The Legend of Earth

glimmer

© Sue Vincent

Luke Wallace stumbled over the alien terrain as the dawning sun rose to his left, but it was the twinkling of tiny lights directly in his path that had been holding his attention for the past three hours.

The biologist was the sole survivor of the “Hawking,” an exploratory superluminal spacecraft owned by Blue Astra Space Corporation. The primary power coupling blew just 92 hours after they’d returned to normal space, and 15 minutes after they’d entered orbit around Kessel-Origan B, the most Earth-like exoplanet ever discovered, and only 167 light years from home.

He was the only one to get to an escape pod in time as cryonic gas from the exploding coolant system filled the command module. He ejected the pod, passing through energy ripples caused by the dying FTL drive, what Hicks once called “the probability machine.” The exotic radiation passed directly through the pod’s hull, and it felt like he was swimming through liquid fire when it hit his body.

Five hours ago, he regained consciousness. The pod had already landed, or rather, crash landed. His safety couch had deployed insulating gel,which had shielded him from the shock of impact, but the controls, radio, emergency beacon were all gone. He was lucky to retrieve a three-day supply of water and rations, but there was no going back. He would either have to find a way to survive on an alien world or die.

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The Algerian Exchange

pillars

© Sue Vincent

Twenty-five year old Eileen Kateb could only hear the sound of her own breathing and her soft footfalls as she slowly made her way between the columns of the Cathedral de Sacre Coeur, which had recently been converted to a library. Her grandparents had quietly immigrated to England during the heyday of French rule over Algeria, so she could have blended in among the millions of Muslim women in the coastal city of Oran who looked just like her. However, she chose to dress as a European instead of clothing herself in a hijab, because, after all, Houari Boumédiène and his thugs knew she was here. That was the point.

“You can stop right there, Miss.” The man stepped out from behind one of the pillars to her left about ten meters ahead. He was average height, medium complexion, dark hair slicked back with Brylcreem, neatly trimmed mustache, pressed tan suit. He looked like an Arabic Peter Sellers. “I’m surprised the Americans didn’t send a male representative.”

“Actually, I’m British, and James Bond was too busy killing SPECTRE agents and seducing women in the Bahamas to accept this assignment, or perhaps you haven’t seen that movie.”

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Húxiān

fox goddess

from Google Images – found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Henry Dore ate lunch at the Hong Kong Clay Pot Restaurant in Chinatown everyday just to be near her. He didn’t know her name, and in fact, she was a complete stranger to him, but she was captivating in a way he couldn’t articulate, even to himself.

He had first seen her when he was having lunch with a visiting museum curator from Finland. As the Marketing Manager for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, one of his duties was to entertain VIPs, and he wanted to impress Inari Rinnetmäki, thinking that no Chinese restaurant in Helsinki could match up to the Clay Pot.

Now he couldn’t even remember Rinnetmäki’s response, and he couldn’t care less if she loved the cuisine here or hated it. Just as he and Inari had finished their meal, she walked in and was seated alone at a small table near theirs, which he had since learned was reserved for her every day at one. So today, he was passively sipping spoonfuls of Hot and Sour Soup, not noticing the flavor as he stole clandestine glances in her direction.

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Finish The Story Blog Hop – Part 7

Teresa’s challenge details can be found here: Finish the Story # 8, 25 August 2018.

The rules:

  1. Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Tag only 1 person
  4. If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag the original post here so we know.

Iain Kelly tagged me to continue this “story blog hop” and I resisted the temptation to finish it. However, I did not resist the temptation to make it weird.

Here’s the tale thus far:

PART ONE – by Teresa @ The Haunted Wordsmith

After serving thirty-five years in the military, Austin retired to a quiet little town in the middle of the Catskills. He had saved money every month since he enlisted so that he would never have to work another day when he left. His plan worked, but now he found life boring and uneventful. Every morning he walked down to Jennie’s Diner for coffee and a little conversation, then over to the library where he would whittle away the day. Three months of this routine and he was going stir crazy. That was until a strange woman asked if he had ever considered writing a book.

“I never really thought about it,” Austin said, flipping through a magazine.

“I have a story to tell,” the woman said, “and I have a good sense about people. You are the right person to tell my story.”

“Um, I’ve never written before. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

“Well then, it’s a good thing I do. Meet me here tomorrow and we’ll start.”

She disappeared before he could even answer. He looked around, but she was nowhere. Austin shrugged. He would be at the library the next day anyway, maybe he would be able to ask more about what she wanted…and why him.

The next day, as the grandfather clock rang eleven, the woman tapped Austin on the shoulder.

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Psyche Poised Against Infinity

woman at night

Found at the High Style Life website – no photo credit available

Psyche stood on the edge of the rooftop contemplating the city’s nightlife far below. If anyone saw her swaying twenty stories above the street, they might vitiate her plans and try to persuade her to go indoors, or perhaps to a hospital, but suicide wasn’t on her mind.

Privately celebrating the occurrence of her twentieth birthday, she took a single rose pedal from inside her diaphanous gown, where it had been nestled between her breasts, and released it to the wind, letting the obsidian sky receive its tribute.

She knew the monstrosity was out there somewhere between the wind and the darkness and the sky, and she, her young, lithe body wrapped only in barely tangible moonlight, poised like a pigeon at the edge of eternity, chose no longer to have feet of clay, but the talons of an eagle.

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Averie

woman in red

© Anka Zhuravleva

Averie lived in her own little world. I mean, a lot of people are introspective and seem to exist in their personal bubbles, but for Averie, it was the literal truth.

Everyone could see her, but the ordinary human brain couldn’t process her specialness, so they didn’t notice her that much. Averie didn’t often notice other people because, well…they were ordinary.

She didn’t really need a bicycle to get around, but occasionally she indulged herself. A bicycle here, the underground there, a bus, a trolley, it was all the same to her.

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The Loneliness Disease

grandpa

From the March/April 2014 issue of Discern – No photo credit provided

Charles felt his forehead calescent and damp. Struggling to free himself from the comfort of his bed sheets, he staggered to the window. Pulling open the blinds, he unlatched and then lifted the frame, letting the cool morning breeze into his bedroom.

A violent paroxysm of tremors accompanied by dizziness seized him, forcing the older man to kneel on the carpet, resting his head on the window sill.

After a few minutes, he felt his temperature go down a bit, and he risked trying to stand. Hesitantly, he made his way into the kitchen and put the tea kettle on. As the water heated, he opened his back door and several more windows attempting to cool his stiflingly warm house.

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Adventures of a Pantser (no, it’s not like that)

I came across this on twitter:

p-vs-p

screenshot taken from twitter

Yeah, that pretty much describes me, or more specifically, this does:

meme

Indiana Jones meme

It’s come back to bite me in the butt more than once.

Okay, here’s the deal. I have the first draft of one novel fully finished, I’m stalled in the middle of the first draft of the second, and several others are in a quasi-state of existence (and I’m terrified of actually beginning the novel editing).

After about the first five chapters of my fantasy novel, I started using the Thursday #writephoto prompts on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo as the motivation to complete one chapter a week. It worked pretty well, and I actually got to the end with the story being semi-internally consistent.

It still needs a lot of work.

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The Tale of Ellie Westcott

outlaw

Mugshot and wanted poster for the outlaw Laura Bullion – found at owlcation.com

Ellie was working on her third glass of Cactus Wine when the stranger walked into Billy Bob’s Saloon. His six-shooter and holster hung low on his left hip as he swaggered up to the bar, but his spurs had lost their jingle. Through the haze in her brain, she figured he was the sort of outlaw or gunslinger who thought he’d tamed the frontier west.

Sam was serving hooch that afternoon and he bustled up to the newcomer next to Ellie.

“What’ll ya have?”

“Whiskey. You got any vittles in this joint?” His attitude was churlish, like the sneer on his lips.

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The First Woman President of the United States

chelsea clinton

Chelsea Clinton introduces her mother, Hillary Clinton, on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (A. Shaker/VOA) )

“You see, Hillary? It worked this time.”

“It should have worked last time, George. Then, I’d have been re-elected by now and have had a second term in the White House.”

“Don’t complain so. Your health is none too good as it is. The strain of the Presidency would have probably earned you a stroke or heart attack years ago, and then Kaine would be President.”

“Even running against Trump, he’d hand him his ass.”

“Don’t be crude. You’ve just become the mother of the President-elect, and all thanks to my behind-the-scenes work.”

“At least Putin couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat a second time and get Trump re-elected.”

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