The Advantages of Low-Tech

Photo by: Yinglan

Earth was invaded by aliens in 1877. No one knows because a Kansas farmer single-handedly stopped it.

Horace MacCauley was a former gunfighter. He gave up killing because growing potatoes wasn’t nearly as stressful. He liked to stay sharp though. Horace routinely shot bottles on a horse cart with his Colt Peacemaker.

As he placed more bottles, an alien spacecraft landed in the lawn. An alien emerged. It had huge muscles and blue skin and a tiny little head on top. Horace didn’t know about aliens. He figured the alien looked funny because it was from New Jersey.

Roc, the leader of all Him’oc starships boomed, “Human! I’ve watched your pitiable low-tech gun. My gun is two-hundred times more advanced than yours.”

Horace whistled, “Two-hundred?”

“Yes! I will wager that I can defeat you in a gun fight.”

“If I win?”

“My fleet of one thousand ships will not invade and destroy Earth!”

Horace struck up a familiar gunfighter’s pose, fingers poised. “Then draw, son.”

“Hang on,” said Roc, examining his gun. “It needs to charge up…”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/fffaw-challenge-week-of-april-18-2017/

Author’s Notes:

The Colt Peacemaker is known as the gun that won the West: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_Single_Action_Army

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The Time Dragon

Photo by: Jade M. Wong

Peg saw the dragon the first time when her mother gave the clock to her. She was frightened at first, but then it began speaking to her.

“I’m a Time Dragon,” it said.

“You keep time?” she asked.

“Close. I remove danger in those times when you need me.”

Years went on. The bad apple she ate could’ve poisoned her, but she wasn’t harmed. A day later an apple appeared at the 3 o’clock position on the clock. Peg knew, the Time Dragon removed that danger. She crashed her bicycle at 13 years. Broken bones had been possible, but she escaped with only scratches. A bicycle appeared at 7 o’clock on the Time Dragon’s clock.

In college, Barry seemed a good boy. He was never late for a date, and always brought her home on time. Peg trusted him, but when Peg got pregnant, Barry disappeared.

Peg finished her degree with difficulty. College and child-rearing are competitors for time. She got a good job and rose swiftly through the ranks. Soon she became company president and earned a six-figure salary. Barry reappeared, wanting her back. Just as quickly, he stopped calling.

“Who’s that man in the clock?” said Mitchell, Peg’s son.

The man in the dragon clock kept hours with his arms, minutes with his legs, seconds with…well, he appeared in great pain.

“That’s your Dad,” smirked Peg.

“Why is he keeping time?”

Peg scowled at the clock. “That’s all he’s good for.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/sunday-photo-fiction-april-16th-2017/

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Going Back Home

Twenty years before, Henare and Matiu’s tribe found the alien teleportal. The two Maori warriors entered it, and since then they’d journeyed to 48 alien planets. They missed home, but Time Dilation* spoiled their homecoming.

“I miss Rongo’s roasted Moa*,” said Henare.

“Ah!” smiled Matiu. “Arorangi made that wonderful sauce to dip it in!”

Back on Earth, the jungles were gone. They found a modern concrete jungle.

Many of the people they stopped didn’t even speak Te Reo Māori*. The one fellow who did tried to sell them a watch. He told them the Moa had died out. The Hast’s Eagles* they feared in their native land were extinct.

Henare said, “Remember those huge roasted grubs on Ephrenimus VII?”

“They were great!” grinned Matiu. “And that spicy sauce! That’s why Ephrenimus was our home base for years.”

Henare turned back to the gate to the stars. “Let’s just go back home.”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/04/15/christchurch-new-zealand/

Author’s Notes:

I had to do some research for this one.

Maori: The native peoples of New Zealand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Māori_people
*Te Reo Māori: The language of the Maori
This story uses actual Maori names. I got them here: https://www.huggies.co.nz/parenting/parents-and-children/maori-baby-names
*Moa: Giant flightless birds native to New Zealand. Now extinct.
*Hast’s Eagle: A giant eagle that preyed upon the Moa. Reportedly able to carry small children away. Now extinct.
*Time Dilation: A difference in the time passed on Earth and the time for someone traveling away from Earth. When traveling a distance from Earth, the closer to the speed of light one moves, the more Time Dilation is experienced. Less time passes for the traveler. Even satellites experience a certain amount of Time Dilation. The heroes of this story experienced hundreds of years of difference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

This is a song, “Go Back Home” by Stephen Stills (from CSN). It tells a similar story and includes an awesome guitar lead by Eric Clapton.

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Oversexed Pundits and Unfriendly Skies

A lot has been going on in the news, and that leads me to a wish for the future. First, some background.

Bill O’Reilly.
Photo by: Wonkette.com

For years, Bill O’Reilly ruled the airwaves from fortress Fox News. From the safety of that rampart, he verbally assaulted anyone on his show with a different opinion or viewpoint from his own. He espoused removing the rights of anyone without mountains of cash in the bank or anyone who rudely dared to be anything other that white or male. Recently, news outlets revealed that he and Fox have paid $13 Million to silence accusations of sexual harassment. This serial sex offender failed to silence Wendy Walsh though, and that means she’s telling everyone how bad O’Reilly’s unconstrained impulses affect the women around him. Things have gotten worse for O’Reilly since then. Nearly all the advertisers for the show have backed away from that dangerously poisonous cesspool.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. O’Reilly is now going on “vacation.”

Dr. Dao
Photo by: Scallywag and Vagabond

Also in the news: Dr. Dao, a paying customer, was violently ejected from a United Airlines flight. Apparently, the flight was overbooked and UA flight crew needed his seat. Passengers, including Dr. Dao, were offered vouchers to exit the flight. Already seated, and anxious to get back to his practice healing the sick, he refused. Air police didn’t bother to investigate these details. Who knows what went on their little minds? Perhaps they saw a non-white man with an accent and sensed vulnerable prey. Perhaps they’d been watching Bill O’Reilly too much and didn’t believe an Asian man “really” deserved any rights. Whatever their motives, they decided to force the issue. Dao suffered a concussion, broken nose, and two shattered teeth. He might’ve been safer traveling through the escalating gun violence of Chicago’s bad neighborhoods. Initially, UA claimed that Dr. Dao was belligerent. This only proves that United Airlines doesn’t quite grasp the concept of “cause and effect.” Evidence shows Dr. Dao wasn’t belligerent at all until rampaging air police violently assaulted him. Just a quick note to United Airlines: paying customers get mad “after” you assault them. Belatedly, United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, finally apologized days later. One can easily imagine the PR rep who forced him on stage with a leveled shotgun.

In a recent press briefing, Dr. Dao’s lawyer explained why the doctor was saying, “Just kill me” after the assault. Dao escaped Vietnam in a boat during the fall of Saigon in 1975. According to Dr. Dao, escaping a country shattered by ten years of warfare in an flimsy boat wasn’t as “harrowing” as taking a United Airlines flight. This speaks volumes.

With these events in mind, I have a wish for the future:

I sincerely hope that Bill O’Reilly goes on vacation on an overbooked United Airlines flight.

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The Recruitment Interview

Photo by: Dale Rogerson

The US government provided Mishala-colmbrianna’na-kinilaria (Aria) with a monthly stipend. Though she looked human, most human food seemed bland, except pizza.

Bored, she asked to join the American Special Forces.

Chief Haines wasn’t sure about recruiting an alien. In her apartment he said, “Plain cheese pizza? Don’t you have food from home?”

“Sure!”

In her basement, the creatures were chained to the floor. Each was twelve-feet tall with man-sized crab-claws and scorpion tails. “Dinner!” exclaimed Aria.

“What do you shoot them with?”

“Shoot? That’s no fun. You choke them to death.”

Haines closed his gaping jaw. “Welcome to Seal Team Six.”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/04/12/14-april-2017/

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Dangerous Taunting

Photo by: Maria@Doodles and Scribbles

Two Kodiak bears sat in their zoo enclosure. It was beautifully built to look natural. Unfortunately, the efforts of the zoo to make the bears comfortable were spoiled by some teen-aged boys, who hurled pine cones at the bears.

“I really hate this,” muttered Bert, the younger of the two bears.

“Oh relax. It’s just pine cones,” said Boris. He calmly poured A-1 sauce on a haunch of meat.

“It’s still insulting! Don’t they know about that tiger that killed taunting teenagers in San Francisco?”

“Guess not.”

“Wish we could just leap the gap and get at them.”

“Would be nice wouldn’t it?”

“I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make that leap.”

Boris applied more sauce and took another bite. “You’d be surprised what you can do if you put your mind to it.”

“Aargh!” Bert growled as a pine cone actually hit him that time. “I hate taunters! They’re terrible.”

“No they’re not.”

“Seriously?”

“Serious,” said Boris, taking another sauce-covered bite. “They’re pretty good when you put A-1 on them.”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/fffaw-challenge-week-of-april-11-2017/

Author’s Notes:

Three teenagers were taunting a Siberian Tiger in San Francisco with pine cones when it leaped the gap of its enclosure. The tiger killed one and mauled the other two. For me, I feel sorry for the tiger.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Zoo_tiger_attacks#Investigation

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Same-ole, same-ole

Photo by: Al Forbes

Vikings were used to being misunderstood. Widely characterized as mindless raging barbaric berserkers, it’s less known that they established one of the first international trade routes. They traded from Scandinavia to the Middle-east. At each new society they were looked upon as being backwards, barbaric people. Ironically these alleged barbarians established a style of trade that modern civilized societies depend upon.

So when an apparent viking longboat and vikings arrived in modern Portland Maine, the reception was chilly. “Trade?” chortled Mayor Sanderson. “What could barbarians possibly trade that we want?”

“Same-ole, same-ole,” muttered viking first mate Evaard.

“But this will make your ships faster!” explained Captain Uther. He held out a curious metal construction.

“We have enough modern art,” chuckled Sanderson. And the Board of Trade members guffawed loudly.

Evaard took Uther’s arm and led him away. “I told you Earth wasn’t ready for our return,” he whispered. “We can sell these warp drives for a good price on Vega VII!”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/sunday-photo-fiction-april-9th-2017/

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