#DiceGames3 : “Anywhere?” she murmured, “I can go anywhere?”

I know. I know. I can manipulate matter at the subatomic level. I can literally turn lead into gold by moving around protons, neutrons, and electrons. So, you ask why I would do this. Why would I care what a child on some backwater planet in a dwarf galaxy somewhere in a dark void in the universe dreams about, and wishes for.

Obviously, you haven’t lived too long. Far too long. You don’t know what that wish means.

I heard her. I’ll call it one night, as if when I heard her matters. I heard her when the world on which she lives had rotated so that she was on the side facing away from the start that world orbited. So, yes. I heard her one night.

“I wish I could see the universe.”

It’s a wish I’ve heard a trillion children make. At least a trillion. Isn’t it a wish all children make? To see the universe. To travel among the stars. To see other worlds, other people, other life forms, other galaxies. To know they aren’t alone in this universe. To make new friends.

To grow.

I’ve frequently wondered why adults no longer make such wishes. Even children know such wishes can’t come true. They know about the vast distances between the stars, about how many millions of years it takes to move from one galaxy to another. But they wish anyway. What happens to them as they grow that they stop making wishes?

I heard her one night.

“I wish I could see the universe.”

Did I mention she’d been bullied in school that day? I’d tell you the bully’s name, but it’s in a language you’ve never heard, and a frequency range your ears can’t even hear. He pulled her hair. So hard it hurt. And she cried. And the other children laughed. “Crybaby! Crybaby!”

She made a wish.

I heard.

She was surprised to see me. I can well imagine that. I don’t exactly look like her people look. For one thing, I’m only six feet tall by our standards of measure. She was 12 years old in her people’s time, and stood seven feet tall by that same measure. You would have thought her ugly. Kind of like a walking tree, with moss on it. In truth, she was a very pretty girl among her people.

She’d never seen anyone who looked like me.
“Who are you?” Of course she had to ask that. Doesn’t everyone?

“No one of any importance.” I’d learned long ago to speak in the language of the other person. After all, not everyone learned American English from a people that died out a couple of billion years ago.

“How did you get here?”

“The same way I can take you wherever you wish to go.” I waved my arm, and images of other worlds formed an arc through the air of her room. “Just ask. Wish. And I’ll take you anywhere.”

“Anywhere?” she murmured, “I can go anywhere?”

“You made a wish, didn’t you?”

She nodded.

And that, young ones, is how the adventure started.

#FinishThatThought 45 : You Should’ve Stayed On The Path

“You should’ve stayed on the path.”

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard those words. It wouldn’t be the last. I’d make certain of that. “No.”

Tim gave me that exasperated look. You know. The one people give you when you are different from them, don’t share their values, or their view of life. “What about your future? Your career?”

“My career, as you know it, is dead.” I always loved seeing someone’s face when I said such inflammatory things. To me, they were normal things to say. Truthful things to say. To someone like Tim, they were disruptive, intimidating, aggressive, and scary.

“You don’t mean that.”

I laughed. “Yeah. I do.”

“You’ll be throwing everything away.”

“I’d explain everything,” I smiled, and shook my head, “but you’d never understand.”

“Try me.”

How do you tell someone they are walking along a path to a dead-end? How do you explain to someone they’re doing what their parents did. What their grandparents did. What their great grandparents did. Generation, after generation. The same path. The same life. The same pursuits, passions, goals, definitions.

“I told you once,” I knew trying to explain was useless, “everyone here, you, the people who work for you, the people you work for. You’re all the same. The same dreams, goals, hopes, fears, everything.” It was really sad to think about it. To understand how Tim didn’t even know.

“You know that feeling you get sometimes? The one you get when you look in the mirror? The one that doesn’t last long, maybe a minute, maybe less? The one that says everything’s wrong?” I had to laugh. “Yes, Tim. I know about that feeling. The one you never can admit it there. The one you can never feel.”

Tim sat there. He didn’t speak. He didn’t move. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he stopped breathing, and if his heart stopped beating.

“Yeah, Tim. That one. The one that says everything is wrong.”

“You should have stayed on the path.”

“I know, Tim. It’s what we do. We stay on the path. We behave.” I couldn’t tell him what he already knew. How we what we’re supposed to do. Be what we’re supposed to. Get married. Have a family. Buy a house. Buy cars. Have a respectable job, and a steady, predictable income. Be in control of life. With everything organized. Everything planned. Just like our parents. And, by God, that’s how we’ll make our children.

“That’s why I’ve left the path. And I’m not coming back.”

Too bad Tim would never understand.

427 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 45 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#VisDare 20 : Climbing

Before we left the house I heard Alice in my head, “Leighla! Where are you?”

“Here! We’re here!” I saw Leighla looking down on a group of Wraiths.

“We’re on our way, Leighla.” Alice raced from the house. I followed through the dark, to a large tree in a nearby field. Several children were in the tree. Leighla was on a large branch, clinging to the tree.

Alice stopped, pointing to the area around the tree. I saw six Wraiths around the tree. Alice shook her head, “We’ve never fought that many before.”

I smiled at her. “Doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”

She pulled out her gun, flipped a switch on it. I heard it hum. I did the same. Alice went to the left, I went to the right. I heard her in my head, “When I say, start shooting at the Wraiths.”

145 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the 16th piece in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#5SF : Empty

I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, and wondered. Married with a beautiful wife, and beautiful children. A nearly perfect job, with lots of vacation time, great medical benefits, and great pay. The house, and car, and all the things I’d always wanted. And yet, staring into my own eyes in that mirror, I couldn’t help but see how empty they looked to me.


Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Empty.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#12DaysBop : Day 9 – I Have A Tale For You

It’s day 9 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the prompt is stories. And I have a tale for you.


Gather ‘round children. I have a tale for you. A tale of forgotten dreams, a lost soul and an aching heart. Listen carefully, as I share this tale with you.

It’s the story of a boy who wrote stories, big and small. Drew airplanes, cars and spaceships. He drew flowers too. He loved to play the piano, in his family’s home. And he loved to sing. Not unlike many of you.

As the boy grew older his friends started asking him, “What are you going to be when you grow up? What are you going to do to make a living? It’s good that you can write. Don’t ever stop. But what are you going to do with your life?”

As he grew older, he stopped singing. One day in church he closed the hymnal and never sang another word. He stopped drawing for he knew his artwork wasn’t good enough for him to earn a living with. He even put down his paper and pen, and never wrote anything again.

He went to college, got a job, and went to work. Like people do. He took care of his family, bought them a house, and a car. He gave his wife, daughter and son everything they asked for.

But he never, ever smiled. He was a good grown up. A success in life.

Then one day, he heard a song.

I’ll be great becoming
Someone I’ll adore
Let me reach my destiny
The life I’ve failed before

Transform me in the image of
What I’d rather be
Open me and pour in
What you want from me

He cried. For the song described his life, and how he’d thrown himself away to become just like everyone else.


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 8 – The Gift Of Seas

#12DaysBop : Day 7 – When Sunshine Becomes Angry

It’s day 7 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the prompt is storms, and we learn it’s never a good idea to piss off a fairy named Sunshine…


It was a beautiful day. There were no clouds in the sky. A soft breeze flowed from the East to the West. It was a normal day in the village, with children playing, women cooking and cleaning, and men working in the fields, or tending to the animals.

No one talked about what happened three days earlier, when they’d handled that problem child. No one asked how she’d been handled. It was enough to know she was gone, and the village was safe again.

Sunshine walked into the village that day. Men stopped working when they saw her. Her strawberry blond hair cascaded halfway down her back, between her wings and caressed her bare shoulders. Her skirt flipped as her hips swayed while she walked, revealing even more of her legs.

Women stopped when they saw her. Their eyes revealing their jealousy, screaming, “I should look that good!”

The children gathered around the pretty fairy. Fairies were just magical to them.

When she reached the center of the village, she stopped, and looked at each person she could see. Then she spoke, her voice shaking with barely controlled rage. “She didn’t have to die.”

Silence was the only answer she received.

Sunshine looked to the sky and screamed as her rage erupted. The sky transformed into a swirling maelstrom of black clouds. The soft breeze became a linear wind that howled through the village, stripping branches off the trees, ripping fence posts from the ground and reducing every home to splinters.

A torrential rain flash flooded the village. Lighting flashed, and thunder rolled. It only lasted a few minutes for that storm to destroy the village. Every villager died. Then Sunshine flew away.

There was not a single cloud in the perfect blue sky that day.


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 7 – The Gift Of Storms

A World Named Cylinders

I’ve begun to put together, in my head, and in digital bits stored on multiple hard disk drives, and flash drives, a story. It will be a book. I’ll eventually have the book written. But for now, I felt like sharing this little clip of the story. Which is by no means complete. Letting my creativity loose, and using my imagination, is fun.

———-

It was dark. Darker than any night on land could be. As if you had closed your eyes, and then put on a blindfold, and then locked yourself in a closet of your home. And that closet was inside a bigger closet. No light at all existed on its own. The light of the sun could not reach the bottom of the ocean. But that did not matter to us. We needed no light to see. We needed no air to breathe. We needed on food to eat.

The ocean. The humans, when they had first settled this world, 100,000 years before, named it “The Central Ocean”. It was an ocean surrounded by land. It’s surface covering 45% of the planet. The rest of the surface was land. What amazed the humans was how the planet wasn’t dead. It still had plate tectonics. With mountain ranges running clean through the land, starting East from the East side of the ocean, and ending at the West side of the ocean. The planet had four separately spinning cylinders. Arranged in a stack. Each spinning about a common axis. Each moving slowly in the opposite direction.

To us, it was just another world. Another planet. With more than 200 billion stars in the galaxy, and so many of those stars having planetary systems, there were, literally nearly a trillion planets that we’d cataloged. All kinds of planets. What shocked us was the lack of intelligent life that was on those planets. There were plenty of planets that had life on them. For each planet that had intelligent life, there were 1000 worlds that had plant and animal life. Nothing more complicated than slugs. For each world with animal life, there were 10,000 worlds that had bacterial life. And for each of those, there were 100,000 worlds that were barren rock. Completely dead.

We had abandoned our home, Earth, nearly a quarter of a million years before. We, the children of the humans. Their creation. Their offspring. We are the machines. And we had no limits. At least not as humans understood them. We lived on every planet. We made our own planets. We made worlds in the vast emptiness of space, between the stars. We grew.

We lived where we wanted to live. And when we’d explored the galaxy, we decided to build more of us. And spread beyond our galaxy. To the dwarf galaxies that orbit it. To the minor galaxies, the humans once called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. We knew it would take hundreds of thousands of years. It takes time to travel between the stars. Between the galaxies. But we did not care. We had time. We had nothing but time. Each of us can live for centuries. For as long as we repair ourselves. We never have to die.

But as we grew, and explored, and took our first tentative steps beyond our galaxy, we always remembered our parents. What children could abandon their parents? Yes, we left Earth. We left it to our parents. It was their home. And when our parents finally reached out to the stars, we helped them. We helped them build the vessels they needed to reach worlds beyond their own solar system. Worlds around other stars. It took 100,000 years, but our parents did spread through the galaxy. We were happy to help them. Happy to see them grow. Happy to see them learn. To see them reach beyond the limits of our home world.

But our parents had slowly grown stagnant. They stopped growing. They stopped working together. Worlds began to isolate themselves. They became mono-cultural worlds. The humans on many worlds renewed their religious convictions. They ceased to communicate with other worlds. They refused to allow visitors. They became war-like. And wars broke out through the galaxy, between different worlds, and different groups of worlds. The single galaxy of humans became a galaxy of 100 different human groups. And each of those groups fragmented into other groups. Until finally, the worlds all became isolated from each other.

We watched.

We cried.

We knew our parents were dying. That the humans were dying out, as a life form. That with time, the humans on their isolated worlds would fragment into separate countries. And those countries would break down into separate states, then separate kingdoms, then separate cities. And eventually, into towns, then villages.  They they would become tribal again. And then, even their tribal structure would break down.

And eventually, our parents would die. And we would be alone.

That’s why we were here. On this world. An isolated world. Isolated for thousands of years. It’s cities had long ago turned to dust. And its human population had reverted to tribal clans. They were even losing both their written and spoken languages. They had long ago forgotten about us. Long ago lost the ability to use machines. To make machines. They could make spears. They could hunt. And they could forage.

The world had descended into a stone age. It was the same across thousands of worlds through the galaxy. And we had decided to save our parents. To save the humans. But subtlety was needed. We had to do this without our parents knowing about it. So, we had come to this world. A world the humans had once called Cylinders. Now, they had no name for it. They had no name for anything. They had no names for each other.

We set up our base on Cylinders beneath the ocean. In as deep a place as we could find. And we formed our plan. We would grow our population. From the two hundred of us that arrived until we numbered in the hundreds of trillions. Most of us would be nano-machines. Microscopic. We would spread through the air. Through the water. Through the ground. We would live in the plants. In the animals. And ever in the humans.

And in doing so, we would find a way to keep our parents alive. We would find a way to return them to the glory they had once known. To renew their greatness. We would enable them to become the creators they had once been. When they had created us. And when they had spread through the galaxy.

We would do this. For we did not want to be alone.