Transplant – Sunday Photo Fiction

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a tour through a research lab and an unusual man, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Alistair Forbes


Air Force General, Barry Lund, led a team of military scientists and accountants into the lab. Waiting before a jar of some indiscriminate material floating in clear liquid, was chief development scientist, Timothy Szerny. Szerny gestured to the jar and said, “Here is the Piece de’ Resistance. A living brain grown in this vat right here in the lab. It’s the Mark III Bifurcated Linearly-Oriented Brain, or BLOB. It has ten times the processing power of a human brain and can easily be integrated into the latest military drone designs.”

“Excellent work,” said Lund. “I’m certain the Air Force would be interested in purchasing the design.”

“Thank you, General. I’d hoped you’d say that.” Szerny turned to the pale-skinned man beside him. “This is Maxwell Grimm, our company lawyer. He’ll be drawing up any contracts and has one ready for your perusal.”

Lund shook the man’s hand and noted the thin-lipped attorney’s hand was clammy. Unpleasant, but not unusual with lawyers in his experience. He turned back to Szerny and said. “You got this project off the ground awfully fast, Mr. Szerny. How did you do it?”

“Easy. We simply used lessons learned from growing living hearts for transplant.”


“Thank you. Yes, some of our employees have undergone transplant surgery with the new hearts and are doing rather well.” He gestured to the lawyer. “Mr. Grimm, here, will be receiving a new heart in about a week.”

“So quick?”

“Have to. He’s already had the old heart removed.”

Lund’s jaw fell open. “No heart? But…here he is standing, apparently alive.”

“Yes, well, as you may know, lawyers rarely use their hearts and thus, don’t technically need them.”
Each week, photographer Alistair Forbes presents an original photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. This is my second writing challenge where the photo prompt is some amorphous blob. Are you guys coordinating your photos? :) Look here for more exciting stories based upon the photo above:

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Hunting Party – Friday Fictioneers

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. A story, about a curious experience with an alien hunting party, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Madison Woods

Hunting Party

I stood beside the hunter, Raymond Bleist, looking at the dead Wolverscorpion in the sunshine of Ansinoma V. The name is the creature’s best description. It took six shots to bring the monster down. One of the gangly natives, Hu’runtu, began removing the innards with a stick.

“Male or female?” I asked.

“They’re all males,” growled Bleist.

“But then, how…?”

Hu’runtu began eating the gooey mass as though he were starving.

Cooly, Bleist withdrew his pistol, and shot Hu’runtu in the head.

“What the hell?” I screamed.

Bleist said, “Nothing can resist eating Wolverscorpion testicles.”


“How do you think they reproduce?”
Woohoo! I’m back from the Philippines and writing at my trusty computer. My fingers were developing the characteristic twitch of someone addicted to writing. I must state though, I’m not a writing addict. Addicts go to WA. ;) Each week, the Friday Fictioneers join for a wild and wooly week of wringing their hands at the keyboard for flash fiction up to 100 words long. Look here for more exciting stories:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

This week’s photo challenge is: Fray. This could mean something a bit ragged or perhaps a bit of a tussle. Here are my interpretations of the challenge for the week:

Few things in nature say “frayed” to me as much as the hide of the American Bison.

A Phoebe in desperate need of a comb.

“You keep stickin’ that camera in my face, and we’re gonna have a problem, pal.”

A Philippines butterfly having a bad hair day.

A bird who needs to fire his hairdresser. Philippines Black-Naped Monarch.


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Interesting Businesses Found In Asia

Whilst traveling in Asia, I found two businesses that made me smile. I just had to share them with you.

Many folks in the US would think POS stands for “Piece Of S**t.”

Honestly, if you banked here, could you relax?

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Siquijor, Philippines Part 2

I apologize for the lateness of this followup. I’m not staying in a four-star hotel, I’m staying with the people, where WiFi is spotty. The family techie, Eric, has juggled cellphones, simcards, services, and called in favors to arrange an internet connection for me. Internet is available here, but the average folk don’t acquire it as easily as we do in the US, and then it’s not as fast.

Our trip through Siquijor continued with interesting people, animals, and beautiful sights.

No one ever tapped my shoulder (see part 1 if that makes no sense). However, my in-laws, in classic Filipino tradition, were constantly trying to feed me. I think I’m gaining weight. I’ve tried more kinds of fish than I know the names of, and rice and I are now constant companions.

I’m burning through camera batteries like crazy. I have to keep the camera on always because I never know when I’ll see something amazing as we drive along.

This woman was kind enough to let me take her picture, but I think she became impatient while I adjusted camera settings. Perhaps these bananas are heavy.
At the century-old Balletes tree there’s a pool. Stick your feet in and the fish will happily eat away the callouses and dead skin. Shey says it tickles a little, but otherwise feels pretty good.
Ringed Kingfisher. They are as common as crows in the Phils. I’ve seen more kingfishers in two weeks here than in a lifetime in the US.
One of Siquijor’s beautiful beaches where we had lunch with She’s mom and two aunts.
Auntie Nita enjoying grilled fish, kinilaw (Filipino ceviche), and the omnipresent rice with some fascinated onlookers. Many of the dogs you see are strays waiting for scraps. They are often laying near or in the road. They’re quite adept at dodging cars.

Auntie Nita loves to tell stories. She can remember that pirates could be found in the island until the 1950s. When she was a girl going to school in Dumaguete, she had to take a small sailboat across to the isle of Negros. Only rich people could afford power boats. When she got there, no dock existed, so a man would wade out to the boat. She’d climb on his shoulders and he would carry her to shore.
Sunset over Siquijor.

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Siquijor, Philippines Part 1 of 2

Just got back from the tiny isle of Siquijor (pronounced: See-key-hore). It was init kaayo (very hot!). Siquijor lies directly East from Dumaguete City (where I”m staying in Negros Oriental). It’s a beautiful island full of mystery and superstition. If someone taps your shoulder, you must immediately tap them back to be sure they aren’t casting a spell on you. Likewise, when you touch them, they will touch you back. There are still brujas (witches) living on the island who provide cures for assorted ailments. You think my stories come strictly from my head? I do have my inspirations.

It took a fast ferry about 45mins to get us there. When we arrived, this is our first view:

There aren’t hotels there, just resorts lik this one. Prices are quite reasonable for some very lovely rooms by the beach.

This is our driver who drive us around the island. You can do this in a few hours. This very tiny van is very common in the Visayas. It’s tiny, but does everything from private vehicle to serve as a bus between cities. Mass transit vehicles are commonly named like this one, “John John.”
Galansiang: a very common bird in urban areas across the Visayas. Though the red eye is pretty scary, their songs are quite sweet, and they’re always singing.
Cambugahay Falls, with three different levels of falls. A place of great natural beauty.
More coming in part 2!

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Permit No Evil – Sunday Photo Fiction

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about three very powerful men, begins after the photo by Alatair Forbes.

Genre: Horror

Permit No Evil

Igulutu had never met a white man like Stewart Beurlein before. The Peace Corps worker had fought against corruption and the “way of doing business” in South Africa to provide clean drinking water and electric power to the Bilisi tribe where all had failed before. The man was fearless when it came fighting the powers that be to do what’s right.

When it came to scorpions, that fearlessness of Stewart would tun to abject, quivering terror. This didn’t matter to Igulutu. He’d lived so long as the sorcerer and protector of the Bilisis he’d didn’t know how old he was anymore. With such age he wasn’t easily impressed by anything any longer, but he was impressed by Stewart.

That’s why Igulutu placed a Meerkat charm beside Stewart’s door.

Igulutu knew things…

…Before they happened.

The sorcerer was no more than a shadow, hiding in the trees in the night beside Stewart’s hut. He could feel the man’s heart as the assassin approached Stewart’s hut, could feel the carapces of tiny bodies released beneath the door. Igulutu didn’t move. He didn’t have to. The charm did it’s work, and soon Igulutu felt the padded feet of many little scorpion eaters feasting upon the horde of would-be killers.

He closed his eyes and leaned against a branch. Stewart was safe, but that left one item of business remaining.

Rupert Van Haupt set down a glass of Scotch, so expensive it would feed a family of Bilisis for a year. He opened the package upon his $10,000 desk. Inside the box he found the head of the assassin he’d hired. Rupert shrugged. He’d been threatened before by the tribes. He’d just hire another assassin to remove the problem. Then he saw something new beside the head.

A tiny figurine.

He held it and smirked when it made a sound…exactly like a lion…

…In the office.

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