The Relic


© A Mixed Bag

“Wow. Where’d you get that?”

Thirteen-year-old Jess had been a fan of the Predator movies ever since he watched the original when he was nine.

“My uncle. He made it for a display at ComicCon to promote next year’s reboot.”

Bobby was Jess’s best friend and they shared a special love for horror-based science fiction. It was great that Uncle Bill designed costumes for movie studios.

“Ha! I bet the Predator in the reboot will be a lot scarier.”

“Probably be CGI, though, Jess. There’s a real art to making a costume for a human actor.”

Bill Owens was listening from the kitchen. He was glad to help his nephew score extra points with his friends, but their conversation was paving the way to the future. Computers could often create more impressive visual effects than models, costumes, and make up, but a whole century of film making had depended on people like him. Bill was due to retire soon, a relic from another age.

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long based on the image above. My word count is 164.

One of my guilty pleasures is the 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. I’ve seen most of the other films in the franchise including the Aliens vs. Predator movies, but this is my favorite. I was tempted to write an actual “Predator” story, but I figured everyone else would do that, so I went in a different direction.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

15 thoughts on “The Relic

  1. I wouldn’t say he should hang up his hat quite yet. You just can’t beat a good physical costume. It looks more real than a CG effect, plus it gives the actors more to work with, so you get better scenes. And the costumes themselves are getting so much better these days!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Regarding the comment “more real than a CG effect”: consider the 2002 film “S1m0ne” with Al Pacino, and the continuing improvement in CGI. The notion of costume design also shifts into the digital realm, furthering the filmmakers’ art of blurring any distinction between fantasy and reality. Of course, it makes it much harder to stage a ComiCon, with any illusion of “real” interaction with physical actors in physical costumes, and even holograms are not yet able to sign autographs.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I find it interesting that we are becoming outdated, as opposed to having any accumulated experience or wisdom…that is if we are technologocally employed…or engaged, if attending a ComiCon. I have a feeling that reality will never live up to fantasy ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Q — I don’t know that reality has ever lived up to the hopes expressed in fantasy. The poet Robert Browning opined: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” However, if one can’t tell the difference between them, fantasy may fail in its function to inspire the pursuit of improvements in reality. And when considering the value of accumulated experience and wisdom, technological or otherwise, one must consider also in what media they may be recorded in order to relay them unto future generations — lest their value be lost entirely — because humans are intrinsically outdated and obsolescent. We’ll have our work cut out for us when we’ve been transformed to an incorruptible state beyond death — just trying to keep up with all the learning that will be available and sorely needed.


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