Category Archives: Flash Fiction

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.

The Prophesy

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” Frank Lloyd Wright

The scientists called their experiment Juvenis. It was to prolong youth and delay aging by altering the genes with help of a virus. It resulted in damage to the germ line that was passed on to future generations and doomed their people to a shortened lifespan. All efforts to reverse the Juvenis Effect had failed. The Olders had been brought through the portal from Earth because they were believed to be genetic descendants.  The scientists were hopeful that the short life span of 30 years could be extended with gene splicing using the Erde DNA. They did not realize there could be more natural ways for the DNA to combine.

“How could I be pregnant at my age?” Sarah asked Nephele, the Council leader. “I was 55 and I had already gone through menopause when I came through the portal from Earth.”

“A plant blooms every Spring on Ortus called the Torrach. It releases a chemical into the air that promotes fertility.  Many women become pregnant during the Spring Festival,” Nephele answered.

“I would never have casual sex with a stranger but the ceremonial wine had a powerful effect. It has clouded much of my memory of that night,” Sarah added as she remembered the face of the young Ortusun male.

“The wine contained a herb that we use during our Spring Festival celebration to heighten our senses. We did not realize it is would affect you in this way. It caused you to become intoxicated and to lose control. You had already mated before we realized what happened.”

Will my child be affected by the damaged genes?” asked Sarah.

“Our tests show that your fetuses do not have the defective gene, ” Nephele replied.

“Fetuses, you said fetuses.”

“You are carrying twins, Sarah.”

Sarah sat in stunned silence. Twins?

Sarah had never had children and never thought she wanted any. She noticed she did feel differently since finding herself pregnant. She felt curious about the unborn child. She had started creating sculptures of children. Sarah knew this was her way of imagining what her child would look like. But now it was not one child, but two. Twins.

“These children are very special to us. Their birth was prophesied in our legends and they show us that your DNA can reverse the Juvenis Effect.”

“What is the prophesy ?” Sarah asked.

“There is an ancient prophecy that foretold of an Erde woman who would give birth, in her later years, to twins who would become great leaders. These twins would have unusual powers. Their arrival would be heralded by the appearance of a twin nebula in our night sky. As you know the twin nebula has recently been sighted.”

“What kind of powers?” Sarah asked.

“That information has been lost in the long ago times,” Nephele replied.

The news of the twins conception was not welcomed by everyone. There were those who denounced the blending of Ortusun and Erde DNA. They did not believe that the Olders could be genetically related to Ortusuns as the rulers claimed.

Sarah went into labor on the night of the full moon of Coerulus Magnus, the larger of the two moons of Ortus.  Sarah knew what she wanted to name the twins. She would call them Alexander and Merial.

planet-fantasy-2 public doman.net

Nephele was one of Sarah’s first visitors. “I am happy to see you and the twins doing well, Sarah. I want you to know that you and the children will be protected. We have taken the precaution of implanting security chips in both of them in case of any attempts are made to abduct them”.

“You think they could be in danger?”

“We want to diminish any risk of militia aggression.”

“What militia?” Sarah asked, her anxiety building.

“The militia call themselves The Praesidium. They claim to be defenders of our racial purity. We have been aware of them for some time. Do not be alarmed. You and the twins will be closely guarded until we are able to eliminate the threat,” Nephele reassured Sarah.

“We must destroy these half-breeds before their seed has a chance to pollute our world. What information do you have for me?” Marcen said to the group that had gathered at the compound.

“We have been watching the Erde woman and she is guarded commander. We have found some guards who are willing to cooperate under threat to their families. We will kill the half-breeds tomorrow night.” Ferox replied.

“Excellent! Victory to The Praesidium! ” Marcen shouted.

“Victory!” shouted the men.

The twins were very fussy. Sarah and Alexia, her android, struggled to settle them.

“I don’t know what could be bothering them, Alexia. They are usually very relaxed after their evening bath.”

Sarah decided to let the twins settle down in their bed by themselves for a while. They often found their own company entertaining enough. “Be calm my darlings. I will come back and check on you in a few minutes,” Sarah cooed to them as she lay them down. She sensed that they understood every word.

The twins were playing with the lighted orbs of the mobile that was suspended over their crib when suddenly they both became still as they listened to the sounds outside. They had been able to read each others thoughts since birth.

“The killer men are here, Merial.”

Ferox and his partner Quint quickly climbed through the nursery window. Quint had the hypospray that contained the deadly toxin.  Ferox held down Alexander.

“Give it to this one first,” Ferox told Quint.

Quint held the injector over Alexander and was ready to follow orders when he heard Merial make a strange sound and looked over at the little girl twin. As he looked into her eyes his body was no longer under his control. Quint looked on in horror as his hand holding the hypospray moved toward his accomplice. Ferox was frozen in place, his eyes wide with terror.

Sarah could hear the twins giggling as she entered the nursery. “What are you two up to in here?” The answer was laying on the floor, their mouths oozing green foam.

 

 

 

 


Happy Halloween!

Word Count: 1025

Critique: Full

#WEPFF October 2017  

Quote about ageing via Senior Planet. 🙂 Skull image via publicdomainpictures.net was altered by me. Featured image of Twin Nebula via NASA altered with insertion of Twins image (altered) from Pixabay.com

Something extra:

As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them. I got my knowledge of them, as I got whatever knowledge I have of the hearts and minds of human beings, through imagination working on observation. Like any other novelist. All this rule needs is a good definition of “know.”-Ursela Le Guin


 

So Honored

I am very excited to win the WEP (Write..Edit..Publish) Bridges 2017 Writing Challenge Blog Hop with my short fiction post The Final Transition!

There are so many talented writers who participate in the WEP challenges and everyone is welcome to join in. The next challenge will be in August so come over and check it out.

 

Herstory

“I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.”    -Katherine Johnson

Really like that a light is shining on women’s history in science. Washington Post had an article by Victoria St. Martin on Katherine Johnson, (now 98),  who is one of the mathematicians who worked at NASA and is featured in the film ‘Hidden Figures.’ I found a great video of Ms. Johnson talking about her life and work on The Makers website. It is worth it to click on the link and watch. Here’s another video from PBS about the film.

 

Here’s a video (below) from the NASA website about Katherine Johnson’s life and career. It’s very inspiring, ‘The Girl Who Loved to Count.’

katherine_johnson_medal-jpeg-via-nasa-on-wikimedia

Katherine Johnson recieves Presidential Medal of Freedom 2015


JustJotItJanuary is hosted by Linda G Hill. And we’re almost through with this blogging challenge but click on the link to see what it’s all about and read some of the other blogs that are participating. Prompt word for today is “history” suggested by K L Caley of New2Writing, https://new2writing.wordpress.com/.Featured image, at top, of Katherine Johnson in 1966 and image of her recieving the Presidential Medal of Freedom via NASA on wikimedia.

compromise

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.

Dark Factory

Too often man becomes clever instead of becoming wise, he becomes inventive but not thoughtful–and sometimes…he can create himself right out of existence.—Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone (closing of “The Brain Center at Whipple’s”)

 

What are we celebrating you ask? I am celebrating my crowning achievement, the full automation of my company. It has taken longer than I anticipated because of a few unforeseen glitches, but now it is done. We can produce all of our products and run the entire business with machines. I no longer have to be concerned about minimum wage, 8 hour work days, sick time, health insurance, or occupational safety. I even save on the electricity needed to keep the lights on. After all, the machines don’t need lights. They can work in the dark.

 

Post inspired by  China is Building a Model Army of Robot Workers by Will Knight, and The Working Class Meltdown by Rick Lowry.

“Approximately 100 million people are employed in manufacturing in China” (Will Knight). The article asks what will happen when they are replaced by robots. I ask what happens to people when they are displaced and unable to find adequate employment again?

This my post for  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy

 

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!