Monthly Archives: April 2020

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In the quiet of the night, all alone, it seems apparent that sadness, pain and love are the only real feelings.

Or maybe it’s just love?

But love leads to the deepest sadness and the worst pain; happiness maybe the illusion when both are absent.

::tear

thpln

“Honey you need to come home NOW. There’s something in the house and it’s rearranging our furniture, I swear. I took a peep and there was nothing. We’re hiding in our room now, oh my God, I’m so scared!”

“Stay on the line with me, I’ll be there soon. I was already on the road, as it happens.”

“Ok thank you. Vanessa’s crying a little but she knows Mommy’s here.” She turned to look at her daughter, who was under the sheets. “Isn’t that right, sweetie? Just like we practiced. And you’re doing good.”

“Ok good, that’s good. You’re leaning against the door?”

“Yes, yes I am. No movement so far.”

“Do you remember our code word?”

“I remember it.”

“Good, stay with the plan.”

And then knocking on the room door. A muffled voice… a man’s! Her husband’s.

“Honey? It’s me. It’s gone. You can come out now.”

“Oh shit oh shit David it’s talking in your voice!” She tried to keep her voice low but her body screamed panic and Vanessa understood. She gave a whimper and buried herself under the blanket.

“It’s okay, you know it’s not me, I’m still on the line. It can’t get in unless you let it. Once I’m there I’ll sort it out, no biggie. ETA 5 minutes.”

“Ok, yes. Got it. We’re okay.”

“Wait! The door! Did you put a towel underneath?!”

“OH GOD. Oh God ok toweltoweltowel.”

The flat ghosts would slide in from under the doors. They couldn’t get much in unless allowed to by the residing human, but those who’ve experienced that say that the ghost takes on a form that makes it near impossible for you to say no to it.

::theplan

ncyclpdlnr

The seed of the Aerie Twill plant is about the size of a clenched fist. Dark brown in colour with a tough exterior, the fibrous husk can be peeled back, with some difficulty, to expose the jelly-like sphere inside.

In the center of the cloudy, somewhat translucent sphere there is an apparent black dot, a seed within a seed. Said dot is about half a centimeter in diameter and pretty much a uniform sphere.

That dot is the residing encasement of a singular Timpan imp, who, in normal circumstances, will be encased in the growing Twill plant for approximately 20 years. It is only at full maturity that the imp, safe inside the hard body of the Twill’s thick trunk, awakens and begins to burrow out of its growth sack.

The first-matured imp is about the size of the now-extinct Terran ‘rabbit’ (Leporidae family of the order Lagomorpha), with five tri-jointed legs not unlike the common Sphinx Orta. Its distinctive feature is its hairless body, and the marked absence of an eye or similar organ. Instead the Timpan relies heavily on its enlarged hearing stalks, five of which emerge from the mid-joint of its legs, and proximity-sensitive head (see Chapter 4, ‘Senses and their Associated Organs’).

The first-matured Timpan, once free from its home tree, then seeks out a mate. In the process it feeds on vegetation as well as filters the air constantly for microparticles which its unique digestive organs are able to make use of with great efficiency.

After a long mate-selection ritual, the two Timpans re-enter the home tree of the female. The two creatures then couple and fall into a sort of hibernation, which marks the beginning of its second-maturity.

After several months, the second-matured Timpans emerge, markedly changed in physical appearance. There is now a dense but short fur-like covering on their bodies except heads, and their gait changes for a yet-unknown reason. It is for this change that a second-matured Timpan is easily recognised from afar, if one knows to read its gait.

In the second phase of life, the Timpans are inseparable, as they work together to tend to prepare the male’s home tree for their final stage. The female’s home tree becomes a sort of shelter, which they enter to sleep, whilst the male’s is prepped for their final stage. This is done by nourishing the tree with certain plant matter and secretions from the Timpan itself.

These nourishments serve the prepare that home tree for the Timpan’s final stage, which is when the couple enters the chamber from which the male once emerged, seal themselves in, and ‘sleep’. Gradually, their breathing slows and heart rate drops, until both are no more.

It is somewhere during this process that genetic material from the couple is encoded and passed on to the tree, which produces and bears one fruit, in which is the seed containing the Timpans’ offspring. From that seed springs forth two lives, in the beauty and mystery that is characteristic of Lanorian life, where inter-species co-dependence is the norm.

::encyclopedialanora

nwhrtrn

None of the colonists had ever thought of going back home when they first signed up, but here they were, hooking up a long-range comms device ‘just in case’. That was what they said, but each of them knew that their patience was wearing thin and that this new world, this scary new planet, was far from what they were told it was.

Brigger was nearly done setting up the power relay, so Janis stepped outside for a smoke. The purple-pink sky reminded him of dusk back on Earth, but it was only mid-morning here. It was the combination of sun size, distance, and upper atmosphere composition that influenced the color of the sky, and he had not yet gotten used to it. Looking up, he saw one of those winged creatures perch on their dome again, and it poked curiously with its double beaks.

“Can I get a light?” Brigger had appeared beside him, his synthetic cigarette already between his teeth.

He took a long drag and blew out a stream of smoke upwards. “Doesn’t it strike you as ironic how we need the air scrubbers to stay alive, yet tax the damn machines with our stupid vices?”

The humour was lost on Janis, who always took things at face value. “Well they’re designed to take much more than we’re throwing at ’em, so it’s all good.”

“Ah ya damn nerd…” Brigger said good-naturedly, as Janis stared back cluelessly. “I’m gonna go tell York we’re all set up here,” and he threw his cigarette down and stepped on it.

*

“Brigger! All done I suppose?” York was reclining in his office chair, twiddling one of those stupid kids’ toys in his large but dexterous hands.

“Yerp. Janis got the power hooked in, and we’re green across the board. What we gon’ do next eh boss?”

York tossed the toy at Brigger, who caught it deftly and stared at it with unconcealed disgust.

“We’re gonna figure out what the heck to do if those damn space apes come back for more. We’ve got bullets, but not a whole lot, and I don’t wanna start a war we can avoid.”

“Well then with fighting out, I’d say we’re left with trenches and maybe finding a way to crank up the power on the electric grid system. You saw how those damn things just flinched and crossed right through the first barrier.” Brigger put the toy on York’s desk and sat across from him.

“Yeah, that. Trenches are possible, but it’d be a lot of work if we can’t get the construction mechs up. Which brings us back to the problem of fuel, anyhows… God I hate this place.”

“You and us all, then…”

::nowheretorun

hwprdctbl

Five spaceships occupied the airspace between Terra and Luna but no one was the wiser. That was simply because their cloaking technology far surpassed Terran detection capabilities.

Not to mention their weapons, which made ours look like toys.

It was to be a speedy invasion, or complete destruction. Of course, we chose the latter, because we had pride and ‘hope’.

::howpredictable

mttrfprspcrv

The professor straightened the stack of papers on his desk, seemingly in an effort to tidy his desk. But it was clear his mind was elsewhere.

“Ok think of it like this,” he broke out abruptly. His colleague and best friend sat across from him, patiently waiting the whole time.

“If we shrink an object in the traditional understanding, then we’re essentially reducing the size of its constituent particles. But how is that possible? Likewise for enlarging; you see how it gets complicated especially when you consider energy as the base building block of matter, so to speak.” He pushed his glasses further up his nose.

“What if… It wasn’t like that. The moon, in sky, appears small. But that isn’t because it’s small, but we’re far away from it! So when we ‘shrink’ an object, we’re actually bending space to push it further away from us, and so it appears small. But it has not changed in size.”

His friend remained quiet, face wrinkled in thought. Finally, he spoke.

“Like I said, Charles, the math checks out. What you just said I can understand. But it’s… It’s just so… New! Unthought of! It’s just so hard to believe, you see?”

::amatterofperspective

thhsgst

The only times the astronauts got word from Earth was when their orbital path brought them in range of outgoing radio transmissions; that only happened once a year.

Most of the time, the silence was ignored, relegated to the back of their minds. It was, after all, too distantly spaced apart for any anticipation or expectation to exist.

Still, they kept the radio on 23/9. There was that part of them which always asked… ‘What if?’ no matter how low the odds, or ridiculous the idea.

It was, of course, unbelievably shocking when the radio crackled to life a full 9 months ahead of schedule. Then the static resolved, and a voice spoke clearly:

“I’m outside. Open up.”

::thehouseguest