Sci-fi, Stereotypes and Swearing – a Story

Andie had had enough of this passive-aggressive posturing. Fucking aliens, scabs and bludgers the lot of them, and their brainwashed human translators weren’t much better. Enough of this shit.

She stood toe to toe with the towering alien, finger raised to emphasise her point. “Listen mate – everyone here is working their arse off to provide you with your precious minerals. If you think for one minute I’m going to let you and your world-conquering mates run -” The rest of her sentence was drowned out by the arrival of a new voice.

“Cuz! There you are, cuz. Been looking all over for you, ey.” A large, tattooed arm clamps around Andie’s shoulders, squeezing warningly.

“What? Who are -” the arm squeezes even tighter, “- Ow! I mean, yes, hi. What can, what can I do for you?”

A toothy grin splits the face in her peripheral vision. “Need you to look at something down in Engineering, cuz. Something’s not working right – it’s rough as guts down there, needs your special touch.” His thick New Zealand accent was deliberately friendly, apologetic.

Her special touch? Andie was a department head – more politician than engineer these days, she thought bitterly. But she played along, aware that the furious chittering of the mineral-grubbing Scab towering over was quickly getting louder. “Right, yes – well, excuse me Scab – I mean sir. Duty calls. We can have this conversation later.”

She allowed herself to be steered away before muttering, “Or never, that works for me.”

A deep chuckle vibrates in the chest behind her. “I don’t disagree, for your sake, anyway mate. Getting a bit fired up there. You got a death wish, cuz? You know what happens to people that get in their way – you end up like that guy, brainwashed and blank.” He continued to steer them away from the still chittering alien, towards the lifts.

As soon as the lift doors closed behind them, Andie yanked herself out of the grip of her ‘rescuer’. “What the fuck was that? Everything was fine before you stuck your big tattooed nose into my damn business, mate. They were ready to back down, and you swooped in and fucking ruined it, arsehole.” She glared up at the wildly grinning Maori. Why did I have to be so tiny? She whinged internally. It’s so hard to be be taken seriously at 5’1″.

“Yeah, you’re welcome, cuz.”

“Will you stop it with the ‘cuz’! I know you’re from New Zealand but you can’t possibly talk like that.”

The grin grew wider. “Wot d’you mean, ey cuz? Bro, fush and chups, ey cuz? Cuz? Ey?”

The ding of the lift door opening distracted them long enough for Andie to hide the upward twitch of her lips.

***

Been a long time between posts, I know. I can’t seem to get around this block, but I am working towards a vague plan for a cohesive, lengthy story, maybe a novel. Apologies for the flagrant Australianisms and Kiwi-isms and the stereotyping – but aren’t they fun?

Near Future

Harsh summer sun beamed down on her exposed neck, sweat springing instantly to her brow. Razz peered through the glare to the tightly locked prefab building in front of her. She eyed the windowless metal box and her target; the laminated wood door, a relic of the last mining boom. Clenching her sweaty fingers around the smooth edges of the lithium battery, she willed this to work. Outdated tech like this was prone to overheating, and it was all they had.

This had to work, surely.

Sliding up alongside the prefab, metal radiating a heat greater even than the air that almost sizzled around her, Razz fumbled the sweat-slick battery onto the lip of the doorknob, hissing as her fingers grazed the hot metal. It had to work. They needed this intel. Though why they were keeping it in an outdated metal coffin on the outskirts of a bustling mining site was anyone’s guess.

Stepping back a few paces, away from the scorching metal, she waited. Hand shading her eyes, she glanced around, assuring herself she was alone. Soon, a faint fizzing could be heard over the indistinct hum of a baking landscape; the buzz of flies, the rustle of hot wind through the scant vegetation, the distant sound of heavy machinery. It was working.

And it was; with a sharp bang, and a flash of flame and smoke, the battery exploded, taking with it a chunk of the door. The lock was a twisted mess of metal hanging from the door jamb. Not subtle perhaps, but Razz had no use for hairpins, no knowledge of lock picking regardless, and, well…blowing stuff up was her business, after all.

She shifted the ruin of the door, and ducked inside.

I ought to point out that I have no idea whether lithium ion battery as explosive lock pick would actually work – I know they can explode, and it sure gets hot enough in Australia to heat up metal like that…but yeah. No idea. Plot holes abound, I’m certain – so sue me, this is the first vaguely involved piece of fiction I’ve written in a while. Rejoice, ye writing muses.

Empty

Your lip trembles as you lock the car door, head down, marching towards the front door, willing nobody to see you.

Inside. You can break down inside. Not before, not where anyone can witness.

The keys fumble in your hands, shaking as you turn the handle, and you slide through the gap you make for yourself, pushing the door shut behind you, leaning against it as the first tear tracks down your face, followed by another. And another, and another, until you can’t see for the stinging tears welling in your eyes.

Keys crash noisily onto the floorboards, followed by your bag. Shoes kicked off and flung into a corner. Socks, pants, shirt, bra, all in a trail behind you as you close the bedroom door on your sudden overwhelming grief. Loud, wracking sobs as you sit on the edge of the bed, hugging your knees.

Sobbing. Gasping. Snorting, wailing, sniffling as you try to hold yourself together, against the onslaught of emotion. The carefully put together face you present to the world is gone; hair pulled from its tidy bun, mascara more than likely trickling down your face with the tears. Your lipstick is probably smeared halfway across your face; the hand you used to wipe your face is stained red. Soon, the tidal wave dissipates, and you’re left hiccuping, eyes tight from crying, empty.

Just…empty.

When were things going to get better? Were they going to get better?

So. Um. I said I was back. And then…nothing. I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing, but it’s been a bit flat lately.

Southern Skies

Evening closed around her, warm and humming with the noise of cicadas and the raucous shrilling of cockatoos from the nearby trees. Liz leant against the sun-warmed bricks of the house, smoke curling into the deepening twilight as she stole a quick moment for a cigarette.

She’d tried to give up dozens of times, but something about the lingering daylight hours, lazy summer evenings…she couldn’t resist.

As the glow of the cigarette dimmed, the stars appeared one by one in the clear Southern sky, the Milky Way snaking its way from horizon to horizon. The cockatoo’s chatter died away, leaving only the cicadas and the rustle of the warm summer breeze through the eucalypts and peppercorns. A perfect summer evening.

“Liz? Liz! Elizabeth, if I find you smoking again I’ll -”

For as long as it had lasted, at any rate.

Time Ticking

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Persistent, regular ticking filled every corner of his mind, the only sound in an otherwise deafeningly silent room.

Tick. Tick Tick. Tick.

Chris lay listlessly on the hard floorboards of his lounge room, head tilted to the ceiling, eyes unseeing. White. The ceiling was white, and between the ticking and the unerring blankness of the the ceiling, Chris was slowly going mad from boredom. Or ennui, if you wanted to get poetic about it. And Chris had nothing but time to be poetic if he chose. Which he did.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

There was a dirty mark in the left corner of the ceiling. From what, he wondered. Now that he’d seen the mark, it wouldn’t be unseen, and Chris stared and stared and wondered about its presence on his ceiling.

He certainly didn’t put it there. Maybe Spiderman was the previous tenant, and had hung from the ceiling here. Or maybe the previous tenant had bred wall-scaling dogs, or goats or beavers. Perhaps they practiced some kind of elaborate kinky sex act that involved suspending equipment from the ceiling.

The clock kept ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

He was beginning to go cross-eyed, staring at the white ceiling with its incongruous dirty mark. He ought to blink, look away, get up, do something.

Instead he stared, eyes focused, and then unfocused as he drifted again.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Ti –

Abruptly, the ticking was drowned out, as his phone vibrated and began belting out ‘Baby Got Back’. What did Hannah want?

Half an hour later, the regular, even ticking of the clock disappeared behind the solid thud of the front door closing behind him.

Welcome back to regular programming, folks :)

Hiatus

Between a stroppy internet data connection and a phone on the fritz, I’ve decided to go on hiatus until I get my own internet set up – about 2 weeks or so.

I’ve already broken my post a day schedule several times, due unfortunately to things beyond my control – so a week or two won’t hurt. Expect epic fiction when I return – I’ll certainly have the time for it!

See you all soon :)

Leaving

Her face pressed almost to the glass, Penny stared out at the rapidly disappearing station. The train was picking up speed, leaving her old life behind.

Leaving her family, her friends, her job, even her dog. Many of them standing at the station vanishing faster and faster in front of her. Even Mia, her shaggy black coat fading into the early morning sunlight.

Leaving him. Conspicuously absent from the platform as she’d waved goodbye, and long gone now as the train wound its way through the countryside, her boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) was nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps it was better this way.

Perhaps.

Bad to worse

“Grrr – work goddammit!” he muttered, mashing keys repeatedly. The stupid computer was on the fritz again.

Slamming the lid of the laptop in frustration, he pushed himself away from the desk, giving up on the stupid piece of technology. As he went to walk away however, there was an ominous crash behind him.

When he turned around, his laptop was in two pieces on the tiles, a few stray keyboard keys still clattering away under the desk.

“Well, fuck.”

***

Today’s late mini-fic is a result of ongoing battle with technology, particularly internet. Would any of you accept snail mail posts instead? :P

Grand Theft

Screaming with laughter, Rachel slid across the bonnet of the cherry red convertible and into the drivers seat, turning the key in the ignition.

As she pulled away from the kerb, her boyfriend flung himself into the passenger seat, tossing a bag overflowing with cash and jewellery into the back, and flashed her a huge grin.

“Let’s blow this joint, babe.”

Sliding her sunglasses onto her face, Rachel planted her foot on the accelerator and they sped off, leaving behind only the echo of her laughter and the insistent ringing of the burglar alarm.