Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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Please help me in congratulating Dean Hardage. The first GoodReads Champion of the Science Fiction Microstory Contest

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message 1: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1093 comments Mod
In Memory Yet Forgotten
by Dean Hardage ©2015

Kevin puttered about in the kitchen, putting together a meal from his admittedly limited repertoire. A little butter in the skillet, a little garlic, some flour, salt, and pepper for his roux and the sausage gravy was begun. He was too tired to bake so he got a can of biscuits from the refrigerator and set them next to the baking sheet. He was washing his hands when he heard a light knock at his front door. Shaking the excess water from his hands, he went to answer it. When he got there no one was outside. Instead, moving in the slight breeze outside was a yellow sticky note on one of the panes of glass in the door. He read the two words on it and his body shuddered.

“Be Brave”

The lights went out and the room was instantly filled with an eerie, unnatural blue light.

Kevin awoke to what were unearthly but familiar surroundings. He’d been here before many times but never remembered until he was here again. His clothing was gone and in its place he wore a simple white smock. A sound behind him caused Kevin to turn. Tears formed in his eyes and ran down his cheeks as a familiar alien being walked through an opening that had dilated in the wall.

“Hello, Kevin.”

“Hello, Narina.” Narina was as close as he could come to pronouncing her real name, a set of sounds never meant to be uttered by human vocal cords.

An instant later he noticed the small, blanket wrapped bundle she carried in her long, slender arms.

“Is that……?”

“Yes, Kevin. This is your daughter, our daughter.”

The deep blue being approached him and held out the bundle. With the exquisite care of a collector handing the most precious piece of art he took it. Cradling the tiny infant inside, he carefully drew back the cloth that covered her face.

The sight took his breath away, the tiny blue face and the deeper blue eyes that caught his seemed at once ancient and innocent. She made no sound, just looked serenely at him.

“She is the last.”

Kevin’s gaze jerked up at her words.

“Last?”

“Yes, our geneticists say we have sufficient progeny from your race.”

He remembered.

“Your genetic structure contains a permutation that, while currently unexpressed, will make both our people and yours able to survive a situation that will occur in the future," one of the alien doctors had said. "Ours will happen very soon, yours not for many decades. We hope you understand and forgive us for what must happen.”

They’d been merciful in their own way, erasing his memories of these times and of the children that Narina had borne from him.

“Then I won’t see you…or them…again.”

“No. We do not normally interfere in the lives of others as we have you but we were desperate. You and others like you were our only hope and you have saved us.”

“Please…let me stay.”

“You know that we cannot. You are as important to your own people as you are to us. I’m terribly sorry.”

She reached out to take him in her slender arms, holding their child between them.

“This visit was to allow you to say good-bye.”

Kevin nodded, tears falling freely. The door dilated again and seven other blue children entered. He fancied he could see signs of him in each. They gathered around him and their mother and sister, each finding a place to lay their small, soft hands upon his skin. Somehow he was aware of each and he knew they loved him.

Kevin blinked. The roux he was mechanically stirring had taken on the color he wanted. He added the half and half to the skillet, the sizzle as it boiled for a second bringing him fully back to the present. He finished cooking, ate, and cleaned up. As he turned to leave the small kitchen his eyes lit on the vase that stood on the table in his living room. He smiled as he saw the bouquet of silk Forget-Me-Nots, then realized there were now eight of the small, blue blossoms where there once were only seven. For just a second his heart was filled with both the deepest love and deepest sadness, and suddenly it was gone.

Narina watched for a moment longer, certain that while Kevin would never remember, he would never be forgotten.


message 2: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 221 comments Congrats Dean! Great story!


message 3: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Alleson (goodreadscomjjalleson) | 105 comments Congratulations, Dean! One of those on my long list. A beautiful tale.


message 4: by Andy (new)

Andy Gurcak | 91 comments Congratulations Dean on an excellent story. I'm especially pleased that 3 of the first-round finalists were among my top 4 votes.

Thanks also to Sharon and Paula for their kind comments, to the folks who voted for me, and to everyone for reading my story.

And for those very old-timers here with a queasy sense of deja vu about my entry: yes, the kernel of my story was among the first stories I submitted here three years ago. That particular one has always been a fond memory for me.


message 5: by Ben (new)

Ben Boyd, Jr. (bhboyd2012) | 39 comments Congrats Dean. Excellent finish.


message 6: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Congratulations, Dean.


message 7: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Jones | 58 comments Way to go, Dean.


message 8: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments Congratulations!


message 9: by Karl (new)

Karl Freitag | 67 comments Congratulations. Again!


message 10: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 175 comments Nice writing, Dean. Congratulations!


message 11: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Alleson (goodreadscomjjalleson) | 105 comments Andy, yes your story brought back memories... and you had me checking on wiki too. Nicely done, sir.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments Dean- Well done.


message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments Congratulations to Dean, and to the other finalists as well. I loved Jeremy's story in particular.


message 14: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Thanks very much for all the congratulations. I will get the subject for next month posted soon.


message 15: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Congrats! Dean :)


message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Kraftchak (smkraftchak) | 123 comments Well deserved.


message 17: by Chris (new)

Chris Nance | 434 comments Good Job! :)


message 18: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus Howze | 47 comments Congrats to Dean, and to the other finalists. Now that I figured out where the contest has moved to.


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments Hi Thaddeus- hope no one else is trapped in the collapsing universe of LI. Need to get out as the gravity get stronger and stronger as Li disappears up its own arse-hole.


message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Good you're back, Thaddeus!


message 21: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus Howze | 47 comments I didn't go anywhere, per se. I spent the month of November writing a crazy number of essays and articles for my National Novel Writing Month. "The World According to Superheroes" is a collection of articles around the cultural effects of heroes and superheroes on society: https://list.ly/list/sqs-the-world-ac....


message 22: by Ronald (new)

Ronald Jones | 58 comments Hey, Thaddeus. Happy to see you've joined the GR side...


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