The Last Exploit of the Escapist

re-entry

Progress spacecraft re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere in a blazing trail of plasma, as seen from the International Space Station – © NASA

The Escapist initiated the landing sequence as the ship began its rapid descent into the stratosphere, his neurochemical link to the spacecraft’s control systems making this nearly reflexive.

“Welcome to my world, Jack. Glad you could join the party.”

The voice of the Beast crackled in his audio receptors sounding as if he were a game-show host speaking offscreen; his tone exuding an untoward friendliness and familiarity.

“I have the Amaryllis with me.”

“The actual item? I’m impressed. Whole armies have been slain, eviscerated by the Negative whose sole task was to guard it unto eternity.”

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The Highjump Mystery

U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5

A U.S. Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner in flight – Public Domain

December 30, 1946 – Antarctica

“George 1 calling Little America base, come in Little America, over.”

The radio receiver aboard the US Navy Martin PBM-5 Mariner flying somewhere near Thurston Island emitted harsh static but no message of hope.

“Nothing doing, Lieutenant.” Radioman James Robbins turned to Bill Kearns, the aircraft’s co-pilot. I can’t raise anyone. It’s like there’s no one out there.”

“And I can’t see anything through this blizzard. Can you figure out our heading, Skipper?” The expression on Kearns’ face was one of bewilderment.

“Magnetic and radio compasses are useless.” Captain Ted Burns gripped the aircraft’s yoke as if some force were trying to tear it out of his hands. “There’s some sort of interference, but we’re not close enough to the magnetic pole for that to be the cause.”

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Scourge of the South China Sea

Ching Shih

YouTube/Wikimedia Commons/ATI Composite – Ching Shih

Sixteen-year-old Robin Burgess approached the waves on the shore a private island off Macau, the beach more pristine than even those of the big island of Hawaii. She moved with an exaggerated swagger, rather than a sensual movement to her hips. Her lithe cocoa skin was barely attired in her cream-colored bikini, though no man or boy was present to witness. On this summer vacation, she meant to conquer the sea, not merely swim in it, as she clutched her fins in one hand, and her mask and snorkel in the other.

Upon donning her undersea accessories, she plunged into the surf, finally achieving propinquity with shell and finned fish alike. One of her companions was a small Tiger Shark, but it seemed more curious than threatening.

Off shore some minutes later, she surfaced to investigate the appearance of a Chinese Junk, the name Nene emblazoned on her bow accompanied by a painting of a gray-brown goose.

“The legends are true and she’s here right on time.”

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Gerald, Chelsea, and Me

hipster

Found at pexels.com

Gerald was a “thirtysomething” hipster who tended toward being impulsive, and spoke in murmurous sentences heavily lasted with words victimized by elision. Passing him on the street, I would have considered him one of those nameless citizens of gentrified neighborhoods, but since he was dating my stepdaughter Chelsea, I was forced to give him more than a passing glance.

She considered him creative, though when I finally met him, it was quite a letdown to discover the impoverished nature of his spirit and character, plus Chelsea had to decrypt virtually every word he spoke.

After our first dinner together at the quaint Asian Fusion restaurant on Bryant and 25th, he mentioned something about an indie film he was editing, and with more than a little stealth, vanished as I paid the bill.

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Kiesha’s Grand Adventure

airship

From the 1986 animated film “Laputa: Castle in the Sky”.

Grandpa’s rathole, or what he called his “lab,” was full of devices in a state of desuetude. But the journal that arrived by messenger just five days after the old man’s body had been delivered to the crematorium told Kiesha an entirely different story.

The stench she had anticipated wasn’t so bad as she steered her way through the haphazard arrangements of arcane machinery. They were all in a state of becoming, but only one had been completed and was ready for use.

Her Dad told her never to visit here, and that the old man was involved in debauchery, his insipid character being capable of nothing else. A month ago, she would have listened.

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The Downfall of Eva

succubus

Depiction of a succubus – found at Ask Mystic Investigations

The Sensualization of Eva was said to be from a Hellish source, her virtue up until that time being considered above reproach. But he was charming to the extreme, if insincere, resulting in that faraway look in her eyes, she being unable to resist his allure.

She had come to the convent a charity case, and Sister Margaretta quipped that the poor child seemed all jangled up by abandonment, poverty, and living on the streets. Eva stayed and took her vows, though a debilitating flip in her personality and intentions had recently resulted in her breaking every one.

Finally, she erupted in a sinful and scandalous rage and walked out, a radical among the obedient, the monastic, and the celebate.

In the months and years to come, Eva would be accused of being a succubus, luring proud and virtuous men to their downfall, but she was only a woman, albeit one trained by Asmodius, the archetypal incubus. But was it truly him, disguised as a Priest, who caused the downfall of Eva within the confines of the convent? Or was it being sold by her mother into slavery at three, murdering her abusive master and “husband” as he slept at five, and then living for the next six years on the streets, surviving as a prostitute and thief? Sometimes, your past never truly leaves you, it only waits.

I wrote this for Wordle #192 hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use at least 10 of the 12 words below (which can include variations) in a poem, short story, or other creative work. I used all 12:

  1. Flip
  2. Insincere
  3. Erupt
  4. Sensualization ((n.) to render sensual)
  5. Hellish
  6. Faraway
  7. Resist
  8. Radical
  9. Jangled Up- Generally refers to the state of being both upset and confused, but can be used for either one of them alone
  10. Charity Case
  11. Debilitating
  12. Archetype

Yes, my tale is dark. That’s just the direction the words took me.

Eva’s story continues in Whatever Happened to Eva?

The Pit Fiend Promise

lady in black

Lady in Black

The lady in the black satin dress walked into the bar because of the Pit Fiend Promise she had made. Except for the cocktail waitresses, she was the only woman in the place, and the men all turned to watch her walk in. Some obviously thought she had incredible assets both below the hemline and the neckline, but the vision of others was probably too blurry to make out the details.

“What’s your order, lady?” The barman was past middle-aged, weighed over 300 pounds, and looked like whatever dreams he may have once cherished had since sailed away from him over the horizon.

“Scotch, neat.”

He turned to get a clean glass and reached for a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

“Say, Baby. Can I buy you a drink?”

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The Kaala Experiment

mosasaurus

A mosasaurus as seen in the 2015 film “Jurassic World”.

“Oh, crap.”

“What is it, Lynn?” At the helm of the Research Submarine Nereid, Marcus Clark scanned the immediate vicinity through the view port while everyone else in the cabin looked toward the navigator.

“It’s not the Megalodon we encountered yesterday. Not much bigger, but it reads differently.”

“Something even more minatory?”

“Cut with the erudite crap, Dr. Everett. That prehistoric shark was bad news enough.” Former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Leon Spencer hated being penned inside this tin can underneath hundreds of meters of ocean where his skills meant nothing.

“It’s unthinkable that your experiment should have gotten this far.”

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Koi no Yokan

man on beach

Man on a beach – free stock photo

The sky was a brilliant cyan when she first saw him on the beach. He was staring out at the ocean as if witnessing a tragedy and in spite of her vow of utter celibacy, she experienced an overwhelming sense of Koi no Yokan. Whispering a curse and then immediately regretting it, Merilyn continued her run across the shoreline leaving the solitary young man behind.

The hostel was serving thin Miso soup and fish again that evening when he walked in. Merilyn tried not to roll her eyes as Donn, at the head of the table, was again vaunting about his prowess with the Shinai and how he was sure to win the Kendo games which would begin the next week. They heard a noise at the door and she recognized the man from the beach standing at the threshold. Tradition demanded that even an ego as big as Donn’s cease pontificating so they could greet the visitor.

They each in turn stood and bowed to the stranger, introducing themselves and welcoming him to the competitor’s hostel. He bowed in return in a gradual manner which she would learn was his way in social settings, though most certainly not during battle.

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Test Flight

spacecraft

Image found at Vector News

Cory was conducting another sweep of the void in search of any contacts in the area of space where what Krista called “the indiscriminate drive” deposited the ship.

“Nothing, Captain. No coalescent bodies of any kind. I’m only reading dust and hydrogen gas. Impossible to tell our location in relation to the Solar System without a frame of reference.”

“That’s fine, Mr. McKenzie. Continue scans until further notice.”

“Aye, Captain.”

Captain Forest Quinn volunteered to command the experimental jump drive vessel Kingfisher, Elon Musk III’s brain child. In theory, a ship equipped with the Tesla drive could instantaneously jump from one point in space to another using a virtual point-to-point link through subspace. All of the unmanned probes including a quarter-sized model of the Kingfisher jumped to specific coordinates between fifty and three-hundred light years from Earth and returned safely by virtue of their AI guidance systems.

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