Found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Image credit not given
Gerald jumped at everything, even when nothing was there. In spite of the warm, spring afternoon, he wore thermal underwear beneath his faded, torn denim pants, and two sweaters under the ancient, tattered, and stained Navy pea coat.
Long, tangled hair, white as the snow still on the mountains around Tahoe, shot out from his stocking cap, random stalks of alabaster wheat waving in the breeze.
Sad, brown eyes stared down at his worn trainers, the left one completely bereft of shoelaces, as they shuffled one after the other across the sidewalk’s concrete and cracks.
The voices muttered in his ears, and in the dankness of his squirming gray matter, a restless beast always striving to escape the prison of his skull.
Photo credit: saurabhbot09bot
“Just because they we lost contact with him doesn’t mean the worst, Amalia.” Nicholas Bishop nearly reached over to touch her hand, but instead, let it join his other one, cradling his coffee cup. He followed the younger woman’s gaze out the coffee shop window. Traffic was heavy, even this early in the morning. Las Vegas Boulevard was clogged with motorized humanity, trying to get to offices and schools before the August heat overwhelmed their air conditioners.
“You know Matt would have found a way to get through to us.” Her voice was husky, which Nicholas found sensual, but it was because she’d been up all night crying. He supposed the two of them might have gotten married someday, except his work as a climatologist kept him away from home for weeks or months at a time.
Found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – No image credit available
Patrick Figeroa knew he had to get back inside the quarantine area and shut down the experiment within the next hour or it would become unstoppable. General Conrad Buchanan and his so-called “military experts” thought that just cutting power to the transfer unit would close the rift, and although the field remained active, they believed it was a residual effect that would gradually fade.
They were spectacularly wrong.
At thirty-five, Figeroa was considered the world’s foremost expert on transdimensional dynamics, but he had been certified a genius since age three, so such accolades meant nothing to him.
The remote testing ground in central Nevada seemed even more alien to him as he approached ground zero. It had been child’s play to shut down a sector of the defense grid in one sector surrounding area LI, including sonic, visual, and infrared sensors, so he could get inside. It was just after eight, and desert mornings in November were particularly unforgiving. Fortunately, he was well dressed for the freezing weather, but although he was prepared for what he had to do in every other way, the landscape, and especially the birds sailing above in the overcast sky puzzled him.
Collage – no image credit given
“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.” -Azar Nafisi
“You said that to me right before I moved away.” Alex remembered looking into sixteen-year-old Victoria’s pale blue eyes as they teared up just moments before he left her.
“Is it happening? Are you changing?”
“A little, but then it’s hard to notice because nothing’s the same as back home. What about you? Are you any different?”
“Have you changed your hair?”
“Nope. Still pink pigtails still bunched up in groups. I am wearing big, spiral earrings now instead of tiny pink shells.”
“But I liked those shells, particularly the blood-red arrows painted on each one. They went so well with the blue flowers woven in your hair.”
© Anurag Bakhshi
Jeremiah Pierce negotiated the curves on Highway One just past Stinson Beach toward San Francisco, and the first leg of his journey to end the ridiculous mess he’d been hired to clear up. He’d been called many things over the years including the human lie detector and the truthsayer, but his gift, based both on psionics and his ability to see neural activity in the brain, certified him as the only person to always know if someone was lying.
A middle-aged woman said she had been sexually assaulted as a teen by a boy who now was being considered as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He denied it, and the Me Too supporters automatically believed her, regardless of the presence or absence of actual evidence.
In a few hours, he would be at the Federal Building where she was scheduled to be interviewed by FBI agents, but only because of the death threats against her. After he had spoken to her, Jeremiah would fly to Washington D.C. and hear what the Judge in question had to say. Then, he would know. Then the world would know for sure. No more nonsense based on rampant emotions and political interests.
I wrote this in response to two online writing prompts. The first is Sunday Photo Fiction where writers are challenged to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.
The second is Sunday Writing Prompt hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The suggestion here is to craft a poem, short story, or some other creative piece based on the following:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…
-from “If” by Rudyard Kipling
The poem fragment reminded me both of News and Social Media and the Kavanaugh hearings, which I’m sure everyone knows about in great detail. I decided to give in to a bit of fantasy and create a character who can always clear up these “he said, she said” debates to an absolute certainty rather than responding with rampant emotionalism or political jockeying for position.
To read more stories based on the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt, visit InLinkz.com. To read other stories based on the Kipling piece, go Here.
Rorschach test card – no image credit available
Victor sighed in relief as he put on his face and looked in the mirror. Tucking it into the collar of his black turtleneck, he donned the dark brown fedora to complete the transformation. Dark brown trench coat, gray slacks, brown kid gloves, and Victor Montoya no longer existed. There was only his real identity and his real face. Rorschach opened the hidden door that led to the stairwell. Descending, he got to the tunnel and then exited the abandoned power substation to walk the night again.
He’s out there. I’ve been hunting him for weeks now. The fifth little girl disappeared just days ago. With any luck, I might find her still alive, not that luck and I have ever had much of a relationship.
His name is Reggie Manx. Yeah, like the cat, except I think of Manx more like a rat, one who should have stayed in the sewers instead of preying on children.
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.”
Surprisingly, they were sexually compatible, so Aekh could teach him the forty-one forms of the Shin Ratda, as well as his native planet’s Kama Sutra and Ars Amatoria. She stood fully one meter taller than Quinn, and he marvelled that her elongated limbs and torso could hold her upright. Of course, at the moment, they were both prone, with her arms and legs encircling him like ivory pythons.
Within his thoughts, he called her “the Albino,” but all Uok’ahr were chalk-white and completely hairless. The iris of her eyes were a faint pink, except when she was angry or climaxing when they turned blood-red. Her body temperature was slightly higher than his, so when he entered her or even touched her skin, he momentarily thought he was going to be burned.
She spoke standard Castailian with just a faint accent, but he could never quite place it. No one off of her homeworld could speak the Uok’ahr language or languages, but then, no offworlder had been permitted to enter their solar system for several centuries. The last who tried, Birooli pirates, had vanished in a brilliant flare of incandescent light as their ships passed the system’s first warning marker. The type of weapon used was unknown.
“My Kikroot.” It has her term of endearment for Quinn. It meant something like “little one” but could also be translated as “student” or “child.”
Image of Sea angel (clade Gymnosomata) – found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – no photo credit given
“You weren’t kidding, Somata. An actual sea water pool.” Gary had been dating the beautiful model for weeks, but this was the first time she’d invited him over to her place by the beach.
“It helps to live so near the ocean. You can’t see the machinery, but the pool’s water is constantly being recycled from just off shore.”
“This thing must have cost a fortune. In fact, your whole house is amazing.”
“Don’t bother asking how I can afford it all. I invited you over for a swim, not to discuss my bank balance.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend. I’m just overwhelmed. I mean, I’m only a junior accountant and this is like a dream come true.”
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write.
Image credit: Drake Dunaway – the Jewish Paul
He closed his Bible at the end of 2 Thessalonians 3:17 and pondered. Did Paul know that his letters, those that survived to be canonized anyway, would become binding instructions for all Christianity nearly two-thousand years into the future? Could his letters really be compared to the writing of the Prophets in the Old Testament, and especially the words of Jesus in the Gospels?
“It’s in the Bible and Pastor says that’s good enough, but is it really? It’s not like Jesus was dictating the letters to Paul. There are some parts of the epistles he said were his own judgment and not of the Spirit.”
He knew both the Jews and the Church believed Paul invented a new religion called Christianity that totally broke from everything that had been written in the first two-thirds of the Bible. If God wanted to write a “love letter” to humanity, why was it a letter that’s so hard to understand, and with so many contradictions?
If God wrote a “love letter” like so many mushy, feely people at his church keep telling him, why were there so many different interpretations?
“I know. Pastor said it was because of sin, but all of the questions I ask him, he has pat, one word or one sentence answers to. Isn’t God more complicated than that?”