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Latest Stories

September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

Autumnal Sonnet

The mist heralds a dreamy, tender Apollonian dawn. I philosophize about wings of hawk or king – sparrow. In amazing grove at the Blue Hours – was born here a fawn. You should adore as well as praise charm such a moony morn. The beauty of world is indeed so…
September 28, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 3: Friendships

The Skirmish - 1991 This was the place to be in the city of Shortland. Anyone who wanted to be someone was there, as was the someone who was known by everyone too. It was a gorgeous hot summer afternoon, on a Sunday. The pub garden was huge, and scattered…
September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

Flower-Like Sonnet

I cherish the dreamy crocus. I love the moony cornflower. I make love to bemused cactus. I affect dreamed daffodil. You are fond of vague elder. You love back a misty dahlia. You dote on languorous heather. You idolize the faint freesia. We prize hazy…
September 28, 2022
Flash Fiction NT Franklin

Smitty Gets Away

Smitty was where he wasn’t supposed to be and saw it all. Diamond Bill and two of his goons roughed up a fella, but it was the boss that shot the fella once in the head and twice in the chest. It was at that time he stopped trying to pry open the back door to…
September 28, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 14: The Proposition

February 2004 Jason was very tempted to go to the ladyboy bar, named 'Jenny's'. The music was always very good, a buzzing crowd, and some stunning looking lady boy's were there as well. He looked up and saw a load of girl's, well men, dancing on poles and…
September 28, 2022
Poetry Paweł Markiewicz

The Flower-Like Second Sonnet

I conceive the brilliant lilac. I build admirable holly. I design pleasant marigold. I constitute pleasing lily. You devise outstanding iris. You discover awesome poppy. You establish fine orchid. You forge an amazing pansy. She forms surprising peony. She…
September 25, 2022
Fantasy Stories Peter Greenhall

Energy, Volume II

Summer 1992 "Mummy, when I see Graham Alexander play football, I see fire inside his stomach. It burns really brightly, it's very nice to see". Hilary could see her daughter picture the image in her mind, completely fascinated by what she had witnessed…
September 25, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series, Chapter 2: The Brookies

September 2000 JJ entered Angie's bar to meet his potential new supplier, in an area of Brookbourne he'd never been to before, called Rippon. He was confident his connection to this guy was safe so he wasn't nervous about the person being an informer, or…
September 25, 2022
General Stories Lawrence Hartmann

God: A Dating App Adventure

“I won’t be hard to miss,” He had said on the phone. Well, He was right. When I got to our assigned meeting place – a Burger King on the outskirts of town – I could see Him from the parking lot: this incredibly bright, white light, there in the corner of the…
September 20, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. RIP.

As you lay you to rest, in your final state, Westminster, UK, The World, Demonstrate, Your purpose, Your sense of duty, Was clear to see, Let's not forget, your family As time ticks towards the eleventh hour of the day, The funeral, The service, Melancholy. A…
September 20, 2022
Crime Stories Peter Greenhall

Naughty Boy Series: Chapter 8. Stamping Authority

 This was it, it was now or never. He knew this day was coming, he'd have to fight 'Big Ryan', the guy everyone said couldn't be beat. They all walked out of his apartment, all serious faced, not knowing if the fight would spill over and some of 'Big Ryan's'…
September 20, 2022
Flash Fiction Ava

Emotional Unstable

IS THERE ANY PLACE THAT I CAN STUDY IN? “Breakfast time.” White toasts with a slice of cucumber, a slice of tomato, half spoon of orange marmalade and a vegan sausage. A boiled egg. Granola with yoghurt with granola with yoghurt with corn flakes. A glass of…

Still groggy from her hibernation chamber, Stacey checked the readings once again on the ship's control panel.She had read them right.

"Tom! Something's wrong."

"What is it?" Tom emerged from the back where he had been checking on the twelve hundred sleeping passengers. His hair was tussled and he still wore his hibernation uniform.

"We aren't where we're supposed to be."

"What are you talking about?" He looked out the window. They were orbiting a blue and green planet with wisps of white clouds that hovered above the surface. "Are we back at Earth?" He thought Earth would be obliterated by now.

"No. It looks like we completely overshot the Plethora galaxy. This planet isn't even in our database." She sat in silence while he checked the computer readings himself. “How are the other passengers?” she finally asked.

"Sleeping, still.”

“There's another problem. Look.” She pointed to the date reading on the centre control screen. “The year is 2390. We slept fifty years longer than we were supposed to. The ship doesn’t have enough reserve power to keep all of us alive much longer. That must be why it finally woke me up."

He looked at the control readings and nodded. "This planet, whatever it is, has an atmosphere and climate similar to Earth’s. Any signs of life?"

She tapped a few buttons and quickly scanned the data that appeared in front of her. "Vegetation and microbial fauna. Fish and mammalian type creatures the size of rodents, but no sentient species."

He thought for a moment, letting his mind drift back to the day they had left Earth. When the alien attack started, he had been tasked with relocating the last remaining humans to a thriving planet where they could survive and repopulate. This wasn’t the planet they had been aiming for, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him from finding a safe home for all of them.

"Land the ship,” he said. “Keep them asleep for now. You and I will check it out." He looked at her and winked. "Try to land us in a spot similar to Cuba. I could use an afternoon on the beach."

#

The door slowly opened and Stacey and Tom stepped exited the ship. The two suns directly above them shon bright in their eyes, causing them to squint. Stacey reached up and closed the solar visor on her helmet. Tom reached up, but instead, removed his helmet completely.

"What the hell are you doing?" Stacey yelled.

"What?" He closed his eyes and looked up to the sky, savouring a deep breath. "We’ve been sleeping for a hundred years. Don’t tell me you’re not at least a little excited to be here." He took another breath and then removed his gloves, unzipped his protective suit and removed a pair of sunglasses from his inside pocket. Stacey stood and stared at him. "Look, Stace, if this is going to be our new home, we need to show the rest of the passengers that we're comfortable here. You saw the readings. Twenty-five percent oxygen, pure water, and nothing dangerous."

She sighed. Tom watched her, waiting for her to make a decision. She remembered the day the aliens had come to conquer Earth. She had been outside, enjoying a sunny day similar to this. Quickly, before she could change her mind, she removed her helmet and protective suit. The warmth felt delightful on her skin and she breathed in the dry, musty scent of the surrounding vegetation.

"I think we lucked out with our wrong turn," he said as they resumed walking.

Stacey had landed the ship on a meadow of green grass and white flowers, similar to the daisies that used to grow on Earth. A hundred metres ahead of them was the edge of what appeared to be an overgrown forest, with pink and purple flowers blooming up the entire length of each tree trunk. To their right was the edge of a pond, and to the left, the meadow continued several kilometers. A thin film of sweat formed on her forehead and she looked at her handheld sensor. 27 degrees Celcius.

"You don't find this a little odd?” she asked. “I mean, we overshoot our target planet by fifty years, and land in a system we've never studied before, at a planet that just happens to be perfect for us, at the exact time when our ship’s life support systems start failing. Don't you think this was just a little too lucky?"

"I think we deserve a little luck, Stace. Besides, it's better than the alternative. Would you rather turn around and go home?"

"No."

“Didn’t think so. You check out the pond over there, and I’ll explore the edge of the forest. Meet back here in ten minutes.”

“Fine.” She turned right and approached the pond. It was small, roughly a hundred square metres, covered in green lily pads and flowers. The light wind made faint ripples on the surface. She wanted to dip her hand in and feel the cool water on her skin, but instead peered over the edge and looked at her reflection in the water. Her long hair was tied back in a messy bun. She tried to look at the details of her face, to see if any wrinkles had appeared during her hundred year slumber, but her eyes instead focused on the reflection of large, fluorescent green eyes peering over her shoulder.

She gasped and turned around. There was nothing behind her, but she felt as if someone had just placed icy cold fingers on her shoulder. It caused her to shiver visibly, despite the outdoor heat. She had seen fluorescent green eyes only once before.

"Tom!” she called. Her heart pounded. “We have to leave. Now!" She ran back towards the ship. “Tom! It's them.They lured us here!" She stopped at the same location they had parted ways only a few minutes earlier. There was no sign of her crew member at the edge of the tree line.

Hoping he was already on board, she turned towards the ship, and froze. The ship’s twelve hundred passengers stood motionless outside the ship, facing her. Their eyes were closed.

“What do you want?” she asked them.

In response, each passenger opened their eyes to reveal twelve hundred pairs of fluorescent green eyes staring back at her.

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