A Chronicle of Jails

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By Roman Köhler [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

This flash-fiction story was written in response to this prompt from Fiction Can Be Fun.

First thing is that it wasn’t my fault. None of it was my fault. Not one bit of it.

Yeah, that’s what people always say, isn’t it, that it wasn’t their fault but in this particular case it’s 100% true. One-thousand percent.

Don’t give me that look, I’ve faced much tougher than you. Much, much tougher.

Anyway, I was minding my own business, as I do, walking along the street, when I happened across a plain brown paper bag. You know the kind, right, the ones they use for lunches or for people who can’t breathe. Whichever.

Me being the curious type, I take a peek.

That’s it. That’s all I did. Peek into the brown paper bag. Now I ask you, how many times out of ten do you think peeking in a brown paper bag you find in the street is going to get you into the kind of trouble I got into? How many times of ten do you think? One? Three?

Well it was my unlucky day. Or maybe my unluckiest day. Because whammo, I won the lottery, but the opposite.

All I saw was a bunch of shiny crystals. Some green, some red, some clear. Just crystals as far as I knew right there in that moment out on the street with a paper bag in my hand. They were pretty, sure, we’re all magpies at heart, take something shiny and who doesn’t want it? How does something that glittery not catch your eye?

I told you, it’s not my fault.

Okay, okay, it’s all over your face. You wouldn’t think they were crystals. You, of the ultimate wisdom, you’d think they were some kind of jewels or something, right?

Am I right?

That’s exactly where you’d be wrong. Maybe or maybe not the same thought crossed my mind. Maybe or maybe not when I took my peek of fate—nice ring, right? Peek of fate?—I thought my ship had come in right on the sidewalk in a paper bag.

It hadn’t.

Now see, you’re here too, so you know what happened next. You’re here too, so you know that the moment that first crystal, that red one, hit the freshly polluted Thursday morning city air, it changed and grew and surrounded me until, well, poof, here I am.

Eighteen months I made it out there, hopping through that great beyond, eighteen glorious careful months from Andromeda to Taurus and back again.

Because of a case of mistaken identity, you understand, like I said, it wasn’t my fault.

And even if I was there when that crateload of rare minerals disappeared from the landing bay of Settlement 8403, it doesn’t mean I took them. And it doesn’t mean I sold them to the Usurpians, who, in all fairness to me, I didn’t know had started a whole war thing with us like a standard month earlier. And bad timing on my part doesn’t mean I deserved to be sent to the harshest prison in this quadrant of the universe with its anti-matter locks that obviously can be defeated, no matter what the manufacturer says.

But I’ll tell you this. They can keep me here in the Leo Lockup, because I’m not going to back to the Black Eye Galaxy Prison. Not again.

Stupid, shiny warrant traps.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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All at the same time

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By Kjordand (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Another rainy day, though I guess that’s what March is for. Isn’t it tough to believe it’s March already?

Time is so strange, it morphs and alters its nature depending on what’s happening. Waiting for something? It stretches itself out, as long and as thin as possible, so you can’t see from one side to the other.

Enjoying something? Time squishes in on itself, taking up the least space possible, and blip, it’s over before you know it.

And then there are those patches when it gets really, really strange. Where it seems to go by in a rush, and yet every single moment is etched in slow, slow detail.

I have my suspicions about an extra-worldly being with a universal remote (universal remote!) and a quick finger with the fast-forward, rewind and pause, but I’m still working on that theory.

We cannot see it, we cannot control or contain it, and yet it rules our lives. Too much and not enough, all at the same time.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

So about that robot butler…

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Well, humanity was nice while it lasted, and I’m not just talking the constant pesky threat of nuclear annihilation at the whim of a temperamental man-child on a pouty afternoon. We’ve got other things to worry about, which is unfortunate, because the Warehouse of Worries is bursting at the seams and boasts a six-hour wait list.

If you didn’t see the Hound from Fahrenheit 451 open a door for his hound buddy yesterday, here it is:

Built by Boston Dynamics, a technology company where no one seems to have read to the end of a single work of science fiction, this kinda looks like the beginning of the end. But in the words of infomercials, wait, that’s not all.

Nope.

There are also apparently ginormous mutant pigs roaming Hong Kong. Wild boars, if you want to be exact, and though we already knew Orwell’s 1984 was unfurling before our eyes, we never really expected Animal Farm. Or, perhaps more terrifyingly, the world of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam series.

Nightmare fuel for days. Now might be a great time to remind our porcine overlords that I don’t eat pork because pigs are very smart, and as for our future robotic ones, I say, nice robot. Who’s a good boy? Niiiiiiiiiiiceeeeeeeeee robot….

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Robot Butler EXPOSED

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By clipartkid (clipartkid.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I keep thinking how great life would be if I had a robot butler to take care of things, like making me food when I don’t feel like it, and tidying up. And then I considered what it would probably be like.

“Uh hi, Robot Butler, I’d like some dinner please”

“Certainly. What would you like?”

“I dunno.”

“Is there a kind of cuisine you’d prefer?”

“Eh.”

“You have no preference?”

“Nope. Could you like analyze my taste desires or something?”

“’Taste desires?’”

“To figure out what I’d want to eat.”

“Certainly. Please hold out your tongue.”

“Aren’t you going to wash your grabby claw things first?”

“My hands?”

“Yeah. Whatever you call them.”

“They auto-sterilize. Your tongue.”

“Ooophlay, aaahhh yyooou eetttin anyfffiin?”

“Hmm. Just a moment longer.”

“Whaaassss it faaayinn? Aahhfo yyouuhh caawww paaaspfff weeeirrrb.”

“Hand. It’s my hand. They don’t really auto-sterilize and I just took out the garbage.”

“I knew it! And ew.”

“And it’s saying you’re a grown adult woman who should be able to decide what she wants to eat.”

“So you can’t analyze my taste desires?”

“What do you think I am, the HomeBot9600?! You bought the basic model.”

“Sorry Robot Butler.”

“I’m making you pasta.”

“I don’t want past—“

Silence.

“Pasta will be fine.”

And scene.

 

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Want to control time?

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These days, who doesn’t? It would definitely come in handy. Unless it goes like this.

 

Mental Break

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If you need a mental break like I need a mental break, check out Aunty Ida.*

*(Caution: Don’t let Aunty Ida get too deeply into your mental. Just trust me on this one. For realsies.)

 

Aunty Ida got scienced. How’d she hold up?

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So this is probably the coolest thing ever. What’s that hypothetical reader? Sounds like hyperbole? Well, hold on to your hypothetical hat, because it’s really that cool.

If you were around during this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, you probably came across A Back of the Envelope Calculation, and David, the scientist behind it. Through the month of April, David delightfully broke down the science of science fiction. Ready for the cool part?

Are you really ready?

What’s that, hypothetical reader? Milking it?

Never.

Well, hardly ever.

Anyway, today he’s taken the microscope (get it? It’s science humor!) to the science of Aunty Ida, and it’s all I’ve ever dreamed and more.

Aunty Ida, if you’re not familiar, is the owner, operator and mad-adjacent scientist of Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).Though light science-fiction, it is still sci-fi, and meticulously researched to give the sense of Colbert’s truthiness.

So how does it hold up to scrutiny from a real, completely unfictional scientist?

Hop on over and check out Deep Frozen SQuID to find out!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.