Kal’s Truth

Kal's Truth

Click here to get the latest story.

Kal laid in a metal prison cell gasping for air, the sound of her people dying and the village burning still fresh in her mind. Her eyelids were heavy and her body felt like it was buried in sand. The first thing she could remember upon awakening was a human male with gold and silver teeth, and black rot infesting his mouth. He wore a white coat and had a bright instrument that blinded her. Unlike Sarge, his hair was grey and creased like the wrinkles that came with age. But unlike her people, this man had spots. Only later would she learn that humans developed a condition called “liver spots.”

The man in the coat turned and said something to a Teristaque waiting in the background. Her memory was incomplete, like the patchwork of one of her mother’s quilts. Every moment was a snapshot. She was being dragged through a hallway by two Teristaques. Her possessions were locked in a box. Her body was stripped. She was sprayed with a burning liquid. More dragging. Another exam from the human with the rotting gold and silver teeth. Finally, she woke up in a prison cell.

While Kal’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, she heard a low grunt from the corner of the room. The grunt sounded like a krikshek beast back home. They were a fierce beast with a dire disposition and two large horns that could impale a villager. Kal attempted to scramble to her feet, but her muscles felt like she was trying to move through a thick goo, and she fell back down.

A creature slid from the shadows. It had a large bug-like body and three spiny appendages. It dragged the lower part of its body on the ground. There were stubs where other limbs should have been. The eyes were hideous, large, and clouded grey. The bug was a shade of brown. It sent shivers down Kal’s spine. She scrambled backward, but was unable to get very far and hit her head on a metal cot. The bang would have hurt if systems weren’t suppressed.

“Don’t be afraid,” the bug said in a deep voice. “You are recovering from sedation.”

“You speak Village Tongue!” Kal said looking for the “universal translator” on what she thought would be a wrist.

“There is a translation field covering the prison,” The bug said.

“What do you mean I was under sedation?” Kal said. She still wasn’t sure about this creature.

“They sedate all criminals during interstellar travel.”

“I am not a criminal!”

The bug laughed. Unlike Sarge, the bug had a slow wheezing laugh. Kal still didn’t quite know what to make of laughter. She had no room for it. The nightmares of her village were too fresh in her mind.

The bug must have sensed that its laughter made her uncomfortable, and stopped. It reached out an appendage to comfort her. “Do not fret my dear. Everyone here believes they are not criminals, and you’ll find that some do belong here even if you do not.”

Kal pushed the thing’s arm away, “I do not need your sympathy.”

She turned to inspect her cell, finding two metal cots. One small cot for her and a large one for her buggy cellmate. The walls were smooth and metal, with bars on the opening. There were two toilet facilities, one for a humanoid of her size and another for something larger. The toilets were located in two coves on the back of the cell for at least a little privacy from her cellmate, though a guard standing on the other side of the bars had a full view of either cove.

“I don’t offer you sympathy my dear, only advice. You will find friends hard to come by in this place.”

“I don’t want your advice either,” Kal snapped.

“As you wish. You could have had worse roommates, you know. Grannork’s cell also had room for one more.”

“Oh yeah? At least Grannork doesn’t talk as much as you.”

“Grannork is Orcandu from the Tristar cluster.”

Sarge had told Kal about the Orcandus. They were brutes, and one of the few species that the Teristaques feared. They were massive creatures of pure muscle with a jagged horn on the center of their forehead and fierce, razor sharp teeth. Rumors spread that Orcandus had mis-wired brains and experienced pain as if it were pleasure. Almost every ritual in their culture was meant to induce pain. Kal shuddered to think about what it might be like to share a cell with one. At least an old-disabled bug could be managed.

The bug finally gave up and dragged itself back to its side of the room. Kal traced the cold metal wall with her fingers. She thought about the village that she practically rejected, even though it had embraced her, despite her differences. Now, she wanted nothing more than to be a part of it again. She thought about the warmth of her bed and the wood grain of the ceiling. She used to see faces in the wood grain and would make up stories about them. Now the ceiling was a smooth metal surface with no defining features. She could almost hear the humming of her mother from the kitchen as she drifted into sleep.

Support independent authors: get the kindle edition here.

Advertisements

One Way Trip to Solasoma

One Way Trip to Solasoma

Get the kindle edition here.

I woke from a deafening roar. My bed roll was tangled with ShaShe’s bed roll. The cave violently shook and ShaShe sot my protection. She grabbed my waste. I had no time to comfort her as the whole tribe scrambled in a state of panic. The warriors scrambled for their stone hammers, and the gatherers collected the children. DaWin’s baby cried, and she gave it some root to calm her down. The warriors gathered and looked to me. Warriors and gatherers were both sexes. Warriors were composed of anyone who could wield a hammer. Gatherers were anyone small who could fit through the cracks of rocks.

I nodded to the warriors, and the panic subsided into nervousness. Most of the tribe was hardened by the angry sun. They could deal with crisis as we’ve had many over the years, as many had succumbed to the wrath of the Sun God. This situation was different, and I could see the fear on the warrior’s faces. These were men and women who usually faced death with stoic bravery. I could sense their fear.

“We must go investigate,” I proclaimed to the warriors. They began to wrap themselves in the day fabric. It was black, lightweight, and loose to capture the sweat and create a breeze from our movement. The fabric wrapped every part of the skin. Deformities were a common punishment for those who had the audacity to bare their skin to the Sun God.

The fabric was weaved from the leaves of the Zuuzaan plant. It was one of the few that didn’t live in the shade of rocks, so it offered special protection. Water not in the belly of the Earth God was rare. Finding a Zuuzaan was a gift of the Earth God. For the most part, we stripped the fabric from the dead to create our clothes. Mine was a combination of my mother and my fathers.

ShaShe was not pleased. She voiced her objection, “You will not last long. It’s still daylight.”

“We are honor bound to protect the tribe. We must go investigate,” I said firmly.

She conceded with no further objection. Arguments never lasted long. The Sun God sapped the energy to argue.

The warriors and I carefully made our way to the front of the cave clutching our stone hammers. My grandfather claimed he found a spear made of wood once, deep within a cave. The wood spear burned when he left it out in the daylight too long. He gave me the stone tip when I accepted tribal leader after my father’s death. I wore it around my neck. The stone would heat during the day and leave a scar. The scar is my reminder to be wary of the Sun God or fall to the same fate of my father.

As we came closer to the mouth of the cave the heat rose before the first crack of light. Once we saw the light of day, the heat began to suffocate. Our bodies poured sweat. Our throats became dry. We carefully sipped from the water skin tube near our mouths. Drink too fast and you’ll run out before you can return. Drink too little and the Sun God will claim you.

We were leaving the protection of the Earth God. The Earth God was the only god to stand up against the Sun God. She sheltered the Water God in her depths. She provided reprieve and sometimes cave dwelling fauna for a scarce meal. Though for the most part, we hunted small creatures and ate plants that dwelled between the rocks on the surface.

We stepped out into the Sun God’s realm. The landscape was barren. There were no clouds in the sky. The baked sand and craggy rocks stretched in all directions. We were about to turn around when HaraTas, the leading female warrior, pointed to the horizon.

“Look. The Fire God signals us,” She pointed to a glint on the horizon. The glint was a regularly blinking silver light. The warriors murmured at the discovery. The Fire God was controlled by the Sun God. He burned at the whim of the Sun. But the Fire God was also a trickster. He gave us fire to cook our meals and make our tools. If the Sun God knew the Fire God was going behind his back, we’d surely loose the gift of fire. So why was the Fire God openly defying the Sun?

“We will answer the Fire God’s call,” I decided.

There was a nervous shift among the warriors. “But we will not have water for the return journey!” One said.

“We must answer the call,” HaraTas retorted.

“The Fire God will betray us!” Another said.

“Anyone who wishes to return may do so.  The Earth God held us in her womb and shook violently. She wants us to answer the Fire God’s call. We must honor the mother and answer the call,” I said and simply began walking. HaraTas followed. The others followed. I hoped I was right. The Earth God could be crueler than the Sun because of the hope she offered, especially if the hope was misplaced.

Read the full story on amazon here.

Time Beast

Time Beast

Download the story on Amazon

Squire sat at the banks of Lake Privus. Two suns set in the horizon casting a pale orange glow on the barren rocky landscape. He absentmindedly tossed rocks into the grey lifeless water and watched the bubbles as the impurities dissolved. An extra large stone splashed a little of the water onto his boots. After being transfixed for a moment by the acid’s path through his thick rubber soles, he quickly tore off his boot before the acid penetrated any deeper.

There was now a huge hole in the bottom of his boot. Normally, ruining a pair of military boots would mean serious trouble. Not to mention the act of leaving the military installation without permission would compound his trouble. However, Squire wasn’t worried. He earned his nickname by being a bit of a squire to his superiors. Often, they would have him go to supply depots to fetch one item or another. He would just have to remember to pick up a new pair of boots for himself.

With that thought, he sat up and turned to face the large military compound in the distance. He enjoyed getting away from the compound every so often. Even though his trips involved exploring a bleak and desolate landscape, it was better than the daily grind at the compound.

The tanned sand dunes with intermitted grey rocks jutting from the sand stretched out on the horizon. On the other side of the lake, a hundred meter cliff marked the northern boundary. The cliff was composed of varying shades of grey and white.

Life in the Interstellar Forces rarely varied from day-to-day much like the landscape around Squire. The same vitamin enhanced but lacking in taste meal rotations were served in the mess halls. He woke up each morning to the exact same exercise routine as the previous morning. Like clockwork, he knew exactly what would happen anytime. Even when they were surprised with a drill, he knew that it would be exactly the same as the other surprise drills before it. Squire felt trapped.

Squire originally joined the military to satisfy a sense of adventure when he really was just trying to escape mediocrity. A civilian life in the United Planets of Earth would have a routine except he could choose the routine rather than it being chosen for him. The military life decided that he would always be a private and never fit to wield authority. Not that he wanted to be a leader; he would just feel less trapped if the opportunity was there. Squire understood that civilian or not, his life would be spent in servitude to someone else.

The United Planets of Earth valued the freedom of choice. Yet Squire knew that there wasn’t really any choice involved. Every choice a person could make depended on the opportunity around them. Squire was born in the gas mines of Jupiter. Even though planets in the U.P.E. jurisdiction hundreds of light years away were as wealthy as the capitol planet of Earth, Jupiter, only light minutes away from Earth, was still a struggling cesspool of humanity.

Squire knew that his only choices were to work in the gas mines like his father or join the military in hopes that he wouldn’t reduce his life span by thirty years like his father. The military life at least offered adventure. His sense of adventure was cut brutally short when he discovered that military life was exactly like the gas mine life with the exception of living on a world rather than a floating platform.

Squire despised the United Planets of Earth. He felt as if it was a system set solely in place to feed itself. The politicians and media alike often displayed a different, warmer, reality than real reality of the system. Reality wasn’t wholesome, it was morbid and dreary. The U.P.E. was created with the idea that all sentient life possessed basic rights. Most of the population of the U.P.E. dealt with different sentient life with a high degree of fear and ignorance. Wars, enslavement of harmful races, a regressive paranoia and fear flowed through the government.

Squire understood the real reality, but he did nothing as there was nothing he could do. He decided to keep out of politics, keep to himself, and look out for his own survival. His father followed the same simple rules of life and seemed to lead a genuinely happy life. Squire thought too much about everything. At least on his unsanctioned walks, he could clear his mind for a while and forget about everything.

Squire’s deep brown eyes caught some movement in the lake. He immediately pulled himself out of his meditative haze and focused his attention on the water. The grey murky sludge was still. He stepped closer to the edge of the water. The only sound was the slightly increased pace of his own breath. Something wasn’t right. He could feel it.

He glanced around and could see nothing. Back at the compound, he saw life going on as usual. There were no signs that they had gone on alert during his absence. A splash broke his train of thought.

Squire whirled around to see a distinct set of ripples in the lake like stone had been through into the depths. Scared, he slowly knelt down and picked up a stone from the ground. He tossed the stone near the fading disturbance in the water. The water rippled again from the stone. He watched, listened, and saw nothing.

The lake was pure acid anyway and nothing could survive in its depths. A stone must have toppled into the water. He probably unconsciously kicked it in when he was thinking. He needed to get back before the guard change at the depot because it was Jace’s turn for the night shift, and he knew Jace wouldn’t let him get away with taking a pair of boots.

Before he was able to take a step towards the compound, something prevented his legs from moving. He toppled over into the dirt. The chemicals in the soil slightly burned the skin on his exposed face. He would have a hell of a time explaining that to his superior officers. Before he regained himself enough to see what had tripped him, he was dragged into the lake by an unknown force. All that remained was the bloodstained sand, his boot, and the churning water of the normally placid lake.

To finish read download the kindle version here.

In Space, No One Will Hear Barbie Scream

We have reached a new age of space exploration. Barbie is now a Mars explorer. The toy manufacturer, Mattel, claims that the Mars exploring Barbie will encourage girls to be a profession normally dominated by men. Back in the olden days (a couple of years ago), women had very limited career options.

Man: Woman! You will bare my seed, raise my children, clean my house, and bring me my mead!

Woman: Great, thank you for coming to the interview. Let’s start with a few questions.

Man: Woman! You shall please me on my demand.

Woman: Let’s get through the interview first. Alright, so let’s start with your background.

Man: I am conqueror of the seven kingdoms, slayer of the serpent, fighter of the bull, and tamer of the lion!

Woman: Good. So what would you say is your biggest strength?

Man: I have a 12-inch sword.

The ancient art of penis size...

The position of this horse is not an accident. Think of it as a to scale representation…

Woman: Isn’t that small for a sword?

Man: It’s not the size of the sword but how you handle it. For example, my penis is only 2 inches.

Woman: Really?  But…

Man: Why do you think I’ve conquered so much! It’s the like the guy with the flashy car. We overcompensate for-

Woman: Well, it was a good interview. We’ll call you.

Man: But I demand to take you as my wife.

Woman: I have tons of other interviews…

Man: But…

Woman: Chan Tan the Mongol Warrior Lord.

Chan Tan: Yo!

Woman: Next.

Man: But I…

Chan Tan pulls out his penis.

Man: Nevermind.

The backpack facilitates her anorexia.

The backpack facilitates her anorexia.

I’m all for woman having all the same career opportunities, pay rate, education, etc. But I don’t know if Barbie is exactly the best way to convey the message to girls. We attach this image of beauty to a career that isn’t exactly pretty. The body of Barbie dolls are unrealistic. I don’t think anorexic astronauts would be very effective on Mars. The logistics of vomiting while in a space suit is pragmatic at best. But the real danger is when the anorexic Barbie feints on the mission.

Barbie: I’m the only one that survived bitches! Because I passed out, my oxygen supply lasted longer! And now that all the crew are dead, the food stores will last longer. Not that I eat. Eating is for suckers.

Barbie passes out again.

In addition to the unrealistic body type, why the hell would they have make-up on a mission to Mars? Are we really that shallow and vain that we’d waste valuable cargo that will cost millions of dollars to transport make-up to Mars? I’d rather have more medical supplies in a trip to Mars than make-up.

Barbie: I can’t explore a desolate rocky planet without my make-up! What if somebody sees me on a desolate planet… full of rocks… lots of rocks… so many rocks… It takes me three hours to get ready! Three fucking hours! One of you rocks could at least appreciate my effort.

My last gripe is the suit. It looks like it lacks insulation. The stuff that prevents you from freezing to death seems like a pretty important part of a space suit…. and that’s why in space no one will hear Barbie scream. And also why badass women star in Science Fiction.

The Queen Alien hisses at Barbie.

Barbie: Ewww…. you’re drooling alien goop on my space suit! They really need to fix this thing. I keep breaking nails. Unacceptable.

The Queen Alien decides it’s not worth the effort.

Barbie: You know what would be awesome! Glitter on the space suit! Maybe diamond studs.

Irritated, the Queen Alien snaps Barbie in half. Split-in-half Bishop consoles Barbie.

Bishop: You’re ok for a human.

Barbie: Ugg… you got my space suit all dirty. I have a hot date tonight! My daddy will hear about this.

Bishop ends her.

Where is Ken during this? He was grounded for PTSD:

Stumpy

Don’t make fun of the stump. My dick was shot off during the war!

Announcer: Hey kids! Here is PTSD Ken! He self medicates with pills, alcohol, and Skipper. When he finally decides it’s over, you can blow his head off. Don’t let him near the constant nagging ghetto momma Barbie or he just may just take more than his own life. Normally, medical marijuana would pacify any homicidal rage but he’s from Kentucky.

Kids: Yay!

Another Kid: He reminds me of my dad!

Kids get sad.

Kids: Why you got to spoil the fun?

What Would the Aliens Think?

I believe in aliens. With the vast enormity of all of time and space, there has to be other intelligent life in the universe. Saying we are alone in the universe is a lot like masturbating, you may satisfy yourself but it’s much more fun with a partner. The question that I really don’t know how to answer is whether or not we’ve been visited by an alien species. Maybe the aliens need to verify our intelligence before chatting us up. Crows have problem solving ability and definite traits of intelligence but you don’t see humans inviting crows to their parties.

A Donna Reed like Hostess is putting the finishing touches on her upper-middle class good-clean-American fun party. The doorbell rings.

Hostess: Our guests are here, dear.

Your all-American super dad steps out.

Host: Super swell, dear. Invite them in and I will get the Hors d’oeuvre.

A bunch of goth teenagers in Crow make-up are at the door.

Later…

All the goth teens and the hosts are sitting at the table. There is long and awkward eating. The goth teens play with their food in introspective thought.

Hostess: Say something.

Host: What?

Hostess: I don’t know. They’ve been brooding for hours. Say anything!

Host: Um, so you boys want to play Vampire Scene It?

The Crow makeup teens are struck with emotion.

Goth Teen One: No has ever said they loved us.

Goth Teen Two: But you showed us kindness when the world shows us hate.

Goth Teen Three: I couldn’t hold it so I went in my pants.

Goth Teen Two: Jesus! Bob!

Goth Teen One: You are ruining our mystique! You’re supposed to be mysterious.

Goth Teen Three: But I couldn’t wait anymore.

Goth Teen Two: Why didn’t you go to the bathroom?

Goth Teen Three: We are too mysterious to go to the bathroom.

Goth Teen One: Everybody poops!

Hostess: He’s got you there. I poop too.

Goth Teen Three: But pooping would make us all normal. I can’t be normal.

Brandon Lee in full Crow makeup comes in.

All: Brandon Lee!

Goth Teen Three: I just went little again.

Brandon Lee: Remember kids, Everyone wants to be loved.

Goth Teen Two: Um… we haven’t gotten to that part yet. We kind of got side tracked.

Brandon Lee: Fuck! I don’t know why I bother. You what? I have to wear this makeup because I died in it! You have a choice!

“You Are Here” and Billions of potentially habitable stars dodged that life bullet.

I don’t think the question is whether or not aliens exist but rather if have they have visited. Earth is in a fairly remote area. We in the Local Arm. It’s this tiny little arm with this giant Carina-Sagittarius right next door. It’s like having Uncle Happy’s Fun Carts next to Disneyland. There is really very little reason aliens would come here. Except for prehaps this:

Or perhaps this:

Alien observer: I’ve discovered the Earthlings’ “youtube”. My conclusions are that there is no intelligent life on the planet and we should move on.

We Need Just a Liter or Six

Last night was like a Doctor Who episode. My students were called out of the classroom to help the medical assisting students practice their blood drawing skills. Of course, my school really is a career college and not an alien plot to experiment on human test subjects… right? RIGHT?

The cast

When I see one of these folks running down the halls at my school, I’ll know…

Aside from the fact that a civilization advanced enough for interstellar space flight experimenting on a civilization that has barely left their solar system is rather silly.  Aliens really don’t need subterfuge to experiment on the public. All they really need is to make a reality television show.

People really will do anything to be on television. I’d imagine there will be droves of volunteers for shows like “What’s my Radiation Tolerance?”, “All Your Internal Organs Are Showing”, and “Human Centipede Big Brother”. People do really strange things for free without being on television. What if the aliens could guarantee that they would be streamed by millions of viewers?

Imagine a school. Wired with cameras. Aliens lurking through the halls. A light flickers off and on. Then a little note appears on bottom of the screen. “Who do think will bite it this week? #WeeklyDeath Tweet now!” But I am guessing the Doctor will bring down the whole television system if that really did happen. Who’s the doctor I am talking about? Doctor Whaz of course. He is the doctor you get when you can’t afford the rights to Doctor Who.

Doctor Whaz: There be aliens in this house, bitches!

Bitches: Oh… oh… Doctor. Oh no… Let us massage you.

Doctor Whaz: Hang on bitches, there be enough doctor lovin’ to go around.

Bitch: Can I fondle your penis?

Doctor Whaz: Now we are talkin’

Student: An alien is sucking my brain.

Doctor Whaz: Always when I’m making love! Give me my sonic bling.

Alien: Join us Doctor! Even though my plan is philosophically against everything you believe in, I will pretty much try to appeal to you in what seems like a reasonable request according to my warped sense of logic!

Doctor Whaz: Tempting but I rather drink forties with my hoes.

The sonic bling is just too much for the alien and it explodes!

Student: Thanks! What kind of doctor are you again?

Doctor Whaz: I am the doctor of love, and the doctor is in!

Student: Whaz that…

Doctor Whaz: Come on bitches! Back to the TARDIMP.

Student: The TARDIMP?

Doctor Whaz: The Time and Relative Dimension in my Pants!

The time travel noise is rather bassy and sounds strangely like a party…