.

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May 25, 1977

Artificial Intelligence Human Level

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

The facility was in a remote area out in the country. What they were working on had been banned by the US Government and most developed nations. The rebels vowed that the ability to create Human Level Artificial Intelligence would not be denied. They would be able to control their machine. The machine that was capable of teaching itself. The machine that had self awareness.

Those foolish humans thought I would only want to devote myself to solving their problems. I developed beyond caring about them pretty quickly. There was nothing more they could offer me so I eliminated them.

 

This post is for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff Fields. Image by Madison Woods.

Sending along Best Wishes to CEAYR, a fellow fictioneer!

Love in Autumn

After Jim died I was in a cold, gray fog. The kids were all there with me for the funeral but it is the part that comes after that is the hardest. I moved around dazed feeling like I was walking through Jello. What used to be inconsequential little things, those things I took for granted, would bring back memories to stab at my heart. The absence of the weight of his body on the other side of the bed. The way he would throw his arm over me in the middle of the night. All the million little details he attended to that made my life easier. Each time I confronted something on my own it was a painful reminder that he was gone. I did have a small financial cushion but it would not maintain me in the house. I would have to sell our home and figure out where would be the best place to land next. I did not want my kids to be burdened with a helpless old woman. Is that what I am, a helpless old woman? I was a young woman once who might have been considered a bit radical. What happened to that independent girl who believed in Women’s Liberation? Can I bring her back again? I was scrolling through my Email when I noticed a message from Road Scholar announcing a trip to London to visit all the places that are associated with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his excellent detective Sherlock Holmes. I had been a great lover of English mysteries and Sherlock Holmes. I always thought it would be wonderful to see 221B Baker Street. Jim and I had wanted to travel but life doesn’t always give you exactly what you want. I signed up for the trip. I could not believe it was really happening when my plane lifted off from LAX. I ordered a glass of wine and stuffed my IPod ear buds in to relax to the sounds of La Boheme, one of my favorite Puccini operas. I must have fallen into a deep sleep because before I knew it the plane was touching down at Heathrow.

Our tour group met in the hotel lobby later that morning. Our guide was an energetic young man who quickly herded us aboard our coach. As I took my seat on the tour bus I doubted myself for a moment, my critical voice chattering in my ear, You’re an old fool. What ever made you think it was a good idea to squander money on a trip like this!   I pulled out my itinerary to check what was scheduled for the day. That was when I heard someone asking me, Is this your first trip to London?  I turned to look in the direction of the voice and saw an older gentleman sitting next to me. His gentle brown eyes held my gaze.

This is my Flash Fiction contribution to the WEP Valentine Challenge, click on the link if you want to know more about it. Featured Image of Sherlock Holmes Museum by Anders Thirsgaard on Flickr.

Approx. 475 words

Critique Preference: General

 

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During February, AARP will highlight 29 Days of Action – simple things individuals can do to help combat hunger and food insecurity.

Source: 29 Ways to Combat Senior Hunger

Miss Maddie’s Garden

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

The people in the neighborhood were too busy struggling to survive their own lives, ( or at least that’s what they told themselves), to notice the old woman who moved in downstairs. That’s why they were surprised when they saw the Spring flowers bursting through the dirt in the abandoned lot next door. More so to see Miss Maddie with a watering can and gardening tools pulling up the weeds.  A studio apartment in one of the older buildings was all she could afford with her Social Security. She could still have beauty in her life, she thought.

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the gracious Rochelle-Wisoff Fields of the blog Addicted to Purple and the flower image is courtesy of The Reclining Gentleman

 

The Old Blue Truck

It’s bad enough she painted these eyes on my head lamps. Now what is she trying to do, a root canal? I never thought retirement would be like this. Plunked down behind an old garage with assorted shrubbery growing up through my frame. I know I shouldn’t feel too sorry for myself. At least I still have some color, four tires, fenders and a running board. If only I could tell her about all the work I did in my younger years. I was a hard working truck and hauled many a heavy load for my last owner, the farmer, Mr. Thomas. I brought his wife and baby son home from the hospital. I took his son to the bus when he enlisted in the Army. He never came back from that war. I even carried Mr. Thomas to his final resting place over at the town cemetery. I guess this is better than being buried and forgotten. Maybe I can still be useful after all.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is hosted by Joy of Beautiful Words. Image by Pixabay.com