Flash Fiction Thursday–Coming to a World Near You

Another Sci-Fi story? Yes. I did a random roll on Chuck Wendig’s challenge for this week on TerribleMinds:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/25/flash-fiction-challenge-the-subgenre-smash-and-grab/

I rolled Alien Invasion/Post-Apocalyptic Horror.

I decided to flip the script a bit in this story–humans are the aliens invading. Not my best work, but…Enjoy!

Coming to a World Near You

 

April, 30 2108:

 

They always told us that it would happen to earth. Watch for UFOs, they said. Aliens will destroy Earth, they said. Well, leave it to us for that—we’re much more efficient at killing ourselves than any alien race would be. Who would have thought that it’d ever come to this. Last night we entered Vea 119’s orbit. The population of intelligent life doesn’t look hostile, but that’s not the point. Our job is to take orders—just like it always has been.

 

-Journal of Chuck Gardner, Corporal: Order Army.

 

When Chuck’s feet touched down onto the Vean surface on May 2, 2108, he couldn’t help but take note of the land all around—vast plains with turquoise colored grass spread as far as the eye could see with lush trees protruding out of the Vean crust with regularity. He inhaled the freshest air any human had taken in since the industrial revolution.

 

“Private Gardner.”

 

The voice broke him out of his appreciation of the new land. “Oh, uh, Staff Sergeant?”

 

“Are you going to stand around here or can we get going?” Sergeant Peters asked.

 

Chuck looked behind him and saw eight eager soldiers in his battalion awaiting his answer. Not that he had any choice in the matter. He knew if he declined he’d be shot on the spot, like any other man that had a dissenting opinion on Earth. The fact that he considered Peters to be his best friend didn’t change anything. The new world order was supposed to unite the world. Instead, it brought nothing but tension, war, and unmitigated climate change that rendered the planet uninhabitable.

 

“Let’s go,” Gardner said. The group marched North West toward the nearest large population of the species they named Bumble Bears. From a distance, they seemed to be the sole intelligent life on Vea.

 

When they reached the borders of what Gardner liked to think of as a city, his group made camp for the night. Although the planet took six hundred and eight days to rotate around its sun, the planet completed its day in only eleven hours.

 

Gardner waited for the others to focus on supper, then he wandered off to take care of business. He turned to the small troop. “Hey, I gotta go drop a deuce.” Gardner received only token grunts of approval. What else could he expect—he was talking to soldiers settling down for their first meal in hours.

 

Gardner walked for a few minutes until he found a nice spot, squatting only inches from a beautiful red and white tree.

 

Midway through his ‘duty’ he felt a small pinch on the side of his neck—Gardner slapped it away as if it were only a fly, but when he did, he got a handful of an entire branch. In a panic, he fought to run away, but the force of the plant pull held him firm. Just when he started to scream, another branch fell on his head, dazing him and leaving him unable to speak. A branch curled around his neck. Gardner lost air quickly. He struggled and fought the plant to no avail. After only fifteen seconds, his thrashings became less frequent and weaker. After twenty, he couldn’t move around at all. A deepening black tunnel narrowed his vision until there was nothing left to see.

 

Just when Gardner gave up hope, his vision started to return. All he could hear was the hacking of metal on wood and leaves. It took a minute or two for his vision to return, but when it did, he saw brown and yellow fur in front of his face.

 

Bumble Bears! he thought. We’re caught. He found himself staring at the creatures that he came there to kill. They hacked away at the clutching plant until Gardner was finally able to break free of its grip. He stood up at once, and stared at his four visitors, wide eyed. “Look, I don’t mean any trouble.”

 

Sure, after the new world order took hold the entire earth population was forced to speak English, but was in an intergalactic language? No. The four foot Bumble Bears held palaver in a series of sounds that sounded more like barks than anything that comes out of a human mouth.

 

“Don’t hurt me,” Gardner said. He held his hands out to show them that he didn’t have any weapons.

 

The creatures spoke to one another again, then, to his surprise, they did the same; they even dropped their machete like weapons in the process. Before Gardner attempted to communicate again, one pointed back at the tree, insofar as he could point—the bear didn’t have any fingers. He let out  another bark after his ominous gesture.

Gardner didn’t know whether it was a warning against the tree, or some kind of order for the tree to get him, but he held his ground just the same. The four Bumble Bears turned then walked toward their village.

 

Thank you, Jesus, Gardner said. He headed back toward his camp as well.

 

Lost in his own thoughts, Sergeant Peters startled Gardner once again. “Gardner, what took you so long—planning the assault now.”

 

Gardner hesitated. “I think we should hold off another day and try to reason with the creatures.” He gestured all around them. “There’s no reason we couldn’t share all of this. The planet is like four Earths.”

 

“So, you’re saying that we shouldn’t do this? We should call off the whole invasion because some Corporal wants to reason with these beasts.”

 

“Well, yeah. Or at least consider it. We don’t know how to survive here—they could help.”

 

“Alright, Gardner. You’re one of my best friends, so I trust you. I’ll call up to base now.” Peters gestured toward the camp. “After you.”

 

Gardner started ahead, then stopped when Peters’ knife severed his spinal cord from behind.

 

His only job was to listen to his superior—this was The Order’s way of firing him.

 

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Flash Fiction Thursday–Embrace the Martian

Here’s the challenge that I participated in from Chuck Wendig’s site at Terrible Minds:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/18/flash-fiction-challenge-random-song-title/

I happened to be listening to the song ‘Embrace the Martian’ by Kid Cudi when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. So here’s a little Sci-Fi story for you.

Embrace the Martian

Xavier sat up in bed with a level grogginess that rivaled waking up after only four hours of sleep, on a lumpy mattress, while hungover. The thought of having the most extreme workout of his life in only a few hours seemed laughable. He rubbed at his eyes aboard the USS Maturin in the spring of 2043.

Stepping out of the chamber, he looked to his left. “Hey Kim. Kim—you still with me?” Xavier only received a gargling response in return. Of course Kim’s still with me…where else is she going to go? he thought. Satisfied, he focused on the daunting task of stepping out of bed and taking his first steps in five months. When his right foot hit the floor, he couldn’t feel it under him. It felt as numb as a foot that’s been sat on for an hour; however, it didn’t have the typical, uncomfortable tingly feeling.

“Yep, the first steps are always the hardest.”

Kim’s voice from behind him made Xavier jump to his unprepared feet. The numb limbs under him gave way, and he collapsed onto the floor. Kim smiled at this.

“Oh yeah—laugh at the guy who can’t feel his legs,” he said. “You must love going to nursing homes and laughing at the people in wheelchairs.” This only caused her to laugh harder. Xavier turned to see her standing in the small doorway with her toothbrush clutched in her right hand.

“Stop crying. It wears off in a few hours.”

Xavier squinted at her. “How long have you been up?”

“About twelve hours.” She shrugged. “I don’t know why I woke up before you, but oh well. We’re going to be there in about six hours, so you better be ready to help me land.”

“Ahhh the red planet,” Xavier mused. “I wish my first trip into space wasn’t to save some crazy asshole. Assuming he’s still alive to save that is.”

“If you were on Mars for two years, by yourself, you’d be crazy too,” Kim said. Her voice was cold, but that didn’t bother her.

“I bet he’s up there having a naked tea party with three rocks. There’s a reason he’s not answering any of our attempts at contact—he’s gone bat-shit crazy. Don’t you remember the last radio transmission?”

Kim did remember the last transmission. Walkins offered a riddle over the radio from millions of miles away. “What is tiny but big, has no hair but wears no wig, likes to crawl but doesn’t walk, clicks its mouth, but doesn’t talk? Embrace the Martian!” Kim had no idea what the answer of the riddle was, but its memory still made the hair on her arms stand up. The best answer that she could think of was a baby. She had many thoughts about Luke Walkin during their trip, and not many of them were good. She dreamed of her hero trapped on the red planet with his foot stuck beneath a rock. In her dreams, he screamed as if anyone would ever be able to hear him. She shook off the idea of her longtime hero’s death and turned her attention back to Xavier. “Get ready to go. I can’t land this thing by myself. From the looks of you, we’re going to be cutting it close, time wise.”

 

Xavier found a way to be ready in time for the landing. In fact, he was up and walking within the hour. The two of them landed the USS Maturin no problem. They touched down within two city blocks of the first Mars settlement named Plymouth. The two of them geared up with the latest NASA gear. Xavier always used to laugh at the old video’s of the first astronauts in space, with their giant, globe-looking helmets. His helmet fit over his head with only an inch of space in front of his face. The atmosphere fed through a self-filtering system that turned the harsh, Martian air into nitrogen and oxygen rich air. The suit itself was a somewhat tight fitting black garment. He didn’t know what the material was called, but it was lighter than anything that he wore on earth.

Xavier gestured toward the bubble of inhabitable of land. “Well, if we’re going to find the man, we better get moving.”

Kim nodded. “Be ready for anything. If he really is crazy, he may try to attack us. I expect to find him—” she trailed off. Kim didn’t like the thought of her dead hero—a man that she admired since being a teenager. Instead of finishing her sentence, she simply picked up her pace and walked ahead of Xavier.

Kim pushed the button to the door that opened the passage into the bubble. All in all, they had to walk through three sets of doors just be get into the inhabitable land.

Both Kim and Xavier stood in slack-jawed awe when they made it inside of the bubble. The air was warm and oxygenated. Trees poked out of the small grassland. The two of them took their helmets off and basked in the first stretch of nature that they’d seen in months.

“Now where to?”

Kim thought it over. “Well, if I were him, I’d proba—wait, what the hell was that? Did you see that?”

Xavier nodded, but couldn’t produce any audible sound that would get confused as an answer. The dark shape ran up a tree, thirty yards in front of them. It was brown, ran on four legs, looked like a dog in a lot of ways. Except it didn’t have hair, Xavier thought. And those eyes—they’re human.

“Walkins—you around?” Xavier asked.

The dog-like figure jumped down from the tree. It smiled at them while it stood up on its hind legs. “Embrace the Martian,” the creature squeaked.

Kim and Xavier looked at eachother, then drew their weapons.

Flash Fiction Thursday: Spider Legs

Flash Fiction ThrusdayOkay, okay, this isn’t really a flash fiction story. I entered Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction contest this week. The challenge–Write a horror story in only THREE sentences. Is it a lazy way for me to complete Flash Fiction Thursday? Sure. But I finished a book last night, so give me a break!

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/11/flash-fiction-challenge-horror-in-three-sentences/

The winner gets a prize. Wish me luck.

Spider Legs

The heavy breathing on the back of her neck sent the feeling of seven sets of spider legs crawling across her spine. When Denise looked back, she wouldn’t be able to make out a shape in the nearly pitch-black room, but she knew he’d be there. Slowly, Denise wheeled her head around only to realize she was wrong—the light shone off his white teeth as well as the cold steel of the knife in his hand.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day Seven

30 day challengeWhat is your dream job and why?

Okay, first off, I’m super blessed to have the job that I’m currently in (mentioned this before). That being said, my dream job would definitely be owning a non profit that helps inner-city kids with school work. I’ve always loved to tutor and to give back to the community. Why not try and accomplish both at the same time? I’d also like to continue to write books on the side too. I’ve found a passion for writing, and I’m going to stick with that for a while.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day Six

30 day challengeAlmost a week deep in this challenge–so far, so good.

This one might be one of the harder ones to do.

What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

‘What’s the hardest thing you have ever experienced?’ could mean several things. Physically it would definitely be my college football conditioning test my sophomore year. If it’s interpenetrated as your best accomplishment/hardest thing you’ve done, it would be graduating from Colorado School of Mines.

I think of it as the hardest single experience I’ve ever been through. It those terms it would be watching my Aunt die of A.L.S. I remember everything about that day: the long drive from Texas to Indiana, the bright and sunny day, the angle of my aunt’s left arm as she lay in her bed, motionless. Everything about that day is permanently etched in my brain. I loved my aunt very much–I’ll always miss my Aunt Denise AKA Aunt Neicey. Watching her last seconds broke my heart. It’s something I’ll never forget.