The Order

Photo by Jilly Funell

A month after the Wertiger Insititute opened with its Space Communications Array, the aliens contacted humanity.

“For one month, we will monitor Earth’s transmissions, then give our Final Order.”

That was it. What did it mean?

To be safe, TV channels sanitized their broadcasts. “The Sound of Music” and “Bambi” played thousands of times. Movies like “A Clockwork Orange” and “50 Shades of Gray” never played once.

No one thought about the commercial content.

The hour arrived and the entire Earth waited with baited breath.

At last the aliens spoke, “Our Order is: One thousand pepperoni pizzas with extra cheese!”
Written for the Friday Fictioners:

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The Emissary

Photo by: Gah Learner

“The aliens demanded total capitulation of Earth,” said President Soares. “We sent an emissary with our reply.”

“Who did you send?” shuddered Meghan, the First Lady.

“There were human volunteers, but we sent Alexa.”

“You sent a household robot on a diplomatic mission?”

Soares shrugged. “She was articulate enough to get an audience with the alien leader, inside the ship.”

“But diplomacy is complex and nuanced!”

“Oh she’s quite capable of presenting our position.”

“Look!” pointed Meghan at the light in the night sky. “Is that a new star?”

Soares grinned. “That’s Alexa’s answer. Five-hundred megatons of nuclear ‘Hell No!’ ”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

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The True Essence

Photo by: Nathan Sowers

“It’s a magic mirror!” said Charles, the Senator’s majordomo. He aimed it towards the giant city. “In the reflection we can see the origins of things. See? The city of Megapolis began as a farmhouse.”

“Really?” drawled Senator Graves, looking bored.

“I look into it, and see a magnificent peacock!”

“Gimme that!” growled Graves. He gazed into the mirror, grimaced, and shook it around.

“What do you see?”

“It must be broken. It’s not working right.”

“I assure you it works fine,” said the majordomo, checking it again. “Try it now.”

Senator Graves sighed. “No, I still see a tapeworm!”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

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A Myth Returned

Photo by: Carla Bicomong

In Holder Bay, people sincerely believed a mermaid lived in the waters. Every year they held a lantern festival, hoping to hear her song once more.

Becka placed her phone in the lantern to guard it from sand. “The ringtone plays Enya,” she told Bruce. “So magical!”

They chatted for a while then wandered down the beach. Behind them, true believers launched every lantern they could find. Everyone watched in silence, listening. And then a sweet, lovely voice drifted across. “It’s her!” called a man. “The mermaid is here!”

Down the beach, Becka said, “Call my phone again. It’s here somewhere!”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

Author’s Notes:

I imagine the mermaid/ringtone sounded something like this…
Enya – Storms in Africa

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A Memory Rejected

Photo by: Ronda Del Boccio

Evan was starting to regret bringing Julian to the museum. The boy just couldn’t relate. He pointed to a display of plants, “Julian, look! That’s grass.”

Julian squinted. “Is that an herb?”

“No! It used to grow everywhere. People used to walk on it or sit on it and read books.”

“Sit on it? Dad, that makes no sense.”

“It’s true. We played games on it too.”

Julian turned to his friend, Tyler, beside him. “It’s grass. My Dad says people sat on it.” He rolled his eyes.

Tyler shook his head. “It’s a shame when parents start going senile.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

Author’s Notes:

Lyrics from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s “Karn Evil 9”

There behind a glass
Stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass
Move along! Move along

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Bargaining Position

Photo by: Yinglan Z.

Shinzo was beginning to question his girlfriend. She seemed overly concerned with material things, and he suspected she loved his inheritence more than him. All this came to a head at the shoe shop.

Hiroko looked lovely in the red shoes, and she insisted she must have them. Unfortunately, the cost of the designer shoes made Shinzo choke.

“I don’t have my inheritence yet, you know,” he whispered.

“Not to worry,” grinned Hiroko. “I’m an expert negotiator.”

She slipped into the back with the salesman.

Quiet as a mouse, Shinzo followed them to observe.

Twenty minutes later, she returned, freshly perfumed and adjusting her hair. “I got a great price!” she exclaimed. “I told you I’m great negotiator.”

Scowling, Shinzo just nodded. “I expect your bargaining position sealed it.”

“It did!”

“Do you suppose diplomats assume the bargaining position of ‘bent over a table’ as well?”
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers:

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A Matter of Taste

Photo by: Joy Pixley

David Wind Hawk hopped nimbly from rock to rock. He enjoyed being a tour guide, even though this marked the first time he got stuck with a politician and his lawyer.

David gestured. “And here is Vulture Rock. Navaho legend says anyone who sits in its mouth will be eaten.” David sat in the mouth, grinning. “It’s only a legend. I’ve guided hundreds of Wasichu* and all sat here safely.”

Howard Punter crawled up, wheezing, red-faced and sweating. He took David’s place in the Vulture’s mouth. “Hey take a picture, Stan!” he called. “I want the voters to know I’m an outdoorsman.”

Stan Greer wasn’t much better off than the Senator. Breathing hard, he reached for his cellphone. He hated doing things like this, but it was necessary to keep his sticky-fingered employer in office.

He pulled his phone out just as Vulture Rock’s jaws snapped shut, engulfing the politician.

“Aahh! You said it was safe!”

David was shocked. “That’s never happened before. I didn’t know it really was magical.”

“Any chance the stone bird would just spit him out?”

David shook his head. “This is Vulture Rock. Unlike voters, vultures like rotten things.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

* Wasichu (pronounced: “Wah-See-Shoo”) is Native-American slang for White People.

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