Sunday, October 1, 2017

Five mini and flash tales

Sept 9 More science fiction from me, as the title says Five stories to be exact.

However not what I said. I had planned on dong the first 3,333 words of my first novel but too late decided that it did need some revising. I didn’t even know there were rules to writing when I wrote it. Nothing about passive Vs active, Telling Vs Showing, making sure the MC changes, using all five human senses in each major scene to draw the reader in, etc. Grammar no doubt is lousy too. And only the basics in punctuation.

So instead I present five mini and flash tales, each one except for the first one, were written from a picture. I tried to incorporate the pictures description into the story. Two of the stories had to be under 600 words when I First wrote them. They are now longer after I revised them. The three mini tales were all from pictures. The first tale wasn't from a picture but had to have five certain words in the story. I forget which words they were and I am not sure that since I revised it, deleted and added words that all five are still there.


Enjoy:





An Emergency Sell


Makueue sat at his controls, he frowned at the images above the slanted, grey panel. His eyes closed for a moment.
Nothing left to do.
His small cockpit seemed to close in on him. He could reach from one side to the other. It fit his small freighter and provided a bit more storage. Now though that extra room might cost him more. He wanted to bang his hand on the control panel but he had done that before-the panel was very hard. All it did was hurt and cause the images to jumble for a second.
A movement at the side made him glanced at the viewer at the side of his controls. An image of William Shakespeare showed. The real likeness of him. Or so who they now thought he was. He had turned down the sound and paused it when the call came through. Now there silence filled his ears, which fit. He had bought new versions of the plays, set in contemporary settings, to watch on this trip. He loved the Bard’s plays. Real life reactions mixed in with proetic lines. Shakespeare knew how to write.
Damn, that beep, which had signaled the note from the Commence Ministry of the Walton Kingdom, had distracted him from the beginning of “Taming of the Shrew”. Now he didn’t fell like watching it. Bile came up at the news.
The recorded memo had been short. The cost of the Temp commence license had gone up. That meant he didn’t have enough to buy one. Without it if he tried to sell anything or deliver cargo to anyone, he could face prison time as a smuggler. The Royal Family, of course, could buy things from anyone they wanted to. They wouldn’t want anything he had, even if the cargo belonged to him, which it didn’t.
His ship, the Surreal Camel, rested near the huge hourglass-like station. Sensor dishes, weapons and squarish long comm antenna marred the bottom and top. It was this system’s Royal courts, multi-governmental office complex. It also housed the HQ for their Smuggler Officers which also served as search and rescue. The home station, where most of the citizens lived, was another two hour trip at medium sublight speeds.
In frustration he looked over his shoulder, pictured his ship. Its streamline oval hull with two small, fat cigar shaped outriggers. The ship’s pulse drives and gravity twisters rested in those. The Camel had two smaller drives in the main hull, away from the main drives. They could be used as thrusters, or emergency propulsion, if something happened to the larger ones. The middle of the ship could be expanded upward to make more cargo space. Right now the hump was out all the way out for he had a full cargo.
Which I can’t sell now.
He looked to the side, to the ceiling and deck under his shin high blue ship boots. At the moment he wore something inspired by old Earth water pirate, even though with odd colors. His shirt had a basic brown with earth tone red panels and green short wide stripes. All white pants with wide legs, completed his outfit.
Nothing here to inspire me.
If he could deliver his cargo he would get paid and be able to pay for the Temp Comm license, but they didn’t work that way here. They wouldn’t do that even for a late fee. He wouldn’t get much out of this trip but at least his costumer would be happy and his rep would be in tact. Now he could lose the cargo fee and his rep if he had to leave without delivering the cargo. And the client might sue him for the price he would have gotten. All because these asteroid heads wanted more money.
He couldn’t sit here much longer either, or they would charge him for extravehicular docking fees. Makueue glanced at the side screen again. He shook his head. He had only a total of 27 hours and thirty-four and a half minutes to stay here and over half of that was gone. A strange amount of time-maybe it was a local day. No time to watch those flare blasted plays, not even just the Tragedies, to help him relax. Or to fix his mood before he had to pilot the Camel back home in defeat.
He stood. No room to pace in his control cabin and the rest of the small ship was too full to do a descent pace. He wanted to jump up and down; bang something. Another look at his controls. He blinked, titled his head as he stared at a tiny cube, smaller than dice, that sat in the player. What had he read about the King?
Maybe, I do have something to inspire me.
He sat down, dialed the call sign for a certain official. Two days later he piloted the Camel back home. It had taken most of the rest of the 27 hours and odd minutes to get in touch with a member of the Royal family. A buyer, who came on board and examined the video cube, bought it. That gave him more time. The cube was one of a type. It could not be copied which meant it would be rare here. The buyer paid him and took the cube. Makueue bought the license, delivered his cargo to the customer;s buyer, got paid all with his rep intact and ended up with 25% more money than expected.
Not bad for a bad day.

end



TRAPPIST-1

I stood behind the navigator with my arms behind my back. There were four work stations in the middle of the deck, with little room between them, and four more around located along the walls. I may have looked like an old Fictional star ship captain on an old TV show or movie, but I was just bored. On this flight of my unit of Space Explorers-a step up for over achievers like me in the Boy Scouts-we didn’t have a captain. The ship only had a ten member crew with the AI comp as back up for everything. This was a class too. Our mission was to check out the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. Not that it hadn’t been checked out many times since its discovery back in 2015 and 2016. But as young Space Explorers we had things to learn.
The 40 or so light years took us forty days to cover. We don’t get the fastest ships either even though one light year a day wasn’t too bad. We had time to study, goof around and study some more. The rest of the crew didn’t goof around as much as me, but I am not a nerd only an overachiever.
So I read some of the new fiction stories-the ones about wizards on spaceships-Galactic Fantasy-were good. Once at TRAPPIST-1 we popped the temporal-matter ghost bubble and settled into a far orbit around the system. The radiation the red dwarf star puts out is dangerous any closer. Of course our ship has shields but we didn’t want to take chances. Our orbit still was close enough to allow the radiation to fry us if our shields went down but the chances increased dramatically if we got any closer.
We, I, sent out probes and used the ship’s far sensors. I man the probe launch station and a side science station. Both are at the same panel which I like. Jill and Fred had to run back and forth between stations and Hillary had three separate screens to watch.
The seven Earth-like planets, at least in size, gravity and matter were interesting. It took hours of study to find out things about the system as we acted like we were the first to be here and to study it.
On the fourth day though Harry picked up an anomaly on the third planet, one of the four in the habitable zone. Not that that meant much here with all the radiation the sun poured out. I borrowed his readouts and zeroed in on the strange patch on Three. Metal.
Metal? What?
And a power supply.
Laura’s probe zoomed in almost to the surface. A manmade something along with a ladar signal. The message was a SOS. Someone had crashed there, but had survived and needed help. The readings even there were strange though. The metal didn’t seem to correspond with any we had on record, though.
Another Space Explorer maybe? Or a one man freighter? The message didn’t say. But who ever it was, they had been able to get to the side always away from the sun. Which meant they were in shadow and mostly protected from the red sun. And their ship would give them more protection if it hadn’t been damaged too much.
I told everyone we needed to rescue him or her. But they argued that because of the radiation and the fact that he didn’t say who he was we shouldn’t. It could be a pirate trap Harry said.
I said, “Our emergency shields will hold long enough for us to get the surviver and get back out. We can do this. After all it could be a test.”
I didn’t think so but I thought that argument could influence one or two of the group.
There was still too much discussion going on, most seemed to be against it. These nerds thought up too many things that could wrong. Jill wondered, because if the strange metal, if it could be a ship from some lost colony of humans, or a new alien race.
John said, “It could be someone from an alternate dimension. The radiation here could weaken whatever separates the dimensions.”
I silently shook my head. I was the one who read Science Fiction and even though a popular novel had that idea in its plot it still surprised me he would consider it.
Finally though Mary said, “We could use the shuttle without a crew, move into Three’s shadow but stay far enough away to escape if we need to, if it was a trap or some form of inter-dimensional gate.”
The way she said the last I doubted she believed it. I nodded and said I could live with that.
We finally agreed and set out to make it so.
Thirteen hours later we had the surviver onboard and were homeward bound. It turned out that the strange readings came from the various forms of radiation that had affected the probe’s sensors and the outer layer of the hull of his ship. The surviver was an Intergalactic Force trainee whose ship malfunctioned at the worse possible moment

end



Lost Cambot



The small figure stood there, looked at the paper that had slid out of a slot on the bottom of its body above its one wheel. It had somehow rolled out from the range of its programing. And it hadn’t heard any radio signals calling it back either. Now it didn’t know what to do. At least the rain that came down hard wouldn’t harm it, for it was made for outside use, in all weather conditions. Of course for appearances sake its wheel was rubber which might slip on ice, snow or even a wet surface.
The camera which made up half of its body would broadcast this image to anyone close by who had the correct devices. No bluetooth signals nearby. It knew it now sat on an old cement bridged without any smart tech that it might be able to connect with. Someone could plug in a three pronged device on the camera itself or even a USB wire plugged in a port under the camera. Of course most of bluetooth devices had security it could not get through.
The cold weather didn’t bother it but it did keep people inside, which was both good and bad. Bad in that there were humans that would steal it and tear it apart so they could sell its insides. Or reprogram it for some use it wasn’t made for.
Vibrations in the cement made it roll back from the edge of the street it had found itself. A big truck was coming, if it stood too close the suction of the vehicle could suck it under the truck or a part of the large vehicle might impact it damaging it.
What to do?
The truck zoomed by, the roar of its engines confusing the cambot’s hearing. It rolled on, saw someone running its way. No signal came from them so it decided they wanted to steal it. It rolled toward dark shadows, hid in a corner of the bridge’s railing. They looked for it but it shut down most of its components, so no light or noise would show them where it was.
Half an hour later it rolled off the bridge, to do so it had to go out onto the pavement for there were steps on the cement. It made sure it stayed there only for a minute. Another chase when those humans came back. It followed a cat who also ran. They both made it to a dark place under debris. An hour later it beeped.
What? It hadn’t done that.
Oh, a signal. When it came close enough the cambot rolled out into the open. A man in a uniform it knew saw it and came over.
The man picked it up and said, “There you are. We will take you back home with your buddies.”
His words and signaling device fit its programing perimeters so it now knew what to do.

end



New Factory world

The factories were busy, some, like the one to the left with its cargo bays now open to air, were old freighters no longer needed. They had brought passengers and raw materials to this planet but no one was going back home. What they made would but not them. Too many people on that planet who took up room needed for factories. So they sent some here to build everything they would want there. It freed up a tiny bit of room, for a few years-he had heard that people had already moved into the now empty buildings not waiting for government okays.
Here everything could be for manufacturing. Food was another issue. Reconstituted burgers never tasted right but later they would get some from the farming planet that had the same idea behind it.
Jorge thought a stink of pollutants plus overworked oil and metal had already invaded the air here. And that was with every attempt to cut the pollution before it formed. They wanted this planet to last a long time. The working factories created heat which produced light and warmth as the number of manufactering center grew no doubt the weather would change, at least here in this “city”, but some areas would not be effected of decades. Places with R&R spots. The weather in this spot didn’t matter so much for one lived here and hardly any flora. The noise may take a little getting used to but he would and so would most of the workers. Those who couldn’t would be sent up in orbit for what had to be built in low gravity.
He smiled the new autos and tablets would be headed back to what had been his home soon, soon after the kitchen appliances and traffic light computers. Then more and more.

end

Garbage pickers

I waited as the rounded ship came through the city streets. Even though bulky looking it easily avoided the tall buildings. Its bulbous superstructure made it look bigger than it was; about the same size as an old fashion fishing trawler. It was still before sunrise so its spots were on, but I could see fine by the city lights.
It settled over the pile of garbage those that lived in this underground complex had piled near the air ducts. The smell probably drifted down into this duct but they must not care. The garbage pickers had come to find anything they could use or could fix to sell. Others must have been here earlier, but these had waited for the last moment. Maybe they thought someone would throw out something just before pick up or they looked for items other pickers would pass over.
I stood on a box like unit: I had done this before so knew it would hold me easily as I directed the pilot of the ship to a good spot right above the pile. It was a touch longer and wider than the ship but that didn’t matter. The automated garbage collectors would mash it together in a smaller, condensed mass and the ship’s hydraulics would smash it even smaller.
The few pickers here now would keep going through it until the ship let the AGCs out. I have seen the pickers fight a AGC for a bit of garbage they thought was valuable. Even though stronger than a human they were programed to let a person win if they pulled or otherwise fought hard enough.
A warm wind created by the ship’s drives blew past me but I knew from long experience that it would get only so strong. The pickers knew this also.
I imagined that the pile had been picker over already since it lay here for over two weeks. But new stuff may have been added or some item one of these pickers could use or fix may have been missed. Different pickers wanted different types of items after all.
I got my attention back to directing the ship. It halted at the right spot and height. Side panels slid open and the small boxy units flew out. Each had four arms and wings. Thrusters and anti gravity waved propelled them. Their inboard comps knew what to do.

end

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Finally a writing update Sept 19

It's been way too long since I have done a update here:





Okay, a Journey of Mystery update,

I still want a better title but that one will do if I don't come up with one.

I have the files for each segment or chapter set in rows; five rows with four having eight files The fifth has seven. I just started the last row.

These files are from 1500 to just under 6,000 words. A lot of them are in the 3,000 range. At first they were segments or episodes since this was originally a serial. I believe I said once that I had thought about rearranging them into chapters. I seem to do around 9 to 12 chapters in my novels. But that would be a lot of extra work. And the number of chapters is not that important so this one will have 39 chapters. (shoulder shrug) many have a good ending for a chapter.

I am in the final scene which is kinda of long. That happens in books even by pros I have noticed. Anyway, My hero has fought a large nest of half dragons. Now he has just made it though three traps, one exploded, on the fake door into the building that has what he is searching for. The building is covered with ice and snow thousands of years old.

He went through three false leads to get to this real one. Yay for tray-fail cycles. Men got killed and his airship damaged.

His adventures are not over. He has to fight a guardian, actually three. Well, one is a form of yet another trap. Men under his command will get killed. And he will have to fight what he came for so many pages and thousands of words to go.


Plus a short extra on The Courier , my next book out.
I will add that I now have a proofreader for The Courier but I may need a full cover made instead of only changing somethings on the cover pic I have. But he can not start it until next month. So it could be one full month to two months before I have it ready-depending on what he finds.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Part 2 of Sports Aficionado

Second half of Sports Aficionado-2288 words-as I said last week my first or second story. And as I stated I was surprised to come up with this non violent tale but still I like it and hope some of you do too. Evidently not as many as some of my other stories. But that is okay.
New week I will do a set of very short SF tales. Later I may try some of my alternate reality stories. Surprisingly enough I only have three. So I may try to do a short new one


Back to Sports Aficionado. Bill discovers something totally unexpected and reacts out of shock and fear but only for so long.
Enjoy:

“I followed you to return this,” Bill said, holding up the thermos.
“That was a long way to come just to bring me my thermos,” he said.
Holding out the thermos Bill said, “I had another reason to
chase you.”
Jorage took the thermos and said, “Thank you, but you need to leave here very soon.”
 “Oh, are you going to be picked up here?”
The other man’s, (man)?, eyebrows shot up and he asked, “You know about that?”
 Just than another figure came from around the building and caught sight of the two.
The man said in what to Bill sounded like, “JJoraaage, Curl uoal dooom zo,” with the same high pitched voice in the middle of the words, as Jorage sometimes used.
Jorage answered the man with “Crtoal, I know.”
The other next made a noise Bill hadn’t known someone could make, and went back around the building.
When the other man disappeared, Bill answered the question Bill had asked before the interruption, “Well, I know you are not native to this country. Your accent and phasing tell me that. I thought you might be headed toward a place to be picked up to go back home. He just confirmed it,”
Bill stopped at that point to look around, “However this does not look like someplace you would be picked up at. There’s no place for a jet, or even a copter to land.”
Just then there was a clang like a metal door closing. Bill thought Clang?
Bill looked at the building closer, it did look like metal. With a puzzled expression he thought back to how the newcomer had spoken, with an accent Bill couldn’t remember hearing before. He realized that the way the man had spoken Jorage’s name was very close to how he had spoken it at the stadium and here a couple of minutes ago. That was why Jorage had looked so concerned, he had been thinking it was someone from where he was from, but why would that concern him? (He now knew.)
While all this was going through Bill’s mind, the other man turned back to him saying, “You do need to leave for your own safety.”
 “Why,” he said with a chuckle, “is a spaceship going to land?”
It was meant as a joke but after the words left his mouth, Bill took another a close look at the building, and frowned. He again thought of the language he had heard and both speakers’ accent.
Bill said in a half whisper, “Nope, I don’t think so. It can’t be!”
But as he had been saying “can’t be” Jorage had been saying, “Damn, you figured it out!”
It took Bill a second to figure out what Jorage has said for he had been speaking at the same time.
He shook his head frowning again, then said, “Good joke there, but before I go I want to say the other reason I chased you own. I want to ask you if you had heard of....”
While Bill was speaking Jorage place his hands on either
side of his neck and did something Bill couldn’t make out, than
took off his head. Or rather took off the mask he had been wearing.
The head that was revealed shook Bill to his core. The flashback over, he came back to the present with a suddenness which was almost a physical. Perhaps the flashback had given his
emotions time to deal with what was revealed, a still working
corner of his mind suggested.
Bill stared at the head that was reveled. It was black, bunt charcoal black. It was smaller than human heads, and there were mandibles on either side of a particular looking mouth. The eyes, even though too far apart, seem to the right size. The nose, however, was shorter than a human’s, even though wider. There were three nostrils, the center one was wider than Bill’s, with two smaller, openings on either side. They were each separated by a flap of skin. The nose skin looked burnt red, as did Jorage’s eyelids and ear flaps. To finish it off there was what looked like bluish hair around the creature’s eyes and nose, but it wasn’t easy to see.
After Bill got a good look at the face, he stepped back twice more, but he continued to speak, for his mouth was on automatic “I...I wanted to know if you had heard of another sports event.”
 The figure who had once been his friend said, “It is good that you know, I think. It is good to get out of that headgear, it’s pretty hot on there. I wear it because, as I said I like to look like the people I am around. Now what is this about another Sport?”
Bill stepped back again and said in a squeaky voice, “Um yes the...” He cleared his throat and finished in a more normal voice, “Um, yes the Kentucky Derby.”
“I have heard if it, but,” here he smiled, “you are correct I have never seen it. Is it competitive?”
 “Yes, thousands see it every year. It’s the biggest horse race.”
“Hmm, horses.... Oh horses, of course. Hmm, it might be
interesting at that,” he said as he got a gleam in his eye, “With the horse and the ur, om, jockey, I believe.”
As he said this he turned and looked straight at Bill.
Bill took another step backward and asked, “You,..you’re not going to eat my face are you, or..or force me to go with you, or control my mind??”
Jorage replied “Face eating? Face eating. That is passé, last years fad. Now we go for other body parts. Have to keep up with fashion you know.”
Bill swallowed and blanched, wondering what body parts he was talking of.
Jorage answered with, “You know your leg...leg? No, that's not the right word. Your head? No, Your,” he than stopped as he saw that Bill was about to faint, than continued with, “Calm down Biil, I am joking. We do not eat intelligent species! After all the conversations we have had and you think I would do that?”
 Bill looked relieved. Inside he was surprised that that horrible face, which looked so much like a combination between an insect and a human, could look so hurt and puzzled.
Jorage continued, “You know I come here to watch sports, not eat people. Your planet is not the only one I land on to watch sports. You humans, however, have more games than any other people and you have the best competition, which is why I spend more time here than any other planet. As I said, I have a job which requires little of my time, so I can indulge my passion.”
He paused and said, “the Kentucky Derby would be good, because there would be the horse running, and the jockey controlling the horse. That makes two sets of competition.”
At this point Bill wondered how his mind kept noticing things and why it was trying to inform him of those things. Things such as Jorage’s lips which were, as much as he could see of them anyway, the same red as the eyelids only deeper. He also noticed that the mandibles were solid black ending in shiny sliver colored teeth, bones, claws, or whatever they were made of.
After Jorage finish speaking Bill had a horrible thought about why Jorage had this passion for competition. It must have shown on his face because the alien looked exasperated. Bill wondered again how that face could look like that.
Jorage said, “I thought we had cleared that up. I am Not! Not! Interested in eating faces, or any other body parts. We Do Not Do That!!... Now if you had been a giant blossom than it might be different. In fact, that is what is in that thermos. Nectar, and ground up blossoms from a giant bloom growing on my planet, and some spices and protein.”
He paused to take a breath, saw the expression on Bill’s face an added, “Cluou! I mean No! Not that type of protein! Can’t you get your mind off of that? I have no more time to convince you. You do need to get out of here, because we are...”
It was Bill’s turn to look amazed, interrupting what Jorage was saying, “You mean you are letting me go?”
“Yes,” he said with an of course tone, “I will not shoot you, nor will anyone else. We wouldn’t do that anyway. If you did tell your story and were believed, by the time somebody got back here all of the evidence would be gone. You could tell your story and maybe get your, Uhm, fifteen minutes worth of fame, but no one would be able to say for sure that we were here. So go and if you do see me again remember please that I am a sports, what you call a um, aficionado. Yes... a sports aficionado.”
As a subsonic hum, more felt than heard, began, slightly
hurting Bill’s ears Jorage finished with, “Go!”
Bill decided he better go, so he spun around and ran back down the path.
Before he ran around the first bend, he turned and yelled, “Don’t mess with my mind!”
Joraage yelled, “We can’t!”
-------------
After a moment he walked over to the path to make sure Bill, his one time, and hopefully again, friend, was gone. After a long look, he turned and walked around the building. As he did he thought, those humans are very competitive and it sure can get them into trouble at times, but it makes for good sport events. Even Bill turned out to be more competitive than he probably thought of himself.
He stopped, at the door which opened and after he went through it, closed with a clang. Once inside he double locked it and as he turned he saw the person who had come outside and given him the message.
The other alien asked, “Why did you use that head? You knew the Gothaamn would scare him.”
 “I used this disguised for a number of reasons. First because it is the council-elders-directors’ rule that we should never show our true faces.”
“Yes, they have ruled that. However, showing him that face may keep the letter of the law, but not the spirit. If you want to keep the law that strictly you should stop attending the sport competitions.”
“True, but some rules are more important and I love to watch
the competitions. I take precautions such such as wearing two disguises, and obeying all of the laws here. In life, however, you must take chances, it is what makes life... good.
“Another reason was that I knew it would scare him,” here he made a sound Bill would not have recognized, but was a chuckle, “Did you see his face?”
A pause before he said, “That fear, I believed, helped him to leave faster. If he does speak of seeing me. He would have to describe that face, with an explanation that I meant no harm, that would make the authorities and the local media, less likely to believe him. And there would be less chance that they would have him on one of those talk shows, some humans like to watch. They not believe that something with that face would meant humans no harm. Without the face eating, his story would be too boring for those shows.”
“Yes, that is true. You know, if he thought about it, he would realize that we could not eat him. Its the wrong type of protein, not that we would, even if we could. I don’t blame you for getting so exasperated about that.”
 “He reacted out of panic, not thought. He has probably seen too many fictional TV shows. I thought about explaining it to him.”
“I was wondering why you didn’t.”
 “In the emotional state he was in, it probably would have taken too long to get him to understand...and again, this way he probably ran faster. Enough of this though Captain. It is time to lift this ship of mine.”
“Everything is ready and checks out. My crew are in position
and ready. We will lift, seconds later we go to stealth mode and
after which we will take off, as usual.”
Joraage replied “Good, than let’s lift.”
 The other being saluted, turned and went though a door marked control compartment. Joraage walked though a door marked Owner’s Room.
Seconds later he felt the ship raise for three-seconds, stop for a few seconds, than accelerate.
On the ground Bill had made it back to his car. He stopped to catch his breath, after running all the way to the gas station. After a few seconds he reached into his pocket to get his keys. While fumbling with them while trying to find the correct key, he somehow realized they had taken off. He wasn’t sure how he knew, it might have been a lack of vibrations, or a change of air pressure, but he knew they were gone.
He paused relaxed and thanked God, karma and anything that might be out there, that he was still alive and mentally whole. He got into his car and breathed in few relaxing breaths. Once he was calmed down, he realized that he had over reacted. He shook his head, as he drove off,
“No wonder Jorage was exasperated,” he thought out loud, “I’ll have to apologize, if I ever see him again. After all I am a sports aficionado also, so I can understand his desire to watch good sporting events.”
The End

Sunday, September 10, 2017

New two part story "Sports Aficionado"








This one was either my first or second story I wrote when I got serous about writing. It surprised me actually. I didn’t expect to write something like this so soon. I was thinking along the lines of space opera and alternate universe tales. I have revised it at least four times since, and the last time wasn’t that long ago, so I took a chance and did not even look it over this time. Hopefully there is nothing outrageous I should have fixed. But I am Busy, busy, busy. On Saturday I leave the house before six and get home after six in the evening. Part of that is having to water and do some yard work at my Father-in-Laws. He has sprinklers but they miss some plants which need to be watered by hand twice a week. 20 to 30 minutes all together. Than I go grocery shopping. Today I needed to do some stuff in attic which he used for storage. Actually I didn’t do anything in his yard for I was tired and it is still hot here and most of his yards are in good shape.
Anyway, I split this story up into two parts this is 2,205 words, the next one will be closer to 3,000 words. I still like this story. Some of you may have seen this before but there are many readers, or at least those who marking my stories. Some read them but I am not sure how many.
Oh yeah, When this story was first written the Softball girls at our local university had just won a championship.





Anyway, again, enjoy this story it is fun:


Bill looked at the horror that was the face now before him. He took a step backwards in revulsion and fear. How could this be his long term friend? True they hadn’t been close, but he had seen and talked with him for years.
Bill’s mind, perhaps in the end-of-life flashback people talk of, took him back to the beginning of what had led up to this horrible sight. He had been hurrying to the gate after a spectacular Super Bowl. One of his best friends, Ron Seidman a Colts fan from way back, had brought a ticket, however, injuries from a car accident had kept him being able to attend the game. He gave the ticket to Bill, explaining that someone who loved sports should see it since he couldn’t.
After the game was over, on the way the gate, he had been thinking about some of the better plays. Neither the Colts, nor the Bears were his favorite teams, but they had both played well. It had been one of the better Super Bowls.
Half way to the gate Bill stopped, as someone caught his attention. It took him a second to realize he had seen a familiar face among the crowd. He was sure it belonged to someone he hadn’t seen for a year. They had meant at an Ice Hockey championship five years ago. Thereafter, whenever they ran into each other at a game they would talk about the game they had just seen. He headed in the direction he was certain Jorage was taking.
Bill had to go counter to the rush of people leaving, but he dodged his way through the crowd until he saw the face again. This time he realized why it was almost familiar. It was the paint on it.
He yelled,”Jorage.”
No response, so he called again, trying to get above the noisy crowd. He upped the volume and tone of his voice, stretching out the name, “Joraage.”
The person turned suddenly and scanned the crowd looking anxious. When he saw Bill waving at him, he visibly relaxed. Jorage waited until Bill was closer then said, with a smile, “Biil, long time no see, as the saying goes.”
He always had that particular accent stretching out the middle of his name with his voice going higher in the middle. (Now he knew why.)
Bill went up to him, stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, good to see you to, it’s been a while.”
Jorage grabbed his hand, and shook it while saying, “Back at you.”
Bill asked, “What’s been happening?”
 Jorage said, “The usual. Watching sports events. The last, uh, couple of times we saw each other I had been watching sports.”
 “Come to think of it, I’ve only seen you at sporting events.”
“Yes, I love to watch sports. I have a lot of spare time since I need to work just a little. I can go around to different, um, games.”
“Lucky you, I don’t get to spend that much time watching. I have to work most of the time. What type of work is it that you do?”
“A bit of this and a bit of that. I own a small company and we do many things... within reason of course.”
“What type of sports do you like than?”
“All types, but if we are going to stand around talking, lets go to yonder refreshment stand. We can get something to drink and get out of the sun.”
“Sounds good to me.”
They went over to the stand (now Bill wished he hadn’t).
Jorage kept talking saying, “I like all sports, as I was saying. Football,” The word football came out with what sounded like two long Us, “Baseball, basketball,” The word basket had the emphasis on the wrong syllable, “I even like the Olympics. The luge and bobsled sports are great.” He paused for a moment then continued, “I have been able to do this for years. I was in Oakland for the World Series, when that earthquake happened.”
They arrived at the refreshment stand and Bill ordered a soft drink than gestured to his friend to order next, but Jorage said, “I can not drink what they serve here,” and he patted his stomach, “but I did bring my own, which I can drink.”
Here he lifted up a rather large thermos he had been carrying.
Bill received his drink, paid for it and moved toward the small tables. They sat down under a shade which blocked most of the sun. Bill sipped his drink and Jorage poured some of his. It had had an interesting smell Bill could not remember any drink smelling like that (now he knew why).
Bill asked, “Have you watched golf competitions?”
His friend with the strange accent said, “Yes I have. I’ve seen it...on TV and I have been to three Master’s tournaments.
Golf is quieter than most sports, but it is great competition.”
“Before I forget what’s with that paint on your face?”
“Paint? Oh yes this stuff,” Here his hand moved up and he touched his face, “Even though I didn’t care which team won, I sat on one side...in the good seats. I knew that many of the fans around me would be wearing this paint on their faces and because I like to fit in, to look like those I am around, I added this to my face.”
“So that is why its that color.”
Bill paused than said, “Hmm, have you been to any fencing competitions?”
 “Some. A couple were not that good, neither contestant did very good, but the last two were great. Both knew what they were doing and neither would give in to the other. Before you ask, I have been to karate matches and judo too. Very good competition.”
Bill sipped his drink and thought, Hmmm, seems that there should be some type of sports event he hasn’t been to.
Out loud he said, “How about ice skating, and/or figure skating?”
“Yes, I have watched those sports, at the Olympics and at other championships.”
“Well, obviously you have been to the World Series, but what about Little League?” he said this smiling thinking that he had him now.
“Little? Oh yes the small ones. Yes, I have seen Little League games I have even been to the Little League World Series once and before you ask I have been to softball games too. Those females are great at competitions, I remember one game at a place called they called Fresno State. It was great!”
Bill was disappointed he couldn’t come up with a sport Jorage hadn’t seem.
Jorage kept on talking as Bill thought about various sports, “I like to watch all sports. You have such great competition in your sports. Where I come from there are few sports, and we do not play them with such, hm, enthusiasm.”
They both paused to take a drink than talked further, but it was small talk, which didn’t last long.
Finally Bill said, “I need to get going, can I take you to your hotel?”
Jorage’s said, “I see you remember that I like to stay near the sports events I go to. This time, however, I was not able to get a hotel close to the game. I had one of those little jobs I mentioned and I barely got done with it in time to get here before the game started. I am staying out there,” here he raised an arm and pointed toward the distance at some foot hills just outside of the city.
Bill had another inspiration, and asked if he had ever seen rugby.
Jorage responded with another disappointing response, “Over the years I have seen most sports, many more than once. I have
seen a couple of local clubs play rugby and cricket and I have been to England.” He stretched that word out too far with that higher pitched voice, “I have even been to a couple of jousting tournaments. As I have stated I love watching competitive sports, every type.”
Bill decided to give up on finding a sport Jorage hadn’t seen. They talked further about three, or four games they had each been too. Bill noticed that the crowd looked a lot thinner.
He remembered he had to be somewhere so he said, “That was a good game, but I do need to get going as I said,” and as he got up he asked, “where did you park?”
“Over there,” his friend’s (now he asked himself Friend?!) response as he pointed to a section of the parking lot.
Bill said, “Well mine is over there,” pointing to another section as he said, “I guess this is bye, until we run into each other again.”
Jorage said “Yes it is” and they both shook hands and went their separate ways.
Bill walked over to the trash thrown away his cup and walked toward the gate leading to his parking area. Half way to the gate a thought hit him. He looked back at the place they had been. He noticed Jorage’s thermos laying on a chair. He hurried back, grabbed it and chased after Jorage. He made it though the gate in time to see Jorage, as tiny figure get into a car, start it and pull out. Jorage drove off without noticing him.
Running across the mostly empty parking lot, Bill narrowly avoided two cars heading toward the exit. He found his car, got into his car, started it, than zoomed out toward the exit. There
were too many cars there already for a hurried exit, but he
managed to get out without too much of a delay. He thought he still could catch his friend and flag him down.
He headed in the direction he had seen Jorage’s car go. The highway, however, had not completely cleared yet, so his forward motion was temporally blocked. When it cleared he stepped on the gas and zoomed away. He caught one maybe two glimpses, of what he thought was the correct car, going what looked like the speed limit. Bill thought he should be able to catch the other car, if it was going only the speed limit, but as he dodged around one slow moving car, he was no closer.
Bill pulled out from behind another car, while gunning his car’s engine, he thought of another sporting event he was sure Jorage would not have seen. (Now he cursed that inspiration.) At one point, he saw what he knew was Jorage’s car, but the traffic was still too heavy for him to close to it. He tried going around one car, almost clipping its back bumper, before he saw a large very slow moving van. He slipped back behind the car, as he ground his teeth together.
When he drove by it, he beeped his horn at the driver. A second later Bill saw Jorage take a turn off, heading for the general direction Jorage had pointed when he explained where he was staying. Somehow Bill managed to take the same turn. He had had zip into a space between two cars, that was barely larger than his car. That got him a beep from the car behind him. He ignored the horn and turned off.
Once on the right road, he muttered out loud, “I hate driving like that, but I would have missed him if I didn’t.”
He found that this road had less traffic, but he still wasn’t able to catch his friend. Half an hour later he turned off onto a much smaller one, guessing that that was the way. It led uphill, in the right direction. A few minutes later Bill knew he had guessed correctly out, as he caught a glimpse of the right car on a couple of switch backs.
Bill honked his horn, but was unable to get Jorage’s attention. Twenty-five minutes later he saw the car, on the side of the road very close to an old gas station. There was a sign on the station that said it rented cars and U-haul trucks. He parked behind him and got out. He locked the door, than unlocked it, as he realized he had forgotten the thermos. After grabbing it, and locking the door again, he went around to the passenger side of his car. Once there he noticed a path leading away from the road, into a forest. There was what he thought were fresh foot prints. He started up the path at a fast jog.
After a he jogged for quarter of an hour he spotted a figure ahead of him on a path. He increased his speed. Twenty minutes later he stopped, thinking he had taken the wrong path when he heard steps. Two fast turns later, he saw Jorage as the man approached a strange looking building. Most of it lay hidden by trees.
Jorage’s back was to him, as Bill entered the small
clearing so he yelled as he had at the stadium, “Joraage.”
Jorage quickly turned around looking puzzled. He noticed Bill and he looked a bit shocked, “Biil what are you doing here?”