An Android Walks Into a Bar

Photo by: Liz Young

Photo by: Liz Young

On Planet Technogia androids had families too. The parents literally made their children. Since the children were Artificial Intelligences, their minds “emerged” rather than were programmed. Like human children during development, they often believed they could fool their parents.

Sabrina237 staggered in the door. “Dad! I’m home.”

“You’re drunk,” scowled Fred44.

“Am not!”

“You drank that Denogginizer 45W lubricant and lost your head.”

“It was standard lubricant. My head is fine.”

“You still lost your head.”

“Why do you think so?”

“Honey, look in the mirror.”

“OHMIGOD!”

“Yeah,” sighed Fred44. “Let’s drive back to the bar. Hopefully nobody wandered off with your head.”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/02/15/17-february-2017/

Author’s Notes:
The concept of Machine Learning is new and holds great promise:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-neural-network-comput/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_learning

I’ve had Denogginizer beer before. It works as advertised.

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What Angels Look Like

Photo by: Sunayana

Photo by: Sunayana

Tori didn’t feel like celebrating during the Angel Fair. Her 7-year old, Brent, was acting up. He’d done that a lot since the divorce. Tori missed someone adult to share good days and bad days with.

“What are those?” asked Brent, pointing at the display.

“Symbolic angels.”

“Okay. What do real angels look like?”

“Beautiful, with white dresses.”

A homeless man in scummy clothing ran past them, dropping a satchel at her feet. A man in business clothes burst through the crowd shouting, “That’s mine!”

“Nathan?” exclaimed Tori, offering the satchel.

“Tori?”

“Tenth-grade English!” they said together.

Tori harbored a crush on Nathan back then, but was too shy to say anything. “What are you doing here?”

“Just wandering.” He smiled wanly. “Nothing much to do.”

Tori smiled at her feet. “Same here.”

“You know there’s amazing angel food cake a block down. Want to try it?”

In the corner of her eye, Tori saw the homeless man again. He gave a wink before disappearing.

“Brent, I take it back,” said Tori. “Angels can look like anything.”
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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/fffaw-challenge-february-14-2017/

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Unwelcome Guests

Photo by: Al Forbes

Photo by: Sascha Darlington

Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.
— R.E. Shay

The colonists of Dragor V couldn’t believe their luck. The very hospitable world included strange domes. The natural structures provided ready-made housing. Inside, a curious and highly nutritious plant species grew. “Dragor Salad” soon became a staple food of the colonists. A liquid oozed through the domes that was sweet to the taste. “Ambrosia” proved to be a superfood, able to supply most of the nutrients that kept the colonists healthy. This planet seemed awfully lucky.

***

Agorantogisha groaned. Every since the fires emerged from the sky, he’d felt sickly. He called to his neighbor and asked for help.

Goantoperanto raised an eyestalk, an appendage roughly the size of a redwood tree. This process took a week. The native Agopatons moved very slowly, being creatures composed of silicon-based substances. “Ah!” exclaimed Goantoperanto. “I see the problem.

“What is it? Did I eat some bad rock?”

“Nope,” he said, gazing at the human inhabitants. “Seems you’ve got intestinal worms.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/sunday-photo-fiction-february-12th-2017/

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Tasteful Control

The city of Cristobal in Mexico had government, but Manuela Garza really ran things. Crime disappeared in the city. The CIA wanted to know how. After agents 312 and 273 disappeared, Schuler (Agent 17) arrived next.

Manuela ran a simple market on a corner. She looked ordinary and dressed plainly.

Schuler ordered huevos rancheros. Soon Manuela brought it out. She gazed suspiciously. “Federale?” she said.

“No! Me? Just a tourista.”

“You lie but that’s alright,” she grinned, touching the food gently.

Schuler took a bite…

The food tasted like heavenly perfection. He became addicted in an instant. Manuela’s mutation injected concentrated TLC (Tender Loving Care) into it. Schuler’s plate contained more TLC than most people taste in a lifetime.

She controlled everyone with food, Schuler realized, but he was helpless to stop her. Grinning, she introduced him to his new co-workers in the kitchen.

“Hola,” he said sheepishly.

“Hi,” replied Agents 312 and 273.
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/02/11/av-5-mexico-city-mexico/

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Lost And Found

Photo by: Ted Strutz

Photo by: Ted Strutz

In the tiny town of Leena, Alabama nothing ever happened.

So when the chair appeared, people noticed. A local TV reporter stood at the lake saying, “Swimmers confirm the chair is literally standing on deep water. It’s a bona-fide miracle!”

Hundreds of people took photos of the chair in the lake. People young and old waited to get baptized in the “miracle lake.” Some collected “holy water” and were already selling it on eBay.

In a hotel in Birmingham, maverick inventor Horace Clay poked through his swim trunks from the lake. He said, “Sweetie? Have you seen my holoprojector?”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/10-february-2017/

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Big Feet

Photo by: Mike Vore

Photo by: Mike Vore

Justin was sixteen when his dad, Greg, first took him out on patrol. They walked past burned out relics from the war.

“I named my most critical gear after old girlfriends,” said Greg. “My signals scanner could detect RolyPolie transmissions and translate them. I named it after Whitney ’cause she eavesdropped on people’s conversations.”

“Makes sense,” said Justin, looking around carefully. The alien invaders had been largely defeated, but some still wandered the countryside. Thus the need to patrol. Folks called them “RolyPolies” because the Pillbug-like aliens rolled into a ball when wounded.

“I named my plasma rifle after Jodie. She was hot tempered.”

“Uh huh.” Justin pointed at a rusted, antique truck marked “Daisy May.” “What’s that old thing?”

“It’s just camouflage for…”

The truck suddenly rose up on tall metal legs. It stomped with one of its four enormous feet and squished a charging RolyPolie.

Greg beamed with pride. “Best bug stomping machine ever made!”

Justin wiped splashed alien ichor from his shirt. “Daisy May hated bugs?”

“Nope. She had big feet.”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/fffaw-challenge-week-of-february-7-2017/

Author’s notes:

Sowbug/Pillbug/RolyPolies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillidiidae

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Getting Rich Without Trying

Photo by: J. Hardy Carroll

Photo by: J. Hardy Carroll

Tanya sat nearby, her camera rolling for the documentary. Jennylee the voodoo priestess plied her wares. The stand by the roadside was made with weather beaten wood. The words, “Potions for sale: 25 cents” were hand painted. The bottles were old, some antique. All of them appeared empty.

Despite the poor-looking nature of the stand, Jennylee drove to the spot in a brand new Jaguar. She wore jewelry that could buy houses. Tanya asked her how she became so rich.

“Stupid people,” explained Jennylee. “People never ask for what they really want. They ask for the worldly things around the edges, not for what matters.”

“What do people really want?”

“Love. It’s always love. They ask for money or a better body or sex, but what they’re looking for is love. They should just ask for that.”

A customer arrived.

“Do these work?” said the man.

“Every time,” grinned Jennylee.

“But the bottles are empty.”

“That’s ’cause they’re real magic. But now you be careful. Ask for what you really need!”

The man paid, tipped the bottle back and said, “I want money. A ton of it!”

Heavy bars of gold flew out of the sky and landed on his head, killing him instantly.

“Ohmigod, ohmigod!” shrieked Tanya, staring at the battered corpse. “What do we do?”

“Same thing I always do,” sighed Jennylee. “Take the stupid man’s money home!”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/sunday-photo-fiction-february-5th-2017/

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