What Is The Story Behind This Image? (Creative Writing Exercise)

     

    It’s time for a creative writing exercise! Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, you need to boost your creativity.

    Take a look at the image above.

    What’s the story?

    Can you come up with a mini-drama of not more than 350 words?

    Here’s how it works:

    • We set the scene
    • You make it your own, and
    • Share your creation in the comments section of this post

     Now for the ground rules:

    • Your story must be 350 words or less.
    • WTD provides an encouraging and safe environment for writers to grow and learn from each other. We’d love you to comment on other people’s submissions in a friendly and supportive manner.

    Boost your imagination with this creative writing exercise

    Can you weave a compelling story around this image in 350 words or less?

    I can’t wait to read what you come up with, so please copy your story into the comments section of this post.

    Oh, and have you joined the Great Writing Challenge 2016 yet? It’s not too late! Click here and add a comment to join over 600 other participants.

    JAMES PATTERSON MASTERCLASS. LEARN MORE.

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Hunter Stokes says:

      Life is a little easier with Nirvana, and Jake was happy that he was in it, or so he thought. What did it matter anyway what everyone else thought? Jake rested the the stock of his rifle down, gasping onto the barrel. Now that it was broken, it made a better cane or club than anything else. Mist was surging forth from the moon rising and growing from the ground, each rolling, cascading tentacle of it keeping in time to R.E.M.

      “Moses went walking with a staff of wood, yeah yeah yeah yeah,” the song reverberated.
      Jake hummed along with the tune, as the moon with the mist became an ever growing, celestial octopus.

      “Newton got beaned by the apple good, yeah yeah yeah yeah.”

      The octopus continued to grow, when a spotlight was threatening its glory as the centerpiece. A cow was escaladed up and down the beam of light , spinning twisting, rotating, gyrating like a bovine top about to collapse. Nirvanna had reached it’s peak, but then the moon started to fade back to the sky, and the cow descend and disintegrated to bone. The mist rolled back from the nowhere it came from, and the bricks and holes of the ruined city retuned. R.E.M. was fading back into the speakers of the radio . Jake scrambled through his pocket before it was too late, pulling an inhaler from a pocket. He had to get it before the world returned. He took it out, pressed it to his lips, and squeezed the remaining bits of Nirvana into his lungs. He was going to die happy, no matter what they said. Nirvana was better than this hell called earth.

      • Hunter Stokes says:

        I think I went over the word count. Oh well…

    • Sid says:

      Wow. these folks here got great imagination skills. Why don’t you guys give a serious try in making novels or much like movie scripts ? You do have sheer talent guys. And myself, always fascinated with aliens and UFOs since i was a child. and this picture just brought those imaginations back. Thank you dude.

    • I loved reading all the comments and people using their imagination to produce the best writing which everybody would love to read. I world love to see more on your website.

    • amber camm says:

      a man dazzled by a growing bright light as he awaked from a long sleep. feeling strange and in great discomfort he slowly opens his dreary eyes to see a purely improbable thing. he is on the moon. with his senses slowly increasing he sees a UFO pick an animal up by its light only to see others who are dead. things flash through his head.
      how am I alive?
      what am I breathing?
      why are these animals dead?
      why am I here?
      what have they done to me?
      what do they want?
      over and over again these thoughts run through David’s head making him dizzy. causing a brief moment of unconsciousness he falls to the floor?
      he sees the fire and a hunters gun wondering why these barbarians threw him on here with a form of defence.
      “how the hell do I get home now?” he asks himself out loud ” well at least I wont have to look after my wife now” he pauses and looks at his home county as it just becomes visible from the horizon. ” I hope that she will be ok, I hope she’ll wait for me to return”.
      she explores the carecus as he moves the ground shakes it feels like the entire planet is moveing. lava splurs out of the ground. he runs.

    • Christine says:

      James was astounded when a deer fell in front of his feet, but only vaguely.
      Hey, if your life is plagued with aliens and wizards and alien wizards, you’re probably entitled to think that.
      In fact, there was an alien wizard right there, just in the corner of his eye. Probably, anyway. An UFO and a suspicious white beam isn’t really enough evidence.
      James ignored it and proceeded to try making a fire with two pieces of wood. He failed miserably and resorted to using matches. He swore under his breath as the matches refused to cooperate.
      When the fire was finally started, James looked up at the horizon. The moon seemed bigger than it was – or was the moon bigger than it seemed? Either way, the moon was big, and somehow that meant everything was blue.
      An annoying bleeping sound, the kind you use to censor swear words, came from the left.
      Oh. Look. The UFO.
      James watched in a surprisingly calm manner as the disk-shaped ship hovered over his horse (which, incidentally, was called Josephine) and sucked it up with its laser beam of doom.
      “I liked that horse.” His voice was plaintive.
      James wondered if this was a good time to run.
      The UFO let out a gurgle and headed for his cow.
      He ran.

      ((I dislike the “omigosh I’m being kidnapped by an alien help” attitude. I guess this isn’t much better, but at least it’s more unpredictable.
      This is what happens when I write a short story without editing.))

    • Blind Jack’s worst day

      His heart was throbbing. There were sounds all around him that he could not place. He had heard a flash. Definitely an electric sound. Jack did not feel secure. He had had this feeling before. It was quite normal for blind people to feel insecure, but not like this. He was standing in the open and had stumbled upon a gun. Was this the gun that had caused the gunshot he had heard earlier? He was picking up the weapon when he heard the electric sound for the first time. He had jumped. Had he heard a cow bellowing? Had he really heard a cow?

      He moved around in a little circle, trying to orient himself. There was no way to tell what had just happened. For the millionth time in his life, he wished he could see. But he had never wanted it more than in that open field. He started to crouch and whistle a song. It was a trick he had learnt to focus himself. It would put his thoughts on one line. It did not work. He was swirling. He had never felt vertigo like this. He heard a motor rumble and the electric, flashing sound started again. For the first time in his life, he saw white dots before his eyes. He had the feeling of falling, while at the same time he had the crazy sensation one gets during liftoff of an airplane.

      “What’s happening to me?” His shout was quickly lost in the noise of the roaring engines as the UFO swooped him up and took him away.

    • Wayne Kelso says:

      Marmaduke’s Trip To The Stars

      The air was still and very, very cold, but the cows needed to be tended to and Brad set off dutifully to the field where they grazed. The moon was full, sitting low on the horizon and casting down almost as much light as the sun had during the day. The stars were also vivid and luminescent, one in particular which, from where he was standing, seemed to be descending and increasing in brightness. This illumination concentrated into a narrow beam, shooting down in silence and landing harmlessly onto Marmaduke, Brad’s prize heifer. The animal looked around curiously, as did the others, and as Brad shot towards it, rifle in hand, Marmaduke was lifted from the grass and drawn upwards, emitting a moo of distress and battling furiously against whatever force had perturbed it. Brad screamed its name, the cows gathering en masse and staring up at the night sky and the beam of iridescence which had abducted their friend. Brad raised his gun, removed the safety and, with shaking hands, gently squeezed the trigger. He couldn’t get it all the way, concerned about hurting his beloved property, and instead ran full tilt across the field in Marmaduke’s direction. The cow sailed breezily through the star studded sky, crossing before the moon and casting a shadow onto the field and darkening the fire which Brad had set not long ago. He had shot a deer around the same time and planned to cook and eat it while camping with friends. They had cancelled on him, and his disappointment had morphed rapidly into despondence as Marmaduke faded from his sight, the bolt of white light dimming to nothing, vanishing without as much as a flicker. Marmaduke was soon miles above the earth, still mooing and flapping its legs around, powerless to stop her distressingly speedy ascent into the unknown. The field she knew so well, and everything surrounding it, shrunk right beneath her. Oceans she had never seen whittled away, mountains she would never graze on became smaller than molehills, and she hastily whisked away for her first ever intergalactic adventure.

    • Priya says:

      I had my flak jacket to warm me up and apart from my illegal fire, that was about it. Luckily, there wasn’t a hint of wind until the ship returned, spinning violently in my direction. I tried to stamp out the fire as the flames leaped and licked at my pale bare legs, which looked somehow even pastier in the glow of the moonlight, but there was no time: I propped myself up on my elbows, feebly aiming uphill at the featureless silver saucer. A rifle against a UFO—one those things hadn’t been taken out of the closet for about ten years.

      Suddenly, the ship stopped just short of my little campsite and seemed to, well, hesitate over the closest hill. It edged forward and then backwards, wobbling as an aperture on the belly of the ship opened up. The now-familiar spotlight turned on, shining a bright circle onto what looked to be an empty spot of lush green hillside. Then, slowly and deliberately, a cow was delivered softly onto the grass, landing with a gentle thump.

      Cautiously, I lowered my rifle, which was now just pointing at what appeared to be an ordinary cow, very much alive, eyes still in sockets, blood still coursing through its veins, teeth gnashing on cud like a bored teenager chewing gum.

      “What are you doing?” I yelled through my speakerphone, commandeered from an abandoned cop car. Then, the whine of the ship’s loudspeaker, the high-pitched squeal of interference—I turned my speakerphone off and the noise stopped.

      “Thanks…yes, um, well,” a tinny voice echoed through the valley. “We’re returning this one.”

      “Yeah this one’s no good,” said a second, slightly deeper voice. “It—well it—“

      “Oh, dammit, well just as we were about to remove the eyeballs from the eye sockets—

      “—like we always do—“

      “–well it looked up at us, like directly at us.”

      “Like it was judging us or something.”

      I thought on this for a moment–did they really not know? “Well she *is* judging you. All the animals–they’re silently judging all of us all the time. We figured that out way back in 21st century.” I shook my head, “I thought you guys knew that.”

      “Well, um, yes, we did think it odd that there were SO many cows around,” said the high voice alien.

      I stood up and the gun bowed under my weight as I leaned on it, “There are so many cows around because we’re all vegan now. The whole damn world—everyone’s gone vegan.”

      “Everyone?” The second voice was back, “Like all the humans?”

      “And even some of the chimps, yes.” I could hear muffled whispers and some rummaging. The aperture of the ship opened again and out came three chickens and a goat. I couldn’t help but sigh–my old measly farmstock, all that had been left before the latest invasion, now returned home to roost. I gathered up the chickens and tied a sholace around the goat. They looked at me dispassionately; the goat shivered briefly, swatted some silverly flecks of goop off its tail, and led me down the hill, apparently very much over the whole situation.

      The ship’s speakers buzzed back on: “Well, sorry and all that.” It was the high voice again, “I think you’ll find them in good condition.”

      “The silver stuff wipes right off,” said the high voice as the ships engines powered up, “but, it’s a touch radioactive.” And before I could reply, the ship darted away with a sonic boom.

    • Akanksha singla says:

      Finally,reaching your destiny makes you feel like you have touched the sky. 60 days,144 hours,sleepless nights,restless days,all worth it. That was my first thought after reaching the peak of the himalyan range.
      But, the view there,was an eye opener. Dead animals,clear lands,no green surface,everything was gone. So, this was what we were fighting for?? The thought shook me hard at the mind. It was a major loss,of humanity,of mankind,of life.
      I just lost nine of my struggler mates,but the power of accomplishing the mission, all by myself,made me forget all of it. But this view,brought me back to reality,the reality of today’s mankind. We. Have become so selfish,so cruel ,that we don’t realize what have we lost ,while climbing to that peak of power,money and luxuries.
      All I could think of was the future,that we were about to experience. Those innocent creatures ,whom we have made to almost extinct,will become alien to us.
      They will be talked about ,only in the books. They have been paying for the bad deeds of this selfish mankind.
      It’s daytime,but to me, everything looks so gloomy,so dark. The sun seems like the moon,that’s setting down,taking along all the hopes, all the lights,leaving behind the darkness,the loss,the cruel creatures,us,the human.
      But, the thought that haunts me the most,is how will i face my family, my friends,wen i get back. The heroic story ,that was supposed to be, just turned to a losers tale. Amily, my daughter,who will be expecting me to be there , with a proud expression on my face, when I go back,won’t consider me as her hero any more.
      But, I won’t loose hope ,and rather would try to do all, that i can, for saving my country, not from just the enemy , but from the losses , that we have already incurred. Being a soldier, I took the oath once, that i would protect my country from all the enemies. And today, i have realized, the biggest enemy is us. We have forgotten our responsibilities towards the nation, the nature.
      To all the lives , we lost , whether a human ,or an animal ,or the nature,we shall take another oath to save it from getting extinct.
      To the one reading this page, from my journal, take the oath , be the savior.
      Rajat shah
      13/04/16

    • The Great Strange New World of Gylopians

      The Gylopians slowly but surely modified the world into one they could live in. They feed the cattle to their living ship engine. Their engine turns the cattle and their blood into fuel to help them move throughout the universe. They tried to feed their engine humans but the engine sputtered the taste was not conducive.

      But humans are not taking the threat to themselves or their livestock lying down they are trying to fight. But the Gylopians are almost invisible and do not make an easy target.

      Very few people have ever seen them. John the man in the picture is one of the few. The Gylopians took his cattle. At first he thought it was wolves but he got a sight of his cattle being lifted off the ground into the ships and he saw a glimpse of them.

      They had a small frame and a pointy head. Several of his cattle had been bitten and he had to burn them.

      The only chance they had was the brightness of the moon . It seemed to drain the gylopians and they could not travel as fast or as far.

      The rising moon was the hope humans had of eventually defeating the Gylopians. The answer was in the rays of moon. Could they harness its power and defeat the threat.

    • Leocardia Charles says:

      It was a Saturday morning I remember I was with my friends camping at the mountains. We had been there for almost three days. Everyone was tired that day and did not want to go hunting. I decided to go alone.
      After several attempts I concluded it was not my luck day, I could not hit even a rabbit! I made my mind to go back to the camp but suddenly it all turned dark as if it was going to rain. I heard a thunder like sound coming from afar. I increased my paces wanted to see what was really happening.
      Surprisingly there were some lifeless deer all over. I figured the reason why I could not find them during my hunt.
      A shine like thing appeared in front of me and started lifting up all the live deer one by one towards what seems like a ship. I stood there pondering what was going on in front of me. There was a bonfire lit in front of me I wondered what came about to the person or people who was around it!
      At first I was not scared but as it became darker and darker and when the shine like thing started moving towards me, that’s when it clicked me that I was in danger! I started moving backward slowly my heart beating really fast…..

    • kumar ajay pratap says:

      They were sucking everything .they were taking a piece of everything so that things donot get lost.ahuman there shot the small sheep and thinks of fighting with that .but after shooting the sheep he realised his mistake and now as a corrective method he wants the transmission of the all species to be stopped.he feels that if he himself gets with them he might correct the wrong.so he gets near to the ship unknowing of the situations in the spaceship.it was quite dangerous there .he fought it hard and at last he was able to overcome it.his bravery and his very very great will power saved everyoneeveryone.the humanity should be thankful to him.he had done a commendable job.he become the hero material.he should be praised for saving the human

    • Jo Glenn says:

      They Came…..!

      The year was 2116 in post-apocalyptic Alaska. Dan Jacob had made camp on one of the mountain passes in the ‘Woods’. He was one of the few men daring enough to venture out into such an inhospitable environment. But something or someone had been killing out the wildlife.
      One hundred years before the ‘Woods’ teemed with birds, brown bears, caribou, Dall sheep, mountain goats, fish and bison. Polar bears had long since disappeared with the melting of the glaciers. More recent arrivals to the ‘Woods’ were domesticated animals. Cows, sheep and goats sought sanctuary from the drought stricken lowlands. The once bucolic image of America’s last frontier that was Alaska stood in stark contrast to the barren waste land in which Dan Jacobs seemed to thrive. Up in the highlands where Dan had made camp looked like something out of a science fiction moonscape.
      No one else would have volunteered to enter the ‘Woods’ as it had been shrouded in mystery for years. Some of the locals thought it must have been cursed. Others thought it was their ‘Roswell’. One thing was for sure: only one man had the courage to find out.
      Dan wondered if maybe poachers had been up in the area. He barely had the chance to examine the carcasses in any detail. He dismissed the ‘little green men theory’ and he didn’t believe in ghosts either. Aa Dan got a fire going; he was startled by a strange noise then a burst of light the likes of which he had never seen. As he shielded his eyes from the intense light, he saw what could only be described as a large drone like craft in the air. Dan could only ascertain that it was the size of twenty football fields. As he got a little closer just to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating, he saw a hapless cow being levitated by a huge tractor beam.
      Dan watched in disbelief…knowing that his rifle would be powerless against such a display of power. Who were they? What did they want? And how could they be stopped?

    • Eden Wilson says:

      He had done the impossible – he stood in a valley on a planet he had discovered single handedly – and alive too!

      It came at a cost, his crew’s lives. There had been five of them, five crazy individuals leaving their home planet with no chance of return.
      It turns out aliens do exist, but they aren’t the friendly, four eyed, green man, they are bloodthirsty parasites with evil intent – they find any sign of life, and eliminate it.

      It was only a matter of time until the crew were snatched leaving a lone survivor huddled in a cave with a gun and two matches.

      He emerged half dead from terror, hunger and thirst. He found a stream, it was a dull grey colour but he was past caring. Carefully loading his penultimate bullet he shot dead one of the strange wild inhabitants of this hostile planet.

      As he stood by the fire, gazing at the very close moon a spacecraft appeared and sucked up every living animal in sight.

      As he stamped out the fire and ducked back into the cave he knew the chances were slim he would survive the night.

      A stab of guilt shot across his chest as he thought of the four lives selflessly given up to save him, the baby of the crew. He brushed it off by saying, they a knew it would be dangerous when they signed up didn’t they.

      At that moment he felt chill and looked down, he wasn’t wearing a spacesuit or even long trousers and the night was dark and cold.

      He knew the aliens would find them, after all, Human Beings are supposed to be the most intelligent (but also the most quarrelsome) form of life in existence. It was just that, until yesterday, no – one had believed they were in existence and now he was the only one who knew. He had to do something. These aliens could penetrate his home planet, passing off as real people – Adisha Beings.

      – 332 words

    • ATB Williams says:

      It is September 19th the first day of general gun hunting season and four days till fall. Alex is out on his yearly hunting excursion at his favorite local. He decides that he wants to get a jump on the other hunters this year, so he strikes out on day one. This is Alex’s favorite time of the year, because these are the trips he and his father would always take together. This was their time and things for Alex just haven’t been the same since his father’s death last year. Nonetheless, this is still Alex’s way of honoring his father and in a way, it makes him feel close to his dad the way he did when he was alive. The day had gone as scheduled and Alex managed to bag one deer before nightfall. He takes care and brings his kill back to his designated camp site and builds a fire. As he stands and gazes out at the surrounding terrain, he begins to think of his father as he often does. Then suddenly he feels a presence and he hears what sounds like his father’s voice. “Son, I’m here.” The voice said. “Dad, is that you?” replies Alex. Alex began to feverishly look around for the source of this voice and then suddenly he hears a low pitched hum coming from the near sky. Alex looks up in the direction of the humming noise and then he sees it. A large saucer shaped object hovering in place. At first he does not trust his eyes. He believes this to be a symptom of his apparent grief, but when he saw the bright conical beam of light emanating from the saucer; he knew what he was looking at was real. He stood motionless as he witnessed this saucer as it tractor-beamed a cow right before his eyes. Then he hears the voice again, “Son, come with us.” “Dad, is that you?” he asked.

    • I Hate Blue

      If that cow disappears into that craft, I’m gonna shoot my pecker off.
      I knew I should have left with the others.
      This planet is going to hell.
      I hate the color blue.
      Our crazy military finally did it. They set off a nuke that was just too damn powerful. Now the earth orbits the moon.
      Woke up twelve hours later and it’s still dark. And that “campfire” is still a solid unmoving clump of orange gel that somebody thought looked real.
      Nighttime is crap. I miss those bright days at the beach, surfing in the crashing waves.
      I look around.
      Only two animals barely alive, besides me: a deer with a bloody hole in its left shank and a lousy cow with ugly radiation spots across its hide.
      Someone cut the genitals off the deer; was a young male, I think. The cow keeps mooing like she’s in heat.
      Crazy world now. Even the horizon is twisted. Believe it or not, when I climbed this peak I could see San Francisco. Now all I see is the shitty, lifeless moon.
      Know what I think?
      What a sec. Who cares? Who’s gonna listen to that recording about the trashing of our beautiful world?
      Just the same, I think the aliens have come to save the surviving life on this planet. They want to mate the deer with the cow . . . Stupid shits.
      How come our clouds can drift off into space and circle the moon? Where’s everybody?
      Why are they dropping the cow back to the ground?
      The spaceship is sliding toward me with that damn spotlight! What the hell’s happening?
      They’re not going to perform sexual experiments on me! I don’t want my children to look like cows . . . Do I?
      Time to shoot my pecker off before that happens.
      Yep, I have one goddamn cartridge left. I’m gonna stuff it in the chamber and aim at my balls. No strange race of creatures is gonna take the best part of me.
      That’s it, bury the barrel deep in my crotch, then reach out and push against the trigger. I never wanted this to happen. Not like this. I wanted a big family with kids who ate Cheerios.
      Stop your mush talk. The alien craft is almost overhead. The light is sweeping towards me. Shoot, dammit! Do it!
      BLAM!!!
      Aaaahhhh, that hurt!!!! Ohhh, don’t worry. You did what’s right. It’s all gonna be OK. The ground holds me up. It feels cool . . .
      I hear a motor. A vehicle coming up the barren hillside. Yeah, sounds like a jeep. Coming closer.
      The spacecraft is slipping back out into the blackness and hovering motionlessly.
      The vehicle stops and the engine is shut off. A moon shadow falls over me, lights up my hands feeling inside the messy bloody hole in my pants that once held the family jewels, the Stones of the Rockefellers.
      “Hey, mister. Are you all right,” some guy from the Jeep says, leaning over my aching body.
      I can’t bear to look up. Too much craziness in one day. Everything can go to hell. Same with me.
      “I’m Daniel Rockefeller,” is all I can mutter as the deep groin pain pushes its way into my guts.
      The guy and his buddies won’t shut up.
      “The park closes in ten minutes. Clean up your Walking Dead bloody makeup before leaving. And return that crummy shotgun to the visitor’s desk. Funny, man. Some nutballs try to put shells in it to shoot at that realistic UFO display. They think this “Disaster World” attraction is real!”
      The guys in uniforms climbed back in the jeep and turned around on the gravel stones. They headed back down the hill. Soon, all is quiet again.
      God, I hate blue.

    • Daniel Lukin says:

      Eaton didn’t care he looked touristy, but that was part of his charm. He wore glow in the dark sneakers – not the silenced leather that “real” hunters wore. And he only carried one club, a 44 gauge driver with a shotgun style grip that substituted as a putter. He hated camouflage and thought gas pellets, traps, skinners, and pheromones weren’t for real men.

      He was a rebel on the golf course –just him, his gun, and a backpack full of Titleist Supershot leftover from 2216.

      The crowd moaned as Eaton stepped onto the 14th hole and tossed a cigarette butt onto the dead river bottom. Somebody had left a campfire burning. Must have been asked to leave by game patrollers- several of whom he knew were ruthless killers. For the moment he enjoyed it’s heat.

      He turned his baseball cap around backwards and eyed the obstacle directly ahead. A few telltale marks in the riverbed worried him a bit. Could be a trap. Several jeers of “You suck,” and “Get a life” mingled in the air with the sound of reporters, cameras, and the hum of the crowd as the world watched his every move. Then there was a burst of laughter as someone flew a maintenance disc over the crowd and levitated a fully grown cow onto his hole! The dumb animal didn’t even try to escape. Just stood there and looked right at him! Not surprisingly, the crowd howled with laughter.

      He glanced into his lens trying to find his target. No luck in this light, he thought. The glare of the artificial moon combined with all the white fog made his optics useless.

      Elsewhere: “Well Sue, it looks like another turn of bad luck for Eaton. We just got word he has switched off his optics.” Laughter echoed through the soundstage and over three oceans. “That’s right Dave. Brett Eaton is making some very risky moves. If he fails to score above Par in this round we may finally see the end of Eaton as we know it. And now here’s a word from our sponsor…”

    • Jack Allen says:

      I assume two stories are better than one? Either way I had another Idea and I had to share it.

      Why Me?

      Yeah it figures, the first night of the tournament and I get stuck on shit detail “guarding” our ship from the locals. These Earth creatures can’t do any harm to our ship, but oh no here I am anyway. You know the worst part though I mean the part that really chaps my, well in Earthling form, ass? That’s it I’m in human form. I mean really if they wanted to keep the primitives at bay we should all stay in our natural form, you know as well as I do they’d take one look and lose their puny little minds!!

      “Hey Gamot?” ” Where did you go?” For the love of Qimlout, where did he run off too now? I swear it’s like trying to work with a human, I think he’s spent just a little too much time on this planet if you ask me, he’s starting to act like them now. He wanders off in the middle of missions and never does what I ask him to do. I quess the Supreme High Commander knew what he was doing when he gave him this assignment.

      “Gamot, get back over here. What were you doing?”

      “Oh I was just expelling waste liquids from this body”

      Qimlout save me. “You know we don’t have to do that right? These are just disguises, weren’t you at the briefings?”

      “Oh yeah, I was there. I just though this would look more believable to the Earthlings”

      Why me? Why do I always get the weird ones? “Gamot, what earthlings? There isn’t an Earthling within 100 Terrestrial miles!!” “Never mind. Let’s get back to the ship, if we hurry we might catch the end of the first game of the tournament”

      “Okay Captain. What about the earth creature over there? What do they call them? Deer?”

      “Never mind the deer, the scavengers will take of it”

      “Hurry Gam, we’re only 3 parsecs from the nearest outpost, we can be there in time for the tournament end slaughter if we get going!!”

      “I’m there if you’re buyin Captain!!”

      “I’m buyin lets get a move on!!”

    • Jack Allen says:

      Always the same.

      “It always ends with alien ship dropping the cow back in the pasture. I stand there and it seems so real! I can feel the heat of the fire radiating on face and see the fire light cast eerie shadows across the ground. The deer I had shot a few minutes earlier is still lying on the slope”

      “Look Doc, I can’t take this much longer. I always wake up in a sweat like I just ran a marathon. I’m exhausted all the time I need some relief here!!”

      “Okay Luke. Tell me about the moon. You said there was something unusual about the moon, what was it?”

      “It was huge like it was twenty times closer than it should be. Like you could almost reach out and touch it” At this point I am beginning to think I might be wasting my hundred and fifty an hour on this joker. I do need help though I can barely sleep now.

      “I would like to try hypnosis on you if you don’t mind? I think maybe we can get to the bottom this dream of yours then. What do you think?” “Luke? Did you hear me?”

      “Huh? Yeah Doc, sure anything that might help”

      “Good, good. Okay I will need you lie on the couch and close your eyes for me. I will start counting backwards from one hundred”

      “Okay, I’m ready when you are Doc”

      “I need to tell my assistant to hold my calls for now, I will be right back”

      “Ms. Hamlin, I need you get the neural stabilizer ready, I have another one that keeps remembering his visit from us. So far he only remembers bits and pieces but if it continues he may have full recall and then our mission on this planet is done!”

      “Yes commander, full power? It might kill him”

      “Yes set the device to full, we have no other recourse. Contact the disposal unit, have them on standby just in case”

      “Yes Sir”

      Returning to the office Doctor Gravits prepares for the procedure.

      “Are you comfortable Luke?”

    • Barbara Galyon says:

      The setting moon bathed the landscape in a thin, mystical light, as stars beyond count littered the heavens from horizon to horizon. Rifle in hand and only dimly aware of the beauty above, the man again anxiously scanned the sky.
      Too many years had passed since last he stood near a similar hill. In that barren landscape the Earth had been poisoned and doomed, barely able to sustain life beyond simple organisms and incredibly, a few weirdly stunted ancient trees. For the most part, Life could exist only in sheltered enclaves, hastily constructed and poorly tolerated.
      On that faraway day he’d watched as the infinitely precious herd of cattle had been lifted away to the only available safety, to the countless enormous caverns carved beneath the lunar surface. There most of what remained of Mankind already slept. At last he’d been able to put down another rifle; miraculously none of the cattle were injured in transport and had to be put down.
      Now, a thousand years or more later, the work of The Few was done. These living saints, both male and female, had stayed behind on the dying planet even as Mankind fled to the dubious safety of the moon. They had given up almost all physical contact with their own kind, to instead monitor the enormous fleets of gigantic machines constructed with such careful desperation to clean the air and water and even soil of contaminants and make the Earth whole again. For a thousand years The Few had endured solitude and deprivation, reproducing only to train the next generation of The Few to carry on the work. Their triumph could be seen everywhere, in the green fuzz that blanketed the low hills and the clear, sweet air the man drew into his lungs.
      All of those years Mankind lay in slumber, locked in artificial sleep and years-long dreams. Most had survived. Most slumbered still. The man was one of the survivors and one of the first to return to Earth.
      Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply of the cool air of dawn, lightly flavored with the dewy grass of the valley and smoke from the dying fire at his feet. Shivering a little, he tossed a fuel log into the coals and warmed his hands at the new flames.
      It came then, a tiny light moving among the static stars and almost invisible in the predawn sky. One of thousands, he’d been told. At last the ship hovered above the small valley. He caught the distant whirr as the bay doors opened, caught the calm, questioning lowing as the first impregnated cow was gently lowered to the deep grass in the waiting pasture. Safe at last on solid ground, the animal surveyed its surroundings, then instinctively lowered its head and began to feed.
      For far too long, only fear and rage or numb acceptance had ruled mankind. Now old, unused emotions were awakening, so old they were new again. They swelled up in the waiting man, higher and higher until he could no longer resist. Acting almost on instinct, he lay down the rifle then clasped his hands together, so tightly they trembled. Lowering his head he prayed, a wordless flood of love and gratitude and thanksgiving to whatever God still reigned, for bringing him home.

    • I learned from my mother, who was once the highest paid fashion models; great beauty opened the doors. She never left home without impeccable attire, full makeup, and photo-ready hair. She said a woman’s sexuality was better than an American Express card, if used right, the rewards were much better. Mother said her money was for pleasure and not for rent, food, or life’s other necessities. She had men—lots of men—whose generous wallets and bank accounts gladly emptied into her hands.

      Life was gloriously perfect, even without a father. Throughout the years, Mother created various versions of how he died. Her story depended on who was listening and how much sympathy she needed that day. My day perished in a car accident, robbers murdered hen in Central Park, or he committed suicide. I neither lost track of the ways in which he died; the point was, I never knew nor saw him.

      My own sexuality formulated by my mother’s open nudity at home and refusal to close the doors to her bedroom when she was making love. She allowed me to observe a woman’s capability to get what she wanted. My classroom was in a darkened hallway. I listened and watched the movements in her candlelit room.

      I admired Mother’s faults—all of them. She was my protector, mentor, and the only person I trusted until the day before my tenth birthday when she never returned home. The final sentence of my mother’s note left on my dressing table has forever stained my life: Forgive me, but motherhood has become an inconvenience.

    • shae says:

      As he held the rifle in his right hand he looked at what the world had turned into to. The moon was no longer just in the sky it had become a part of the land along with the clouds. His disbelief of abduction now become a strong belief. He looked forward and asked himself if he should take that one step forward leading him into something he didn’t know. He knew that what he was observing was not the finished product, and he wondered if there ever would be a finished product.
      Although he didn’t know what he was going into he knew that he couldn’t be the only one wondering, the only one still out there. IF there was anyone still out there he was going to find them. So he took that step, that first step into the unknown.
      How long would he be able to survive out there, and how long till he would find someone else as lost as he was. The only thing he had left was the back-pack filled with bullets for his rifle along with come canned foods that he hoped would last him until he found a safe place.
      Being alone in this strange place made him feel like he was a child who had lost his mother in a store. Then all of a sudden there was a light that wasn’t coming from the moon or the stars or the many small fires around him, but a light that was suppose to be on, a light that signaled for help.

      He found his walk turned into a run and when he reached the light, he saw that it was not a cry for help but indeed a cry of hunger. The instinct to pull and cock the rifle was first before anything, but when the light got bigger he knew in that moment he needed more than his rifle.

    • Sam Forsyth says:

      We were told to get away. Get out. Go far from the city. The buildings would crush us.
      We were lucky. Impact was going to happen on the exact opposite side of the world.
      I stopped calling home, hung up the phone, grabbed my backpack and filled it with food, clothes, liquor, water and a paperback—The Old Man and the Sea— that I promised my wife I’d read on my trip.
      Outside of the hotel there were no dumpster fires or gunshots or women screaming for help like you see in disaster movies.
      Everyone was quiet, but in a great hurry.
      I saw a man pushing a shopping cart full of diapers. I saw a boy standing alone, confused. When I went to help him, a woman ran up, hugged him, and ran off with him trailing behind.
      It was dark out. Their world was mostly blocking the sun. I could see it’d stopped spinning and was closer to the horizon.
      I ran across the street to the pawn shop, jumped behind the counter and grabbed a shotgun and some ammo. Then, I made my way toward the woods on the outskirts.
      I was in the woods a couple miles outside of town when their world set below the horizon and I fell to the ground with the force of a hundred men lying flat on my back. Then it stopped, and I stood up.
      I’d survived the impact.
      The world spun faster. The sun still rose in the east, and set in the west, but now it did every four hours—and it rose from different spots each time.
      I might have been dreaming when I saw beams of light come down and destroy some things, and steal up others. But it doesn’t matter. The world got hotter, and hotter, and before long I realized why.
      Every time I saw the sun, it was bigger.
      It’s dark out right now. It’s so hot.
      The next time I see the sun, it will fill up the sky, and it will be my last.

      • Jack Allen says:

        Nice take on the scene!! I like it.

    • Sam Forsyth says:

      are these comments moderated? I don’t want to re-post my little story if it’s just being moderated. i just don’t see my story/comment anywhere.

      • Hey Sam, our spam filter software thinks long comments are suspicious. That’s why these wonderful stories don’t always appear straight away. Our team goes into the comment section at regular intervals to release comments that have been held back accidentally.

        I can see your story in the comments. It’s great!

    • Lacy Pierce says:

      I will never forget the night when I stumbled on what looked like a scene from the X-Files. It was my third day out on my self-camping trip in the meadow in the middle of the woods in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. I had had my fire going for about two hours to cook my dinner for the night-which that night, was rabbit stew.

      When I finished washing and drying my large coffee cup-like cooker, I went back to attending my fire with nothing but my hunting rifle on hand. When I did, I stood frozen in place. Now, I know that not everyone will believe me but there was this stereotypical disk-like UFO beaming a cow vertically upward as if taking it for testing! Part of me felt as if I had run into a scene straight out of an episode of the X-Files and the other was simply scared shitless that I was next.

      But, fortunately, after the cow disappeared into the UFO’s hatch, much to my relief, the UFO whirled away from me. I don’t know if those particular aliens weren’t interested in humans or if they had even failed to notice that I was there or what. Either way, I keeled down on the ground, clutching my chest with my free hand. My heart was threatening to shatter into a billion pieces like glass.

      I looked around and noticed a doe carcass to my right. I ran up to it to inspect it and found two patterned bite marks on its neck. Similar to what you would find in a stereotypical vampire story. It made my heart flutter even more.

      Maybe those aliens had taken similar “vegetarian” vows to the Cullens in the Twilight Saga, who knows? I have since become a member of a UFO society local to my area and have heard some very strange and even gruesome stories from my co-members who say that they were abducted. Every story I hear makes me feel a thousand times luckier.

    • Sameera Dutt says:

      Ken knew there was something wrong that was going to happen. He felt it in the ground. The vibrations shook his legs making him unable to stand. He felt an urge to run away from his place of camp. He pulled his rifle and ran only to see a strange setting out of no where. A dead creature and a living creature but floating in the air which seemed to be pulled by some kind of gravity from another object. Being unsure of this situation, Ken decided to wait and watch.
      A few moments later, he saw a flying disc-shaped, highly technical object over the floating creature.
      He glared at the animal and noticed blood oozing out of its body. He thought the entire thing to be some kind of a movie setting. A chill ran down his spine when he saw the born fire lit up on its own. He decided to shoot the flying object and stuck to his decision. He then rushed to the creature which fell down.
      Ken touched it over its wound and the creature began to speak as if it were completely human. The creature said, “The previous made the same mistake and the deer died.”
      The creature breathed its last. Ken then heard a sound of a moving fan over his head and started to feel like something pulled him up. Well, his feeling was true. The disc shaped object began to pick him off the ground. He was soon sucked into it and then found himself surrounded by faint light. He sat and thought, “Could this object have kept the creatures alive? Did Josh also do the same thing and this how he disappeared?”
      Ken sat wondering if this question will ever be answered and first of all will he ever come out of this creepy darkness.

    • Sabina says:

      The last Dialogue with the Deer

      Earth is becoming a challenging place to live by every passing day. The planet Earth has been a livable place for ages for all species, but things are changing fast. More challenging to the environment is the man made damages than the natural disaster. One of these challenges us to the natural habitat of the rare species of deer.
      It is a story of a communication between a environmentalist Jeff Thompson and a deer. The conversation takes place in an age when Deer are becoming extinct and Jeff is given the task to convince the last deer to stay on this planet. The deer sees around him danger and threats and no peace. Jeff persuades the deer not to loose hope.
      “There is serenity and peace” says the deer and “I am going to be with all my folks”. Jeff said” This should be a comfort but life is not all about comfort and one’s happiness, it is how much you give to others”. Jeff added” we cannot afford to loose you.” The deer said “ let’s switch places, you become deer and live on earth and I become you”. Jeff hesitated but later agreed. Jeff, began his next day as a deer. When he woke up, he found that the trees which provided him shelter were cut down by the woodcutter and he was homeless. He wanted to drink water but the river was so polluted with chemicals that he could barely drink the water and when he walked in the forest the hunters shot him, sold his horns and skin and his meat was served at dinner”. Such a fate, never imagined. Jeff promised the deer the speak for them at all platform create awareness to value them. He also with a heavy heart let the deer go. While he was coming back after the conversation he saw the deer with some of his folks to be there to start their life afresh at planet earth. Deer were no more extinct and sense prevailed with more people like Jeff on earth.

    • Sajjad Yaldranpm says:

      Bruce Williams, a very successful heart specialist in America, is on his way to Pakistan. He promised his 6-year old daughter, Emma, , for a stuffed Markhor for her birthday present. Emma is fond of near-extinct stuffed animals and while googling about endangered species, wished to have Markhor for her home museum.

      Markhor, a wild goat, inhabiting the mountainous regions of Pakistan, was once on the verge of extinction. The dangerous and steep cliffs of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan normally protected them from snow leopards and wolves. However, with improved means of communication and transportation, more foreign hunters started pouring in and took to hunting Markhor, and the local population, in their desire to promote local tourism helped in the hunting spree. The resultant decline in the population of Markhor was dramatic and by the time it’s near-extinction status was recognised, the government already declared a state of emergency; and called upon international development partners and biodiversity experts to save the national animal of Pakistan from extinction. The experts came up with the idea of ‘trophy hunting programme’, which was initiated in Gilgit-Baltistan in the early 1990s, whereby the foreign hunters were required to pay license fee in return for the hunt; 80% of the hunting fee goes towards the local community while the government spends the remaining 20% on projects for the welfare of forests and biodiversity. Resultantly, the population of Markor started improving slowly and its status graduated from ‘near-extinction’ to ‘endangered’.

      Bruce Williams, landed in Gilgit-Baltistan in December 2015, knowing well that the season for trophy hunting starts from November to April each year. He bought one Markhor trophy hunting license from the government at a fee of $67,000. Although, the license fee is very high, yet it is less than the last years’ fee of $ 70,000, which is also an indication that the population of Markhor is 20% increasing from the last year. In trophy hunting programme the license fee is inversely proportional to the population of an animal. More is the fees if the population of animal is less and vice verse.

    • Keerthi Kamath says:

      Once there was color. Different shades of it. Almost evenly distributed on the surface of Earth.
      But now, there’s no Earth itself. It has been engulfed by the Great Power. Now there’s no color. It’s all empty and gruesome. But why am I the only one chosen, out of 6 billion people. Also, WHERE am I? Where did the hard rock under my feet come from? WHY IS THERE FIRE? (I’m pyrophobic.) Well, now that I come to think of it, I feel it’s a waste. Because, there’s no one even to answer my questions. My alter ego won’t answer any.

      There’s lump in my throat. Lead in my stomach. A huge tornado of mixed feelings and thoughts swirling in my head. To confuse me further, I see a beam of light coming from I-don’t-know-where. There’s more to it. A cow. So, I’m not the only living creature in this creepy place now. But…..
      The cow seems to be dead. Which reminds me of the cow that I shot the other day. Oh wait, is it the same cow? And now I notice a lifeless deer on my left. I must have been drunk not to notice it before. There’s not just the same cow, but now there’s also the same deer that I shot. I examine the shotgun carefully. There’s gunpowder stuck to its muzzle.

      Suddenly, I hear someone talking. The sound’s coming from the direction where the beam of light had come from. I can’t discern the language. But I heard a name- Sophia. That was my sister’s name. Why are the spirits of all the creatures’, that I’d shot on earth, coming to haunt me here, on a different planet (or at least that’s what I assume this place to be)? Is it yet another trick of the Great Power? A lesson to be taught? Well, then they should send my mother too. I shot her and yet I know that her spirit won’t avenge her murder. My mother would in fact help me escape out from here. She’ll guide me back to my home. Patience.

    • Keerthi Kamath says:

      Once there was color. Different shades of it. Almost evenly distributed on the surface of Earth.
      Now, there’s no Earth itself. It has been engulfed by the Great Power. Now there’s no color. It’s all empty and gruesome. But why am I the only one chosen, out of 6 billion people. Also, WHERE am I? Where did the hard rock under my feet come from? WHY IS THERE FIRE? (I’m pyrophobic.) Well, now that I come to think of it, I feel it’s a waste. Because, there’s no one even to answer my questions. My alter ego won’t answer any.
      There’s lump in my throat. Lead in my stomach. A huge tornado of mixed feelings and thoughts swirling in my head. To confuse me further, I see a beam of light coming from I-don’t-know-where. There’s more to it. A cow. So, I’m not the only living creature in this creepy place now. But…..
      The cow seems to be dead. Which reminds me of the cow that I shot the other day. Oh wait, is it the same cow? And now I notice a lifeless deer on my left. I must have been drunk not to notice it before. There’s not just the same cow, but now there’s also the same deer that I shot. I examine the shotgun carefully. There’s gunpowder stuck to its muzzle.
      Suddenly, I hear someone talking. The sound’s coming from the direction where the beam of light had come from. I can’t discern the language. But I heard a name- Sophia. That was my sister’s name. Why are the spirits of all the creatures’, that I’d shot on earth, coming to haunt me here, on a different planet (or at least that’s what I assume this place to be)? Is it yet another trick of the Great Power? A lesson to be taught? Well, then they should send my mother too. I shot her and yet I know that her spirit won’t avenge her murder. My mother would in fact help me escape out from here. She’ll guide me back to my home. Patience.

    • There was a time when working for the government meant risking your life by fighting for people against people. Certainly that has changed over the past few years. I remember watching movies when I was little about how people from strange lands invaded our world and the hunky, handsome dad saved his too gorgeous for real-life-crisis family. He would find a rifle somewhere, fire it off and manage to get his family to an aircraft, fly to safety then breathe a sigh of relief. We were never shown where they went after. How they survived the consequences.

      Well, they SHOULD HAVE! At least then I would know something. I am Dan Richards. I work for AAF – AGAINST ALIEN FORCES. I`m just a normal 50 year-old man. My wife Lisa is somewhere with the others searching for help. I could’ve gone to help her, save her. But no. My boss had other ideas. He threw me in a chopper and flew me here. My team-my best friends- were sent here yesterday to check out the place for unusual activity. They never reported back. We lost 20 men. 20 strong, smart warriors. Protectors. They weren’t taken because I just piled up their bodies and sent the chopper back. I`ve been walking around as the moon shines brightly lighting up the place, wondering why someone burnt firewood?
      I bend over a dead deer-his eyes wide open and limbs stiff. He has a huge hole behind each ear. Suddenly, I hear a loud swishing noise. I turn and stare at a ship. I`ve seen one before but never up this close. I tighten my grip around my riffle. A sharp bluish silver light casts down on a cow oblivious to what’s happening at all and slowly he is lifted up. This would make one hell of a movie, but I felt frozen. My feet rooted to the ground. I failed to follow standard procedure. I should’ve checked the surrounding well before focusing all my attention on getting the bodies out and trying to crack the cause for the holes.

      Something is definitely wrong.

      • Keerthi Kamath says:

        oh wait, so Dan’s team mate had killed the deer?

    • Alec Winwood says:

      Mad Cow Mania – the Facts Words 280
      By Alec Winwood

      Target In centre of cross-sight. Breathe in and hold breath. Gently squeeze trigger and…BOOM!
      A perfect shot and another mad deer bites the dust!
      “Hunting we will go, to get every mad cow and doe.
      Deer that dance and cows that prance – it’s time for both to go.”
      The experts said this plague would spread to the dear little deer population and they were right.
      Get them best at night, they said. Light a fire to attract then …then DO NOT MISS.
      Okay, I know it’s sad. Sweet little things and all. But it’s them or us. Yes the Mad Cow disease will get us all unless we move first. So there’s another gone. Up to Mad Deer heaven. I hope.
      Sometimes this job feels a mite messy. Especially around Christmas and all. I mean what would Santa say about what we do to the likes of Rudolf and co? I don’t expect he’d want to shower us with presents. Do you?
      And another thing: what ab out the movie, The Deer Hunter?
      Wasn’t that something. How they take on the Viet Kong and all! Terrific!
      Well what about it? This time it was an actual dear that get it – zing and ping – you almost hear the bullet go zing and ping. Hear anything?
      We should forget the cow. After all that’s where it all started.
      The mad cow jumped over the noon, saying see you’ll again real soon. Some hope!
      And then all those cowboys. What will they do with now cows to round up ? Anyway…
      That’s enough about and mad cows and deer…

    • He always wondered how his farm animals mysteriously disappeared, there was no traces of forced entry on his farm or the stable or cattle ranch. He was not the only one other farmers complained of missing cattle or sheep as well. Therefore, one day he decided to investigate, he carried his riffle and equipment’s for building a fire and decided to camp on top of the hill on his farm, he took one cow with him. He saw a deer and shot it for his dinner. He started a fire and he sat near it. All of a sudden there was a massive cloud which opened up and he saw a planet he had never seen before. He was scared and stood up and walked slightly backwards, flying saucers were leaving the strange planet and coming to earth. A large flying saucer was above the cow and he had come with, he had a shocked expression on his face as he saw the flying saucer take his cow, The flying saucer did not take the dead deer. After an hour, all the flying saucers headed back to the strange planet. This was one story he could not wait to tell the other farmers.

    • He always wondered how his farm animals mysteriously disappeared, there was no traces of forced entry on his farm or the stable or cattle ranch. He was not the only one other farmers complained of missing cattle or sheep as well. Therefore, one day he decided to investigate, he carried his riffle and equipment’s for building a fire and decided to camp on top of the hill on his farm, he took one cow with him. He saw a deer and shot it for his dinner. He started a fire and he sat near it. All of a sudden there was a massive cloud which opened up and he saw a planet he had never seen before. He was scared and stood up and walked slightly backwards, flying saucers were leaving the strange planet and coming to earth. A large flying saucer was above the cow and he had come with, he had a shocked expression on his face as he saw the flying saucer take his cow, The flying saucer did not take the dead deer. After an hour, all the flying saucers headed back to the strange planet. This was one story he could not wait to tell the other farmers.

    • Dear Spartacus,

      Finally, my painting is done.

      “A suburban dad who does peyote mushrooms at a PTO Fundraiser to shake up the suburban stiffs in his town.”

      But will it win the “Be A Creative Dad Contest” being held in the local library community room?

      Not so sure, once I mention the subject matter during the bread pudding bakeoff.

      Damn. I not sure why even try to fit into this dumb sleepwalking outpost.

      My wife insisted we move here from Bali after our second son, Olaf, was born. She wanted him to have an American education in a small town. So, we moved to Idle, Kansas. I loved being an expat, sitting in tiki bars all day drinking Mai Tais and playing shuffle board when not cast surfing for jellyfish.

      Golly, it’s so backwards here its frontwards.

      Anyway, I didn’t even know I could paint until I saw a poster nailed to the local bait shop worm spinner, “Painting class for reluctant painters.” I signed up and well the rest is history.

      I have to win.

      Why?

      Because my wife recently won the local Idle Suburban Idol Contest. She sang “Dim All The Lights” just like Donna Summer. No, make that better than Donna Summer. Donna Summer on Peyote.

      We are a competitive couple and I simply have to beat her. This is my chance. The winner of the painting contest gets to be mayor for a day this summer.

      She’ll be so jealous of me. And that’s the way I like it. If I can’t surf, I can at least rule over this small minion of idle minds for a day in July.

      Anyway, if I send you the private link for town residents only, can you please vote for me in the on-line survey and send it to your closest 300 friends? No more than that because Idle only has 1450 residents and it might look suspect if I have more votes than residents.

      Thank you!

      Thomas Mertonson
      Idle, Kansas

    • Jenea Baenre says:

      “Well I’ll be damned…” Corey muttered to himself as he stood there dumbstruck as he watched a cow being lifted into the spaceship. He had heard the rumors before around his sleepy town, animals being abducted by aliens, but not once had he actually seen it for himself, until now.

      He had gone hiking along the trail just a few hours ago and had finished eating beside nice, warm fire when he saw the lights first, then heard the sound of a spaceship. He stood up and turned around in time to see a cow, that had been grazing quietly a few minutes before, being lifted up into the spaceship,

      He didn’t have his cell phone on him to call his friends, or anyone else for that matter, and he didn’t think to invite anyone along because he needed some peace and quiet.

      That didn’t happen.

      He leaned against his rifle and watched as the cow struggled to get free. He didn’t move to help, couldn’t think of anything to do that would help, so he just stood there.

      The cow lifted his head and glared at Corey. Corey blinked.

      “Eat more chicken, for the love of all that is divine, eat more chicken” the cow yelled out. ” I curse you, human for not helping”

      Corey blinked again. Yep.. This was going to a scotch night.

      • “Eat more chicken” and the last line about scotch night.

        I don’t know whether intentionally you wanted it to sound a bit funny, because that’s what I found it to be.
        The cow speaking could make your story sound cliche but that didn’t happen for me. It sounded okay.

        Simple and easy.

    • RT says:

      Sitting 45 miles from nowhere in the cold warmed only by a make shift fire, he waited. He hoped tonight would finally be the night. As he cradled his rifle, his thoughts focused on the goal at hand. Tonight the most important question of his life needed to be answered. Is he right or is he simply crazy?
      He checked and double checked his rifle. Yes, loaded. Yes, ready. What if it fired perfectly and hit its mark to no avail? Then what?
      He tried to erase all doubt from his mind. He reached his hands out toward the fire. All he had to do was look for the signs. He had learned that his prey had certain habits. He thought these habits would lead to his success.
      As the full moon came from behind the clouds its light revealed what appeared to be a dead deer. It was a sign! The prey’s habits would be its undoing.
      He stood putting his rifle against his shoulder and ready to fire. He pointed his rifle at a sound that once he focused he found to be a cow. Yet another sign!
      He cocked his rife and aimed at the cow. He moved away from the fire until he was clocked in darkness. His rifle followed the cow as it lumbered around.
      Suddenly the cow was engulfed in white light. He tried to keep his rifle steady as the cow slowly left the ground. He knew he may only get one shot. He squinted to stave off the light as he pointed his rifle toward its source of the light.
      Finally the moment was here. The saucer shape hung in the air. He aimed and fired. His aim was true and the bullet hit the cow in the temple ending its suffering. He tried cocked his rife for a second shot, but it jammed. Try as he might the rifle was useless.
      As the cow floated up into the saucer he knew he did the right thing. However he still was not sure if he was right or simply crazy.

      • Lisa says:

        That was a great read ! It left me wanting more.

      • Susan 7 says:

        I love this. It is very good as it gives you the pre-story as well as the current one. I wonder what will happen next.

      • Steve Strope says:

        After reading all the stories I kept coming back to this one. I love that is does not give every detail and allows the reader to fill in the blanks.
        The “Is he right or is he simply crazy?”, “not sure if he was right or simply crazy” are great examples.
        You can see “right” as correct in knowing the saucer would come or you can see right as doing the right thing with his shot by putting the cow out of its misary.
        Also simply carzy is about what he is planning as it is carazy to take the shot and risk your life.

        And was the “prey” the saucer or the cow?

        I would love to see more as I like this style of writing. Excellent job !

      • Melba says:

        I thought I knew where it was going and then it went somewhere else. It was subtle and made me think.
        It was like an episode of Twilight Zone (which I love) and it surprised me. Excellent !!

    • Ralph says:

      On a cool evening, I was having my dinner under the silver moon when suddenly I felt my head going wild. I saw my food brightening up. This is the first that has even happened. My legs wobbled and unconsciously I lifted up my head and look at the source of the light. Round and bright. What is it? I heard a gunshot. Not far from me I guess. But it seems to be far, it echoes… I can’t tell for sure, I have dull ears anyway.

      I got my head back to my dinner…

      A man was watching me.

      I couldn’t see him but I knew he was watching. It didn’t seem like a hunter’s graze, no. It’s a set of empathy eyes. Why is he watching me this way?

      Heck, better to finish dinner. It’s not everyday that I have such an abundance of food.

      The light was still on me. Unwavering. And then it got stronger. The light intensified. But there’s no heat, no pain, not even a trace of discomfort. In fact, I felt a sense of serenity, like an envelope of cotton.

      My dinner left my mouth. My legs left the ground. My mind wondering where the light will take me. Am I in safe hands? Will I die? Will I get more food?

      Never mind, for the first time in my life I am light.

      • Yours is the first story that is written from the POV of the cow. I liked it. It is different and the cow’s determination to finish his meal certainly makes the reader crack a smile.

      • Keerthi Kamath says:

        This one’s truly amazing. Satire. Depth. Good read. Thank you!

    • Matt says:

      Clouds issued and light dazzled, blue and bright and not at all earthen. When they ebbed, they revealed their source: a giant sphere, perfect, sculpted, like a moon made of glass. Brent checked his watch: 12.01am.
      Hours earlier he’d built his fire, set down his mat, unshouldered the rifle and gone to sleep. But a crash, a quake, and he was awake again. Now the trees that had been here were gone; tufts of grass were all that remained.
      That, and the sphere.
      He rose from his mat and started forward, rifle to bear, the safety of his campfire crackling behind him: it was the only sound. Each step he took was less certain than the last, and he thought of home, of dreams: if this were real, what was he to make of it? And shouldn’t he be moving away from the sphere and not, well, towards it?
      Perhaps in answer, he heard a noise, like a thousand hydraulics jittering into motion, and froze. A beam of light, thin like a laser, pulsed up from the sphere, through the roof of night and beyond. And then it disappeared. The sound, too, died out. Brent looked up: the sky, once dusted with stars, teemed with a dozen… a dozen what? Spaceships?
      A dream, then.
      But it didn’t feel like a dream.
      They scattered in all directions, moving so fast that he saw only the blurs of their movement. Where, he wondered, were they going?
      He didn’t wonder long. A light fell over him, blue as that sphere, and in his bones a new sensation: gravity losing its hold. He looked up, breathed a curse, tried to run, but running got him nowhere; his feet weren’t touching the ground. He cocked the rifle, fired, but the bullet bounced off with no effect. The thing grew closer, the night colder, and he cursed, prayed, tried – god-dam-it – to swim through the air!
      He had one bullet left. If this was a dream, he was about to find out.

    • Casper says:

      “God dammit, turn my back for one second and there they go again.” Seth said, gripping his gun, twirling it into position, furrowing his eyebrows. “No one steals my meat bags and gets away with it. Kitty get the damn grenade launcher quick!”
      Kitty hopped into action, taking aim and firing at the foreign spacecraft. The sheer power trembling through her small frame caused her to fall on her ass. “Ouch, guess I didn’t think things through.”
      “….Kitty.” he said. “I think you blew up the cow.”
      she scanned the desolate field for remains and winced at the bits and pieces scattered about. “Oops.”
      The aliens space craft swooped in hovering mere feet away, you could see their sickly small figures through the glass. Laughing their bony asses off. One of them pushed a button making their laughs that much more apparent. “You dumb asses. You blew up your own cow. Bwahahahaha.”
      The other bug eyed alien gasped for breath. “man you humans sure are something, millions of years later you still don’t how to shoot. Talk about slow.”
      Seth and Kitty twitched with rage and humiliation they shared a long sideways glance acknowledging what had to be done. Seth smiled conveying an intimate meaning and Kitty nodded in agreement. Everything had fallen into place. For once the aliens had been stupid enough to come this close to the ground. Every ten feet within a quarter mile radius they had planted powerful explosives. And the kill switch nestled firmly in Seth’s shirt pocket with on deep breath his hand lingered over the switch as he pulled it out.
      Remembering why taking these bastards down were so damn important. Mother earth deserved to have the juicy tenderness taste of a good steak. And these aliens have all but made them extinct abducting every cow they could find and selling their precious meet across the universe at insane prices. No ….not anymore this ends today.
      Seth flicked the switch with a devious smile gracing his face. “Sayonara mother fuckers.”

    • Melissa says:

      So the old woman was right. His neighbor’s land really IS protected. Venison stew was all Jake’s wife wanted these days. Day and night her cravings became ever more intense until at last, he hardly knew this mild-tempered, compassionate woman he’d fallen in love with. In her place was this . . . God forgive him . . . harpy.

      Couldn’t she be satisfied with beef? Milk? Butter? Cheese? Their cattle farm could’ve amply supplied her needs if only . . .

      No. Venison stew. Venison stew or I’m divorcing you. Venison stew or you’ll never see your child. Venison stew or I’ll . . .

      He’d spotted the doe this morning, just on the other side of the fence. Would Kramer trade the deer? Sell her? She was on Kramer’s land, so it was only right that Jack inquired.

      But no. Kramer wasn’t interested. Has problems of his own, he said.

      “He really leaves me no choice,” thought Jack. “I’ve got to have that deer.” As he passed through the gate to his own property, his thoughts turned to his new shotgun.
      All of a sudden a hand reached out and took him by the shoulder. An old woman stood at the gate on the other side.

      “This land is protected, young man. Protected it is. You’d better not be doing what I see you thinking of doing.”

      And then she was gone. He thought all the stress was giving him hallucinations. One last ditch effort from his conscience to keep him from turning into a . . . thief. Jack hated that word. Vowed that he’d never steal. Not from anyone. Least of all from his neighbor. Especially after his father ran off with ten heads of cattle from a neighboring ranch when Jack was a boy.

      But at nightfall, there he was. On Kramer’s land. Shotgun in hand. Quelling the visions of the old woman, of his father.

      He heard a rustle in the thicket. “Gotcha,” he said. It was enough to flush her out of hiding. Swiftly, gracefully, the deer emerged. Jack aimed. One shot was all it took.

      As he leaned over to scoop her up over his shoulders, a strange flying object appeared in the sky. “No, it couldn’t be,” he thought. Until a beacon of light emerged from its underbelly and cow after cow was drawn up into the light. His cattle. His livelihood.

      Jack’s pulse quickened. His stomach felt like it was made of lead. He tasted bile. He’d broken his vow.

      So the old woman was right. His neighbor’s land really IS protected.

      And this was his price.

    • Rhyne Brown says:

      The drugs and the booze wore off.

      God only knows where LSD, Cocaine and Bourbon – the fuel of a 24-hour mix-a-thon – can take you. This trip was long in my head but I only traveled from the red sofa to the bathroom floor. Looking over my shoulder from the prone I saw the path of destruction.

      The wake was worse than normal. The coffee table was upside down with only two legs remaining. The sweet smell of Jack Black was thick in the air from a puddle creating a tiny pond around the overturned bottle. I guess those who are wasted – waste. The smell of vomit was also in the air – coming from near the toilet area. I guess I missed it in the dark.

      My eyes were unfocused and the head-pounding phase was now kicking in. I put my head back down to the floor but now taste blood in my mouth. I had been bleeding from the nose some of which dripped down my throat and into my mouth – another by product of my chemical excess.

      This was all bad and I would have shot myself to end the misery but it hurt to move any part of the body. I just froze and breathed as slowly as possible.

      Then it returned – the freak-out inside the space between my ears. The LSD part of the experience. Jimi Hendrix –“Are You Experienced” returned to the soundtrack in my skull as fragments of memory began to emerge. Bad trip. Fearful trip. God had indeed returned and I was the last man standing at the end of time. I had the old shotgun but not the courage to kill myself.

      Maybe tomorrow. But I must get sober first.

      • Keerthi Kamath says:

        Hey, where’s the cow?

    • Charles Thomas says:

      One-two-three-four-five-six-seven, all good creatures go to Heaven. It was true, Heaven existed, God existed, but all so different from what he had learnt when alive, thought Jack, as he casually watched the cow being absorbed through the narrow strait to join its maker. Soon it will be my turn, thought Jack, a surge of anticipation welling up within him. Soon I get to know the unknowable. Hardly a minute dead from an exchange of gunfire in that zone called Earth in that dimension called Reality, and he already knew so much that was always ever never going to be knowable in that state called Life. For instance, that after death, ALL the living return to God – fish, flies, rats, mice, dogs, cows, petunias . . . Not just humans.

      And God was not a glorified Man – God the Father was a pathetic figment of human imagination. The real God was pure spirit. And Heaven was far from pure – there was sex in Heaven, and gambling, and pot, everything that made life on Earth happy, minus the woes. No money in Heaven, but no debts either. Finally he’d get to know who his oldest ancestor was. He’d get to know if things had started with a big bang, or if that was another fantasy of the living.

      As he stood there waiting his turn to pass through the narrow gorge, it suddenly occurred to him that he was still clinging to his gun. Would he be needing it in Heaven? Surely not! Then why was it still with him now, even in his state of death?

      • Don’t you think your opinion about Heaven would be considered offensive by readers?

        • Matt says:

          It’s an opinion; why should it be offensive?

      • Keerthi Kamath says:

        I liked the description there. The way you related things on earth to that in heaven. It may or may not be true. It may or may not be offensive. But the direction of your imagination and thinking is quite unique. I, in fact, do agree on certain points you emphasized on. The essence of it is truly undeniable. Well, only if more than 350 words were allowed, I could’ve got more of it.

    • Daniel Selioutsky says:

      One living creature; every day for a year. Once every generation. That was the deal. Today was the last day. I decided to, on this last day, give up my cow. Nothing big, in terms of importance. It wasn’t like the fifth day.
      On the first day I gave up a flower. From my garden. They accepted it.
      On the third day I gave up a pig. I loved that pig. Won me a few medals at the fair. They accepted it.
      On the forth day I gave up my wife’s cat. It’s not like she’ll miss the nasty thing. She’s been gone for a year now. They accepted it.
      On the fifth day I gave up my daughter. She was a year and a few months old. They requested her specifically. I fought them on it, but I wasn’t really able to disobey them.
      That was the deal. One living creature a day for a year. Why shouldn’t they be able to make requests? I took her to the desert that night. They accepted her.
      On the sixth day I gave myself. I could be back with my daughter if I give myself. They didn’t accept me. So I gave another one of the animals.
      So today, on the last day, I gave my cow. My last cow. No more farm.
      I could always have another kid; let then do the same things I did. But I won’t. I think the earth’ shad a good run.

      • This is dark. I have mixed feelings about this. I liked the opening line…but when the guy sacrificed his daughter, that was really sad. But after reading this the question arise, what’s the deal about? Why is he forced to make the deal? Why not refuse? What would happen if he refused? Why is he the chosen one?

        Why couldn’t he escape? Was giving up his daughter the only option?

    • Buck knew what was going to happen. He had seen it before, but this time it was different. It was Bessie, his favorite cow. Once the alien ship beamed up Bessie there was nothing he could do except wait. Like the times before it would not be pretty. Buck was a practical man. He knew there was only one thing to do.

      Buck made a fire. Just in case there was trouble from the alien ship, or in case they returned too close and he had a clear shot, he had his rifle ready. Knowing that Bessie would not survive, he vowed as in previous times to do what he must. Just as lemonade is made from lemons, so are hamburgers made from cows.

      Later while chewing on Bessie, a tender, moist, smoky delight smothered in ketchup, pickles, mustard, and lettuce, Buck reflected on the nursery rhyme. It was true. The cow did jump over the moon, but what was not known to anyone but Buck, the cow had help. The alien ship merely dropped the cow over the moon. Whoever wrote the nursery rhyme either did not see the ship, or neglected to tell the readers the truth. Perhaps humans were simply not ready back then.

      Buck wondered if humans were now ready. He could shoot video, he could take photos, but the public would just scoff, say it was all fakes. He knew he would be a laughing stock. After taking another bite he knew what was important, and that was the great taste of Bessie and the others who jumped over the moon. After finishing Bessie, he packed up his supplies and went home, content with the best burgers he ever ate. The world could wait.

    • Gary Sun says:

      The End of Humanity

      Standing by a camping fire, a corpse of a deer, I leaned against an old assault rifle in my cargo shorts and a backpack, gazing motionless at a flying saucer that was beaming up a helpless caw over the barren field. The moon just over the horizon in the backdrop was giving out her coldest light. The land had been destroyed, leaving a few survivors over the other side of the hills. I had plenty of flesh from livestock killed by the alien intruders, but not much veggies that had already been burned into ashes by the alien’s phasor.

      Humanity was at stake.

      Everything happened just three days ago. A sudden fleet of flying saucers overwhelmingly covered the sky during daylight. Without a warning, they appeared in hostile attack. The earth’s defense was defeated even with no chance of launching a fight. I abandoned my truck and run back to home on foot only to find a half collapse house, an unrecognized body of my wife, Jane, and Eric, my son, lying half burnt. The fire burnt through my chest. I was speechless. The pain pounded inside of me. People’s shouting was around me. I fell to my knees. I tasted no tears, but a mouth of the smell of blood. I had bit my teeth so hard that my gum began bleeding. I turned to look around not too much left surroundings. Neighbors were dying or already dead. A few alive looked at me with their tears and nodded.

      Soon, another phasor was sweeping across the area. I ran and jumped into the pool in my backyard. I submerged and stayed against the wall of the pool. When the air in my lung ran out, I pull myself out. The saucer had passed. I grabbed whatever that I could find and started walking toward the mountains. Two days, later, more rounds of phasor sweeps fired by the saucer. And, now, I was standing here and witnessing the dying humanity.

    • Willow says:

      The fire was still burning but it wouldn’t be long before it burnt out. When that went it would be the last sliver of humanity that would also be gone. Replaced by a harshness that was enough to chill anyone to the bone. He stood there, gun resting on the ground, staring. How had it come to this? Although he didn’t want to look he did, faced with the sight that had once filled him and everyone else with awe and wonder. The moon loomed in front of him, closer and larger than ever. The tug was also more apparent as if the entire planet was under the spell of the planetary object.

      And of course it was. The tides were chaotic and his beloved city was no more. So he had done what many others had done and fled inland.

      What others had done …

      The others that were no more.

      Was he alone? Of course he had no way of knowing. At first he had found reassurance in the comfort of the others but soon the real cause of the shifting satellite became clear. It was not a natural occurrence but fuelled by the real threat to humanity’s existence.

      The sickness came first as the insanity spread. Friends turned on friends, strangers turned on strangers. He now knew where it came from and had become adept at hiding. Now it seemed he was the only one left.

      He wasn’t sure what scared him the most. That he might succumb as the others had or that he was the only one left. Surely that would send him insane just as the sickness would? Perhaps it would be a relief anyway? The instinct of self-survival which had sustained him was fading and he didn’t hide as much as he had in the past.

      Now, he stood. Watching. The ships had come again and were taking their ‘samples’. The fire had been an act of defiance.

      I’m here. Come and take me. The very heart of me has already gone.

      • I enjoyed reading the first paragraph. The description about the surrounding and what has happened sounded very real.

        Good job!

    • Andy Swindells says:

      Never bite off more than you can chew, that’s what I was brought up to believe. It’s a shame the invaders had never had that lesson. I also know the value of knowing thy enemy. The first sightings of the aliens were a mixture of celebration and scepticism here. I was automatically on point, my job as a soldier come pest exterminator and guardian of the flock, made me that way. I had to protect the town and its cattle from whatever tried to feed on them on a daily basis, this new threat was a challenge …even to me. I watched as they took the cow into the craft, via the beam method, I had the spacemen, or whatever they were pegged as cowards, too detached to get there green hands dirty. I had waited and watched as they took the solitary bovine that I had left grazing in the valley; it didn’t take long for them to take the bait. I had the all-terrain land cruiser at the ready.
      The organic beacon implanted into the cows brain, led me to the mother ship. It had chosen its hiding place well, residing in an inactive volcano situated deep in the Garra desert. My night vision goggles served me well as I descended down the smooth walls, moving silently without fear. My life was forfeit many years ago, after seeing the first wave of invaders wipe out ninety percent of human life on this planet. My wife and children were taken from me, whilst I served with the Tre-a-Tet colony special armoured division, far away from the town, naively protecting them from terrestrial creatures that had seemed like small fry compared to the aliens. It’s bizarre how the long-time feuds and petty tribal grievances have just taken a back seat under this real threat of global extinction.
      The first octopus-like creature looked startled, as I pulled the trigger, decorating the walls with its ink coloured brains. The second and the third alien became head counts in the quest for justice. They were used to dealing with cattle…I was no sheep!

    • HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE

      “Well shit, looks like HQ had it right – but, I didn’t sign on for clean-up work, so …”

      There is an authority in the man’s stance, even as relaxed as he is watching the cow being beamed back to earth from a space-ship. Some guys wear their clout effortlessly; he’s one of those.

      But, he’s pissed all the same. Hired to decimate the cow population – especially those pesky “jumping over the moon” types – he’d mowed the lot of them down in short order, hours before. Now it seemed, one was being returned to earth like faulty merchandise.

      Still, he admits to himself, he must’ve had a sense things weren’t right. It wasn’t like him to stick around an area once a job was done, and this time, he’d decided to spend the night – built a bonfire for Chrissakes – settled down and actually nodded off.

      Like any military type— he was former Special Ops—he never actually slept. Silent as ships tended to be, he sensed its presence before it was visible and was on his feet and waiting by the time the doors opened and the bovine appeared in the beam. He hated to admit it, but that did take him by surprise.

      For one thing, when he killed something, he thought it was dead. Dead-dead, not scooped up by aliens, even though there’d been some scuttlebutt about ships being spotted lately. And the HQ text message he received, as he was getting to his feet, about “one more cow to do”, did not exactly prepare him for this.

      As he stood watching the bewildered-looking animal seemingly float down to earth, he had to admit – the whole idea of putting down a herd of bovines that couldn’t stop jumping over the moon … well, that alone was weird.

      As soon as the cow’s hooves touched the ground, the beam disappeared, as did the ship – soundlessly; just gone. Both man and animal stood staring at each other; it would be hard to say who was more befuddled.

    • John says:

      Boom!

      The shot from the rifle almost buckled John’s knees. He felt the warm trickle of blood run down his nose, a tell-tale sign that his eye had been too close to the scope the moment he pulled the trigger.

      His first order of business was not to dress the deer, which had fallen before the first drop of blood passed Johns eyebrow. His first priority was to build a fire.

      John knew fire had kept other lost hunters alive, he hoped it would do the same for him.

      As soon as the blaze began to deliver its life-saving warmth, John picked up his rifle, intending to process his kill. He took one step towards it and suddenly, directly across the small draw from the fallen animal, came a whir.

      The sound was as frightening as it was foreign to John. But the fear of the sound was nothing compared to the panic he felt shoot through his spine when he saw its origin.

      A cow, floating ten feet off the ground, under a blue light, erased any sense reality for John. Weary and wobbling he ran, relentlessly over the hill.

      The cattle transport truck operator turned off its whirring engine just in time to watch John drop his rifle in a dead run, away from the truck. As the calm and quiet cow chewed a mouthful of delicious grain, the harness holding it swung hypnotically back and forth, under the calming and silent blue light.

      “Second time this week,” said the operator, nonchalantly as he started his engine and added the happy cow to his cargo.

      • Daniel Lukin says:

        Nice- reminded me of the scene in close encounters where the crowds are waiting for the ufo flyover. Then they see the lights coming and get ready to wave as our aliens turn out to be a helicopter.


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