Somewhere near Tau Ceti


“I’ve had enough of your sour puss today, Avril.  So, the murder didn’t go right.  We will have another chance.  Listen, he’ll be treading mortal water soon enough.”

“But the play, Blair?  What about Infant Sky?  How do I get that produced?  I just know it will make a big splash in the cosmos, but with him out of the picture, I might as well give up.”

“Avril, you are such a prophet of doom.  You typically spoil my good time.”

“Well, you’re a money-grubbing sophist, Blair.”

“Really?  Well, you add paint to the washing machine of my avarice, Avril.  And another thing….”

“Whoa. You want to translate that for me, Blair?”

“Emil, do not get in the middle of this.”

“In the middle of what, Blair? The two of you are talking out your asses as far as I can tell.”

“Well…Blair and I are….”

“Actually, Avril, I don’t want to know. The two of you are on shift in less than six hours.  Both of you go get some rest.  And I mean it.  You, Avril, are on the roster tomorrow night as Cosmic Archaeologist.  Should I assume you are not prepared?”

“Bite me, Emil.”

“Well said, Avril. Let’s go get some sleep.  See you later, Emil.”

“Chester, I don’t know how much longer I can handle those two. Why do we have to take volunteers on these little jaunts?”

“Government sponsors, that’s why and you know it.  We’re not exactly rolling in pesos, Emil.  We can’t even purchase credits.  We’d have to win some kind of galactic lottery in order to stay solvent. And this time around, we only got ourselves two volunteers instead of the usual four.  The only reason we’re still in business is because of the planetary heritage laws.  We’re historical artifacts.”

“Artifacts belong in a museum, Chess.  Are you telling me that they’ll put us in a frigging museum?”

“If we’re lucky enough, Emil. Listen, that Avril comes from big pesos and that honey, Blair, is not far behind her.  Be a little more respectful, Emil.”

“I’ll respect their pesos, Chess.”

“By the way, Emil.  Where are Cosmo and Cybil?”

“Where do you think?  Every chance they get they’re at it.”

“They’re gonna hurt themselves, Emil.  Tell them I need to see them. I don’t care if you interrupt them, just get them here.”

Emil Douser was the production liturgist for the group known as, Words without Borders, a facsimile ensemble of the Sappho Guild.  In other words, they were a traveling theatrical group. Actors could be oversensitive and needed to be handled with a delicate touch.  And, you can believe there was nothing delicate about Emil.

Emil found Cosmo and Cybil in the Zero G lounge, aft of Hydroponics.  He stepped up to one of the observation windows and looked in.  The couple was at it again.  Emil turned on the intercom and shouted into it, ordering the two to see Chester Dupont, immediately.  Emil turned away and there was Blair standing less than a meter away, smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

“What is it, Blair?”

“Ever do it in Zero G, Emil?  It’s a real trip.  Want to take it for a spin?”

“What do you want, Blair?”

“It’s about Avril’s new format for tomorrow’s performance.”

“That again?  It’s not going to happen, Blair.”

“Please, just look at Avril’s format.  She has some great ideas that will draw a bigger audience. Please, Emil.”

“Okay, show me.”

“Avril’s in her quarters, you can look at it there and she can explain things to you.”

“Not that, Blair.  Show me what it’s like in Zero G.”

“Men are such pigs!”

Blair spun on her heel and started back down the passage way. Emil easily caught up with her, pulled her to him and whispered in her ear. Blair looked at him and smiled, and they turned around and headed back to the Zero G lounge.

Emil pulled open the air-lock hatch and both entered and waited for the signal to enter the lounge.  Blair walked through first…Emil heard a woman scream and knew it had to be Blair.  He charged into the chamber and found Blair hysterical.  All over the walls, the floor, the ceiling–an unimaginable amount of blood, tissue, hair, bone.  Emil’s first thought was the couple, Cosmo and Cybil, but something didn’t add up for Emil.   No time.  He had to get Blair out of there.  Emil grabbed her, scooped her in his arms and carried her outside the chamber. An alarm was going off and armed security pushed past him to the chamber.  Right behind them Cosmo and Cybil rushed to them, Cybil putting her arms around Blair, Cosmo speaking to him, showing concern. The only thing that Emil could see was the carnage in the chamber and his only thought: :  who the hell died in there?

Suddenly, all the lights on the ship went out.  Standing there in the darkness, security and crew yelling in the background, he heard Blair calmly say:

“We’re all going to die today....”

“No, we are not.  Okay, Avril, I know you’re on COM.  Turn the lights back on and I want to see you in front of me 30 seconds after your shift.  Get down here and clean up this mess.”

“Emil, listen, she just wanted you to see how the new format is interactive….”

“Blair, do not speak to me right now.  For your information, this is not theater.  This is murder, mayhem–the despicable side of humans.  This is not a Shakespearean sonnet….”

“Emil,  Emil, come in!”

“I don’t want to talk to you right now, Avril.”

“Listen to me.  I didn’t do all this.  I just planted some fake stuff  against the far wall.  Emil, this blood and stuff is real.  Emil, someone’s dead!  Emil….”

Inspiration Monday:  Mortal Water
Prompts:  Mortal Water, Words without borders, Infant Sky, Cosmic Archaeologist, Paint in the washing machine
Word Count:  <1000

Thanks to the  brilliant, Stephanie Orges for hosting Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite




When I was a kid I wanted to be an "atomic" scientist. Not anything my mother expected of me. Well, I became a scientist, just not an atomic one.

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Posted in fiction, horror, humor, inspiration monday
5 comments on “Somewhere near Tau Ceti
    • Lucy says:

      Oh, you liked it. It had a totally different ending without blood, hair and bone, but I gave in to the gore. Thank you for liking it. Lucy

  1. Ooo. I guess experiments in interactive theater can go too far! Interesting world and concept!

    • Lucy says:

      Thanks. I’m glad you didn’t throw any paint into the washing machine. I’ve been wading in mortal water all day. Ha Ha. I love your prompts. Lucy

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August 2014
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