Xtralife:Unexpected treasure

Sandra landed the Raven, a crate with the pretense of a spaceship, as close to the space wreck as she deemed safe. A feeble automated distress signal had brought it to her attention. When she went out to investigate, she was surprised to see there was someone alive, because a shadow disconnected itself from the mangled overgrown rusty shape and turned into a burly in man dressed in rags aiming a plasma rifle at her.

Sandra had no weapons on her, because she hated guns and relied on her luck to get out of sticky situations. Someone once told her that relying on luck was silly, but she had replied  that luck had gained her more than guns. And those who knew her well, like Eve, had to admit that it was true. Somewhere there had to be whole worlds populated by unlucky people to offset the imbalance.

“And if luck doesn’t help I can rely on my looks.” Sandra added smugly.  Those poor saps were not only unlucky, but they were ugly too. Life really sucks.

“What a tasty morsel you are.” the man said with a gruff voice. “Now let’s get of this planet..”

After the Raven had entered space, the man leaned close to Sandra, who was sitting behind the controls of the ship. When he got that close he noticed red lights on one of displays..

“What are those lights?” He pointed.

“That is life support.”

“Life support?”

“Yes, we removed most of it to make room for more essential things.” Sandra said in a deadpan manner.

“More essential things?”

“Yeah. We didn’t remove everything, of course. Like that one.” Sandra pressed a button and something started to hiss.

“What is that?”

“Let me see..” Sandra stood up, making such movements that he could not help but watch her and then she bent over the console so the shape of her body was silhouetted against the lights of the screens. She then looked over her shoulder and gave him one of her smiles, while holding up a package of cigarettes, “Mind if I smoke?”

The man started to turn pale and breathe loudly. He then grabbed at her. For a few moments they struggled and then he fell to the ground.

Sandra examined him thoughtfully for a few minutes and then gave him a vicious kick. When he didn’t react she pressed the button again to stop the hissing sound. Absentmindedly she grabbed one of her smokes and tried lighten it, but the lighter did not produce a flame.

“That sucks.” She wanted to say, but while her mouth made the movements, there was no sound..

She then went over to the communications console and typed a short message to Eve which said: Yeah, let’s keep the oxygen unit, it has it’s uses.  Oh btw, I got a guest for dinner.” And she snickered an inaudible fanged laugh. She was sooo funny.


Mr Perfect

Sarah sat at her favorite table in that little Italian restaurant on the corner of Sixth Street and Main when Mr Perfect walked in. Of course, he did not wear a tag that said he was Mr Perfect, but she knew he was the moment she saw him. He was slender and dressed in a white jacket with stone washed jeans. He had a catchy smile, was slightly unshaven, had short curly hair and when he passed her table a scent of man lingered.

Sarah was a longtime single pushing thirty and that made her walk over to his table and ask him if he would like to have some company. He gave her his infectious smile, stood up and offered her a chair. At the end of a delightful evening he paid their bill and then accompanied her outside, where he hailed a cab.

When they arrived at her house he helped her out of the cab and then took her hand and said to her, “Dear Sarah, I loved the dinner, I loved the conversation and would love to do it again.”
“You are so Mr Perfect.” Sarah breathed, ”Do you want to come in..?”
He gave her that smile again but with a hint of sadness, “ Lovely Sarah, I might be Mr Perfect to you, bui..,” He stopped for a moment.
“..but you are not to me.”
He gave her an apologizing smile, kissed her hand, got back into the cab and had it drive off into the star spangled night to find his own Mr Perfect.

For my friend: Misaki Andel and the love of his life Davie Holden.

Bleh man

This flash story requires a bit of a background and explanation. One is that it is written because I heard about a row between Denmark and Sweden over a shows in which naked people were discussed. I sort of fantasized about it.The other is that I am sneaky introducing two characters from my vampire stories. 

The couple was still dressed when they entered, as this was demanded for the show.

“Fine specimen.” said the girl with the broad grin and brown curly hair.

Her companion jury member, a young blond woman wearing dark sunglasses, smiled at this remark and said,”Lets see more.”

The women gave directions and gradually the couple undressed. The jurors then commented on the revealed parts and giggled a lot.

“Ladies, It is time to make a choice.”  the showhost remarked at some point.

The two women then had a momentary private conversation, tossed a coin and then the blond girl said,”We like them both, but she takes the boy and I take the girl.”

Then the blond guided the woman off stage and the brown haired girl did the same with the man. The infrared cameras then showed how the brown girl became a ten feet werewolf and ripped the man apart, while the blond girl bared her needle-sharp fangs and ravaged the girl.

Afterwards the jury members retook their seats..

“This show is great!. We found our species don’t need to hate each other: we can share.” they said in unison. The showhost laughed heartily at that and fantasized about the rising rates.

In memoriam

“So you finally set yourself to it?”  His neighbors voice rumbled. He was a big fellow, with a large beard. He was the kind that roared when he laughed or when he downed too many beers at the pub down the road.

James looked up and took in the solid shape that loomed over the two of them. The last leaves, showing a myriad colors, floated down, released by the wind. One caressed his nose and then continued its way to the mossy ground.

He smelled wet grass and earth. He remembered a rope swing hanging from lowest the big branch. He recalled the laughter of children and a picnic in August in the cool comfort of the shades.

James patted the old worn surface. Felt the irregularities. The  deep groves. Parts of the bark had fallen off, more were giving way under the pressure of his touch. One piece showed the fading shape of a heart. Two names one each side, unreadable, but he knew them anyway.

“It is dead now..”  His voice trembled.

“And one day it will topple over.  A storm will come and  then it falls. It is a danger now..”

“A danger.. I guess it is.”

“I could get my chain saw. It will be easier.”.

“You could,” James nodded. He fingered the lenght of wood in his hand. It felt sturdy, new, and strong. The heavy metal at the end would be unrelenting, “but i want to do it like this.”

“It will take you forever..”

“It is the least I can do…”

The other one peered at him and smiled. “Like burying a loved one, huh?

“Something like that…”

“It is just a piece of wood now, you know. Dead wood.”

James grabbed the handle of the axe with both hands. He felt the weight of the head pulling itself to the ground. He practised a swing.

“It feels sturdy.”

“Better get started then, before you grow roots and someone comes along and cuts down the both of you. “

James took a step forward, braced himself and started the first of his many swings.

The tree did not cry out, but he felt a pain nevertheless.





“We’ll get rain today.”  Isaac said to his cat Myra.

As if to comply with his words drops started to fall.

There was a knock on the door.

Isaac placed Myra on the floor, got his rifle and opened the door.

An Asian man in a camouflage uniform but unarmed, smiled at him.

“Sir! I am here to inform you that we restored order!”

“I see.”  Isaac said.

“We also restored your constitution.”

“Constitution? Let me think..Ah…. I remember! It allowed us the use of firearms.”

“Indeed.  But we took that  part out. Your country broke down because everyone was eventually armed to the teeth. ”

“We see about that!” Isaac growled, “Nobody is going to tread on my constitutional rights!”

“I am sorry you feel that way, sir.” The Asian man hurried away.

A few minutes later two tanks rolled down the street and blew up Isaacs house.

Myra, being a cat,  had already fled.

“We get snow today.”  Isaac said to his cat Myra.

As if to comply with his words white flakes started to float downward.

There was a knock on the door.

Isaac placed Myra on the floor, got his rifle and opened the door.

A Chinese man in a camouflage uniform but unarmed, smiled at him.

“Sir! I am here to inform you that we restored order!”

“I see.”  Isaac said.

“We also restored your constitution.”

“Constitution? Let me think..Ah…. I remember! It allowed us the use of firearms.”

“Indeed.  But we took that  part out. Your country broke down because everyone was eventually armed to the teeth. .”

“We see about that!.” Isaac growled, “Nobody is going to tread on my constitutional rights!”

“I am sorry you feel that way, sir.” The Chinese man hurried away.

A few minutes later two tanks rolled down the street and blew up Isaacs house.

Myra, being a cat,  had already fled.


King for a week

The king stared out of the window across the small stone balcony to three struggling figures on the gravel below.
The  drizzle was thin enough to have him recognize the two blue uniformed men who were dragging away a frail pink figure.
‘A woman’, he thought, ‘Who else would wear pink?’
At that moment his eye caught the end of a white pole sticking out of  some rose bushes. He surmised that the policemen were too occupied to take the sign with them. No doubt it would be collected soon.
The king sighed. He had been very busy with the coronation and made long exhausting hours. He had tried, for a joke, to count hands he shook, but he had lost count somewhere. The faces of people had become a blur.  He had even forgotten what he had eaten today. He wondered what that  protester would eat. A hamburger? No… A vegan burger. Something without meat, no doubt.  Usually they were vegetarian: crackpots in any event. Always telling others what to think or do.

He turned towards the mirror to dust off his blue uniform with it’s gold and yellow epaulettes and tresses. Not that it needed cleaning, but it was just this thing to do.  Everything was meticulously cleaned and pressed. The buttons glistened.  And the awards on the left breast were neat rows upon rows of many colored pieces of cloth. These things he had gained over time.  He was most proud of the cross he had been given when he had taken part of that skating event  that only happened once in a decade and you had to reach to end after skating a grueling hundred miles. None of his predecessors had ever gained one. The knock on the door told him it was time for his next appearance.

Later that night he discovered that the sign was still in the bushes. Apparently the policemen had completely forgotten about it.
What would it say?
Maybe he could have it brought in?
He dismissed the idea at once. If he wanted to read it, he wanted to be the first to touch it. It had to be pristine. All these servants and guards acted like a wall. He felt distanced from the world. He was never alone. Never touched something that was not touched by others. Even on the toilet he suspected there would be people watching him. Hidden camera’s checking on him. Over the years hours of hours of film would be gathered with him groaning on the privy.
He shrugged. It was best not to think about the sign, because it probably would say something nice. Even protesters were nice in this land. Exclamation marks were turned into question marks. It was less offensive to turn statements into questions.
It was boring!
Maybe he could sneak outside. He knew the routines of the guards by heart. And he knew if he kept close to the wall the camera might not spot him. And the dogs? Well, they knew their king. They would ignore him.
He imagined himself James Bond. His hand reaching out to the sign. Grabbing it  quickly and then sneaking back inside to have look at it.
But where?
There was no place where he could go to be alone with his prize.
His  thoughts were interrupted when his wife entered the room: it was time to sleep.

The next morning he rose to a summers dawn.  Couples of guards would start patrolling the grounds soon. In the distance, behind the gates, tourists and journalists would gather, hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal family.
He was often advised to stay away from the windows, even thought they were bulletproof and blinded from the outside. They said it attract more people and some of them might be terrorists or other deranged people. Just shooting him would give someone those fifteen minutes of fame.
He peeked outside.
The sign was still there; in those bushes.
It was destiny.
He had to see what it said.
He had to.
Quickly he walked downstairs and expertly navigated the corridors he knew since birth.  He increased speed so the servants and courtiers would be left behind. Speed always left them floundering.
On his slippers and in his morning coat, with it’s diagonal stripes of red, white and blue he rushed over the yellow gravel towards the rose bushes. He imagined him superman, with impossible speed he soared towards his goal.
People started to appear from all sides.  Guards, who with wide eyed panic saw their head of state run in nothing but a coat and slippers over the grounds in plain public.
The commotion spread like a wave.
The guards didn’t know what to do. They could not wrestle their king to the ground as they had done with that protester.
How to stop this rogue king?
He became aware that outside the fences there were already people. Tourists? Journalists? He saw flashes of light..
He reached the bushes,  grabbed the sign and pulled it free.
He lifted it up to read it.
Standing there in full view of a crowd of servants, guards, courtiers, tourists and journalists he held the sign aloft. .
It said: “I am the king. Arrest me!”

Flash Fiction: Walking Dead

The undead employees in his office didn’t make Henry panic. The Human Resource manager quickly ascended the nearest bookcase; the one containing files a650 to c1278.  The unliving started to besiege him there, making guttural sounds and clawing gestures.
Henry considered his options. He could either jump from bookcase to bookcase and possibly find safety that way. Or he could throw himself through the window to plummet towards the asphalt ten stories below.
His decision was made for him when the bookcase toppled over and he became with of them..
A month later the insects ate them all