2011 April 1 Weblit Swap: Allan Michaels

This piece comes to us from Allan T. Michaels, author of An Empire at War and was written for the April 1, 2011 Weblit Swap Event. It’s a short piece but it made me laugh, and I hope you get a kick out of it too.

If you want more detail about what’s going on this April First, check out today’s blog post.

Rizzo heard scrabbling and looked up. One of the invaders was approaching. He didn’t know where these creatures had come from, or what had provoked them, but over the last several hours, hundreds of his nest-mates had vanished, captured or killed. Those hunting him and his friends were much larger, but despite their size, they moved with a rapidity that alarmed him.

He scrunched back in crawlspace, nestling deep among the tasty wires that ran through these long, thin passageways. Clearly, these antagonists had a great sense of smell. But Roscoe had grown up in this environment. He knew every nook and cranny of this part of the nest. No mere interloper was going to catch him.

But running could only work for so long. And while he might be safe, almost indefinitely, his friends and loved ones were being slaughtered. He had to go on the attack. But for that, he would need help. They had overwhelmed one of the creatures, the largest they had encountered, when the food had appeared. As in most cases where the nest was concerned, there was strength in numbers. He needed to rally the troops. He had to find Mickey.

Jadyn skidded to a stop as he reach Tari’s bedside. He dropped slowly into the chair at the side of her bed and took her furry fingers amongst his own. “Wake up for me, my dear.” He reached out and stroked the fur above her brow. He bent down and began to whisper to her. “I love you, Tari. As long as the planets are turning, as long as the stars are burning. You better believe it.” He didn’t notice Bee and Alecha come up beside him.

“What are you doing?” Alecha asked.

Jadyn just smiled sadly. “Something I saw back on Earth. When a person would slip into a coma, the friends and family of the patient would speak to them.”

“It’s unlikely she can hear you. Wherever her mind is, it clearly isn’t here.”

“You’re probably right, Bee. If you can’t wake her, what chance do I have?” He grinned at her impishly, despite his concern. “But I must do something. And so I will speak to her.”

“You know,” Alecha said, as she watched the two of them together, “you could try singing. There is a lot of power in song.”

Jadyn grimaced. “Have you heard my voice, Alecha? I would do anything for love. But I just won’t do that!”

And there you have it! The piece I wrote for Robert Rodgers, the author of Arcadia Snips and the Steamwork Consortium as well as The Last Skull, is entitled “In Which a Street Requires Cleaning.”