Saturday, March 30, 2013

A-Z Challenge

I'm joining more than 1500 bloggers who are taking on the “2013 Blogging A to Z Challenge” which begins Monday, April 1. I found out about the challege from the publisher at the publishing house where I'm an editor and decided I should join in. Here's how it works:

1. The first part of the challenge is to write a blog post every day (except Sundays) during the month of April.
2. The second part of the challenge requires that all the posts are written thematically from A to Z! So, the subject of day 1′s post would begin with the letter A, and so on, all the way to Z, for a total of 26 thematic A to Z posts in 30 days.

You can find the list of other participants on the right side of the page. Randomly pick one or two or as many as you want each day and see what creative offering they make, and don't forget to come back here to see what odd, dark twist I put on my story for the day. I'll be posting one micro or flash fiction story a day featuring a creature that could fall into the category of speculative fiction. Thanks to the help of my friend in narrowing down the list, the list of creatures are:

Jack 'O Lantern
Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent)
Xana (female water spirit)
Zombie Squirrels

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cemented Love

The beach was full of happy sunbathers, swimmers, surfers and sandcastle builders. Strolling tourists filled the boardwalk. The mid-afternoon sun was high in the sky and the ocean water was warm. It was the perfect day to visit the beach.

“I’m so glad we came to the beach today,” Simon said.

“Me too, it is important for you to get out of that stuffy office,” Marta, his wife, replied.

Simon’s phone beeped, alerting him he had a text message. Marta glared at him as he reached for it, he smiled sheepishly then settled back into the lawn chair and closed his eyes to enjoy the sunshine. His wife was right, work could wait.

A rumbling sound woke Simon up. “What the …?” he said as the sand around them shook from the earthquake and the water rose to the top, creating quicksand.

They, along with everyone else on the beach, sunk into the mush. As they struggled to free themselves they sank deeper and deeper into the soil. When the earthquake finished, the water soaked back into the sand and trapped them in place.

“What happened? Why can’t I get out?” Marta, who was chest deep in the sand, demanded as she struggled to free herself..

“It is called soil liquefaction,” Simon, who was a geologist, answered. “We’re basically stuck in a sandy cement.”

“Get us out!” his wife ordered frantically. The tide was coming in and it wouldn’t be long before it reached them.

“Help! Please, someone help us!” Simon called, joining in the chorus of beach-goers who were also trapped in the sand. Those closer to the water started panicking as the waves washed over their faces. The rescue crews tried to dig them out but there just weren’t enough of them and many of those who were trapped drowned waiting.

Marta and Simon looked into each other’s eyes as the water lapped closer. “I don’t think we’re going to make it,” Simon said.

“I love you, Simon,” she said tearfully.

The edge of the salty water splashed onto his face as he replied, “I love you, too.”

When the rescue team pulled their lifeless bodies from the sand they were still looking at each other. One of the rescuers smiled then said, “I guess they had a cemented love.”

Word Prompt: sunshine, strolling, warm

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Rnth, the world leader of Hynonth, saw that his constituents were in need of a harvestable source for replacement body parts as well as a new food source. He asked his best scientists to go out and find a planet that could sustain a similar ecosystem filled with lots of green plant-life.

Zorgflub was one of the scientists assigned to the project. He examined the planets throughout the universe and pinpointed 3AR7H, a small planet 400 million light years away, as a candidate. Zorgflub zipped through a worm tunnel to the planet to begin his investigation.

He scooped up a handful of the 3AR7H’s soil and examined it. “The growth material is similar to our own and is suitable,” he noted in his journal. Then Zorgflub tested the nearby water, checking its chemical make-up and for any impurities. “The liquid material is suitable for growth,” he recorded, swaying as the wind blowing across the virgin soil. “There are adequate light and weather conditions to support life here.”

In his final report, Zorgflub stated, “3AR7H has the proper growth material and liquid sustenance for plant life in addition to adequate light and temperature conditions. Recommendation: Introduction of liquid-based plants to create an oxygen-based environment followed by full seeding of plants and trees. Once these environment regulators have been establish, the materials to create harvestable clones and food supply can be implanted. Estimated time of completion: thirty Hynonth years.”

3AR7H was chosen and Zorgflub was put in charge of the project. After relocating to the planet and setting up primitive housing in the middle of a large landmass that he’d identified as the most fertile area, he systematically planted vegetation in the water then as the ecosystem changed he started growing vegetation on land, including grasses, flowers, trees and vegetables.

With the oxygen-rich environment ready, Zorgflub introduced the beginnings for carbon-based species into the oceans. He guided the evolution of the various species, tweaking the DNA as needed to grow the strongest specimens.

At the end of thirty Hynonth years, 3AR7H was thriving. Zorgflube renamed the planet Earth to make it easier for the intellectually advanced species to say. In his final report before returning home, Zorgflub said, “Earth will be ripe for harvesting within ten years. Ongoing guidance will be needed to help the homo sapiens develop. I recommend constant oversight from the Guidance Over Development group until they become sufficiently advanced. Prognosis: Positive.”

Word Prompt: flowers, swaying, green