SF Drabble #320 “The Lord’s Work”

A couple more missionaries showed up on the latest colony ship. How they slip through the vetting process I’ll never know. Then again, we didn’t realize what they were until they signed up for time on the printing press and showed up with files for a Bible. Ed called the Sheriff, of course.

They said they knew what the rules were here, but decided to come anyway. The Sheriff will have to keep them in a holding cell until the next ship comes, which is four months away. Good thing they hold four slots for ‘unsuitables’ on every return trip.

Zombie Drabble #329 “New Rules”

There were eight corpses hanging by the neck from eight telephone poles in a row. We took it as a warning and turned around to find a way to go around the town.

Shelby said nothing for a long time as we walked, and then muttered, “I don’t understand people.”

“Maybe they were stealing supplies. Maybe they were hoarders or rapists or murderers or something.”

“Fine, all right, but to hang them up there and just leave them like that… it’s just not right.”

“Things are different now, Shel. Civilization is over.”

She shook her head. “We’re civilization. We are.”

SF Drabble #319 “Welcoming Committee”

The pair of them walked into camp on the fourth day. We knew there were locals here — we’d seen primitive buildings and road networks from orbit — but we hadn’t thought there were any nearby.

They spoke perfect English. And Mandarin, according to Dr. Lee, and Russian, according to Dasha. Probably telepathy, though nobody wants to be the first to say that out loud. They seem to understand we’re here to stay, and they don’t seem to mind.

The taller one explained, “It’s not our planet. It belongs to Joosh.”

I guess now we have to figure out who Joosh is.

Fantasy Drabble #244 “Drunk And Disorderly”

It starts with the itch. It’s like a ten-minute warning: I have only that long to finish what I’m doing and get into the cage. I’d be near the cage already because I’ve been doing this long enough to know when the moon is going to be full and make my plans accordingly.

Unfortunately, I’m not in my own cage now, I’m in a holding cell at the local police station. They think they’re letting me sleep off my liquor so they can cut me loose with a fine in the morning.

They’re going to have some interesting CCTV footage.

SF Drabble #318 “Probe”

It wasn’t alien, not really: we built it in the lab. It was the blueprint for it, the design, that was alien.

Doctor Korpolevsky’s theory was that this was the only way an intelligent race could explore across the vast distances of interstellar space. He was sure it was studying us even as we were studying it.

Once it started fabricating its own attachments we backed off entirely. The dish it built isn’t part of it, we think, but just a tool. It only connects when it wants to send a message. About us, presumably, to be read by them.

SF Drabble #317 “Transportees”

They filed down the ramp and into the dust of the landing field. Many stumbled slightly, off-balance, not used to the lighter gravity. None looked happy.

“Dregs, Mr. Ringvold.”

“We were all dregs once, Haff. How many?”

“Near a thousand this time. All with employment slips for McKay, damn him.”

McKay ran most of the industry on New Islay, and his bribes kept him first in line for everything. “Not to worry, Haff. McKay’s shift supervisors will find some of them unsuitable and cut them loose. Then they’re ours. That’s how I got you, as I recall.”

“Yes, Mr. Ringvold.”