Captain Redding and the Journey of Eagle Seven

“Captain, there’s something approaching.”

Those words hit Captain Redding in like a sack of potatoes to the back.  A situation she had encountered previously and does not recommend at all.  Decades in space, flying toward a distant rock that would one day be home, and nothing had ever happened.  Redding was sure she once saw an asteroid shaped like a Bugles corn chip, but could not prove it.

Now, “something” was approaching.  Not a rock, not a comet, not a weird clump of hydrogen.  Something meant there was no immediate explanation.

“Let’s see it,” the Captain ordered.  She took her seat on the bridge and drones deployed from the ship to get a closer look at the incoming object.   As the camera feeds flickered to life, the command crew gasped in unison.

“Is that…?” started the radar operator, too confused to finish his sentence.

“Audio. Get me audio,” The Captain ordered.  All the sci-fi writers, all the astrophysicists, any one who ever looked up from Earth and wondered if we were alone in the universe was about to proved right; life was present beyond our big blue wet sphere.

“Greetings,” the Captain said, pulse racing as her voice became the first encounter between human and alien, “I am Captain Redding of the human vessel Eagle Seven.  We are peaceful. We are curious. We are excited to meet you.”  She hoped her words would be looked upon kindly by history.

A brief moment of silence followed.  On the screen they saw a creature, humanoid in appearance, but possessing far more arms and much less hair, move around a small spaceship and tap a button on what could only be described as a tablet computer.  The crew of Eagle Seven waited and watched, wondering what the creature was doing.

“Okay, okay.  Y’all hear me?” The creature replied.

“Yes,” Redding answered, fighting back tears, “we hear you and understand you!”

“Good, good. Sure thing. I dig it. Yo, any one on that ship order a pizza? I have a delivery to make and the address makes no sense.  That’ll teach corporate to expand the delivery area to unknown markets, eh? Ha! Listen, you guys have been great, but you want these pizzas or not?” The alien spoke rapidly.

Redding looked around to her crew, unsure of the proper response.

“We thank you, friend, for your hospitality and offering and would welcome trade with you and your civilization,” Redding answered.

The alien responded with an amused chuckle. “Oh, you folks are a-okay.  I’ve gotta go though.  You ever need some pizza though, be sure to come over to Uncle Toi’Diwo Grrrr’s Place.”

The alien ship zipped away and the Eagle Seven team suddenly felt the pain of not blinking for four minutes straight.

“First contact went a little weird,” one crew member said.

“I thought for sure aliens would just be super smart computers,” another muttered.

“How awesome is it that there’s pizza in space?” Another pointed out.

Captain Redding took her seat and ordered the Eagle Seven to continue its voyage to a new home, hoping history would write the story of first contact a little differently.

 

 

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The Party (A Spooky Repost)

“I love that picture frame,” Wendy complimented the party’s host, Clifford.

“Do you want it?” Clifford said a little too quickly.  Wendy shook her head no.

“You sure? It’s really old and quite an accent,” Clifford was stopped by a wailing sound from the picture.

“A hehehe, you folks have any sarsaparilla?” A ghostly voice called out from what seemed to be the frame.

“What was that? And what’s sarsaparilla?” Wendy asked.

“No body knows, this will pass in just a moment,” Clifford rubbed thumb and forefinger against the bridge of his nose.

“What about some beans? Can’t have a hootenanny without beans!” The voice said.

“Is the frame haunted?” Wendy asked.

“By the ghost of a gold miner who was more interested in food and fun than minerals it seems.  He shows up and demands a drink no one can replicate and beans.  Always beans.  You don’t hold corporeal form, Jedidiah! You can’t eat or drink!” Clifford shouted at the picture frame.  This was a conversation quite common, Wendy noted.

Clifford stared at the frame waiting for the ghost to reply.

Wendy watched and waited.  The other party guests did not seem to notice, or perhaps they had encountered the scene before.  As she watched the oddity unfold, something nagged at her.  Her eyebrows titled downward, annoyance growing exponentially.

“Did you try to pawn off a haunted picture frame on me? And one haunted by an obnoxious ghost?” Wendy asked.  “That’s rude.”  She stepped away and hoped the buffet was not cursed.

 

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Deck and Amy and the Order

“I’ll order, you find a table.” Deck said, sounding more confident than he felt in this situation.  Amy gave an questioning look, knowing he was far from confident in the task at hand.

“You sure?” She asked.

“Yeah, I’ve got this. Burgers, drinks, fresh fries. What’s so hard?” Deck countered.

“They’re called French Fries,” Amy pointed out.

“That’s what I said,” Deck said, waving her to the seating area.  “I’ll be there in a jiffy.”

“Jiffy?” Amy teased the word choice.

Deck stood in line and watched order after order be taken.  The smell of deliciousness filled the hole-in-wall restaurant.  A morning of errand running had resulted an appetite that would either lead to “hangry” conversation with Amy or him collapsing on the cold sidewalk.  He hoped the others in line would excuse his drooling, but surmised they were likely unaware of his situation.  He was good with that.

Finally, his turn at the counter arrived.

“Hi, what can I get for you today?” The peppy cashier asked.

“I would like a Number Taco,” Deck said.  Six words in and he had ruined everything.  He shook his head.  “I am so sorry.  One Lumber Ton,” he again flubbed the line.  “I am so, so sorry.  I was in way over my head in this one.  I’m going to send my wife in to finish up the inning.  Calling in the lefty!” Deck joked.

He ran from the counter and found Amy.  “I have made a terrible mistake and we need to go somewhere else before we are allowed nowhere else, okay?”

Amy, having been in this situation before, gathered her coat and purse and calmly exited the restaurant.  Deck was already placing a web-order at a chain store down the street.

 

 

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Banned for Life

“Well, can’t go back to the Olde Mine Adventure Park,” Zane said as he fell to the couch.

“Dare I ask why?” Darren asked.

“Turns out there’s a rule, an unwritten rule mind you, that you can’t re-enact that scene from Temple of Doom,” Zane’s pain weighed heavy on every word.

“That mine cart chase scene is pretty cool,” Darren said approvingly.

“Yeah. Yeah. That was the scene I reenacting,” Zane said, defensively.

Darren noticed his partner’s avoidance. “Zane. You did reenact the cart scene right. Right?”

Zane was already out the room.

A Conversation with Goose

 

“I keep a list of conversation starters,” Goose started the conversation with the worst possible conversation starter.  The party was shaping up to be one of his better ones.

Badger, sipping a martini around a devilish and amused grin, took the bait.  “What sort of conversation starters do you have?”  Canary, Wren, Eel and Woodchuck rolled their eyes.  Ant fled the room, politely.

“Oh sure,” Goose adjusted his seat and pulled out his list.

“Right off the bat, this one says enter a room and ask, ‘who wants to help me kill my clone?’ Or how about, ‘Sylvia Plath writes a Chicken Soup for the ___ Soul. Fill in the blank.’  One of my favorites is ‘Mummia should make a comeback.’ And, well this one simply says, ‘share a dope meme.’ I don’t know any dope means, but I do have pictures of cows on skateboards.”

“Has anyone offered to help with the clone thing?” Badger asked.

Goose shook his head, disappointed.  “Not so much recently. Not after the first time.”

Badger stopped drinking. “You should lead with that story.”

 

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The Long Ride

“Something is simply not right.  The creaks, the lurching, the bumps and the feel of this place; all amiss!” Timothy found himself caught in a soliloquy he had no intention of stopping.  There was a mystery to solve on the southern line.

“The dead of night provides perfect cover for the perfect crime,” he continued.  “I should consult my notes.” He rummaged through a few scraps of paper he had scrawled “dinner was yum” on.

“Inconclusive,” he remarked.  “But certainly, there’s a murderer in a midst.”

His speech ended as his travel companion entered the cabin.

“You!” Timothy said, accusingly, “have you committed a deed most foul and now require me as an alibi? Hmm? What say you?”

Tina cocked her head and stared at him for a moment.  “What game are you playing?” She asked, disappointment clinging to every syllable.

“Oh come on,” Timothy said, “it is too dark out to see any of the majestic scenery we were promised and this is a s-s-s-super boring way to travel.”

“So you went all Agatha Christie on me?”

“Better than Mary Shelley.”

“What does that even mean?” Tina was incredibly curious.

“It probably would have involved something super weird with the left over chicken in the mini-fridge,” Timothy pondered.

“I am not going to leave you alone any more, okay?” Tina solved the problem.

 

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Candles to Change Reality

 

“Our special candles promise to change your very reality,” the shop clerk explained.

Teri gave him a doubtful look, “change my reality?”

“Oh yes. Here. Pick a color,” the clerk prompted.

“Hunter green.”

“Consider it done. Take your mind to a clear place. Focus only on the sound of my voice and this very fine long neck lighter I am placing into your hand,” the clerk was confident, if a little ‘carnival side show.’  “Now, light your candle.

Teri flicked the lighter and ignited the wick.

“And boom!” The clerk said, “Now you own a candle! Your reality is changed.”