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Writers Meetup: Short Story Tuesday

Despite, or maybe because of a heavy rainstorm, we had an EPIC turnout!

Hong Kong Causeway Bay writers
My eyes are closed like a real professional

This week we had a lot of new members, some who didn't stick around for the photo op, but this is a really special tradition that I hope we keep going. One of the new members asked me when this all started, and the torch has been passed from leader to new leader since 2016 so, I'm really happy to be a part of this really cool tradition.

Ok, maybe not world peace, but we are coming together

Each week, no matter the prompt, I always find myself challenged how I can try to write something different, and break out of old patterns. This week, I am not sure if I did that, but I will post my story here anyway.

My prompt was simple: Planet. I took it literally (something I need to learn to steer away from) and wrote a story about two scavenging aliens on our post-apocalyptic Earth.

And what if one of the aliens had stumbled across a random piece of Earth entertainment that had piqued his interest?

Futurama Season 2
Lrrr demands Single Female Lawyer!

I hope you like my latest short story!


Crab, Anemone, Barcelona.

Crab Anemone Barcelona

“You’re going the wrong way!” Doran exclaimed, pointing with a yellow pincer at a sign beyond the windshield of their battered atmosphericle, phericle for short.

Their Solar Positioning System had gone haywire again!

Their malfunctioning phericle was the only shuttle their command ship, the ‘Ash Comet’, had available outfitted for post-radiation navigation.

According to the interpritron, they were following the sign that read “100 km to Barcelona”. Additionally, Doran’s pilot, Rakler, knew this was not their intended destination for their scavenging mission.

Rackler the Anemone had a tendency to be a bit bizarre, like he didn’t eat with the rest of the crew, so most of the others and Doran avoided having Rackler as a pilot for this very reason. However he didn’t have a choice in this particular mission.

“We’re not trying to go to Barcelona…we must turn and go to Bilbao! That Guggenheim museum is there!” Doran said using a shelled eyestalk to fix the blinking dot on their phericle’s SPS screen.

The yellow crustacean had no idea what a “Rothko” was, but apparently the item was worth at least fifty thousand lithium dollars. Doran was assigned as punishment to go to the toxic, desert planet of Earth for slurping cosmic sludge on duty, yet Rackler, the strange Anemone he was, had volunteered.

“I didn’t volunteer for this mission to this wasteland planet to only go to that Guggenheim place. I want to go to Barcelona.” Rackler replied, his rubbery teal fronds buzzing through the foreign words.

Doran clicked his golden mandibles in irritation. The anemone finally grew a spine, but now the young crab was already on thin ice with the captain.

“No! It was confirmed to be nothing but glass and rubble! There is nothing of worth there.” Doran pulled up a recent image of Barcelona which looked depressing as his own future in this scavenging outfit.

If he got caught breaking protocol again, Doran would be forced out of the Ash Comet at the next available station, most likely the Andromeda Gate.

Not even Doran’s shell was tough enough to survive that den of ruffians.

“There is something I must do there. If you come with me, just tell the truth and say I forced you to go and turn me into Captain Manta. Or I can let you out here and I can come back and collect you.” Rackler punched a few buttons with his fronds and the escape pod blinked active.

“I have a question, what is worth seeing in Barcelona to get yourself thrown in the brig?” At this point, Doran’s interest was piqued. Call himself a curious crab.

One of Rackler’s ten eyes looped over his way.

“Have you ever watched entertainment media from this planet? DVDs?” Rackler’s voice hummed, and his fronds glowed violet as their phericle cruised over the broken highway.

Doran rubbed his eyestalk with his hind leg, a bad habit he got when he concentrated. He remembered scavenging a container ship filled with delicious flat, circular rainbow-colored discs. The whole crew, except Rackler, crunched the snack up and ate them.

That brand of snack was DVDs!

“I’ve eaten plenty of DVDs that one time. Very delicious with a flat taste.” Doran recalled.

Rackler’s fronds darkened in affront.

“Those were not to be consumed via the mouth, but via the eyes with the proper device. I watched four, my favorite being one called ‘Vicky, Christina, Barcelona.” Rackler explained and Doran just wanted to bang his carapace against the windscreen.

He wanted to go to Barcelona because he saw something in the food?

“I must see this magical Barcelona for myself, even if it is now an irradiated wasteland.” Rackler continued, speeding up their Phiricle.

Doran thought, motioning to stroke an eyestalk but stopped. Going to Barcelona sounded at first like a waste of time, but the longer he spent on-planet, the more he could just be himself because there was no way he was as crazy as Rackler.

And he hadn’t commented on his nervous clacking once.

“Fine, let’s be off, but we can't delay going back to the Guggenheim, or the captain will find out.” Doran agred, clacking his mandibles.

“Noted, thank you. You will not regret this!” Rackler swayed a bit in the driver’s seat.

“Maybe…and we definitely don’t have time to see Vicky or Christina.” Doran added, not wanting the anemone to get any ideas.

“That won’t be a problem, or really an option.” Rackler’s fronds jiggled and he pressed a button on the screen.

Some scratchy video started to play.

“What holo is this?” Doran asked, tapping the screen with his cutting pincer.

“It is the DVD, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and don’t you dare eat it.”Rackler shook a frond at him as the music swelled.

Doran decided that despite how good they tasted, he’d just find something else to eat on the way.


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