By Gil C. Schmidt
When Pritchard was about to turn 17, he figured out the secret to anti-gravity. Over a furious four weeks between his first kiss with Melanie and his mom's loony "Sweet 17" party (that included a clown, to the utter humiliation of everyone at the party, including the clown), Pritchard (he hated his given name, Percy, so he fixed it) drew up the design, polished the theoretical underpinnings in a 34-page article (never published) and built the prototype, that he tested on Muggs, his loopy bulldog. The dog's maiden, er, flight, caused the poor mutt to vomit and run away for almost a week. The anti-gravity prototype was now disguised as an 8-track player in Pritchard's home-built display of passé technology.
Between Melanie (who went off to college somewhere in Michigan, while Pritchard stayed near home) and Sally, Pritchard figured out faster-than-light travel, pushed to a superhuman effort in consolidating theoretical physics and what he called "hyperquantic thrust dynamos" for lack of a better name. Sally, a smashing little redhead with birthmarks in the darnest places, was Pritchard's first lover, and the extended post-coital daze dampened Pritchard's other thoughts about FTL travel until Sally joined the Navy and was eventually shipped out to some port in East Asia.
Pritchard tinkered with hyperspace signals based on string theory tunneling until he met Lois, the tall brunette with the perfect dimples on her (most-often) unseen cheeks. Inspired by Lois' fond memories of her childhood in eastern Louisiana, Pritchard made the conceptual leap between his anti-grav concepts (already proven) and FTL travel (which he tested by sending a 54-inch probe to the Moon and back in 6.4 seconds...twice) to discover that time could be unlinked from gravitational space-time and moved anywhere. After a frenetic series of tests, drafts, edits, rebuilds and several cameras destroyed in tests (though one brought back an intriguing half-picture of what could only be a T-Rex in full attack mode), Pritchard finally got his prototype to work after using parts from his last FTL probe (disguised as an over-sized Sith lightsaber) to power his "time capsule." Two trips later (17th century France, smelly, and 15th century Japan, bloody), Pritchard plonked Lois on his lap and took her back 16 years to the tree-lined Alexandria streets of Lois' childhood home.
Only to lose her there when she absolutely freaked out after seeing her mom sneak out of their house, climb into Russell Graham's house through the den window and rock his world in a way that made Lois sick and made Pritchard want to get to know Mrs. Killian a helluva lot more.
With much effort, involving a frantic car chase, a brush with fat, chaw-chewing Southern cops, another couple of looks at the Killian Method for World Rocking and getting Lois blitzed on cheap tequila, Pritchard got them both back to their time/home and took an extra two days to convince Lois her pot dealer was dealing from the bottom, not the top.
Redecorating the time capsule into a home entertainment center with a rad game system and enough speakers to drown out Spinal Tap, Pritchard gathered the fake 8-track player and the über-nerdy fake lightsaber and tucked them into a hidden panel at the base of the new 72-inch plasma screen he bought for himself from the beaucoup royalties he made on his only patented invention: a cell phone accessory that found your wallet, purse, briefcase, keys, car and nearest coffee shop for you.
But every once in a while, Pritchard would carefully dismantle the home entertainment system, and use the time capsule, anti-grav and the now-real lightsaber he invented for fun to hit the Cretaceous creatures like a meteor strike, or leave the anti-grav and Sith weapon home and just drop in on Mrs. Killian...for old times' sake.
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Gil C. Schmidt has been a regular submitter to Yesteryear Fiction since the early days when it was a daily magazine. His story "Interesting Times" is also featured in his book "Thirty More Stories."
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
By John Ogden
The simple beauty of a pastoral life,
rising with the first rays of day
to a cruise through rolling hills
still running some archaic, previous version of grass.
How simple, how beautiful, the way unmodified life
sprouts from the unenriched earth here,
the way the air still hangs heavy with the earthy scents
of cedar, hay, ancient petrochem,
and oh! How oft--
see the bucks as they thrash rutting racks
against the dawn-golden glow
of guard-fields that line the mag-ways.
See the way that light keeps death at bay,
keeps stags with does,
autosedans with autosedans
life with gentle life.
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John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
By Jerry Barrow
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Jerome Brooke was born in Evansville, Indiana. He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He has written City of the Mirage (Amazon) and many other books.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
By Kira Fahrenheit
I stand here, on the edge, and stare down into the ruins of all that was humanity. The sun dips in the sky, casts thickening shadows through the broken spires, runs like water through the dust of shattered, ageless dreams. A breeze feathers through my hair, cold and full of the whispers, the smell of ancient ghosts.
Some say the end came in fire and some in ice, but I know that it was neither which crumbled the great cities of eons past. Like a greedy maggot, humanity became corpulent, outgrew itself, and was crushed under its own weight.
There is less to work with now, less to go around. Much less. The sins of our fathers prowl the seas, insatiable, pushed on endlessly by the hand of one who lords with a skeletal hand from on high, one who the masses still sing about and revere as God. For those with power, belief is a tool, a divider and a hammer by which those who see light in our dismal future are set aside and doubly crucified.
I close my eyes. Green within green within green. Mark of the hated, the progressive, the wanderer. I will not languish in sin. I will not worship at the feet of false gods, false idols. The failures of the past are my workshop, the textbook from which I will learn to fly as the ancestors did. I will usher in the light and cast out the stagnant darkness which waxes sick and fat in the towers of belief. I will build upon the strongest of what has crumbled and carve my own temple to the elements and to the sky.
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Kira lives in the desert with her father and her brother. She loves fixing things, making things, and going for long walks with her cousin. She also loves airplanes, the bigger the better!
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