Rapid Beat

I started this the last 15 minutes of my work day and now I’m finishing it up while frying chicken. I am kind of enjoying writing sci-fi in response to Discover’s prompt,  even though it’s out of my comfort zone.


Breathing and mantras even medicine is used to slow our heartbeats. Anything can trigger a rapid rate from a good scare, exercise, the smell of food, a sound, or a natural born causes. What if I told you a slow rate was a must to stay alive. What if it’s not the wear and tear on your heart through the years that will end your life? Once upon a time, keeping a steady rate was a way of life or a dark hole in the ground was your future. Who would have thought a primitive life would save us with natural currents of electricity.

We lost everything during the war with the extraterrestrial invaders several winters ago including all of our weapons. We came to learn a lot about these creatures and ourselves as a society. They won the war and the ability to inhabit the planet by tracking our heart rates. A heart rate over 150 BPMs to them meant you were doing something that could harm them or plan something that could not only harm them but the planet. If a soldier was aiming a gun his heart would accelerate making it easy for the aliens to hone in and vaporize them. There was no ash to send back home to families, not even their tags. These creatures wanted to ensure the regrowth of our planet’s natural resources throwing us back into the stone age almost. Everything was all-natural right down to the energy that was used to make it. If we wanted to eat, we grew our own food, if we wanted electricity you were smart enough, in the beginning, to get your hands on solar panels. We even collected rainwater for drinking. It was a very primitive way of life.

At first, doctor’s started prescribing ‘life saving’ pills to help the population maintain a low steady rate. Soon after the medicinal supply ran out, pacemakers were no longer being manufactured so more people were dying just because of a high heart rate. That’s when yoga instructors, reiki gurus, hell even voodoo priestesses were in high demand to help us learn to lower our heart rates. Over time, we all learned how to control the rapid beating and able to do most anything. The earth replenished itself to a grandeur that we have never experienced before. The aliens pretty much stayed out of our way and us there’s. They looked like everyone else except for how they all walked. It was with a limp that seemed to start from their rib cage. As if there was a leg in there trying to make the first step but couldn’t because it was amputated. They also smelled of cattails and cypress. You could never mistake these creatures living off the land just as we did.

While the military was seemingly out of order a small group of scientists was able to study a creature without the others knowledge. They learned that they also needed to maintain a low heart rate. Not for battle reasons but biological reasons. They would have an alien version of a heart attack that was located in their brain stems when their heart rates were high. Their rates are controlled by microscopic pacemakers. One scientist concluded that when the aliens were born a pacemaker was put in place. He just couldn’t figure out their science behind it and what took place for their species to realize what was needed. In learning this our new militia was forming ideas on how to throw their contraptions off and induce heart failures. Many attempts were made using solar power weapons that would charge a piece of metal and would be launched into their backs and shock them but it failed many times over. The militia was always capable of maintaining a low rate and these creatures couldn’t put two and two together. They weren’t smart in the blatantly obvious.

The one thing the creatures could not control was mother nature. Our plan was a primitive as the living conditions that were enforced. Metal rods were set up all over the planet. And slowly but surely after every electrical storm, the alien’s numbers dwindled. Pretty soon it was just small alien societies here and there. Life began to achieve a sense of normalcy and the few creatures that were left finally accepted their fate of being the minority. We lived a more simple way of life, less stress, less noise, less pollution because we understood that our planet and ourselves needed it.

 

Jo/© thecreativeptsdgal.wordpress.com

Asption

Planetary Romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. I can’t write romances. It always ends up being a bad middle school retailing of a crush. You know the one that they think notices them but has no clue they are alive but that one time they made eye contact she thought that he was the one. Yup, that kind of romance but in the description of the vocabulary of a tween…with braces. Warning-this is another long one. I think this will be a great start to a longer story and chose to end it in a great spot.


My evenings are usually spent with just me and my cat. Cat’s are awesome to have because they can basically take care and entertain themselves. They offer comfort ideally on their terms but comfort nonetheless. Hemlock was a little different in a way that he knew when I was feeling especially down.

I didn’t have friends, my desk is in a maze of other no-name people, I’m an only child and my parents both died in a car wreck when I 19. With the inheritance, I didn’t have to work my way through college or worry about where I was going to live. I went to a tech college and received an Associates in Web Development & Design Specialist and have made my childhood home an entire place of my own. I have a room with all my computers and equipment, my room, my craft room, and I turned the attic into my amateur astronomer viewing room. My father was an astronomer and would warn me about making wishing could come true so be careful of what I was wishing for. My mother, on the other hand, made beautiful quilts that would win prizes. She taught quilting and even held quilting circles. I learned the simplistic beauty of stitching together shapes and colors to tell a story.

My life was boring and uneventful. I was your all around nerd in the office and the even bigger boring nerd at home. Hemlock would greet me at the door and together we would work on a wedding quilt. I was putting my own spin on it which included beautiful constellations. Then we would work on any freelance computer work which usually didn’t take more than an hour. I ordered dinner so I never have to experience the awkward, ‘table for one’ and then the walk of shame. Hemlock and I ate our dinner in the breakfast nook. I read the town’s rendition of a sophisticated paper and Hemlock sat in my lap waiting for me to finish. We would then migrate to the attic where I would look through the telescope identifying stars, constellations, planets, watched meteor showers, and even got to see the occasional shooting star. Hemlock laying in his basket sleeping. Before I left my attic I sent a wish into the never-ending abyss above for a true love.

My months went on like this without anything out of the ordinary. I was able to gain enough freelance clients, some even large companies, I was able to quit my day job. This allowed me to do more quilting and even took up learning to cook. The only thing I didn’t have was a soul mate to share everything with. One night I cooked up some Creamy Lemon Garlic Salmon Piccata and a separate piece for Hemlock that wasn’t seasoned or sauced. I surprised myself and even Hemlock seemed in heaven with his very own special dinner. The fact that I was able to complete something without burning or turning to fire hazard put me in an extremely great mood. Hemlock and I went to the attic so I could begin my star gazing.

‘Oh, my! This can’t be right,’ I said out loud. I often have one-sided conversations with Hemlock but he seemed to understand. I was shocked to find that there was a planet that I have never seen before close to the moon. Or was it Earth’s second moon? It was a beautiful lilac and white planet. From what I could see the purple was possible water and white the land or vice versa but there were two distinct masses. All I could do was stare and imagined what it would be like on this planet. I fell asleep there in the attic without making my wish.

I woke to Hemlock’s harsh scratchy tongue scraping across my face. My drool was obnoxiously sliding down my chin which I brushed off and remembered what I was looking at the night before. I looked through the telescope and seen the planet and it looked even more brilliant. I looked out the window and noticed that it was closer than the night before. I went downstairs and turned the news on and there was an anchor covering the planet and how NASA and the military were going to join forces to make contact with a planet that may or may not have life on it. T.V. off Hemlock and I started our breakfast ritual but hemlock wouldn’t eat. He just brushed against my leg pacing back and forth. I ignored Hemlock and decided that I was going to take the day off from computer work and add more to my quilt. It was a relaxing project that I will never put on my matrimonial bed but could donate it.

‘KNOCK KNOCK. Tap, Tap. KNOCK.’ The loud knocking startled me so much that I pricked my finger with the needle I was stitching with. I got up from my look, sucking on my finger heading towards the door when I tripped over Hemlock who seemed excited that there was someone else in our area. I opened the door and seen the most beautiful man I have ever laid eyes on. I know my mouth was gaped wide open but I couldn’t help myself.
‘Hello, Ivy?’ The hypnotic voice asked and all I could do was nod. Even Hemlock seemed to be in awe of the man.
‘My name is Echo and I was wondering if we could talk. We’ve never met but you know me very well.’ I opened the door and gestured for him to come in. He walked ahead of me as I passed a mirror and seen my hair was a huge bird’s nest and my clothes were wrinkled. I looked like I fell asleep drunk. I quickly tried to fix my hair and shoved it into a messy bun that passed as trendy straightened out my shirt as best as I could. He glanced over his shoulder and that was my cue to walk ahead and show him a seat. I chose the kitchen, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee, tea, maybe water?’ I asked as I made myself a cup.’
‘No, thank you.’
I waited and when nothing else was added, ‘So, I know you?’ I asked.
‘You didn’t wish for me last night. Has something changed? I panicked and decided it was time.’
‘Time?’ I could feel the color drain from my face as I thought I just let in the next Bundy.
‘I know this all sounds odd but I’m the prince of the planet Asption.’
‘Asption? My father was an astronomer and he never told me about that planet.’
‘He wouldn’t, we were never seen. Our planet wasn’t created until someone wished for it. It wasn’t populated until people started wishing for their soulmates. Slowly we just started evolving. We do pretty much everything people on Earth do except wish.’
‘So, how did you get here from that planet? There wasn’t a news report about a flying object and from what I understand nothing was on a radar or pictures taken by NASA.’ I asked skeptically, slowly standing and walking over to my father’s gun cabinet.
‘I’m not quite sure yet but when our planet was so close I seized the opportunity to come and meet you. The person that created me. I…’
‘Does this mean that I’m your mother?’ I interruptedly blurted out.’
He laughed at me, a first real emotion that I saw where he didn’t look like a robot. ‘No, you are not my mother but I can’t physically or mentally be with anyone else. You, dear girl, you are my significant other. Please allow time for us to get to know each other. We can date and take things slow. After meeting you I can’t leave. I don’t want to leave.’ I looked down at Hemlock, ‘Ok, the fact that you haven’t murdered me and that I’m interested to see how this whole pick-up story is going to play out, pick me up tomorrow evening.’ We both stood and he kissed my hand then walked out the door. He didn’t get in a vehicle, he just walked away.

The next evening he showed and we went to dinner. I was didn’t say much because I wanted to take in every detail of him. At the end of dinner, he apologized for rudely not letting me get a word in but I told reassured him that it was ok. Inside, he was everything I ever wished for in a partner. We set up a lunch date for the next couple of days because I had to get some work done on both clients’ work and the quilt. Hemlock seemed to be ok with me not being home as much, almost like he was relieved. It was 6 months of dates before I kissed him. There was something there that was more cosmically right than magical.

It was our one year anniversary when we talked about him moving in with me and Hemlock. You would have thought that I gave him the world wrapped neatly in a gold box. We became so close and comfortable. I cooked amazing dinners and he showed me stars that I didn’t know existed. I quilted and he read to me. Everything seemed wonderful and over dinner one night I told him,
‘I love you.’ To which he quickly replied.
‘Echo, I have a question? Do you ever regret being created? Do you wish that you were never here?’
‘Ivy, you and Hemlock are the reason everything makes sense. I didn’t know why our planet did things until I spent time here on Earth with you. I can’t imagine life any other way. I was actually going to ask you if we could adopt another cat. One that Hemlock would get along with and something that we take care of together.’ There I was, again, mouth gaped open. He grinned and kissed my hand.
‘Ivy, my dear girl. I love you to Asption and back.


Jo/© thecreativeptsdgal.wordpress.com

Darkness

A dystopia is an unpleasant (typically repressive) society, often propagandized as being utopian. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction states that dystopian works depict a negative view of “the way the world is supposedly going in order to provide urgent propaganda for a change in direction.”[1]  And Webster’s Dictionary states that it’s, ‘an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.’ Here’s my attempt at dystopia.


The stories that our elders pass down to young ears isn’t one to frighten but one to educate and tell of when there were days of hope. The days of light and life were now gone and the new plague of night and despair was upon our town. When my father was younger, society had options to vote and make decisions about how the country was to run. There were no food or water rations, people had jobs, and there was something called the internet that was entertaining, educational and horrific. Then one day the lights went out. My dad would always make this grand gesture with his hands over his head, close his eyes, ‘Boom, darkness.’ The world was at war with the country and those who had the means went to an underground building. He explained that as they were making the descent into the darkness he could feel the vibrations and muffled banging and crashing sounds from the earthen walls.

The bunker that my mother and father choose was the only one deep enough to survive. Not even the politicians survived their circus of destruction. My mother died giving birth to me. I never got to meet her but the bunker became a close family unit. As a unit, the people decided that there wasn’t going to be a council of any kind and only one individual would help guide us through restarting our lives and civilization. We all know now that was a mistake. There were rules that had to be followed or face the consequence of exile among the newly deformed creation of beasts outside of our tunnel. The leader had seen them once when he had gone to the surface to see if there were any survivors so the adults had believed him. He risked his life searching for other lives. They were wrong.

His rules:

  1. No one leaves the bunker without a partner, this is to ensure safety and that at least one person makes it back alive to give testimony.
  2. Must have a valid reason and a signed permit to leave the bunker.
  3. Guards are allowed to intervene when safety is involved and will not adhere to the laws of our bunker.
  4. Tunnels are assigned to teams of men and are released from duty when complete. If the tunnel is not complete because of age or infirmary you will be put to peace to enjoy eternity and a new family is assigned if there are no heirs.
  5.  Marriages are arranged by the leader for the young at the age of 16. There will be one discussion with the guardian of the bride/groom of possible matches but the final decision is made by the leader.
  6. New Brides must produce an heir in the first year of their marriage. If no heir is produced, the marriage is terminated and the women work in domestics.
  7. Children will be given to the care of the elders for learning and training at the age of 3.
  8. Murder, theft, nonconsensual sex is not allowed and punishment of crimes is by death.
  9. Any celebrating is prohibited. Holidays, birthdays and celebrations are decided by the leader.

These rules are subject to change by the leader of their term of service. These are to keep our life underground not only safe but also to ensure survival during this age of darkness.

My youth was an enjoyable one until it was time for me to marry. I begged my father not to make me marry anyone and that I was in NO WAY ready for a baby to look after. He didn’t want me to marry either and tried his best to have permission granted for us to go to the service. The conversation with the leader was unfruitful. I was to marry next month to a boy a year older than me. We have spoken only a few times in passing but not enough to know each other.

In my lifetime the leader has put to death 17 people, almost one person a year. There was no trial just an explanation for the supposed crime that no one ever saw that led to the death penalty. The leader would refer to us a family but we were only like children, to be seen and not heard. He would reward for good behavior and punish for bad. We had living quarters without families but he had an underground palace. His guards would wander among us with an air of entitlement but we all knew it was to eavesdrop and report back to the leader. No one but the leader has been outside for more than 15 years.

‘Father, PLEASE don’t make me marry. Is there anything that can be done?’ I pleaded with my father.

‘The leader would not move on his decision. He offered an option to marry him instead which would give you special privileges.’ I only made a face at that counter offer.

‘What about going above ground to find other societies?’ I asked with hope.

‘He said no, and that’s why we are digging more tunnels in hopes to find other survivors.’

I went to open my mouth and argue with my father but I could see his feelings of failure was over him. I kissed him on the forehead, ‘I love you, daddy.’ I went to my room. There I made sure my curtains were closed and crawled under my bed and cried into a pillow. If a guard were to hear me my father would be questioned. I laid there for hours trying to figure out my situation and how to better everyone’s life. I couldn’t start a revolution underground, we would all be slaughtered. I would much rather take my chances on the surface than to live like this anymore. My father could possibly be put to death but only if he knew what I was going to do. I made my decision now I need to plan.

I watched the guard’s routines around the stairwell to see what if any daily maintenance was required. I remembered my father telling me that the surface doesn’t have a key lock, just that a person would need to be strong enough to lift the hatch door. After supper that night I went to bed as usual but instead of going to sleep I pack a bag of essentials. Clothes, soap, water, oats, and a picture of my mother and father. The bag was small enough to fit under my dress and tied to my leg. That’s one good thing, the girls had to dress modestly so our bodies were covered at all times. I will leave in the morning or what we were told was morning.

After the bell sounded, I got up, dressed, and went to have communal breakfast with my father. We talked normal breakfast chatter and what I was learning from the elders. I wished him a safe day at work and I loved him and we separated. I walked through the corridors and when asked where I was going or what I was doing my reply was, ‘I’m looking for my future husband to formally accept him in marriage.’ This got me all the way to the stairwell without any problems. The guard at the front was a little more difficult.

‘Sir, I heard a young woman crying down this way,’ I pointed down the hall I just came through. ‘I hope someone hasn’t hurt her or disobeyed our leader.’ He eyed me for a minute as I started walking the opposite direction. I could hear footsteps walking away from me and turned to see the guard walking down the tunnel. This was my chance. I scrambled up the ladder. Halfway to the top, I heard someone yelling at me. My foot slipped and I lost the bag that was tied to my leg but not my grip. I held on tighter to every rung of the ladder until I hit my head on the hatch. The guard that was in pursuit of me was coming fast. I turned and pushed but nothing happened. I threw my shoulder into it launching myself up when the door gave way.

BOOM, LIGHT! I couldn’t see anything. At first, I thought I had died, that the guard caught me and threw me back down but no. There was actual light. There wasn’t a plague of darkness and after my eyes adjusted there wasn’t any mutant humans or animal. After I got help from the town’s people that liberated the people from below I learned a great deal. It did go dark for about a month after the war. People held safe in their basements. A societal structure was rebuilt to mimic what was before with safeguards in place now. There still isn’t any electricity or internet but jobs were being performed and no arranged marriages. Come to find out the leader of our underground bunker life was actually a criminal cult leader that went into hiding. He lured people in with the promise of safety, shelter, and provisions. He is now on trial for the deaths of all those people along with the guards that helped carry out such punishments.

My father and I were welcomed back into the world and were given our home back. I didn’t marry and now I’m even able to be a teacher. That’s the one good thing about being taught from a young age. I was considered an educated young woman and was given the job that paid in goods. Now, we are all living back in the light and in hope.

 

Mechanical Magic

Clockpunk by Urban Dictionary’s Definition is (a subgenre of steampunk) characterized by modern technologies accomplished using clockwork mechanisms and generally excluding steam power, electricity, and the internal combustion engine. I love Steampunk but have never heard of Clockpunk until I started this challenge. I did research into what was a popular drink and what alcohol could be used to sterilize instruments and even names of that time period. I had to much fun with this and tried to keep it as short as possible but even I got carried away and engrossed in the tale.


Scientia wasn’t your normal 15-year-old girl. She didn’t have a common name like Elizabeth or Margaret and sure didn’t have any friends with those names either. She didn’t wear beautiful dresses and couldn’t wear corsets due to her health issues. Scientia thought that her one natural element about her that was beautiful was her long wavy red hair.

Her father was not only the town’s physician but also an artisan clockmaker. The whole town used to say, ‘His hands create magic and miracles,’ then it all stopped when she was born. It was a difficult and dangerous birth. Her mother died shortly after she was born but not before she saw that her daughter was born with a heart defect. The couple spent what would be the last few moments together. Scientia named her daughter, gave her a kiss and drifted away with her baby girl in her arms. Distraught, her father decided that he wasn’t going to lose both of them in one night. He studied his daughter’s abnormality and decided that he could repair the heart defect with a simple mechanism of gears. The perpetual motion of the gears provided enough movement at the correct timing intervals to steadily pump her heart.

As she got older and went to school the kids would make fun of her because her chest always made a tick-tock sound. She didn’t have friends so she learned her father’s craft of clockmaker. Her father lost patients due to the ‘monster’ he created and was now only called upon when someone needed a clock or watch repaired. So Scientia and her father created a world of toys with their own personalities using the science of gears and mechanisms. Her favorite mechanical creation was a dog she named Colossus. He was not easy to create and her father and she ran into so many problems until one day everything clicked. She and her new companion are now inseparable.

The family of machines and misfits lived quietly on the outskirts of town for years until her father passed leaving Scientia with the notes about her mechanisms and how to repair them when needed. She lived a quiet life continuing her father’s art of clockmaker and received just about the same amount of work as he did. One day Scientia was repairing a clock with Colossus at her feet when the door flew open and a man was flung on to her work table by what she gathered to be a knight.

‘Help him! He has sufficient funds to pay!’ The man urgently explained.

‘Uh…I…I’m only the clockmaker. The town physician has passed but there is a midwife that can help.’ Scientia stuttered her explanation with a surprised expression.

‘No! It has to be you! His lung mechanism was knocked around in battle and I’m afraid it may need complete repair. I know your father died, I knew him well and so did the king.’

Scientia looked at the man on the table and was shocked to see it was the prince. The war in her country has been battling since before she was born. Nervous she tried explaining her way out of it telling him that the only thing she could repair was her own mechanisms. ‘Try! Damn it, at least try. If he dies the war is lost and everything that you know will be gone as well!’ The man pleaded with her. She found the mechanism was easy to get too because the wound that his chest wall sustained was large enough to see the gears. She listened and heard a miss in the timing. It was skipping every third second which told her that either a gear’s tooth was broken or a gear had been knocked loose.

Scientia sterilized the area with Scottish whiskey and began the surgery. The prince never budged and she feared the lack of oxygen may have a permanent effect. She was able to find the broken gear and replaced it within a few seconds. She sewed the prince up and waited. The sound of the gears told her everything was working properly all the prince had to do was sit up. Scientia warmed some cider for her and her guests when Colossus started to bark. His bark was a melody from a music comb that her father attempted to make money off of. The prince sat up rubbing his temple.

‘Where is the clockmaker, I would like to pay him for my repair? The prince asked looking past Scientia.

‘Sir, the clockmaker passed a few summers back. We didn’t feel the need to inform you. His daughter was able to make the repair.’ Scientia looked down at started to tinker with Colossus trying to look busy.

‘What’s your name?’ the prince asked.

‘Scientia,’ she replied pushing aside her long red locks. ‘I know how your mechanics work, they are not that different from mine. I happened to have a lot of spare parts in case my heart is ever bumped out of timing or breaks. Gears don’t last forever even the heart can break.’

The prince and Scientia exchanged a knowing glance. Understanding that it’s not easy growing up with mechanical parts in their bodies. ‘Don’t worry about the payment. Return the favor some other way, some other time.’ She said and watched the prince and his knight mount their horses and leave. Later that month, an invitation to come to the palace to discuss her knowledge and skills and how the soldiers could use her help. When she arrived she was given a prestigious job title, her own room, and workroom in the palace, unlimited funds, a salary, a biological friend for Colossus, and a free education in medicine. The soldiers affectionately referred to her as their, ‘mother of gears.’

She had more biological friends now than her mechanical creations and loved the warmth. Dinners with conversations, not screwdrivers and friendships that were still built with her hands but also with trust. She thought her fairy tale ending of marrying the prince was in her future. Instead, she fell in love with a soldier and they had a daughter. She didn’t need any gear intervention but learned her mother’s craft. The prince was now the king, never married and his one regret was not marrying Scientia. He loved her red hair and her  Instead, he was the godfather of her daughter Petronelle and doted on the both of them. Scientia and the king loved each other and shared a common bond that was created with her father’s magical hands.

 

 

Accidentally Identical

We were almost identical down to the tattoos which weren’t weird for the situation that we were both in but we sounded the same. We had the same memories, voice, and views of the world. We felt the sensation at the same time and reacted with an outburst, ‘OUCH!’ Only my pain was phantom and hers was real.

I lost my leg a year ago after my ex-boyfriend took a 12 gauge to my knee. I survived the loss of a limb and the infection that took my other leg. Thanks to the new law that passed my ex now has to supply with prosthetics as I get older so I can continue to live a normal life. I didn’t need a full droid of me. I just needed two functioning legs and to tell you the truth the mechanical me looked a little bit creepy.

‘You can control her movements from your smartphone. You can send her out into the world to do what is needed while your safe in your home.’ I squinted my eyes at the scare tactic that was being used on me. Who does this little white coat think he’s talking too? I survived looking down the barrel of a gun, losing limbs, healing, and dealing with the aftermath and he wants to scare me? Safe? What the hell does he mean safe? Someone could come in murder me on the couch and my droid-self could be controlled to do something heinous.

‘No thank you, I will stick with my prosthetics and can manage just fine.’ ‘What do you want us to do with her and your allowance left over?’ asked Mr. White coat. ‘Destroy her and I get to watch and make sure that it’s completed. The rest of my allowance please fashion me more updated prosthetics. White coat nodded and all three of us walked to the basement incinerator. It was surreal to see identical droid-me walk in without a protest without the will to fight. That is not me or who I was raised to be. I have the will to fight and a voice to protest.


This is my shot at science fiction (no pun intended). There is a ton of room for improvement but I wanted to try this genre. This is for Daily Post Prompt: Identical.

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