Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sudden Short Story 94

"Professor," began the student, after class, as he was putting his materials away. 
"Yes?" he said, hardly looking up at this point. 
"Do you know much about botany?" 
This question was somewhat unusual, as he was a professor of ancient history specializing in migration period Europe.  "I know a little," he said, not letting on just how much he knew.  "Why do you ask?" 
"It's just that I've noticed this odd trend.  Whenever we have class here, the vines on this side of the building are longer after class than they were before." 
He hadn't realized that there were visible effects this far into town.  "Well, maybe those vines just grow quickly," he said, playing dumb. 
"But I have classes in this building Monday and Wednesday, too, but it only seems to happen Tuesday and Thursday.  Since you're here those days, too, I thought that you might know why." 
"Well, that's really outside my field," he said, "It's not like I've measured them or anything, either."  He sought to cast doubt on her observations.  "Maybe you could ask someone in the botany department, though," he continued, maximizing his cover. 
"OK," the student replied, "It was just a thought.  Well, see you next week," she added, departing. 
The professor was relieved, but nevertheless worried:  Was the Wellspring of Life continuing to affect him?  Had they closed the ritual improperly?  He would have to convene with the other Ur-Dren immediately.  

Sudden Short Story 93

In the center of the room, on a raised dais, knelt an angel, its wings spread and raised, its face covered in its hands, weeping. 
"How did you get in here," asked the stranger of the interloper. 
"I honestly don't know," he replied.  "Tell me, do you know what this place is?  There are so many strange rooms...." 
"This is the afterlife, and I am the Keeper.  The rooms are all occupied, so you haven't wandered off.  Part of my job is to keep you out," spake the Keeper, indicating a door.  "Come, this way." 
On their way out, the interloper asked:  "Tell me:  That angel back there, how did it die?" 
"It died of grief - the first one in a long time.  And that was no angel." 

Sudden Short Story 92

The mottled brown undulated along the forest floor, crawling toward the new host that had been offered to it.  It wasn't fast, but the human was paralyzed, just standing there, facing away.  They had been very lucky with this planet:  What were the odds that they'd find a habitable world with a dominant clade with dorsal nervous systems?  The humans were especially advantageous:  Aside from grasping appendages, they had already built an infrastructure that was useful to them - and thus to anyone that they hosted. 
The extraterrestrial alien buried itself under its new host's skin.  This one would do just fine. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sudden Short Story 91

She ran down the city neighborhood streets, but she forgot why she was running, so she stopped. 
Nobody was around.  The air was warm, though the sun was behind some building or other.  She heard a sound, faintly, off in the distance, and began to wonder what it was.... 
"Hey," came the voice of Jason, the boy that she liked.  Or did she?  Didn't she? 
"Hey," she said, somewhat hesitantly, as he ran to her. 
"Did you get lost or something?" 
"No," she said, looking around.  "This is 15th Street, isn't it?  I know where we are.  Do you hear that noise?" 
Jason listened for a moment.  "No.  What's it like?"
She thought for a moment.  "It's sort of... a cry?  Or a long note, like in a song." 
Jason listened again.  "I don't hear anything....  Oh!" he cried out, "The others are waiting for us."  He reached out and grabbed her hand.  Or did he? 
She didn't move.  "Hey," she said, hesitantly again, not budging, "Do you... How long has it been summer?" 
He stopped.  "I don't remember, exactly.  It's been summer all summer, anyway.  C'mon," and he tried once again to pull her along. 
"What did we do this morning?" 
"We can talk about it on the way," he said, but tears were welling in his eyes. 
"And that sound..." she said, her eyes staring off into the distance. 
He put all of his weight into pulling her, but he may as well have been a breeze.  Tears were streaming down his cheeks now.  "Please," he begged, "Just come on." 
She closed her eyes, and it was over.