An Enigma of Sphinxes

 

“Order, Order! I call this Enigma to order!” Khufu’s clenched claws rapped smartly against the granite dais.

“We have got to do something about those infernal devices that the humans are carrying. I have had three good meals get away from me yesterday alone.” Nur-Adad raged.

“He is right.” Sin-Eribam admitted. “I used the newest riddle I know, ‘What is red and green and goes round and round?’ Within mere seconds, the human had the answer, ‘A frog in a Cuisinart.’ I am starving!” His empty stomach rumbled angrily in proof.

“I have been reduced to using the riddle of the Greek Kallikantzaros, ‘Feathers or lead?’ Ramses confessed  shame-faced hanging his head, but the human was a physicist and knew the answer, ‘Neither, they both fall at the same rate.’ So I had to let him go.” He sighed regretfully.

“We are all hungry.” Khufu said. A sullen rumble of agreement sounded from the grouped Sphinxes. “I have consulted with our most technologically advanced member. He has the answer, Xerxes?”

Xerxes strode forward regally and stood next to Khufu at the dais. “After much research and thought, I have found the solution. There is a device the humans have called a ‘cell jammer or scrambler’, the installation of this item will prevent the humans from using their Androids, iPads, iPhones and other devices to search for the answers to our riddles and we may all fed again.”

“All of those in favor of doing what Xerxes suggests please signify your agreement.” A chorus of growling screams of joy and the beating of massive wings thundered through the crowded arena. “Passed by popular acclaim!” Khufu shouted. “I hereby declare this Enigma closed!”

Emily
A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about a Sphinx’s riddle.

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Unremarkable Man

manbusinesssuit

Jack Jones possessed the power of anonymity. He patrolled the city in his charcoal-grey business suit attracting no attention; everything about him; height, build, face, hair and eye coloring were all average. He had a single flaw; he couldn’t carry a tune in a ten-gallon pail, something he was currently proving as he casually strolled along tunelessly yodeling the piece he had just written at the top of his lungs.

   “I can go unnoticed in any crowd
   Except of course, when I sing aloud!
   I am Unremarkable Man
   Moreover I have just began!
   I may fall down, but I get up again
   If you are evil then I am your bane!
   I may not have a body made of iron or steel
   Nevertheless, my strong fists you will feel!
   I do not soar through the sky
    For I am completely unable to fly!
    I may be bruised and I may bleed
   However, defeat I will never concede!
   I will accept whatever fate may throw
   To bring down any wicked foe!
   I am far from being a zero
   I am a superhero, a s-u-p-e-r -h-e-r-o—!”

He turned the corner and crossed the street. Totally focused on his iPhone, he never noticed the oncoming cab until it struck him, tossing him bloody and broken into the gutter. The cabbie never even noticed.

Emily

A Writing Prompt a Day: write a theme song for your protagonist.

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Project Rain God

 

mars-and-sun_shutterstock_34447

It was a mote of brightness in the vast ocean of the universe, a chunk of frozen ice tumbling erratically, floating lazily in the dark depths of space. A series of tiny, firefly lights rhythmically winked briefly into existence on its flanks and rear. It slowed and stilled. Turning like a compass needle pointing north, it oriented itself on its target. A bright blossom of flame bloomed, ponderously the asteroid gathered speed, until it was streaking unnoticed towards its objective, a red marble floating closer to the distant sun and a date with destiny. “Surupa launch successful.” Captain Freya Wright announced from the bridge of The Joint Nations Ship Inception.

Long tedious months passed as Surupa sped on its way, the Inception pacing its gigantic charge. Finally the destination shown. First as a faint dot, slowly swelling with pregnant promise, then a huge globe dominating the Inception’s viewer.

“Target profile confirmed. Project Rain God is go.” Commander Joshua Lewis commed from the Forward Observation Platform.

“Acknowledged, Mission Control. Detonating.” Captain Freya Wright replied.

The blast fragmented the asteroid expanding it like the petals of a giant flower. Meteorites showered down, penetrating the thin atmosphere. Friction heated them and they began to dissolve. Dirty white clouds formed. Lightening flashed, thundered rolled, and precipitation began.

“Delivery confirmed.”

“Roger Inception, looking good from Phobos.”

For the first time in aeons, it rained on Mars.

Emily
A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about a meteor shower.

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The Heist

 

SnowGlobe

The security was pitiful, a single scanty trip wire rigged to flashing colored lights. The team breached it easily enough and obtained the gleaming prize. No sooner did they have it in-hand than the enemy pounced.

“Too hot handing off. Claire, you’re it!” The glittering bauble traced a perfect arc through the air. He smashed to the floor under the weight of the bodies piled on top of him. “Oof!” Bernard squawked beneath them.

A delicate pair of hands deftly snagged it. “Congested, sliding. Elias, you’re it!” She screeched, crouched, and threw, the twinkling trinket skidded gracefully among dancing shoes. A small fist grabbed her long hair and jerked her off her feet. “Ouch!” She squealed.

“Received, running.” He bent his head and plowed through the scrambling security forces, sparkling gaud clutched protectively to his chest. “Passing, Harvey, you’re it!” The Taser dart struck his shirt; he dropped twitching stunned by the pulsating current. “Ahhhh!” He screamed clutching his chest in agony.

“Delivered, exiting” He sidled out the living room door and shouted in triumph, the scintillating trophy extended victoriously high over his head. “We won! We won!” He shrilled dancing with glee.

“No fair!” Flynn whined.

“Cheaters!” Darcy shrieked angrily.

“That’s enough! Don’t any of you dare break my snow globe!” The soprano voice thundered.

“Yes mother, yes Aunt Agnes.” The cousins all chorused. Obediently they replaced the snow globe on the light-strung mantle. The children huddled in a circle under the wilting Christmas tree. “I’m tired of guards and robbers.” Little Gladys said. “Let’s play something else.”

Emily

A Writing Prompt a Day: write a piece about a tag-team heist.

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Man’s Best Friend?

 

white and black dog standing on stone
Photo by joan montaner on Pexels.com

“Help Lassie! Help!” Twenty-five-year old Timmy cried frantically from the bottom of the abandoned well.

Lassie’s teeth grasped the frayed rope, uncoiled its length and let it drop down into the depths. She heard Timmy splashing in the water then felt him put his weight on the rope.
“Pull girl! Pull!” He shouted.

Lassie complied for a few minutes digging in her hind feet and lunging backwards. Her muscles strained under the weight of his body. Her aging joints creaked. Timmy rose several feet into the air. This habit was getting old! Lassie thought. She had had ENOUGH! Time to do something about the situation. Her greying muzzle opened, sharp canines flashed. The severed rope plummeted into the well. Her still keen ears heard the huge ‘splat!’ of Timmy landing and the ‘crack!’ of his neck breaking. Carefully Lassie dragged several large tree branches over the well, concealing it. Then head held high and tail waving she trotted home.

Emily
A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about someone or something falling down a well.

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Customer Nonservice

Customer service had increasingly grown automated with development of prerecorded responses. Now, in this year of 2245 Hahl was only required to show up one day a week to deal with those clients who had refused to give up in frustration at the month-long process of filling out the numerous forms. The tiny cubical was buried deep in the bowels of the mile-square, fifty-story high shopping complex. It was barely large enough to hold a single customer and the handsome young man sitting behind the narrow countertop. “Next!” Hahl shouted touching the button labeled ‘Enter’.

A heavily wrinkled elderly man shuffled through the door in the right wall and up to the counter. He wore a conservative charcoal-grey uni-suit with narrow yellow racing stripes.

“Please stand on the dark square to be scanned.” Hahl requested. Steward’s synthetic personality hummed softly to itself, and then its mellow voice sounded Hahl’s ears. “Customer Actuality Confirmed.” “How may I help you today sir?” Hahl inquired.

“I want my money back! This anti-aging cream has given me a terrible rash.” The old man whined nasally.

Hahl sighed. “Show me the alleged rash.”

The man tapped the button on his collar, everything but his skimpy black g-sting went transparent. An angry bright-red rash covered him from neck to foot. Puffy sores spotting his obese body oozed clear fluid.

“Wow that is one fierce rash cron!” Hahl whistled admiringly. “Got ‘ceipt?”

“Def.” A gnarled hand offered up the crumpled plaxt.

“Are you sure that you want a refund sir?” Hahl asked.

“Sure!” The customer snarled defiantly.

“Kay cron. Link.” “Refund Transferring.” “Cred sent.” Hahl stated.

The old man frowned in concentration. “Cred ‘ceived.” His face relaxed.

“Delivery Confirmed.” An alert light flashed across Hahl’s eyes. “Customer Lifetime Refund Account Exceeded. Activate Button XCD.” Hahl tapped the control panel. “Ultrex-Mart Intra-Solar appreciates your life long loyalty. Please exit to the left.” He smiled politely. The old man trudged through the indicated door. It swung open at his touch, and he lurched forwards. It began to close, and a flash of bright light washed over his form, then flakes of ash and a whiff of charcoaled meat drifted into the chamber. Powerful air-vents swiftly vacuumed them up. “Customer Account Inactivated.” Hahl thumbed the virti-screen. “Next!” The short queue crept forwards.

Emily
Notes:
• Cron is short for crony and has the same meaning as buddy or pal

• Virti-screen is short for virtual screen

 

A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about customer service.

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Some Call It Art

graffiti wall art
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Pexels.com

I stared at my work in frustration the canvas lacked something. The carefully posed model, her long blonde hair brushed back in tousled curls, the silky black lingerie a stark contrast to her glowing white skin, slim neck wrapped tightly with a dark purple scarf, bright blue eyes widened in startlement; it all lacked some vital spark to give it life. Then it came to me in a flash. I picked up my palette knife and plunged it down. I would make it right!  I would make it right! Repeatedly I hacked and thrust while my arm grew heavy and tired. Yes! Yes! That’s it! Just the touch that I needed! The rich red tones welled up and flooded over my model’s torso and the pristine blue satin sheets that framed her body. I stopped, drew back, left panting from my exertions and examined my work. Perfection! I dropped the knife letting it clatter to the wooden floor. I could never again match the sacred vision before me; I refused to profane my knife by using it again on a lesser piece. I sighed in ecstasy at the beauty lying before me then left the room gently closing the door behind me. My artwork lay there patiently waiting for my admiring fans.

“That sick son of a bitch has done it again!” Detective Dennis Stroud swore grimly squinting at the latest victim of the serial killer dubbed by the media as The Artist. “That’s the third one this week alone!”

Emily
Written for A Writing Prompt a Day: Write a piece about an artistic frenzy.

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