Friday, December 28, 2018

Fredric Brown - Experiment

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Illustrated by STONE

Experiment
By FREDRIC BROWN

“The first time machine, gentlemen,” Professor Johnson proudly informed
his two colleagues. “True, it is a small-scale experimental model. It
will operate only on objects weighing less than three pounds, five
ounces and for distances into the past and future of twelve minutes or
less. But it works.”

The small-scale model looked like a small scale–a postage scale–except
for two dials in the part under the platform.

Professor Johnson held up a small metal cube. “Our experimental object,”
he said, “is a brass cube weighing one pound, two point three ounces.
First, I shall send it five minutes into the future.”

He leaned forward and set one of the dials on the time machine. “Look at
your watches,” he said.

They looked at their watches. Professor Johnson placed the cube gently
on the machine’s platform. It vanished.

Five minutes later, to the second, it reappeared.

Professor Johnson picked it up. “Now five minutes into the past.” He set
the other dial. Holding the cube in his hand he looked at his watch. “It
is six minutes before three o’clock. I shall now activate the
mechanism–by placing the cube on the platform–at exactly three
o’clock. Therefore, the cube should, at five minutes before three,
vanish from my hand and appear on the platform, five minutes before I
place it there.”

“How can you place it there, then?” asked one of his colleagues.

“It will, as my hand approaches, vanish from the platform and appear in
my hand to be placed there. Three o’clock. Notice, please.”

The cube vanished from his hand.

It appeared on the platform of the time machine.

“See? Five minutes before I shall place it there, it _is_ there!”

His other colleague frowned at the cube. “But,” he said, “what if, now
that it has already appeared five minutes before you place it there, you
should change your mind about doing so and _not_ place it there at three
o’clock? Wouldn’t there be a paradox of some sort involved?”

“An interesting idea,” Professor Johnson said. “I had not thought of it,
and it will be interesting to try. Very well, I shall _not_ …”

There was no paradox at all. The cube remained.

But the entire rest of the Universe, professors and all, vanished.

Included in “Two Timer”, public domain. Available on Project Gutenberg.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Billy Dare, Boy Adventurer, in “Murder In The Parlor!”

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Teryls Tales of Whim~

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Teryl’s Tales of Whim~ @Teryl_Pacieco

“This is a travesty,” the dwarf muttered into his wine goblet, standing beside the buffet table.

An old human nearby jerked her head and hissed, “How can you say that? Haven’t you ever seen two men more in love?”

The dwarf’s face reddened as he grumbled dourly, “It’s… not THAT at all… it’s…”

“Because one’s an elf and one’s an orc?” accused the human.

“What, no! …Though what DOES K’ord have that I don’t?” sniffled the dwarf.

#tootfic #microfiction #writing #terylstales #fantasy #lgbt

Teryl’s Tales of Whim~ @Teryl_Pacieco

“Are demons always bad?”

I looked over to my youngest, eyes filled with the youthful belief that I knew everything.

“The common definition of a demon would suggest that’d be the case.”

“What if a demon promises to be good, with pinky-swears?”

“Anyone can be good,” I said, bemused, “As long as they mean it and put effort in.”

“Okay!”

“Any other questions, hon?”

“Where’s the best place to find a few drops of ’sagrafizzle’ blood?”

#tootfic #microfiction #writing #terylstales #urbanfantasy

More here - mastodon.social/@Teryl_Pacieco

Posted with permission from the author.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

All Cliff Hangers

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Elite Dangerous image by Stefans02 - CC-BY

Madge chewed furiously as the escaping air whistled past her ears. Then she slapped the wad of chewing gum over the hole and the cold of space immediately froze it into place. She grabbed a roll of duct tape from her utility belt and duct taped a nice X over the patch. Speaking into her log she added “Standard emergency patch, chewing gum and duct tape.”

“That was close.” she thought. “If that hole had been a half inch bigger the air would have sucked her gum right out into space and there would have been a Madge patch duct taped to the wall.”

“Navigation report!” said the Captain.

“We’ve got problems.” said the navigator. “You know that little asteroid that just punctured Madge’s cabin? Well, it’s mama is following right behind.”

Madge looked out her porthole and sure enough. There was one mother of an asteroid heading straight at her. She didn’t know what to do so she crawled under the bed. Her whole cabin shook when the asteroid hit.

hairylarry posted on 2018-06-02 at 23:22 Central Time.

A start of a story on Collab. Join Collab and add your cliff hanger to “All Cliff Hangers”. All of the stories on Collab are CC-BY.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Little Miss Tuffet

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Image from of “Fairy roads to Science-Town” (1919) - Public Domain

Little Miss Tuffet sat on her Muffet because it was eating her cottage cheese.

Along came an eight legged creature who began to sneeze.

Miss Tuffit cried, “Would you stop that please.”

“I would if I could but I’m allergic to Muffets, especially when they eat cottage cheese.” he replied.

The Muffet said “I’m not scared of spiders and continued eating his cottage cheese.”

Miss Tuffit said, “I am”, and ran off.

The Muffet said “That’s a load off my back. Thank you spider. Do you want some cottage cheese?”

These writers contributed to “Little Miss Tuffit “ on Collab - hairylarry, vivian

All stories on Collab are CC-BY.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Chaotic Diaspora

The Chaotic Diaspora
by Larry Heyl CC-BY

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Rocket ship artwork by metalandrew on Pixabay Public Domain

In 2061 three of the nations top astronomers took the news to the president. The next day the ambassador spoke at the United Nations. There was no doubt. The orbit had been calculated and checked. In 960 days a comet was going to hit the earth.

Astronomers all over the world confirmed the observations. The internet burned up with possible solutions that quickly became two. “Save The World” and “Get The Hell Out”. Generally speaking the East wanted to STW while the West wanted to GTHO. PTP or “Populate The Planets” was quickly seen as a death trap but a few small nations still chose PTP.

To STW nuclear rockets would be launched to land on the comet nose first and to move the comet sunward just enough to miss the earth. To GTHO nuclear powered generation ships would be launched carrying the seed of humanity out to the stars. This is considered to be the most important event in the history of man. It has been called The Chaotic Diaspora.

In The Chaotic Diaspora many tales were told.

This is the start to this story on Collab. Collab is a social network for collaborative writing. If you want to contribute to this or other stories on Collab you can create an account here.

Collab, a collaborative writing game.

Monday, February 26, 2018

I Dreamed That I Woke Up

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Artwork by Dieterich01 available on Pixabay. Public domain.

I Dreamed That I Woke Up
by Larry Heyl CC-BY

I dreamed that I woke up and walked into the living room and sat down at my computer. Then, when I woke up I was afraid to walk into the living room because I thought I might find myself sitting there. “This is silly.”, I said to myself, and I went ahead and walked right in and sat at my computer. But then I thought maybe I already left while I was still sleeping. So I got up and locked the door to keep myself from coming in.

When I heard a knock on the door I was worried that I had returned home. But I unlocked it anyway and it was only my friend Fred. I told him what was going on in my head and we both had a big laugh.

Then I heard a knock at the door. I was worried it might be me but it wasn’t. When I went to open the door it was Fred.

I guess he dreamed that he woke up too.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

AI Autocomplete

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Fantasy art by kellepics on Pixabay. Public domain.

AI Autocomplete
by Larry Heyl CC-BY

In the future everyone will have AI Autocomplete, first for writing, then for talking. The AI will be so good that it soon starts guessing right 100% of the time. People select the Just Say It For Me option since their AI Autocomplete always guesses right.

This is the future of humanity, packhorses for AI Autocompletes talking to each other.

Or is it already happening now?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Damn dragons, get off my lawn! by Lyn Thorne-Alder

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Thanks to Sodacan for drawing this Red Dragon Badge Of Wales and releasing it CC-BY-SA

Here’s a super short by Lyn Thorne-Alder.

Damn dragons, get off my lawn!

I think you should go read it.

Monday, December 25, 2017

6 words

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Wizard vector art, public domain, thanks to Pixabay.

(The wizard cast Reverse Chronos)repeat

by Larry Heyl, 2017
CC-BY

Hat tip to
The Embodiment of RED
@beefasil@nfg.zone
and Ernest Hemingway

Friday, July 14, 2017

Elphonium

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Elphonium by INDRIKoff from Deviantart
used with permission

This painting was the inspiration for this story. I saw it on Tumblr and followed the link path to Deviantart. Thanks to INDRIKoff for painting this remarkable image.

Elphonium
by Larry Heyl

The King was bored. The King was restless. Peaceful times were great for his Kingdom. His subjects were happy and hearty. Trade flourished. But the King … was bored.

He thought of calling his musicians with their lyres and flutes but lately all their tunes sounded the same. Even his fool’s raunchy jokes failed to amuse. He would rather saddle his horse and ride.

That’s it. He would ride. A real ride. Just the King, his fool, and his groom. Not a ride to somewhere. Just a ride. He had purpose. A purposeless ride.

The King moved. “Come Fool.”, he bawled, “We ride.”

Somehow the groom already knew. Gossip in the castle travels faster than thought. When the King and his fool arrived at the stables the groom was ready. Three good horses saddled and prancing. They were a sight for sore eyes. The King, his fool, and his groom mounted and rode.

They stepped lightly across the drawbridge and quickly broke into a canter, the King in the lead. He hadn’t gone a quarter mile before he veered off onto a lightly used path into the woods. They slowed and the King let his horse pick the trail. Sometimes the path disappeared but his horse had a sense of direction beyond human abilities. When the trail forked his horse knew which way to go. The fool and the groom followed behind without effort. Their horses followed the King’s horse. The King gave his horse his head.

The forest changed. It was now more open. Lighter. Brighter. The leaves on the trees shimmered. The grass waved in the breeze as if begging to be trod on. The horses slowed to a walk, a slow walk, somehow barely moving. And then they heard the music.

It was like nothing they had ever heard before. A sweet plaintive sound, sometimes like an oboe and sometimes like a flute but always changing. Music without thought, apparently without direction. But somehow it always seemed to get there. The phrases morphing into each other, one after the other, drawing them in.

They came to a clearing and under a pear tree standing alone they saw an elfin princess blowing a horn beyond description. Not a horn with one bell. Not a horn with one sound. Many bells. Each with it’s own sound. And the horn was not separate from the elfin princess. Somehow it grew right out of her. And the music flowed right out of her too. Tumbling through their minds like a river tumbles through the valley.

They dismounted and the groom tended the horses. He didn’t have to tie them. They weren’t going anywhere.

The groom brought a sack of wine from his saddlebags and they all three drank and listened to the music. But they didn’t get drunk. They drank so slowly, sip by sip, the wine enhancing their senses, carrying them deeper and deeper into the music.

Other elves appeared, charming fellows but none as beautiful as the elphin princess. The King noticed other mouthpieces on the horn. Soon the other elves were playing too, each on their own mouthpiece. Each creating countermelodies out of one of the bells.

The music became denser with bass patterns underlying harmonies underlying the ever changing melodies played by the elphin princess. The King, his fool, and his groom stood their entranced. Slowly sipping wine. Captured by the music.

And then the faeries came. A dozen, then a hundred, dancing out of the woods. Soon the King, his fool, and his groom were surrounded by hundreds of faeries dancing naked in the meadow. The fool wanted to make a raunchy joke but his mouth wouldn’t make the sounds. His lips wouldn’t speak.

The sun set. The moon rose. The King joined the dance. The moon, high in the sky, looked down on the three of them dancing with the faeries, thoroughly ensorceled.

And what a night it was dancing naked in the clearing with the faeries. It was better than the hunt. Better than battle. Better than life itself. Just the music, the dancing, the faeries, the elves, the elphin princess, and the horn.

As the moon set the faeries danced off. The wine was finally gone. The music wound down. Softer, slower. And they slept.

They awoke after dawn, under the pear tree, still naked, not another soul in sight. Their horses nickered standing at the edge of the clearing. They dressed. They mounted. They rode.

It seemed like only minutes and they were back at the castle. The King’s subjects shouted “Hurrah! the King is back! Hurrah!”

They were lucky.

Only a year had passed.

The story “Elphonium” by Larry Heyl is CC-BY.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Adventure In Time

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Public Domain photo by Thomas Wolter on Pixabay.

Adventure In Time
by Larry Heyl CC BY-SA

1. You are sitting at the time machine. You can see a needle fluctuating behind a circular piece of glass. Next to that is a red button.
- Hit the button. - Go to to 2.
- Don’t hit the button. - Go to 1.

2. You are disoriented. You are in the corridor outside the lab. Looking up at the clock you can see that it’s five minutes earlier than it should be. Maybe the time machine works! You walk down the corridor and enter the lab. You sit at the time machine. Everything looks like before. You feel an urgent need to do something before the five minutes is up and your earlier self walks through the door.
- Hit the button - Go to 3.
- Don’t hit the button - Go to 1.

3. You are no longer in the lab. In fact you are at your grandfather’s house. But your grandfather died 5 years ago. Your grandfather is a mean old curmudgeon. You never liked him much. Your grandfather walks through the door.
- Jump out and startle your grandfather. - Go to 4.
- Hide in the closet. - Go to 5.

4. Your grandfather is startled. He says, “But you’re in California.” He looks pale. He grabs his heart. Falling on the floor he dies. You are disoriented. The floor shifts under you.
- You stand there staring at your dead grandfather. - Go to 1.
- You get down on your knees and try to resuscitate your grandfather. - Go to 6.

5. Your grandfather comes straight to the closet. He opens the door and grabs his coat. He doesn’t even see you hiding. He stomps out of the house. You feel disoriented. The floor shifts under you.
- You stay hidden in the closet. Go to 1.
- You follow your grandfather out of the house. Go to 6.

6. You are in a World War II German army barracks. There is fighting all around you. You are wearing an American uniform and you’re carrying a gun. You turn the corner and see your grandfather about to shoot Hitler.
- You shoot Hitler. - Go to 7.
- You shoot your grandfather. - Go to 8.

7. With Hitler dead Goebbels takes over as Supreme Leader. The Axis rallies. The Germans win the war and perpetrate atrocities all over the world. You feel terrible guilt.
- You regret shooting Hitler. - Go to 6.
- You decide you are going to try to shoot Goebbels. - Go to 1.

8. The end.