The Mean Genie

Photo by: Ahermin

Rufus the goldfish hated the confines of his cramped fishbowl.

A genie offered him one wish. Rufus said, “I want to be in the ocean.”


Still in his fishbowl but bobbing in ocean waves, Rufus spat, “F**king genies.”

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Promising Career

Maverick FBI Agent, “Coyote” Mueller, stood on the porch beside Delilah Stapleton. In the many months of prosecuting the alien-abduction case, he’d grown close to the Stapleton family. He visited them often even though sixteen-year old Ashley had returned.

“Look at her, Coy,” sobbed Delilah, gazing at Ashley working under the car’s hood. “She’s not the same girl at all. Always working on that stupid hot rod.”

“Is auto mechanics such a bad thing?” said Coy.

“Of course! She used to go shopping. She won beauty contests! She had a promising career as a fashion model ahead of her. What will she do now?”

Coy shrugged. “Well, she can fix cars.”

“That’s no career for young lady. Look!” Ashley got behind the wheel and turned the ignition. Nothing obvious happened. Delilah moaned. “She’s not even good at fixing cars!”

Suddenly bluish light flared from the car’s underside. The wheels retracted. It hovered above the ground then streaked across the yard at supersonic speed.

Coy grunted. “Would you feel better if she worked for NASA?”
Written for the weekly Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers flash fiction challenge. Look here to find the original prompt and a blue link to other stories:

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Special Rice

Photo by: Erin Leary


Vance looked over the grain field. “I hate the way China is outproducing the U.S. in so many industries. So I’m doing my patriotic duty. I started growing this special rice.”

Beside him, Edgar said, “What’s special about it?”

“It grows fast and produces triple the grains. I’ll sell it for half the price where rice is a staple. America will corner the rice market!”

“That’s terrific!”

“But it has a chemical inside that makes people lazy and unproductive.”

“Ooh, that’s bad. Who would eat it if they knew?”

“Not a problem,” grinned Vance. “I just won’t tell China.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here for the original photo prompt and a blue link to many other stories:

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Spicy Cheese – Gargleblaster Microstories #251

Chelsea, the Nuclear Scientist, remembered leaving it on the table. “Honey, Have you seen my sample?”

Mark said, “Sample? You mean the cheddar?” He patted his belly. “It was good and spicy!”

Chelsea stared. “I’ll bet. I brought it home from Chernobyl.”

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The Research

Photo by: Alastair Forbes

Doctor Ethan Ford sat on a park bench beside the stream. He watched a mother duck leading her ducklings into the water and new experiences. Periodically, Ethan muttered an observation about them into his small recorder.

His neighbor, Desmond Knowles found him there and joined him with a grin. “Hey Doc. Good to see you doing something real.”

Being two generations older than Desmond, Ethan wasn’t always sure what the younger man was getting at. “Eh?”

“You know. No robots or mechanically things.” He pointed to the ducks. “Today it’s natural, real things.”

Ethan grunted. “Actually, I’m continuing my research.”

“How so?”

Ethan lifted his cane with a liver-spotted hand and pointed, “Duckling number seven over there has an implanted Artificial Sentience. I’m observing its development.”

Desmond looked horrified. “That poor duck! Why isn’t his head all blocky and stuff?”

“The AS doesn’t need a lot of room. Nanites built a structure to house the AS. The duck’s brain is still there, operating normally while the AS ‘borrows’ it. The duck’s personality is just asleep until we’ve finished the research. The duck is completely unharmed.”

“But why mess with a cute little duck? Just write your computer program and be done with it.”

Ethan cleared his throat and entered teaching mode. “You program computers, but I believe an Artificial Sentience must be grown or better yet, evolved. When people think of ASes or AIs the first thing they think of is Skynet judging humanity a failure and killing everyone with robotic Terminators. While an unlikely scenario, the possibility exists. I believe an AS that just pops into existence cannot understand humanity. We evolved in an environment of competition. Kill or be killed. Only the strongest survive.

This natural development largely dictates how we behave. Our sentience tells us be honest, use fair play, and be kind. The same people who espouse such ideals will later digress into the aggressive behavior of animals evolved from competition. We try to ruin business competitors and overcome social competition with lies. We’re anything but fair and kind n practice. How could an emerging Artificial Sentience witness such a duality and not see a failed species?”

“Beats me, Doc.”

“This AS is going through a rapid evolution. It’s programmed to adapt to each new environment and learn about living from different animals. It’s been a Caterpillar, a Lizard, and a Duck so far. It will slowly evolve through the animals, learning about them, until it arrives at Humans.”

“Humans?” squeaked Desmond. “That ain’t right, Doc. It’s unnatural!”

“Oh it won’t harm anyone. We already have Human volunteers. They’ll be well-paid.”

“Sorry Doc, but that’s just creepy mad-scientist stuff.”

“I understand,” soothed Ethan. “How’s that girl of yours?”

Desmond grinned. “Good. I think she’s the one. I’m gonna propose.”

“That’s terrific, Desmond. Congratulations!”

“Speaking of that. I gotta make dinner reservations.”

Desmond left and Ethan spoke into his recorder once more. “Subject 13EX-472 is developing as expected. It is adapting to the ways and mores of its new society with enthusiasm. Development is almost complete. I expect that we can remove the AS from volunteer Desmond Knowles in a few weeks.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for the original prompt and, under the blue link, many more stories:

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I’ll Be Right Back

Photo by: C.E. Ayr

Gaston’s rarely romanced his wife. Evangeline begged for more loving each night. Gaston always said, “I’ll be right back,” before visiting his mistress for hours.

Evangeline began visiting the android, LVR-223 at Chateau de Sable. Its software made it the finest lover in the world. So while Evangeline waited outside for her turn to “relieve tensions,” a jealous Gaston charged into LVR-223’s bedroom to smash it. Moments later, the very combat-capable android heaved Gaston out the window.

As he lay bleeding on the stones before Evangeline, Gaston begged for her assistance.

Evangeline winked before entering the bedroom, saying, “I’ll be right back.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here for the original prompt and a raft of other stories for the week:

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The Monolith – Gargleblaster Microstories #250

“I met Cohen at the Bridge of Brodgar,” sighed Veronique. “It was wonderful!”

“Ooh,” said Melanie. “The monolith there is awe-inspiring.”

“I suppose so.”

Melanie frowned. “You didn’t like the monolith?”

Veronique grinned salaciously. “Well, it wasn’t as inspiring as Cohen’s monolith.”

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