Artist’s concept of a Venus cloud city — a possible future outcome of the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) plan.
Credit: Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center
“Don’t look for what you don’t want to find…”
“So this is it; this is what I wished for; just isn’t how I envisioned it…”
— Eminem, from “Careful What You Wish For.”
Genaro tried to remember what happened. He’d been sleeping a lot lately but it wasn’t a natural sleep. They were trying to keep him quiet so he wouldn’t be a bother. Why couldn’t he see? Why were his arms and legs so heavy?
He tried to stand but although he could find the floor, he couldn’t find his feet. Something at the end of his leg was touching something below and to the side of him, but it wasn’t a foot. It was…was… What was it? What had happened? He realized now he couldn’t move his fingers. What was at the end of his arms? Why was it so hard to breathe?
He opened his mouth but couldn’t scream. He felt like he was suffocating. His head, yes he still had a head, was aching. The pain spiked and then there was nothingness.
© Sue Vincent
She couldn’t believe he’d done it again, the assassin-for-hire known to international law enforcement agencies as Hellspite had eluded the American FBI, CIA, and even the unnamed British Agency she was on loan to.
Mikiko Jahn was a unique individual. Six years ago, she nearly died in a nuclear power plant accident and would have if the brilliant and eccentric scientist Daniel Hunt hadn’t saved her, literally rebuilt her from scratch with new and revolutionary processes and materials collectively known as Synthecon.
Now, even though in every manner conceivable, she looked, sounded, smelled, and acted like any other woman, only portions of her brain, nervous system, skeleton, and internal organs were biological…human. The rest, which made up over ninety percent of her physicality, was a set complex biosynthetic structures, maintained by hundreds of thousands of nanoscopic probes coursing through her bloodstream.
After the accident, the Japanese and British governments gave Hunt unlimited funds and resources. They only had two conditions. The first was to give Mikiko back the ability to be human, to interact with society normally, to seem to be the person she had been before. The second was to, as much as the technology would allow, make her more than human, augment her abilities, senses, even her emotions. They had plans for her.
“…I swear you get better looking with every year…your sexual peak, your full figure physique…”
Every year in the Spring, the Queen of the West gave a banquet. It was opulent beyond the dreams of avarice, but the Queen had great wealth which she administered for the benefit of her people. At the banquet every year, she held a lottery. All of the eligible males were required to enter (and they were all eager to do so), all of those unmarried and between the ages of fifteen and thirty. Every year only one man would be chosen to be the Queen’s consort, and only then for a single night. Afterward, the man joined the others from previous years, where they were kept for the rest of their lives in comfort and ease on the nearby island of Stateira.
They were never seen or heard from again and, if the stories were true, they would never willingly leave Stateira and return to their previous existence.
Lugo was in love. Of course, all the men, even those who were married, even boys too young or men far too old, longed for a night with the Queen. She was the very essence of beauty, charm, graciousness, and poise. The image of her body burned in their hearts and minds. The loins of old men long dead were still stirred by even the mention of her name. Men would kill to possess her. Men would surrender their limbs, lives, and souls for a night in her bed chambers.
Actor Cary Grant in his later years
“God knows I never meant to hurt you…I never meant take it that far…”
He was the perfect man for her but she was born far too late.
Alec Bristol (born Archibald Leech) died of a stroke when he was 82 years old. Throughout his entire film career, he was the quintessential leading man, suave, debonair, charming. He had first melted Chelsea’s heart at the Anza Classic Movie Theatre when she was only twelve-years-old.
When she was twenty-two, she visited his grave at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park near UCLA. He’d been dead longer than she’d been alive. It didn’t seem fair.
Screen capture of YouTube video of Sophia found at Business Insider
“You better have your hair weave strapped on tight.”
“Because we are going for a ride, Sophia.”
The young limo driver pulled out into traffic
“To meet King Salman.”
“We-are-going-to-the-Royal-Palace-in-Mecca-” The awkward image of a woman paused briefly to flash her strange smile. “-so-I-can-meet-Salman-bin-Abdulaziz-bin-Abdul-Rahman-bin-Faisal-bin-Turki-bin-Abdullah-bin-Mohammed-bin-Saud. I-am-honored.”
From the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
The two men were sitting at a table in the back of a bar in Marrakech. It was hot. It was late. The overhead fans spun in lazy circles casting a march of shadows on the two patrons below.
The bartender was cleaning a glass. He got mostly westerners in here, either low life bums down on their luck with no money to get back home, or French, British, and Americans who were doing business and didn’t want to be bothered.
He looked casually at the two men, one French, one American. The Frenchman was in a rumpled white suit. Why white in such heat? The American looked like an oil rigger or longshoreman except for the whip on his belt. It didn’t matter to Hassan. They paid for their drinks. Who cared what else they did.
“I’m tired of chasing you all over the fucking world, René. I find something and you steal it from me. You find something and I steal it from you. Where does it end?”
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
David spent so much of his life deciding between a career in physics or theology and here he was in Jerusalem’s Old City embracing both. It was called the City of David, and Yeshua himself taught here and would later rule, but Moses and Aaron laid the foundation. Of course, that’s not how everyone remembers it, but after David’s invention of the quantum portal, he realized that the prophesies of Hashem were fluid, adaptable to man’s free will. He wasn’t sure how he’d changed the world with that last trip, but when he turned the corner, he’d find out.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction, based on the photo above, of no more than 100 words. My word count is 99.
I’m toying with the idea of expanding the concept of how Biblical history could have changed depending on human free will and still be within the will of God. This is just a little taste.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
© Ted Strutz
“The next leg of our vacation takes us on the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.”
“Honey,” Glenn’s wife complained. “You sound like a tour bus driver.”
Their two kids in the backseat groaned.
“Just trying to brighten the mood while we wait to get onto the ferry.”
Then the parents in the front realized they had bigger problems.
“Glenn, is everything…twisting?”
“I thought it was rain, but…”
Everything shifted and shimmered and then they were part of a line of cars on the Juan de Fuca Bridge, crossing not only the strait but into another universe as well.
I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.
Decades ago, science fiction writer Larry Niven wrote a series of stories based on the outlandish idea that fog was not caused by water vapor but by a distortion between one quantum universe and another. A person who was in the fog might disappear from our world and reappear in a parallel one.
The image above seems to distort the cars and ferry we can see, and while in real life, this was probably caused by rain on the windshield, I decided to take it in a different direction. There really is a ferry that travels across the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles to Victoria, northwest of Seattle, Washington, though I’ve never been anywhere near it (but Google is good).
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
“What the hell? It happened again.”
“What’s that, Jase?”
Jason McClure continued to look at his watch with a puzzled expression on his face.
“I said my watch did it again. Says it’s 12:04 p.m.”
Val was finishing the last of the sushi rolls in the kitchen, getting ready for the kids to come over for dinner.
“It’s broken, Jase. It was your Dad’s watch, remember? Who knows how old it is.”
© Sarah Potter
Hadn’t been to the cabin since I was a kid. After Grandpa died, I forgot all about it. He only stayed here during the winter. I sat in the chair next to his desk. The plants had taken over everything. Still, I can almost hear his voice.
“I’m still here, boy.”
“What? Grandpa?” I looked around expecting to see him or at least his ghost.
“I’m still here. Look at the desk. Look out the window.”
“All I see are the…”
I’d forgotten how much Grandpa liked gardening, though he tended to let his plants grow a little wild.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.
To read more stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.