Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Short Story--Suron


Suron tapped the console impatiently. It was bad enough having to tutor 75 idiots in this jerkwater part of the galaxy for no hope of reward or recognition, but these particular young minds were spread out over half a light year on weather stations, research stations, agricultural stations and Krom knew what else. Not a single city within a month's travel, not even a single habitable planet for Krom's sake.
How did a teacher of his superb training and intellect wind up on this decrepit station so far from the gleaming centers of commerce and art? He who was third in his class at the academy and could have had an appointment at the great university on Helms. It was all politics. "Politics!" Suron spat out the word and fetched the console a resounding smack.
One by one the console's lights winked off as the far flung students submitted their assignments, communicated with each other and signed off after the day's lessons. Seventy five little lights connected him to seventy five little minds. Some bright, some hopelessly dull; all of them reluctant to work but eager to win his praise. He demanded nothing less than perfection from them. This may be the despised ass end of the known universe but by Krom it will have seventy five well spoken and highly literate young minds. One light stubbornly remained. A young third former named Veech who lived on a small mining station at the very limit of The People's expansion.
Keying the switch with contempt Suron spoke to the boy, "Yes Veech, why do you tarry?" Static and the garbled sounds of voices and commotion came over the speaker. Suron turned to the small screen. A picture of the floor or perhaps a wall. Finally a panting and dishevelled Veech. "Professor! Thank Krom !Help! help us please. Explosion. People hurt. I don't know what to do."
"My dear young man," snapped Suron, " you will address me in the correct manner. You will ask permission to speak. And then you will speak clearly and in whole sentences as I have instructed. You will state your case in precise declaritive sentences without emotion. In fact, I would prefer to read a written report on your problem which might help your flagging grade in composition. I will expect your report before class tomorrow. That is all." So saying, Suron flicked the switch cutting off communication with the horrified Veech.
Several hours later this report came through on the data transfer machine:

Dear honored professor,

I do not have much time. Several explosions and fire have killed everyone but me. The station is in ruins. Only this channel of communication remains. I have no food and very little air. All life support systems are distroyed and there are no escape pods in this part of the station. I do not think I can last more than a few days before I slowly die of thirst or cold or asphixiation. I might be better to simply throw open the airlock and end all suffering. I hope you find this composition to your liking.
Your most respectful pupil,


Sighing deeply and tut tutting to himself Suron takes the red pen from his pocket and begins to circle the obvious grammatical and syntactical errors in the report.

Another Shorty--Adoption


It was adoption day at the facility. All those humans slated for euthanasia looking so bewildered, frightened and lost. How can anyone just leave them all to die? Thork and I rolled by the glass fronts of the cages stacked three rows high. So many of them. There must have been several hundred. They stared back at us hollow eyed and distrustful. Most had given up any hope of rescue. It was so sad.
Thork and I would take them all home if we could. As it was, we had already rescued six over the years. They make such wonderful pets. So grateful to have another year or two of life. Loyal, loving and kind, there’s nothing like a mature human to make a bleem a pronk. I look at their faces. I believe I can read a lot into their expressions. These are the unwanted refuse that clutters our streets. Picked up like vermin, breeding in dark corners, mongrels the lot of them. And yet, I believe, there is a dignity in even the lowest of them. Clean them up and feed them and they are the equal of any pure bred expensive variety.
I have had nothing but good experiences from my rescue pets. Oscar was beloved by all in the years he lived with me. It broke my org to flush him but he was so broken, he was not worth fixing. To this day I don’t know how he got under my roller. But I believe that every life is special and that there is something cute and worth saving in all of them. I roll by slowly and check out their faces. I nudge Thork with my appendage and point to a female in the third row. A mature female beyond child bearing years with a soft belly and sagging breasts. Water streams from her eyes like they do when they are sad. It touches my org. “She’s the one,” I tell Thork and he rolls off to get the attendant.
The attendant expertly wraps an appendage around our female and rolls her to the front. They are so small and delicate. The attendant examines her and gives her her shots with a big needle. She lets out a little yelp of pain and he puts her in the carrier we brought. We give the attendant credits and Thork carries the human to the transporter. We will keep her in the cage with the others. They seem to like their own kind. Outside the air is cool. The human whimpers and cowers in the corner of the carrier. I smeem to Thork, “Look, she shakes. That means she likes me doesn’t it?”
“Perhaps she is frightened or cold,” Thork knows nothing about humans.
“Perhaps,” I smeem back unconvinced. “I will call her Oscar like my other one. What do you think?”
Thork smeems assent. I stick my appendage into the carrier and stroke the creature. It shrieks. I can tell it likes me.

Very Short Story--The Bay It Buzz


I knew they were lying.

"Don burry Bill, ebryting bill be albright" in that crazy accent of theirs with their "B's" and "W's" crossed.

The house was a horrible mess. The furniture was dirty and old. What pictures there were were crooked and not of anything anyone in their right mind would
hang on a wall--a photo of a toilet seat, a painting of a rumpled sheet of paper. The yard was littered with newspaper, the lawn was some sickly tufts of wiry grass, the gate was hanging by a single hinge.

"Ebryting bill be just the bay it buzz", he had said.
But it buzzn’t… er, wasn’t..

It wasn't just that the house was a mess, it's what lay beyond the gate that really stunned me. Desert. There were a few forlorn little houses like mine and
then nothing but scrub and dust and tumbleweed as far as the eye could see.

"You call this the way it was?" I said to Bork. The alien stood a full seven feet tall and grinned down at me with its idiotic grin and its shiny suit. It looked human but you could tell he wasn't really.

"Bell, it buzz harder den be taut. Wut all in all not too wad."

I could only groan for what was once a lovely midwestern town in the corn-belt. Put through Bork's analyzer it was supposed to be digitized and reassembled exactly the way it was. But it didn't take a genius to see that the reality that went in wasn't what came out. In went my sofa with the art deco arms and the fabulous fabric I searched all over Chicago for and out came this cheapo used Sears hide-a-bed I wouldn't sit a dog on. In went my little dog, Muffy, and out came this cat-like fur beast.

"Stop" I yelled. "You're getting it all wrong."

"Don burry," Bork said and squirted me with something that knocked me out for a week. When I came to things were pretty strange and Bork and his pals were gone. He paid me though, just as he promised. I have a stack of hundred dollar bills in the basement. Every one has a picture of George Bush on it.