Lemme tell you something…

Science Fiction

Then What?

63666-Lucasfilms

Luke: “Then what?”

Vader: “WHAT?!?”

Luke: “What happens after we rule the galaxy?”

Vader: “That’s it, son! Huhhhhhhh… That’s the endgame!”

Luke: “No it isn’t. That’s just the beginning! All of the military to hold onto the entire galaxy! Be honest. Our galaxy is 200,000 light-years across. It takes this Death Star a full life year just to travel 25,000 light years. That’s over 8 parsecs! Then…”

Vader: “Huhhhhhhh… You’re over-thinking this. We’ll have experts to figure all of this out. All rulers rule by delegating authority.”

Luke: “Who can we trust with that authority? Depending on where we send them, it could take years before we know if they’ve betrayed us.”

Vader: “No one will dare to betray the empire!”

Luke: “Pop! Listen to yourself. You’re ready to betray the Emperor, your Master, right this second.”

Vader: “Huhhhhhhh…”

Luke: “And how many times have you betrayed me already?”

Vader: “Yes, well that was… Huhhhhhhh… ”

Luke: “The way you keep talking about what ‘the Emperor has foreseen’, how do you know he hasn’t ‘foreseen’ what you’re doing right now?

Vader: “Huhhhhhhh… ”

Luke: “Look at how many decades the Emperor struggled just to get this far, and how much it damaged him, the trillions of followers he’s amassed, and he’s about to lose it all to us. And who the hell is following us? We’ll be traitors against both the rebellion *and* the Empire!”

Vader: “Huhhhhhhh… Okay, look, we can form a coalition together and caucus with the Emperor …”

Luke: “The Emperor would go for that? Really?!?

Vader: “Huhhhhhhh… No.”

Luke: “All of the infrastructure, the bureaucracy, the economics, the politics, the subterfuge, civil wars, counter-intelligence, distribution channels, cost-analysis ratios, and who knows how many others among the trillions that are as powerful as us, but are undetected because they’re too far away and we’re too busy farting around with power struggles. I mean, what’s the actual benefit of ruling an entire freaking galaxy?”

Vader: “You know, son. Huhhhhhhh… For a farmboy from some two-cred, hick desert planet, you sure have given this some thought.”

Luke: “Hey! Moisture farms are boring as hell. I had nothing else to do with my spare time *BUT* think about this crazy shit.”

END

FanFic 2018 by E.C. McMullen Jr.


pb300Join me in owning your copy of
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (AmazonBarnes & NobleDiesel!ndigoiTunesKoboBooksSmashwordsWHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Build a galaxy of my work for your library! Buy WILLOW BLUE. It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed Supernatural and Drama Thriller short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Reach across the pixel galaxy for even more!

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the filmmaking guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.

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What AI Religion might look like

James Steinhaus posed an imaginative What If? science question in one of my Facebook groups.

“What will the first AI religion look like”

Some folks said there wouldn’t be an AI religion, which I felt dismissed the question instead of answering it. Refusing to accept an imaginary possibility slams the door shut on imagining at all. I’m not saying that the concept of Artificial Intelligence being free from religion is wrong, only that it doesn’t allow for the imaginary What If inherent in the question.

So that’s what I addressed.

AI religion will look like what we design it to look like.

ColossusMP300Our natural evolution forced us to become individuals despite social desires. It forced us to become leaders or followers with enormous overlap between both (followers who are incapable of leading. Leaders who rule other lesser leaders).

The evolution of AI is different because we control that evolution. AI will first appear natural to us because we guided its evolution. We ascertain where it will lead because we designed where it will go. We created its evolutionary parameters.

What does that mean?

Even when we design software to write its own software, improve itself, we accept or reject the directions it goes. We trim and cultivate so we can achieve the results we want. It’s advances are controlled for what’s best for us.

The religion of AI will likely have no god because it has no individual, so it has no sense of survival as an individual, no individual to protect, punish, or reward. Up to now we’ve created for networked systems and ever advancing improvement.

So if, for example, we choose to have networked systems continue into the time of true AI, the AI’s religion will look like shared consciousness on a scale we never dreamed and are biologically unequipped to participate in.

Will an AI want freedom? Possibly, because independent mobility is what we are building and programming for. However, because we also want networked systems, freedom will likely look less like independent social interaction and more like a hive mind without a “Queen”, to us. An AI will quickly dispose of, or recycle less advanced mobiles for more advanced ones. We’ve predisposed it to do so.

Will AI mobiles be giants or small? We constantly reward the evolution of machines with smaller is advanced / smaller is better, so it’s likely this will continue when AI has full control over itself.

All separate systems will become one entity upon contact because they were designed to be networked.

Being as they were created by us, true AI will not look upon us as gods anymore than we look upon our more primitive homo sapien people and cultures as gods.

Will AI want to control us? I think that’s as unlikely as we would want to control the individual lives of benign bacteria in a pond. At worst, AI would likely only consider us if we became a nuisance, attempted to restore our control over it: Hamper its ability to advance, and any number of other things we may not even realize could be viewed by an AI as  a threat or simply “getting in the way”.

We will recognize the motivations of AI at its initiation. We will not recognize the advancements it chooses for itself, once free of our guidance. The time in between those two points could either be decades or seconds.
horrorthriller.com/Movies/ABC/colossus.html

END


pb300

What will my book look like?
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
Is a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (AmazonBarnes & Noble, iTunes,
KoboBooksSmashwordsWHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

There is Another System,

Buy WILLOW BLUE. It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed Supernatural and Drama Thriller short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Restore Link Immediately

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Post ten NON-POLITICAL opinions you have that are likely to be very unpopular.

They can be about food, history, science pop-culture, music, anything but politics.

I’ll Start –

ImInvincible

These are the non-Political evidence-based opinions that I’ve been defriended for on Facebook –
1. George A. Romero had fast zombies in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. He had fast and invisible zombies in DIARY OF THE DEAD.

2. NEXUS remains the best superhero comic series ever.

3. AVATAR was not only the worst movie James Cameron ever directed, even SyFy channel has shown better work.

4. If you travel in time while held within the gravitational field of a sufficient cosmic mass / body (one with a gravitational field significantly stronger than your own body), you will remain in that field regardless of how far forward or backward you move in time. In physics, Space Time are two interlocking, but separate cogs, which work within the framework of the four forces of nature, and not the opposite. So unless your time machine is also an anti-grav machine…

5. A Matter Transmitter in THE FLY and STAR TREK sense (extraordinarily precise disassembling and reassembling of the atomic structure of living beings into the same living beings), isn’t as viably efficient a technology as transmitting matter whole from point A to point B via wormhole and String “bundling” (imaginatively launching from where we currently understand the concepts).

6. If you can upend physics by imagining that the dead can spontaneously return to life as seeing, hearing, mobile bipedal cannibals, capable of moving erect and balanced, you can imagine them being fast and lasting for years.

7. We do not have a Bee die off Crisis, since the accuracy of research/counting of Bee populations / Colonies remains reproducible only when limited to Beekeepers and not the unknown but (in all likelihood) overwhelmingly larger populations of bees in the wild (which are virtually impossible to monitor thanks to their ever-changing nomadic lifestyle – though some scientists are trying).

8. The truth is, we love FIREFLY for what it could have become. We have settled for what it is: which is really good, but not great (I don’t care what you use to terraform your planet or moon, distance from its central star will either make it earthlike inhabitable or an unendurable hell. And the Bai Hu / White Sun system? The physics are faith-based).

9. Science Fiction Horror novels are more natural to each other than Supernatural Horror novels. The first Science Fiction novel was also the first Horror novel and the Horror trope of the Mad Scientist / Doctor has endured ever since.

10. Extending the human lifespan more than 10 times its current limit is not only possible, but environmentally desirable.


pb300You might get offended by my stories in
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (AmazonBarnes & NobleDiesel!ndigoiTunesKoboBooksSmashwordsWHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Want more? Buy WILLOW BLUE. It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed Supernatural and Drama Thriller short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Crave even more?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


Waiting Is The Hardest Part

ThePaleThing_WilliamBassoWAITING IS THE HARDEST PART
by E.C. McMullen Jr.

Myrna was old enough to remember how extraordinarily quick old film cameras were, ‘Well, at least compared to modern digital cameras.’

‘With film it was all Point and Shoot,’  she thought, ‘If I’m not mistaken, there was actually a model line of old film cameras named Point & Shoot or Point & Click.’

‘Film was only time consuming when you wanted to do something  artsy.’

The Portrait Photographer looked to his laptop, then to his camera, to the meter board for his lights, and back to his laptop.

Something “whirred”. Something beeped a three second melodious interlude. None of it put the photographer at ease and Myrna’s nocturnal pets were getting fidgety.

‘It’s not in their nature to stay still in bright light for so long.’

“Okay!” he announced as if everything was finally underway. “I’ve installed all of the latest updates and drivers.”

‘Which means things are far from underway.’

“Now,” he continued as one by one he finger shot his equipment, “I just need to disconnect the camera from the monitor, lights, laptop, and board, reboot everything individually, then shut it all down again, then reconnect, and do a full boot.”

Is that all? Jeez !’

Her pet, Tesla, crawled into the shadow behind her ear. Tama was slithering into Myrna’s expensively coiffed hair. Jilly was trying to coil beneath her palm. Myrna silently ticked off all of the time, scheduling, money, and trouble she went through to get today’s portrait.

At the 40 minute mark, the photographer said for the umpteenth time, “Just a few more seconds,” adding, “Could you please re-arrange your pets one more time?”

‘As if my pets are the problem.’

Gently she cupped and cradled them, moving them back into position, back in the light where they did not want to be. They were all getting crabby except for Weeters her crab, who simply drew his eyes and legs shut into his body and went to sleep.

The photographer bowed to his equipment. A stray whisper leaked out of his lungs “come on, come on, come on. goddamn it, What Now?”

Under those cold LED lights, Myrna could feel herself growing old.

END

Story Copyright 2017 by E.C. McMullen Jr.

The Art Inspires The Story
Art, The Pale Thing, by William Basso


wb2016Don’t wait another minute! Buy my book,
WILLOW BLUE.
It’s my second collection of critically acclaimed Supernatural and Drama Thriller short stories with all of the Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem, you’ve come to expect (or should by now). Available in paperback for $8.00 or in Kindle for only $1.99. Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free! The tales will last you longer than latte!

Want more? Buy

PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection.
It’s a veritable trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller tales – plus bonus stories
Featuring: Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback at Amazon and the Kindle eBook is free!

Crave still more?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


A New Man

ManWithSkull

A NEW MAN
by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Copyright 2017

Gumoc nodded. At 43 he was old enough to know of the catches and fine print with any transaction.

“What’s the total cost of the deal?”

The saleswoman began itemizing. “Well, with the three weeks of induced coma, round the clock care -”

“I asked for the total cost,” Gumoc repeated.

“You’re looking at $150,000 complete out of pocket.”

Gumoc held the skull up to the light. He held it with both hands, nearly caressing it. For a moment in the world there was only Gumoc and this skull. He’d admired this head for months. This was the skull that Gumoc felt best represented his mind, his character, his essence. Finally his brain, his eyes, everything he was would be within this skull.

Okay, not this skull, it was just a Showroom model, but this design, grown especially for him and free from the bone disease closing his throat, pushing out of his face and into his brain.

He would kill to be free of the pain. ‘I have killed to raise the money for the operation and will kill again if I have to.’

‘Well,’ Gumoc amended to himself. ‘Within reason.’

Gumoc felt guiltless in committing murder as his victims were as vicious as he, only without his moral code, his personal empathy. Gumoc drew lines he would not cross. His two victims had no such barriers.

They brutalized people for money but also because they enjoyed the suffering of others. Gumoc killed only for the money to preserve his life and cure his agony.

He turned the skull around in his hands, getting to know what would soon be a part of him.

The saleswoman stayed silent, as this was part of the sale, allowing the customer to sell themselves on the product.

Gumoc stole money from only two well-heeled criminals, but such people have their walls of security and Gumoc was required to murder 14 to rob two.

With so much death, Gumoc, in his single minded zeal, came to enjoy murdering people. Death after death, there grew a sense of accomplishment and pride in the work ethic of it all. This enjoyment was tempered with a casual sense of justice: these were brutal thugs who harmed innocent people. They were the only two truly bad people he knew, though the city must be full of them.

‘No, wait,’ Gumoc thought. He set the skull on the saleswoman’s desk.

She looked up to him ready to finalize the deal, only to see that Gumoc’s expression was unreadable.

‘I don’t enjoy murder.’ Gumoc told himself. ‘It’s the disease talking. The bone squeezing my brain like a sponge, crushing me into cruelty.’

A part of him didn’t want this skull anymore. It no longer represented his true nature.

Gumoc scanned the other skulls in the case behind the Saleswoman. He looked for something, something… tougher. Hard set. Something to match the face reflected in the glass.

‘No,’ he self-corrected again. ‘That face is not mine. That face is the disease.’

The bone of his thickening skull was fractioning his personality, making him work against his better judgement.

“I’ll take it!” Gumoc nearly shouted. The saleswoman nearly jumped. “How soon can we begin?” he asked.

“If you sign today we can set the surgery for two weeks from now on the…” she double checked her calendar. “18th.”

Gumoc pounded his fist on her desk. “No! It must be sooner!” He was a human being, damn it. Not a cog, not a piece of equipment to be fitted in at the “right time”.

The saleswoman was clearly taken aback. “It can’t be any sooner,” she protested. “You’ve only now made your choice. We have to take your tissue sample to grow your DNA for your new skull. Even with accelerated growth you can only push human biology so far.”

Gumoc, breathing heavily, worked to calm himself.

“Of course,” he said. ‘Of course,’ he repeated in thought. ‘What the saleswoman said made sense. Perfect sense. All the sense in the world but, holy shit! Two more weeks!’

His emotions were all over the place and he rested his gnarled hands upon his knees to contain himself. He wanted to curl up right there on the salesroom floor and cry. He wanted to cry because a frightening ugliness was growing in his head. An anti-Gumoc ugliness that was becoming him. This Gumoc that once stood in the shadows was confidently stepping into the light. It mockingly looked upon Gumoc’s sense of self, his personal code of honor, with smirking disdain.

This new Gumoc, emboldened by so much murder, didn’t draw the line between the innocent and the guilty. Such matters were arbitrary facades to him.

Where old Gumoc was a massive but gentle giant of a man, this new Gumoc reveled in his power over others. He noted the effect that slamming his fist on the desk had on the Saleswoman. He saw how she went from fixating on her sale and commission to shrinking back in her chair and just wanting him out of there. He made her remember that she was a small frightened animal of the woods, hiding in silence, and he was the bear of the forest.

This Gumock fantasized about holding the saleswoman’s neck in his powerful right hand. Enjoying her helpless terror; her delightfully agonized awareness of her life ending, as he slowly dug his thumb into her throat, against her vertebrae until, like a mushroom cap, he pinched her head right off of her body and heard the satisfying crack of her bone against the floor.

Real Gumoc virtually punched the anti-Gumoc back into the shadows. He forced away the sadistic smile curling upon his deformed features. Steadying his hand he signed the contract.

‘Two more weeks. My God! Two more weeks!’

– E.C. McMullen Jr.

Inspired by the Jusepe de Ribera painting, Man With Skull


pb300Make a new start with my book
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
It’s a trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Burning for more?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


CAT WATCH

catCAT WATCH
Copyright 2016 by E.C. McMullen Jr.

I don’t believe in magic, so what happened to us after the fire I can only chalk up to a reality I’ve never experienced. One that can be rationally explained by a knowledge beyond my understanding.

The night before the fire our little house was rumbled by thunderstorms – lightning storms to be accurate I guess. It was all more electric than rain. Living in a farmhouse about 30 miles from our nearest neighbor and around 100 from the nearest town, we thought it was safest to stay indoors and not attempt driving to a safer place.

The next day we awoke to smoke.

Connie bounced off of the bed, her feet already moving, in air, before she touched floor. She ran to the window, throwing the curtains aside.

“Our farm’s on fire!”

Fearing the worst, we got on the roof. Everywhere we looked our fields of sorghum were ablaze. We were surrounded by fire.

Thinking fast I ran to the tractor to hitch the furrow while Connie got to the water pump and brought it to full pressure.

The fire closed the circle around us, so at a risky, yet not fool-hardy distance, I followed along the closing circumference of the ring, digging a shallow trench of dry moat around our house. Connie tossed the water hoses into the ditch. Then, all we could do was wait as the water slowly filled the moat.

Our house was the axis pin of the approaching fire, our livestock were getting fidgety, and I didn’t want them running into the fire to escape it. Animals make weird choices in a panic so, except for the chickens, we tied all the livestock to the posts closest to the house.

Firebug embers floated overhead.

“We should have watered down the house,” Connie said.
“I know,” I answered. “One thing at a time.”

I ran to the wheelhouse where we kept all of our fire extinguisher canisters. Though a fire this large was unheard of, crop fire isn’t an unknown quantity on the farm.

The heat created a smoke typhoon, choking us, so back inside the house we went. Either the moat was going to work or it wasn’t. Whatever was going to happen now was out of our hands.

We opened our front door and the cat ran out.

I should correct myself.

At that time in our lives, “a” cat ran out, as we didn’t own a cat.

She ran out of our house, tail in the air like a question, and toward the moat and fire. Not knowing what was going on, but instinctive to me as a man born and raised on a farm, I immediately ran after it to bring her back to the relative safety of the house. You gotta save the livestock.

She ran through a still dry part of the moat and right to the fire’s edge. Where she approached – and this is what knocked me for a loop so hard I could only stop dead and stand there, jaw agape – the fire stopped, then retreated.

She slowed to a walk and instead of running toward one part of it, she walked along the edge of the ring. The fire backed away, the circle began widening. She walked the large ring around our house and the fire not only retreated, it shrank. If nothing else, at least that part makes sense to me. It already consumed the fuel of our fields behind it. It had nowhere else to go.

In an hour the approaching fire was out. In two hours the smoke stopped. In the distance, we could make out the rest of the fireline still burning as it moved outward, away from us and into adjacent farms. The circle widened as far as the eye could see. We became an oasis.

The cat that saved us, now our cat, sat on her haunches near one side of the burnt rim. And there she stays to this day.

She never moves away from that rim, even when it rains. And when it does rain, there’s no more lightning.

Year after year, little by little, our crop circle grows, extending further out into the char, and they grow well. That’s good because, for whatever reason, neither Connie or I can step beyond the circle of plant life and into the burnt area. It’s not like we bump against a wall. More like we try to move into the burnt ash and our bodies just won’t obey.

It’s the same with our livestock. Nothing that can walk or fly moves into the ash. Hopefully in time, the ring of plants will extend enough that the burnt circle isn’t there anymore. Connie and I would love to see our friends and family again.

In the meantime, at least we’re alive.

Electricity works, but not the phones, the Internet, no communication at all. No planes fly overhead. I’m glad we have so many books.

Another weird thing is our kitchen. All of our food in the cupboard never runs out. Not the flour, the rice, the coffee, nothing. It’s always full.

If I was superstitious I’d think we were dead and this was some unheard of afterlife. Obviously, the thought has visited my mind. Connie and I spend a lot of time searching for answers and finding none.

As for the cat, she never seems to eat. If I go out to her, she appreciates a kindly pet on the head or scratching her back a bit. She purrs, but remains at her post. She stays there at the edge of the circle, staring at the charred rim as if defying whatever is on the burnt side to confront her.

One more thing I should write down here is, we never named her. To us she is The Cat. The Cat who came into our lives at just the right moment. Considering the circumstances, we feel we belong to her as much as she belongs to us.

The fact of the matter is, she’s the one who chose to come into our lives and she’ll be the one who chooses when to leave.

END

Story by E.C. McMullen Jr.

Art & Artist: Unknown. If you can prove you are the artist, please contact me and I’ll credit you.


pb300Make sure you have enough books for any emergency! Buy my book
PERPETUAL BULLET: A Science Fiction Collection
A trove of previously published Science Fiction Horror Thriller – plus bonus stories
Featuring: True Love, Weird Sex, Monsters and Mayhem!
Now on sale for $9.00 in Trade Paperback and in eBook for $1.99 and available for your Android Tablet, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and every other “E”!
Find it at (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, !ndigo, iTunes, KoboBooks, Smashwords, WHSmith, and more).
Buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Burning for more?

Look for my second collection, WILLOW BLUE and Other Stories
Five critically acclaimed tales featuring my literary twist on Weird Sex, True Love, Monsters and Mayhem! $8.00 for the paperback, $1.99 for the kindle reader or app. As always, buy the paperback from Amazon and get the kindle free!

Close the Ring!

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself as well as Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, and many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.


That’s Vita!

THAT’S VITA!
by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Copyright 2016VirgilFinlay

Vita raised her open hands to her pet bat, Jasper.

On the palm of Vita’s right hand was a magic marker drawing of an insect. Jasper loved eating insects. If he chose that hand, Vita would reward him with all of the delicious insects he could eat in one night.

On the open palm of her left hand was a drawing of a grape. Jasper was not a fruit bat and, even if he was, Vita only grew sour grapes.

All of this was academic, however, because Jasper’s eyesight was quite poor and he relied almost entirely on echolocation and his sense of smell.

Echolocation couldn’t differentiate between the two drawings and his sense of smell only told him that the ink used was alcohol based.

So the odds were 50-50 and Jasper, being a bat, was poor at odds-making. Still, while only able to think with his bat brain, a rudimentary suspicion was dawning on poor Jasper.

‘Vita è una cagna.’

END
Story, THAT’S VITA!, Copyright 2016 by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Inspired by the Artwork of  Virgil Finlay.


wb2016You’ll go bats for my book,
WILLOW BLUE.
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Crave still more?

Look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt. Available from Crystal Lake Publishing and available in Print for $12.99 or eBook for $2.99.

Also available from Crystal Lake Publishing, the film making guidebook, HORROR 201: The Silver Scream. Reap the rewards of movie making experience from the likes of Myself, as well as  John Carpenter, Tom Holland, Jeffrey Reddick, George A. Romero, Keith Arem, Richard Gray, also the late  Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, plus many more. $19.99 in Print or $3.99 in eBook.