“I’m here to save you!”
“God, every single time.”
“You’re in a time loop, dude. A sorceress cursed me to relive this day, a curse that will only end if a brave hero finds a way to break it. But instead of a hero, I got you.”
“Give me a chance. I just arrived!”
“Yeah, for like, the seventieth time. You show up, tell me you’re going to save me, flex your muscles, and then… that’s pretty much it.”
“So… what now?”
“It took a few loops, but I finally figured out what you’re good for. Get over here.”
Author’s Note: If you’re going to be trapped living the same day over and over again, you might as well have some fun!
It’s amazing enough that the planet glowed bright purple and smelled of chocolate. Never could we have imagined the presence of winged ungulates bearing horns in the middle of their foreheads. Already conspiracy nuts back home weren’t buying our claims.
“Why does NASA think we’re stupid enough to believe they’ve discovered unicorns? What are they hiding?”
If only they knew.
A female approached, her horn red with the blood of my comrades. “Your life for your planet’s location.”
Taking the deal, I watched as her blessing leapt into the sky, passing beyond the planet’s glow into the dark of space.
Author’s Note: My son told me that if unicorns existed, they’d live on a glowing purple planet. How could I not write a story about that! A group of unicorns really is called a blessing (though I doubt the citizens of Earth will see them in that light).
Everyone should stop comparing the Velnath and the Sarpocts. Sure, they’re both driven by scientific inquiry. They’re also both insectoid species. Fine. But when you’re talking about abduction experiences, they’re nothing alike.
The Sarpocts beam up abductees. They telepathically communicate their intentions. And their hallucinogens—totally mind-blowing! Definitely among the best abductors in the universe.
In comparison, the Velnath invade our homes, terrify our families, and never warm the probes. Plus, their drugs suck!
I’d rate the Velnath abduction experience zero stars if I could, but Yelp is making me give at least one. It’s one more than they deserve.
Author’s Note: Recently, I wrote a six word sci-fi story: “Probe could’ve at least been warmed.” I decided to expand that into a hundred word critique of the alien abduction experience. The Velnath are so going to hate me when they read this!
The last piece in place, he sits back smiling. It’s finally finished: a town compact enough to fit on his card table, complete with multi-story buildings, parks, even working streetlights.
Now for the best part! He fetches a box from his porch. Inside are fifty tiny packages.
Unzipping each one, he gently shakes their contents into the town. The Minnies stretch their limbs as they stare at their new home.
They seem docile enough, but you never know. Hopefully this batch won’t do anything to make him burn down their town.
He’d hate to have to rebuild a fourth time.
Author’s Note: Nothing to see here folks, just a man with a god complex and his Minnie humanoid (human?) pets.
Robot has a routine: Serve. Clean. Charge. Repeat.
Arnold has a routine: Eat. Party. Sleep. Repeat.
Robot doesn’t appreciate disruptions to Robot’s routine. Neither does Arnold.
Jenna has a routine: Hack. Disrupt. Recode. Repeat.
Today Jenna hacks Robot. Jenna’s routine is undisturbed, but Arnold’s is totally fucked. Robot shovels Arnold’s food into its fake mouth, plays loud music keeping Arnold awake, and makes Arnold do all the cleaning.
Disruption would upset Robot, but Robot has been reprogramed. Robot loves Robot’s new routine!
Arnold is going to give Jenna a piece of his mind just as soon as he’s done vacuuming.
Author’s Note: Stories in which robots go from servant to master are often very dramatic. I thought it would be fun to imagine this theme in the context of a more playful scenario.
Jeremiah holds the cat while Ethan pries her gently from its jaws. He shakes his head as he notes the extent of the damage. Her wings are badly shredded and her neck is swollen where she’s been bit.
When finally her eyes open, Ethan is nearly overcome with relief. Even injured, live fey catch a far greater price than dead.
“So close.” Her voice is the growl of a cornered beast. “You were almost the Fey King’s slave.”
“Almost.” He lowers her into a cage. “Get the cart, Jeremiah. We’re going to market.”
He scratches the cat’s chin. “Good kitty.”
Author’s Note: Is Ethan terrible for wanting to sell the fey or is the fey terrible for wanting to turn Ethan into a slave? Who’s in the right in this case? My money’s on the cat.
She passes what used to be two beloved homes, now reduced to piles of hay and twigs. Outside a third house, still standing, everyone has gathered for a barbeque. The creature has been carved up and half-devoured by the time she arrives. Two children with greasy chins pass out warm gingerbread cookies.
Her host waves her over to the table. “Dig in!”
She pulls back her hood and hands him a basket of goodies.
What a satisfying end after all the trouble that beast had given her back at her grandmother’s. She grabs a plate.
“Don’t mind if I do.”
Author’s Note: Would the Three Little Pigs keep the contents of their cook pot all to themselves, or would they use the occasion to throw a party for the rest of the folkloric world? This story settles that debate once and for all.