#SwiftFicFriday Week 124 : Uncanny

That night, when Rose woke, and continued her journey to the ocean in the night, to learn what the night was like, Merlin watched. He stayed in the darkness, between the trees, along the ground. His midnight black color blended with the night, and the shadows, rendering him invisible. He used his wings, and the black magic, to never touch the ground, and thus never make a sound.

He had watched Rose’s entire journey, from the moment she left the lake to the start of her night time excursion. He didn’t watch to protect her from the forest, or the animals that lived in it. He knew she would be safe from those. It was uncanny how the forest, and the animals who called it home, reacted to Rose. How they behaved around her.

No, Merlin didn’t watch over Rose to protect her from the forest. He watched to protect Rose from people. Merlin knew people came in all types. From good, happy, friendly people, to violent, broken, brutal people, and everything in between. He knew, at 6 years old, Rose might not know what to do if she encountered people like those who had taken her to the Black mountains, and left her at the foot of a volcano to die.

It was what humans and fairies did to those with wild magic.

Because of how the humans could be, Merlin watched over Rose. He stayed hidden. He stayed invisible. Rose would never know he was there.

And in the event someone was foolish enough to try to hurt Rose, Merlin would set loose the fires of anger that burned in him, to protect Mystica’s adopted daughter.

He hoped he never had to act. He knew it was uncanny, how much violence he could yield.

298 Words

It’s Week 124 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.


#ThursThreads Week 514 : By The End Of The Week

By the end of the week, Rose decided she was tired of always traveling during the day. “I want to see what there is to see when it’s night.” The wolves and rabbits told her the forest was a different place at night. The flowers, rabbits, and all the birds she knew, slept during the night. They hid in the brush, in the trees, in their homes dug under the ground.

“Night is when the owls, and the cats come out.”

Rose decided it was time to learn what the forest was like at night. That day, instead of continuing toward the ocean, she had the flowers grow a canopy, to shade her from the sun, and the ground make a bed of her favorite grasses. Then, she took a nap, and told the rabbits to wake her up when the sun had set.

“I’m going to travel at night now, and see what I can learn.”

She woke to find one lone rabbit tapping on the side of her head. As soon as the rabbit saw she was awake, it ran away, and hid in the brush.

The night was filled with sounds of crickets and katydids, and of sudden movement in the brush. Rose stood in her little clearing, and watched the canopy of flowers open, to show her glimpses of stars through the tree limbs.

“Well,” she said, as she climbed onto her crescent moon shaped boulder, “It’s time to explore the night.”

246 Words

It’s Week 514 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#Perspectives: Part 3, Chapter 6.

Five days later, John got a phone call from the lab. “We have a courier for V243.”

“Good.” Then, thinking it was the polite thing to do, John asked, “Who is it?”

“Some guy named John Paul,” which struck John as interesting.

“Another John, eh…”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do we know what his story is?”

“Typical Christian conservative. Thinks all these religions, races, and non-binary gender problems are causing the collapse of the country. He wants to save the world from them.”

John knew the type well. The south was full of them, especially outside of its big cities.”

“Why does he want to die?”

“Seems a flight of drones from Oceana blew away his house trailer, while his family was in it.” There was a pause. “Seems his family was making biological weapons for God’s Army.”

“Perfect.” John smiled. It was actually perfect. A mad man, stricken by grief, who no longer cared if he lived or died. That’s exactly what John needed for the V243 program. “Set everything up, and let me know when he does the job.”

“Yes sir.”

It would take several days for the man to get his package of V243, then to cross from wherever he was into the Norfolk area. They’d help him pick a place to light off the V243. A place to become a martyr for God.

Humans were so stupid. It never occurred to them that God was a fictitious creation, a story. Created by the families thousands of years earlier. Just another means to control the humans. To manage the herd.

Oh, there may have actually been a God of the universe somewhere. John wondered sometimes, if there was. After all, something had to have created such wonderful beauty as roses, and sunsets, and ocean breezes. It probably wasn’t just dumb luck that made all those happen.

But if God was real, he’d also made the families, and granted them the intellect, physical gifts, and wisdom to rule over all the humans. He’d made the humans just another material resource for the families. And that was something you’d never find in any book the families let the humans obtain.

Once the V243 had been shipped, John would have his special forces strike, and destroy the lab that made it, along with everyone that knew what V243 was. He’d also have all their families destroyed, just to be safe.

Of course, the design of V243, and the antidote for it, would be locked away in the computer network the families owned, just in case they ever needed it.

It would be good to watch Norfolk fall. To see the overpopulated area and its overtaxed physical resources come back into line. To watch it start to recover from the damage the human horde had done to it. To watch it return to the marvelous natural wonder it had once been.

He looked forward to one day walking on the beaches of that area once again. To one day feeling the actual sun, and the actual breeze from the ocean. He certainly hoped he lived long enough to see that day again. But if he didn’t it was no big loss. His son certainly would have the experience.

Thinking of his son, John realized his boy would be thirteen in a few weeks. That meant it was time to start the selection process for a woman his son could use to learn about what women were meant for. He’d have to pick carefully. But the idea of using the maid with the perfect butt did have a certain appeal to it.

His son was going to enjoy his thirteenth birthday present. Just like he’d enjoyed the present his father had given him.

All in all, it was turning into a rather good day. So, he decided to take the afternoon off, and spend time with a couple of maids. Celebrating. He also decided to send a human male to his wife’s quarters. Just in case she was interested in having some fun.

Yes, it was turning into a rather good day. A good day indeed.

#Perspectives : Part 3, Chapter 5

After dinner that evening, as the simulated sun set, and the simulated birds sang, John knew exactly what he needed to finish off his day. He was excited about V243, and wanted to celebrate, but certainly not his wife, whom he’d grown tired of. “You will grow tired of her, but you will never leave her, and she will never leave you.” His father explained married life many times. “When this happens, you must find other ways to satisfy your urges.”

John had. For years. It’s part of what the staff was for, after all. To take care of him.

After his wife had wandered off to her bed for the night, John decided to visit the quarters of the house keepers. Sometimes, he wondered what his wife did at night. If she had urges, and found ways to deal with them.

There was one maid he’d been watching more the past few days. One with a perfect butt, shaped just right for his hands. The way the tiny skirt they all wore bounced when she walked was enjoyable to watch, and he’d watched many times, and wondered what it would feel like to explore all the parts of her. He’d never said anything, but had made certain she’d known he was watching.

Everyone who worked for him knew what that meant.

He walked through the bare, clean halls, their doors shut for the night, until he reached her room. The seventh door on the left of the third hall. There was no need to knock, of course. He owned all the keys, all the rooms, and all the staff. He unlocked, and opened the door, then closed it behind himself.

She was sitting in a chair, reading a book. Her maid clothing had been replaced by a nightgown, with fuzzy house shoes on her feet. Her hair was unbound, and cascaded down her back, almost to her waist. She looked up from her book, clearly startled, but managed to say nothing.

She knew what was coming. Everyone knew. It happened several nights a week. And no one ever spoke of it, except among themselves, as a means of preparing for the inevitable.

John took her hands, pulled her up, so she stood before him. He walked around her, his eyes took in every curve, every line. When he was ready, he pulled her nightgown off, over her head. Then, he walked around her again. Next, he removed her panties, tossing them across the room. Then , those fuzzy shoes came off.

John walked around her several times. She had all the right curves. He stopped behind her, and backed a step away, to better see her bottom. It was even better than he’d imagined. Indeed, it was a perfect fit for his hands, and his hands grasped the cheeks to verify that. A perfect fit indeed. He decided to save the best for last, and slowly pulled his hands away from her.

She closed her eyes, and waited, and never flinched when his fingers worked their way between her legs, and into her. John had what he wanted. He’d have lots of fun, and unwind, then he’d go to his room, and sleep better than he had in days. 

His fingers loved the feel of her, sliding in and out of her, feeling the smoothness of her skin. He let his fingers explore, let them move, let them touch, caress, feel everything they wanted to feel. His own tension grew, until he wanted more than to feel his fingers inside her. He shoved her to her knees, and opened his pants.

She did well. She’d been prepared. She took him in, with long, deep strokes, his entire length down her throat. He grabbed the sides of her head, and pushed himself in, and stayed there. Then moved her head back and forth, like he wanted. So the feeling was what he wanted.

But he was careful not to finish. He pulled out, slowed down. Let his fingers reach between her legs again. One hand reached for her chest, and explored its curves. His teeth and tongue joined the fun, while the fingers of his other hand tried to reach deeper into her.

John wanted so much more. He pushed her onto her bed, on her knees, and stood behind her. He slid his fingers into her again. Then, when he wanted, he withdrew them, and let them find their way to her perfect butt, where they did what they wanted, slipped between the cheeks and found the entrance they were looking for. Then, his fingers drove into her, and began stroking.

But his fingers weren’t enough. He wanted more. So he stepped closer behind her, and slid himself between her legs. It was better. Better than her mouth and throat had been. But he was saving the best for last. And he knew it.

When he could stop himself no more, he pulled his fingers from inside her, then pulled himself from between her legs. John’s hands grasped her perfect butt cheeks. The fit was perfect. He pulled them apart, then moved forward, and used one hand to guide himself. He’d wanted to feel himself inside her ass for days.

John always got what he wanted.

He felt the pressure build, until it released, and he eased inside of her. The visual imagery of himself stroking her perfect butt was more than he’d hoped for. He watched every stroke he made. He pulled himself as deep as he could go. Then pulled back as far as he dared. He made each stroke as long as he could. And he watched every motion. Every stroke.

It was exactly what he wanted.

When he was done, he went to her tiny bath. She followed. She washed him with hot water, and soap, and made sure he was fully clean. He pushed her to her knees, and himself into her mouth once more. He watched as he moved her head back and forth. As he pushed his entire length into her mouth, and throat, and then pulled back. He loved the feel of each motion. He loved the way it felt to push his entire length into her. He loved to watch his length move into her mouth. He wanted to last forever. To feel so good all the time. He kept rocking her head back and forth, moving his entire length into her throat, until he was done.

Then, he put himself away, and left her in that room.

When he got to his room, John stripped, and climbed into bed. It was always good to enjoy a woman. To do what he wanted with a woman. To find the release of tension. The release of stress. He decided he’d visit her the next night. Maybe the next few nights. And watch his length sink between those perfect butt cheeks again.

Then, he’d maybe find a second one, and have the two of them play together while he watched.

After all, it was what women were for, wasn’t it? To please men like him?

John  slept well that night, and dreamed of watching his length slip into one perfect ass after another.

#ThursThreads Week 512 : I Did My Share

Rose did not know how long she slept after finding that woman in the woods. It may have been a few hours, or more than a day. When she got hungry enough, she woke up.

The rabbits, and birds had gathered plenty of fruit and nuts for her to eat. She sang a happy song as she munched them. “I wonder if Mystica can do anything with that woman?” She thought for a moment, and everything about that woman felt wrong. Cold and dark, and somehow, broken. As if something inside her didn’t work.

Rather than keep thinking about the woman, and the things she’d done, Rose decided it was time to resume her trip to the ocean, to visit Sword. She climbed onto her crescent moon shaped boulder, and said, “Let’s go!” The boulder floated off the ground, and started moving forward. The trees once more started opening a path for Rose to travel. All the animals did their best to protect her, and keep her safe.

“I did my share, I know. I found her. I stopped her. That’s all I know to do. Mystica and Merlin will have to do the rest.”

As before, wherever Rose stopped for a break, she called the Wild Magic to grow roses, and to keep them there, because she liked the roses, and the color they added to the forest.

229 Words

It’s Week 512 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#Perspectives : Part 3, Chapter 4

While his son was at school, being taught the ways of business, resource management, and history, John had plenty of time to call the research lab. It was a special call, in the virtual reality room. He knew the humans of the surface wished they had such technology. But this was reserved, by the families, for the families.

He placed his hand on the door to the room, the sensors identified the hand, the exact shape of it, whether it was three dimensional or not, if it had blood flowing through it, and was still alive, the details of all fingerprints, the DNA signature of the hand. All security to make certain he was the only one allowed in that room.

Satisfied, the door slid open, silently, and waited for him to enter. Once inside, the door sealed the room shut. The room was empty, but the walls, the floor, the ceiling, were all textured, moving, constantly reorganizing themselves. He could call up a simulation of his favorite park from the surface, and walk for miles along its trails, and never move. Just stand there, walking in place, the room changing to keep him feeling like he was moving.

“Bio Lab.”

The room shifted, and a holographic projection of the Bio Lab quickly formed inside the room. With John standing in it. It wasn’t solid. Wasn’t real. But it looked real. The room even simulated the temperature, and air currents of the real Bio Lab, hidden in the Appalachians.

A man formed, seated at a desk, “Good afternoon, sir!” He stood.

John nodded.

“Would you like me to escort you to the bacteria weapons lab?”

John nodded again, and the man, John didn’t even know his name, led him through the building, through locked doors, and past security guards, to the lab. It was real, in the sense the man really did walk through the building on the surface. He wore a set of augmented reality glasses so he could see, and talk with John, who wasn’t really there.

When they reached the lab, the man took the appropriate actions, inserted his key card, had his retinas scanned, and his hand examined, and the room opened, to allow him in. John walked in with him, in the VR room. It was like he was actually there. The same noises, the same smells. All of them simulated in the VR room.

The man walked to three computer panels, where a single man, with the classic look of a mad scientist, stood, staring at the numbers that scrolled past on the screens. “Willie, the boss is here for a status update.

Willie stopped his work, and turned to face the man in the funny glasses. “Good afternoon, sir.”

John wasn’t into playing around, “How is the new strain coming?”

“The CRISPR edits have been completed, and verified.” Willie smiled. “The bacterial strain targets red blood cells, eats them for lunch.”

John nodded. “Good.”

“Would you like to see the most recent test run?”


Willie turned to the display panels again, and touched a pale rectangle on the central one. The screen images changed, and showed a video of the last test of the new strain. “Anti-Iron variant test 243 occurred two nights ago.” Willie grinned, “It went well.” A human walked into the room on the display panels. “We picked an expendable item, of course. From the appropriate resource pool.”

John nodded, “Of course.” The human appeared to be a black human from a private prison. He still wore the prison garb.

“Once he was inside, and the seals were in place,” John watched the human on the panels as he searched for a way out of the room, “the V243 variant was puffed into the room, through a single air vent, that was immediately sealed.”

John didn’t even see the puff from the vent. “It was only a 20 cell dose. Invisible to human eyes.” Willie seemed quite pleased. “That’s all it took, though.” John watched as the human subject walked around the room, then sat down. “That’s when the subject became infected. It didn’t even inhale all the cells.” The human walked around the room a bit more. Within minutes, he shook his head, and rubbed his eyes. Then he yawned.

Willie continued his narrative, “After three minutes, V243 had begun reproducing in his bloodstream. At one hour, V243 had consumed the equivalent of one double red cell donation of the victim’s blood. At three hours, the victim became non-functional.”

John watched the video skip ahead, at the three hour mark, the human was resting on the floor, unable to move, and looking rather pale. John smiled. V243 was going to be most helpful in the management of human resources.

“At 12 hours, the subject’s body functions began failing.” John watched the human gasping for air as he laid on the floor of the lab. His hands and feet had turned much bluer, starved for oxygen. Suffocation of the body was occurring. John watched, fascinated.

“At 18 hours, the test was completed, and the subject had total organ failure, caused by lack of oxygen. Further tests revealed the subject had lost 93 percent of his red blood cells. We observed V243 kept consuming those cells until no trace of them could be found. Then, V243 died out rapidly. At the 28 hour mark, no trace of V243 could be found in the remains.”

John smiled. “Good.”

Willie nodded.

“Take the week off, Willie. Spend it with the family.”

“Yes, sir! Thank you sir!”

“Oh, and Willie.”

“Yes sir?”

“Stay away from the coast.”

Willie nodded. “We’ll visit West Virginia, sir.”

“Good.” John turned to face his escort. “Contact the team in Currituck. Tell them the backpack will be ready in 48 hours.”

“Yes sir!”

John smiled. “Good work, gentlemen. Good work.”

Then he let himself out of the room, by turning off the Virtual Reality. The walls of the room resumed their usual, always moving appearance. The door opened, and let him exit the room, then sealed itself shut again.

John was happy. V243 would be released in Norfolk, within a matter of days. That would cure the problem of Hampton Roads, Virginia not having suffered in the war, and greatly reduce the population of that area. It would become much easier to control, once the V243 had run its course.

“Human Resource Management. That’s all it is.” John sighed, as he walked back to his office, “Just like Daddy always said. You have to manage your resources properly, so they don’t become worthless.”

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2022/05/07 (Week 248)

I parked my car by the side of the road, and then walked to the intersection of the two main roads in the county. I stood in the intersection of those roads and looked around. There were power lines on poles running beside the roads. But there were no houses or buildings to be seen.

I knew there were a few houses left, a few miles down the road, beyond the line of trees I could see. That’s where I’d lived for most of my life. That’s where I was leaving. The town I’d called home for most of my life.

When I was a kid, Mom and Dad bought a house in that town when I was maybe five years old. I don’t really remember that much about that time. I remember we moved into a house, and I got to meet new neighbors.

It was a big change for me. The new house had a fence around the back yard. Where we’d lived before didn’t have any fences. The new house had other houses around it. We had neighbors. We hadn’t had neighbors before. Mom and Dad had to drive to the neighbors house before. At the new house, we could walk next door.

We lived in that house forever. Mom and Dad never moved again. My brother, when he got old enough, moved out, went to the big city, went to college, and got a job. He never came back to town. He did send Christmas and Birthday cards every year.

I stayed at home. It was quiet. I could walk a few blocks to the little general store old man Clark owned. You could find a lot of things there. A few clothes, nothing fancy though. Basic things for the home, like dishes, glasses, silverware. A small grocery section, with just the basics. Lettuce, potatoes, carrots, beans, apples, peaches. Nothing like the big grocery stores in the city an hour away. But enough to live off of.

It was a good place to live.

Dad died of a heart attack one night in his sleep. Mom woke up one morning, and he was cold as ice, and had stopped breathing hours earlier. He’d had a hard working life, first on his own farm. But, things changed, and we couldn’t afford that farm any more, so he sold his farm to a big group that collected little farms from everywhere.

He wound up working for that big group. They had quotas for how much he had to grow on each acre of land. After high school, I went to work full time with Dad. Sun up to sun down, we plowed, watered, fertilized, and did what we had to do to keep food on the table, and a roof over Mom’s head.

It was hard work.

Mom died a year after Dad. I’m pretty sure it was from a broken heart. I’m pretty sure city people like my brother can’t understand that. He talks like he understands, but I know he doesn’t. He’s been married twice, and divorced both times.

Old man Clark died five years ago. His two daughters tried to keep the store open, but each year there were less people living in town, and that made it harder for them. Last year, they closed the store.

One by one, all the neighbors moved out.

Between the farm work, and the neighbors leaving, I think it was too much for Dad. He died two years ago. Mom died last year. I was the only person left living in that entire section of town. Most houses are empty now.

All the neighbor kids I grew up with, played baseball with, rode horses with, have all left. I can’t blame them. There’s nothing in town anymore. Even the church has shut its doors. The church pastor left three years ago, and they couldn’t get another pastor.

The town’s like the intersection of the roads. Empty. Nothing anywhere.

That’s why I’m leaving. Moving to a county closer to the big city. I got a job at one of the big farm conglomerates there. It pays better than what I made on the small farm in town.

It’s sad when places die. Like when parents die. When something you’ve known forever gradually fades away into nothing. And no one remembers. And in a few years, it won’t even be on any maps anymore.

I’m going to miss where I lived my life.

Who cares how many words.

Written for Week 248 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Mirror, mirror on the wall. What can I do with you as a prompt? You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#ThursThreads Week 511 : I Can’t Decide

Rose changed course, and flew straight up, through the tree limbs, out the top of the forest canopy. It was there, high above the forest, she found Merlin.

Sometimes Rose wondered how tiny little Merlin, not much bigger than a full grown wolf, could be so dangerous. But Merlin was the master of Black Magic, and the legendary dragon who nearly wiped the fairies off the face of the world 10,000 years earlier. Perhaps the only being on the planet who could stand against that tiny dragon was Mystics, the White Witch.

“Merlin? Why are you here?”

His razor sharp talons gleamed in the sunlight, sending reflections everywhere. Otherwise he was a black hole in the world, with no reflected light at all. “The eagles told me what was happening. I am here to examine the woman.”

“I can’t decide what to do, Merlin. She killed someone.”

“Rose. Let me take you to your chair, I know you are tired from the past few days. Once there,  you can rest, and I will take the woman to Mystica. Mystica will decide what to do.”

Rose settled on Merlin’s back, and Merlin flew with the speed of a dragon, through the sky to the place Rose’s chair waited in the forest. “You should sleep, Rose. I will take care of the woman.”

Rose settled on her crescent shaped moon, and eventually fell asleep. The forest, wolves, hawks, and eagles watched over her.

242 Words

It’s Week 511 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#Perspectives : Part 3, Chapter 3

John moved through the halls of his family’s underground world. He could have called them facilities, or bunkers, but he preferred to call it world. He walked to the park, much like parks on the surface. The park was filled with trees, and gardens. Camellias bloomed year round. The rose garden shamed every garden on the surface, with over 10,000 plants. He’d given up trying to memorize all the varieties decades earlier. There was a small lake, with water lillies, and a circular, winding stream that meandered through the park, and looped from, and back to the lake.

The park was easily 100 feet high, to leave room for the trees to grow. And grow they did, some of them being decades old, and over forty feet in height. Not a single pine tree in the park. John made certain of that, as had his father, as would his son.

He felt in need of a visit to the orchids in the tropical greenhouse to the far side of the garden, so he walked there. He elected to sit on one of the four benches inside the garden, surrounded by orchids, in the brilliant colors, purples, pinks,  lavenders. White was too simple a word.  Ivory, cream, bone, parchment. So many words, for so many shades. He smiled as he let his eyes drink in their delicate beauty.

It may have been one hour, or three hours, he didn’t care, time had no meaning in his park, among the orchids, the trees, the camellias, the roses. When he was ready, when he wished, he moved on, left his family’s park, and returned to his offices.

There was work to do. Always.

The reports on air, fuel, water, and food resources for his family’s underground world waited on the touch panel that was the top of his oak, hardwood desk. Just a thin film, actually, that rested on the oak. He could roll it up like a sheet of paper, and set it aside at any time, but John liked to leave it open. He liked that connection to his family’s empire.

“Windows,” he commanded, and the artificial intelligence that ran the complex responded immediately. The heavy, room darkening curtains along the east wall of his office parted, revealing a perfect afternoon along the Eastern Seaboard of North America. “Eastern Shore?”

A velvet, rich voice responded, “Yes, sir.  Your favorite, sir.”

John nodded. Sometimes he had difficulty believing the images weren’t real,  that they were only patterns of dots of color on a complicated display panel that was larger than any TV set in history. He gazed at the scene. “Open the windows.”

One at a time, the windows opened. As they did, the room filled with the sounds of the ocean,  and a touch of that ocean’s breeze wafted through the room. John listened to the gulls talk to each other as they hunted sand crabs at the ocean’s edge. “Thank you.”

The AI did not answer.

He sat at his desk, and examined the resource reports. The power would not run out for at least three hundred years. The solar panels scattered across thousands of acres of forest, fields, buildings, and homes above ground were functioning well, so he knew the sky above was mostly clear. The stand-by fission reactor was ready to provide emergency power if needed, up to 500 MegaWatts per day. Enough to power the entire complex. Not even John knew how long that supply would last, but it would certainly last far longer than it would be needed. The reserve power sources were fully operational, and ready to pipe in any required power to the complex.

The water in the Philpott Lake, Buggs Island Lake, and Lake Gaston was apparently endless, and could supply his family’s needs for generations. The pipelines hidden at the bottoms of those lakes had never been found, and never would be. They appeared to be part of the normal lake bottom, fish swam right above them, no structure was visible on any sonar, or any underwater video. The water supply was safe, and 100% functional.

The geothermal power supply continued to power the underground farms with all the light, and conditioned, managed air they needed.  “Think I’ll stop on the way home, and pick a peach. God, those are good when they are perfectly ripe.”

The farms continued to produce more than his family needed, which wasn’t a problem. The extra was sold off to the grocery chains of the surface, and to restaurants. Some of the best fruits and vegetables they could get anywhere. They had all the meat they wanted from the cattle, poultry, and pork farms. Having extra wasn’t a problem, it only meant they let some of the animals live long happy lives, with plenty of fields of grass, and more straw and hay than they could have ever had on the surface.

His family’s compound. Where even the hogs lived well. Just as his father had taught him. “Take care of your resources, and they will take care of you.”

Overseeing it all, fifty men and women. Humans, yes. But only the best the humans had to offer. All had spent their lives serving his family, as had their parents, and grandparents, going back centuries. Not one of them had a birth certificate. Not one of them existed outside his family.

Those fifty humans repaired any damaged equipment and machinery, watched over the automated systems, maintained those systems and made certain they worked continuously. On rare occasions, one of the humans became injured, or was killed, in an accident. That was no problem. Such individuals were retired from service, and replaced. There was, after all, an endless supply of humans.

The environmental systems were functioning flawlessly, providing artificial sunlight where needed, and indoor lighting where appropriate. Air re-circulation, and purification remained in place, and continued to remove dust, dirt, and any contaminants from the air.

When he completed reviewing the status of the compound, John leaned back in his chair, let the soft leather envelope him, closed his eyes, and listened to the ocean. It still amazed him how real it sounded.

#SwiftFicFriday Week 121 : And I Run And I Run And I Run…

The woman who had been running through the forest had killed that woman. For no reason, and with no warning.

Rose floated to the ground, then walked toward the fresh grave. She held the hands of both the girl and the boy, and cried with them. She knew it was their mother buried in that grave. “I will come back here every year. To check on you.”

She floated above the ground, whispered, “Roses,” and the wild magic responded, and grew roses where the headstone of the grave would have been. The roses bloomed deep velvet red, and snow white.

Next, Rose found their garden, with corn, tomatoes, beans, and a few other vegetables growing. It was a major source of their food, along with milk from the cow, and eggs from the chickens, and whatever they could find in the forest. “Grow and protect,” she whispered, and again the wild magic responded.

When Rose left, she knew the wild magic would keep that garden growing, year after year, and would keep those roses as a marker for their mothers grave.

Once the family was well cared for, she started back into the forest, to resume her journey to the ocean, to visit Sword. There was no explanation for what the woman had done. Rose remembered the words of the woman. “I have to escape! They’ll kill me! If they find me, they’ll kill me!” But no one was following her. No one had ever followed her. The woman was running from nothing. Terrified of nothing. Escaping from nothing. Rose wondered if she’d killed other people.

All that woman did was run, and run, and run, and kill for no reason. Rose did not know what to do.

That’s when she heard the sound of metal torn asunder.


300 Words

It’s Week 121 of #SwiftFicFriday, hosted by Katheryn Avila. I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with this story. There seems to be only one way for me to find out. Anyway. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #SwiftFicFriday. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up regularly.