Category Archives: Fiction

Devoted Pet

 

kitten

MorgueFile 1449286229de9o8

Are you finished packing?

Not yet. There is so much to consider, a lifetime.

You won’t need that much because everything will be provided for you.

It’s just hard to leave everything, so many memories.

I can’t leave without you. You mean so much to me.

I am grateful to you for that. You know I love you too.

We do not have much time left.

I will try to hurry. Explain to me again, why we need to leave.

You know why. I have told you many times.

Yes, but tell me again. It will help me to get ready.

The atmosphere here has passed the tipping point. Soon, it will not support life.

I believe what you have told me but how can I leave the only home I have ever known?

All of your family is gone. You have nothing left here.

Are you sure your culture will accept me?

Our race has existed here for almost 10 millennia. We have been observing and learning about you for all that time. We have to board the transport soon.

I can’t call you Fluffy anymore. I must get used to calling you by your true name, Bastet.


This post is for Week #11-2018 Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner hosted by Roger Shipp.

Word count: 200

 

 

 

 

Adventures In Dining

 

burger

MorgueFile 1401035280bwq0a

 

I’d like the burger with fries.

Sounds good. What kind of fries do you want? We’ve got shoe string, steak cut, chili cheese, garlic, sweet potato, blue cheese, and portobello.

That’s a lot of choices. How does anyone make up their mind?

It depends if you’re traditional or adventurous.

I’m feeling adventurous. I had a terrible day at work, and my boss is an unimaginative jerk. What’s the most adventurous thing on your menu?

That would be the Godzilla.

I’ll give that a shot.

A busboy clearing off the leftovers remarked, “That Godzilla is such a messy eater.”

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Godzilla%281995%2Crepaint%29_Head_at_Abeno_Harukas_Art_Museum_August_31%2C_2014.jpg/320px-Godzilla%281995%2Crepaint%29_Head_at_Abeno_Harukas_Art_Museum_August_31%2C_2014.jpg

 


This micro-fiction is for Week #10-2018  Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on the link if you want to join in.

Word count: 98

Let’s celebrate!

Falling Deep

Jordan lay awake thinking about how her life had changed so radically in the past few weeks. She prided herself on her independence and planned to travel through life with no attachments holding her down. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy the company of men, but she wanted to be free to go wherever life would lead her in a moments notice. That was before she met Aidan.

She had been on another adventure hiking in Nepal when her group took refuge at Gorek Shep. They were told it was too dangerous to try to climb Everest in the winter. She was lobbying her companions to take a shot climbing part of the way. She didn’t find any takers and resigned herself to spending the night and heading back to Lukla in the morning. She was drowning her disappointment in dark chocolate and a large glass of wine at the fireside when she heard his voice.

“You don’t give up easily, do you?”

Jordan looked in the direction of the voice and saw large dark eyes that seemed to penetrate her with their intensity.

” I guess I don’t,” she replied.

” Your friends are right, this is not the time to climb the mountain.”

“I have given up on that idea already.”

” I am planning on a caving trip. Have you ever tried it?”

” I haven’t done that yet. Where are you planning to go?”

“The Krubera Cave in Abkhazia. It’s believed to be the deepest cave in the world.”

“How deep?”

” The latest measurement was 2,197 meters.”

” That’s over 7,000 feet!”

“Yes, but I don’t recommend it for beginners. I would be willing to give you some lessons.”

” I have to head back to my home base but you have got me interested.”

“Where do you live?”

” I live in Nevada City.”

” Where’s that?”

“Nevada City is in the Gold Country in Northern California.”

“Gold Country?”

” It’s where Gold was discovered and mined in California. The site of the “Gold Rush.” I grew up there. It’s a small town but with a colorful history of people who took risks and sought their fortunes in the Wild West. Maybe that’s how I got my love of adventure. I’m Jordan Sullivan, and you are?

“I’m Aidan Rourke, nice to meet you. Nevada City sounds like an interesting place to visit. Did you ever go climbing around there?”

“Just hiking but I was just thinking about what you said, teaching me about caving. There is a large cave near Angels Camp called the Moaning Caverns. There is rappelling available at the site. If you would like to come to California, you could be my guest in Nevada City.”

Jordan had shocked herself with this invitation to a man she just met but there was something about him. She was drawn to him and wanted to get to know him better. She had relationships before but they never lasted long and she told herself not to expect this one would amount to much either. After all, she was not interested in commitment and the men she usually dated felt the same way.

Aidan had taken her up on the offer to visit California and she had spent the last week showing him around her home town and the surrounding area. She was used to getting into intimate relationships quickly and this one was no different in that respect. What was different about it was how she was beginning to feel about Aidan. Jordan saw this as a red flag. You’ve got to get hold of yourself, slow down. No commitment, remember?  There was something about this one though. He had such an appealing way about him. He was strong but gentle and had a quirky sense of humor that made her laugh. And when she looked into those big dark brown eyes she felt herself melt. What was she going to do? This was getting serious!

They decided to head for the Moaning Caverns the next morning. Jordan found herself yawning over breakfast.

” I didn’t think my conversation was so boring,” Aidan remarked grinning.

” I had a little trouble sleeping last night.”

” Anything bothering you?”

” Nothing really. I’m not sure what kept me awake.” Jordan was not going to admit what or who was causing her insomnia yet, or maybe never she thought.

“Are you ready for some rappelling lessons this morning?”

“I’m ready to get going. Can we leave now?”

Aidan picked up on Jordan’s irritability but decided to ignore it. He was looking forward to teaching her how to use the ropes. He couldn’t wait to get close to her again. He had been attracted to her from the first night they met and now he didn’t know how he would ever live without her. He had the ring hidden in his backpack and planned to surprise her when they were in the cave. He just hoped she felt the same way about him.

They had a great time rappelling down into the cavern. Jordan took to it like a pro. They decided to make one final descent. Aidan started off down the wall of the cave and was halfway down when his rappel anchor suddenly broke loose and he plummeted. Luckily a ledge broke his fall. Jordan screamed and cried out to him but he did not respond. She quickly descended to where he was sprawled on the ledge.

“Aidan, darling, are you hurt?”

It took a few minutes for Aidan’s head to clear then he realized Jordan was touching his body looking for any injury. “Did you call me darling?”

” Yes, and are you going to make a big deal out of it?” Jordan shouted, tears glistening in her eyes.

” Yeah, I’m going to make a big deal out it,” he said as he pulled her close and covered her mouth with his before she could say anything more.

They never made it to Abkhazia but found much to explore in Nevada City after they were married in the Spring.


This Flash Fiction post is for the # WEPFF WEP-Write…Edit…Publish February 2018 Challenge-In Too Deep hosted by Denise Covey, Yolanda Renée, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim. Featured image Harwood hole New Zealand by Dave Bunnell on Wikimedia.org

 

Word Count: 998

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Virtual Perfection

Fish

The children were fitted with Virtual Sight contacts at an early age. Everyone had perfect eye sight and everything in the world was in perfect high-definition. The Controllers questioned why anyone should view imperfection. So any flaws were quickly removed from view and everything looked perfect. Poverty,human suffering, or the elderly need not be seen. To prevent the population from tripping over unseen bodies in the street, the poor and sick were swept into hidden compounds. When people reached the age of 55 they simply disappeared. This arrangement was deemed sensible. No one should have to see the messy, imperfection of ageing. People sometimes felt uneasy though. A sensation of people walking beside or around, a whisper, a movement in the air, a shadow.

The disruption in the Virtual System occurred during a solar flare in the middle of the Summer Solstice celebration. People were disoriented as their brains fought to adjust to their natural vision. They froze in place as the creatures came into view. There were strange, imperfect beings standing among them. The older ones who had disappeared were still alive. They just had been unable to see them.


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on link to learn more about this writing group.

Icy Surprise

bike

“Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted thick deposits of ice in the planet’s mid-latitudes that extend hundreds of feet deep.” – Amina Khan LA Times Science File “Icy surprise is exposed on Mars”

*********************

The Mars outpost was ordered to remove all traces of their colony. Tomir’s parents told him to gather up all his belongings to be shipped on the first transport. He had sorted through most of it when his eyes fell upon one last thing, a gift from his Uncle Domir brought back from the Earth Expedition. It was too embarrassing to show to any of his friends back home. All his friends had their own hover boards. What was he to do with this thing? That’s when he remembered that crevasse in the ice field.

“What do you mean you don’t remember where you put it?” his mother asked.

*********************

Mars Deep Explorer Mission announced that excavation of the scarps in the Milankovic Crater has resulted in an amazing discovery. Scientists have no explanation.

 


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on the link if you would like to know more about this writing group.

Packing Up A Life

Cup

I finished for the day and was taking a break in front of a cozy fire with a well-earned cup of coffee. My mother didn’t like earthen ware coffee mugs and all her cups were china. She had a particular affinity for English china cups. Definitely not my taste for a coffee cup but I did not have a choice in her house. It had been an exhausting day sorting through all of Mom’s possessions. My daughter had offered to help but she would not be arriving for another 2 days. My mother was nothing like a hoarder and had downsized once already when she moved into the cottage after Dad died. It was just that many of the things had memories attached to them. It is taking me a long time to go through them because a memory or feeling would be triggered and I’d get lost in a reverie. The photos were the worst. Like the one of me in Tuscany when I was away with a study abroad class. Mom said the photos were almost unreal, like a movie set. She did not know how real it was. This was where the love of my life died.


This post is for Flash Fiction For The Purposeful Practitioner Week # 2 hosted by Roger Shipp. You can learn more about the rules by clicking on the link.

Redwood

Rachel Baum was looking forward to another opportunity to get out in the forest. Her job as a biologist at UC Berkeley was the study of the effect of climate change on Redwood trees. In recent years there was a growing alarm at the rapid changes in the California climate and how it was stressing the trees. Many felt it could be reaching a tipping point with how long the trees could adapt and survive. Her work sometimes required her to climb to the top of a 300 foot tree to check instruments that monitored the weather up in the canopy.
Rachel loved the spectacular views from the canopy and listening to the wind in the leaves. She came to the grove with another biologist who remained on the ground. Josh would send up any needed supplies with a pulley. There had been reports of a storm front moving in but Rachel and Josh thought they would have enough time. As she reached the top of the tree she heard a loud rumbling and looked up to see dark clouds rolling in.
“We better make this quick, Rachel,” Josh called over the two-way radio.
“I just want to check the fog monitor and then I will head down.”
Rachel was reaching over to the monitor when she saw the little Spotted Owl on a lower branch.

Female Spotted Owl

She was about to catch a quick photo when she felt the hair rise on the back of her neck. The lightning hit a nearby tree sending chunks of wood exploding through the air. A large piece hit Rachel.
Rachel was traveling through a tunnel. She felt the tunnel closing in on her body, squeezing. She thought she heard a young woman cry out and then she forgot about her life on Earth as she came into a new world. The midwife smiled as she welcomed this new life. Her parents named her Alexandria.

Alexandria Mata was one of the first babies born in the Mars colony. Her parents were part of the first colonists to live on Mars. They were both botanists working on plant cultivation. Growing up Alex liked exploring the gardens and small nature areas that were part of the biosphere. Her parents often found her reading her books under one of the few trees. Alex loved stories about trees. She grew up to be a botanist like her parents and her affinity for trees continued. Many of her contemporaries considered her a bit odd for her interest in Forest Biology because, as they told her, the forests are gone on Earth and there would be no forests on Mars. There was one friend who shared her interest in trees, Jeff Kimura. His focus was paleobotany, the study of fossil plants.

776px-Concept_Mars_colony NASA

Artist concept Mars Colony via NASA

Alex was working the day a small package arrived in a shipment from Earth. The contents of the box were not revealed by the label which said it had come from the University of California, Berkeley. As she opened it she found a note from a biologist. I hope you can find a home for this specimen of Sequoia Sempervirens and help this majestic spirit survive in the universe. Most of theses trees had been lost on Earth during the Great Drought of  2030-2045 when there were years of little rain with many months of wild fires. Global warming had denied the moisture giving fog to the giant trees and the drought dried out the soil and the surrounding undergrowth. The fires did the rest. Alex wanted to show the seedling to Jeff but he was at a dig site on Olympus Mons.

Olympus Mons was an old shield volcano and one of the tallest mountains in the solar system. Jeff’s team hoped that the volcano had some buried secrets in its slopes. They were looking for signs of earlier plant life on the planet.  Jeff knew Alex would be very interested in what they discovered, part of a fossilized forest.

“Jeff, this is fantastic, proof of ancient forests on Mars! When will you get some specimens back here?”

“We have them here now if you want to come over to my lab.”

” Right away!”

Word spread fast among the scientists and Alex found a large group in the Botany lab. The lead paleobotanist, Dr. Albero, was speaking. ” The microscopic evaluation of the fossils suggest these trees were ancestors of Sequoia Sempervirens, or Coast Redwoods.”

“How could Mars and Earth have the same trees? “ Alex thought, incredulous.

After the announcement people broke up into smaller groups to talk about the discovery. Jeff signaled to Alex. She walked over to a corner of the room where he was standing.

“Can you believe it, Coast Redwoods on Mars?

“We found a body.”

“What! Where?”

“We found a body buried near the trees.”

“What kind of body? What did it look like?”

“Like this.” Jeff showed Alex a photo he had stored on his communicator.

“Oh my God! This proves there were humanoids here on Mars.”

“Well there was one anyway.”

“Why wasn’t the discovery of this body announced?”

“Dr. Albero wants to discuss it with some higher-ups at NASA. He thinks this discovery might cause some panic in the colony.”

The colony leaders called for a community meeting the following week. Dr. Albero was asked to speak about the discovery.

“I know there have been rumors about the other discovery made on Olympus Mons. We found the body of a humanoid buried near the petrified forest. Further testing on the remains indicates that this humanoid is genetically related to us.”

******

The expedition found two planets in the solar system with environments compatible to their home world. They decided to introduce some of their flora prior to colonization to see if it could survive. They planted some seedlings from one of their most revered and beloved trees.

 

Ancient Coast Redwoods tower above hikers at Simpson Reed Grove Trail

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” – John Steinbeck


More information about climate change and the Redwoods. And 100 Practical Ways to Reverse Climate Change: Drawdown.

Featured Image ‘Growth, plant’ by Antranias on Pixabay.com. Image of ‘Female Spotted Owl’ by Emily Brauwer of the US National Park Service via wikimedia. Image of ‘Petrified Wood,  Petrified Forest National Park, USA’ via Pixabay.com. Image of ‘Mummy’ from British Museum Collection by Klafubra on wikimedia. Image of Coast Redwoods in Redwood National Park via US National Park Service.

This post is part of the Write…Edit…Publish #WEP#ff December Challenge, The End is the Beginning hosted by Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

Word Count:  990 (excluding quote)

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WEP CHALLENGE FOR DECEMBER ............THE END IS THE BEGINNINGS