copyright Jan Marler Morrill
That’s been my nickname for six months now. Hey, I’m just a fruit seller, making a living. Maybe even a profit.
“Morning,” I say to the first alien. Twenty are lined up behind him. He slings his rifle, holds up twelve fingers, and I bag up a dozen oranges in exchange for a glowing cube which I guess is money. I’ve got 518 so far.
Later when the aliens all die, scientists discover that the Vitamin C was slowly poisoning them. Suddenly I’m a hero.
The government is really curious about those glowing cubes.
Now the real profit comes.
My apologies to everyone who has been wondering where I have disappeared to. I’m around but I have been quite busy and fairly exhausted. You know I’m behind on things when I post a Friday Fictioneers story on Friday. 🙂
Snow Angels in Hawaii
Keck had just found proof of life. I had, really. Soon I would be famous.
I lay in the snow outside, gazing up at the universe.
I don’t have a tie.
I sweat too much.
Talk shows. Ugh.
I looked up into Everything and almost cried. This wasn’t our universe anymore. We were younger brother now to a superior race. The vast parsecs where I had roamed for my career weren’t the frontier; they were someone else’s backyard.
I moved my arms back and forth, melancholy in my triumph, feeling as out of place as a snow angel in Hawaii.
*Keck Observatory is on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
I realize this is two letters home from children in a week, but they’re very different and apparently this is how my mind is thinking at the moment.
copyright Joe Owens
Dear Mum and Dad,
Greetings from the land of inter-dimensional hospitality! Well, my first week at the Nexus Hotel is over. It didn’t drive me insane but there were several points where I wished I’d never been born. Sorry Mum, you did your best and all.
It’s pretty brutal out here. I had a party of Neanderthals stumble in from some primitive dimension and demand the first floor suites. No credit card, of course, but I got half a gazelle as payment. They trashed the rooms and set fire to two of the beds. They also massacred half a Venusian furry convention that was meeting on the third floor. I comped the survivors their rooms. Hope that’s okay.
On Wednesday, we had a couple dark specters arrive. Didn’t pay, of course, just loitered around haunting the place. I got them exorcised finally. It’s fine now.
Some sort of space princess came two days ago. That’s when things started looking up. She’s pretty. I let her have the top two floors indefinitely. I’m redecorating for her, turning it into a castle.
Don’t worry about the hotel, I’m handling everything.
Winky’s father put down the letter. “Maybe I should go help him out. Just for a few days.”
“You’re retired,” his wife said. “You promised.”
Her husband noticed the way she was fingering her knife. “Right, right. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Beating Swords into Saxophones
The Earth was snoozing peacefully—the sunny Sunday afternoon of history—when the aliens came to prod through what remained of human civilization, oohing and ahhing in incomprehension over our ruined cities and quaintly antique technology.
They found our weapon caches delightful. The casing of a Minuteman made a pleasant booming when hit with the butt of an M-16 and .50 bullets strung up on trip wire cable laughed and sang as they tinkled together in the wind.
Then one poked at a landmine, with explosive results. “Save that for the concert,” the leader said. “That’ll be the grand finale.”
Hi everyone, did you think I would miss Friday Fictioneers this week? I’m over 24 hours late from when I usually post this, but I wasn’t feeling inspired. The problem with doing these every week for so long is that I don’t want to write just any story and if I don’t get an idea I really like, I just keeping thinking and thinking. I don’t know if this is exactly a good story, but it’s unapologetically bizarre, and that’s okay in my books.
copyright Erin Leary
Foggy Bottom Brain Surgery
Dr. Singh was sweating like . . . there was no better analogy than what he was at that moment: a doctor performing brain surgery on the king of the Bhligli, whose cognitive organ was in their buttocks. The Blighli never thought sitting down.
The tumor was an active thing, dodging the scalpel and hiding in the forest of alien ganglia.
“More suction, the whole thing is filling up with fog.”
Slurp. A greenish appendage disappeared up the vacuum tube. The nurse cringed under his wrathful look. “Do you think that was important?”
“For the sake of the human race, I hope not.”
copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy
The Birth of History
Hector’s breath hissed through the ventilator and he surveyed the delivery room through the windows of his mask. All outside sounds were muffled, including the wail of his newborn son, lying in its mother’s arms.
“The doctor says all is well,” she said. “He can breathe normally.”
Hector nodded. “I wish I could touch him.”
“At home. The atmosphere is optimized for all three of us there.”
“Do you think he will be alright?”
His wife took his gloved hand. “He will be celebrated. The first offspring between a Terran and a Venusian is a cause for joy, not shame.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the Bible, the most famous Lazarus was a man who died and whom Jesus brought back to life. However, there is also another Lazarus in the Bible. This story takes its title from both of them, although somewhat indirectly.
This is a story for Al Forbes’ Sunday Photo Fiction.
Thief! Mutt! Cur!
These were the only names the dog had ever been called. Born to a mongrel mother in a nest of refuse, he was filthy an hour out of the womb and stayed that way his whole life.
But he was a survivor. He quickly learned where to find the best garbage and how to get into small, warm places to survive the Russian winters. One night, he wormed his way under the chain link fence of a large lab and through a door left ajar, where light and delicious smells were waiting for him.
“Ah! A stray!” Something shiny and round whistled through the air, the last thing the dog ever saw.
* * *
“Are you crazy? That mechanism costs more than your house!”
“It’s fine. See? No damage.” The scientist wiped the dog’s blood off the metal circle, then fitted it into the deep-space probe.
Years later, after billions of miles in the icy void of space, the probe was picked up, scanned, and the residual DNA aboard coaxed into life, tail wagging, bright eyes gleaming. The new species Dog lives there in peace and luxury, the countless millions of copies pampered like the original never was.