Apocalypse Mom

This wasn’t her first apocalypse.  Hell, it was at least her third today, but now those around her were freaking out.  Yeah, things looked bad, but after all the stuff she had been through this latest meltdown was nothing.  She pumped her shotgun with one hand and grinned.  Today would either kill her or make her stronger.  It was up to her to find out which.  She threw open the door and the sun blinded her.

She bolted up in bed as the window shade spun.  The stupid thing must have decided to coil up on its own.  She took stock of her situation.  She was relieved that the world wasn’t going to end, but there was something about being a badass that she felt was missing.

Suddenly there was a scream, a crashing of something downstairs, and then someone crying hysterically.  Okay, so this would be her fourth apocalypse today, but she had this.  She just wished she still had the shotgun.

 

Image: cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/3572094950_ba7c27f9b2_b.jpg

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A Special Mother’s Day

Jimmy beamed as he handed an envelope to Lauren.  “Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy.”

Lauren gave Jimmy a curt smile.  She opened the envelope and liberated the card from inside.  It prominently displayed a brown rabbit with a folded ear exclaiming “Happy Easter!”.  Well, the Easter had a line through it and Mother’s Day was written in a messy, but recognizable, small scrawl that approximated printing.

“Wow, dear,” she said absentmindedly as she opened the card.  There, in perfect cursive, was ‘To my beloved son, Jimmy!  Love you!’

“You shouldn’t have,” Lauren said in a tone that emphasized he really shouldn’t have.

That bit of sarcasm didn’t seem to phase him.  “Well, I wanted to show how much I love you,” Jimmy said, that inane smile of his plastered on his face.

Lauren sighed inwardly.  He really thought he was getting away with this one.  She couldn’t keep herself from commenting.

“This is the Easter card I gave you honey,” Lauren said.

He pointed excitedly at her handwriting.  “I know.  That’s why it’s so perfect.  You always told me to use, reuse, and recycle.”  That grin got even larger.  It threatened to swallow up his ears.

Lauren shook her head in disbelief, but she couldn’t keep a wistful smile from her own lips.  “Yes, I did tell you that.”

She went to put the card into the recycling, taking her own advice, when he reached out.  “Wait, Mommy!  Can I have it back?”

She stopped mid-pitch with an uneasy feeling in her stomach.  “Why do you want it back?” she asked.

“Well, I figured I could give it again.”

“But I already saw it, dear.”

“But not Suzy’s mom.”

That made Lauren do a double take.  “You want to give it to your wife’s mom?”

“Sure.  She will love it.”

Lauren smiled a true smile and handed him the card.  Yes, Suzy’s mom would love it, and understand totally what had happened.  Suzy and Jimmy were two peas in a pod.  “Yes, Jimmy.  Do you want me to find a different envelope though?”

Jimmy was so happy he practically vibrated.  “You betcha!”

 

Image:   i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/97/f3/8c97f396734c5a3ab2a8dae5be519b1d.jpg

Stubbed (a 150 word story)

Jeremy felt a sharp stabbing pain in his big toe.  “What the hell!” he exclaimed under his breath.  That might have hurt, but his dad mode was turned up to eleven since he had finally gotten the kids to bed.  They needed so much coddling and consoling to get them there.  He knew he didn’t want to go through that again if he could help it.

He looked down to see what he had jammed his toe into and there was the stainless steel dog bowl.

“Damn it all.  I thought I told the kids to pick that up.”

Then the realization hit him.  He slumped to the floor next to the bowl and tears threatened to flow.  He took out the Milk-Bones box from the cupboard next to him.  He grabbed one out and looked at it.  The tears were flowing freely, and he now allowed himself to grieve.

 

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The Fable of the Mountain Lioness and the Dragon

Once upon a time, there was a mountain lioness.  She was a proud, majestic animal.  She was proud, but fair, to those around her.

A strange shadow fell over the land.  Everything seemed to shiver as the sun was obscured.  The animals were frightened.  They didn’t understand what was happening.

The mountain lioness was afraid as well, but she felt sure down to her paws that she was the one to rid the world of the shadow.  She set off on her quest.  Her travels took her to the plains as the shadows continued to grow.  She searched far and wide to figure out what was happening.

The rumors started creeping along the plains.  The shadow was being caused by one of the fallen, a mythical dragon come to enact his wrath upon the light.  It wanted the darkness to clothe the earth.  It wanted the light to disappear forever.

The mountain lioness stopped in her tracks.  She thought, “How can I go up against something that powerful that can actually consume the sun?”  She wanted to flee back to her mountain and enjoy what time was left for her and her family.  She knew no one would blame her for doing so.

But she shook her head and growled.  She was a strong lioness.  She was a hunter and a killer of prey.  She was fierce enough.  She was strong enough.  She knew she had to do something.

So she continued on, heading to the ocean.  The journey was long and arduous, and by the time she could hear the crashing surf, the sun was almost gone.

She set paw on the wet sand with her head bowed from the exertion of covering the distance in a short time.  She had not hunted.  She had not slept.  She was fur and bones, held together with resolve and determination.  The water lapped at her feet when she finally forced her head up and took in the horrific sight.

There in the sky, there was a dragon.  The dragon was sucking in light from the sun.  It had consumed so much that the sun was dimmer than the moon.

The mountain lioness summoned up the remnants of her once great strength and shouted, “Stop!”

The dragon paused in its eating and turned its head to look upon the lioness.  Its eyes glowed fiercely and when it spoke, its voice was punctuated with flashes of light, like fireworks.  “Pitiful creature,” it boomed, “you cannot command me.  I am almost done eating the sun and committing this world to darkness.  Leave me alone to my task and when I am done I will bless you with a quick and merciful death.  If you interrupt me again, your death will be painful.”

The lioness thought about turning and running right there.  She thought, “Who am I to take on such an awesomely powerful creature?  I am a mere lioness, I can hunt, I can prowl, and I can lead my pride, but I am not a force of nature.”

She took one step back, then two.

There was no one there to stop her from running.

There was no one there at all.

That’s when she stopped.

There was no one else there.

No one else that could do anything.

She stiffened her spine.

She crouched down.

She stood tall and roared, “STOP!”

The dragon paused, the sun a mere shadow in the sky. The stars were twinkling in mirth at its inability of the sun to obscure them anymore.

Surprise followed quickly by anger shown from the dragon’s fiery gaze.  “You dare talk to me again?”  The dragon shoved its maw close to the mountain lioness.  “You dare tell me what to do?”

The lioness didn’t flinch.  “You dare complain?  I ask you who gave you permission to consume the sun?”

The dragon chuckled a dark chuckle that almost knocked down the lioness.  “No one needs give me permission.  I take it, like I will take your life!”

“You can have my life you cursed creature,” she said, “but why must the darkness win?”

“The world must be doomed to darkness.  It is too painful to see in the light.”

“But why?” the mountain lioness asked.  “What is so bad that the light must not touch the earth?”

“Don’t you see,” the dragon roared, rising again to its full height.  “The earth is covered with evil.  The light doesn’t do its job and sear it away under its powerful eye.  Since the light will not do its job, I will condemn the earth to the darkness it deserves.”

The mountain lioness roared.  “You fool!  Yes, the earth is covered with evil, but it is also covered in good.  You are cursing and condemning those good ones to hide that evil you despise.”

“Where do you see good?” the dragon demanded.  “I see it not!”

“Do you claim I am evil? The lioness challenged.

The dragon stared deep into her eyes.  He looked down into her soul.

The mountain lioness almost broke again.  Those eyes laid her very being naked in front of the dragon’s hungry stare.

But she stood her ground, never blinking, never showing her fear.

As a matter of fact, she didn’t even feel the fear now.  She was burning it to fuel the anger and courage she was using right then.  It burnt bright and hot.  It hurt to stoke that fire inside of her, but it was the only thing she could do.  She mentally dared the dragon to touch it.

The dragon blinked first.

“Doesn’t matter,” it said.”

“What do you mean?” the lioness roared from the depths of that fire inside of her.  “I do not matter?”  She took one step, then two steps toward the dragon.  “How dare you!”

The dragon took a step back, then two.  “But you are just one,” it said softly.  “The evil is overwhelming.”

“You are overwhelmed?” she laughed.  She took another step forward.  “You are able to consume the sun.”

The dragon took another step back.  It looked smaller, frailer.  It didn’t speak.  It didn’t meet her gaze.

“With your power, we can strike fear in that evil.”

The dragon stared at the mountain lioness again.  “We?”

“I will join you.  Release the light and together we will banish the evil and not the light.”

The dragon paused, then lifted its mouth to the heavens and roared.  The light the dragon had consumed was released to the sky above.

The stars screamed when the sun flared back to life.

The mountain lioness unleashed her roar as well, unleashing her fury that she had inside of her, and the sun shone even brighter.

They are still finding evil and bringing the light to scour it from the earth.  If you doubt, go outside on a sunny day and feel their promise and decide if you want to become part of the “We”.

 

Image: kids.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/kids/photos/animals/Mammals/H-P/mountain-lion-on-rock.adapt.945.1.jpg

Broken? (a short Easter story)

Pierce pointed at Jenny’s broken locket.  “Why do you wear that stupid old broken thing?” he asked.  “It’s Easter.  Shouldn’t you wear a cross, or do you not believe?”

Jenny shook her head.  She lifted up the locket, its hinge mostly broken, never to close again, its contents lost to the world.  “I wear this because I believe.”

“What?  You don’t make any sense.”

Jenny pointed at Pierce’s cross.  “That is a symbol of sacrifice and death.”

“Uh, yeah?  That’s the whole idea.”  Pierce’s eyes rolled up into his head so hard it almost sounded like a slot machine spinning..  Once they returned to normal he continued.  “God sent his son as the final sacrifice.  I thought you said you believed.”

“I do.  This represents the empty tomb.  That means death is conquered.  I am saved as long as I believe in this.  That’s why my locket is empty and can’t be closed back up.”

Pierce stumbled a bit mentally as he processed what just happened.  “So what you’re saying is?”

“Without this,” she lifted her broken locket, “that,” she pointed at the cross, “is just a gory end to a magnificent man.”

“Where can I get one of those?” Pierce asked.

Jenny folded her arms in front of her.  “I thought you said it was stupid.”

“Once I was blind, but now I see?”

She shoved his shoulder.  “That was bad.”

Peirce laughed.  “Happy Easter?”

Jenny joined in is laughter.  “Happy Easter.”

 

Image: brilliantbusinessthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Its-a-new-dawn.jpg

Curiosity ( a short story)

Mavis looked at the data and she was amazed at what she saw.  “Bob, have you accurately summarized the numbers?”

Bob looked up from the display.  “The numbers have been correlated and verified.  The data is as accurate as the instruments doing the analysis.”

“Bob, this is extremely improbable.”

“Improbable it may be, but the data is the data.”  Bob returned to looking at his display.

“Which sample does this characterize?” Mavis asked.

“Sample 3245A.  That was the one that…”

“…that we discarded the rest of the genetic material,” Mavis interrupted.

Bob turned to Mavis.  He gave her a critical look.  “Mavis, that was very unprofessional.”

Mavis looked at the floor.  “My apologies, Bob.”  She returned her gaze to Bob, but it took on a look of wonder crossed with hunger.  “It is just the ramifications of this data means we might have cultivated a new intelligent lifeform.”

Bob shrugged his shoulders.  “That is why I have called for the sterilization of the sample.”

“What?”

Bob shut off his display and stood up without a word.  He walked towards the door before continuing.  “The experiment was a success.  You did your job.  You will be hailed as the greatest scientist of the times.”

Mavis followed his progress across the room.  She tried to find words.  “Then why destroy the sample?”

“You did your job,” he said again.  “My job is to make sure we do not do something that would cause the destruction of our kind.  I am not taking any chances that this lifeform might compete with us.  The sample will be destroyed.”  He punctuated his statement by closing the door after himself.

Mavis stared at the closed door, her mind racing.  What could she do to save that which she created?  She opened back up the display.  The fourth planet was slated for sterilization within the traditional period of rotation.  Bob had even slated the planet for magnetic field reduction.  He would see that any life that lived through the initial destruction would slowly mutate and die out from the solar radiation.

She altered the display to look at other planets nearby.  There was another planet, the third one from the sun, where her lifeforms might yet live.  It would be harder than the idyllic fourth planet, but the equatorial region might be hospitable enough.  She would have to not even show interest in the third planet, or Bob might suspect something and check there.  No, she would have to show constraint and fortitude to pull this off.

A few commands later and she put her plan in motion.  Now all she could do was wait and scheme for when she could effectively check on her new experiment.

 


The accolades and praise had been amazing, but the nagging desire to confirm her attempt to save her creation kept her from truly savoring the experience.  Bob finally took a promotion to a new scientist who was working on the next new thing.  The new Bob was not as proper and did not focus on her, for which Mavis was happy.  She eventually managed to secure a ship to visit the place of her scientific triumph as a way of closing out her career.  She claimed she wanted to verify that all traces of her discovery were gone, so she loaded her vessel with numerous probes.  The new Bob did not care and signed off it.  He seemed happy to be rid of her for a while.  Mavis laughed at the irony there.

 


The fourth plant was a desolate crimson brown wasteland.  She let the grains of the dead soil drift through her grasp and fall to the ground.  There really was nothing left, though the technology she did see there gave her hope.  Something had sent the artificial lifeforms here, and she had hoped it was her creations.  If so this was her second generation.  She felt the hubris of pride, and she enjoyed the feeling.  Still, she was nervous.  What if these beings were not from her lifeforms.  Maybe another race had come here to try to learn her secrets?

She purposely had avoided the third planet on her way into the system, but the return trip would take her right past it.  Mavis had done so to limit exposing what she had done from the original Bob back home.  The current Bob would probably not check on her, but it was not statistically impossible.  Still, there was nothing more to be gained by delaying on Sample 3245A.  She returned her craft and began the journey home.  She would either be victorious or defeated.  There was only one way to find out.

As she approached the third planet she released a series of probes.  They started to inundate her displays and she felt vindicated.  Those were her lifeforms.  She had been right.  They had grown faster than she had predicted.  The data kept pouring in as she completed her flyby.  She was sad to watch the planet get smaller and smaller, but the data coming in kept accumulating.

Mavis worked on the data, and a troubling pattern began to emerge.  Her lifeforms had somehow kept their primitive sides while growing in technology and understanding of the universe.  No other lifeform that had developed sentience had ever managed to do so.  It was expected that once intraspecies cooperation developed that those base instincts would be bred out of society.  Her creations seemed to have somehow rejected the natural order of things for a more scavenger existence.  It was so alien to her sensibilities that she found herself becoming annoyed, then upset, till she passed horrified leaving that far behind.  Now she was glad that she couldn’t see the blue dot out the viewports.

She inserted some commands.  The blue orb, the third planet, would be scheduled for sterilization.  It could not be trusted to spread its viral thoughts through the rest of the universe.

The only question was how to deflect causation of such a viral existence from her.  She then smiled.  She would blame her original Bob for not being thorough enough.  That would work.  He deserved it.

That done, she wondered if she could salvage the second generation of lifeforms left behind on the red dust planet.

 

Image: downloops.com/wp-content/uploads/edd/2017/05/Starfield-Stars-Universe-FlyBy-Motion-Background-Video-Loop-Sample2-1.jpg

Master of the Universe (a 100 word story)

John was the master of his universe.  He controlled his schedule.  He would sometimes miss meetings just to show the others there who was really important.

He came and went as he pleased, and everyone had to react to his timeline, or he would ignore them out of existence.  Most people couldn’t handle being treated like that, but John didn’t care.  It was all about him damn it.

At least that’s what he told himself as he downed the rest of the bottle.  As he staggered down the street, he wondered how much he could hock his AA pin for.

 

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