Flash Fiction Friday Story: Radio Waves

Amateur Radio, 2011, Field Day, Azgard2274

Amateur Radio 2011 Field Day by Azgard2274 via www.DeviantArt.com

Trapped in the radio. Not the actual device, but the ether, the sound, the waves that carry the message. Lois had been pinging around the world for the last twenty years. She wanted to reform but how?

After she’d been transformed, she tried talking to people. There were more radios then. She could talk to the listeners, overwhelming whatever signal they’d been listening to. All she managed to do was scare the crap out of them. They couldn’t talk back, most radios are receive only.

Ham radio was best. She could hold a conversation with a ham operator but they always thought it was a joke from some buddy. Joke or not, some operators talked with her about how to reform. Waves seemed to be the most likely theory. How to turn her radio wave form into the physical matter wave form? No one had an answer.

“How’d that happen?” was the first question they would ask.

“I was a web radio presenter, working out of my home. My producer worked out of his home four states away. I was in the middle of my show, interviewing an author about her just released book, and, I don’t know. I guess I was really into the conversation. At the end I went to click off but I couldn’t. I wasn’t there any longer.”

“You didn’t notice? You could still see, right?”

“I can still see. I can see you.” That always freaked them out. Every one of them would spin around in their chair and scan the room.

Once they calmed down, brushing the comment off as part of the joke, they’d ask, “Doesn’t your signal die out? Usual radio signals are fairly short range.”

“I guess not. Maybe because I was a human, not an actual radio wave.”

“Have you tried to turn into some other wave, like a microwave or a light wave?”

“I have. Microwave towers are everywhere. I’ve also tried becoming an electron because they are both particle and wave, but I just couldn’t do it.”

Then they go back to my question, “Just exactly did you become a radio wave. Was there a bomb or something?”

“No.” If I had a head I’d shake it. “I suppose I thought myself into this state, I was so involved in the interview.”

This is about the time the majority of operators would get bored with the conversation. They’d get up to go get a beer or go to bed and I would drift away. A rare few would stay and we would talk about how thoughts are things and trying to think myself back to my human form.

I wonder if I talked to a psychologist or physiatrist if they could help me. But in all these years I’ve never been able to reach one to talk to. So, here I drift with less and less human contact because technology and society have changed. There are fewer and fewer receivers or Ham operators. I have found a radio telescope. I’ve been studying its transmissions. It has occurred to me I could hitch a ride out to space. I could be an astronaut, of sorts. I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut.

Today is the day. I’m telling this story and sending out into the ether. Maybe a few Ham operators will hear it. The telescope is powering up, I can feel it hum as I balance myself at the apex of the transmitter.



The End

576 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Chicklets in the Kitchen: Pasta Primavera

Pasta, Primavera, Ingredients

Pasta Primavera Ingredients

It’s summer and the Farmer’s Market is overflowing with fresh, beautiful vegetables. We’re fortunate enough in our area that we have local dairies as well, both fresh cow’s milk butter and cheeses and goat’s milk cheeses and delicacies. If you haven’t been to your Farmer’s Market yet this year, you’re missing out. Last Saturday I scored marvelous young Swiss Chard, just picked cherry tomatoes, and fresh goat cheese. I had a plan when I went, you see, to pick up just those luscious things for Saturday night dinner, Pasta Primavera.

Pasta Primavera is great for whatever vegetables you happen to pick up at the market or what’s growing in your garden. You can substitute whatever you have for what I used. Feel free to mix and match.

Read the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen

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Monday Blog Post: Interview on a National Web Broadcast Radio Program Scheduled

January Jones

Tomorrow on June 23rd I’m scheduled to be interviewed by January Jones on her web radio broadcast. Talk4 Media,  Talk4Media.com , w4cy.com/radio-shows/january-jones-sharing-success-stories/  This is a first for me and I’m very excited about it. We’ll be talking about my books but also about the Payson Book Festival scheduled for July 25th. I will be on the show at 5pm Eastern time and 2pm Arizona time. Here’s the list.

Connie Cockrell– Her books, The Gulliver Station Series, and more run the gamut from SciFi and Fantasy to Contemporary.

D’Elen McClain- Under her pen name, Holly S. Roberts, she is the USA Today Best-Selling author and writes “romance with wicked intentions.”

Edward Miles- Using his experiences in the military and the National Forest Service several novels including, Sanctioned.

Then at 6pm Florida time and 3pm Arizona time, three more authors will be interviewed.

Steven Andrew Cole– enjoys leading his readers down dark alleys, through crawl spaces and anywhere they dare not to venture with thrillers

Sherry Engler– reveals the unusual, quirky behaviors a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer )may display

Annemarie Eveland writes about challenges in life and the insights gain from them.

How awesome is that! Please tune into the show and support all of these fine Arizona authors, me included!

It’s 34 days until the first ever Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’ve organized several radio interviews with festival authors. Check out the web site Media Tab or our Facebook page (Payson Book Festival) or our Twitter feed at @PaysonBookFest for information about the next interview. At the Festival we’ll have authors speaking, authors signing their books, music, live radio broadcast, entertainment, workshops and food. Make plans now to come up to  the cool pines of Arizona Rim Country and enjoy the festival. You can find additional things to do in the area on the Area Information tab. Stay the whole weekend. You’ll love it here.

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair rewriting is finished. The manuscript is back with the editors for a final content check and final line edits. Don’t want any misspellings or grammar errors now do we? After that there will be the book formatting for both print and e-book. I’m still shooting for an early July release.

I planted another pepper, an Anahiem, as well as a Black Beauty zucchini and a Straight Neck yellow squash. The potatoes are already beginning to die back. I’ll be able to dig them up in a couple of weeks. The yellow onion sets I planted in a big planter are up and looking good. The blackberries are still very green and the blueberries are just about all picked. I have a half barrel with strawberries. The initial big spring fruiting is over. From now till frost, I’ll only get a couple of berries at a time. It’s kind of a sweet treat to pick them and eat them right there in the garden.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: Betrayal Moon

Moon, Super Moon, Randy Cockrell

Moon Set by Randy Cockrell

Zoe Ohale cursed the day, seventeen years ago, her mother gave birth. She pulled her ratty sweater up over her mouth and nose to hide the breath that steamed in the night air and threatened to give her away. It also helped to block the reek of the garbage bin she hid behind. Not hearing any pursuit, she chanced a peek into the alley.

It couldn’t be this easy, could it? She lost the hunting party in the maze of backstreets and alleys of Baia Mare? The space-faring tourists who came only saw the nice parts of town and the sea shore the city used as a major marketing point. She spit into the alley, clearing the distaste from her mouth. Tourists. That’s what was wrong, everything for the tourists, nothing for the inhabitants.

Still hearing and seeing no chase, she pulled her frayed knit cap down over her ears and crept out from behind the dumpster. Staying close to the alley walls, she worked her way right, keeping to the shadows and opening her mouth to hear better.

A siren wailed in the distance. Some other poor jerk wasn’t as lucky as she was. She kept to the back streets. Someone turned her in; that much she knew. Her stomach growled; a reminder that her hoped for dinner money was lost when the cops swooped in on her sale. It was only luck that the taser point missed her by a hair. Her buyer, Andy Many Fingers, wasn’t as lucky. Last she saw him, he was jerking spastically on the cobblestones, his purse open and credits spilled on the street.

Damn, she could have used that money. In the street outside the building where she roomed, she hid in the doorway of the house two up from hers. No way she was going straight in. The place might be watched. She hunkered down, butt to heels, and wrapped her arms around her knees. Again, she pulled the sweater up over her face. Zoe looked up and down the street. Who knew I was meeting Andy?

Maybe it was Dallas. She traded for the roll of copper wire she had been selling with a broken watch made of titanium. The watch was useless and she had no buyers for titanium. Dallas was a hustler. She had to watch the dude every minute to make sure he wasn’t cheating her but Dallas didn’t seem like the sort to sell a girl out. He was in it for the long haul and betraying his buyers and sellers was poor business.

She quieted her breathing when a young couple passed by the house. They were arm in arm, heads together. Must be nice. Out walking in the cold instead of holed up inside where it was warm. Maybe they were too poor to worry about mugging. She focused on them until they were out of sight.

She rocked a little, to keep her blood moving. Who else knew I was trading? Nick Silento, perhaps? He was a shifty little runt. Always staring, always hovering on the edges. That was the kind of guy her father called a hyena, back before he was arrested. Always ready to run in and snatch the crumbs other people dropped.  But he was a nervous sort. Zoe didn’t think that Nick had the nerve for dealing with cops.

Kortni French, now, there was a fem who had the venom to do another person dirty. Kortni had it in for any girl who she thought was after her guy. Zoe didn’t know why. Sharif Savant was a joke. Sure he was a looker but aside from the fact his parents were still numbered in the middle-class, he had nothing going for him. He was dumb as a box of rocks and the clumsiest person Zoe had ever seen. She didn’t know why the guy hung around with the gutter rats but it was a cinch Kortni was after his money. Maybe it was Kortni. Zoe had made a joke in the group three days ago and Shariff laughed and laughed. Kortni wasn’t amused. Would the fem really turn her in because her boy toy laughed at a sad joke? Zoe clucked her tongue against her teeth. She might. She just might.

A patrol rolled silently down the street. The little electric cars held two cops and a host of surveillance equipment. She shut her eyes and wished for the car to keep going. Maybe they would ignore her heat signature in the doorway and keep moving.

Zoe waited another hour. Nothing moved on the street but the rats and the cats. Moonlight eased over her building and lit the damp street. She stood with care, letting the blood flow back into her legs. Pins and needles prickled but she ignored it until it went away. Still no movement. There were no tell-tale plumes of breath in the cold night air. She eased down the steps and into the street. Her head swiveled, left then right, no alarms, no sirens, it seemed safe.

She was halfway up the steps of her building when the floodlights pinned her mid-step. A voice blasted out of a speaker “Stop where you are!”

There was nothing to do but stop. She put her hands in the air. An entire SWAT team surrounded her, tasers humming. Zoe was grateful they didn’t all tase her at once. Someone grabbed her left arm, pulled it down behind her and did the same with the right. She could feel the zip tie pull her wrists together. Two cops grabbed an arm each and half-dragged her to the wagon. As she passed the cop in charge, she could see Nick twitching next to him, his hand out and credits being dropped into it.

She spit in his direction. He jumped and spilled the credits all over the street. She looked up, the second moon intersected with the main one. A betrayal moon, her dad called it. He was right.

The End

1000 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Merry Go Round Blog Tour: Beach Reads

Beach, Scene, Randy Cockrell

Beach Scene by Randy Cockrell

I’ll have to admit. My To Be Read (TBR) pile is full of adventure stories. I like adventure, always have. These are the easy Clive Cussler, James Patterson, stories that just take you from scene to scene, leaving you breathless at the end. Then there’s the pile of cozy mysteries by Nevada Barr. I haven’t started these yet but they’re as much research into the current cozy mystery scene as they are pleasure reading.

After that are the TBR’s I have on Goodreads, modern SciFi and Fantasy by Kevin Hearne and Chuck Wendig. And the women’s fiction, such as Hild by Nicola Griffith.

If you’re a reader, you know what it’s like. There are so many books out there. The few I’ve mentioned here are just a light dusting of all of the stories I want to read. Then we get to the delivery method.

If you’re actually travelling this summer, you want to take a Kindle or ereader of some sort. Then you can read those novels as fast as you want because you can have hundreds of them on call, ready to read when you finish the last book. If you’re like me and vacation isn’t until October, I still want to get my reading fix. So, I pull from the pile on my bed stand and dresser. Probably about 3 square feet at this point. Then, of course, the large number I have downloaded onto our ancient Kindle. So many SciFi and Fantasy stories are there, just waiting for me to read them.

So, what’s the point? Easy. I have a book ready, at all times. And in multiple genres. Are they all literary gems? No, not so much. But I read for pleasure as well as for education. It’s OK to read fun stuff. Stuff that makes your heart race. Stuff that makes you wonder about how the world could be different. Stuff that takes you back in time and lets you get a feel for what it was like to live in a different era with different mores and culture.

So let’s read. The adventures, the scifi, the romances, it’s all good. Really. Pick up a book!


The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Monday Blog Post: Working, Working

Orange, Flowers, Hike, Arizona

Orange flowers from a recent hike.

It’s hot! Well, it is Arizona. Temperature today is 95 degrees. Hope the weather in your area is wonderful.

In the events calendar, I’m being interviewed by January Jones on her web radio broadcast. The Station is W4CY on Talk4 Media, Talk4Media.com , w4cy.com/radio-shows/january-jones-sharing-success-stories/ . The interview is June 22nd, 5pm Eastern and 2pm Arizona time. I’d love it if you could tune in.

It’s 40 days until the first ever Payson Book Festival. www.PaysonBookFestival.org. We’ll have authors speaking, authors signing their books, music, live radio broadcast, entertainment, workshops and food. Make plans now to come up to Rim Country and enjoy the festival.

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair edits are in progress. Actually, it’s a re-write. I’m cutting chapters, re-writing and hopefully strengthening the story all for your enjoyment. I’m still shooting for an early July release.

In the garden I have my tomatoes and pepper plants. I still need to go and get some zucchini and yellow squash and maybe a couple other things. The heat is making the whole garden grow like crazy.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: One Little Prayer

Stained-glass Rose Window by fmr0 via DeviantArt.com

Stained-glass Rose Window by fmr0 via DeviantArt.com

Seventy-eight year-old Karen Rogers sat hunched over on the steps of the Sharing Tomorrow building, the cold of the cracked and broken cement steps seeping up into her bones through the thin plas-cotton shift and coat she wore.

Plas-cotton, she thought with disgust. Everything made of plastic now. An image of herself as a six year-old dressed in a blue dress that matched her eyes, the light cotton material of the skirt floating around her as she twirled in a field of daisies, flashed through her mind. She snorted, drawing a rheumy stare from the old guy in line behind her. He’d sat down, too, on the step below her. Karen ignored him.

That was before the government mandated implants in everyone ten and older. She remembered her implant, on her tenth birthday. They put it behind her right ear. Those implants weren’t too bad. They could detect emotions more than thoughts. She forgot about it in the flurry of childhood school and summer vacations. It wasn’t until she hit high school, that she was made painfully aware of it.

The line moved and she had to change to the next step up.

April McGura, that was her name. Karen was in the cafeteria, looking for a place to sit when she tripped, her lunch and the tray it was on, flying down the aisle between the rows of tables. The table behind her erupted in laughter. Karen got up, knees skinned and red-faced and turned to see what she tripped on.

April, long, straight blonde hair pulled over one shoulder, brown-eyes laughing, still had her foot out in Karen’s path. “What a clutz,” the girl said. Her friends hooted. “What a clod.” “Grace in action.” “Loser.” “Been walking long?”

Karen could feel the rage building as her fists clenched. She was on the soccer team, she wasn’t a clutz. She took a step forward, that’s when the pain shot through her head, driving her to her knees. She could feel her stomach churn and without warning, vomited all over April McGura’s patent leather pumps. That’s when a teacher came and took her to the nurse’s office.

It was explained to her what happened and that she had to control herself better. What wasn’t explained was why April and her horde made the next three years of her life a living hell. They stole her clothing out of her locker while she was at soccer practice. They lay in wait behind hall corners to scare her or trip her or knock the books out of her hands. Over and over her rage at the attacks made the implant zap her. It was her last year in high school that she had some relief. April and her gang graduated the year before. Things went back to normal, or so Karen thought.

It turns out that bullies live in the adult world too. And the implants became more sensitive. Thoughts could be read, and punished. Soon it became so that any emotion other than love or lust, and sometimes those, too, would deliver the thinker a shock to the brain. Then thirty years ago, religion was declared forbidden. There would be no more Sunday services. The government turned all of the churches into government buildings or razed them to the ground.

Karen moved up to the landing. The line was moving along. She was glad, the late winter wind was cutting right through her. Like this building, she thought. It used to be the Methodist Church, not that there were many who would remember that now. She went here as a girl with her parents and grandparents. Now, it seemed, even if you let your mind go blank, you’d get a shock. She sighed. It didn’t matter.

She had been called, like the others in the line. There wasn’t enough food and housing to go around. It seemed that over the last sixty years productivity had been declining. Now, instead of taking care of the productivity, they just eliminated the elderly. It used to be people over ninety, then over eight-five, then eighty. Last year it dropped to seventy-eight. Her birthday had been in February. She was surprised she didn’t get a notice then.

She stepped into what had been the vestibule. A desk was there with a young woman and a scanner.

“Your name?”

“Karen Rogers.”

“Thank you, Miz Rogers.” The young woman held the scanner up behind Karen’s ear. It hummed gently and the woman pulled it down.

“I haven’t been buzzed in a week,” Karen said.

“Oh,” the young woman smiled. “They turned it off. There’s no point, really, is there?”

Karen shook her head. “I guess not.”

A nurse ushered Karen into where the sanctuary used to be. There was still the creamy white walls and the polished dark wood of the half paneling and the banisters and ceiling beams, but the pews had been replaced with gurneys.

The female nurse led her to the far right and up a row near the wall. The stained glass remained in the windows throwing patches of red, gold, blue and green on the people lying there. “Here you are, Miz Rogers. If you’ll put your purse, keys, phone and other valuables in this bag, then you can lie down and rest.”

Karen did as directed. What was she going to do, run?

A middle-aged technician came by with a light plas-cotton blanket and covered her up, then he prepped her arm as another tech wheeled a stand and a bag of fluid to her bedside. The first tech adjusted the bag and attached tubing. “Just a little pinch, Miz Rogers.” Then he inserted the needle in her right arm. “This won’t take long, Miz Rogers.”

She sighed. “That’s all right, son. I just have one little prayer.”



The End

967 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Monday Blog Post: Small Town Fun

Monster Mudder, Water Slide,  Randy Cockrell

Monster Mudder Water Slide by Randy Cockrell

Summer fun is in full swing in my little town. Friday was the first Friday of the month so some of the options for Friday night were a wine tasting at The Beverage Store and First Friday at the Down The Street art gallery where a person can look at and buy some of the wonderful selections of paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other art made by local artists. They offer a free glass of wine and various appetizers and this Friday, they also had the local drama club offer a one act play! Over at the Community Presbyterian Church, was a Jazz concert. Saturday was huge. See a picture from above from the Mogollon Monster Mountain days. There were ATV trail rides and the Monster Mudder. A wonderful 5K obstacle course race that had about 600 participants. Did I mention it rained for the first time in recorded weather keeping for Arizona on Friday and Saturday morning? Lots of muddy fun. Then there was the Farmers Market and in Pine, running all weekend, was the Craft Fair. I took my mom and she bought a cute little tea cup with a strainer basket that fits right inside and a cover to keep your tea hot while it steeps. Then Saturday evening was the concert in the park. This week it was a lovely group of a cappella singers with a doo wop focus. We were all singing along. So what happens in your town on the weekend? Lots of fun? Picnics? Concerts?

Over at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com I put up a button to advertise the upcoming Payson Book Festival. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the www.PaysonBookFestival.org. Check out the Meet the Authors tab. We have SIXTY authors coming to the event. You’re sure to find a book or topic that interests you. We also are archiving the radio interviews of authors that will be at the Festival. Check out the Media tab, Interviews. There’s a new one every Friday until the Festival. The next one is my friend Susan Haught!

I’ll be closing down www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. You’ll notice at the top of the web page the notice. Please do transfer over to the website. I’d hate to lose you all.

Mystery at the Fair came back from the editors and I’ve read through the comments. This was a content edit. That means the editor was looking for places in the story where I may need to ramp up the action, tighten the dialog, that sort of thing. I want this book out for the July Festival so I need to get cracking on the re-writes. I’ll keep you posted.

The unexpected rain last Friday and Saturday were a wonderful gift for us gardeners. I still need to get my tomatoes, peppers and such. That bush I pulled out? Yep, I went to the garden center and replaced it with lavender. I can hardly wait for it to bloom.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

If you’re interested, click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website.

Lost Rainbows released January 25th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote their books. Thanks in advance.

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Flash Fiction Friday Post: Meet and Greet

Locust, Dark-Raptor

Hello Miss Big Eyes by Dark-Raptor via www.DeviantArt.com

Prompt: Photo of Raphidia mediterranea (a grasshopper looking bug) by andrea hallgass, copywrited photo seen on Flickr Photo Sharing for a writing prompt challenge on Chuck Wendig’s blog, TerribleMinds.com.


First Officer Bergid Svensdotter studied her reflection. This was her first official function on her new ship, the Federation of Sentient Species diplomatic ship Asimov and she wanted to appear perfect. Ribbons were aligned on her dress white jacket; no stray hair out of place.

There would be twenty different sentient species at the cocktail party in the ship’s ballroom. All oxygen breathers, thank goodness, Bergid thought. The problems with communicating with methane breathers would be left to another day.

In the ballroom she found Chief Engineer, Rob Busey, a scotch in hand. “Bergid.” He held up his glass. “You ready?”

“A glass of water with lemon, please,” she told the crewwoman behind the bar. “I guess I am.”

“Water! You don’t want something stronger?”

“I do,” Bergid admitted. “But if I drank anything now I’d vomit all over the guest’s shoes.”

“Oh, yeah, you’ve been on battleships your whole career. Not used to the diplomatic thing.” He sipped his scotch. “You’ll get used to it. You had aliens on your ships.”

“We did, but not the more,” she groped for the right word, “exotic ones.”

“You’ll be fine.”

Bergid sipped the water. She didn’t want to screw up.

As the guests arrived, escorted from the teleporter by FSS Asimov crew members, the Captain greeted each one. Then they moved into the room, some for the bar, others greeting guests they knew. Bergid’s job was to mingle. She’d been briefed on the hot button topics for each species and had been supplied with appropriate responses. She was expected to deal with hard line questions and belligerence in a way that maintained the peace.

The first aliens she greeted were from the Koa system. Humanoid in appearance, they were covered in a fine blue fur. She’d served with Koans on her previous ships and found them to be easy to work with.

She placed her empty glass on a passing drinks tray; they hovered all around the room for the convenience of the guests, and moved on to the next group feeling more confident. These were the Einess, humanoid with a definite porcine cast. They were half again the size of a human, aggressive and quick to anger. Incredible fighters, Einess served on FSS battleships but they had a hard time getting along. She spoke a greeting in their language and was treated to what passed for a smile. The Showan, their ambassador, asked her opinion of Einess being granted sole rights to the Aamaz system. This was one of the touchy topics. “I’m sure the FSS council will consider all sides of the proposal, Showan.”

He snorted. “That’s what your Captain said.”

Bergid bowed a fraction. “It is a decision considerably above my rank, Sir.” She knew the Einess were sticklers for rank.

“Fair enough.” He moved with his entourage to the next group.

She breathed a sigh of relief. At least she wasn’t causing a planetary incident. Thinking she’d get a glass of wine, Bergid turned to her left. A foot from her face was the delicate form of a basil iridescent green insectoid species, the Raphidia ambassador.

Bergid flashed back to her childhood. She was outside in the middle of a locust swarm screaming, arms waving as the locusts flew into her hair, ears, eyes, mouth. Shaking, she pulled herself out of that memory and back into the ballroom, stumbling backward two steps. She could feel the sweat start on her forehead. “Um, I beg your pardon, Ambassador.”

She could hear the Ambassador’s chitters but her implanted translator gave her, “My apologies.” It used it’s forelegs to wipe its eyes, all eighteen inches of each of them, from top to bottom in a sign of apology.

“My fault entirely, Ambassador.” She cast around in her panicked brain for a new topic. “Your trip has been productive?”

He signaled to one of his followers. It was a small bronze Raphidia, a quarter the size of the ambassador. “We have secured several trading contracts. One with your own Earth.”

The small creature moved in front of the ambassador. Bergid wondered if the ambassador thought she was a threat. “I’m pleased our two species have found mutual points of agreement, Sir.”

That’s when the ambassador ripped the head from the smaller creature. Ichor spurt from the bronze neck. The ambassador turned the head neck up and with a thin tongue, sucked up the inside as two other bronze Raphidia took the remains away.

Bergid swallowed as her stomach rolled. She could feel her blood pressure drop and she began feel dizzy. “Ah,” she wasn’t going to make it. She vomited on the ambassador’s tiny middle feet.

She could hear the guests gasp. Two crewmen rushed over, grabbed her by the arms and hurried her out of the ballroom. The Captain came into the med bay half an hour later. Bergid leapt to attention. “I’m so sorry, Captain.” She focused on the bulkhead behind him.

Hands on his hips, he scowled. “Damn, Svensdotter, you made quite the show.”

A blush started at her neck and raced up her face.

“What do you have to say?”

“I was traumatized by locusts as a child. When the Ambassador ripped the head off of that little one and started sucking the brains out,” she began to gag again.

The Captain stepped back. When she recovered, he nodded. “Well, that must have been a trial. You knew they eat that sub-species live, right.”

“Yes, Sir. But to actually see it.” She struggled not to gag.

“Yeah, the old bastard does it to all of the new human crew. Thinks it’s funny.”

Relief flooded through her. “I didn’t cause an incident?”

He laughed. “No, but you’re going to have to live with that story.”


The Captain clapped her on the shoulder. “Go back to your cabin. You’ve had enough excitement for the night.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Wish I’d seen it,” he opened the door. “I would have loved to see his feet covered in vomit.”


The End

999 Words

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Serial: Lost Rainbows Chapter 16 – Shamus Receives His Reward

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell

Chapter Sixteen – The Leprechauns Win (Lost Rainbows – Serial)

By Connie Cockrell

Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows

Want to start this serial from the beginning? Click here for links to all available chapters.

Shamus Receives His Reward

That night in the great hall, the King called each leprechaun that had taken part in the battle to the dais where his throne sat and gave each one a reward and the recognition of the kingdom. Shamus was the last one to be called forward. He bowed before the King.

Mac Shadenan waved for Shamus to rise, then took his hand and made Shamus to stand beside him. “People of the Sidhe! I have called Shamus O’Malley to my side last. Not because he is the least, but because he has done the most. It was Shamus who followed the evil wizard, Bannon, to a strange land and recovered both our gold and our rainbows. It was Shamus who brought to us Miss Becca, descendant of the Tuatha De Danann.” The crowd cheered. Becca was popular within the hall.

The King continued. “At the battle of the Castle Ruins, Shamus assisted Miss Becca in magic to help destroy the robots giving us a chance to win the battle. He protected her from harm throughout the entire fight. It was he who recognized the return of the Tuatha De Danann in our just battle.”

The crowd in the hall cheered again. Shamus blushed bright red.

“So, in keeping with his efforts, I grant Shamus O’Malley a pot of gold, an estate next to my own, and an appointment as one of my Advisors.”

Shamus stood stock still, eyes wide. Later, when the dancing had begun, he turned at a tap on his shoulder. Princess Lyeen stood there, a smile on her face.

“Congratulations, Advisor O’Malley.”

“Thank you, Princess.” He bowed low as he kissed the back of her hand. “Your father, the King, was most generous.”

“You’ve risen in rank, Shamus O’Malley.” Lyeen was tapping her toes to the music drifting through the hall. She smiled up at him, a twinkle in her eye.

“It seems so, Princess. Would you care to dance with an Advisor to the King?” His eyes searched hers, hope springing.

She held out her hand. “I would, Advisor O’Malley.” A grin spread across her face.

Shamus took her hand and swept her into his arms. “I think I’m going to like being an Advisor.” With that, he kissed her full on the lips. They danced the rest of the night.

The End



Lost Rainbows

Thank you for reading my story, Lost Rainbows. You can support the story by commenting or leaving a review. Buy my other books for more reading pleasure. If you’ve enjoyed this book, please spread the word, tell a friend or share the link to the story by using the share buttons to your right. The author is part of the Forward Motion Flash Fiction Friday Challenge and the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour.

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© 2015 Connie Cockrell

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