The Maker’s Daughter

catwoman

Image of Selina Kyle/Catwoman (voiced by Adrienne Barbeau) from the 1992 Batman the Animated Series episode “Tyger, Tyger.”

The solitary Leonine was lying, concealed in the tall grass near an acacia tree watching what she assumed was a frumpy, blinkered woman crossing the broad savanna as she carried her basket. She didn’t so much walk as bounce, as if she were treading upon a sponge or the vast skin of some overly ripe fruit. Her costume reminded the female adaptoid of those worn by puritans, except her robe was a bright crimson, while he coif, shift, and apron were canvas white. With her large handbag, the amused humanoid lioness thought she looked like “little red riding hood meets “a handmaid’s tale.”

Her pale, compact body approached a coppice, which apparently was her destination. Leonine didn’t have to restrain herself, having recently dined on a gazelle, but she was curious, so she rose and silently circled around the open grasslands, padding through the trees, and finally approaching her target from the right. Too late did she realize her mistake as the woman, now appearing much younger than she had thought, turned her head, removed her ancient spectacles, and gazed directly into her feline eyes.

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Transformation by Vision

“I would never write about someone who is not at the end of his rope.”

-Stanley Elkin

Image: sciencealert.com

Image: sciencealert.com

His traveling companions gently deposited the Pharisee at the edge of a sleeping mat in a small, rented room just off of Straight street in Damascus. This wasn’t how they’d imagined entering the city, nor was Sha’ul the man with whom they had traveled from Jerusalem. Only hours ago, he was a fiery zealot (though not literally associated with the Zealots), breathing murderous threats against the disciples of a Rav named Yeshua, who had died and supposedly been resurrected, vowing their imprisonment or destruction for (supposedly) speaking against the Temple and the Torah.

Sha’ul’s once penetrating gaze had dimmed, and wide-open but unseeing eyes had become dulled in the aftermath of the blazing light that bathed their party on the road approaching this city, and a voice only Sha’ul could clearly hear had spoken to him of things astounding and forbidden.

“We will take our leave of you now, my Master,” Simeon nearly whispered to the once vital but now strangely shrunken, frail Pharisee. “We need to secure our own rooms.” Sha’ul seemed deaf as well as blind for he did not respond. “We’ll bring back food.”

Without turning toward the speaking man, Sha’ul faintly nodded his assent as if he could still see the unknown vision from the road. Simeon and his two cohorts quickly escaped the oppressive presence of the now sightless and helpless minister of justice against the religious sect they’d learned was called “The Way.” Their once proud mission was reduced to ashes.

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The Alien

ellie

The first issue of Scaffolding Magazine

Not another infection. I can’t stand it.

I know I asked for this. I know I volunteered. But the doctors didn’t say it would be this bad. I knew I’d be giving up my life with the first injection, but they didn’t say anything about this kind of suffering.

Even when the symptoms seem to have subsided for a while, the slightest warning sign, such as a sneeze or a mild sore throat, drives my anxiety to dangerous levels.

The doctors say I need to stay calm, that emotional aggravation could make me feel even worse and endanger the success of my treatment. How can I stay calm when they’re doing this to me?

OK, I understand. Take deep breaths. What an odd sensation.

Let me go back to the beginning. Maybe it will help you, whoever you are reading this (they won’t let me post videos for obvious reasons), understand what I’m going through and why.

We are on the verge of exploring and investigating a new planet. The planet is dominated by a sentient species, which is the problem. So far, all of our monitoring has been passive and remote, listening to their communications broadcasts, observing video transmissions. Last year (their year based on a single, complete revolution of their planet around their star), we sent a shielded drone into orbit, undetectable through the specific bands of the EM spectrum they typically monitor.

But you can only learn so much that way.

This is the first part of my story published in the first issue of the new scifi and fantasy publication Scaffolding Magazine. To read the rest, click the link and purchase a copy. I promise, you won’t be sorry.