Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/27

“Well.” I stood in my bulky environmental suit. “They do say different strokes for different folks.”

I thought the five Bungees I was with were going to fall over from laughter. So, I pointed to the strangest looking structure I’d ever seen, and asked, “What the heck is that?”

The little Google translator in my ear went nuts trying to translate what I’d said into their language, and then spoke lots of gibberish trying to translate what my Bungee friends had said in response. Something to the effect of, “That’s one of the apartment complexes we live in.”

Thing was huge. The Bungee people average nine feet tall. The science teams explained it was because of their weaker gravity. “They grow taller because they can. Given enough generations, we’d grow taller here too.”

Nine feet tall. So the floors would have been maybe twelve feet. And there were twenty floors in each leg of the structure. Over forty stories tall. “What’s that part that sticks out?”

After more gibberish, I pieced together it was something like a gymnasium, and shopping center, and an architectural balancing act. “Without them, the whole thing would fall down.”

As we approached the complex, we chatted. The Bungee loved to talk. They never really stopped. “You guys know, right?” I had to make sure they knew, “About the Kosmaj Monument in Serbia, on our world, right?”

Again, they all laughed so hard I thought they’d fall over. And the gibberish translated to roughly, “Oh, yes. It’s a bad imitation.”

“Imitation?”

“Yes. We sent the architectural team pictures of one of these. We served as their inspiration.” Which I thought rather nicely explained why the Serbs had made such a wacky monument.

We chatted as we walked between each of the five sections of the complex. “I sometimes wonder, how long have you guys been visiting Earth?”

“Oh, for tens of thousands of your years,” the one to my left answered.

“That long?”

“Oh, yes. We have watched your people grow,” the one to my right answered.

“Watched us?”

The one behind me answered, “We’ve explained it all to your scientists.”

The one to the front left of me giggled, “They said, ‘You mean, it’s true? All the stories about aliens?’.”

The one to the front right of me grinned, “Yes, it’s all true.”

Then they told me the story of how they tried to keep others from interfering in our natural evolutionary path. “It is not good to interfere with the natural progression.”

Talking with the Bungee was an experience in confusion, as they took turns speaking, always in the same order, with each of them saying one sentence. We spoke about the history of their watching Earth. Of different races that went to Earth, and deliberately acted to accelerate our development. “That acceleration is what caused the wars, and the lopsided economies, and the rich and poor problem.”

As we walked among the parts of the complex I finally realized, there were five Bungee in each group I had encountered in my time on their world. And there were five separate parts of the complex.

“Guys. Why five parts?”

They looked at each other. They nodded at each other. All five smiled at the same time. And they spoke, one at a time, in the same order as always, “Because each of us has five parts.”

“It’s why we watched your people develop. You are the only people we’ve ever encountered that exist in only one part.”

I stopped walking, “Wait. Wait. Guys. You mean, there’s not five of you? There’s only one of you?”

They all five nodded. “Yes. We are five parts.”

“We never get lonely.”

“We have always been fascinated by your people.”

“Because. All your parts are independent. You only have one part.”

As they guided me through the complex, I had to make one comment. “So. Perhaps this explains why we all live in boxes.”

I was actually kind of fun to hear the Bungee laugh. Especially knowing that all five of them were one Bungee. “Y’all are going to take some getting used to.”

“Indeed, Earthling. Indeed.”

“I can’t wait until you meet the Swarm.”

“They each have millions of parts.”

I couldn’t imagine that. One being. With millions of parts.

This exploring the galaxy thing was going to be rather interesting. I wondered how the science team would react to what Bungees really were.

Remember, people. The universe is weird. Much weirder than you can imagine. “I don’t think we’re ready to meet the Swarm.”

The Bungee spoke once more. “They will show themselves when they think you are ready.” It paused. “And no one is ever ready to meet them.”

784 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 43 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. This week, I managed to beat the deadline. Barely. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

 

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Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/21

Alaesa walked the ice each day, though it brought tears to her eyes. Silverbow walked beside her. It was what he did, cared for her. Through everything. Through the ages of mankind. Century after endless century.

His heart ached to see her cry, though he knew there was nothing to be done. The humans had become such a cold people. Such an uncaring people.

“Perhaps,” he let the back of his hand brush hers, “they will someday learn.”

Alaesa paused in her walk on the ice, and slowly shook her head. “Some of them, perhaps. But as a whole. They are doomed.”

Silverbow watched the crystal tear fall from her eye as it drew a line down her cheek. He did not cry. Not when she needed him to carry her. Not when she needed him to care for her.

“They have doomed themselves.” She stared at her feet, on the ice. “So, I walk the lake. To find what hearts I can. To set them free.”

He said nothing. There was nothing to say. There was only the walk with her. On the ice. Searching for the frozen hearts of the lost. Those who cared, who felt, who cried, until the human world crushed them, wounded them, and cast them aside, so they wound up here.

Frozen.

In the lake.

“If you find them, we will care for them.” He tried to smile, for her. He knew he failed. But she smiled at him anyway.

“Would that we didn’t have to, my love.” She grasped his hand, and her smile reminded him once more, he could bear anything, carry any weight, with her by his side.

Together, they walked the lake. Alaesa always studying the ice, searching for a glint of something Silverbow knew he could never see. “Sometimes, I wonder if your gift from life is a burden, or a blessing.”

Alaesa laughed, music to his ears. “Aren’t all blessings burdens, my love?” She knew it was true. Their people knew it from eons of existence, eons of growth, and learning.

“Indeed…” He said nothing more.

They walked, patiently, back and forth, along the frozen surface, while she searched. The sun rose to its zenith, then settled to the horizon. As it touched the tree line, Alaesa stopped, and pointed, “There!”

She lead him to a blank, frozen space on the ice, no more than one hundred steps from the shore. Though she knew no words were needed, she spoke them anyway, “Stand beside me, please. To keep me warm. So my own heart does not freeze.”

As she knelt on the ice, Silverbow placed his hands on her shoulders, and willed every ounce of warmth from his heart, his soul, to her own. She placed her hands on the ice, and began to cry from the cold as it bit into her hands, and then into her arms.

The ice melted. Slowly at first, then rapidly, a pool of liquid water formed on the lake. Silverbow felt the cold flowing from Alaesa. He willed himself to be warmer. To fight the cold with the warmth of his life, the strength of his heart, the love he felt for her.

It was enough. It was always enough.He watched as a glint of red appeared in the ice at the bottom of the water. He held her shoulders, and poured his heat into her, as she reached through the water, to the ice, and began to melt the red glint free.

The coldest winter he had ever known as nothing compared to this. The deepest snow, the fiercest wind. All paled next to this cold. The cold of a frozen world. A people who had lost their way. Whose hearts had turned colder than any ice, and harder than any stone.

That’s what Alaesa thawed. That’s what she melted. To reach one glint of red. Freed from the ice, it floated to the surface of the water. There, she reached for it, lifted it, freed it from the cold.

The heart and soul of a human. One who could not live in their world any more. She held it to her own heart, to warm it, thaw it, let it know it was safe, and could feel, and breathe, and care once more.

Silverbow helped her stand, and together they walked from the lake, to Sherarta, their home. Where the freed human would join others of his kind. Where the elves would heal the wounds of another once again. Where perhaps, someday. The remnants of the human race would be able to return to their home, with all they had learned, and start their world anew.

It was Alaesa’s hope. Her dream.

This Silverbow knew. As he knew he would do all he could to help her dream come true.

801 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 42 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. If not for a killer headache, I would have written this last night, and not been a day late. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Never felt the need to write a second entry before. But this week, with that picture, I had more than one story to set free. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Cupid Was Pissed Off

“Ah. February 14th.” I stretched. “It’s time.” I’d planned this all year. Carefully put together the correct apparel, all in black, with metal studs, and chains. Had the feathers on my wings died black too. The same black as the night sky. The same for my hair.

Everyone thought I was nuts, but I knew what I was doing.

I’d purchased a new bow. Not a cheery, red one, or one that showed off the grain and color of the wood it was made from. Instead, I went with a black, carbon fiber composite. With arrows that had fiber composite shafts, and gleaming, titanium coated, stainless steel tips, with barbs. The barbs were cast at angles from the arrow heads, so they would stick in better, and cause way more damage to remove.

“Just a few hours, and it will be dark enough to start.” I’d start in Australia, where the sun set first on Valentine’s Day. “Don’t worry, ladies. I have heard your cries.” I smiled at myself in the mirror. It was long past time someone did what I was about to do. Long past time someone corrected the behavior of certain human men.

I looked back at my friends list on the human social network, “Facebook”. I knew their names so well. Every name. Every story. Stories of betrayal. After ten years, fifteen years, twenty years of marriage. Where he didn’t even ask to leave, and never mentioned anything was missing or wrong. Where he went out, and found a new model. Like he was buying a car, and trading the old model in.

Stories of abuse. Where he screamed at her. Told her how useless she was. Always set her up for failure in everything. Told everyone how she was good for nothing. What amazed me was how few times he physically assaulted her. Assault made the abuse obvious. It wasn’t like the emotional, and psychological abuse, which was hidden from the eye. You couldn’t see a broken, bleeding spirit. You couldn’t see the tears a soul cried.

I carefully loaded my black leather quiver with my deadly arrows. “It’s going to be a fun night indeed.”

Oh, the number of times I’d read that one story. From so many different women, of so many different ages. “He owns a gun, you know. And sometimes, I wonder. Would he use it? Is it worth finding out?” So, they let him do whatever he wanted. And they did whatever he wanted. It was always non-consensual. Always forced. Always done to stay alive. To be safe.

It had taken a few years for me to wake up, to understand what was happening. To see the never ending fear, and abuse, so many human women lived with daily. But, once I understood, I found I had no choice.

“But! Cupids are supposed to spread love! We shoot people with love arrows, that don’t really hurt them. And make them fall in love. And have glorious times, and glorious memories.”

Yeah. Right. Memories that too often ended in broken lives, and shattered souls, who could never really be whole again. Who would always wear the scars others put on them. Who would always have those fears, and the never ending dreams, the never ending nightmares, of what had happened. And of it maybe, one day, happening again.

“Spread love, my ass…”

I waited for the sun to set. That was when I’d commence spreading a little of my own love. There were going to be a lot of smug, arrogant, abusive men who visited hospital emergency rooms on that Valentine’s Day.

I’d guarantee that. Hell. I’d shoot them all year after year. Until they either died out, or they learned.

“Whatever it takes, right? Whatever it takes.”

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/11 (A Second Entry)

November stood, half naked, in the pentagram inside the circle on her apartment floor. “Judgement day.” That’s what she called it. The day she set old fashioned, biblical demons free, so they could, and hopefully would, destroy the world of humans. Her world.

A world of money. Of power. Of greed. A world where no one believed in peace, and cooperation, and working with each other. Where it was always, “I’m gonna be the best!” No matter who you had to step on. A world where no matter what you did, you were always forgiven on Sunday, when you went to church.

She took the knife, and drew its blade across her wrist, as she thought the words she’d learned over so many years. Words in a language long lost to civilized people. A language from before the days of one God.

“One God my ass,” she thought again, “If there’s only one, how come all the religions that worship that one God are at war with each other? How come they hate each other’s guts?”

She remembered the headlines of the past few days. “73 Dead and over 400 Injured in Mass Shooting in Des Moines.” Iowa, of all places. “Temperatures Set New Record Highs,” For the 20th straight year. “Robots in Saudi Arabia Failing From The Heat, Oil Prices Going Up Again!”

“It never ends. Men, and money. That’s all that matters. Men and money.” She had watched her best friend, Josie, waste away in her apartment. Neither of them had the money for the medicine that would have kept her alive. They hadn’t been able to raise enough on the crowdfunding sites either. Josie slowly died. It started as the flu, and grew from there. Until she coughed up blood. And more blood. And her lungs slowly filled with that blood. And she died.

Because. Medicine was for real people. People who had jobs. People who contributed to society. Not freeloaders. Not lazy, good-for-nothing people. Didn’t matter that Josie worked 39 hours a week at the office, until she fell over, and blood leaked from her mouth onto her desk. And they sent her home. With a pink slip. She’d been part time. It was a “right to work” place. They could fire her for no reason. And they did.

And with no insurance, the prescriptions ate up all the money. All of it.

November still cried when she thought of Josie. “I’ll see you soon, love. I’ll see you soon.”

She watched her blood drip onto the brooch on her necklace. Her thoughts kept echoing the words she’d learned. Their plea to the gods of old to return, and save Mother Earth, Gaia, from humankind, and it’s never ending destruction. To burn the water, and the sky, with cleansing fire. To melt the ground, and watch it sink into the oceans, so new ground could be made. New, clean ground, unspoiled by humankind.

She remembered the time her father. Yes, her father, had come into her room one night. She was just a girl. Just twelve. How her father forced himself on her. Shoved himself between her legs. How that was just the start of years of hell, as she tried to find a way, any way, to escape him. Until she finally started walking one day. And kept walking. So he couldn’t find her.

She remembered her nights on the street. Cold. Hungry. And the men. God, the men. “Come here, little girl. I’ll keep you warm.” How she’d thought of fighting them. Of telling them no. Of running away. Until she saw the two naked girls, hanging from a street light. “This is what we do to those who fight back.” That’s what they told her. That’s what they said.

So, there she was, calling forth the old gods. They’d kill her, of course. She knew that. She was human, after all. But it didn’t matter. She’d be free from the world of men. A world that killed everything.

As she finished the words in her mind, and her blood dripped on the brooch, the brooch began to glow. She moved it behind her back. Pressed it to her skin. It burned. But it worked. The room began to fill with water. The door to her apartment burned to dust, the frame caught fire. And beyond, the darkness, filled with black clouds, was growing.

“May there be peace on Gaia once again. After the stain of humanity has been burned away.” That was the last thing she remembered, as the world caught fire, and the sky began to burn.

762 words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 41st week. The picture was so good, I had to write for it a second time. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Never felt the need to write a second entry before. But this week, with that picture, I had more than one story to set free. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/11

Raine peaked out the window, and took one last look at the sunshine. “The trees look lovely today, don’t they?” She laughed at herself. No one was there to ask. Just her. Everything was ready. It was time.

She felt the warmth of the brooch on her necklace, right above her heart, where it should be. Where it had been since she’d found it. A necklace with a golden glow, like a bright candle in a dark room.

The necklace stayed in her apartment. She never wore it in public, in part because the necklace had asked her not to. She knew others would laugh at that. “Necklaces don’t talk.” That’s what they’d say.

And she’d have to respond, “No. But fairies do.”

The fairy, Liliana, had watched over Raine, since that day, years ago. “One day, Raine, it will be time for me to return to my home.”

Raine had asked many Liliana many questions about her home. It was a different world. In a different time, and place. A world of moonlight, elves, fairies, dwarfs, pixies, and humans who had no other home.

Raine fell in love with that world. A world where she didn’t have to put on a business dress each day, and march to work, and spend eight hours answering a phone, and scheduling appointments for the doctor. A world where she didn’t get yelled at when the doctor had to make an emergency run to the hospital to help stitch together a gunshot or stabbing victim, and it inconvenienced a mother who had to be home in time to care for her children. A world where she didn’t cry when the doctor took a pill to deaden the pain of having watched someone’s heart stop beating, and then having to get yelled at by a father whose son had a concussion, and wouldn’t be able to play football on Saturday.

A world where she didn’t have to walk with the other girls, just to go to the restroom, or the grocery store. Where she could eat her fast food lunch at a table without some guy asking her if she’d like company, and calling her a whore if she said no. Where she wouldn’t fall for some guy who took her out, and charmed her, and treated her like a princess until he found a prettier model, and dumped her.

She pulled off her shirt, and bra, and looked at the fairy broach. She heard Liliana so clearly, “It’s almost time.” She pulled off her shoes and stockings, and stood only in her skirt. “Are you ready, Raine?”

Raine nodded.

“Don’t be frightened. It’s just how quantum mechanics work. How entanglement works. When quanta from one place become linked to those in another. Especially if the two places don’t have the same laws of physics.”

Raine did what Liliana had taught her, and moved the broach behind her back. It’s warmth helped calm her. “Raine. Now it starts.”

The world started to go insane. Outside, the sunshine continued. The trees were as beautiful as ever. But inside, the room began to fill with water. Ocean water. From a rock strewn beach. Rain found herself standing in that water. The door to the room vanished, replaced by a night time sky, with a full moon, and dark clouds, and more of the ocean she was in. The door frame appeared to catch fire.

“Take me home, Raine. Please. Take me home.”

Raine stepped through the ocean, through the door frame.

And she was gone.

The room was as it had always been. Her clothes rested neatly in a pile on the floor. The sun still shined.

But Raine was gone, never to be found, never to be seen again, in our world.

@mysoulstears
627 Words.


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 41st week. You can read about her small fiction challenge here. This week, I knew what I wanted to say. Don’t know if I said it, but at least I tried. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/04

Beverly stared at the three stone entrances. “They don’t have doors.”

Kara nodded, “They’re more like lenses, or glasses than doorways.”

“I don’t understand.”

Kara’s laughter was not spiteful, but amused, “I didn’t either, at first.” She walked to the entrances. “It took a long time to figure them out.”

“What are they?”

“Projectors, maybe? I don’t really know.”

Beverly walked to the short one toward the center of the three. “Do they show what’s real? Or is it some kind of trick?” She stepped into the door, and came out on the other side.

“They don’t lead anywhere, Bev. They just show you things.”

“What things?”

“Look around.” Beverley did. She saw the floor of the valley, and the mountains surrounding it. A few scattered trees. An ocean of clouds that blocked most of the light. But they weren’t storm clouds. Gray, and heavy, almost sad, as if not happy with how things were.

“What do you see?”

“The same thing you do.” She waved her arm. “This lost, forgotten place with these silly entrances in the middle of nowhere.”

“Look carefully. Look at the sky, the clouds, the mountains over there. Take a good look. Remember what they look like.” Beverly shrugged, but looked around as Kara had asked.

“Remember what it all looks like. Now. Look through one of them,” Kara pointed at the entrances.

Beverly looked through the center of the three. It was a bright, happy, sunlit day. A few clouds that cast shadows on the ground. “I like that one.” She pointed at the center entrance. “It’s pretty. I like it there.”

Kara clapped, “Do you know where that is?”

“What?”

“Do you know where the image is that you see when you look through that entrance?”

“Someplace I’d rather be.”

“No, no, no. Take a good look. Look at how the lines match the background, outside the entrance. How, when you move side to side, what you see in the entrance changes.”

Beverly took several steps to the side, as she stared through the entrance. She stopped, and shook her head. Then moved several steps to the other side. She noticed. No matter where she moved, what was in that doorway always matched the lines in the background. Always. The same valley floor. The same hills. The same trees, and bushes. Everything was the same.

“That’s weird.”

“The others are the same way. They show the part of the valley you can see through them in completely different ways.” Kara giggled. “They give you three totally different perspectives on this place.”

“What good is that?”

Kara walked to each door. “It’s like people, don’t you see?”

“No. I don’t.”

“It’s how people see the exact same thing. The same events. The same lives. The same problems. And work, and bills, and houses, and cars, and flowers, and everything else.”

“What are you talking about, Kara?”

“Bev! It’s like the doors are there to teach us. To show us. That our own perceptions. Our own thoughts are limited. And someone else will have different thoughts. Different perceptions. Of the same thing.”

Beverly thought, and looked through all three entrances. “What good does that do?”

Kara waved off Beverly’s question. “Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.” But it told her everything she ever needed to know about Beverly. “She can’t see anything, can she? Only what she wants to see. Only what she believes. Only what she knows and understands.” Kara frowned, but only for a moment, and she quickly covered her frown with an artificial smile. “No sense in disturbing Bev.”

“I just thought it was interesting.”

They explored the valley a bit more, looked at some of the bushes, and the trees, and even found a few mushrooms in a shady spot, behind a couple of big rocks. Then they headed back to their car, and to their normal worlds.

And Kara wondered if she’d ever find someone who understood. Or if everyone she’d ever know was like Beverly. Blind to everything outside of themselves.

671 Words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 40th week. You can read about her small fiction challenge here. This week, I knew what I wanted to say. Don’t know if I said it, but at least I tried. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.