Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WEP Dec. 2015 Challenge, Stow-Away-Faerie

Time for the December WEP Challenge. Write...Edit...Published was founded by Denise Covey and is a wonderful way for writers to step up to the challenge of crafting a flash fiction story in 1,000 words or less. Denise is joined by Yolanda Renee in hosting these challenges. You never know what the two of them will come up with.

Mars, courtesy of Wikipedia

This month we are challenged to write Science Fiction. What!?! I'm a fantasy writer. There's a good reason for that. I don't know anything about mega ships, or mini ships either. I didn't do so well in science. Hello. I like making stuff up not researching what is way too tech for me.

Okay, okay...I loved Asimov's, The Foundation Trilogy. I also think Star Trek is great. I saw, The Martian, starring Matt Damion and thought that was fantastic. So Sci-fi isn't totally foreign to me. But, I'm still a fantasy writer. So below, I give you a fantastical sci-fi tale. Enjoy.


Hopscotch was in trouble. He’d been warned countless times to leave human technology alone. But he was curious and he simply couldn’t help himself.

            He peeked out from behind the oversized white suit at the men as they floated around the capsule. One of them grabbed the suit that sheltered Hopscotch and quick as a blink, his faerie wings speed him to another spot.

            All seven humans suited up. Three headed back to the command deck while four floated down to the lower belly and entered an attached spaceship. Hopscotch followed the four wondering what had brought about this sudden change. He whisked by a human who turned and shut the door, securing it tight.

            Wait…what was going on?

            The men strapped themselves into their chairs. The one named Thomas pushed a button and spoke. “All systems responding, we’re ready Commander.”

            A voice came through the box in front of the men. “Release to Mars in 3…2…1”

            A sudden tug sent Hopscotch floating away from his hiding spot. He managed to stay concealed.

            “Thrusters engaged,” Thomas said.

            Hopscotch was pulled backward.

On board the spaceship was a greenhouse were Hopscotch had hidden and eaten. There was no greenhouse on this shuttle. He never should have followed these men.

            They sped toward the red planet.

            “Preparing to dock,” Thomas said.

            “Valles Marineris,” Sanchez said.  


For three days, Hopscotch watched the four humans climb down the ladder onto Valles Marineris, a valley with channels. On their return they sat at a small table and ate from sealed food pouches while Hopscotch felt his belly rumble from hunger.

            “My experiment to drill down and extract water is progressing,” Sanchez said.

            “I’ve taken the containers to the site for collection,” McDougal said. “The problem is, how we are going to keep it from freezing.”

            “You don’t want too much of it escaping or the oxygen in the water will form storm clouds and those storms can cover the entire planet and last for months.” Thomas waved his spoon in the air.

            Smith didn’t say anything.

            “I saw that fly we brought aboard. Can’t imagine how it’s survived so long.” McDougal rubbed his nose.

            Hopscotch knew they meant him when they talked about the fly.

            When he had first found himself in outer space with the humans, Hopscotch had woven a spell and created his own spacesuit. The next day he wore it. When the hatch opened he was protected. Hopscotch buzzed past them on their way outside. While the men worked, he flew around the area towards the mountains and back. There was little of interest for a faerie. No trees, bushes or flowers. No sparkling lakes. No animals scurrying after food. Only dry red soil.

            His belly growled. Hopscotch flew toward Sanchez and McDougal. A loud pop…water burst from the pipe, shot out into the atmosphere and froze in place. The men worked to seal the brake. Thomas struggled in his suit to their side. Storm clouds appeared beyond the mountains. Hopscotch didn’t think they would have formed that quickly but he wasn’t sure.

            “Back to the shuttle,” Thomas said. The men left. Hopscotch waited…watching…planning. He’d been thinking hard about Mars. He’d been bored and hungry and needed a purpose. The clouds billowed closer.

            Closer…Hopscotch set to work…wand at the ready he flew high into the sky. The storm engulfed him. He couldn’t fight the enormous wind and so he allowed the storm to suck him inside.

            Hopscotch whipped his wand.  “Atmosphere.” The air swirled. Dust impeded his vision. Hopscotch flew inside the storm and circled Mars, repeating his command. “Atmosphere.” He flew around the entirety of Mars three times, giving his command. “Atmosphere.”

The dust began to settle and the sky turned blue. When he reached the shuttle again, Hopscotch flew down to the pipe Sanchez had drilled and tapped it with his wand. “Release.” Water gushed from the pipe and flowed along a crevice into a nearby crater.

            For days, Hopscotch worked diligently, tapping the ground, calling the name of one plant after another. Soon, grass began to form. Bushes grew from tiny sprouts to bloom with berries and flowers. A lush orchard of apples and pears dotted the hillside. Tiny bees appeared to pollinate the new growth. An oasis of splendor spread forth on the Martian soil. Finally, Hopscotch could eat. He removed his space suit and dined on berries.

            The four humans emerged and walked to the green landscape. They stood, looking around them in wonder. Hopscotch left his flower and flew to where they stood. Thomas removed his helmet and the others followed.

            Hovering before the men Hopscotch bowed. “I give you earth on mars.”

            Sanchez opened his mouth to speak.

            McDougal uttered, “I’ll be a fried oyster.”

            Smith, quietly scratched his head. He never did have much to say.

            Thomas said, “You’re the fly.”

            “I am faerie. God grants that we look after all life. Mars was in desperate need and I was hungry.”

Word Count: 829

There you have it. What do you think?

To read more Sci-Fi flash fiction stories go here. We are going through Dec. 19, so they may not all be ready yet.



Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy! Good idea to get in early! I thoroughly enjoyed your combo of fantasy/science fiction. Truly delightful to see Hopscotch stowing away for a trip to Mars, all with good intentions. I'm glad it all worked out.

Thanks for having a go at an unfamiliar genre, Nancy. That's what it's all about at WEP, challenging ourselves. I've made mine a romance science fiction story, of course. I didn't plan it, it just happened that way...of course! I'm not up yet...

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a magical 2016! Please be well.

Much love

Denise :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Denise.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - that's great fun ... I loved it - the thought idea too - yes I can imagine Mars coming to life like this.

Brilliant and so well done ... Have a peaceful Christmas and let's hope 2016 has some magic for you - cheers Hilary

desk49 said...

God seven
Hopscotch more
with the water
food throw the lord

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Hilary

Yup...God has help, Desk

Yolanda Renée said...

Hi, Nancy, this was so sweet, a great combination of sci-fi and fantasy. A trip to Mars would be a great deal less unknown if Hopscotch were along for the ride. Loved the creation of a new world. What better motivator than hunger? Well done!

Thanks for participating in the WEP's Holiday Celebrations that are out of this world. There nothing better to celebrate than a new Eden on Mars! Great job!

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Holiday and a prosperous and peace-filled New Year!

Elephant's Child said...

Big, big smiles.
Thank you.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hop Scotch is really cute all right. It would be great if we could create a planet with magic. :)

Olga Godim said...

Charming, so charming. The fairy on Mars - such a great idea.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Yolanda, Elephant's Child, Deborah and Olga. I'm glad you liked my story and thrilled you visited.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Really nice blend of science fiction and fantasy. Thought maybe someone would squash the 'fly,' so glad he made it and was able to change Mars.

Anonymous said...

Your word choices sit right with me, as you write in the kind of language I enjoy. Also, your post makes it clear that your preferred genre is something other than sci-fi, which would make it harder for you to put together writing that you feel is good as a sci-fi story. While I would probably like reading a fantasy story you have written, because your technique making a story is very nice, I was ever so slightly confused by what the events of your story here meant in terms of your narrative. I think if you felt permitted to go in more customary directions of fantasy, you would have an interesting tale and, of course, you should keep your hand in at blogging and writing. Merry Christmas, certainly, and Happy New Year ~Patrick Coholan

dolorah said...

"other worldly" does not have to mean space ships. Though you did make it work here. This was very cute Nancy; loved little Hopscotch. Nice to be able to create a world to feed him. Well done.

D.G. Hudson said...

I love the faerie tales, and yours is crafted well, as always. I like the two viewpoints of the human and the faerie (the fly). Sorry to be coming by late, but I enjoyed your WEP challenge entry, thanks for sharing it.

N. R. Williams said...

The fly was too fast for the humans, Alex. Haha

Thanks for your comment, odell01

Glad you like it Donna and's just a fun story that no one should take too seriously.

Robyn Campbell said...

You excel at world building. What a wonderful story. I loved Hopscotch. That's another thing you excel at. Character. Great ending too. Fabulous piece.

N. R. Williams said...

Why thank you so much, Robyn.