The Dealer

Photo by: Al Forbes

Aidan sat on the steps before his flat, scowling, waiting for the aliens to get on with it. Behind him, the white cliffs rose up in the morning sun. He leaned back with his coffee and watched the creatures.

They looked like upright, five-foot tall groundhogs with long ears and moth antennae, crossing the coast road.

Nobody noticed.

Aliens were common in 2073, particularly the mammalian Ghornicans.

Finally, Ghinax and Llarup sauntered up. “Hola, Amigo” said Ghinax.

“I’m British,” corrected Aidan.

“You got the stuff?”

“The what?”

“The goods, man! The product.”

“Huh? It’s just common…”

“Hol’ up, hol’ up, yo!” Ghinax looked side-to-side furtively. “5-0 might be watchin’ ”

“Cops?” sighed Aidan. “Why should they care?”

“Dang!” exclaimed Llarup. “Slick got the fuzz on the payroll. That’s dope!”

“Lemme sample the product,” growled Ghinax.

Aidan opened the brown package and broke off a chunk.

Ghinax took it and just licked it. “Dang! That’s high quality, Dawg.”

Aidan rolled his eyes. “I got it at Walmart.”

Llarup snatched the whole centimeter-sized chunk and chewed. In moments, he slumped across the stairs, drooling.

“Oh snap! He over-dosing!”

Aidan gazed at the brown package in his hand. “I think Hershey’s Chocolate affects you aliens differently.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/sunday-photo-fiction-december-3rd-2017/

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It Could Be Worse

Photo by: Russell Gayer

Maureen had driven all night ’til morning. The coffee kept her awake, but now she had to go…Go…GO!

The abandoned building had no door on the bathroom. The toilet was dusty, covered with animal footprints. It was gruesome, but Maureen had a terrible phobia of peeing near bushes. Liberally applied hand sanitizer made it slightly less horrific. Nothing could be worse, she thought as she walked back to the car.

After she left, two furry aliens on a secret mission, climbed out of the toilet.

“No not the bush!” mocked Captain Hyrth, glaring at Lieutentant Gilk. “She’ll pee on it!”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/11/29/1-december-2017/

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The Little Gully

Photo by: Mark @any1mark66

World War III didn’t start because the oil ran out. It started because more people wanted oil than production could match. Three quarters of Humanity perished in the nuclear fires and radioactive clouds.

But that’s okay. That meant remaining survivors could fit in the habitats orbiting Jupiter and Saturn and the asteroid belt colonies. Humanity still thrived.

Without Humans around, the Earth healed. Trees rebounded powerfully. The oxygen content soared. Large fauna reappeared. Really big and smart insects evolved.

Amelia the grasshopper loved reading the ancient Human signs. She also liked wearing pretty giant flowers. Crawling across pink rocks the size of shopping malls, she said, “Bert! Here’s another sign.”

Bert sighed, “Yes Dear.”

“It used to be a park.”

“Honey. I’m busy. This is the only gully that fits all 543 of our family at once. I’m getting everyone sorted.” He hopped across the little gully in three enormous bounds.

“I’ll bet it was lovely with these pink rocks.”

“Uh huh.”

“Oh, it’s a canyon,” she read. “They called it The Grand Canyon!”
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Written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/fffaw-challenge-week-of-november-28-2017/

Author’s notes:

Insects cannot currently become large despite the assertions of old scifi movies. Because of the way insects breathe, they cannot breathe well enough to get big. But…increase the oxygen content and they could get scary.

“Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy. ”
https://public.wsu.edu/~mreed/380American%20Consumption.htm

China and India claim roughly 36% of the world’s population.
http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

Both China and India want their people to live the comfortable lifestyle that Americans enjoy. They have every right to want this, but consider the numbers above and do the math. The Earth cannot support that. War over oil resources will break out long before the oil runs out.

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Remover of Problems

Photo by: Al Forbes

Hieronymus Greenwich stood beside the lighthouse at Wellington Bay. Generals called him, “Remover of Problems.”

A mile away in a specially fortified position, Member of Parliament Roger Cogsworth gazed through binoculars at Greenwich. “That’s it?” he grumbled. “Our defense against nigh indestructible aliens is one man?”

“He’s our best weapon, sir,” said General Perkins.

Out to sea, the alien machines approached. Torpedoes, mines, missiles all had failed to scratch the heavily shielded weapons.

Greenwich’s mind couldn’t see people/anything like anyone else. It’s why he lived alone. When seeing a person he didn’t see flesh, he saw a hyperspace communications node, a nexus of wires connected to thousands of realities. As Greenwich stared at the machines, his began pulling at the wires he perceived. Realities that cared nothing for the machine’s impervious fields, responded.

First one machine blew up, then another. In minutes, 28 machines lay in ruins. The invasion collapsed.

“I did it!” crowed MP Cogsworth. “I stopped the invasion.”

“Seems Greenwich did it, sir,” noted Perkins.

“I coddled him!”

“You’ve never met him.”

“Time for a photo op!”

Cogsworth dashed off. A staffer turned to recover him.

Perkins held him back. “Let him go.”

“But sir! Greenwich might do something without realizing it.”

“I know. With any luck, he’ll remove another problem.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/sunday-photo-fiction-november-26th-2017/

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Communications: Faster Than Wisdom

The UFO Hunters convention, held near Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, boasted thousands attending. Enthusiasts from around the world gathered to share pet conspiracy theories. Suddenly, someone pointed skyward into the fog…and screamed.

Chaos erupted as people reacted differently to the UFO. Many ran for cover, some wrote signs reading, “Welcome!” Another sign read, “Take me, but no anal probes!”

Aboard the world’s largest airship, tasked with hauling building maintenance materials to Carisbrooke Castle, the Captain glared through his binoculars at the chaotic scene below. He shook his head. “What awful timing!”

The copilot shrugged, “Don’t worry! Who takes UFO freaks seriously?”

***

The American president, whose fascination with Twitter was legendary, stared at his cell phone. To him, his friend’s tweet was clear. He turned to his top general. “Take us to DEFCON 1, and prepare a nuclear strike on the Isle of Wight.”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/11/25/isle-of-wight-united-kingdom/

Author’s Notes:

I couldn’t resist, folks. Not with an apparent UFO visible just above the castle.

Hybrid Air Vehicles makes the world’s largest airship, designed for cargo hauling. Originally intended for the US Army, the project was cancelled in 2013. Recently, the UK provided funds to get the project, “off the ground” again. Who knows what people would think of it.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a14165/airlander-10-largest-airship-in-the-world/

Photo by: Popular Mechanics

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The Silver Lining

Photo by: Footy and Foodie

Keith and Aubry saw it happen whilst standing on the shore of Lake Erie. Watching the city of Detroit die was curiously beautiful, a sunset at 3:17 in the afternoon.

Luckily, scientists provided enough warning. They saw the hundred-meter asteroid coming. City planners managed to get everyone out. They had to be sneaky about it. They couldn’t broadcast, “Get out, we’re all gonna die!” The highways would’ve jammed and most would never escape. Instead, they evacuated whole neighborhoods in stages, claiming water toxicity problems. Given Michigan’s history, that was believable.

About 30-meters of nickel-iron survived reentry to strike. It was no extinction event, but enough to obliterate a city.

Watching from Magee Wildlife area, Keith said, “I’ll miss the sub sandwiches at Harry’s.”

“The pasta at Antonio’s,” sighed Aubry.

“Great cars were made in Detroit.”

“Motown was born there.”

Keith smiled wanly. “Some of the best music ever.”

As the fireball marking a city’s death rose, Keith said, “I suppose there’s a silver lining to this.”

“Huh?”

“They finally solved the parking problem downtown.”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/fffaw-reflection/

Author’s Notes:

Worst Cities for drivers: Detroit is number 9.
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/worst-cities-for-car-drivers-2015/

Chicago is on the list for worst parking, but I couldn’t do it. I’d miss the Chicago Bears and deep dish pizza too much. Anyway, I’ve never once seen a large city without a downtown parking problem.

Magee Wildlife area is real. Just look for: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

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The Lost War

Many countries wanted access to Dr. Taggart’s home and his computer files. Inside, his experiments with superdense-storage batteries promised to revolutionize transportation. The country that controlled the batteries would become the next “hyper-power.”

A Praying Mantis crawled up the wall, seeking entry.

In Vladivostok, Dr. Lupinov controlled the mantis reconnaissance drone. “The drone’s GPS receiver has placed it precisely at Taggart’s home,” he explained. “But now the key is selecting an animal form for maximum stealth but also great combat abilities,” he grinned evilly. “Observe!”

Viciously, the drone destroyed American spider drones. It obliterated Japanese moth drones.

But then, a Chinese toad drone swallowed the Russian mantis.

A British raven drone murdered the Chinese toad.

Hundreds of drones in many animal forms, battled for supremacy all over the house. The war had gone on for months. No one nation had gained access, unable to fight past the other countries’ drones.

Next door, merely thirty yards away, Gary the grad student rang the door bell. The door opened and he began apologizing. “I’m so sorry! I got lost. My GPS sent me to the wrong house.”

“Not to worry,” smiled Dr. Taggart. “GPS gets my house location wrong all the time.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/sunday-photo-fiction-19-november-2017/

Author’s Notes:

Battery technology developed very slowly in the past century. It didn’t need to advance, the requirements weren’t steep. But with a recent fascination with electric cars, suddenly battery tech is racing ahead.
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2015/09/15/five-emerging-battery-technologies-for-electric-vehicles/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bertelschmitt/2017/07/25/ultrafast-charging-solid-state-ev-batteries-around-the-corner-toyota-confirms/#7a7df7c244bb

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