So you can read my books

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee has given us all a prompt to write a Sci Fi Holiday flash fiction that is 1000 words or less.

How could I resist?

 (998 Words)

The recycled air was hushed.  My scientists assured me we were on the brink of a revolutionary breakthrough in interstellar technology. 

I had it on authority they were wrong. 

I sat alone in the crowded dining area of my scientific star vessel, Pequod.  

I was carving the baby Jesus from a very sensitive compound to put in the manger of my one of a kind Nativity Scene on my table.

I watched the woman pry herself from the squirming mass of scientists, decadent rich, and media stars.  

Clothes were archaic.  Body paint was the rage.  Many of their bodies were painted to create the illusion of wearing clothes.

It was the sorry story of Man: rebellion replaced new restraints for the old.  Conformity was the jailer of the soul, the enemy of freedom.  

 It was no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. 

I scandalized the passengers by being clothed in my black Stetson, broadcloth jacket, shirt, jeans, and boots.  I was determined to die with my boots on.  

General Custer would be so proud of me.

I sighed as I studied the approaching woman.  Fashion Obesity was all the rage in the populated worlds as were women's heads scalped to look like hard boiled eggs.

Rocio Facundo, the darling of slit-throat reporting.  She had been responsible for so many suicides, she was called Lady Death.  

That name would not sit well with my expected guest.  Rocio twitched continually as she approached me. 

Two reasons:

One - humans were addicted to the feel of others' bodies pressed against them. 

Two - humans now needed constant stimulation so much that most had neural stimulators implanted into their brains.

When she spoke, Rocio affected an Argentine accent.  

Five hundred years ago, when the world finally succumbed to Man's cascading failure to deal with terrorism, nationalism, and bacteria, Argentina had been the only country on earth to survive.

Rocio frowned as only some of her words were heard at my table.  

Lady Lovelace's last invention was her sound-filter of "colorful metaphors" as she called them, crying as she did so, thinking of the end of my son, Victor, and his wife, Alice.

Rocio's lips were glowing, letting me know we were being broadcast to her vicious, sadistic viewers.

"McCord, what harm are you festering here, breaking the law sitting by yourself?  You know that privacy has been outlawed as the lone citizen is a potential risk to society!"

"As has heterosexuality," murmured Rind, suddenly appearing in the seat beside me dressed in a mini-skirted black Gestapo uniform.

It was hard to believe that the Nazi nightmare had faded in the memory of Man.  Myself, I still couldn’t rid myself of the images of freeing the few pitiful survivors of the death camps. 

I remembered too much, understood too little.

Rind purposely flung back her long silver hair as a slap to the fashion-addicted Rocio.  "Samuel, you named your craft Pequod.  How poetic of you."

Rocio rasped, "Teleportation in a moving star craft is not possible!"

Rind smiled icily.  "The good news is that soon, child, you will not need to delete any more memories to make room for more."

Rocio frowned, "McCord, what does this out-of-date hag (eternal adolescence had been achieved by the Thymus Implants) mean by poetic?"

I said, "Pequod was named for the Pequot tribe of Native Americans who once inhabited New England during the 17th century, but were annihilated during the Pequot War and are now as extinct as compassion."

I sighed, "Call it foreshadowing."

Rocio frowned, "I do not understand."

Rind smiled, "You and the known universe will when this craft's Heisenberg Drive is activated."

Rocio said, "That fantastic drive will fold known space in ways that will allow Man to be a galaxy away in an eye-blink."

“It's nice to be sure," I said, finishing carving the detonator as the Baby Jesus, leaving his face an empty space as was befitting the Great Mystery.

A phalanx of armed guards tramped to my table as Rocio pointed at me with an accusing forefinger.  "See!  Against Galactic Statute, McCord is practicing religion."

I shook my Stetson-covered head.  "Don't do religion … just being respectful."

"Arrest him!" cried Rocio.

The guards' leader gruffed to me.  "Shall we eject her into open space, Captain?"

I shook my head again.  "It would be redundant."

I flicked cold eyes to Rocio.  "As long as there has been Man, a fella could always buy the law if he had enough money."

I sighed.  We increasingly lived in a world that forgets.

 Companies had almost no sense of their own history, while politicians positively reveled in the fact that voters couldn’t remember (or chose to forget) lies, deceptions and even criminal behavior. 

That was a problem because power was essentially a battle between memory and forgetting.

I could tell my Head of Security to forcibly download Rocio’s memory of me into my ship's Recycle Bin.  But in a moment that would be unnecessary.

"Bring her back to her womb of 'friends.'"

I turned to Rind, the Angelus of Death. "There are beds of kelp smarter than Man is right now.  But you're sure the Great Mystery says it's time?"

Rind smiled as if it were a raw wound.  "Our Victor would call it Existence's Blue Christmas."

"Now, it's me that doesn't understand."

Rind lightly touched the empty manager.  "When He was born, the sky was in red shift, the stars and galaxies heading away from your planet."

She sighed, "Now, outside this vessel, your eyes would see the blue shift as all descends into the center."

Her winter frost eyes grew wet and snowflakes flew up from them. 

"I have come for the universe, Samuel.  Trigger the Uncertainty Drive of this vessel and start the chain-reaction."

Her voice became that of a little girl's.  "When none live will I cease to exist?"

Inserting the Baby Jesus into the manger triggering devise, I smiled sadly.  "He promised Forever."



  1. Scary. And I so hope you were not writing from the crytall ball.

    1. According to our present grasp of physics, the universe may well collapse in upon itself in the distant future. But Man will likely end himself much, much sooner. Thanks for reading and liking. :-)

  2. Really interesting story, Roland. You have a way with words!

    Certainly presents a grim view of the future...

    1. It is a tenant of Science that even the Universe itself has a Shelf-Life.

      I prefer to see it as a hopeful tale in that a man of compassion and faith lives until the very end, still caring for those who do not care for him back. :-)

  3. "Darling of slit-throat reporting." Love that turn of phrase. A truly sci-fi Christmas tale with an imaginative use of the manger. Very well done. This sadly fits with some of my own holiday cynicism this year. Yet I can't help but hope for a more glorious future.

    Roland, you've provided a unique tale entirely fitting for the Holiday Celebrations that are out of this world, thank you.

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Holiday Season and a prosperous and peace-filled New Year.

    1. I know some with the PC-bent of mind might object to a manger even in a Christmas tale ... so I used it I hope with a bit of irony.

      Thanks for liking this little Sci Fi Christmas tale.

      I've watched too many "Darlings of slit-throat reporting" lately. I wanted one to get her due! Glad you liked the turn of phrase. :-)

      May Happiness, Peace, and Success be yours this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year!!

  4. It is an interesting view of a dystopian future.

    1. The more I see of Progress, the more it strikes me as "Regress." Thanks for reading and liking. :-)

  5. Great entry Roland. Loved the motif of the baby Jesus carving and being put to good use at the end. Great descriptions as always--'Rocio Facundo, the darling of slit-throat reporting'. Love it! You're right. Man is sure to implode all by Him/Herself without the help of the universe collapsing.

    Thanks for participating at this busy time of year, Roland.

    Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016!

    Denise :-)

    1. Thanks for enjoying my little Christmas Sci Fi tale. :-)

      May you never meet a Rocio Facundo reporter in real life!

      It is within Man's Nature to destroy himself. There are good souls abroad, but they do not have their fingers on the Nuclear Buttons or triggers -- the curdled within do. :-(

      Merriest of Christmases to you and a New Year of wonder and delight!

      Roland :-)

  6. Great writing as always, but I think I prefer Hibbs, and now before I forget again, I will go and order the print copy.

  7. I ordered the book and will get it on the 22nd. Looking forward to giving it a home in my bookcase.

    1. I like Hibbs better, too.

      I am depressing myself today by researching and writing of the war crimes of General Sherman, using direct quotes from his orders to his men and to the Secretary of the Army.

      But the Turquoise Woman is stepping in -- that is the great thing about writing alternate history -- you can re-write tragedies. Still, poor McCord is going to pay for it in the future.

      Thank you so much for inviting Hibbs to live on your bookshelf -- hide the blue berries if you have them!

  8. Hi Roland - interesting ideas here and the video on how we will end .. thankfully if the galaxy has any ideas .. I'll be dust by then. I don't think we will finish ourselves off - somehow the species will survive ... and evolution is continually occurring ... so great stories will be written of new bodies etc.

    Cheers Hilary

    1. We are our own worst enemy. :-(

      Perhaps the universe ending is only the Father's way of wiping clean the blackboard, giving all of us a fresh start. :-)

  9. Yes, that theory of the Big Bang reversing itself is depressing, but science has no room for human emotions. What happens happens as its nature intends. So McCord is going to be the hand that starts the unwinding? A great WEP entry, Roland!

    1. Like Charleton Heston in BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. :-)

      I like to think of it as McCord making it to the end of the story of existence. Thanks for liking my entry.

  10. Our Victor? That compounds things.
    Go McCord, go!

    1. I like to think of this as only one possible future for my heroes as was END OF DAYS which Victor rectified in THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT. At heart I am an optimist. :-)

  11. This is really depressing. Hopefully we won't come to that, but until it is all resolved, one way or another, happy holidays.

    1. The end of the universe may just be the start of a whole new adventure for all of us. :-) Happy Holidays to you, too!

  12. In and out In and out
    All the stars will go
    One bang then two
    Over and over you know
    What goes out must come in
    Life again will start a new
    Now I see all’s not blind
    For it seems you know it to

    Next time I’ll again post this rhyme
    And say I liked what you do

    1. Thanks so much for the poetry, It made my evening. Merry Christmas!

  13. This felt a little preachy, but I liked it. This is the way the world ends *shrug*

    1. According to one of science's theories, collapsing in back on itself is definitely one way it could go.

      Sorry that you thought it was "preachy". :-( But I am glad that despite that you like it. :-)

  14. That isn't exactly the holiday I want for the end of year, but it hints at an experimental style of writing. Overall, I think you would find agreement that your blog site looks very professional.

  15. Now, my mentor, Roger Zelazny, was one to experiment with writing styles. I guess some of it stuck. :-)

    Glad you think my blog looks professional. Happy Holidays.

  16. Okay, I'm going to find a nice comfortable cave and remain off the grid, LOL. thanks

    1. When the universe goes POOF, a cave won't help. But, hey, it just might. :-)

  17. Loved the use of the hand carving to initiate the science. Pretty cool. The world had a beginning, it will have an end, of some sort.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Roland. Glad to see you're still creating your masterpieces :)

    1. Hanging in there! :-) And Merry Christmas and Great New Year to you!!

  18. Hi Roland.
    Making the rounds even after they announced the winner. The concept is one most people don't like to think about but certainly intriguing. Since I know you lost some friends and were wondering if it was what you had written I will say this; those who took offense didn't like Harry Potter either and maybe some of them support Mr. Bad Hair, Trump. Don't let it bother you. There is an audience for your voice.

    1. Thanks, Nancy, for saying such nice things.

      I knew I wouldn't win so I didn't even bother checking. Though this may be my last time for WEP.

      I hope there is an audience for my voice. Maybe being too stubborn to quit will finally win the day for me!

      May this Christmas and New Year be healing and happy for you. :-)