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Gone (Friday Fictioneers)

Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

The state of my antenna was embarrassing. No matter how bad it looked, it did what was needed. I had a signal. Ten years trapped on this damned planet and finally, I was going home. I sent the message and waited.

Every night for a year I waited for a reply.

Tapping my claws, I supressed the urge to rip out the nearest throat. Nothing. In a rage I slammed the human computer to the floor.

A google alert months later linked me to a NASA paper. An exploding star picked up by instruments—scientists amazed.

No one was coming.

 

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

Word Count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

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Don’t look back (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

The rattle and the clack clack brought the memories flooding back. A baby’s cry, the smell of smoke and screeching metal. The ground trembled and the carriage I was in fell.

It hadn’t happened. It wasn’t real.

Was it?

A loud buzzer snapped me back to awareness. I yanked the headset off. Too real. Who would put themselves through that? I handed the virtual reality device back to the attendant who took it with a listless hand and passed it to the next in line.

Earth. Train.

It was a memory. But I couldn’t shake the ache in my bones.

 

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word Count: 100

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

I dream of genie (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Nick Allen

Every year at the same time, she brought a new one in. “Doesn’t work. I’ve rubbed it but nothing, no genie.”

I nod as I do every year and place the oil can on the shelf at the back of the store. They were always old, decrepit looking things that smelt funky, but she handled them with care, so I felt the need to do so as well. I’ve no idea where she gets them. No customer ever bought one.

This year, I peer through the dirty shop window and tap my rag against the counter.

She’s late.

I wonder…

 

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

About the book

To save his daughter, he’ll go anywhere—and any-when…

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

My thoughts

Ah time travel raises so many ethical questions doesn’t it? If you get stuck in the past… do you make a life for yourself and risk affecting the timeline or hide away and potentially lose your mind. And what if your memory starts to fail shortly after becoming stuck?

Here and Now and Then is a fabulous story that explores the “what ifs” of time travel. It can be a hard subject to make sense of and Mike Chen does it with style. The emotional beats in this story are craftily handled. Several times I assumed the story might go in one direction and was pleasantly surprised each time by not being able to predict the plot. (Ha! It’s like the author also can time travel!)

This is a clever and emotional tale about a man – Kin Stewart – and what he would risk for his daughter. It also is a love story that goes beyond the usual trope of the time traveler’s love interest. This love triangle story takes us beyond the moment of first meeting. It’s a story that explores an entire lifetime (or two) and what happens to a marriage over a longer period of time… Who do you choose and how do you go on? And what happens to the one left behind?

Characters were deeply fleshed out and well-rounded. Mike Chen navigates the past and the future landscapes easily, giving us enough detail to see main character Kin Stewart at home in each location. The women in Kin’s life are emotional rocks for Kin to cling to. I can absolutely understand why he would not want to give any of them up. I really enjoyed this story. I’m looking forward to more from the author in the future (or the past?)

 

 

I’ll return (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Zooming over the falls in the borrowed Starshiner, I admit my jaw dropped. If they were that large from up here, what would they be like on the ground? One day I’d return. I wanted to get up close and personal with those falls. The noise would be freakin insane.

“Gaining on us, boss.”

“I see em.” My shipboard computer had been blarting the news for a while. Alliance Security Corp certainly were a stubborn bunch.

“Shoot back then,” I ordered. We had the cargo. They weren’t gonna stop us. “Remind them we bite.”

Our guns spewed deadly rain. “Woooooooooooooo!”

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Don’t turn around (Friday Fictioneers)

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

My walk home took me under the bridges. Once my eyes were drawn up, I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. Handprints. Fingers stretched, perhaps painted in blood. Desperation. Horror. Fear tainted the prints.

Did they escape?

What had they been running from?

Every sound had me twitching, skittering left and right. Shadows followed me. Footsteps echoed.

In my head, that’s all. It’s only in my head.

But I’d heard talk. Tales of a game. A hunt. Tiny hairs rose on my arms at a screech. Train? No. Tapping claws. Panting breath. A growl, low and hungry.

RUN.

 

 

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

word count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould

Review: The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould

About the book

From number one bestselling author Matt Haig comes a hilarious and heartwarming story, brilliantly illustrated throughout by Chris Mould

Wherever she is, whatever the day,
She only has one kind of thing to say.
Just as cats go miaow and cows go moo,
The Truth Pixie can only say things that are true.

A very funny and lovable tale of how one special pixie learned to love herself. The Truth Pixie is an enchanting, rhyming story that will delight younger readers – with words by the bestselling mastermind Matt Haig and pictures by the inky genius Chris Mould.

My thoughts

I recommend this book for everyone. A brilliantly captured story with stunning illustrations that depict every emotional beat. A rhyming story that is best read aloud. (Though I read it silently and then ended up thinking and speaking in rhyme for the rest of the night!) This is a story about emotion and dealing with the uncertainties of life or simply just being different to everyone around you. Every parent and child should have it and read it together. But if you don’t have kids… heck, you should buy it anyway. I loved it and I’m telling everyone about it. A beautiful story that teaches empathy in a very simple manner, the illustrations have a heartwarming quality that really tug at the emotion on every page. A truly good book.

Not what it seems (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © J.S. Brand

“Nice touch on the artefacts.”

“I thought so… Looks like a human did it.”

“You don’t figure they’ll work it out?”

“Please, over three thousand years and they haven’t yet.”

A flitter of wings lifts her up to the carving on the top of the post. “They got cameras and such these days. What if—”

“—nah, used this.” He holds up a small black box. “Fritz their comms. Hahaha! They think it’s a network dropout.”

“Genius.” Pulling in her wings she dives for the base, flaring them out and flapping rapidly to hover. “That supposed to be me?”

 

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

Word count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Do you hear laughter? (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

 

It was the cackle, growing in pitch and insanity that I will always remember. The sound of little feet. In even the darkest night I hear those feet, running across floorboards.

The doll was a birthday present. Last birthday I ever celebrated.

Even now I see blood on the walls, though it has been years since I lived in that house.

The only survivor…

Hah

Survivor? Traumatized victim more like. It’s the 31st again. October. I hate this month and the memories it brings.

A door creaks. My fingers sweat where I grip the knife.

Why do I hear laughter?

 

This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Word count: 100

 

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Another fabulous review: The Butterfly Stone

WOW!! What a fabulous review of The Butterfly Stone

 

If you haven’t read it, perhaps give it a go!

 

Review The Butterfly Stone

 

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