The gathering pickle


“I can’t do this, Sid.”

“Don’t worry, Ula, it’ll grow on you.”

“That’s not even funny, Sidney. You try wearing an alien parasite on your left tit, you fat friar.”

“This is the only way I can get you off this rock in time or you will die with the rest of us–traveling through uncharted space on a quest for nothing.”

“Think of the adventure, Sidney. This asteroid will no longer be a prison, but a ship of exploration–speeding through the System on its way to the stars….”

“Stop touching the dressing, Ula. You’ll either kill it or it will bite off your nipple.  See, there. You’ve upset it.”

“It’s the parasite, not the other way around. Get this off me and flush it down the disposal chute. I’ll stay.”

“Stop it, Ula. You have been lucky so far that you have not been discovered.”

“Sidney, please. I can’t just leave him here. He’s my husband. I don’t want to leave without him. There must be some way?”

“There might be a way…a slight chance, perhaps.”

Both Sidney and Ula had forgotten about young Edisen, hiding in Sidney’s “Rube Goldberg”  kitchen laboratory. The bashful young man had not seen Ula naked since Sidney initially hid her in Edisen’s cell when she first infiltrated the asteroid prison in search of her husband. At the time, Ula repaid Edisen for his farm fresh insanity with the pleasures of her body, which he thought was more than fair. Alas, she was soon moved to Sidney’s cell and young Edisen’s aborted affair with Ula left him horny and depressed. Until early that morning, Edisen remained sequestered in his cell with the asteroid’s library collection of vintage pornographic media–donated by the Prison Trust of the Playboy Empire.

Edisen felt uncomfortable seeing Brother Sidney touching her. He wanted to rip out his heart….

“Well, Edisen? Slight chance for what? Come over here and tell us, you sweet thing. Come tell Ula what the fastidious and the furious reaches of your mind are plotting….”

Ula was still talking but he could no longer hear her words–just the melodious purring of her voice when she would touch….

“Edisen, you, twit! We spoke of this before. You are deliberately trying to evoke an unreasonable paradigm that you know is not sustainable….”

“Shut up, Sidney. Edisen…speak, damn it.”

Before young Brother Edisen could emit a syllable, there began knocking at the cell door. Like a mouse caught in the pantry when the light comes on, Ula grabbed her clothes and squeezed into Sidney’s crowded closet, while the two Brothers scurried about stowing evidence of their malfeasance. Then, Sidney took in a deep breath, trying to illicit the visage of a Zen state of mind, and after shooting a look of warning to Edisen, opened the small viewing hatch of the cell door. Instantly, he saw the note he had penned and forwarded to Ula’s husband in the engineering sector of the asteroid. Before Sidney could panic, a voice behind the note verified his identity:  it was Ula’s husband, Thorne–whispering the words that only Ula’s husband could know.

Thorne stood at the door, waiting for some sort of response to a spoken lyric of a forgotten song from a time long past:

“Easy come, easy go, anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me.”

Ula dabbled in musical history and when she was upset with him, Ula would sing those words. How often had he dreamed of her singing those words to him since they had been apart? He hoped it all wasn’t some sick agenda of….The door opened.

Thorne was a big man–taller than many. He always had to duck going through hatches and cell doorways. So, when two pairs of arms yanked him inside the cell, he wasn’t prepared and slammed his head against the rock–falling dazed into the room and onto the rock floor. Sidney and Edisen dragged him clear of the door so it could be shut, locked, bolted and bolted again. The commotion drew Ula from the closet. Once she realized it was her husband on the floor, Ula did something she had done only once before in her life–when Thorne was taken from her by her enemies. Edisen watched as Ula cried–tears, running down her face like the swollen droplets in the humid recesses of the asteroid’s evaporative system.

The two men who had committed themselves to helping the rash, young woman in her search for her husband, quietly watched as Thorne slowly stood up and shot a look to Sidney–who nodded and pointed to the sleeping room in the back. Edisen watched with resentment as the imposing Thorne–not much older than himself–carried Ula out of his sight. That’s when Sidney whispered to Edisen,

“I know who he is, and by extrapolation, who Ula must be. We are in a pickle, my boy.”

“What vernacular of pickle are you using, Sidney?”

“Never mind, Edisen. I will have to bite the bullet and hope that you are more clever than I. We’ll have to hurry to the tunnels and the nests.”

“Why have you changed your mind, Brother? Who is Thorne that you would follow my theory?”

“The Guardians will be returning. Oh, I do dislike it when you look at me as though your intelligence has dropped to moron-level….”

“The Guardians are gone, Sidney. They have not been heard from for…for centuries.”

“My young, charge. ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’. Young Edisen, the Guardians have their fingers in the stars: the stuff of creation!

Come, we must hurry. I will leave a note for the…uh…our guests, and I will put the cell in lock-down . They will be safe.”

“I still don’t know what a pickle has to do with anything, Sidney. Is it something like salami?”

“Stop looking at pornography, Edisen. You’ll go blind.”



Inspiration Monday:  The fastidious and the furious
Prompts:  The fastidious and the furious, It’ll grow on you, Quest for nothing, Farm fresh insanity, Fingers in the stars.
Word Count:  980
Photo:  Freddie Mercury

Many, muchas thanks to Stephanie Orges at Be Kind Rewrite for hosting Inspiration Monday. Stephanie is my inspiration…or my Monday.




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.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in asteroid, fiction, humor, inspiration monday, mystery, prison, sci-fi
4 comments on “The gathering pickle
  1. Stalkingdog says:

    Cool story, Luce. So this all ties in with that Whitaker guy who gets off the asteroid prison by lotter? Or is this a different time frame. This dog needs to know.

  2. Prison Trust of the Playboy Empire…ancient Queen lyrics…confusion over the vernacular of pickle. All-around amusing, as usual.

    I am glad to continue to be your Monday. 😉

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