Feather On a Breeze
Available: Late 2020
Having found themselves trapped on a ravaged Earth, Scatters and Finch have become masters in traversing the invisible dimension fields, those left littered across the globe after the first alien-invasion wave.
Now returning to their own village homes they search for a single moment in time, a moment where they might just catch back up, where they may find respite and their families still intact.
Seeing yourself in a future is one thing, making sure you arrive there is quite another.
The wind howled and the rain cut sideways, and upon rounding the corner of the massive civil storage building they had found a moments respite. Having approached carefully yet unable to view beyond the rear of Quinn’s home, gaining further perspective on the sudden recent event was paramount.
Scatters turned to address their frightened new companion, ‘Quinn, you’re going to wait here,’ Quinn was still trembling, ‘and for all of our sakes, don’t come in.’ Scatters took the lead with Finch following, it was their usual approach; age first. Scatters looked for position, a hope to gain a lookout to the building’s front aspect. On entering he found route through the house and passed the cluttered kitchen quietly and carefully. The quiet upon arriving to this place was so quite it was almost painful to his ears, now it felt like being closed in a vacume although Scatters breathed easily. He removed his leather head band and let his earpiece and sights rest on his chest; the wires taped and twisted, holding them suspended, ready in case. Turning an antique armchair, he rested its back against the wall below a high horizontal window. He then stood on the seat and leant forward, breathing, slowly peering over the sill and out to the suspected carnage. The bulging glass of the window acted as a magnifier, its edges still firmed into the framework; sealed enough he knew, from the torrential downpour and wind outside for the rare feather to rest unaffected on the inner sill. He removed it carefully from his top pocket and placed it, just so; a habitual attempt to replicate a moment in time.
‘A DHS?’ Finch whispered having found comfort, close to his friend; they had both noticed the woman’s body on the floor at the end of the room.
‘Yup,’ replied Scatters. ‘melted everything, the glass on this window’s bulged.’ His breath lifted the feather, it traced around the windows handle as he spoke. Returning to the ledge it swivelled slowly as he breathed, his eyes adjusting to the view.
Finch angered ‘Who the fuck uses Dimensional heat-sinks, I mean the residual effects are bloody disastrous’ He kicked a redundant shot-glass which spun across the floor. The noise rang out, ‘Sorry…shit.’ His hand shot to cover his mouth as the glass continued to traverse the length of the room. Scatters watched it as it suddenly disappeared, it had highlighted an invisible dimension boundery.
‘I don’t know, but it’s not our friends from the sky, I think this one’s a misfire, accidental. The military had a batch of them you know, from the fallen craft.’ Scatters had lifted his hand, placed a finger on the quill of the feather as he spoke, he rolled it, watching as its wake flushed dust from the sill and frame abut.
Finch squatted, hands propping his head as he rocked, thinking. He muttered without raising a glance, ‘Well are we going in, is it clear, I think I’d…’
‘Finch Down!’ Scatters forced himself up, torn from his spot by a shadow dancing over the east wall. Finch fell to the ground a squeal of fear wrenched from his breathless lungs. As he fell the open door burst wide open and an enraged Quinn ran unexpectedly through. ‘No!’ Scatters launched himself over the arm of the chair aided by a push from the wall, ‘Quinn, no!’
Quinn was ahead, full speed across the room, he slid toward the body on the floor. ‘Mum, mum!’
Scatters, mid air, grasped at his passing friend; Quinn’s face close, contorted with fear, tears running as free as time but for Quinn, without warning, time stopped dead as he passed the dimension threshold.
He was gone. Scatters landed in a heap at the edge of the horizon between this dimension and that, The mirage of Quins dead mother, an earlier time, frozen, his new friend now a sudden memory. He lay, still, a blank mind penetrated only by the sound of sobbing, Finch broken, finally, and after coping for so long.
‘He was supposed to stay out back, we should all stay out back, away from this shit.’ Scatters turned his head, his body not wanting to move, his cheek rested on the floor as a shard of light glanced through the window from an object moving outside, its brightness rendering a blanket of dust hanging in the air. Finch noticed the glare, stopped sobbing; a new reality had hastened his attention.
A door to the outside, somewhere close to the rear creaked open; the weathers sound track filled the room and a breeze sifted the dust and loose papers on the floor.
Finch froze, Scatters went for his gun, stayed flat, ready.
‘Don’t move.’ He looked to the slit window, the breeze kicked his feather from the sill, it floated, tumbled and danced toward the ceiling. Scatters watched entranced, a moment of fate resonating in his mind. Could this really be the moment, when the future catches up. The feather floated down toward his position, Finch raised his head as footsteps crunched glass in the adjacent room; heavy, adult.
It was time, Time had caught up. ‘Finch its now, the breach is here’ he spoke in a whisper, begging time to pass. Finch clasped his hands preyed to no god at all as the intruder walked into the room. Scatters flipped onto his back and reached up for the feather as it floated down to meet his grasp. This was the moment, he’d seen it, the reason he’d carried that feather so long. ‘A fucking moment of joy please!’ Scatters screamed out a request to the bringer of moments, the sound of a blaster ripped the air. Everything froze.
For the Love of Money
Available: Early 2021
Astronaut Commander Brink has been zapped to a local galaxy by the Zoteks using their Fast-Line Appropriated Personal device, or FLAP as it’s better known. He has been given a task that even he thinks is ludicrous, even here in the One-Thing zone where nothing makes much sense.
Commander Brink is literally on the brink of being sent home although he’s aware that extortion is never a good idea, not unless you have something very important to see you through. Extortion it is though, provided of course, that he can stay alive long enough to show the Zorteks something that’ll change their galaxy forever.
Although experienced a couple of times before, a double slayer around the ankles still hurts. It’s a knot reserved for moments requiring adaptation, but mostly access. I expected access to be crucial at this time, for them of course.
“If you tighten it like that, you’ll have to cut it…to remove the rope that is” I still had some breath left in me and required at least one of them to consider it a request.
“Now he speaks”
The smallest of the two had decided he’d weigh in. I was bound to try again, especially as he was tightening the knot as I spoke. “It makes it less attractive you know, to future clients, isn’t that enough? I mean even ignoring the waste from the whole bloody mess. Rope isn’t cheap you know?” I spoke in a half relaxed, knowing tone, understanding that I had little choice really. The binding chaffed.
The larger, less repugnant one hooked a grapple splicer over my bound bare wrist, pulled hard, shinning me toward the speckled outlet point from where the chemicals were likely to burst. Short, sharp, with chemical waste frowned upon they would want me close to it. It was hopefully going to be quick. “You do realise that I’d…’
“Can you be quiet?” I felt something hard hit me on my back.
The medium sized one threw a sample bag to the floor and raised his hands, threatening, “Are you ever going to be quiet?” He turned to his friend, “Spotts have you ever heard such a fuss, seriously?” Spotts laughed a deep guttural laugh and stepped back from me.
“I say we let him have it, fully prepared or not.” his accomplice continued.
“You can’t,” I cried “that goes against every rule…all of the conventions!” He wasn’t listening and moved away from the chamber, pressed the button executing the program, “I never deserved this!” my voice fell on tired ears, the ropes went taught and my body stretched, chemicals gurgled in the pipework. The machine spun me, spewed agents over my bare flesh, I had decided…I was going to keep my eyes open.
“Look at him Marvin!” I could hear Spotts shouting something about one of my arms, I could see red everywhere, one of my arms had loosed. My goggles blurred, I had already gone.
Apparently, they had stopped the machine and removed me, cutting the rope from my wrists.”
“And that’s how it went?” Garanath held back a chuckle.
“Are you suggesting that’s fine?” I started.
“Now Swift, listen here,” He paused and wiped a drip from his enlarged and angled nose. He hadn’t managed to hold back his chuckle, it was built into his reply, “If you’re going to enter a Sheldrake building, having just docked, without regulation checks and a regulation shower then your going to get dowsed. I can’t even imagine the dirt and grime you must have had ground into your…bits n pieces after the trip you’ve had.” He waved hi bulbus hand in the air, his chuckle turned into an uncontrollable laugh as the security playback concluded, the high-pressure hose lastly directed at my butt.
“You do know that’s illegal Garanath?” I said pointing at the screen, “that stung.”
“It’s not illegal Swift, but I tell you what is,” his expression dulled, the laugh fading as he regained tact. “extortion.”
He was right.
Tripping the Light Fandango
Available: Mid 2021
Unusual enough as it is to stumble across a gateway to a better world whilst stumbling home, giggling, from the pub one night, it is more unusual it seems to be sent back again having no Prime-Amazon account.
Barry and Stephen, each tagged with an invisible device that’s been programmed to kill them in an instant, have been sent back home after stumbling onto this amazing Prime-members only world, via a whole that opened up in their local village green. Having brokered a deal to return with their families with the very understanding guardians of the gate, they are now tasked with informing their wives that there is a brighter, fresher, better world to go to. All without actually being able to tell them anything about it.
How will this foolishly inattentive, absent minded pair convince their wives to travel to a single point on the globe, to take a journey of faith to a new and promised land when there are bills to pay, Barry’s mum has a cold and Stacey, Stephen’s wife, is about to give birth.
There’s always greener grass on the other side, this time though it’s aquamarine.
The excerpt to this Novella is restricted at present due to current and yet changing contract conditions. Sorry for the inconvenience.