Haiku: Space Invaders

I have just finished reading the War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches, an excellent collection of short stories written from the perspective of many of H.G Wells’ contemporaries and their interactions with the Martian invasion of 1900, as described in his classic sci-fi novel.
Although there were stories from as far apart as Europe, Africa, Russia, China and Alaska there was nothing from Japan. As such, I offer my own comment, using the Japanese haiku and with my humble apologies to Masaoka Shiki, 1867-1902, who would have been a most appropriate author:

~ S p a c e  I n v a d e r s ~

conquering tripods
firestarters in vampire cloaks
humbled by microbes

~ Richard

6 sentence story – Playing to the crowd

As with every morning the old man picked his way along the freshly hosed down cobbled streets to the same spot and arranged his sign and his jar before sitting on the chilly doorstep.

The sun came up over the ruined castle and warmed his face and hands as he unbuckled the bellows of his accordion.He cocked his head and scanned up and down the street, hearing the increasing footfall echoing between the buildings from the old stairway.

The first cruise ship had arrived, so he started his playing.

“That’s beautiful,” said a young woman’s voice as she dropped some coins in his jar.

Looking up whilst playing he smiled graciously at her through sightless eyes.

Accordion Player - Richard Reeve

~ Richard

6 sentence story – #1600

It had started off as a boast, born from a late-night party with his friends, and had somehow mutated into an unstoppable train. At some point he was bound to be derailed; at least that’s what the pundits had opined month after month. But now he had arrived; admittedly by the skin of his teeth, but a win was a win nonetheless. His offensive rhetoric and inconsistent fomenting had made no difference, or had it? He had played a dangerous game and was quite surprised by how far he had been able to rally people’s rage to achieve his aim.

He felt exhilarated as the director called one last time, “We’re ready for your address, Mr. President,” tears welling in her eyes.

160303_Donald

~ Richard

A Story – The Watchtower

People had called him paranoid, and even mad when he had imported the ironworks and spent huge sums of money constructing the watchtower on the edge of his estate. They even went as far to call it his folly and suggest it would bankrupt him. Now, of course they saw that what he had constructed served a purpose, and for that they were grateful. They would soon forget though.
160224_Watchtower
It was only because of the tower that the village was afforded sufficient warning to be saved. Or rather those who had listened were saved. Others, scoffing at what they thought were rantings of a madman, were not so lucky. The bright sunrise and calm sky belied the events of the night before. He had seen the signs of the impending attack and had manned the tower, safe in the knowledge that the silver cage built in the top that that been so costly would save both him and she who was so precious to him, his daughter. When he spied the ghostly riders on the horizon at sunset he sounded the alarm as he had promised to do. After all, they only ever attacked at night, as sunlight was their enemy.

Those in the village who heeded his sign had taken refuge where they could. Shutting themselves into deep cellars and being totally still was the only way to survive. Others, filled with fighting spirit and beer stood little chance. These were not mortal warriors and there was no blade in the armory that could cut them.

By morning the prophecy had passed. They would be safe for another ten generations, although the village would be counting the cost for at least two, and all would be forgotten after five. He wondered if the tower would still be standing when it would be needed again, his legacy for his descendants perhaps…

~Richard

6 sentence story – Retirees

The friends of the wild-haired youth were grinning at him as his high score, which had remained unbeaten all summer, was exceeded by both drivers.

“You’re down to third place!” squealed his annoying younger brother who he was forced to tolerate as a member of his gang under parental duress.

He clipped him round the ear and snarled, “Don’t be cheeky, Jack!”

Turning from the controls, to look him straight in the eyes, the old man softly growled: “You should treat your little brother with more kindness, lad.”

Something in the old man’s scarred face and tone filled him with an odd mixture of shame and fear, and quietened the crowd too.

“Yessir, I will,” he whimpered sheepishly, as he reflexively bowed his head.

160222_Oldies

~Richard

 

Fighting Legends

Last night’s fight was a brutal battle of strength and wits. Although it was fairly matched for the first eight rounds the Blue Bomber was able to drive home a devastating blow to the Red Rocker, the reigning champion, midway through the 9th. Our reporter was able to capture the precise moment from his ringside seat and have this spectacular action shot here for The Evening News Sports Page within minutes…

160217_Boxers

~Richard

52 week challenge: week 7

Week 7: Portrait: Faceless – Tell someone’s story without showing their face.

Ice Queen No More

The night was bitterly cold. So cold, in fact, that it was too painful for her to draw a deep breath. She waited for him inside the building and tried to peer out through the frost covered window. At last she spied him hurrying towards the door. She smiled. Soon they would both be warm.

160215_IceQueen

~Richard

#dogwood52 #dogwoodweek7

6 sentence story – First Words

The neurology team had been working with him closely since the accident had rendered him effectively powerless to communicate. Being able to half blink one eye had been his only way to get his basic needs laboriously expressed to his carers. These novel neurological implants opened up a world of possibility to him through using thoughts to simulate basic muscle movement to control the cursor on a computer keyboard display. They waited eagerly for his first words from his prison in over two years. The letters written to the screen came slowly: H-E-L. What a great start, they thought as the rest of his message was revealed: P-M-E-D-I-E…

~Richard

 

*This is based on a conversation with a friend, TK, who did help to create and develop such a life-changing communication tool, but with a much more positive outcome.

A Story – The Observer

In the field stood the viewer, ready for the tourists to use to survey the countryside. It was well used, mainly because it was sited in such a good position that allowed the paying guests to obtain a panoramic vista of the area. However, in the dead of night, when everyone had left for home, the viewer quietly turned on its own. A faint whir could be heard as a different set of lenses were brought into the optical plane. These allowed the machine to see much further and wider that any human being was able to. Not confined to the visible spectrum, the inconspicuous machine also collected infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths and transmitted the data to its owners sited on the edge of the solar system.

The Observer

The machine was slow and methodical. It was part of a vast network of similar devices that had been working this way now for over 50 years. After all, they were a patient race, which seemed to be more than could be said for the current dominant species of the third rock from the sun…  

© Richard Reeve

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