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The Nest

February 25th, 2017 Comments off

The Nest #picturefiction #flashfiction

#picturefiction #flashfiction

The trail winding through the Wilson Bayou Nature Preserve brought Savannah Lee to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. She stopped to stare, awestruck, at the expanse of water reaching to the horizon.
The sun was low in the sky, beginning to dip behind distant storm clouds. Savannah Lee removed her sunglasses and placed them on her head where they disappeared within the teased mass of blonde hair. She had about a half hour of daylight left, more than enough to make it back to her car. She wanted to take in this sight for as long as she could. The park ranger had suggested this trail and his description of the view at its terminus as ‘heavenly’ just didn’t do it justice.
The sun painted the sky with colored shafts and Savannah Lee turned to face it and noticed a lone tree that had somehow escaped the bayou and stood just off shore. She could imagine it as an explorer, tired of its existence as part of the forest and setting off into the great vastness of the sea.
The setting sun turned the tree into an enormous shadow shape and Savannah Lee’s eye was drawn to the largest bird’s nest she had ever seen perched at the very top of the tree. The tree was almost fifty feet off shore and the distance made it hard to tell scale but she guessed the nest was at least four feet across. Could it be an eagle’s nest? She had read somewhere that eagles made enormous nests.
She craned her neck and squinted into the glare of the sun. She thought she saw some movement and hoped that the nest’s inhabitant would reveal itself. The nest appeared to shudder and rock on the branch. The nest trembled again and the left side lifted skyward. It looked like the nest was extending part of itself toward the sky. Another piece reached skyward on the right and then the entire nest lifted itself upward. The nest, clearly it was some sort of animal not a nest she admitted, stood on two shaggy legs and flexed long bristly arms like a person stretching out tight muscles after a long sleep.
Savannah Lee gasped and the shape jerked and turned. She could not see any features but knew that whatever it was, it was now staring at her.
The wildly furred shape dropped from the tree and water geysered a dozen feet into the air where it hit. The shape rose from the Gulf, dripping, and began to move toward shore. Savannah Lee knew she should run but she was locked in place by terror and fascination watching the shape loom closer. Everything went silent around her. The only sound was the sloshing of the waves made by the creature’s legs. The creature towered over her, almost twice her height now that it was close enough to see. It was covered in spines and stiff fur that would do a porcupine proud – assuming the porcupine was from some lower plane of Hell. Its arms reached to well below the thing’s knees and its clawed fingertips drew tiny wakes through the water as it neared. Below the enormous hump of the thing’s shoulders it head hung low. It was a marriage of a lion and a bull, long horns spouting from a stiff mane surrounded glowing red eyes and an enormous mouth filled with needle dagger fangs.
Savannah Lee’s feet gave up waiting for her brain to issue coherent orders and launched her backward in a staggering run returning the way she had come. She made it three steps before an impact knocked her to the ground. Searing pain tore a scream from her as the monster’s talons drove into her leg. Savannah Lee screamed for a long time while the sun painted the sky pink and purple – a heavenly backdrop for the beast to feed.

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Review: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure

February 23rd, 2017 Comments off

Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure
Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure by Michael G. Munz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zeus commands that you read this book! Even if he’s dead.
I rarely give 5 stars. Good books are 3, outstanding are 4. To get a 5 the book has to be well written, entertaining and evoke emotions in me well beyond “oh, that was fun at least”.
This book is a hoot, a blast, funny, chortle inducing, absurd and all around great.
There’s lots of humor, fourth wall breakage, banter and everything you may have liked about Terry Pratchett books but yet it’s not by Terry P.
I can’t really go into the storyline without spouting so many spoilers it would ruin it. Eveyr witty line I want to share is a spoiler – well except maybe for, no, no that’s one too.
Suffice it to say, Zeus is dead, the Greek gods are real and have returned to Earth and all manner of silliness and a heroic quest is undertaken. It’s really good fun, check it out.



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Starflight

February 18th, 2017 Comments off

Starflight - the starship Destiny appeared surrounded by nebulae
#picturefiction #flashfiction

Doctor Mortimer Powers completed the pre-launch checklist and felt his baby hum to life. The starship, which he called Destiny, had taken twelve years to build and he had spent his entire adult life designing the ship systems and the Continuum drive.
The speed of light was immutable but Powers found the shortcut around the limitations of the universe by finding a way to temporarily exit the universe and re-enter at another point.
The first jump had been anticlimactic. Only the finest instruments recorded the disappearance and reappearance of the test drone a mere three microns to the left of its original position; but it proved his theories.
Millions of dollars from true believers had funded his researches until the first successful Continuum jump threw a drone across space to Barnard’s star. The drone brought back images of a distant star and its planets. Mankind’s path to the stars was now open and the government invested billions in the race to own the stars.
Today culminated that effort. Today the Destiny stood tall at Cape Canaveral awaiting its fateful jump. A starship had no need of a launch facility, it could enter Continuum from anyplace but the historic site of man’s first flight to another celestial body seemed the appropriate site for the first manned flight to a distant star.
Powers had fought tooth and nail to command the mission. Forty years of his life had been spent developing this dream and he wanted to be the first man to pilot a starship using his drive. Public opinion swayed the experts opinions away from denying the sixty year old his moment of glory.
“Continuum in 30 seconds,” Powers said.
His words were relayed to the four other scientists aboard Destiny and to the receivers at mission control and around the globe. All humanity held their breath as the countdown cycled down to the historic moment.
“3, 2, 1 – launch”
Powers pressed the flashing icon on his screen to trigger the Continuum drive and Destiny vanished from its pad.
Colors flitted at the corners of his eye. His inner ear spasmed as the universe disappeared. For less than a second Powers experienced the nothingness of the Continuum universe and then his own reality snapped back into place around him.
Zero gravity; they had arrived.
He triggered the external cameras. Every screen on the ship sprang to life and showed the majesty of space around them.
Destiny floated among the stars. Powers triggered the navigation program and in less than a minute the supercomputer informed him that Destiny was 40 parsecs from Earth. They had done it.
Powers sat back to enjoy the view. Enormous nebulae swirled around the ship. He allowed himself to indulge in pareidolia, identifying shapes in the interstellar clouds. There was a tree; there a rabbit. Motion in one of the clouds drew his attention. The stardust rolled and seemed to draw back. Powers leaned forward, hoping to see a star through the dust. An enormous eye turned to regard the small ship.
Destiny’s crew screamed as the creature, larger than a planet, opened its maw and then swallowed their ship whole.

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