The Telling – Friday Fictioneers

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. A story, about wisdom more than courage, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Sandra Crook

The Telling

“Third time this week,” muttered Howard.

“Lousy sheep always blocking the road,” whined Janet

“There’s the shepherd,” scowled Howard. “I’m telling him off!”

He exited the hovercar and approached the figure dressed in dirty clothing. “Hey you, listen here!” Too late he realized the shepherd was slightly downhill, and wasn’t as short as he imagined. It was actually 8-feet tall. It turned and the shining carapace of a re-purposed military android shone through the rags.

Howard froze. “I just wanted to say, ‘good job!'” Hurriedly, he retreated to the car.

“Did you tell him off?” said Janet.

“Oh, you bet I did!”
_______________________________
Author’s Notes:
From Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
Bravely ran away away.
When danger reared it’s ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.

Each week, the talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields shepherds us through the fields of our imagination where she makes us lie down in green pastures, and leads us beside quiet waters…and then we write 100 words of flash fiction from a photo prompt. Great photo, Sandra! So, no more wool-gathering. That’s baaad. Here’s this week’s prompt: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/16-may-2014/

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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46 Responses to The Telling – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Is it wrong that I hear Mel Blanc in my head as the voice of your protagonist. Maybe Daffy Duck. Your sense of humour must have grown from watching many Looney Tunes, i think.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! It certainly was an influence in my developing sense of humor. I still blame my dad for most of it. I think he’s just a bit proud of that. 😉 Thanks for stopping in, Helena!

      Like

  2. Sandra says:

    I’ve known a few protagonists like that 🙂 And they always live to tell the tale, even if isn’t true. Well done.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I’ve known more than a few. I’ve known many who were quite brave until it was time to put up or shut up. So few ever put up. Thanks much, Sandra. I appreciate it.

      p.s. Great photo!

      Like

  3. I love how the shepherd might be an android, but it’s still dressed in rags! (A couple of minor typos: you’ve got ‘late’ missing after ‘Too’ and I think you mean ‘shone’ or ‘showing’ not ‘shown’. But they didn’t spoil my enjoyment!)

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, the rags are there so the android smells more like another sheep to keep the animals calm and also prevent humans from thinking they’re under attack. This idea backfired a little. At least Howard knew when to retreat. Good catches in the text. Thanks for keeping a sharp eye. I’ve fixed them. Glad you still enjoyed the story, and thanks for commenting! 🙂

      Like

  4. List of X says:

    When you’re dealing with a military android, does it really matter how tall it is? 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      I don’t suppose it does, but then again, there’s that intimidation factor. That impressive height might mean it never has to fire a shot. Height doesn’t matter much to the android, but it does to the guy who just decided to tell it off [shrug].

      Like

      • List of X says:

        Well, there’s idea for a sci-fi story – a civilization where countries fight each other by constructing the most menacing and scary battle robots, and face off by trying to intimidate each other with their creations.

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      • EagleAye says:

        Or perhaps sufficient miniaturization wasn’t available at the time this unit was fielded. If you must consider everything such a machine must have: weapons, sensors, CPU, armor, communication systems, it’s unlikely that early units could be made as small as the proscribed 5’10” height. In fact, I think I can give you an absolute guarantee that the first anthropoid battle machines CANNOT be any smaller 7-feet tall and still meet all the mission-capable requirements. In fact, they’ll likely be much larger until technology advances further.

        For instance, in the 70s the F-4 Phantom II routinely fought in the air with the Mig-21 over several battlefields across the world. Typically, the F-4 struggled to maneuver with the fleet-footed Mig-21. Why? Wing Loading. The F-4 was much larger and heavier, thus it had a higher wing loading which prevented it from turning as quickly. Someone might ask, “That’s stupid. Why didn’t they just make it smaller and lighter?” Well, consider that the F-4 was a multi-mission platform capable of interception, reconnaissance, strike, SEAD, CAP, and a very large, diverse, weapons package. The Mig-21 was designed to be ONLY an interceptor under GCI control, that’s it that’s all, negating the need for the very large radar the F-4 carried. Presently, smaller aircraft are present that do everything the F-4 did then, but technology/miniaturization has advanced and now that things CAN be smaller, they are.

        Likewise, the first humanoid robots placed into the battlefield may not be as small as we’d like them to be, even though they might one day be smaller.

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      • List of X says:

        You know, I agree with you that the size may be large at first, but the tendency will be to miniaturize the hardware, because the larger is the unit, the bigger is the target, and the increase in armor would not compensate for the reduction in maneuverability.
        Another problem is that an android is just not an optimal shape for a battle robot: two legs and a high profile will make it too unstable, and it really doesn’t need any arms, at least not for shooting at the enemy, and head is also a luxury, really, when you can install cameras, radars, or weapons anywhere on the body So I would expect something like a bug, with a solid armored body and 4 to 6 legs.
        Hopefully, this is just a theoretical discussion, because UN may just ban any military robots before they are created: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bridaineparnell/2013/11/18/killer-robots-could-be-banned-by-the-un-before-2016/

        Like

  5. high five and raspberries says:

    What I needed ! A good laugh out loud story. Enjoyed x 1,0000000

    Like

  6. What a future turned out to be when military android fell from the ladder so hard…On other hand, do androids dream of electric sheep?

    Like

  7. Jan Brown says:

    I love the little details of your near-future scenario–including the idea that men haven’t changed much! All bravado when he’s with the wife..but lies to her about his “brave” encounter. Typical!

    Like

  8. atrm61 says:

    Ha!ha!At least Howard was not foolish enough to really tell this shepherd off ;-)A fun take Eric-have missed reading your pieces these last two weeks when I was down and out.

    Like

  9. Dear Eric,

    Mutton to this story, eh? Just a chop above the rest. Sorry. No, not sorry. Bravely ran away, eh? I really enjoyed this, And thank you for your fun verse concerning my “shepherding.” Although this flock is more often than not made up of felines rather than sheep. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! I couldn’t help it. I was feeling sheepish. Glad you enjoyed and the variation of psalms. I imagine directing this lot IS like herding cats. We love you for it, though. Thanks so much, Rochelle! 🙂

      Like

  10. Indira says:

    Clever enough to know when to retreat and where to boost. Very good and funny, liked the fun verse.

    Like

  11. Don’t you just hate it when someone you’re about to tell off turns out to be big and mean and creepy looking. Makes you go all weak in the knees and tell lies. Good job.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      I know! I really hate that too. Especially when they look like they could turn you into a pretzel, while simultaneously doing the NY Time crossword puzzle, and then dip you in hot mustard. That’s a pretty scary guy! One is always forced to tell lies afterward. Thanks so much for the visit!

      Like

  12. Eric, Very funny. Monty Python is hilarious. My son always used to do an imitation of their dialogue. Good and humorous story and the quote properly put the finishing touch to it. XD —Susan

    Like

  13. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Nothing wrong with a little white lie now and then! Nice story.

    Like

  14. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Eric, Your story is awesome and so clever. I believe this could really happen in the future. I can see it happening so easily. Brilliant and I liked the Psalm reference a lot. You are a clever writer! Thanks for the laughs! Have a good week! Nan 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you Nan! I’m glad you got some laughs out of the story. I was hoping for that. Thanks so much for the complimentary thoughts. You’ve made my week!

      Like

  15. wmqcolby says:

    Hahaha! Good.
    Brave Sir Robin … he got a good part in the Holy Grail later, didn’t he?

    Like

  16. ContactRida says:

    robot! didn’t see that one coming, great imagination:)

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Lots of Scifi in my blog. Later on, it wouldn’t surprise you too much. Thanks so much for stopping in, reading, and following. I appreciate it very much!

      Like

  17. JustDeb says:

    Loved it! First one I read that I actually laughed at. Thanks!

    Like

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