Never Better

Photo by: Al Forbes

Long range starship SS Wombat stopped at a gas giant to refuel. Dipping into the thick atmosphere to collect hydrogen, the ship rolled and porpoised like a seaborne vessel. As the ship rocked, Terrance’s samplings of exotic ales in their glasses swished from side-to-side, making him nauseous. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst of it.

Since the crew often worked in zero-gee, all owned powered gecko-boots that kept the crew attached to the deck. Shortly after Terrance exited the shower and slipped into his boots, their batteries failed, leaving him stuck and unable to open them.

Of course, the tech who arrived to rescue him was Suzannah. Rumor had it she’d slept with every man aboard…except Terrance. Feeling left out, he’d tried for months to get her in the sack, but with no luck.

There he was naked, looking the fool, and Suzannah couldn’t help but laugh.

Terrance was mortified. “Do you mind? This is embarrassing enough.”

“Oh relax,” said Suzannah. Her eyes settled on his pubic area. “I’ve seen worse.”

Her patronizing assessment crushed him. His chances with her had gone from nil to naught.

“Then again,” she continued, offering him a lascivious smile. “I’ve never seen better.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/sunday-photo-fiction-april-22nd-2018/

Author’s Notes:

Having just few words (200) to work with, I couldn’t explain Gecko-Boots in detail. Recently, science finally figured out how geckos can walk up walls, even glass. It’s amazing science involving microscopic hairs that employ the Van Der Waals force. Lots of techogadgets are getting developed using this new discovery. For me, I immediately thought this would be great in zero gravity boots. Here’s an article about the new “Gecko Tech.”
https://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-04/gecko-tech

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The Plugin

“It’s electric,” said Robert Iganuye, pulling onto Botswana’s A3 highway. “Powered by the sun.”

“A solar-powered Land Rover?” said James, a visiting zoologist from the UK.

“Yes! Isn’t it wonderful?”

“I suppose. How practical can it be? The sun doesn’t always shine.”

Robert grinned and pointed up. “C’mon! This is Botswana, not England. Besides I can always plugin for more power.”

Robert pulled into a small roadside stop. “I have to plugin.”

“It has to charge?” whined James. “This’ll take forever!”

Robert entered the diner, enthusiastically greeted by an elegantly dressed and coifed woman named Elita. James waited outside drinking a beer.

When Robert returned James said, “Finally! It took 40 minutes to charge the Rover. How impractical!”

Robert grinned. “Oh it charged in 5 minutes.”

“Then what was the wait for?”

Robert pointed to Elita. Her hair was mussed and her shirttail out. “She wanted a different kind of plugin.”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2018/04/21/botswana/

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Poppa’s Legacy

Photo by: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Glenn sighed as Jason fired another hole-in-one into the frisbee golf basket.

“You’re too good at this game,” said Glenn.

“I’ve never been off the farm all my life,” said Jason. “Got lots of time to get good at it.”

“Sure that’s it? Maybe you get it from your Poppa.”

“Mom says I look a lot like him. She still misses him.”

“Even though he ran off?”

“She says he didn’t run. He had to go. Folks wouldn’t understand.”

Glenn shrugged, “Maybe here’s another reason you’re so good with frisbee discs.”

“What’s that?”

“Maybe that third eye in your forehead.”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/04/18/20-april-2018/

Author’s Notes:

If anything has inspired my writing the top of the list must be the Twilight Zone. Undoubtedly this story was inspired by the Twilight Zone Episode: “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_the_Real_Martian_Please_Stand_Up

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The Welcoming Wreath

Photo by: Goroyboy

Cotton Walters held court in the corner of Ray’s Bar, telling stories. People of all ages listened in.

“Jasper Reeves was loved by everybody,” he said. “He charmed everyone. Minnie Holmes loved him the most. When he was away, she made a wreath out of cotton buds to welcome him home again.”

“So sweet!” said a woman.

“Trouble is, he was sweet to half the young women in town too. Then he got Minnie pregnant and ran off with her life savings.”

“Oh my!”

“Well his get rich schemes always failed and he soon ran out of money. But ol’ Jasper never lacked for confidence in his charm. He returned to Minnie’s door years later, thinking a little smooth talking would win her heart again. He saw that ol’ cotton wreath and figured she was still pining and missing him. He looked in the peephole, tryin’ to get a glimpse of Millie. I still remember his last words.”

“What did he say?”

“He said, ‘Now where in heck did Minnie get that shotgun?’ ”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/fffaw-challenge-163rd/

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Breaking A Few Eggs

Photo by: Al Forbes

As the gondola rose up the mountain, Debra shivered. “Aren’t you concerned about the disappearances?”

“Disappearing gondolas?” said Vik. “Naw. That’s just a crazy rumor. Don’t be fooled. Think of the good side! This is the only planet where you can watch Giant Eagles from the safety of a mountain lodge. Those rumors were spread by the lodge’s competitors.”

All feelings of security evaporated when a giant eagle’s talons punched through the sides of the gondola. Powerful wings ripped the gondola free from the cables.

As the eagle carried them to its nest, the two wondered at their fate.

“What’ll be like in the nest?” said Debra. “Will the other gondolas be there?”

“Probably. There’ll be no food there. The survivors might be starving to death.”

“Or worse, eaten by the eagle’s truck-sized chicks!”

The eagle finally deposited them in basketball court-sized nest with two other gondolas and broken egg shells. Vik and Debra ventured out after the giant predator departed.

They discovered Ben, eating something from a plate.

“You weren’t eaten by the chicks?” exclaimed Debra.

“You’re not starving?” wondered Ben.

“Nope,” said Ben, standing before a huge broken egg. Hope you guys like omelettes.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/sunday-photo-fiction-april-15th-2018/

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The Secret Talent

General Pike took another bite of the savory pastry. “I’m happy you tamed the Terminator T-7000,” he said, talking around the food. “That’s some smart hacking.”

“Thanks,” said Jobe, preening in his white lab coat.

Pike plucked another cheesy pastry. “But I’m disappointed we don’t know more about its military potential.”

“Sorry, sir. We do know it cooks that terrific Pastizzi.”

Pike stopped chewing. “It cooks? How?”

“We don’t know.”

“Show me.”

Jobe turned to the very large, naked, muscular man. “T-7000. More Pastizi, please.”

It crouched down on one knee and blue light globe surrounded it. Then it disappeared.

At Malta, in an alley in the city of Mdina, a man walked happily along with a fresh plate of Pastizzi. A globe of blue light appeared before him. It faded, revealing a naked giant of a man.

The T-7000 stood and said, “Your Pastizzi. Give it to me.”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2018/04/14/what-pegman-saw-mdina-malta/

Author’s Notes:

Pastizzi is a popular Maltese snack food. Here’s a link to many more Maltese dishes:
https://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-food/

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A Walk in the Bluebonnets

It’s Spring and the Bluebonnets are blooming. They only last a few weeks. Shey and I rushed out to photograph the beautiful flowers before they disappeared. Of course, that led to photographing anything and everything during the joyous time of Spring. Here’s a tiny sampling of what we found.

Bluebonnet up close.

Female Northern Cardinal.

Hannah studies how to model from Mom…

…Then puts the knowledge to use.

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