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25.1.23

WHERE ARE WE?

 

WHERE ARE WE?

The alien commander watched Fredo and Shoda’s keyboard skills on the monitor. ‘They’re too bright – more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll catch some four-legs for food instead.’ He flicked a switch.

Fredo gasped. ‘I think it’s working! Hold tight, everyone!’

They clumped together in a nervous group, there was a brief sensation of weightlessness, and a moment later they landed in a ruined building. Slowly they picked themselves up, looking skywards, but the aliens had gone.

‘Everyone here?’ inquired a tremulous voice.

‘Where is here?’ someone replied.

‘It’s Earth,’ said Shoda, ‘with no aliens and no guards. That’s a good start.’

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Here, by popular request, is the third part of my alien story. You can find the first two in my blog archive on the right of this page. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for the photo prompt, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers. To read other interpretations of the prompt, follow the frog link from her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

 


19.1.23

CHILD-SIZED

 CHILD-SIZED

As the ship slowed they watched the countryside recede on large screens, then a green face peered round the door and its owner was pushed into the room.

“He’s so small!” Fredo exclaimed.

The alien backed against the door as the children surrounded him.

“He’s frightened of our size,” said Shoda.

“They should have checked before they kidnapped us,” Fredo said, studying a keyboard. “I think we can work this out. Shoda, take the other control.”

Their parents held their breath and prayed as young fingers danced over child-sized keys.

Seeing himself un-observed, the alien slipped out of the room. 

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By popular demand, this is a continuation of the story I began two weeks ago, so if you missed the first two episodes, feel free to look in my blog archive. Thanks to Na'ama Yehuda for the image prompt, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you fancy reading other stories, or even joining our small but select group, click on the frog on her page.


11.1.23

INTO THE UNKNOWN

 

INTO THE UNKNOWN

The sun was setting when they heard the low-voiced call, ‘Come.’

‘That’s Fredo!’ his mother cried and ran across the bridge.

Some still hesitated, but the trickle of children became a stampede and the adults could only follow.

Blinded by the sun’s last rays, they didn’t see the craft hovering overhead until it was too late. An irresistible force lifted them, dropped them in a strange room, then they were pinned down by the speed of acceleration as the craft sped skywards.

Fredo clung to his mother. ‘Sorry, they gave me no choice.’

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This is a sequel to last week's story, written because so many people asked what happened next. So if you didn't read last week's blog, you might like to look in my blog archive and do so now!

Thanks to Fleur Lind for the photo prompt, and to Rochelle as ever for hosting Friday Fictioneers, which hasn't changed its name in years despite starting on a Wednesday. In fact, if I don't write my story till Friday, hardly anyone reads it!

5.1.23

GRAFFITI

 GRAFFITI                                     


Twice daily the guard from this end marches across the bridge to meet his opposite number for a shared smoke, the boom of his boots reminding us how deep the ravine is. Sometimes, while his back is turned, daring lads run on tiptoe to spray graffiti, their parents unwilling to forbid these small tastes of freedom.

 

But this morning the unthinkable happened – both guards disappeared. After a few minutes two lads ventured all the way across, and vanished. No yells, no shots, just a deathly silence.

Eventually their fathers went looking, and they haven’t returned either.

 

We’ve been waiting all day. We don’t know what to do.

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I saw heavily-graffitied pillars when I first glanced at Roger Bultot's photo, and that brought to mind a spray-painted sentence I saw once in the car park of Las Galletas, our local shopping village in Tenerife. It was so romantic that it's stuck in my head ever since.

 Te amo porque nací para cerrar los ojos a tu lado.

I love you because I was born to close my eyes beside you.

And on that note I wish you a very Happy New Year for 2023.

31.12.22

UPRISING

 

UPRISING

‘Let’s go outside, Mother.’

‘It’s not allowed, Yasuf.’

‘But I want to blow my whistle!’

She looked at her small son’s trembling lip. Could she bear another year of restrictions? What kind of life was it for her child?

Taking his hand, she walked into the empty street, and as Yasuf blew his whistle their neighbours joined them. A trickle, a stream, a flood.

Soldiers came but the crowd stayed. Guns fired but people overpowered them. They stormed the fortress by sheer numbers, locked the dictators in the blood-soaked dungeons.

There were some martyrs, but a new year had truly begun.

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I am late on parade this week, but how to make Rochelle's image fit a New Year story was a challenge. I hope you think the result is worth the wait?

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my writing this year. I wish you all a happy new year 2023, and may all your troubles be solvable.  

AND if any of you would buy my books - all available on Amazon - that would make my year too!

 


24.12.22

CHRISTMAS EVE BODIES

CHRISTMAS EVE BODIES                                    

                                                                                           

I must have been about seven, playing under the table and hidden by the cloth, when Mrs Thompson from next door asked Mum, “Have you heard the latest about your Madge?”

Mum said a rude word and asked, “What’s the old bat done now?”

I’d never even heard of Madge, but when Mrs Thompson said three men had been found lying in her back garden on Christmas Eve I must have gasped too loudly. Mum hauled me out and sent me packing, refusing to explain about the dead men.

So I asked Dad.

“We don’t talk about Auntie Madge – it upsets your mum,” he said, but I was wise to that trick

“Mum and Mrs Thompson were talking about her just now,” I said, so he sat me down, shut the door, and asked, “What did you hear?”

“There were three bodies found in her garden.”

“She wouldn’t hurt a soul,” Dad said, “but if you ever let on I told you about her, we’re both dead. She’s my dad’s sister. Some say she’s a witch because she’s always got huge bottles bubbling in her shed.”

“Wow! Is that why those men were dead?”

“Dead drunk, more likely,” Dad laughed. “They must have broken into her shed - and Madge’s wine packs a real wallop.”

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That's it, folks! I don't know how many people read my week of stories, but thank you to those who did. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a trouble-free New Year.

23.12.22

THE CAMEL HERDER

 


THE CAMEL HERDER

It was a mystery why my master undertook such a journey in mid-winter – all that way west just because he saw a brighter than usual star. He said it marked the birth of a king, which seems a bit far-fetched to me, but it’s not my place to question - the whims of the wealthy are impossible to fathom.

The camels didn’t appreciate leaving their warm stable, but with a mixture of goading and coaxing I got them moving. Travelling at night wasn’t easy, and I lost count of the number of times I stumbled over a rock in the dark. The camels’ big flat feet coped much better, but I had to keep hold of them - the kings were sleeping in their saddles half the night and I’d get the blame if one of them fell.

When we reached Judea, naturally we stopped at the palace, but no prince had been born there. Even so the ruler, Herod, made us welcome. It was bliss to sleep in clean straw that night, but we were off early the next day, and I heard the kings talking as they rode.

“Herod has invited us to stay longer on our return journey.”

“I don’t trust him.”

“What harm could he do to us with our well-armed retinue?”

“It isn’t us he would harm – an angel told me last night he means to kill the child.”

“You and your dreams! But why kill a baby?”

“Didn’t you see his face when Caspar referred to him as a king?”

“Ah – he fears the child may grow to be competition.”

The first shock was that this prince wasn’t born in a palace, not even in a decent house, but a stable! There they knelt, all three kings prostrating themselves in the straw and muck, and in their best robes too. They gave their gifts to the child and, call me fanciful if you like, I swear there was an aura about him. What’s more, it looked for all the world as if that tiny hand blessed them before they left for the comfortable lodgings their gold had secured in the crowded town.

After I’d settled the camels for the night I peered over into the next stall, hoping to see for myself what the fuss had been about. The child was suckling like any other baby, but the mother’s expression was strange. It was in part a mother’s love for her child, mingled with a touch of awe, but there was also fear, as if she knew a shadow hung over his future. His father gave me a look so I dropped back into the straw and slept, dreaming dark dreams.

We started for home in the morning, using another road that took us nowhere near Herod’s palace. The star remained over the stable.

A year or so later news reached us of a dreadful massacre. Apparently Herod was so afraid this baby king would seize his throne that he had killed every boy child in his kingdom. It makes the heart bleed to imagine it. I never did trust the Romans.

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I often wonder what stories lurk behind the main one - what were the thoughts of the huge retinue of staff that would have accompanied the journey of three kings from Persian lands afar. So this is how I imagine one of them might have reacted to being dragged across several countries in winter. I hope you enjoy reading it.