OUT OF TOUCH "Jazon, you're watching it speeded up again." Marie spoke gently with the non confrontational tones of the seasoned space traveler. But Jazon saw her shoulders were tense for there were no secrets after all these months with just the two of them in the return module. "It's not too bad now," said Jason. "We're slowing down all the time. It may still be a bit compressed but it's a real live signal from Earth. I like live. It was great to be picked for deep-space but there is something special about getting to go home. Listen to this guy. Don't you think he sounds a bit like Mickey Mouse?" "So we get to listen to a four hundred year old rodent," said Marie. "Go on, record it and play it back with the Doppler edited out. Please, it's great to get regular Earth programs again and we've been far enough away and moving fast enough to have some real catching up to do." "OK you win again, take the control," said Jason and they settled down to watch Marie's choice of Earth TV played at the correct speed. "Hundreds to choose from and you pick an old Star Trek," said Jazon. For a while they watched the scary monster head speaking American English with a strange accent and little attempt at grammar, telling the poor Earth-folks what they needed to know about the new world order. "Don't you dare change the channel, I love Star Trek," said Marie as she went aft to the galley to get herself something for a TV snack. When she returned, what she saw caused her to let it float forgotten from her grasp .In the few minutes she had been gone, Jazon had turned pale, almost grey. She reached out with the back of her hand and found the perspiration strangely cold on his face. His chest heaved in a struggle to draw breath and he held the TV control at arms length as if it had suddenly become something evil. Jazon struggled to find the words and they were words Marie would never be able to get out of her mind. "They're all the same. All the channels are the same." It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment of realization. Nothing that had come before had prepared them. Everything that came after was chilled in its shadow. Throughout the long days and weeks that followed, their fragile enclave flew on lit by ancient starlight that now had a cold and sinister quality about it. They didn't use the manual override to set a new course. What was waiting for them was all the more terrible for their fall back to Earth was inevitable. They had nowhere else to go. Nothing to do except wait until the tug of Earth's gravity would take hold to reel them in like they were on the hook of some distant uncaring angler. There was little variety in the transmissions but they recorded them all and played them back over and over again. Nothing beamed out of Earth except what the invaders beamed out. The message was simple. They had dominion over all of the Earth. They were 'The Orrrg.' Apparently it meant something like 'Gods' in their own language and they saw themselves as superior beings that must be obeyed with a servitude that reeked of worship. After way too many days of this, Jazon went off without a word to the propulsion pod. He was gone a long time but Marie knew not to interfere. "I think I know what that is," said Marie pointing to the makeshift device he brought back. It was not a time for words. The longest look they had ever exchanged was all that was needed. With this, they agreed. It could be little more than a gesture of defiance but they had sufficient fuel reserves for a gesture that would run to a good few megatons. The Earth drew closer. Soon they could see it as a far off speck with even the modest optical equipment they carried. Then the Orrrg transmissions stopped abruptly and completely. Nothing came in their place though Jazon and Marie took turns to listen for something, anything that might break the empty silence. "The lights are on but is anyone home?" said Marie for the lights of Earth's great cities were reaching out to them as they prepared for a night descent and watched the heat shield deploy. The landing was unexpectedly heavy and they were glad to be well strapped in. They had ploughed into soft soil just deep enough to prevent them opening the hatch from inside. "Don't cry now, after all we've been through," said Jazon. But he found himself sniffing just a little too for here they were like rats in a well sealed trap waiting ... For Marie and Jazon there was something scary and unreal about any sound from outside after hanging for so long in the noiseless void. They shrunk back into their seats as unseen tools scraped and clanged on external hatch fastenings. Then fresh air, good clean natural Earth air rushed in and it was human hands that helped them out. "I've to take that," said the leader of the recovery party. It seemed all so natural that Jazon had handed over his trigger device before he realized what was happening. Then the unspoken question in his eyes brought a smiling reply. "Get used to it. They know what we're thinking and I'm sorry but you'll have to wait for any more answers. Orders are orders." So it was in near silence that they were taken to the aliens. Jazon and Marie gasped it out together for their many years in the vastness of deep space had given them something like the closeness of thought of identical twins. "You're not what we were expecting." "Ah, of course you wouldn't know. We're the second wave. Much smarter and much nicer than these 'orrible Orrrgs." The little round smiley creature bounced up and down gently as he communicated without any need to move his mouth. He seemed to be very much entertained by his own clever mastery of an Earth language that some might have found difficult. He continued, "Please relax. Just sit here for I want to know everything about your journey." After barely a couple of minutes, the alien left the room without even another glance in the direction of Marie and Jazon. A party of uniformed humans came to lead them out. "He'll have read every minute of your journey." said one. "They're very quick. It's a great pity you came back carrying a weapon of mass destruction. They're not bad but the one thing they will not tolerate is any kind of threat to their person. If you know that, you're all right but of course you didn't know. We're taking you to your quarters now. Try to make the best of it." The smell hit them first. "It's a Zoo," said Jazon as they were led past cage after cage of Earth's most exotic animals. Then came the shock of seeing the human exhibits. Some called out; others just stared blankly as they were led by. "Breeding pairs," said Marie quietly. They stopped at an empty cage that lay at the far end of the human pairs and beyond which stretched a line of caged Orrrgs that hissed and spat and rattled their bars. Locked in and left on their own, Jazon and Marie were careful not to get too close to the side of their cage where a large Orrrg pair threatened them noisily through the bars. They had drinking water but no food so this was the first thing they asked their human neighbors on the other side. However, apart from a few muttered words about not looking forward to feeding time, little response was forthcoming. All at once, a new activity outside the cage stirred up a fresh frenzy in the Orrrgs next door. Human helpers set out a row of small chairs that were soon filled by a group of smiley alien children all clutching paper bags. "Oh no," said Marie. "They're going to throw us food." "Perhaps they'll want us to do tricks for it," said Jazon. But when the smiley children opened their paper bags it was to eat their own lunches as they looked expectantly at Marie and Jason eager to catch every moment of their reaction to seeing the bars slowly raised between themselves and the hungry Orrrgs. end Out of Touch was published in Separate Worlds, June 2012. First appeared as the Runner-up in Adult Creative Writing Club Competition No.106, June 2010.
ALL ALONE Jake cursed as he banged the heavy radiation shutters tight. He knew it was best not to watch. Anyway, he did not care to watch the sun rise large, red and malevolent through the dust that swirled harsh on the far hills of the eastern horizon. It was not easy to be the last human on Earth. He got down to checking the few monitors that were still working. Routine helped. Something to focus on. Anything that could take his mind away from the loneliness, from the sense of being left behind, from the whispers that were always just below the threshold of hearing, from the voices that hid in the sad songs of the wind as it danced through the unwholesome dust of the dying Earth. A little scurrying noise caused Zake to look behind. He turned slow and steady, no need to scare them so they would slip back into those dark corners that they liked so much. "So, where are my little guys hiding and what are you plotting now?" He spoke out loud. Apart from the Goblins, there was no one to hear, to reply, to criticize, to approve, to care. However, there were always the Goblins. It was way back in the early years of his isolation that he had first conjured up these mischief- making companions. Looking back, he sometimes wished he might have picked on a rather more benign species to populate the loneliness of his mind, Elves or Fairies perhaps. But there are some things that cannot be undone. Then he would remember his reasoning, for companions who are much too nice might soon become just too boring. So he had wanted Goblins and now he had Goblins lurking in that space between what is real and what is not. A blinking light on the main board caught his eye and drew a quickening heart beat. It called him to a message incoming from way out in deep space. It was always from way out these days for this was the posting that no one else would take. He tidied his hair and collar line before hitting the switch. He needn't have bothered for there was no video link, no action required, just another advert for something he didn't need and couldn't order that had wormed its sneaky way past the filters. Then it was time to check the water. One after another, Zake's heavy boots rang loud on the bare rungs of the access ladder. When you're all alone you take care on ladders. You remember there are no medics, no back-up, and no nice nurse with cool hands and a warm smile. As he stepped into the partial darkness of the service tunnel he sniffed the blast of cool air and caught a hint of mildew. He put the fans on full. All along the tunnel there were the little whispers and an occasional hint of movement back in the shadows. Things that were there but at the same time were not there. He didn't like it when they were quiet and today the Goblins seemed quieter than usual. He checked the water every morning. For Zake this was an act in which he saw a sense of history. These were the end days. There would never be another human on Earth and at the same time this was the very last of the good water that had made Earth what it once had been. He had taken to enjoying his own jokes. As he said to himself and sometimes to the Goblins, if he didn't laugh then no one else would. Today, on his way to the water he burst out giggling like a schoolgirl at his new security measure, perhaps not very original but surely effective. He thought of how many times the same old joke might have been made in some form or another down through the millennia when mankind walked the Earth. But this would be the last time on Earth and it was his time. He giggled all the more as he pictured the carefully handwritten notice he had pinned to the wall of the precious water storage facility: Dear Goblins, Please be advised. I have peed in the water. Signed, Zake. "That should keep it safe from these thieving little Goblins," he said. However, as he drew close he saw the notice was not quite as he had left it. For beneath his steady measured words there was something new, scrawled so carelessly that he had to look close to read it: Dear Jake, And so have all of us. Signed, The Goblins. Below this, on the notice and on the wall all around, many strange and unpronounceable names had been added with Zake's own pen but in as many different hands as there were names to see. In the months that followed, Zake spent many quiet hours wondering about the effects of isolation on the human mind and why the water tasted so salty. end All Alone was published in Fantastic Frontiers Magazine, Sept 2012.
A NEW BEGINNING "Was it really so wrong when some good-old- guys made their own moonshine whiskey? Or when rich folks paid to be space tourists? Or when they started mining the asteroids and upset the stupid commodities markets? Or way back when they added carbonated water to patent medicine and made Coca Cola? I'm just glad they did," said Ben West. He held the glass to his ear to listen to the bubbles bursting for a while. Then he added. "Look, you just can't put the bubbles back in and pretend it hasn't happened." "Time travel is different," said Sara. "It's against the laws of nature and what you are going to do sure does go against some of the laws we have right here and now. So be careful." Ben grinned at his own response, "You can't go against the laws of nature. Either something works or it doesn't work. The Department's got itself well into time travel and with taxpayers' money. That's our money you know. And it looks like everyone we work with thinks it's OK." He looked around the near empty café. Just the two of them late in the day at the same old table. Nothing much to see except the multi- media they could have gone home for or the never ending haze drifting it's choking way outside the bio-dome. That's why we've been coming here all these years he thought, it's about being able to look out, nothing more, there should be something more. Then a door slammed somewhere and his mind came back with a jolt to the cancer and the crippling medical bills and why he had to go back. "Anyway," said Sara. "What if you get caught? "Hey, I won't get caught. I know my way around. Ought to, I've worked here long enough. I've got the all the clearances. The security computer thinks I'm one of the good guys. What's more, if they don't get me before I go back they don’t get me at all. I'll be history." As they had planned, they didn't have the luxury of a proper goodbye, just one last long squeeze of hands that the surveillance systems wouldn't pick up on. Ben whispered, "You know what they say. If only we could know then what we know now." Then he was gone. *  *  * It was the day they went over to the private sector, the day the Department was taken over by the Ben West Corporation. Sara had a good seat in the front row for Ben's well scripted and well delivered speech. She nodded at his tales of how he had kept his research ahead of the competition both worldwide and domestically. She giggled at the jokes just a little more than perhaps she should have. More than once, their eyes met as he spoke and she found herself thinking out loud, "If only I'd been lucky enough to have met someone like that." end A New Beginning was accepted for E-book publication in the Stories in the Ether, Issue Four, May 2012, having first appeared in the online version, Nevermet Press, 23 Dec 2011.
OUT OF DEEP SPACE "They're not pets, so don't get too attached to them." Commander 701 hissed the words gently for he remembered his own first spin around Earth orbit. And the second, and the third, and what it means to be posted here for a lifetime studying the humans as they messed it all up. With no warning, he took his hands clear off the controls. It was just enough to start a little high speed wobble for the auto-assist to correct. A sideways glance at the co-pilot seat showed the younger reptilian was now fully focused on the re-entry protocols. He could relax as he said, "You take the ship down." Cadet 13,012 replied briskly and correctly, "Sir-yes-Sir. Humans are not pets. No Sir. What we think about them is in no way mission critical and anyway, everything will be changing soon if the invasion force keeps to schedule. Taking us down now." Just for a moment, Commander 701 reached over and gently touched the firm young scales where the cut of the uniform revealed a tempting glimpse of glistening upper body. They had been together, alone out in deep space for a very long time. "Just listen to you now," he said. "No more problems with your English. You sound just like these old movies you watched over and over again, until you got it right." "OK boss." She spoke without taking her eyes off the controls. "I know it's not completely natural but it doesn't need to be. We're not here to negotiate." "Remember your cultural orientation." The Commander smiled as he spoke. "It's not only about knowing how to speak. It's what you say that counts." "Yes, perhaps we could let them know the main invasion fleet is on its way by saying we might have a few friends dropping in. It's a silly language anyway," said the Cadet. "But it was you who volunteered for the mission and for the language." There was a hint of disapproval in his voice so the Cadet leaned over to touch him ever-so-gently on the knee. She knew that always worked. Rising to the cultural challenge she said, "So, can you name me an Earth politician you would buy a used car from?" "Oh any of them," said Commander 701."The few that think they know us, do what they're told. The ones who don't know, don't matter." Then they were setting down on the surface of the deep blue ocean. She was pleased they were perfectly positioned above the under-sea base. It was getting dark. The Cadet thought that later she might ask to come up topside to enjoy the fresh breeze. Something real and natural after being in deep space for so long. Just as they were slipping beneath the waves the Commander turned to her and said, "And there is something I need to tell you. My wife is stationed here. So we'll need to forget about what went on in deep space especially as I'm getting the old Admiral's job. I'm sorry I should have told you before, but you know what it's like out there." "How could you," said Cadet 13,012. She spoke with a chill hiss. She had a new forceful look in her eyes. It was a look she had kept hidden as they traveled through deep space. Like she had hidden the fact that she had known all along about the wife waiting on Earth. Most of all, she had kept very quiet about her ambition to rise rapidly through the ranks and the knowledge that she had been getting herself the leverage to do just that. end Out of Deep Space was published in both the online and PDF versions in The Fringe Magazine, Jan 2011.
All these years ago when it started, Duke was just one of these overpaid, do anything, off- home-world operatives. The planet administrators were little impressed when he asked for a Council Meeting to propose a new section for what he called dirty- tricks. What happened at that meeting is now well written into the lore. "So, why do we need dirty-tricks?" said one admin-guy, speaking as it were for them all. "Look," said Duke pointing to the clock on the wall. Of course, their eyes went to the clock so they didn't see Duke throw his water-bottle into they corner of the room. It made a noise loud enough to make them all jump and for the security-guys to reach towards the well concealed tools of their trade. "So what?" said the admin-guy. "Now we all know the time." "Yes, and I know where their weapons are," said Duke. They gave Duke his section. Of course, it was small at first but it became useful and grew strong as the young planetary colony fought to survive its early years of political intrigue, pirate incursions, unequal trade deals, attempted coups and so on, the usual. At first, Duke operated under gentle sounding cover names. For a while he ran The Office for Planetary Welfare then it grew into the Department for the Protection of Planetary Welfare. However, any young colony is pretty much a closed society and soon everyone was just calling it the "Ministry of Dirty Tricks." Then at one particular Council Meeting that had followed on from a long and generous lunch, they made it official. It was formally proposed, seconded and agreed and on that day Duke became the Minister of Dirty Tricks, for real. In the years that followed, anything published by Duke's ministry became a popular collectors' piece on account of the banner heading. Any well authenticated item bearing the heading "Ministry of Dirty Tricks" could command a high price at auction. Many thought this went a long way to explain how Duke was becoming ever wealthier. Others thought it might go only some little way to explaining his success but knew it would really be best to keep such thoughts to themselves. So it was that concern grew back on the home world, for Duke's power and influence were spreading unchecked across the known occupied reaches of the galaxy. An assassin was sent. * * * Jake knew well that would be assassins should take extra care. But the ladies who worked as hostesses on the deep-space transports were well known for their discretion and it was a very long journey. "It's OK," said the lady with the sky blue eyes and the expensive perfume. Her smile was deep and meaningful and conveyed an affectionate appreciation for the over generous tip. "You can only imagine how very discrete we can be here. She poured another drink for Jake and then for herself and then another for Jake." It was not long before the drink was taking effect but Jake was careful to say nothing of his mission. "Time to go now," she said. Her sky blue eyes had a beckoning look and her hand felt reassuringly firm on Jake's arm. "Wow!" said Jake as he stumbled to his feet. "That is powerful stuff." He gestured broadly towards his last glass, knocking it over. "Don't worry, I know where you're going," she said as they set off. Her words had a faraway quality as they echoed down the now mostly empty passageways of the deep-space transport. And then they were there. "So, this must be the way into your quarters," said Jake, Turning, he saw a heavy door close behind him with his companion still outside. "Actually, it's an airlock," said the lady with the sky blue eyes, the lady from the Ministry of Dirty Tricks. end The Ministry of Dirty Tricks was published online in 365 tomorrows, 30 April 2012.
A WAVE FROM A STRANGER "Oh shit!" the four young volunteers shouted in unison as they stepped off the rear ramp of the C130. They stopped shouting quickly enough when the wind hit them. Then the static lines jerked the chutes open and their world became quieter as they drifted down out of a clear blue sky. They had not been told where or what they were dropping into so they strained to look for anything they could identify on the ground. "Oh shit!" shouted number 3. "No," one of the others called back. "We've done that bit already." "It's Area 51. We've been dropped into area 51. I know it from the Internet," 3 shouted pointing at some buildings on the ground, which was now coming up fast. They hit the ground, rolled, got the wind out of their chutes, checked to see they hadn't broken any bones, checked again, bundled up and discarded the chutes, checked their equipment and changed their headgear. They carried no weapons except, as their instructor had constantly reminded them, that greatest of all weapons the human brain. They gathered around Number 1, for he carried the sealed orders marked in red: Open Once on the Ground. "Listen up," said 1, holding up a sketch map that looked like it showed just a corner of something larger. "We have to find our way here and make a visual inspection of some materials .... " "A weather balloon perhaps," said Number 2 grinning at Number 3. "We are to make a visual inspection, but no written notes. We have to remember all we see for the debriefing," said 1. "Is that it? We draw our pay for playing silly games like this. By the way, just how do we get to walk about a secure area, a very secure area," said 4 looking around to see if any vehicles were racing towards them. "It says here they're expecting us and we get these passes," said 1, distributing them. They hung them round their necks. "So why use us for this," said 4. "They could just have sent Mickey Mouse and his pals." "OK Mickey let's go," said 1. "Hey, no names remember the briefing," said 2. "OK Number 2," the others shouted making lavatorial gestures. Number 1 switched to hand signals: quiet, move out, single file. He took the point himself and had them follow on in numerical order. It was hot, desert hot, and they had a couple of hours on foot ahead of them. What they had glimpsed and marked down as nearby from the air was much further away on the ground. They had one water-bottle each and these were nearly empty as they approached the outlying buildings. They'd seen no need to conserve water so close to what was after all, a friendly base. When they reached the nearest buildings they saw that there was no perimeter. They guessed they were already miles inside the main security. They passed a few personnel, some armed some not, some in uniforms they recognized and some they didn't. Everyone exchanged salutes correctly but not as smartly as they were used to. Number 3 said it was probably because this was very much a closed community and they'd have become used to each other. Number 2 saluted the CC TV cameras as well until Number 1 told him to stop. They'd soon passed most of the buildings on the sketch map and drew level with the last building prior to the mission target. Number 3 pointed inside and said, "Look it's a canteen. We could get a cold drink and fill our water- bottles. We may not get the chance again for a while." They looked at Number 1. He looked at them and at his watch and the sketch map. "OK but just 20 minutes," he said. * * * The debriefing was slow and careful. Four officers sat directly across from the four volunteers. Two large MPs stood at the door trying to look important though no one paid any attention to them. The Officer-in-Charge was in uniform but all indications of rank and ID were missing. They tried to work it out by looking for the marks on the cloth where these had been and guessed he must be important. Even though everything was being taped, a Master Sergeant took pen and paper notes. There was a rather obvious mirror-wall down one side of the room. The volunteers grew increasingly impatient as the details of their drop and walk in were recorded in unnecessary detail. When the debriefing finally got around to the events in the canteen they were straining forward in their chairs and had to be stopped from all shouting at once. "OK let's hear it from Number 1," said the Officer-in-Charge. "It wasn't a main canteen, more like a rest area," said Number 1. "There were a couple of guys there but they were leaving as we arrived. They had a very close look at our passes. They said it would be OK to make ourselves a coffee, the stuff was all there, and fill our water-bottles. Then Number 3 went for a pee. He came back looking like he'd seen a ghost or something. He could hardly speak properly. He just kept pointing down this corridor and saying something about taking a wrong turning and we all had to go see it too." Everyone turned to look at Number 3 who moved around in his chair and looked like he was about to lose his power of speech all over again. Number 1 continued, "We followed him down the corridor, in fact it was several corridors and then we saw it." "Didn't you even stop to think about wandering about in closed areas of a secure facility, a very secure facility?" said the Officer-in-Charge. "No sir," said Number 1, adding lamely that they had passes. "So tell us exactly what it was you saw." said the Officer-in-Charge. "Yes sir," said Number 1. "There was a window set into the wall of the corridor. Like the kind you get in a hospital, you know for an isolation ward. There were curtains but they were half open. So we could see in. It wasn't well lit but there was a bed, a small lamp and the light from the TV. But it was what was in the bed that was crazy. You won't believe us." "I'll be the judge of that," said the Officer-in- Charge. "Who was in the bed?" "That's it, not a who, a what," said Number 1. "It was an alien, like something from Roswell but it was very old." To his credit, the Officer-in-Charge took this in his stride with no outward indications of surprise or disbelief. The Master Sergeant who was taking notes dropped his pen. The two large MPs exchanged glances that suggested they wanted to go outside for a good laugh. The other volunteers were quick to loudly and earnestly give their support to what Number 1 was saying. "Right, as you were," said the Officer-in- Charge." Continue Number 1." "Well it was watching TV. Then it saw we were looking at it and turned its head towards us. We know it saw us because it gave us a little wave. It only had three fingers on its hand. It was a wave but it had one finger raised." Number 1 lifted his hand to demonstrate the rude gesture. Not wanting to do this in the direction of the Officer-in-Charge he gestured in the direction of his own reflection in the mirror instead. At this point one of the two large MPs appeared to be choking and they were both ordered outside. "Then what?" said the Officer-in-Charge. "There isn't much more," said Number 1. "That's when the security guys grabbed us and put us in detention until our own people came to collect us and brought us back here." "Right," said the Officer-in-Charge." We'll get you into separate rooms. I want you to write down everything you remember. I mean everything and I want a sketch of the alien and a list of everything in that room. I want everyone back in here at 14.00 hours sharp." The Officer-in Charge stood up so they all stood up. Salutes were exchanged crisply and the room soon emptied. * * * The folks behind the two-way mirror relaxed. They were joined by Number 3 who was really one of them. "Weren't the young volunteers sweet?" said a lady in a white coat. "My volunteers aren't sweet madam," said a man in a grey suit grinning at Number 3. "Anyway it's not about them." So they all compared notes on how the Officer- in-Charge had reacted and agreed there were no problems so far. Would he get the job at Area 51? Too soon to tell, he hadn't even thought of applying for it yet. "Pity we have to tell them it was all just an exercise and a pity we couldn't use the real Area 51," said the lady in the white coat. "Or the real alien," someone said. end A Wave from a Stranger was published as the Winner in the Writers Billboard Short Fiction Competition, December 2007.
51
SEX ON THE LAWN So how would you like it if your father had been slipping away to have sex with aliens? Well, this whole alien abduction thing is really driving me nuts! You'd think after all this time everyone would be getting a bit bored with the same old stories. Well yes, they are and that's the problem for it's my story and the grown- ups just aren't listening anymore. I've had to live with the stories just about all my life. At first I used to hear things that I wasn't supposed to. Now I'm a little older, Father even talks to me about it and tries to explain. I might believe him if he had the guts to say he does it because he can, but he tries to pretend it's all been for procreation. Well hello, I'm old enough to know recreation when I see it. What's more, each time he's been doing it he comes back to his little-old, boring grey world with the same smug, self-satisfied, superior sort of look on his face. I just hate it when I see him like that. He even says all his friends are doing it too, as if that makes everything alright. It's all been so unfair to my Mum. I don't get to see her too often but I know she loves me. I call her 'Big Mummy' because I thought she was so big when I was young. I think father finds her size exciting in an unnatural sort of a way. She could pick him up physically and throw him around, but he's got all the power in the relationship so she just has to do what he wants. I keep thinking about all the other Mums out there. It's not fair to them either. I guess they all have much the same story to tell. Well hybrids like me are the future, you'd better believe it. A few of us have gathered together and dreamt up a neat way to get our fathers to leave the Earth-girls alone. You'll be seeing the results soon for we have something planned for their next grab-an-alien party. We've reset their auto-navigation system for a landing on the White House lawn. Let's just wait and see who they try to have sex with when they get there. end Sex on the Lawn was published in print in the Anthology, Pill Hill Press, Daily Flash 2012.
BIG BANG "Daddy, Daddy, teacher says the universe has been expanding for 13.7 billion years. So where's the big hole in the center?" "Shut up and read your book." end Big Bang was published in Flashshot,  03 Nov 2011.
LIGHT SPEED "Daddy, Daddy, teacher says if we try to get a space ship or anything up to the speed of light, we can get closer and closer but never-ever- ever reach the speed of light. So how does light do the speed of light? Shut up and stop playing with the light switch. end Light Speed was published inFlashshot, 06 Dec 2011.
JUST ANOTHER REALITY Daddy, Daddy, teacher says quantum mechanics is so strange that everything we see might just be some sort of simulation in a virtual reality. Shut up and play your computer game. end Just Another Reality was published in Flashshot, 09 Dec 2011.
WISH I HADN'T COUGHED THAT UP "Heard that story going around?" "Yeah, 'bout the androids who look just like humans and they're so well programmed they don't even know they're machines." "Might be true." "So why do you say that?" "I just coughed up some bolts and a bit of wire." end Wish I Hadn't Coughed That Up was published in Flashshot, 24 Oct 2011.
DARKEST RED SUNSET Christopher Columbus looked up and saw five Grumman Avengers heading east but he said nothing to the crew for they were already a mutinous lot. end Darkest Red Sunset was accepted in Nailpolish Stories, A Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal, April 2013.
BEST TREATMENT I took ill on the alien transport and asked to see the doctor. "Don't be silly," they said, "but you can see the veterinarian." end Best Treatment was published in Flashshot, Issue 3,251, May 2011. First appeared, commended in Leaf Books Competition, Anthology, Aug 2006.
BROUGHT BACK "So, I heard you've done another of these deep- space trips." "Yeah, just back." "Is it true the girls out there tend to be, you know ... a bit well, you know?" "Yeah, but no more than me. You know what I mean." "What kind of job was it this time, salvage again?" "Yeah salvage, it sure does pay well." "Did you get the black pox?" "Yeah, but you mean the black box." "No, not really." end Brought Back was published in Flashshot, 17 July 2011.
GREY WATCHER I'm the Grey that watches you,   there are many just like me,   knowing everything you do.   Can't you see me in the sky?   There are many just like me watching every grey agenda. Can't you see me in the sky   you are right in our arena. Watching every grey agenda knowing everything you do. You are right in our arena, I'm the Grey that watches you. Grey Watcher was  published in UFO Gigolo, 20 Oct 2013.
spark of creation shadow of the universe lit now in starlight Spark of creation was published in Three Line Poetry, Issue 17, 2012.