Sleep Denied

When Morpheus, one of a thousand sons of Somnus couldn’t sleep the rest of the gods were troubled.

Without healing sleep, anger began to creep into casual conversations that turned to fights among the stressed-out gods. Sleep-deprived Zeus shattered the heavens with violent lightning followed by thunder that shook the earth.

Mankind trembled and prayed.

Another son of sleep, Icelos the long serpent, wrapped around Morpheus’s mind and kept him awake speaking of strange things in archaic languages. There seemed to be no hope for him.  

Finally, Thanatos, god of death, called out to Morpheus and offered him eternal sleep.

Wet Dreams

100 words –

This time Hayden wasn’t dreaming.

The girl of his dreams, Belinda Ross, was really talking with him and being flirtatious! Her beautiful blue eyes were riveted upon him adoringly. She was still wearing her cheerleader outfit after the big football game.

The conversation, while they drove to a nearby canyon known for good places to park and neck, was light but heavily infused with lust. It was going to be his first time. He wondered if it would be her first time for sex?

When the alarm went off Hayden groaned when he felt the wet spot under the sheet.

Space Race

100 words –

The metal beasts that carried humanoid species and humans inside, careened off asteroids and collided on sharp turns defying gravity while cornering at Mach 27.

No time limits. The Race in Space was based on an intergalactic feud started eons ago over a long forgotten reason. Captains and crews abroad leviathan cruisers lived and died, but their projeny carried on the great race that never had a finishing place.

The cosmic irony was wasted on the diverse participants who had long ago forgotten what deeds their forefathers attempted to win the race. Their descendants also doomed to follow, lemming-like, for eternity.

The Ball Mason Jar

700 words –

Butch was sick and homeless. The 70-year old looked bad for his age, bending over a dipsy dumpster looking for scraps of food or something he could sell.

No luck. He shambled along for a couple of blocks until he came to the old Ball Glass factory. The fenced-in yard behind the now shuttered business was a dumping ground for the hundred years that the plant operated. He once found two antique Ball Mason jars buried in the yard and was able to sell them for $20.00. But that was a year ago.

He was a poor man’s picker with a good eye, when he wasn’t drinking cheap booze. He’d dropped out of “the system” after fighting for a year in Vietnam, in 1970. The streets were his home by choice. He counted on extra floor space in the old mission during really harsh weather.

All three pawn shops in town knew Butch. Each tolerated his eccentricities and weekly visits. Ninety-nine percent of the time, Butch brought worthless junk in and the pawnshop would end up giving him a small donation for it. He blended in with the street people of Titusville, but had no friends to hang around with. It was the way he wanted it.

Taking his vintage military entrenching tool from his backpack, Butch picked an area and began digging. He didn’t know what else to do. He had to keep trying. No one was going to come along and rescue his 70-year old ass anytime soon.

When he struck glass he was afraid it was a broken piece, but after carefully probing with his K-bar knife he uncovered a Ball Mason Jar in excellent condition. When he saw the lettering was upside down his heart skipped a beat. This was certainly unusual. He had a good feeling about it as he carefully wrapped it in his extra black scarf.

Jack Owens, the owner of Owen’s Pawn Shop, watched Butch shuffle by his display window and open the door. A bell greeted his entrance as he nodded at Jack and took off his OD green military backpack and set it on the floor. He carefully opened it and took out the glass jar still wrapped in the black scarf.

Interest crossed Jack’s features when he set the Mason Ball jar down on the glass counter. It was unique. As an expert on both Ball and Kerr Mason jars, Jack quickly noticed the lettering was upside down. He pulled out a book off the shelf behind the counter and flipped through it. Then he got on his cell phone and went into his office.

As the minutes passed Butch got uneasy. He was starting to re-wrap the jar when Jack returned.

Hold on, Butch!” he said. “I’m sorry I took so long, but I wanted to confirm how much your jar was worth.”

“And….?”

“Believe it or not, you found a really rare jar that was made in the very early 1900’s. Your jar was made in limited quantities, which is desirable to serious collectors. At auction, you probably could get $1,000, or more, for it!”

Butch’s eyes opened wide in surprise.

“What would you offer for it?” Butch bluntly asked.

“It’s a nice piece,” Jack said as he examined it. “The most I could offer is $500. It might take me years to sell it, and it takes up space meanwhile.

Five hundred dollars. It was the most money he saw in one place since he was in the Army.

“Any chance you’d give me $600 for it?” Butch wheedled.

Jack smiled. “You drive a hard bargain Butch. How about $550.00?

“Sold!

“How do you want the money? In hundreds, or twenties?” Jack asked as he opened the cash register.

His voice sounded funny to him, a little on the high side, as Butch replied, “Twenties.”

Later, after renting a motel room, eating at a fast food restaurant, and buying two bottles of good Irish whiskey, Butch stretched out on a bed and opened one. He took a big gulp and grinned. The last thought in his head was, “It don’t mean nuthin.

The next day at checkout time, a maid found Butch dead in the bed, still clutching a bottle.

A God Among Men

600 words –

As you’re my witness, this is my letter of intent:

“I, Thane Greyson, being of sound mind (regardless of what they say) and body, do hereby declare war on the extraterrestrials hiding all over earth. I won’t stop until I die, or win.” – March 15th, 2028

Breaking News – Reuters – March, 19th, 2028

SERIAL KILLER STRIKES AGAIN

“Another mystery murder in trendy Terracotta Towers in New Wyoming, has residents leaving town for parts unknown. Local authorities have no clues to what is motivating the murderer. Three homicides in three days overwhelmed the local police force, who actually welcomed help from the FBI. One of the victims was a tourist from Japan. The other two were roommates living in the Terracotta Towers since the building opened. More on the local Six O’ Clock news.” 

Thane stretched out on the couch and flicked the channel changer, mindlessly letting the images in the channels roll by like an endless stream of chaos. He listlessly chewed on a piece of spicy beef jerky and listened to the unintelligible noise emanating from his flat screen TV. Part of his lizard brain was working on his next victim – a computer programmer he saw several times at Starbucks. He was an alien. Thane’s uncanny ability to uncover space visitor’s identities – no matter how cleverly disguised – was a trait he was born with.

Thane knew that one day people would realize he was saving mankind by hunting the aliens down. They’d worship him and treat him like the god he was. Unfortunately that time wasn’t now, so he had to be careful and not get caught before his mission was accomplished. This required careful planning, which his lizard brain was very good at.

His choice for execution was a hypodermic needle filled with the deadliest poison known to mankind. The victim’s body turned a livid purple with seeping cracks everywhere. It took 30-minutes before the victim felt sick, dying shortly thereafter. He thoroughly researched the poison and was confident it killed aliens and humans alike. No use taking chances with hybrids. A half breed could still be a threat.

The only thing that gave Thane any doubt was he didn’t know how many aliens were on earth. He realized that his goal to become a god may take years. Still, it would be worth it he convinced himself. He’d be Lord Thane. There wouldn’t be a need for a last name.

His plan for the stranger at Starbucks was finalized in his lizard brain. It was time to go get a cup of coffee. The place was packed. As usual. Thane approached the stranger who was talking with another man. As he was slipping the hypodermic needle from his coat pocket the two men suddenly looked up at him. Their combined stare froze him. The next thing he remembered was waking up in an alley with the two strangers hovering over him.

“You didn’t think you’d get away with this?” one of the men asked.

Thane was laying on his back and couldn’t move a muscle. He sighed with the knowledge he wouldn’t be a god after all. He would become dead meat.

“You’re not the first to have dreams of ruling mankind,” the second stranger said while showing his real face to Thane.

The confederation of planets in our galaxy agreed a long time ago on how we’d infiltrate the human race. Representatives from all the planets sent early advance teams. How you managed to get on earth alone is a matter for the federation to take up.”

The two aliens backed away when the transport beam covered Thane and carried him to his judgement.

The Blood Plains of Nusa

500 words –

Stit stood still when he saw the rippling movement beneath the ground. His well-trained hunter eyes stared at it, determining the length and approximate width.

A big one.

Hunting the deadly Stuners for their hides was a desperate way to make a living, but Stit had no choice. It was all he knew. One bite would stun it’s victim, regardless of it’s size. Then it swallowed it’s prey whole. The underground terrors topped out at 60-feet long with six-foot wide bodies that glistened like diamonds when exposed to the suns of Nusa, a dying desert planet.

Stit’s home.

He was among the last of the bipeds on Nusa. The rest of the survivors walked on four, or more, legs. His species was once dominate before the nuclear wars and the resulting mutations that led to fierce predators like the Stuners.

Because of climate change over the centuries, the Blood Plains red sands crawled across the planet like an infection. It was there brave hunters sought the Stuners for their valuable hides. Their meat was vile and poisonous.

For a hunter to be successful he had to pierce the beasts’s eye to strike the tiny brain behind it that kept it alive. Any other wounds were useless. It didn’t feel pain. It was the ultimate killing machine on Nusa.

Feeling confident that he knew where the head was, Stit held his 10-foot long steel spear at the ready as he approached. Suddenly the head thrust through the ground’s cover and burst out into the glaring suns, it’s majestic and deadly worm-like head raised to strike at him. At that moment, Stit threw his spear at the monster’s right eye!

Skinning a Stuner is almost as hard as killing the creature because of it’s enormous size. Stit spent two nervous cycles stripping the shimmering scales and praying to the dark gods that another one wouldn’t show up before he finished. They ate their own kind.

It took all of his strength to load the skin onto the sleigh he brought with him. He slipped into the harness and began his trek to get off the Blood Plains before his blood mingled with the burning sands. After two more grueling cycles he finally saw the caves. Home. With each tired, but victorious, step he could hear his heart beating. His prize would keep him fed and entertained for 100 cycles before having to return to the Red Plains. The hide glowed brightly in the dark tunnels. Not that he needed it to see. His eyes, like the others were adapted to the dark tunnels.

By the time Stit got to the great community hall he was exhausted, but elated. As he watched the officials unravel the hide to measure it, his stomach growled. He was hungry. His rations were used up a cycle ago.

Watching the judges smile he sighed in relief. Good times were ahead. The hell with the Red Sands!

He tried not to think about returning to the Red Plains.

Peace On Earth

100 words –

Living in peace is the greatest blessing people can hope for in this chaotic world. A fragile peace comes on this day when believers gather to pray.

It’s Christmas Day and the Prince of Peace sends greetings to every person and beast.

Peace is so precious in this day and age where millions are filled with rage. It’s worth more than diamonds and gold. More than power and fame. Without it people go insane.

Achieving peace is many countries goal, but obtaining it is like selling ice cubes in the North Pole.

May you enjoy peace wherever you are today.