Tea Time

Tea Time

I bring in the tray with a steaming teapot and two gold-rimmed cups. John throws me an amused looked. „Tea? Really?“ He’s happy to throw me out of my house. I’m just a joke to him.

„Courtesy. One last time. Before…“ I put down the tray on the coffee table. Tears sting in my eyes. I cannot force them back down.

„You brought it on yourself!“ He does not hide his annoyance. I nod and pour in the hot liquid into the cups. He takes a sip. „Mmm, good.“

I do not drink it, I just stare. „It’s monkshood.“

 

green humid hell

green humid hell
chewing this piece over, changing POV. You like it?
also content warning, language slipping

Howard took a big gulp and pulled a grimace, eying the bootle in disbelief. The beer tasted like lukewarm navel lint, already…

The mosquitoes kept singing the most annoying siren song of the jungle. Feet on the handrail of the porch, the man gazed down the only road in proximity. Well, it wasn’t an actual a road, more a beaten track ending behind their guest house.

The seven houses huddling together, barely merited  the name village.

It was the smallest he ever saw. The town hall was also the local dive. People were pragmatic, no doubt about that. To south the border  was the river, to north the jungle. In fact, the jungle was everywhere. The white plastic chair trembled and creaked as he shifted his weight.

Every now and then some children, or dogs, or men, or pigs passed the porch, not taking notice of him being bored. And the only thing Howard hated more than being bored, was being ignored.

He saw a black and white spotted pig not noticing him, so he threw his nearly empty bottle at it. And missed, with more than three feet. The noise of bursting glass made the pig stop and look both ways. Nothing threatening, it grunted irritated and strutted down the track.

„Gguuh!“ Howard roared, punching the air around him. „How the hell do people cool themselves here!“ Nick poked his head from the house.

„Said something?“ Howard turned, shifted his weight to balance on two hind legs of the chair. He looked up with most elaborate puppy-eyes-technique he could manage. His fingers clenched desperately into the fabric of Nick’s T-shirt.

„Please! I just feel it…“ He rasped theatrically. „I’m dying.“ Nick rolled his eyes and sucked his teeth. „It’s killing me!”

„Just take a bath, Howy, like everybody else. ’N quit your yapping.“ Howard uncurled his fingers with a sly grin. His chair flopped back to stand on all of its legs.

„My favorite cryptozoologist! I’m melting, and your only advice is to take a bath, which is potentially dangerous to deadly. Is that all you have to say to save my life?“

“Don’t get on my nerves! I’m busy cleaning up your mess.” Nick shook his head in disbelief. He turned on a heel stomped back inside.

“Which one?” Howard called after him. 

SCOOTER

SCOOTER

The screen flickered to life. A simulation of the landscape hidden under the thick blue methane and helium clouds unraveled itself. My custom navigation grid stretched over it, and listed all promising magnetic anomalies in the partially viscous crust. Areas of seismic instability stretched further into the polar regions. That was what the analysis program showed me in the lower right corner. I threw out my right index and thumb and the writing faded away. I did not plan to stick around to witness any crust activity.

Through the bull’s eye the surface seemed so peaceful and lush blue. It reminded me of Earth. The upper atmosphere showed a relievo ribbon of white clouds further to north to our orbiting position.

What bothered me most were the atmospheric pockets and the wind velocity, unpredictable and vicious. Even the CPU had problems showing me depressurization timely. Scooter was approaching faster than the simulations showed. Something was off. I had less time than calculated. That peacefully looking blue under me was deadly. It was ready to tear me and my glider to shreds. If anything went wrong, I could only hope for a fast death. Continue reading “SCOOTER”

The Cassandra Concept

part 0.01 / 0.02
PREPARED

I got you a blanket, so you won’t freeze.“ Steve smiles and hands Tom a grey woolen cover.

Already half undressed, Tom furrows his brows. He stops mid motion, shoe laces around his fingers. „It looks scratchy. I’m hungry and it’s freezing.“ He looks at Steve’s face and stops again, irked. „Don’t stare like that!

Like what?

Like I was a piece of pie, ‘n you hungry. Stop that. It’s awkward.

The blanket flies unto the morgue slab. „I just can’t please you, huh?“ Steve smirks. „When did you eat the last time?“ He turns on the monitors and checks the cameras and sensors. He heaves the emergency bag unto a trolley. Still he moves through the room, never letting Tom escape his eyes.

Six hours ago. As you told me to.“ Tom stands there barefooted, looking oddly small near the table, hugging himself, in his shorts. Steve tries a warm smile to assure him, but he seems to get even smaller. „I’m hungry. When this is done, you owe me! Not only dinners and lunches, but also lots of roast beef sandwiches! And steak. You owe me big time.“ He throws his left shoe to the door. „Oh, and pizza. See? Goosepimply. All over. God! Please tell me, everything’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.“ Steve pulls out a little book out of his pocket. On the fifteenth page he finds what he needs. The picture shows the correct location for the ECG electrodes. From his pants he pulls an envelope with nine sticky electrodes Decker swiped for him. He approaches Tom and  starts to stick them smoothly on his chest.

Everything prepared?“ Tom swings himself onto the slab uneasy. Looking around in the morgue increases his doubt by every second. Steve can’t let him doubt the experiment. He is the most important subject to this experiment. He is the only subject.

The Rio Negro Game

The Rio Negro Game
Backstory to "BOCA DE MORTE"

 

Pick yourself a nightmare!“ Howard snorted and waved patronizingly at the swinging boat hulls. They bobbed up and down, in the brownish shoals of the Rio Amazonas. The plank under our feet creaked, so I showed Howard towards one of the newest looking boat. It hit me, that new was just a mere concept in Manaus. New meant anything under 15 years, more or less. My partner gave me the brow. „You know, there are easier ways to-“

Shut up ’n move!“ I had no intention on striking roots here. It smelled of dead fish and rotting vegetables, if we stayed longer we’d put on mold. The sweltering heat was getting on my nerves. Dammit!

My. Aren’t we cheerful today? Nicky? Really?! A death-stare? I’ll be another mystery death. A body with two holes in the chest, burnt all the way through. Oh, noes … Just imagine the newspapers will write horrible headers, that the Chupacabra finished a mighty good-looking tourist. What a terrible loss to humanity… Seriously. …Stop it. Continue reading “The Rio Negro Game”

Do I wanna know?

Do I wanna know?

A Chuck Wending prompt – RANDOM SONG TITLE STORY CHALLENGE

Song title: “Do I wanna know?” by Arctic Monkeys

*

I ducked under his arm and bolted for the door.

I tried.

He had me, and yanked me back. Right away. I had no chance…

He dragged me to the farthermost corner of the room. His grip in my hair was so strong. Much stronger than I expected. And he was incredibly fast. I didn’t even see him moving. I thrashed helplessly, but was pulled back so fast and so easily, as if I had no weight at all.  The stammered “gomen nasai” jittered from my lips, dropped into the liquifying day, without visible effect.

Continue reading “Do I wanna know?”