Old Bob dismounts from his hand-built motorcycle. He tugs down on his leather vest until it meets up with his pants and turns to face the twenty or so people gathered out front of the waffle truck parked in the desert.

“Hello everyone, and welcome to the inaugural meeting of the Rocket Angels Motorcycle Club. Not gang, mind you, as that name indicates some sort of criminal type activity, as you are well aware.”

“I thought we were gonna do crimes.”

“Shut up, Percy. We will do no such thing. We will simply provide — security at the Earth drop sites, in exchange for a proper percentage of the haul, that’s it.”

Old Bob is not really old, just kind of worn. He’s got a salt-and-pepper braid down his back and a scruffy goatee. The group he is addressing are sitting on or standing next to a wide array of improvised vehicles, most of which have two wheels. Some of them have three or sport a sidecar or trailer. A couple of the bikes hover.

“We may have to do some crimes, you know, to establish that we mean business,” Percy says. “It’s part of the rules of the road, if you know what I mean.”

“Percy,” Old Mike says, putting up a finger, “do not use this club – not gang – as an excuse to do crimes. We will not come bail you out of whatever makeshift jail you get yourself into.”

“You’re about as much fun as a wet rock,” Percy says.

Old Bob pushes Percy’s shoulder, hard enough that Percy and his bike tip over. He leaves Percy there, struggling with his arms and legs like a bug.

“We’ll need some technology,” Old Bob says, “to detect the Earth drops and their contents before they come down.”

“I know a guy,” someone says. “He’s the pilot of this piece of junk airship.”

“Okay talk to your guy,” Old Bob says. “I guess that’s it for now, everybody’s invited to my place later for hot dogs and beans. I’ll send you the coordinates as soon as I get myself settled.”

“I’ll make us patches for our jackets.” This statement comes from a tiny lady who goes by the name of Mavis. She’s got to be eighty, white hair piled atop her head. She’s also got the nicest bike of them all – chrome, leather, a real beauty. She carries a kerchief tucked into the front of her shirt, which she regularly uses to wipe away impurities.

“Thanks Mavis,” Old Bob says. “See you all in a few.”

The group disperses, leaving trails of dust in all directions.

Except Percy, who takes a little longer.




Written through tears at the loss of our dear Mr. Nimoy.



I am going, but I am not bold.

I did not come here of my own accord. I was brought here, conjured up and created through the acts of infinite others.

Just like you were, by the way. Don’t be proud.

We are that young frontiersman breaking up the hard Western dirt with his spade.

And the girl in the basement, secretly practicing her reading and writing.

The old violinist looking up at the stars.

My journey – our journey – is icy and silent. The light, thin and weak.

I packed heavy for the trip. Mathematics and equations and endless hours of thinking. Metal. Foil. Gears and microprocessors. Atoms and molecules. Trajectories and fuel cells. Hard-won degrees. Coffee.

And dreams.

I am hope.

Hearts beat fast and frantic in the control room. I unfurl my landing gear and come down hard on the dirt.

Eyes peer through my lens at a panorama of another world.

I am you, and you are me. The instructions to make us have always existed, and always will.

Thank you for learning, even if you were not encouraged. Especially.

Thank you for looking up at the stars.

Maybe I am bold. Maybe we all are.


The challenge: 200 words +/- 10, photo of ship in sand dune, include “man vs. nature.”

Written for Flash! Friday Fiction. Do go over and read the entries. They are lovely every week.


“See? Here’s the slide with your DNA. Take a look.”

Darby hands a glass slide to Agent Millman, who installs it in the nearest microscope. He leans down and makes some adjustments with one hand while aiming the eyepiece with the other.

“You know your way around lab equipment,” Darby says.

“It’s a requirement of the job. I do a lot of sifting through evidence,” Agent Millman says. “Some evidence is very small.”

“I see,” Darby says. He pours a cup of tea from a hot plate at one end of the long workbench. Glass vials line the shelves on the wall. There are several skylights, which spill uneven grey Scar City light into the lab. Darby relies instead on ornate, green-hooded table lamps stationed at intervals throughout the lab.

“What am I looking at here?” Millman asks. His blond ponytail falls over his shoulder as he leans in.

“That’s a bit of deterioration there, in the cells,” Darby says. “I spotted it right away. This is a signature I see a lot with shape-shifting organisms like yourself.”

“Hm,” Millman says, still staring into the microscope. “How far along is this process?”

“Far enough,” Darby says. Edward was right, you need to be careful not to flip gender too terribly often from here on out. Each time you do, there’s — damage.”

“I’m not in control of that,” Millman says. “It just happens. It’s slowing down, but still. I can feel it coming, and then, blam. I’m not in charge.”

“Well maybe I can help you devise a way to be in charge,” Darby says.

“Fine,” Millman says. “Right now, though, I’ve got a case heating up and I have some leads to run after. I’m afraid I can’t stay. But tell me what you need and I’ll get it for you.” Millman straightens and grabs his jacket off a stool, heading for the door.

“You will hear from me,” Darby says.

“Thank you. And,” Millman says, pausing at the door, “tell your Edward thank you, too. Really.” He heads out through the bar.

Edward, out of sight behind a pile of dishes, watches Agent Millman go.



Helen spends some quality time on rooftops. It gives her perspective and lets her separate a bit from what’s going on in her life. In fact, “Silverwood” starts out with her on the roof.

rooftop cropped