Jimmy the ice cream man

Jimmy was a hump back with dental issues. The bores on his back broke the skin, pushing puss from pores. Hair stringy and grease-covered slacked down a fat left shoulder. An exhale exhumed a bit of spittle that landed on the hot sidewalk. “Can I get…can I get some ice cream?” he asked the ice cream man, his sad eyes drilling holes in souls.

“I…um…” the ice cream man hesitated, wondering what the way was with this wary fellow. “I don’t really have any ice cream? This is, uh…it’s a front…for like, drugs?”

“I….I….I…….” Jimmy was hard of breathing. His chest tightened thick with the tension of the ticking time. “Got any…popped corn?”

“NO!” The ice cream man jumped out of his truck with a bat, swinging it this way and that. “GO!”

Jimmy tried to run, but his legs could only be pushed so much.

Martian Immigration

I don’t know what this is. Maybe I could mix it up with something, like underground refugees he finds. Maybe he’s captured by the Martian Immigration Police. Maybe he finds evidence of ancient Martians by accident. Let it simmer…

_____________________________________________________

Too many people got on the boat. We crashed somewhere on Mars. At least, they said it was too many people, and I assume that’s why we crashed. Who knows? Could be anything. It was a cheap ride.

I walk outside under the blue-red sky and wonder what desert lay here centuries ago and what beauty is here now. The surface of the nearby lake ripples in the wind, and the trees smell like a dream. Nothing like it on Earth, nothing at all, but I guess that’s one of the necessities of progress.

The rocket that got me here was cheap. It was one of those that they overbook to get that much more money. Look where it got them! I’m the only survivor.

Any family I had is long gone. My only friend died in the crash. I’m here, alone, and I don’t know in which direction the closest settlement lies. I drink water by the lake, sit, and think.

A Tired Monkey

The wingbat stared at the sky and pondered what might be in another era. Thousands of years had passed and the gubers lived strong. These beasts, with horns that reached hundreds of feet high and trunks like the elephants that you had nightmares of as a child, destroyed the homes of the wingbats, who flitted of to Mars to live the rest of their sols.

The gubers ruled the Earth for millions, if not many millions of years. Decades? Centuries? Millenniums? They were nothing to the gubers, who wanted only production and evolution, management and organization, peace and brutal warfare.

The moon was home to an old species…you guessed it, humans. They were tall and thin and light from Luna’s light tug, but had little food to subsist on. More water evaporated into space than could be replenished. The humans were to die, and the gubars only waited.

A new type of wingbat was born one day, on Christmas Eve in the year 86,723,148 A.D. He flitted about and felt the wind of Mars and was ever happy and proud. All the other wingbats were in awe of his speed, his dexterity, and his abilities in the game of poker.

One day, an old wingbat approached Maximus and said, “My crapson, you are the fucking chosen one that our goddamn, dumbass people have spoken of for like three years. You know your shit and that’s why we’re fucking sending you to the worst kind of shit your ass has ever witnessed.”

“Just tell me what to fucking do,” Maximus said to the old wingbat.

“Go kill the shit. On the thing.”

“What the hell? You speak of Crappy the Crap, the crappiest crap who ever crapped?”

“Fuck yeah.”

“I’ll fucking go to Earth and fuck some shit up.”

Maximus, the crapperson of Plentimus, flew off to Earth to face Crappy the Crap in battle. When the young wingbat arrived there, however, he witnessed something that disgusted him: All of the gubers were ugly, lazy, and malcontent. It would be an easy battle, but there would be no honor in it.

“You there,” Crappy the Crap said, the biggest guber said. “You are Maximus? I hear you play a good poker game. How about we play a round and whoever wins shall inherit the Earth?”

“I can fucking deal,” Maximus said. Winning in poker against one of the greatest gamblers in the universe would certainly be a greater honor than slaughtering the pathetic creatures.

THe first hand was the wingbat’s, but the guber came back around in the second. The battle tipped up and down for each combatant and there was the ever flowing sound of chips being transferred back and forth as each other one gained the upperhand. Finally, Maximus landed the best hand imaginable.

“No,” Crappy muttered. Hands of sludge covered his eyes as tears poured forth like Niagara Falls expels water during spring. “It can’t be!”

“Oh, but it can, bitch,” Maximus said, the wingbat’s eyes gleaming with the shining light of righteous victory. “It can, bitch.”

“Five kings! Five of a kind! Why, this hasn’t happened since Bleepy destroyed Gappy in the Great Poker Tournament of 24,565,019 A.D.!”

“Give us our home back.”

And so the wingbats returned to Earth from their temporary shelter on Mars. The humans left the moon at the urging of the wingbats and returned to Earth, where they crossbred to become something like angels.

The gubers, on the other hand, were left with a Mars that was already rusting over. The radiation set in after three hours.

A Dull Day

He waited for the passing clouds to reveal the sun. The solar panel that fed the cell that charged his rifle was missing all that energy. His target was only a few miles away, an easy enough shot for Gaul Galen.

A click and the rustle of dry grass behind him. The lack of wind was glaring.

“Ah, Gaul, if it isn’t you,” Pretorius Flux said. Gaul didn’t have to turn around; he recognized the gravely voice of the gizormak.

“Damnit, Flux, come on, we’re going after the same target here,” Gaul said. Each word brought a deeper sensation of pressure against the back of his skull. His life was in the hands of someone who didn’t know the difference between an asteroid and a comet. “Don’t be stupid.”

“But if you kill him, then I only get half the reward.”

“We only split it if we both do the work, dumbass.” Gaul pushed the weapon away, stood, and had his own rifle trained on Flux in a single moment, a point in time. The gizormak’s shape was that of a blob that held its weapon in slushy extensions of its body. Three big bulbs rested on the top of three stalks, his only recognizable feature. “You be the bait. I’ll take the shot.”

“Your weapon is not yet charged,” Flux said, the words seemingly coming from somewhere deep within the bulbous body. “You think I am that stupid?”

“Stupid enough to let me stand. Again, you be the bait.”

Flux squinted, his three eyes shrinking in size rather than using eyelids to do so. Apparently, he was in deep thought, a rare thing for a gizormak. “Fine, fine.”

Gaul shook his head and settled back into firing position. As Pretorious Flux sauntered off, he wondered how long it would be until he could just go home.

The sun was out after the gizormak had traveled only five hundred yards. In another five hundred, he was dead.

Gaul blew the smoke from the muzzle of his gun and settled back. A few more hours, his target would be dead, and he’d have the full reward.

The Fallacy of Self – Coupon!

Get my short story collection, The Fallacy of Self, for 75% off from now until 11/7/15 using coupon code: KX74F .

Do it! Do it now! Before it’s too late! It’s about life! And what life would be like if life did not exist! A paradox? An android? Corporate warfare? Read it now!

Fallacy of Self

A Living History – Part One

“Rare metals, originating from the asteroids that bombarded Earth’s surface billions of years ago, were once very common. The original settlers of the stars stripped the planet of as much of these materials as they could before finally leaving Earth in a mass Exodus. Those remaining on the planet suffered from the lack of knowledge that resulted, and fell back several stages in technological progress, eventually using stone tools as their ancestors did in the caves. It is my hypothesis that this first wave of human expansion now observe us from UFOs.”
— Dr. Phineas Turnbull
Excerpt from Interview in Nature, March 2078
I stare at the words in the old magazine and wonder what my life might have been like had I been born a hundred years either forward or back. Stuck in an age where the commute dictates one’s lifestyle or living in a world already abandoned for the stars. In such a short time, so many changes.
Earth is a near wasteland, having spent its nuclear missiles in one nation’s attempt to prevent another from leaving in the Exodus. The moon, once terraformed, is now again a gray husk. Mars is still thriving, but who knows for how long. As humans keep expanding outward, the inward source collapses.
I sit on the observation deck of Station Gecko, orbiting Jupiter. Staring down at its surface, I wonder what it might have looked like when the Great Red Spot still raged, a storm that captured the eye of many an astronomer over the course of centuries.
Our station is a resupply base for those leaving Mars and venturing further outward. They’ll then make the long haul out to Neptune where they’ll refuel and go into cryonox for the journey to another life-giving star.
I wanted to go for so long, but lacked the funds, and now that I have them, I don’t want to leave. I guess I’m a romantic. Human history has captured my heart in the same way that exploration tugs at the hearts of others.
And here the words of Dr. Turnbull drive me further down a steep decline of sanity. He didn’t have the advantage of easy space travel. Had there been anything or anyone else in Sol, we would have found it by now. A discovery of Columbian proportions.
There should be nothing, but I still feel as though there must be something. It was all too quick, too easy to destroy our planet and leave it for it not to have happened before, perhaps hundreds of thousands of years ago.
“Jack, put that shit down and get in the hole,” Deng tells me. He speaks Mandarin, but I hear it in English through the neural implant that serves so many purposes. “We got a ship coming in. Two hours.”
“Right, fine,” I say, throwing that shit down. He doesn’t have to be such an asshole all the time. Half the time I actually think about telling him. “Where from?”
“They’re not broadcasting and I don’t give a shit. Keep in mind, you don’t either.”
It’s probably a trafficker, packing their ship so illegally tight full of people that half of them wouldn’t survive the trip. It’s a way to charge less and make more. Currency, which should be lacking in our society of plenty, is the one string that ties humans throughout the solar system. In my opinion, we should be totally rid of money. Nothing is really worth paying for, anyway.
*****
“So where’s the ship?” I ask Beal, who stands holding her tablet in one hand a cup of overpriced coffee in the other.
“We don’t know,” she says, staring at Callisto outside the window of the cafeteria. “Only showed up on radar for a couple hours.”
“They check infrared?” I had reported to Deng, who told me to get the fuck out of hole and wait in the cafe. Something, I know, is wrong. “Sometimes they cloak for the deceleration phase. Pirates have been pretty hot the past few months.”
“Infra, ultra, and everything between. They didn’t even leave a heat sig. I’m thinking it was a ghost, but Mel just checked the calibrations manually and everything’s right.”
“How about radiation from the planet? Could be a shadow.”
Beal looked at me with incredulous eyes. “You don’t trust my piloting? We’re far enough outside the radiation belt. It’s weakened from a month ago.”
“Fine, fine.” I look out Callisto and wonder what it be like to just disappear. “I’m gonna get some coffee.”
On the way Deng interrupts my path and says, “Alright, come, let’s go. Time to check this bitch out.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We’re going in the shuttle. You and me. Come on. Don’t be slow or I won’t pay you this month.”
You can’t do that, Deng, you bastard. “You have to…” he raises an eyebrow “give me a minute, I’ve gotta take a leak.”
“Make sure it’s not a radiation leak, huh? Hah!”
I shake my head and get my coffee, chugging it down through the hallway toward the hanger. The shuttle is prepped and ready to go. I suit up and board, with Deng waiting in the navigation seat. “You’re piloting, okay?”
“Why not Beal?”
“Beal needs to be here.”
“Why?”
“In case of attack. We don’t know what this thing is. No more talk now, let’s just go.”
So there is something out there. It could be anything, and the hope that it is something wells up inside me. Another ship, the source of which we don’t know. I may be the first to see it. I engage the engine and drift from the station.
TO BE CONTINUED…. (leave comments, let me know what you want to see happen next!!!)