Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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Congrats to Tom Olbert, Nine-time Champion of the Science Fiction Microstory Contest

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message 1: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1143 comments Mod
THE HERMIT CRAB
By Tom Olbert

The Antarctic…

Waves crashed over the deck of the ocean vessel, the ship’s frame shuddering, deckhands nearly thrown overboard as the Sea Shepherd vessel rammed the Japanese whaler.

Tarvyn’s heart throbbed, his currently human blood racing like a river of fire as he leapt 30 feet onto the deck of the whaler. The primal killing instinct of this human host raged as he tossed crewmen aside, hearing their bones shatter, their cries of pain ringing in his ears over the roaring of the sea. He didn’t care.
While in human form, their damnable violence was a part of him and he a part of it. It was purgatory, yet it raged through his nerves like an addictive drug.

He accelerated his host’s adrenalin, ramming his shoulder against the harpoon gun, jarring loose the steel bolts fastening it to its base. The harpoon flew off in a wild angle, missing the pilot whale by yards. Tarvyn laughed wildly, even as the deckhands attacked him with hooks and harpoons. The human brain to which he was currently attached swam in a boiling sea of raging blood. He lost count of how many of them he smashed to a pulp before they smashed in the back of his host’s skull. He laughed as he sank to the deck, shutting down the host’s pain relays.

As the deck pitched under him, he remembered the 1800’s…one of his terrestrial hosts then had been a sperm whale. He still felt the pain of the harpoon piercing his lungs, even as he’d detached from the dying host. His mind raged in anguish as he lapsed into stasis. How many times had he died on this damnable, savage world since he’d crawled from the wreckage of the starship more than 2,000 years ago? He’d died at the hands of Roman legions…Mongol hordes…crusaders…he’d died a million times. He’d killed a million times. And, each time, it seemed, a piece of himself died. Would he truly become as these savages whose bodies he borrowed for his survival? Was this planet his tomb?

His mind cried out, across the void…Eternal One…let me go home.

#

Akio looked with a mixture of disgust and delight at the dead man. “I hope you suffered, round-eyed bastard,” he whispered through clenched teeth. “You killed two of my friends.…” he froze, his blood running cold as the Antarctic sea below the keel. The thing he saw climbing out of the dead body couldn’t possibly exist. Long, spidery, exo-skeletal legs. Pale blue/white bio-luminescence. A strangled scream caught in his throat as it leapt straight at him.

#

Tokyo…

Tarvyn looked over the young prostitute, the lights of Tokyo’s night skyline shining through the window of the dim, rented motel room. Her large, dark eyes stared blankly at him. He trembled, trying to let this new host forget the carnage of scant days before. Somehow…the act of love, however false or empty, felt a redemption for the killing he’d done in his last incarnation. It had become a ritual.

He unbuttoned his shirt as she began to disrobe. It was then he saw the slash marks across her body. “Who did that?” he asked, his blood boiling.

“It’s nothing,” she muttered, turning away.

Damn them. It never stopped. The slave ships. The massacres. The extermination camps. He hated them. It eclipsed all else, never giving him a moment’s respite. He hated them. He took her face in his hands. He needed her memories. He began detaching from his current host. Her eyes widened as she screamed.

#

Tarvyn reveled in the deaths of the pimp and his men, their blood still fresh on this new host’s small hands. He looked up as red laser siting beams locked on him from multiple directions in the darkness. He ran as the soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons. He pushed the young woman’s body beyond normal human limits as he leapt behind a stack of crates, gasoline drums exploding.

#

New York, N.Y….

Tarvyn walked through the bustling subway, several young women admiring the body he now wore. That of the young American soldier he’d met in Tokyo.

He froze, a familiar scent stunning his olfactory sensors. Could it be? It had been so long. His heart raced. The pheromone of another like him. He started as a hand stroked his arm. He looked down into a young woman’s face. “Time to come home, Tarvyn,” she said.

He wept. Was he still worthy?


message 2: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 735 comments Congrats Tom! Well deserved.


message 3: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Congrats, Tom! :)


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, very much.

This is a very pleasant surprise.


message 5: by Paula (new)

Paula | 864 comments Nice work, Tom! A very fine story.


message 6: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, Paula.


message 7: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 248 comments Congrats Tom!


message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thanks, Jeremy.


message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 989 comments Sorry to be late! Another excellent story Tom! Great work!


message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments Thank you, very much, Justin. Much appreciated.


message 11: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 186 comments Great story, Tom! Congratulations!


message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1030 comments J.F. wrote: "Great story, Tom! Congratulations!"

Thank you!


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