Tag Archives: prose fiction

1882. Hovering space craft

There is no doubting the certitude of some things. It took only a couple of drinks at a party and Warwick would corner any and every one and talk about Unidentified Flying Objects. Tonight he had buttonholed Brandon.

One of the more concerning things about UFOs – said Warwick – is that they are always seen hovering near military establishments. Military bases of various kinds. Or if not, at least an air force plane or an aircraft carrier. It implies that these UFO aliens are snooping on our military. One would think that aliens would be interested in Nature – our mountains and lakes, our trees and animals. Even our weather. But no! They snoop around the military bases, and this implies that their intentions are not friendly. Don’t you think?

Brandon felt trapped. He clearly had to respond, because there was no one else in on the conversation. Just him and Warwick. So he said that Warwick’s point was very perceptive. Yes, it did look like these cosmic aliens were preparing for an Earth take-over. One would think that if the aliens were going to surprise the Earthlings they would cover their intent by making appearances at less war-prone environments. Why not be furtively seen in the sky at the Chelsea Flower Show, for example?

Quite true! Quite true! said Warwick excitedly. The signs certainly point to an imminent attack.

Brandon made a mental note to pass this observation on to his headquarters, somewhere in the vicinity of Proxima Centauri.

1881. Cross that bridge

It was inevitable, when Zelda said she didn’t believe in trolls, that something terrible would happen.

She didn’t have to say it just prior to leaving for a bicycle ride with her twelve year old daughter and ten year old son. We shall cycle up the valley on that old dirt road. There are three ancient bridges and wild terrain to see. And what is more, it might be uphill on the way there, but it’s downhill all the way home.

“But what if there are trolls under the bridges?” said ten year old Mario.

“I don’t believe in trolls,” said Zelda. And that was the invitation to disaster.

Off they went! Heading for the hills! Heading for the old dirt road with lots of ancient bridges and no trolls!

They had barely crossed the first bridge when Chiara got a puncture in the back tyre. “That’s no matter,” said practical Zelda who had brought her puncture-fixing kit in her haversack.

Before long the puncture was fixed. Off they went! The second bridge was a little more dangerous. It was a very old bridge used years ago by the forestry trucks. It had no sides. It crossed a narrow ravine with a ribbon of river far, far below. Mario’s wheel got stuck in a crack between the bridge planks. He fell off his bike and almost plunged over the side. Thank goodness he didn’t plummet into the ravine. His jammed bike was rescued. Off they went!

The third and final bridge was crossed without an event.

“Time for the homeward journey,” said Zelda, turning her bike around. “See! No trolls!”

Will that stupid woman never learn? Apparently all hell broke loose somewhere between the third and first bridge.

1879. Really, really dumb

Let’s face it: Melvyn was dumb. Even his teacher, who tried her best to be nice, thought he was dumb. “Your child is dumb,” she said to Melvyn’s parents. “Really, really dumb.” It made no difference, because Melvyn took after his parents. They were dumb too.

His teacher would spend half an hour explaining to her students why grass was green, and at the end of all this Melvyn would put up his hand and ask, “Miss, why is grass green?” Not just dumb, but aggravating. Away with the fairies.

His exercise books were incomprehensible. They were a mess of doodles and numbers. Call that arithmetic? Goodness gracious! The sooner this child left school and got a job clearing the city’s sewerage system the better.

Then one day, Melvyn put up his hand and asked the teacher, “What happens if, when you loop one quantum particle around another, you don’t get back to the same quantum state?”

The teacher told Melvyn to get back to doing his work.

Let’s face it: the teacher was dumb. Even Melvyn, who tried his best to be nice, thought she was dumb. “My teacher is dumb,” Melvyn said to his parents. “Really, really dumb.”

And indeed she was – in more ways than one.

1877. The time had come

Murder was what drove Jephthah on relentlessly. The thrill of a murder was exciting enough to last several years, but once such a thrill had worn thin Jephthah would select another victim.

The last victim had been a little old lady who was in a back street looking for her cat. Jephthah had offered to help, and when she turned her back he smashed her over the head with the weapon. What the weapon was perplexed the police. They discovered neither the weapon nor the murderer.

It didn’t greatly matter to Jephthah who it was got killed. It was the act of murder that caused the delight. So far, over the years, he had done five people in. The gap between each victim was getting shorter. Clearly the gusto these days didn’t last as long. Indeed! The time had come! Jephthah seized his umbrella that disguised a heavy metal pipe and set out.

He had to find a lone person in a back alley; preferably a person who was utterly pleasant and happy to stop and chat a little. There’s a little old lady now! Ah! She’s looking for her cat. Same as last time. That would be boring.

There’s a man dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. He looks like a lawyer. Now, that could be thrilling!

“Nice day,” said Jephthah.

“Isn’t it,” said the lawyer.

They got talking. The awful thing was that Jephthah couldn’t get the man to turn his back so he could strike him over the head. So Jephthah decided to walk away in search of another.

That was when the “lawyer” walloped a massive blow on the back of Jephthah’s head. What the weapon was perplexed the police. They discovered neither the weapon nor the murderer.

1857. Magic mushrooms

Cameron was wandering through the forest for no particular reason when he came across a little collection of hallucinogenic mushrooms. He knew they were hallucinogenic because he’d seen photos of them in a woman’s magazine in the dentist’s waiting room. There was an article in the magazine about how not to touch these mushrooms, because although they were very pretty, they were also dangerous.

However, the article did narrate how some people used the mushrooms to undergo an out-of-body experience, and others had used them simply to provide a kaleidoscopic in-your-face state of mind. All in all however, the article had said “DON’T TOUCH”. It was that warning that came to Cameron when he first saw and recognized them in the forest.

When he got home Cameron searched for more information and discovered they were called psilocybin mushrooms, and the effects of psilocybin mushrooms come from psilocybin and psilocin. When psilocybin is gets in the body, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the psychedelic effects.

The online information was most educational and in the end Cameron knew with certitude that what he had found in the forest were psilocybin mushrooms. The only thing the information didn’t say, and Cameron couldn’t find the information anywhere, was whether or not he was meant to dry the mushrooms first and then smoke them, or ingest them the way they were, or dehydrate them before eating. In fact, was he meant to cook them like regular mushrooms?

These mushrooms have a short shelf-life, so if anyone out there knows?

1855. Fate deals the cards

Olga stumbled across a free online webpage that would interpret the four tarot cards clicked on. The entire deck of cards was spread out, face down. Things hadn’t been going well for Olga recently and she was searching for something positive to cling to. She had been threatened by strangers several times in the past week because she had been seen going into a fast food establishment that was no longer considered woke.

Olga clicked on four cards, even though she thought that such things online were bogus hocus-pocus. The four cards when clicked on turned their faces up. An interpretation of the selected cards was proclaimed by a computerized voice.

The first card shows that you are insecure and do not know whether or not to accept a recent invitation to a birthday party. Go! Go to the party!

That’s true, thought Olga. I have been invited to Elaine’s birthday party at the solstice and I wasn’t keen to go.

The second card indicates what sort of gift you should bring to the birthday party. Nothing too expensive; nothing too ostentatious. Just a pleasant gift that the person would enjoy.

How right that is, thought Olga. I am so pleased I bought Elaine a simple peace lily in a lovely pot.

The third card indicates someone else at the party whom you meet for the first time. It could be a person of the opposite sex. The card indicates that they will become a significant person in your life.

That is so exciting, thought Olga. I’m well into the marriageable age and have yet to find Mister Right.

The fourth and final card indicates…

It was then that Olga’s phone rang. Hello. Hello, said Olga. It was Elaine. Could Olga email her the online address for party games she had told her about? Sure she could. She would do so immediately.

What a shame that Olga never heard the reading for the remaining card she had selected. Otherwise she may not have been murdered at the party by “Mister Right”.

1839. The truth about fairies

Jacquitta took her two children, Vinny and Patience for a walk. Patience was four and Vinny was seven.

“Let’s see if we can find where the fairies live,” said Jacquitta.

“I don’t believe in fairies,” said Vinny.

“Oh, but they’re real,” said Jacquitta wanting to protect little Patience from the reality of an imagination-derelict world. “They live in little mushroom villages. They are usually kind and lovely, but sometimes, if you are mean to them, they can get annoyed and then horrible things can happen.”

“It’s not true,” said Vinny. “My friend said that his mother told him that fairies were made up.”

“I’m sure they live around here,” said Jacquitta. “Oh look children! There’s a mushroom ring! It’s a fairies’ village!”

“It’s not a fairies’ village,” said Vinny. “It’s a pile of poisonous mushrooms.”

Vinny kicked the mushrooms with his foot. He smashed them to smithereens. “See,” he said, “no fairies.”

Little Patience burst into tears. “You’ve hurt the fairies and broken their houses,” she said.

“You are a naughty, naughty boy,” said Jacquitta.

The next morning Vinny woke up with a club foot.

1752. A winning day

Don’t ask me how he knew, but he knew alright. Charlie knew that this was his winning day. He didn’t know exactly how, but he knew it deep down in his bones.

He had always been intuitive; like when he knew his brother had passed away before the phone call even came through. Perhaps today he would win a lot of money in the lottery. Or perhaps he’d win the trailer load of groceries that the local Rotary Club had organized; after all he’d taken two tickets in the raffle. Perhaps he had been given the winning voucher from the local electronic supply shop; the promotion had said “Spend $20 and go in the draw to win”. He already knew how he’d spend it; at least how he’d spend part of it. He wanted a rice cooker, and a deep fryer, and a hand held whizzy stick-thing that pureed stuff. Not being sure as to which scenario was going to make his lucky day simply added to the excitement!

And then… as he looked out the window, two cars slowly passed the front of his house. One was a shiny new bright red car. Both drivers slowed down and looked at his house. They stopped just up the road. One of the drivers got out and went to the other driver’s window. They spoke for about five minutes.

During that time, Charlie was beside himself. He’d won a car! He simply knew! There were a number of competitions he’d entered over the previous month to win a car, and at last it had come to fruition. Oh lucky, lucky day!

The two cars were turning around now. They began to slowly approach Charlie’s house. He knew! He knew! Don’t ask me how he knew, but he knew alright. Charlie opened his front door wide as a welcoming gesture. His heart was in his mouth. The cars were moving so slowly. They almost came to a stop. And then they went right passed.