Sunday, May 28, 2023


“Follow the bones, they always know.” Her guide laughed at his own joke as he carefully made his way along the dry desert ridge. It was dotted with white flags marking each bone found. They hung limply without a hint of wind to move them or provide any relief. “It’d be nice if they led to shade.”

There wasn’t a tree or rocky cropping for as far as she could see to provide any relief. She was thankful that her visit to this barren landscape was going to be short. She wrote notes about the flags, then went back to watching him work.

Despite the heat, the dinosaur hunter was wearing jeans, cowboy boots, and a long-sleeve shirt. On top of his balding head was a well-worn cowboy hat. She supposed it made sense as it was dirty, potentially dangerous work. His clothes would protect from thorny bushes, sharp rocks, and the bright midday sun. She wished she’d dressed as smartly and hadn’t insisted that safari-wear would be perfect.

He handed her a flask. “Drink some water. You’ll never get your ‘For Dummies’ book written if you die out here and join the dinos.”

He pointed to a pile of white objects. “Well, I’ll be damned!”


“Don’t you see it? There’s a handful of T-rex teeth.”

“Is that good?”

“Are you kidding? This could be the find of a lifetime.” He handed her a knife and brush. “Make yourself useful.”

And that’s how she became a bone-fied dinosaur hunter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The Alien Who Cried Earthling

“Pods ... we must get into the pods ... must save ourselves in the pods!” young Ceoxilli cried as he ran into the throne room.

“What are you going on about?” King Iippi demanded.

“They’re … they … they’re here!”

“Who’s here?!”

“The Earthlings!”

“That’s what you said last week and the week before. Go to your room and don’t keep telling me these fanciful tales.”

“But they are here! I saw them … for real! I’m not lying.” Ceoxilli looked out the window, hoping one would pass by so he could prove that he was telling the truth.

“No one has time for your imaginations. Now go!”

Ceoxilli growled then ran to the safe room in the basement and locked himself in. He turned the news on his phone and waited for the attack. Hours passed and still no attack. He knew he’d seen Earthlings and was sure they would be up to no good.

He found the food supply and anxiously started eating as the battery on his phone slowly slipped away. He fell into a carbohydrate coma. His dreams were full of Earthlings going through his things and putting them into bags to take back to Earth and show everyone.

Ceoxilli was mortified when they found his underwear and laughed at the animals and galaxies. “These are adorable,” one said. “The little girl who wears these must be so cute … for an alien anyway.” In his dream, Ceoxilli was infuriated. He was a teenage boy. Not a little girl!

He jumped out from his hiding spot and attacked them with his pocket knife. They laughed at him and held him at arm’s length as he tried to slash them. “This is a feisty one. I bet the Galactic Zoo would love a specimen.”

The Earthlings put him in a sack then cut some air holes into the bag. They tossed him on the pile with the other bags. Ceoxilli was livid now. First they called him a girl, then they were going to put him in a zoo? Not if he could do anything about it.

His skin started to get red hot and he could smell the fabric starting to burn, releasing smoke into the room. The Earthlings started to cough, choking on the polluted air. He laughed as the bag burst into flame and he slipped out unscathed.

“Go, go, go!” one of the Earthlings cried out! Ceoxilli chased them down the hall and out of the castle. He was jumping up and down. He’d saved his family and his dignity.

“Ceoxilli, let us in!” King Iippi called out through the door. “We have been searching for you all over!”

The teen’s eyes flickered open and he panicked when he realized he wasn’t in his room then remembered he was in the safe room. He stumbled to the door and threw it open, relieved to hear his father’s voice again.

“Sucker!” the Earthlings yelled, then laughed as Ceoxilli tried to jump away and slam the door shut but it was too late, they had already grabbed him and there was no escape. He wished he could get red hot like in his dreams, but that wasn’t possible. “Put him in the bag with the rest of them. The Galactic Zoo will pay good money for a young specimen.”

They were tossed into the decontamination room with the other aliens that had been rounded up then the ship took off for the Earthling base on Mars. Ceoxilli glared at his father, who replied with a shrug, “Liars are not believed—even when they speak the truth.”