The Iron Writer Challenge #174 – 2016 Summer Open Challenge #11

mine-entrance

The Iron Writer Challenge #174

2016 Summer Open Challenge #11

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

  Authors:

Richard Russell, Harry Craft, Geoff Gore, Vance Rowe, Bobby Salomons 

The Elements:

An abandon mine
Gold teeth from a dead person
Whistling
Main character is being pursued

Untitled

Vance Rowe

“Are they still behind us?” Charlie Gable asked his brother, as the turned their horses into the canyon.

“Little brother, they will follow us right to Mexico. I don’t think they took very kindly to us robbing their bank,” Frank Gable replied with a chuckle.

“Big brother, I think you are right,” Charlie replied with a laugh of his own. “Maybe we can lose them in these canyons.”

“I surely do hope so. I ain’t liking the idea of being sent to Yuma prison or being strung up neither.”

They soon left the canyon and started their horses up a hill to try and lose the posse. Near the top of the hill, they spotted an abandoned mine.

“Let’s go in there Charlie. We can bring the horses in and let them rest.”

The two men entered the mine and brought their horses as far into the mine as they could, just so they wouldn’t be heard. 

The two men decided to check out the mine and maybe see if there was another way out. As they walked deeper into the mine, they heard a whistling noise. They walked deeper into the mine to check out the sound and Frank tripped over something and fell to the ground. Charlie lit a match and they were shocked to see a skeleton of a human body.  Charlie used the match to check the skeleton out and was happy to see gold teeth in the head of the skeleton. After helping his brother up, Charlie pulled the teeth out of the mouth and put them in his pocket.

Suddenly the whistling noise got louder and when they turned to look down the mine, they saw a pair of yellow glowing dots in the darkness. They didn’t stick around to see what it was. The two men quickly ran back toward the front of the mine, They grabbed their horses and ran out of the mine. They spotted the posse on the trail below them and Frank shouted to them.

The sheriff and the posse hurried up the hill.

Frank said,”Please arrest us sheriff and get us out of here, There is a ghost or something in there with yellow glowing eyes.” 

Charlie Gable grabbed the bags of stolen money from the bank and handed them to the sheriff, The two men handed their guns to men in the posse and they mounted their horses.

“We’ll meet you back in town Sheriff,” Frank said as he kicked his horse and rode out of there, followed by his brother.

A deer walked out of the mine and the men in the posse laughed and hurried to catch up with the criminals.

Broken HillGeoff Gore

Geoff Gore

Ray Whitten was the last CEO of what had once been one of the most prosperous companies on the planet. The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited. BHP. It seemed fitting it should end here. For more than a century the Earth here had willingly offered its soul to the long line of men before him who had been only too willing to receive it, in exchange for cold, hard, cash.

That was before they discovered the artefact. Even then, at first, there were scant few people on the planet who knew the secret of its existence. That was before it poisoned the surrounding landscape and the minds of those who’d once lived there.

How many had died?

He couldn’t tell. All he knew was those who remained would hunt him down until they found either him, or the artefact itself.

He stopped the car and checked the mirror to see if he could catch a glimpse of his pursuers.

Nothing.

It wouldn’t stay that way for log.

He scooped the cloth wrapped relic from the passenger seat beside him, hugged it close and stepped out into the hot wind whistling across the dusty red earth.

Broken Hill.

Once there’d actually been a hill here. A modern day tower of babel, stretching upwards toward God. It wasn’t so much a tower of knowledge as a tower of money. When the mines had been prosperous the mining magnates had thought themselves God’s, but it was what lay hidden beneath that was the real source of power.

Broken Hill.

Broken men.

In the last years, under his tenure as CEO, the only gold extracted from this place had come from the teeth of the men who’d died here.

Broken himself, Whitten trudged across the open earth. Whatever parched grass remained turned to dust under his boots until he stood at the edge of a deep scar in the Earth where once a mighty mountain stood. To his right a huge grader lay silent, slowly being buried by the wind-borne sand. Mother Nature trying to conceal the evidence. An accessory after the fact. A skeleton slumped in the driver’s seat. One of the many who never stood a chance when they’d first found the object. The artefact still wrapped beneath his coat seemed to throb against him like a heartbeat. In the distance behind him another steady metronomic thud was getting louder.

Choppers.

They’d found him. Soon they’d be on top of him. He had to finish what he’d come to do. To return the cursed thing to where it had come from and where hopefully, it would never be found again. He kept going. Staggering on to the left of the main pit, until he found the abandoned shaft. A cavernous maw in the ground. Behind him the thrum of the approaching helicopters grew into a roar. He knew all that remained for him to do. He peered over the edge into the abyss. He stole one last look behind, then stepped forward.

James 4:17Richard Russell

Richard Russell

Soldat Friedrich Huber was simply doing his job. Assigned to a small convoy driving cargo from Germany to Switzerland, he had no idea what the cargo was. His wipers swished back and forth trying to keep up with the barrage of rain, but the hypnotic rhythm and anxiety of driving with blacked-out headlights was exhausting. When the deluge was at its worst, Friedrich took a wrong turn and drove many miles before realizing he was separated from the rest of the convoy.

While trying to turn around, his truck slid into a ditch and nearly turned over. Opening the back to check on his cargo, Friedrich discovered a crate had broken open.

He scooped up a handful of the contents. Astounded, he realized it was gold. As he looked closer, he was horrified. Friedrich was young but he was not stupid. This gold was certainly taken from dead Jewish prisoners in Dachau. But there was so much of it! How many human beings must they have killed? Thousands? Tens of thousands? More? Friedrich’s stomach turned sour and he vomited. His naive adoration for the glorious Third Reich – his own German government – came crashing down from its pedestal.

He would have no part in this … Except …

He thought quickly … There was something he could do!

It was in his power to return the items of gold he now had under his control.

He could turn it over to its rightful owners, the Jewish people.

He knew it would cost him his life, but it was the right thing to do.

Using the winch on the truck, he got back on the road and headed farther away from the convoy. They would soon discover his absence. He had to get far away and work quickly…

Taking the gold out of the crates, Friedrich hid the treasure in an abandoned mine.

He quickly penned a letter to a “Jewish Rabbi, Switzerland,” and gave the letter to a small group of refugees headed across the border. He refilled the crates to make the truck appear heavy and resealed them.

The SS caught up with Friedrich after he had spent several hours driving back into the heart of Germany. Pulled over, the truck was searched, but the crates now only held rocks.

Friedrich died a slow, horrible death as they tried to make him tell where the gold was.

The unopened letter was delivered 30 years later to a Jewish Rabbi in Switzerland. It simply said, “ ‘On a windy day you can hear the sound of toothless whistling underground; Rising up from all around for their lost treasure to be found.’ On behalf of the German people, I apologize for the wrongs perpetrated against your race. Signed, Friedrich Huber.”

Eventually investigations revealed the existence of an abandoned mine in the south of Germany where locals claimed the wind would make an eerie whistling as it blew through the tunnels. The World Jewish Restoration Organization found the mine and several hundred pounds of gold teeth and fillings taken from murdered prisoners of German concentration camps.

A Clipboard and a WhistleBobby Salomons

Bobby Salomons

My heart is beating in my throat, I can taste it. I can literally taste the pulse. It drones in my head with every beat of my racing heart.

I can hear the sound of crushing rocks and pebbles underneath the soles of my boots. My legs are on fire, burning more with every step up against the steep incline. The ground slips away beneath me, and my balance begins to shift, my knee crashes into the ground. I can feel gravel breaking the skin and piercing its way into the soft tissue underneath. Blood mingling with dirt. I don’t care.

I grab onto a protruding metal bar and pull myself up, everything hurts. I gasp for air as I straighten my leg and an intense pain momentarily overcomes the urge to survive. Faint voices, angry whispers, follow from the darkness behind me.
Warm tears running down my cheeks. Snot running from my nose. Mucus is obstructing my throat as I try to draw some oxygen in. It’s so hard to breathe.
I miss my family, afraid I’ll never see them, but worse is the crushing guilt that I’ll leave them behind. A weight heavier than tunnel collapse.

Nothing and no one was supposed to be in here. All I was here for was to inspect if it was safe for tours, all I brought was a clipboard and a headlight. Something grabbed my clipboard, I’ve broken the light. All I have to go by is going upwards and a faint light in the distance that I can only hope is the outside world.

The vaguest sound of a whistle haunts me, it may be the wind outside, or a draft from another tunnel. But it’s enough for me to try again. I begin to climb, with every step hurting more than the last. But I have to try, just a few more steps. Then another. Each one counts.
Behind me an overwhelming sinister is watching – following me shortly. I grab my tapeline and throw it at the darkness. A chilling cold creeps up my spine as it never hits the ground. It just disappeared into the void behind me, that is darker than night and my eyes can register. It hates me.

One final time the adrenaline shoots through every fibre still left, and I can tell that I’m about to be pounced. I throw myself forward and gain some momentum, my chest thunders like a drum to a point where I worry if it will suddenly stop. But it doesn’t matter, I’d rather die trying. Everything is in slow motion as I take bigger strides than I thought possible, my bones bending under the stress, but I’m doing it. Light is near, just a few more strides.

Behind me gains something, the whistle turning into a deafening scream, overcoming even my own. But then the sound escapes, into the open. I fall out onto grass and turn around to look back. Into pitch blackness retreats a twisted, evil face. The wail fades back into a whistling, coming from between a dead man’s golden teeth. I’m quitting my job today. I sob.

BequestHarry Craft

Harry Craft

As he came to entrance to the mine, Jack looked back. No sign of his pursuer; but he knew Lucian had not given up and would still be on his trail. Jack leaned against the jamb to rest a moment. Straightening up, he took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and entered the mine. Dangerous, to be sure; but safer than being captured.

As he turned on his flashlight and headed farther in, he thought about the time he and Lucian had spent as fellow students of the old man. He had taught them the esoteric lore that had been passed down for generations. As they progressed, learning more and more about the powers of the mind, he had promised them that one day they would be able to make full use of the arcane powers that moderns called paranormal, but the ancients knew simply as “magic”.

Jack carefully picked his way along the tracks and sighed, recalling Lucian’s impatience. The old man had said that to become a master one must be worthy. Moreover, one could receive final empowerment only by a free gift from the master. Lucian had actually laughed when the old man had said that.

Gift?! If we learn all the techniques and have the understanding, why do we need a final ‘empowerment’?”

“This teaching is sacred,” the old man had said. “The empowerment is to ensure that only the truly deserving attain full power. The master must give the final permission to the ones he deems worthy. Otherwise, he might be turning loose horrible evil on the world!”

On the last day of training, the old man had announced that he would give the empowerment to Jack; but not to Lucian. Enraged, Lucian had attacked the old man before he could give Jack the empowerment. Stunned, Jack tried to stop him, but the old man was already dead.

“If the old man can’t give me the powers, I’ll find a way myself!” Lucian had screamed. Jack had tried to bind Lucian with his power, but they were evenly matched. At that moment, Jack realized that Lucian would use clues scattered throughout their teachings to find another route to empowerment. He realized that he must beat Lucian to that route, lest Lucian succeed.

Jack had travelled for months, pursued always by Lucian. Now, the end was near. Intuition and a cryptic remark he remembered from the old man had led him to this mine. Lucian could not be far behind. One or the other would prevail. His reverie was broken when he tripped against something. A skeleton—the skull filled with golden teeth. He knelt, and saw the sigil painted on the forehead. Touching the bones, he could feel power flowing into him—the final empowerment!

Jack suddenly heard a tuneless whistling—a habit of Lucian. He stood up and saw Lucian aiming a pistol at him.

“It ends here now! The answer is in this mine and I don’t need you anymore!” snarled Lucian.

“Right on both counts!” said Jack. He waved his hands and in a flash Lucian was unconscious. Jack was the master now.

 

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The Iron Writer Challenge #167 – 2016 Summer Open #4

clown  The Iron Writer Challenge #167

2016 Summer Open Challenge #4

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

  Authors:

SzeTeng Ong, Geoff Gore, Vance Rowe

The Elements:

A Clown

Numbers

A Barn

Rabbit Stew

Hear Their Roar

SzeTeng Ong

The only sound lingering in his ears was the echo of the lions’ roar, the low feral sound undeterred by the fuzzy sound recording. A horn blared to signal the end of the clown’s talk and he shot to his feet, shoving his way out till he was free from the hall’s confines. Afterwards, with the school a speck in the distance behind him, his gaze settled on the clouds trying not to imagine them as lions lying on their side after a good whipping.

~~~

“Didn’t you enjoy the talk at all? You used to love clowns, Jason.”

“That was before I knew how they treated animals,” he muttered, picking at his cutlery restlessly.

Gingerly a bowl was lowered to his placemat. A single sniff of the aroma of the brown substance was all it took to sound the alarm. “Rabbit stew?”

“Only the best!”

“I thought I told you to stop!”

“You will eat whatever I bring to the table or nothing at all,” a low voice spoke, menace burning underneath. He didn’t have to turn around to know that it was him, donning a wolf-skin, still sweating after hunting.

There was no room for argument in his tone and he did not want to feel his father’s wrath. Fist clenched, he spat into the bowl of rabbit stew and slid out of the kitchen with his mother already starting her berating.

~~~

8 mice, 3 pigs, 1 cat, 13 of them.

The 13th was him, greeted by 12 voices welcoming him back to the abandoned barn. They were eager to have their go at prancing in puddles after the light shower before, and the headcount was all the more harder to carry out. He stepped gingerly as thin-tailed bodies scuttled around his feet, while Twelve meowed and wound her tail around his legs. The pigs’ pen was noisy, and he smiled at the game of tag ongoing. After a few minutes the speckled pig scurried out of the barn for her daily walk, drawing from him a smile as he took her place.

~~~

The next day was tense, though the clown had not returned for another talk. He was silent, shifting his attention to the dish she was cooking instead. The pot was bubbling just like yesterday, but the scent was different. “What is this?”

“Pork soup, since you didn’t want rabbit stew?”

Speckled black and white, the pig skin hanging by her side served only as a trigger. His fists clenched and he refused to look up as the pot churned cheerfully.

“How’s the pork?”

As his father strode towards him, he grabbed the pot’s handle, tipping the steaming hot soup over the stove. From behind him his mother yelped but made no move towards the flying liquid. The wolf pelt could only raise an arm to block himself, the boiling soup splashing all over his face and torso.

The howl rang low and long. It lacked the buzzing of a sound recording, but the roar pounded against his skull, urging him away from Fifteen’s dried skin and cooked thighs. Roar still ringing in his ears, he took flight again.

Rabbit Stew

Vance Rowe

The perfume wafted by his nose as he sat at the bar with his drink. He turned and saw a beautiful lady taking the seat next to him.

“Is this seat taken?” she asked with a smile.

“No, it isn’t,” was his simple reply. He then tried to gather the courage to say something to her when the bartender walked over and asked her what she was having.

“A gin and tonic, please.”

“Put that on my tab, Pete.”  The lady thanked him.

“That is an intoxicating perfume. What’s it called?” he asked as he tried to make conversation with the beauty next to him.

“You like it? It’s a new perfume called ‘By the Numbers’. It got rave reviews in the fashion mags so I had to try it.”

When the bartender returned with her drink, he looked at the man and asked, “Another drink, Rabbit?”

The man winced when he heard the bartender call him Rabbit and with a sigh he said, “Yes.”

“Rabbit? There has to be a story there,” the woman said with a smile.

“Yes, I am afraid there is. To make it shorter, I used to be a track star in college and they called me rabbit because I was so quick and sadly, it is one of those names that stick with you.”

“I think it’s cute.”

The man blushed a bit and replied, “Thank you, but I hate it.”

As they nursed their drinks they got to know each other a bit better. When they finished their drinks, the woman asked, “Do you want to go to my place?”

“Yes, I do,” he replied with a smile.

“We’ll take my car and then I will bring you back here later,” the woman offered and the man graciously accepted.

They climbed into her car and they both laughed as a drunk clown staggered up to the car and he knocked on the passenger side window. “Open it and see what he wants,” she said with a chuckle. The man opened the window and the woman said, “Hey, clown. This is Rabbit.”

“Good-night, Rabbit,” the clown replied with and squirted a liquid from the flower on his lapel into the man’s face and he passed out. The woman then went through the man’s pockets and found his car keys. She handed them to the clown and then she drove off with the unconscious man. She drove to a diner that had a huge barn out behind it and drove up to the barn. The clown followed them in the man’s car and he dragged the unconscious man from the car, stripped his clothes off and she went through the pockets. He tied the man to a table and began sharpening his knives.

The next day a truck driver walked into the diner and asked the cook what the special is today. The cook chuckled and replied, “Rabbit Stew.”

Just NumbersGeoff Gore

Geoff Gore

“What the hell happened back there?”

I look across to the driver’s seat. The clown’s red rimmed eyes are focused on the road ahead. He says nothing, instead brutally jerking the gear stick, taking a sharp left before slamming an oversized foot sharply down to the floor. The car shudders in protest but takes the corner and once again accelerates.

I watch as the numbers on the dash climb steadily back toward 100.

I was supposed to be the ringmaster, but it’s the clown who’s calling the shots now. I look down at the blood splattered across my blue suit pants. It’s already turning a crusty brown, indistinguishable from the remnants of last night’s rabbit stew. Last night, when we went through the plan one last time. Except…this wasn’t part of the plan.

“This is bad. This is very bad.”

“Shut up!” Barked the clown.

“We need to get this car off the road.”

“We need to get to the hideout, like we planned.”

“Like we planned? What the hell happened to ‘like we planned’ when you decided to turn the bank lobby into a war zone?”

“The disguises have been good up until now aint they? How was I supposed to know that woman would have a clown phobia?”

“You didn’t have to fire! We agreed, the guns were for show. I didn’t even know yours as loaded.”

“What was I supposed to do?”

“Well not kill her for a start!”

“She was screaming the place down. When people scream at me I get jumpy, okay?

“You shot a woman and her child for God’s sake!”

There was a long silence before the clown spoke again. “We’ll be okay.”

We’ll be okay? What about that lady and her kid?”

“What can I say? Mistakes were made. Son, let me give you some advice, if you wanna survive in this game you gotta try not to think about it too hard.”

“I want out. I want no further part in this. I can still see the kid’s face!”

“Don’t think about their faces, otherwise you’ll go insane. They were collateral damage. Just numbers. Granted, you gotta try and keep those numbers down, but its numbers, that’s all.”

We’re on the open road now. The clown starts to relax a little. One hand leaves the steering wheel and fumbles around for something inside his oversized tunic.

“We’re nearly there,” he announces.

Ahead looms the abandoned barn. We slow to a halt and the clown looks across from behind the steering wheel. “You sure you still want out?”

I steel a glance back at the two sacks of cash lying across the back seat, but all I can see are the faces again. Eventually I just nod.

“That’s too bad.” He pulls the Glock from his tunic and points it directly at my head. “But then again two hundred grand goes a whole lot further when you don’t have to split it in two.”

“What?”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s just numbers.”

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The Iron Writer Challenge #163 – 2016 Summer Solstice Open Challenge #1

old phone booth winter

The Iron Writer Challenge #163

2016 Spring Solstice Open, Preliminary Round

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

The Authors: 

Malissa Greenwood, Vance Rowe, Maureen Larter, Megan Cypress, Steven L. Bergeron

The Elements:

An old phone booth

A golf club (must be specific regarding which club))

A photograph

Told from POV of someone who believes they do not belong in the family they were born in, due to an accident 25 years before they were born.

 

So Long AgoMaureen Larter

Maureen Larter

I pulled the car over to the side of the road and rested my head on my hands as they gripped the steering wheel. My heart thumped in my chest and my emotions were still raw. The argument had been brief, but violent. When James had begun to brandish the nine iron, I had turned and run.

I had never felt that I belonged to the family – they were all so clever, and I struggled with just the normal everyday tasks. Now Mum had passed away and my brother wanted her photo that was behind me on the bookcase. I had turned and grabbed it, clasping it to my chest, sobbing with suppressed grief.

“Anyway,” he had shouted, “she was my Mum, not yours! Give me the photo!” His voice had risen another decibel – “GIVE IT TO ME!” Then he had lunged towards me as tears ran down my cheeks.

When he turned and grabbed the golf club from the bag in the corner of the hall I knew I had to get out of there. How could this argument have escalated so quickly? We were adults after all.

After a few minutes, I calmed a little. James’s comment continued to wrench at my heart, but somehow I knew it struck at the truth. What had happened in the past that had led me to be part, yet not part of the family?

My mind was in a whirl of questions, and now that Mum was gone how could I find out the truth?

I wiped my eyes and looked around. Not twenty feet away, an old phone booth sat next to the road, like a message from the afterworld. What if I asked my father? Would he be able to answer me? Would he remember?

I opened the car door and stumbled over to the booth. It was out of order. Now there was no choice, I had to go and see my father.

It was an hour later that I sat opposite him in ‘Golden Grove Nursing Facility’, his eyes staring at me.

I smiled weakly.

“Do you remember me, Dad?”

He looked blankly at me.

“Can you help me?” I asked, frowning with worry. “Am I your daughter?”

It seemed silly to make small talk – I needed to find out – might as well hit him with the only question that was important to me.

He sighed.

“Hello, Helen.” he said.

I shook my head. I wasn’t Helen.

He continued.

“It was a long time ago. I thought you died in that accident.”

He began to weep. “But I found your grand-daughter – really I did. I raised her as my own daughter, even though she wasn’t. She is like you, you know – blonde, tall and – what a temper!” he stopped, bent his head, no longer coherent.

I watched the nurse take him back to his room. Stunned, I walked out to the car.

James had been right.

Out of This World

Malissa Greenwood

I don’t belong here. I’m a freak of nature, as the kids would say. Well that’s what they would say if they knew. But they don’t know; no one does, except for Uncle Jack and Auntie June. And my mother of course, before she died.  

It all started a long time ago, way before I was born. Dad was stranded here after a war. His ship was lost and eventually crashed into Earth’s atmosphere, destroying the ship and leaving him here in New York City, USA. Uncle Jack found him next to an old phone booth, the kind you see in old films. He gave him shelter and well, a new life and also managed to keep his secret all these years. He only eventually told Auntie June because he married her and felt finally, that he could trust someone. Besides, Dad didn’t age for, like, a really long time so… it would have been suspicious. Dad eventually met Mom and shortly after they married I was here and, well… she was gone. It would have been nice to know her. All I have of hers is some clothes my dad kept and a photo album. My favorite photograph is one where she was pregnant with me. She’s looking down at her round stomach like it was a gift.

But that was ages ago. I’m in school now and I’m very aware of how different I am. Not too much physically, with my dark skin and short athletic stature; only my facial features are a bit… off.

But I do have several ‘advanced skills’. I can hold my breath for a really long time, which is fun; makes for excellent times in swimming matches. I’m quite a bit stronger than everyone else my age. In my golf class I nearly bent a 5-iron in half when I was upset about landing a ball in the water. I’m also a quick healer and I will live to be significantly older than the average human being, with very slow signs of aging. I mean that’s what we’re expecting, but since my mother was a human that makes me a hybrid so I suppose it’s a crap-shoot, really.

I don’t know what it’s like to live anywhere other than Earth, of course, but I just have this feeling that there has got to be more for me out there. I look up at the stars and I can feel it. I can see more than what these humans see. I know there’s more out there, I know we’re not alone (even though Dad says he’s sure his home planet was destroyed). He says “I’ve made a happy life here Siena, so will you.” But surely there are other planets! There has to be. I mean, what are the odds of there only being two!? No… I know there’s more for me and I am going to do whatever I can to get out of here.

“Siena! Dinner’s ready!” Auntie Jackie calls from downstairs and I sigh.

Well. I will find a way. But I suppose I should eat dinner, and … maybe finish high school first.

My Mother

Vance Rowe

I was swinging a driver club from my golf bag in my parents’ bedroom when I accidentally hit their chest of drawers and a hidden compartment opened up. Inside of the compartment was an old newspaper clipping dated about twenty five years before I was born. The clipping was a story accompanied by a photograph of a car that had crashed into an old telephone booth. The clipping had stated that the adults in the car were killed but a five year old girl had survived.

The young girl who had survived was only five years old. I asked my father about it and he heaved a sigh and said, “I knew this day would come sometime.”

He explained that the photograph was of my grandparents. My real grandparents and my mother was the five year old girl. He also went on to explain that she had been raped when she was fifteen as she was bounced around from foster home to foster home, and I was the product of that rape. Since she was still a minor, I had to be given up for adoption and that is the reason I am here now.

“So, you and mom are not my real parents?”

“Well, we raised you and loved you as our own son. You were a blessing to us because your mom…my wife could not have children of her own.”

“So my real mom is still out there somewhere?”

“As far as we know she is, but we have no idea who or where she is. Or if she is still even alive.”

I didn’t know what to say. There are a million thoughts running through my head right now. I looked at the newspaper clipping again and noticed that the anniversary of the car crash is tomorrow. I demanded that my father take me to the scene tomorrow.

The next day we took a drive to the site where the accident happened. There was nothing there now but trees and bushes but I did notice a woman standing there. She looked to be in her sixties now. My father saw her too and looked like he had seen a ghost. He stopped the car and I stepped out. The elderly woman looked at me as I looked at her and then I muttered, “Mom?”

I took the newspaper clipping from my pocket and showed it to her. She wept and ran off crying into the bushes. I yelled for her but never heard anything nor did I find her. I will come back here next year though.

The Flight of the UrabansSteven Bergeron

Steven L. Bergeron

“Commander to Urabius, can anyone hear us? Miss Emily we are going down.”It was the constant dream that kept me up most nights.

Miles between mars and earth positioned our star, shaped like a putter’s wedge. As legends say it was habituated by our people the Urabans. We came from a placed called Urabus. In the cold years before world war one our planet was under attack . A young Scientist Cyrus O’Reagan tried to save our planet from destruction. It was in my before life my family history had.

Looking out the window of Nuts Acyllum were not a living soul would believe us. We remain imprisoned against our will. We are the people who’s family history seemed a little far fetched.

*****

We walked all in a row along the tar mat to our phone booth ship on our quest to save our planet.

“Well commander Emily how shall we do this.” Upon entering my ship I turned to my fellow pilots.

“My fellow Urbans our planet is under attack . As you all follow my lead we shall prevail.”

How was I to now that those final words were to be my final orders as we all gave our life to save what we all believed in.

The battlefield was tremendous bigger than anyone could have imagined. We had our ups and down the firepower illuminated the sky. Then it came to a one final confrontation myself against the ultimate pilot of our allies soon out of no were an unknown pilot made the difference . Our allies finally want their way but not before destroying our putters wedge star.  

The unknown pilot lead what remained of our species to a empty field in a planet known as earth. I myself never made it my ship was blown to smithereens. This was twenty-five years before my existence.

*****

I finally woke up from my deep sleep only to find my dear grandson Andrew sitting next to me. Of all the people in the world here was one person I would not lie to. So my family story was nothing but true to him.

“Grandma you are finally awake. Are you ready to get out of here?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m now in charge of your well being. You do not belong among these people. With my help if you will allow me we shall show everyone your story isn’t as far fetched as everyone thinks.”

With that we are out of here. Andrew was my saviour. All the years being locked up , the new world looks all new to me. In the end everyone knew my true identity.I was the last true Uraban. We now stand here were our ships had landed. In memory of all people from out of this world this land is dedicated to the first person who believed their existence. The O’Reagans research facility is now open . My dear uncle Cyrus would be proud.

LemonadeMegan Cypress

Megan Cypress

Bobby played video games in the living room, while his mother, Valerie, prepared fresh lemonade in the kitchen.

The telephone that hung on the wall in the kitchen rang. Valerie answered. “Hello?”

Bobby paused his game so he could listen. The man on the other line spoke loudly enough that Bobby could hear him. “Hey, Val. It’s Tony.”

“Tony? You coming into town for the reunion?”

“I’m in town. I’m calling from the old payphone on Route 9.”

“Well, get over here.” Valerie hung up.

Bobby asked, “Who’s Tony?”

“Just an old friend of mine and your father’s.”

“He’s not my father. He won’t play video games with me.”  

“Now what did I tell you about saying those awful things about your father?”

“Not to.”

“That’s right. Now shut off that game. Tony will be here soon.”

Bobby ignored her and kept playing anyway.

Someone knocked on the front door.

“Come in!” Valerie shouted.

Tony stepped inside. “Oh, hi. What’s your name?”

Bobby noticed that Tony had the same bushy brown hair as he. “Bobby.”

“You got the new Super Mario Brothers? Ahh, man! Let me play.”

“Bobby, I told you to turn off that game!” Valerie shouted. “Now come in here and get some lemonade.”

Bobby turned off the game and walked into the kitchen with Tony.

“So, Bobby, how old are you?” Tony asked.

“Ten.”

Tony counted on his fingers. “Ten? Why, Valerie, you must’ve had him shortly after the last time I visited.”

“Did I?” Valerie set the pitcher of lemonade and four empty glasses on the kitchen table and hollered up the stairs, “Robert, Tony’s here!”

“Tony?” Robert shouted back. “Be right down.”

Robert ran down the stairs, holding a photograph. “Guys, look what I found.”

Valerie snatched the photograph from Robert. “Is that the old Putt-Putt course on Route 9?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Oh, my gosh. How old is this photo?”

“35 years. Same year we graduated from high school. Thought it’d be nice to bring to the reunion.”

Tony scratched his head. “Has it been that long since they shut that place down?”

“Uh-huh,” Robert replied, “but I remember it like it was yesterday ’cause I always won.”

“Did you?”

“Yeah. Remember the windmill on that last hole? Your ball bounced off the wheel of it every time you putted. You never did have the right timing.”

“Oh, yeah. I remember now. Remember that time I accidentally hit you in the crotch with my putter? It was so funny. Your face turned bright red and you grabbed hold of your crotch and said, ‘thanks for taking away my ability to have kids.’”

Bobby, not detecting the sarcastic tone of Tony’s voice, shouted, “I knew it! You’re my father, aren’t you, Tony?”

Tony looked inquisitively at Bobby, while Robert’s jaw dropped to the floor.

Robert shook his head. “Tony, Valerie, how could you?”

Valerie started crying.

Bobby wished he could take back his words but knew it was too late. All he could do now was try to make the best out of a bad situation. “So, Mom, Dads, how about that lemonade?”

Valerie hugged Bobby. “Of course, Bobby. I love you.”

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