This short story was prompted by the following image:
Never before has the wind whipped like cream and the ocean churned like butter as much as it did this time, in their new device.
I don’t believe in magic; fate either. But electricity–now that’s the hummer. I’d been a big fan of Tesla’s back in the day, yet now we electricians are considered old-fashioned. Biology dug its heels in the terraform, botanists growing tree-hanging flank-steaks and zookeepers corralling hybrids (I’ll never understand why they innovated Dragonflaorillas).
They must have come to me first–no less than eighteen times–because I’m loyal to The Currents. Nothing else could explain their quick-with-thunder appearances. And how else could the foreigners speak without talking into the circuitry of our brains?
Which is why I’ve stood as an “x” marking the spot, waiting the return of the electric geniuses to reveal their lighting, reverberating in glory from the stars. I’ll bridge this gap, assuring the masses they aren’t invaders but mentors. (They might even be gods.)
This short story was prompted by the following image:
Joe’s New Bed
His clean-cut world had been transformed, now shocking lit and stale with color. Even the newfound friendlings were over-the-top raucous, especially the stubby, multi-legged creature.
“Why Joe, your eyes are so watery you’re gonna drown the lot of us.”
Joe blinked his eyes.
“And look at that huge honker! You must be able to smell flowers across town with that thing,” laughed the friendling with the big red nose.
Joe slowly moved his unbandaged fingers, touching a nostril for the first time.
“What’s this?” asked a third, pointing somewhere low Joe wasn’t looking. But when Joe glanced down, the friendling ran his pointer up past Joe’s incision, smacking him in his face.
The friendlings laughed with glee . . . but was it maliciously? Joe began harboring the possibility that maybe these friendlings weren’t so friendly at all. Cautiously, he began searching for telltale signs of threat, like the needles the white-clads bore.
He’d have to be sly, outside the bubble, he would.
There wasn’t ever the sweet grass prairie when she dislodged her aviators. Dee always found herself somewhere fantastical: a foreign landscape, some pounding club, or a colonist’s ballroom. She’d sigh, hike-up her stockings, and embrace the plot.
This time wasn’t any different; she stood proud on a mute slab’s edge. Relieved, she wasn’t scared of this cement. An expert judge, Dee already knew here was too idyllic to be another futuristic dystopian.
Instead, her attention was silently screaming at the rope swinging with dead-weight. Not again. Dee hated bringing calamity with her. But she ceased premature blame-casting, for who knew when he’d jumped the brink?
Story commenced; she nudged her toe at the coil, hoping to uncover a clue. No reason to keep her shoes clean, for the scarlet sequin-sparkle had shed-off literally ages ago.
On cue, her aching companion flared–that gut-wrenching longing–for her blasted, world-warped, clicking heels take her to where Em’s apple pie is served with cheddar:
Read E. S. Johnston’s story based on the same image here.
(Note: this following image is the prompt for this story)
He had melted into the bed for an hour by now, surely. Actually, it could have been hours, thirty of them. Those decades had passed in a blink, would he know if the hours had played the same game?
The sun was a hazy ball on the horizon. He felt his gaping chasm acutely, head pounding from the ache where his heart had laid.
To pass time’s lack of essence, he listened to the refrigerator’s tinks. A whole colony of miniatures lived there. With top-hats, tails; frilly dresses and bonnets– holes cut for ears.
He heard the minis scurry up and down the railings, the stairs and the elaborate castles they build in the mound of cooling rejected pastry. They had made exquisite pillars of the champagne bottles.
He considered folding himself into a jerky square, hiding in the frozen room. He imagined delighting in their revelry almost as much as he hated himself in this eternal moment dragging on.
I laugh, ‘cuz Princess gives me tickles when she goes a-hillin’.
I call her Stellalina. We’uns need to be a’namin’ the princesses. But the others say I be a baby, cryin’ on, making pets out nuthin’ but fleas.
I sing, “It don’t matter what they say, I be layin’ here all day– Stella’ be my Special!”
Princess be tired. Princess be hiding in Molehole when she be tired, tossin’, turnin’, and givin’ me the itches. But I don’t want to scratch or she be dead. No more Stellalina.
My sweat coils in thick steam down towards Molehole. I hope it be fresh– I want Stellanlina to love my luscious expanse and stay.
I might just be a giant carcass of land. But if I ever pry-up from my stone prison, I’d still carry this little’un with me, trompin’ worlds. And if she like, I’d let her go a’hillin’ and giggin’ whenever she want.
I swore vehemently at the ruined print, damaged by my sticky fingers. I knew Doc’s sensors were off; I didn’t want a beating– even if only telepathically.
I was on a slow-track to finish my dissertation, so I still had to “play worlds” with Doc in the lab until he signed-off. Only then I could finally start galaxy manipulation.
In the meantime, I was stuck managing the lower-life. For example, the earthlings in this series. They were just tip-toeing into orbit now! Talk about procrastinators.
I cocked my head as I studied the spoiled black-and-white under the red glow. On second thought, maybe I’d tweak this one on re-entry. I conjured up a new print, immersed it in developer, waited, and carefully pulled it out to put into the next tray, then the next.
As it dried, creating history, I smiled. I just gave these guys a fighting chance. Maybe in a few eons our descendants could finally meet.