Fantasy Drabble #323 "The Rhythm Of The Heat"

It will boil.

If I concentrate hard enough, if my mind is clear and orderly, if I maintain my focus: I can visualize each individual atom, find the tempo, speed it to make them dance faster. It isn't even that difficult, once you know the trick. It will boil.

It's the last test. I've failed it twice: nerves. I can do it in the study-room, late at night when no one is watching, but in the crowded examination theater…

If I don't make it happen today, Teacher will demonstrate it one last time, with the blood still in my veins.

SF Drabble #411 "Communications Breakdown"

"We can try to talk to it."

"Morris is dead! Do you want to be next?" Hirota furiously stabbed at the  controls until the airlock began to cycle.

"It could have been a misunderstanding. Morris pointed something at it—"

"A camera!"

"How would an alien know that?"

Hirota turned, grabbed the quick-connect ring of Anderson's spacesuit. "Listen, if you want to stay and chat, be my guest. But I'm leaving." And with that, he was through the airlock and gone.

Anderson let the lock close and re-pressurize. It wouldn't understand the words, but surely it would know he was trying?