Fanfaronnade

Standard

 

The baker and the blacksmith were gathered around the inn’s fireplace on a frozen blustery night. The fire was roaring and the wooden pillars from which the inn was built were stout and sturdy. Yet with every patron who entered, a sweep of snow and a shock of chill air barged in. It was late, and most patrons had retired to their rooms. But some remained in the common room, finishing the last of their hot mead or a late meal. Or hoping that the innkeeper would overlook it if they fell asleep by the hearty fire instead of retiring to their frosty chambers. Continue reading

The Purple Dust Mine

Standard


Do you see him? Right there, between Mig and John? As if he’s part of the crew?

Nico drove up to the mouth of the cave. He got out of the truck and walked around to the other side. Normally, the young retriever would have hopped out of the open door in a rush. But Ruby lay there, still sleeping. Continue reading

The Door Beneath the Desert

Standard

“Mars, help me. Help me, Mars.”

Betty Garimonde wasn’t dead. Mars could see the slight rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her body was so frail that when he lifted it, it felt as if all her substance were gone, and he was only lifting her skin and her bones. The light, not just sunlight, but even the light of the torches, seared her skin, so that Mars had to keep her covered from head to toe with a cloth. She looked even more so like a corpse when he did. Maybe she was close to being one. So there was nothing to lose now. Continue reading

The Makriaziton Mechanism

Standard

“There were people who once knew how to harness energies that we haven’t yet discovered, or rather, rediscovered,” Dr. Taisho said as she strapped the leathery cuff around his right wrist. “They did so by learning about the world around them and building tools to understand and then use the forces and energies they observed. Wars and calamities overcame the world and most of the knowledge and the tools were destroyed or lost. There are those in the present time who are trying to regain that knowledge. They are finding some of the tools and devices and testing them to see if they still work. This is one those devices.” Continue reading

Sal Saturn and the Planetary Rangers

Standard

sfwk_17aIn the year 2025, humanity received an answer to one of its most fundamental questions: “Are we alone in the universe?”

Only one thousand standard years later, unnoticeable and unfathomable to the greatly aged cosmos, a galactic alliance was formed, a coalition of inhabited worlds bound together in cooperation, friendship, and mutual progress. The Grand Unified Milky Way. The G.U.M. was protected by the Milky Way Planetary Rangers, whose members hailed from every planet in the alliance, and whose mission was to patrol within and outside the borders of their home, the galaxy the Earth humans charmingly named the Milky Way. Continue reading

Stromascope

Standard

sf_wk16

In the suddenly dimmed room full of seated strangers, I heard subdued coughs, the click of a heel, the crack of a knuckle, and the hushed hiss of fabric shifting against fabric or against the hard plastic chairs.

The room brightened from the front, where the image slowly appeared and came into focus, radiant white and familiar. Gasps and murmurs rippled through the room as eyes adjusted to the monotone image and grasped the subtle sight of the unexpected. Continue reading