Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Flash Fiction Fridays?

Though I don't have all of my 2015 resolutions ready, I do know that "blog 4x/month" will be on the list, since I still struggle with that.  However, I'm also hoping to add some regularity by specifically posting a sudden short story on the 3rd Friday of each month, with the next day as a backup day if  I'm busy that night. 
Hopefully, this will prevent me from going long stints without writing, since I'll go no more than a month between stories.  This will also at least partially mitigate the last-minute factor of my meeting my self-set quota. 
This should also mean more stories,  overall, which should make my fan happy.  ;)

Sudden Short Story 68

A glowing orb appeared before him.  It was hard to miss on the desolate planet with the thin atmosphere.  He had a suspicion of what it might be, so he turned around.  The orb moved in front of him.  He waited, and it started making noises, soon progressing to the old dial-up modem sound. 
"I wasn't sure if anyone else was still around, really." 
"You speak modern English," came from the orb. 
"Indeed I do," said the man.  "Though that only works as a technical description, since the language is hardly 'modern' any more, since it's been so long since anyone had cause to speak it.  I'm honestly a little surprised that you became energy beings," he said frankly. 
"I'm surprised that an antique human still exists.  You're very probably the last one," replied the orb. 
"I hope that you're wrong about that," replied the antique man. 
A moment passed - a small eternity to the energetic human being.  "What are you doing?" it asked. 
"I'm waiting," replied the antique human. 
"What are you waiting for?" asked the orb, from a wrote phrase. 
"You wouldn't understand," said the antique, confined to his physical form.  He was certain that it wouldn't understand what he awaited or why he awaited it. 
Another moment passed.  "If you find another antique human, would you let me know?" 
"I will," said the orb. 
After a while, the orb lost interest in its find, and left. 

Sudden Short Story 67

"All rise," announced the bailiff, as the judge returned from his recess. 
"Be seated," said the judge, as he sat down, himself.  "Will the defense rise?" 
The defense rose. 
"Mr. Allister, you have not contested any of the specific claims made regarding your activity on the day in question, but you contest the accusation itself.  Is that correct?"
"Yes, your honor," spoke Mr. Allister.
"However, you say that your singing a song did likely influence your wife's emotional state, but that this does not constitute witchcraft.  Is that correct?" 
"Yes, your honor." 
"Further, it arose in your testimony that you believe that you come from another dimension, where this singing is commonplace, natural, and at least partially understood by neurologists, but that you lack the expertise needed to describe this to us, because it is not your field.  Do be aware that this belief, in and of itself, will not be considered when I render judgement, as it is not, itself, part of the charge.  However, I do wonder:  Why did you choose to stay in this dimension?" 
"Well, your honor," began Mr. Allister, "to put it simply, I rather like trains and airships.  We don't have many of them in my home dimension.  Our culture, writ large, values speed, so we have a road system of independent vehicles, and we use heavier-than-air craft, despite their inefficiencies." 
"Do you think, Mr. Allister, that you could sing that same song again?" 
"Well, I could sing the short version, as I did then:  The full one is in The Lord of the Rings - a franchise from my home dimension - but I only know the abridged one by heart." 
"And do you think that you could reproduce the effect?" 
"I can't guarantee that anyone would cry, but I suspect that people would be emotionally affected." 
"In that case, Mr. Allister, I wonder if you would be willing to sing that same song here, in open court." 
"Your honor," called the prosecution's attorney, "this is highly irregular!" 
"Trying someone for witchcraft is highly irregular," snapped back the judge.  "The only reason that this case hasn't been thrown out for spectral evidence is because the prosecution, the defense, and the only third-party witness all agree on the events as they happened.  Your objection, if you have one, is overruled.  Be seated."
Begrudgingly, the prosecuting attorney sat back down.
"Yes," began the accused, realizing that he was catching the judge's meaning, "I would be willing to sing.  There is no magic to it, no need for smoke and mirrors."  
"Then, please, proceed," said the judge. 
Mr. Allister sang, as best a nervous amateur could, a film version of a poem from a novel, a small piece of a lengthy book, that he'd managed to remember from his own dimension: 
Home is behind, 
The world ahead, 
And there are many paths to tread, 
In shadow, to the edge of night, 
Until the stars are all alight.  
Mist and shadow, cloud and shade.  
All shall fade.  All shall fade.  

A slight panic stirred in the audience, comprised almost entirely of people who had never heard lyrics sung, as they had emotions stimulated in a novel way.  The judge tapped his gavel to restore some order and quiet the murmurs. 
"The prosecution will rise."  And so they did.  "Mr. Henry, can you verify that this is what you heard on the day in question?" 
"I can," said Mr. Henry, with a wary confidence that justice would side with him. 
"Good.  It is this court's understanding of the scientific process that the properties of the natural world are determined by experiments to measure reproducible effects.  Since the emotional effects of this song were reproducible, it is this court's opinion that they are natural, and thus not supernatural, and therefore this singing is a poorly-understood science, rather than witchcraft or any other form of magic.  Therefore, this court finds the defendant not guilty." 
BANG! went the gavel. 
"Everybody go home," said the judge, relieved to have found a way out of sentencing a man before the congress could put a more permanent patch over some old, broken laws. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Wrap-Up

Well, I never made a Minecraft mod, and I never got around to playing LEGO Indiana Jones, though I probably will in January. 
On review, it turns out that LEGO Indiana Jones wasn't on my 2014 resolution list.  Well, I still want to do it at some point, since I do own it. 
Beating Myst again (after so many years) won't happen this year, unless I manage to squeeze that in tomorrow, which is unlikely. 
I did at least get into Minecraft for a while, though I haven't played in months. 
I did beat the Elite 4 in Pokémon X, but I didn't manage to catch 'em all. 

As far as blogging 4 times per month goes, I've got a note for each of 2 sudden short stories, so I just need to type those up to bring me to 3 this month, and then I need one more topic somewhere....