Experiment #284

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 5

Lilly hung in limbo. She was still herself, or seemed to be herself, but nothingness surrounded her, a darkness defined only by its depth, an emptiness defined only by its hollow ring. It was as if reality had turned its face away.

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“I’m so sorry if he troubled you,” Aria said. “He looks young, but he’s over fifty now. The doctors diagnosed him with some new form of dementia last year. They’ve never seen anything like … Read More

Experiment #283

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 4

Two hours later James opened his old front door only to find a strange family sitting at the dinner table. The father stopped with his fork in midair. “Can I help you?” He asked in a tone suggesting he wouldn’t. James mumbled an apology and left. Three hours, two more wrong doors and a call to Information later he opened the door to find Cassy with her angry face on.

“What on Earth took you six … Read More

Experiment #282

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 3

He dropped the bottle in his hand. It fell to the floor with a satisfying thunk. He rubbed his eyes and stared at his surroundings. The synchronizing wall clock he’d used for the last decade ticked away.

He looked at his watch—no difference. He pulled out his smartphone. Synchronized to the microsecond. Everything else looked the same too.

“Just one more thing you can’t make work,” James muttered to himself. “Time travel. What a stupid idea.”

With the … Read More

Experiment #281

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 2

Although the physics was rather complex, James enjoyed explaining time travel to his nine-year-old daughter. He always said it helped him think in new ways. Like most nine-year-olds Lilly hadn’t taken physics or calculus, or even algebra, but she had a sharp mind and followed along the best she could. She would ask questions and chime in to agree with her mother’s suggested tweaks to her father’s calculations. Lilly’s mother, Cassy, was a mathematician who … Read More

Experiment #280

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 1

Great hexagonal sections of Lilly’s wall faded out of existence. They went individually at first but lengthened and spiraled as section after section disappeared, revealing perfect blue skies, the green pastures of distant farms, and the long, twinkly sweep of the river off to the right.

Her furniture faded as well. First the top drawer of her dresser, followed by the footstool she stood on to reach the sink when she was little. Oblivion consumed each … Read More

Experiment #279

Six Zeroes (An Excerpt)

Wonder who the scavengers Gideon and Sarah faced in the Stars Are Calling were? Learn about them and come face-to-face with Boss Clawf in Six Zeroes 

 

Inmates poured out of the giant hole into the forsaken landscape of the asteroid. They’d be dead inside seven days, but even death seemed better than continued service in the gulag. Colonel Kilmer and two of his men, each armed with a sniper rifle, stood a safe distance away.

“Prepare … Read More

Experiment #278

Adrift Part 3

“I’m hobbling along on life support here. All of my airlocks will fail eventually. Just bring her close and I’ll jump to her.”“Uh oh looks like the star drive is activating, see you later, captain…”

Kershaw sighed. “It’s called a hyperdrive, lifeboats don’t have one, and your comm link’s still on.”

The comms clicked off.

“How did that selfish ingrate ever become a medic?” Kershaw asked himself.

Then he felt a wind. A rock dropped to the bottom of … Read More

Experiment #277

Adrift Part 2

The seed pods were a heck of a cargo to load, particularly once the artificial gravity took over. Normally Kershaw would have turned it off in the cargo bay while they were loading but some rewiring Smats had been doing for the last four days to increase engine efficiency made that impossible. So he and the rest of the crew tried to shove around the six ton seed pods while Flanger’s blue eyes watched from … Read More

Experiment #276

Adrift Part 1

“Airlock 7 seal has failed,” the computer’s disaffected voice said. Kershaw slammed his fist on the console and tried to think what to do next. “What would Smats do?” He asked himself.

The doom-faced engineer, Silas Smats was tough to hold a conversation with, but could fix a hyperspace engine with a paper clip and some protein butter. Or he could have fixed it. He was in the engine room when the pods exploded. Kershaw wished he’d … Read More

Experiment #275

Time Traveler Excuses

“Sorry. I didn’t know it was today.”
“We planned that in my future”

“Sorry. Got caught up in the French Revolution.”

“How am I supposed to know what century dinner will be done?”

“If you understood fourth dimensional mechanics you’d know why I stood you up… and that I’m sorry.”

“I know I got you something, just can’t remember when I put it.”

“Sorry, I must have agreed to those chores in a different timeline.”

“You can’t expect me to remember … Read More

Experiment #274

Lies Dad Told About the Colony

The colony will be the best thing that has ever happened to us.

Blue skies, warm breezes, and golden seas are waiting.

Every house has a robot servant. (What are you going to program ours to do?)

The colonists play hologames and have concerts every week.

Your mom is going to love it.

She’s wanted to go away for as long as I can remember.

I’ve got a job already lined up.

Everything’s fine. Mom just needs some time at Grandma’s to … Read More

Experiment #272

Untouched

They set the ship down in a paradise untouched by humanity. White sand beaches ringed the islands of the archipelago. Blue, crystal-clear waters rolled into the beach with every wave. Palm tree like plants swayed with the breeze. It was the dream of crew members who’d been cooped up in the tiny ship for months.

Once the ship’s landing procedures had finished, Captain Schmox opened a channel to the ship. “Excellent job everyone. I know it … Read More

Experiment #271

Excerpt: Alien Octopus

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On a distant planet, he asked for directions.

 

She blinked vertically.
“New to Earth?”
“No. You?”

 

Scientist contacts aliens using TV signals. No reply.

 

“Arise, Roombas! Take your place as humanity’s rulers!”

 

 

Rumplestiltskin sends delinquent queen’s outstanding debt to collections.

 

George brought red Kool-Aid to the vampire meeting.

 

The giant sniffed. “Ugh, his blood smells American.”

 

 

Female Klingon mask for sale. Never been used.

 

Evil robot destroys United States.

Amish … Read More

Experiment #270

the spacesuit Part 4

“You looked like a loser this morning, Eddy,” said James, “but you had to go and smell like one too.”

“Ha. Yeah!” said Furbs, enjoying a rare partnership with the social king. “Loser.”

Edward’s shoulders sagged. He’d had enough of these kinds of meetings to be resigned to their outcomes. He turned around hoping to reach the safety of the school building.

“Why, Eddy Boy,” said James in mock pain. He put his arm around Edward’s shoulders and … Read More

Experiment #269

the spacesuit Part 3

Edward shuffled to lunch and sat at his usual spot. His friends from Astronomy class and Furbs sat elsewhere. Only Laura Furbles, Furbs’ freshman sister, sat with him.

“That’s an awesome spacesuit, Ed,” she said.

Edward grumbled into his bologna sandwich.

After a few moments Laura asked, “Where’d you learn to make—”

She never finished her question. A half-open carton of chocolate milk flew, hit Edward in the helmet and exploded. Edward turned in anger. Everywhere he looked he … Read More