Sunday Photo Fiction 8-20-2017

209 08 August 20th 2017


“You know,” Astronaut Bob said, “I never realized everything in space is held up by strings.”

“Fishing line, actually.”

Bob paid him no attention. “So our ship is being held up by string?.”


“What happens when the string breaks?”

Astronaut Joe looked pityingly at him. “We go home. Fast. Burn up in re-entry.”

“Oh….why didn’t this get mentioned before?”

“Are you crazy? They wouldn’t get anybody to sign up if they told the truth. I mean, would you be here?”

“Not a chance.”

“My point exactly.”

They both stood in silence for a few moments, staring out the window into space.

“Never knew space was quite so crowded either.”

Joe shrugged.

“So that bug looking one…..”

“Ant World.”

“What? There is a world where ants are as smart as men?”

“Just better builders.”

Bob scratched his head.  “Wow, there’s a whole lot about space I didn’t know.”

“You betcha.”

More silence.

“So what do we do now?”

“Wait for re-”

A loud sound interrupted Joe and Bob sat straight up in bed, eyes wide, heart pounding.

“Ten hours to liftoff, Bob,” the intercom blared.


But Joe was dead, burned up on reentry last March…….

Oh, shit!

Sunday Photo Fiction 8-1-2017

207 07 July 30th 2017

© A Mixed Bag 2009
[Synthetic Alien Head from the National Space Centre,  Leicester, UK]


“Do you think that’s how they really look?” Rose asked, studying the fake head in the display case.

“Some people think so.” Though he’d give the average human an IQ of about, or below, 79. Generously. Mike sighed.

“I thought they were all huge shiny heads with huge silver eyes.”

Both boys looked at her.

“Huge shiny heads,” Peter questioned, eyebrow raised.

Rose shrugged. “It’s on the internet.”

“Well then, it’s true,” Mike snorted, rolling his eyes.

“I bet you don’t even believe in aliens!”

Both boys shook their heads; watched Rose storm away.

“You’re going to pay tonight.” Peter laughed.

“Got to take one for the team sometimes.”

“Better you than me, bro.”

They both looked over to where Rose stood in front of another exhibit.

“You think she knows?” Peter asked.

“No chance, otherwise she’d of argued.”

“True. That is one of her more charming…attributes.”

Mike hit him in the arm, a gesture still baffling and unfamiliar to him. He started over towards her, Peter following.

“Huge shiny eyes,” Peter muttered, laughing to himself.


Sunday Photo Fiction 3-19-2017 (for Week of 3-12-2017)

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.

“So this,” she said, “is the reason we skipped school, drove half way to nowhere before your car RAN out of gas,” said in the way only irate girlfriends knew to speak, “walked the rest of the way, paid the last of MY money to see some dumb-ass exhibit with a dumb-ass model dressed as an astronaut.”

Somehow, I’d known she was going to react that way. We’d be having one of ‘those’ conversations real soon.

“It’s not just an astronaut.”

“Yeah. It’s a dumb-ass fake astronaut in front of a dumb-ass landing something.”

“Module. A landing module”

She snorted and walked away, pulling out her phone to call friends for a ride. She didn’t ask if I wanted to tag-along.

Stepping over the railing, I slipped inside the open back of the space suit, feeling it close around me like a glove. My radio crackled to life.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Friday Fictioneers 5-13-2016



The airship floated, flashing blue across upturned faces, stairs unfolding slowly beneath. A rustle of excitement stirred the crowd, polyglot of language rising like thunder. This day had been foretold, when, as one people, they would look into the sky and find, not empty space nor dead stars, but stranger’s eyes looking back at theirs.

The alien stumped down the steps. Reared on two legs, one gangling appendage to either side of its trunk. Rounded ball matted with fluff overtop two sunken eyes, bony proboscis and a wide mouth.

The alien raised an arm. “Greetings, Aliens, from President Bono the 12th. Take me to your leader.”

Friday Fictioneers 4-15-2016



untitledPHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

“An …alien… book?” doubt heavy in my voice. “About building a spaceship?”


“Why not one of those alien coloring books?  I hear they’re all the rage.”


“You think?” He couldn’t fail to hear the sarcasm in my voice, yet acted like I’d agreed.

“I have stock to feed.” Climbing into the rusting pick-up, I headed back towards the barn. Did anybody have a work ethic these days? Besides me?

The little alien darted out from behind a sage bush. “Quick thinking, Reg. Now he’ll never suspect.”

JSW Prompt 4-18-2015 Response



I’ve always loved the outdoors.  Whether it was playing or working or just taking a walk, I much prefer the outside.  I guess that’s why I became a hunter.  My father took me first when I was five.  I owned my own gun by seven.  Nothing much more than a glorified BB gun, but for a seven year old, that’s pretty spiffy. My Uncles hunted, still do those left alive.  My mother even went out a time or two, but the gritty details of the kill went beyond her tolerance for her husband’s and son’s actions.

Hunting is the bonding of men.  Women are too soft.  Too delicate for the burst of bullet and blood.  Theirs is the cooking and the cleaning; babies.

Don’t hate me for the truth.  It’s a hard life here what with all that’s gone by. I am the only son, the only one suitable to follow in the footsteps of my elders.  I loved the stealth of it…. the patience, the sometimes hours of waiting: researching the best places to strike.  I love every moment. I will hunt until I die.

Tonight is no difference than any other night,yet it is. Tonight starts my life.  We spread out in the forest, moving in the rough proximity to a straight line, driving the prey before us toward their end.  It’s end, rather, for there is only one we are allowed to take tonight.

Cold breezes ruffled my collar, poking about in my pockets like a child for sweets. Dark surrounds me, broken only by the sliver of the moon. I can hear my father’s, Uncles’, footfalls crunching in leaves, but I can’t see them for the dark.  Ahead, I hear the wallow and crash as the prey rushes headlong in the dark, desperate to escape. It won’t happen, of course.  We’re too good to allow that.

I glimpse the ghost white of it’s skin and my heart begins to pound. So close.  So far.  Another yard, two, and I crouch, raising my gun to pierce the darkness.

Suddenly, it’s right there, right in front of me. I read panic and fear and I can almost taste the kill. Steady, tracking it’s floundering flight, my finger slowly tightens on the trigger.  If I don’t take this shot, I’ll lose the the opportunity. My father or an Uncle will get the kill.

But not tonight.  Tonight is mine.

A flash.  A sound.  A white shape crumbles to the ground.

It’s done.  Another moment and I’m surrounded by my men, my father, my Uncles, all clasping me on the shoulders, congratulating, happy voices, proud voices filling the space around me.

All of a sudden, I’m tired.  I want to go home, sit in front of the fire, drink with the men, know that, finally, I belong.

First, I move through the woods to the carcass.  Smile when I see I took it clean through the head.  A good shot in the dark.  Grabbing my cords, I bind it’s legs and start dragging it home.  The head will be sent tomorrow as confirmation, but tonight we celebrate the night of my first solo kill.

I glance back as the body slides across the leaves, a trail of blood behind.  Once it might have held some resemblance to a man, but after all the testing, the experiments, it is no longer. Human formed, achingly thin, eyes sunk deep into a misshapen skull.

Ahead, I am drawn by the flicker of red flames through dark bars of trees.