Tuesday, April 25, 2006


This was an historical moment for Rollo the Astronaut who had mistakenly landed on the Planet Rouge, and he knew it. No one had ever met face-to-face with non-Earth life of the sentient kind, or if they had, the other race hadn't noticed. She was sentient. No doubt about that - he could tell by the way she stifled her yawns. This meant he would have to come up with an immortal phrase, some greeting along the lines of "One small step...," "What hath God wrought?" or "I'm Scorpio, how 'bout you?" to get her attention, famous first words to establish a lasting bond between their two species, a bond able to withstand melting suns and bigger and better bangs. Standing there all alone as sole representative of mankind, no one to help him, his mind flailed, "Oh, the humanity!" it cried. But that might be offensive in mixed company. The words he chose would be chiselled in stone, engraved in platinum, and printed on t-shirts medium and small, so he must be conscious of length. Chiselling and engraving is charged by the letter, and complex catchphrases don't move the textiles. He thought laterally and in tangents, wondering if maybe just a wink would do, after all, she was quite lovely in a ruddy sense of the rainbow, as he could tell through the scarlet fog drifting between them. "Excuse me," he said finally, "what's the way to Venus?"

Story #357

5 comments:

ariel said...

did he mean "to your Venus"? :-P

Indeterminacy said...

I knew I should have made that clearer. He just got lost. He was looking for the planet venus.

Doug said...

"Practice."

That was an especially witty piece. "She was sentient. No doubt about that - he could tell by the way she stifled her yawns." is a line for the ages. That needs to be in a scifi novel some day.

Sar said...

I agree with Doug. I also happened to like your sentence "Chiselling and engraving is charged by the letter, and complex catchphrases don't move the textiles."

Indeterminacy said...

Thanks Doug: Maybe that could go on a t-shirt? But I never yawn when I'm over at Waking Ambrose, so that must mean I'm not sentient.

Sar: So when are you and Doug going to co-write a science fiction?
P.S. We get all the t-shirts over here that they couldn't sell in America, so it gives me a feeling for.... (something, I'm not sure what).