SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES VOLUME I
Written by D.T.Yarbrough
20 ORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved
YESTERDAY I TURNED 39 . . . . AGAIN. AIR SUPPLY LET THEM BELIEVE IN GHOSTS WHY DO I GET ALL THE LOUSY JOBS? CONSPIRACY THE CREATORS IT'S DARKEST BEFORE THE DOOM MONKEY BUSINESS DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT FOOD LIFE IN THE FAST LANE THE LAST PYRAMID FLIGHT SCHOOL THE FUSS ABOUT FUSION HEALTH CARE REFORM MISTAKEN IDENTITY LIGHT SPEED GUESS WHO I RAN INTO MISSION TO MARS PERSPECTIVE RETURN TO ROSWELL
YESTERDAY I TURNED 39 ... AGAIN
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I'd like to tell the whole story, but I would only have a year to write it and you would only have the remainder of the year to read it. So I will just tell you about the last time around. I've lived for countless years. How many? I lost track years ago. The problem is, since my first 39th birthday, they've been the same year. Over and over again. Of course I don't always do the same things and people I interact with have their lives altered. They in turn alter the lives of others. So it's never quite the same. In the early years I searched for others like myself who might realize what was happening. I spent hundreds of years. Why did it take so many years you might ask? Well, to tell the truth, most of that time was spent in mental institutions. Lately I've been working for research facilities all over the world, trying to find out if anyone was performing temporal experiments; time travel and such. After a few years I was even qualified to work there. For you see, I remember most of what I've learned over the years. The last time around was much like most others. However, I had lost all hope of ever finding out what is causing this. The futility was taking its toll. The day before what should have been my 40th birthday, or my next 39th birthday, I decided to kill myself. Maybe I am the cause of the problem. Either way it would be over for me. I pointed the gun at my head and fired. Yesterday I turned 39 again. If you ask me for words of wisdom and after all these years I surely have some, I would tell you, "Live for today for tomorrow is promised to no one." Let me rephrase that...for I can promise you tomorrows, a year of tomorrows, over and over. But next year...next year is promised to no one. Well, now I know I can't die and that opens up a whole new can of worms. Tomorrow I'm going skydiving. The only question is .... with or without a parachute.
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I can still remember the first time I bought bottled water. I had sworn I would never pay for water. It had always been free, like breathing air. But like many others, I finally gave in. It was convenient. I'd never liked the taste of fluoride anyway. But now they've gone too far. Bottled air. Sure, I know about all the pollutants in the natural air we breathe, but this is taking things too far. They should have cleaned up the air long ago but the damn lobbyists in Washington screwed that up. Well, I'll never buy air! I shouldn't get so excited. I better rest and catch my breath.
LET THEM BELIEVE IN GHOSTS.
Written by D.T.Yarbrough It all started when I was a young child. My father and I would enjoy looking at the white fluffy clouds. "Make me another one," he would say. A few moments later one would appear. A white bunny or a face. My dad and I would watch in amazement as I created all sorts of animal and faces among the clouds. Somehow I could never really control what sort of creature would appear. I assumed this would come with practice. "Can I make some in my room?" I once asked. "That would be very difficult," my father said. He told me how clouds were formed from water vapor when hot and cold airs meet. I tried and tried and finally one night it happened. A white figure appeared floating above my bed. A sudden chill came over me, but I soon remembered that I had turned the room colder in order to make the figure appear. Now that I am older, I hear of people claiming to see the ghosts of dead relatives or strangers. I find it so strange that they don't realize that they caused it to appear. I guess it is best they don't know. Imagine everyone going around changing the weather.
WHY DO I GET ALL THE LOUSY JOBS?
Written by D.T.Yarbrough My name is Johnson. I work for a multimedia broadcasting company. Lucky to have a job the way the industry is going. But I seem to get all the worst assignments. I don't think the boss likes me. In a few minutes I have to go into a meeting where we will receive our new assignments. I saw Roberts and Murphy entering the board room. They had worried looks on their faces. I can't imagine why. They seem to always get the best assignments. I entered and took my usual seat. The boss stood up and called the meeting to order. "You all know the problem. You know when it all began." "Oh no," I thought. "How many times have we heard this?" "We started broadcasting analog TV signals back in 1950. They warned us that these signals were traveling through space and would some day reach another civilization. They said the aliens would invade and kill us all," said the boss. "But we ignored them. Now look at what's happening," he added. "But the aliens never came," I said. "Oh, if only they would. Then maybe we could get distribution rights to all the analog TV programs they are transmitting," he said. "Didn't I hear that TBS was sending a space ship to their planet to do just that?" asked Roberts. "Yes, and we have an undercover agent going along to protect our interests. Weren't you the one selected for that assignment, Johnson?" "Yes sir, but I get air sick. We sent Hawkins." "They won't be back for 40 or 50 years. We have to do something now," said the boss. "PBS got exclusive rights to produce Analog to Digital TV converters. Why didn't you think of that when we were producing Digital to Analog converters, Johnson!" he exclaimed. "That won't last long. People are already buying Analog TVs and bypassing the middle man," I replied. "And who was it that convinced me to dump my stock in that analog TV
manufacturer." "Surely he can't blame me for that," I hoped. "Well, today I have a game plan. Are you all ready for your new assignments?" he asked. "Roberts...You will head up a new division. It's called VOICEOVER TECHNOLOGIES. Design and manufacture a device customers can buy from us and place next to their TVs." "Wouldn't want that job," I thought, smiling to myself. "Murphy... Hire some actors and teach them how to do voiceovers. You should find plenty of out of work actors willing to work cheap." "Poor Murphy...I hate working with actors." "Jefferson...Record every program on every channel until I tell you to stop." "Better him than me," I thought. "Johnson...Learn their language. I want to be ready when the spring reruns begin." "But Boss. I can't even hear their language. It's above audible range." "READ THEIR LIPS, Johnson!"
Written by D.T. Yarbrough "Sir. We believe we have found the reason for your drop in sales. And TV isn't the only industry to suffer. Beer and cigarette sales have dropped dramatically as well as furniture, especially sofas," the researcher announced. "Well, what is it?" "Well, at first we thought it was a coincidence that these sales had begun to drop about the time digital TV transmissions began. However, recently we've been converting all of the old analog programming to digital. As you know some of the older originals have been lost or destroyed over the years." "Yes. And what a terrible loss?" "Well. We went on ebay and found home copies of these programs. 30 mm film and magnetic tape. We began converting these into the new HD digital format. When we looked at the results, each and every one had an image in the upper right hand corner. A subliminal message." "Why didn't this show up before?" "It's only visible in high definition and it wasn't part of the original film. It was imbedded in the carrier wave used for analog TV transmission." "Who is responsible for this?" "No brand names were used. Just generic imaging. We think it involved a widespread conspiracy." "Conspiracy? What sort of images were these?" "Oh, just one image, A man sitting on a sofa with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other...staring at a TV."
Written by D.T.Yarbrough We were almost finished. Another world had been populated. We were preparing to move on. Two years we had been here. I can't say I'll be sorry to leave. Suddenly a knock at the door. "Come in." "Zixnor reporting as you ordered, Sir." "Come in. Have a seat and give me your report." "Well, Sir. We may have a problem." "Problem...with what?" "It's the cats, Sir. They're dying off so fast they can't maintain a workable population." "What's killing the cats?" "Curiosity sir. Curiosity is killing the cats." "Well, take away their curiosity." "It doesn't work that way, Sir. We can't take it back. We can only add new abilities." "Well, think of something fast. We're on a schedule, you know." "We could give them extra lives, about eight more should do it." "Get it done Zixnor, and let's get out of here."
IT'S DARKEST BEFORE THE DOOM
Written by D.T.Yarbrough THIS JUST IN. The European News Agency has just announced the discovery of a black hole. It was found inside the C.E.R.N. super collider. It was somehow created during an experiment performed earlier today. The black hole is presently being contained within the magnetic chamber in which it was created. Enormous power is required to maintain this magnetic field. Usually it is only maintained for less than a second as an experiment is performed. They have assured us that the equipment can maintain the field as long as there is enough power. The black hole is growing at a slow rate as atoms within the chamber, still in motion since the test, are sucked in. As it increases mass, more power will be required. Most of Europe has already diverted all power to the site. Asia will most likely be next as soon as its grid can be connected to the European grid. Plans to connect the North American grid are in the works. All power except emergency and communication has already be shut down to conserve resourses. We have been assured there is no danger as long as the black hole is contained. MORE AT %&$@&#...
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I'd been reading all day. It isn't often you find a stash of books this well preserved. In a couple of days at most I would have to report in and turn over my discovery. The books would of course be destroyed. I'd been interested in archeology since I was a young pup. My parents had wanted me to become a veterinarian. These books were written by a race known as humans. No one can remember what happened to them. Rumor has it they all died from an illness. Some say they were destroyed in wars with nuclear weapons. But then why didn't we die. I am hoping to find some answers. Using my paw, I cleared the dust off another book. A medical journal. This could be interesting. It says here that in the early 21st century, they were doing research on gene splicing and interfacing computers to human brains. I wonder how long ago that was. We don't track time the way they did. The humans believed these experiments would lead to super humans, generations ahead of their present evolution. They must have been afraid to experiment on themselves, so they performed the test on animals. This is interesting. Suddenly I caught the familiar scent of a chimpanzee. What is he doing here? He hardly ever comes out to the digs. He usually prefers to fund the expeditions and watch the money roll in when discoveries are made. How did I get involved in this monkey business? Quickly I scattered dust over the books I had been reading and went out to greet him.
DON'T EVEN DREAM ABOUT FOOD
Written by D.T.Yarbrough As you have probably heard, we're all getting fatter. People everywhere are dieting but to no avail. We hear of foods that speed up the metabolism. We hear of foods that slow digestion. There is no lack of commercials on TV. The internet gives us instant access to any questions we may have about food. Dieting only makes us think about food. Herein lies the problem. We dream about food. We dream of family picnics, holiday get togethers, etc. We dream of younger days when we ate to live instead of the other way around. Subconsciously we get fatter. Only those who obsess about jogging, aerobics or jazzersize can beat the odds. For you see, they dream about exercise.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
Written by D.T.Yarbrough NEWS FLASH UFO caught on photo radar. One million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of driver. The driver had big eyes and small pointed ears. He had a green complexion and was bald and probably male. He looked to be about 3 feet tall. For further information go to www.azphotoradar.com to view the photos. State officials say the reward will be paid after the fine is levied and subsequently paid. This will likely be a record fine, and a warning to all you speed demons. The UFO was flying in the HOV lane with no indication of another occupant in the vehicle. There were no license plates, front or rear, on the vehicle and our data base shows he does not have a valid driver's license. He will also be cited for disrespecting law enforcement. He had long fingers, especially the middle one, which was strikingly obvious in the photo. He was last seen heading north on 51. Sheriff Moe thinks he may be an illegal alien and is concentrating his search in south Phoenix. He was, however, wearing a seat belt and shoulder strap which will weigh heavily with the judge. "I want to see him in pink underwear," the sheriff said in an exclusive interview with this station. More at 11:00
THE LAST PYRAMID
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I believe we have found it; the last pyramid ever built by the ancient Egyptians. The hieroglyphics tell a story of the last Pharoah Queen Cleopatra. She had sworn that no Pharoah would sit on the throne after her. It was widely believed at that time that the Pharoahs had godlike powers. She is believed to have possessed an item passed down through generations that gave them these abilities. I believe the item is buried somewhere within this pyramid. For years I have dug and searched. Tomorrow we are bringing in new technology capable of detecting even the smallest of electrical anomalies, even through many feet of solid stone. I can hardly wait. I'm certain I won't sleep tonight. The following day they arrived with the new equipment. "Set it up at once," I said with a feeling of excitement. "Let me know when you have some results." About an hour later they woke me to give me the news. I had not slept the night before and was catching a little nap. We think we've found something!" they said. "Where?" I asked. "Only a few yards from the Queen's chamber," they said. "Well, let's go!" I shouted. "What are we waiting for?" We entered the Queen's chamber. I had been here many times before. It was empty now. Every item was now in the Cairo Museum on display for all to see. "Which way?" I asked. "That way. Through that wall," he said. "Well. Break it down!" I instructed. We entered the room and saw a box setting atop a marble table. An eerie glow emanating from the box filled the room. A dial on the box was turned to what I guess to be the lowest setting. As we moved closer, objects we were holding seemed to be repelled by the box. Oddly enough, the heavier object, the more it was repelled, actually lifted. One of the others reached for the knob. I immediately grabbed his hand and jerked it back. The knob came off in his hand. I had the strange feeling of being in an elevator. Outside the other members of the dig watched as the pyramid lifted at ever increasing speed and disappeared into the sky.
Written by D.T.Yarbrough Cody was excited. He had just started flight school. The last of his classmates had just arrived. The night was warm with a slight pleasant breeze. The full moon shown brightly overhead. The instructor shouted, "Put on your flight jackets." Cody slipped on the jacket placing each arm into the sleeves. It wasn't safe flying at night, but the full moon would help. It would be even more dangerous to come down to the top of the mountain during daylight. Daytime temperatures even at these altitudes could be deadly. Cody had just turned 15. Some of his classmates were even younger. The instructor began to talk again. "The sensors in your jacket will sense impulses to your muscles and transmit the appropriate signals to the pseudo-muscles in the sleeves(wings) of your jackets," he said. "Watch your breathing. You're not accustomed to the high air pressure and oxygen levels at this altitude." Cody had heard his sister talking about flight school. Since graduation, she had made many trips down here to collect food and water. "Do any humans live here?" Cody asked the instructor. "Humans haven't lived here for almost a century. Not since we moved to the clouds." We didn't actually move to the clouds. Space cities miles above the clouds in geocentric orbit, that was our home now. "Genetic engineering now permits us to thrive in the thin cool atmosphere. More and more we are developing plants that can thrive also. It won't be long until we won't even be able to come down here even during the night. We've started developing ways of extracting water straight from the clouds," the instructor said. "Did all the humans move to the clouds?" Cody asked. "Not all. Some moved to the sea. Well...under the sea," the instructor said. "Okay everyone. Flap your arms...gently at first...until you lift off. The carrier has already returned home so we have to learn this before dawn. You'll all be flying home tonight. No more free ride."
THE FUSS ABOUT FUSION
Written by D.T.Yarbrough It finally happened. Cold fusion. Free energy for everyone. It worked in the lab. They were about to start construction on a full scale plant. Gas and oil prices had dropped dramatically since the news had been released. Coal mines were being shut down. Electric cars were selling like hot cakes. 2 weeks later... There have been some rumors of problems with the EPA. Something about the lack of shielding and other safeguards. Construction has stopped and a new site farther from public areas has to be chosen. Electric car prices skyrocket. Electric appliance prices increase. 2 weeks later... Because of increased projected costs to operate the facility along with cost overruns involved with the construction of the plant, there will be a temporary surcharge for the electricity produced at this facility. 2 weeks later.. People everywhere are switching from gas to electric. Due to decreased revenue from gas and gasoline taxes, the government has proposed a temporary tax on fusion power. 2 weeks later. OSHA is recommending laws be passed to require all fusion power users to install 50 megawatt surge protectors on all household appliances to protect against power surges. These will soon be available at your local hardware stores or you can lease them from your local electric company for a nominal monthly fee. They may only be installed by specially licensed installers. Industrial and commercial versions must handle 500 megawatt surges. 2 weeks later... The government has proposed a temporary tax on surge protectors. 2 weeks later... Electric power producers get court injunction to prevent fusion power from using existing power grids. Fusion producers purchase new Right of Ways. Construction starts on ultra modern grid system. A small surcharge will be needed to pay for this. 2 weeks later... Union operators go on strike at fusion plant. 2 months later... Fusion power finally on line. Costs to customers only slightly higher than regular service. Green power enthusiasts are thrilled.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
Written by D.T.Yarbrough FOR PRESIDENTIAL EYE ONLY On the subject of health care reform, we have determined that people are living way too long. The cost to treat the older generations, 70+ years, is enormous. The drain to medicare is tremendous not to mention social security. The costs for assisted living will be incredibly high. We believe the government, with the help of the FDA, should encourage people to smoke. If we can get them started at an early enough age they will have a reduced life expectancy of at least 10 years. This will means 10 years of medicare and social security moneys not being sucked from our reserves. If we can get the FDA to lighten up a little we could stretch that to 15. The increased taxes from cigarettes can help pay for medicare. We can charge smokers a higher rate for their insurance to cover their smoke related illnesses, just as the insurance companies already do. We believe research should be done to find some health benefits, or we can simply make claims that are hard to disprove. The tobacco execs could help in that area. We also recommend reducing the legal smoking age from 21 to 18. Or maybe 16. From the Office of Economic Advisors.
Written by D.T.Yarbrough Inspector Davison turned to his partner and said, "The suspect was wearing a Mark II respirator. Do you know how many Mark II's there are in the city?" "Far too many to make it an identifying factor. How I miss the days when you could see their faces," his partner said. His partner, Inspector Richards, had been in law enforcement for many years. I, on the other hand, could not remember seeing faces in public. Ever since the Second Hand Germs Law of 2012, people have worn respirators and rebreathers in public. "Well, round up all the usual suspects. We'll have to run traces on their GPS implants to see if any of them were in the area at that time," Davison said. "This could take all day," Richards said. "What else you got to do?" said Davison.
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I could see it was dying. I tried to make it as comfortable as possible. It was obviously humanoid. It was pale grey in color with abnormally large black eyes. It wasn't from around here, that's for sure. "What are you...how did you get here?" I asked. He looked up at me and replied, "I'm from another world many light years away." "Where is your space ship?" I asked. "Space ship...what is a space ship?" he questioned. "A means of traveling great distances through space," I said. "You don't need a space ship. I used a black hole," he said. "I knew it!" I exclaimed. "But how did you survive the tremendous gravitational forces?" "Not that kind of black hole. We call those gravity wells or speed traps. They are the only thing that can slow us down," he replied. "So you travel at light speed?" I inquired. "No. I travel at dark speed," he replied. "Let me try to explain in terms you can understand. You drive an automobile, I assume. And you have been in bumper to bumper traffic. Well, no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. When an opening appears in a line of traffic, a hole so to speak, the line of cars moves forward in unison and the hole instantly appears behind the last car to move forward. While each car moves only one space, the hole moved many spaces in the same amount of time. This is also true with photons in a beam of light. We call these holes black holes." "Why are you dying?" I asked. "I can't survive long in your atmosphere," he answered. "Then why did you come here?" I asked. "It was a mistake. Some child here was playing with a laser pen and pointed it toward my planet. I mistook it for a travel beam to one of our neighboring planets. I wound up here," he added. "Why don't you return home?" I asked.
"I can never return home. You see, the beam has to originate from the destination world. Even the youngest on our planet knows better than to point a laser beam just anywhere into space," he added. I thought for a moment and said, "Alien invasion...you're afraid of an alien invasion." "Darned illegal aliens. They get all the best jobs...They marry your daughter...It's terrible!" he said. "You don't seem to have much time. Can you tell me more about this traveling at the speed of dark?" I asked. "It takes a great deal of mental concentration, but I'll tell you like my guru on Zoltran told me. You just have to 'BE THE HOLE'." With that he took his final breath.
GUESS WHO I RAN INTO
Written by D.T.Yarbrough It was a cool spring night. The moon was full. The trail ahead visible in the moonlight. I had jogged this trail so many times that I knew every twist and turn. In the winter I would have jogged before dark, but the weather was getting warmer. Suddenly I hit something. It felt like I'd run into a brick wall. I sat up and looked around to see what hit me. I couldn't see anything except a few stars circling my head. In a few seconds they were gone, and I could tell I wasn't hurt. I listened. The night was quiet. Not a sound. Not even a breeze. And then I heard a crackling sound. A spark of light appeared out of the corner of my eye. I turned and there was nothing. I continued to stare in the direction I believed both the sound and light had come from. Suddenly the crackling sound and a flicker of light. I got up and walked over to where I had seen the light. There was nothing there. Then the crackling and flickering began again. I could make out the image of a man lying spreadeagle across the trail. He must have been eight feet tall and was covered by some sort of transparent shroud or cloak. I removed the shroud and there he lay quite visible in the moonlight. He was coming around. The moonlight made him look greyish in color. He opened his eyes and looked up at me. Strange eyes. Large and glistening in the moonlight. His ears seemed larger than normal and his hair was shimmering gold. "Oh. Now I've done it," he said. "Done what?" I asked. "Broken directive 1a," he said. "Directive 1a?" "Never to make direct visual contact with humans," he said. "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?" I asked. "I think I'll be fine," he said. "You speak English," I said. "In my job I have to learn many languages," he said. "What is your job?" I asked.
"Forward observer," he said. "I see. And what do you observe if you don't mind me asking?" "Recently I was promoted to human observation. After studying animals for fifty years it's a nice change of pace." "Why couldn't I see you on the trail before I ran into you," I asked. "My invisiblity cloak. I'm embarassed to say that we stole your technology and improved on it." "What were you doing out here at this time of night?" I asked. "Jogging. We need exercise too." "Seems to me you could have found an even more isolated place to do your jogging," I said, "if you're trying to avoid human contact." "Cell phone reception," he said. "Doesn't it get awfully hot jogging in that cloak?" I asked. "Try jogging in a sasquash outfit if you want to see hot," he said. I woke up the following morning. I tried to raise up, but couldn't. "Stay still Mr. Jones," the nurse said. "You've had a concussion."
MISSION TO MARS
Written by D.T.Yarbrough After twenty years the crew was returning to Earth. A two week trip and they would be home again. Home... Mars seemed more like home than Earth. One year later Earth was still wondering where they were. "Sir. Radar shows a ship entering Earth's atmosphere," I said. "What kind of ship?" he asked. "I think it's the Mars crew that went missing a year ago," I said. "Is it following the planned trajectory?" "Yes, sir. It seems to be on autopilot. It should be landing in a hour or so." "Get security. Tell the Joint Chiefs. Alert NASA." An hour later the ship touched down. The crew emerged from the craft and began the descent down the ramp that had just been pushed into place. A locked gate at the foot of the ramp stopped their progress. Security had the ramp surrounded, guns drawn. "What happened to you guys?" I asked. Suddenly one of the crew pushed the gate off its hinges. They all rushed forward at incredible speed knocking the security people aside as they ran with incredible speed into the crowd of press reporters gathered around. In a moment, they were nowhere to be found. "Search the ship. See if the records show us what happened. Security...search the entire base. Find them." The following week I entered the CO's office. "Have a seat," he said. "Tell me what you've found." "Well, sir. As you know, when the crew began their trip home, they were placed in special chambers." "Chambers. No. I wasn't informed of this. But why do you need special chambers for a two week trip?" "Well, Sir. After twenty years on Mars their muscles had weakened due to the lower gravity and they had been out of touch with goings on here on Earth. The plan was to electrically stimulate their muscles increasing the stimuli on a daily basis. They were also hooked up to the internet using a method that interfaced directly with the visual cortex. They were able to surf the web to learn all they wanted to help them catch up with current events. As you know they could not receive the internet within their facility on Mars. The high frequency instruments and such."
"Okay. So what went wrong?" "Shortly after they took off, the engines shut down. They coasted back to Earth. What was supposed to be a two week trip turned out to be a year. The chambers were designed to open upon reentry." "And?" "Their muscle strength must be incredible. Super human in fact." "Super human?" "Well, Sir, you saw them break through that steel gate. And the speed at which they moved. It was incredible." "What about their mental abilities." "Well, Sir. That's where the problem lies. Due to lack of REM sleep they soon became paranoid. Records show they spent most of their time on web sites involving conspiracy theories. Especially those involving them and their mysterious disappearance. Without REM sleep to allow their brains to sort out all the information, it became impossible for them to distinguish fact from fiction." "We have to find them." "That will probably be impossible. We can't use the standard methods. They are aware of each and every one of the standard methods and how to evade them." "Then come up with new ones before they kill someone." For weeks I studied police reports involving unusual occurrences. There had been a series of forced entry break-ins, but all that was taken were food and other daily necessities. I pieced together information on dates and locations of the break-ins and began to narrow my search. As suddenly as they had started the break- ins stopped. Then I got a call from one of the hospitals I had contacted earlier. Four men had been brought in a couple of days ago. They seemed healthy in all regards but were obviously dying. All were in comas and could not be questioned. They had all died that morning. I went back to the CO's office and gave my final report. "So why did they die?" he asked. "Well, Sir. You remember the chambers. Towards the end they were pumping hugh amount of electricity into the crew. Their bodies became accustomed. You could say they died because their batteries ran down."
Written by D.T.Yarbrough I was on my way to the shooting range. I had to stop by my friend's house and pick him up. I knocked and he immediately opened the door. "Come in," he said. "Why aren't you ready, Fred?" I asked. "Something's come up," Fred said. "I won't be able to go with you." It was Fred's turn to buy the ammo. Fred was always pulling something like this. "Here's some ammo," he said as he handed me a box. "What's this written on the box? Ghost bullets. What's that all about?" "Oh, you know my crazy uncle. He left those the last time he came over. Probably nothing to it, but maybe you should ask for the special range. You know how you are when others see you miss a target." Later I arrived at the range and as Fred had suggested, I asked for the special range. I would be all alone there. No assistant to retrieve the target, but that was okay. The range consisted of a hallway about 20 feet long leading into an open range. I stood at the end of the hallway farthest from the target. Several bales of hay were piled up with a target on one of them about 100 yards away. I loaded my weapon, put on my goggles, and began firing at the target. I'm almost certain that the target moved slightly with the impact of the bullets. I opened a door next to the hallway that opened directly into the range. I walked to the target and saw that it was untouched. No bullet holes! How could that be. I went back to my firing position and reloaded the gun. Could they be blanks. It wouldn't be the first time Fred had pulled one on me. Thinking about this I clinched my fist, accidentally discharging the gun. I put a hole in the toe of my new boot. If Fred hears about this I will never hear the last of it. Well, at least I know they're not blanks.
I refilled the empty chamber and put my goggles on. I again fired at the target. I could definitely see it move. I opened the door and started through. I remembered I had only fired 5 shots at the target. I released the door and returned to my firing position. Looking down the hallway I saw one of Fred's friends at the other end of the hallway. He had heard the five shots and the sixth one that destroyed my boot.
Hearing the door slam, he thought I was on the range. He was removing a small target at the other end of the hallway that had been directly in line with my target on the hay bales. I immediately left and headed for Fred's house. I knocked on his door. Perspective is a tricky thing. That little target, 20 feet away had looked just like my target 100 yards away.There are tribes of pygmies in Africa who have no knowledge of perspective. Taken out of their natural environment of thick jungles and tall saw grass where they can seldom see more than a few yards, when they see an elephant in the distance, they may confuse it for a mouse. Fred answered the door. "How did those bullets work out?" he chuckled. Fred had obviously had this trick pulled on him before. "Great!" I said. "I even killed a ghost." "You what!" he said. "Yeah!" I said "Standing beside my target. It was as big as an elephant." "FRED! WAKE UP ... FRED!" I shouted. I left him there on the floor and returned home. When Fred talks to his friend in the morning he will see who got the best of whom. He who laughs last....
RETURN TO ROSWELL
Written by D.T.Yarbrough The spaceship slowly descended and touched down in a clearing in a wooded area. A few minutes later a door opened and two travelers emerged from the ship. They looked around at the lush scenery. A soft breeze was blowing. The silence was unmistakable, the silence of a world devoid of animal life. After taking a few readings with the handheld instrument, one of the travelers turned to the other and said, "I told you so. The radiation has already cleared." It had been two years since leaving their home world. 300 years had passed on this world and on theirs. "Our first scouts must have accomplished their mission," he said. "But how is that possible? They crashed upon arrival," the other questioned. The mission of the first scouts had been to find a world with beings advanced enough to learn our technology. To teach it to them and wait for them to destroy themselves. Leave just before the destruction and report home. When we lost contact after the distress call, we were sent to check on their progress. Our world was now near destruction. Our sun will go super nova in about 2000 years. We were desperate to find a world to colonize. Being a civilized culture we couldn't just murder the present inhabitants and move in. So we sent the scout ship. "Somehow they learned our technologies without the scouts' assistance," said the traveler. "We should report home so they can begin the colonization. I can't wait to see my kids," said the other. "By the time they get here in 300 years, I'll be middle aged." Suddenly they heard a whirring noise overhead as a space ship slowly descended and touched down in the next clearing. They arrived at the clearing just as two aliens emerged from the ship. "We thought this world was uninhabited. Thank goodness we were mistaken," said one of the aliens. "We've run short of fuel. If you can help us we would be glad to teach you about our technologies in return for your assistance." The travelers pulled out their weapons and shot them on the spot. "We may be civilized, but we're not stupid," said one of the travelers.