Tag Archives: the genre challenge

Can’t You Hear It?

For a long time I only wrote personal posts on my blog. Gradually I started to respond to the writing prompts from other bloggers and tried my hand at fiction. Here is one of my early attempts at fiction.

Teresa has a new challenge in which she provided both a picture prompt and a specific genre. We are to have fun with it – it does not have to be perfect she has reassured us! Which is great because I haven’t watched much in the space genre – as you might be able to tell. But I have made up a few funny names to try to make it sound a bit more spacey! I have thrown in a few smaller pictures to make it easier to follow the story – do I need to state that it is flash fiction?

Space, Interior, Facilities, Carpet

As Quarek and Ruftix were leaving the holodeck, after a few rounds of the latest programming version of their favourite sport Mandahits, they heard disturbing screams which seemed to be coming from the mess-hall.

Holy meteor showers! What is going on?” cried Ruftix.

Come on, let’s check it out.” said Quarek after opening one of the nearby emergency service portals and reaching for two hand held proton emitters.

The two senior officers who held high ranking stations on board the GOSS (Global Outer-Space Service) Lightbeam ran towards the mess-hall.

Suddenly Ruftix fell to the ground holding his head in his hands.

Ruftix! What’s wrong buddy?

That noise – aaaaagh! It’s intense. It hurts like a Humbodlian’s racktor. Can’t you hear it Quarek?

I can’t hear any noise, only the screams coming form the mess-hall. Focus Ruftix – try to fight it.

Whatever the noise Ruftix could hear in his head, it was disabling him. He was curled up on the floor writhing with whatever was disturbing him. “Commander Quarek to sick bay.

Sick bay here Commander Quarek.”

I need an emergency unit sent to the starboard side of Deck 36 – between the holodecks and the mess-hall. Lieutenant Commander Ruftix is in severe distress. He reports hearing an intense sound that has completely disabled him.”

A medical unit is being dispatched immediately Commander Quarek.”

Ruftix, sick bay is on the way buddy. Hold in there buddy. I am going to have to go on to the mess-hall.”

Ruftix was being tormented so much by the sound he could hear, he could hardly respond to Quarek. Quarek carried on towards the mess-hall. On the way he passed other members of the star-ships crew who were also writhing around on the floor holding their heads. It seemed they were suffering the same torment as Ruftix. It seemed strange to Quarek that he was not effected by whatever they could hear.

As soon as he came to the entrance to the mess-hall he could see that everyone there was in exactly the same state. It was very hard to see so many of his crew-members in obvious agony, but not to see any obvious cause.

Commander Quarek to the bridge.”

This is Captain Ladsamann Commander.”

Captain, there is a strange phenomonon occuring on Deck 36. All the crew members in the mess-hall and surrounding areas seem to be hearing an intense sound that is causing them debilitating pain. For some reason I am unable to hear it. But there are hundreds here in severe distress. An emergency unit from sick-bay has been dispatched. But we may be under some kind of hostile invasion.”

Stand by Commander. A security team are on the way.” Captain Ladsamann ordered the security officer to lead a team to Deck 36 and for the whole ship to be put on Yellow alert.

Quarek realized that there was somebody else in the mess-hall who was not effected by the sound that was tormenting his crew mates. He had not noticed at first, but now his eyes were focused on a figure standing on the opposite side of the mess-hall.

Emperor Jugzathan! You have escaped your prison in the Epsilon Sector. Is this your doing?”

Commander Quarek – you don’t seem to be effected the same way as your crew mates.”

You won’t get away with it Jugzathan! Evil will never win.”

No Quarek. You don’t understand. I am not really evil. I just had a very bad childhood. I was born into a violent family and a violent race. My home planet was destroyed during the civil war. And then when I married the Princess Chatalia, she turned out to be as cruel as my parents were. Then she left me for that rogue Scrugkapugur and accused me of treating her badly. All lies – I am the real victim.  I suspected her insidious plot. Chatalia and her minion intend to start a war with the neighbouring Mashtak galaxy,

All lies Jugzathan! We all know Her Highness Princess Chatalia is incorruptible. She and Lord Scrugkapugur are bringing peace to the galaxy.

Quarek, she is your mother. She abandoned you at the temple on the planet you grew up on Karkaw. That’s why you were raised by the priests who serve there.”

Quarek felt uncomfortable hearing Jugzathan refer to his personal upbringing. He had been raised in secret by those priests on Karkaw and had never known his parents. It provoked him to hear someone he regarded as one of the galaxy’s most hated villians talk of so much that was close to his heart.

I don’t believe you Jugzathan. Stop whatever you are doing to the crew NOW.”

“I will Quarek. Do not fear – they will not be harmed. They won’t even remember the sound when it stops. It’s the sound of a distress signal my people had genetically modified into our DNA. When under attack we were able to emit a pulse that debilitated our enemies. But we could not hear it ourselves. It allowed us to escape attackers.”

So why can’t I hear it?

Because Quarek – you are my son.”

At that the members of the crew stopped screaming and wailing and started to pick themselves up off the floor. They were a little confused at first, but as Jugzathan had said, nobody seemed to remember the sound or their previous distress.

When the security team arrived in the mess-hall they found all of the crew members there were behaving normally.

There was only one member of the crew in distress. Overwhelmed with all he had heard, Quarek dropped to his knees, “Nooooooooooo!”

It’s All A Mystery To Me

To me, all romance is a bit of a mystery. What is it that makes two people feel that spark which causes a whole cascade of emotions to ripple inside of them? It’s not just hormones. I am very aware of my hormones, and I keep meaning to work on a post about my hormones, but it isn’t just that.

The desire to share myself and the hunger for him. To know as much as I can, his preferences, his moods, his habits, his peeves. To want to know it, and to want to love it all. The whispering of words I would not dream of uttering to any other soul.

romantic mystery
Image by Alejandro Tuzzi from Pixabay

There is more, a mysterious more. A riddle that cannot be cracked. A magnetism beyond all detection. An invisible piece of string that is knotted around the core of two people and means they pull each other ever closely as they pull on each other’s hearts.

Have you ever been at a book store surrounded by attractive book covers, and then for some reason picked up a book that didn’t stand out amongst the rest. But as you read the summary on the back and the forward, something just drew you in. What is that something that captures your attention and stirs your appetite?

Why is that despite knowing plenty of physically attractive men who seem “nice” as far as I know them, one man can walk into a room and in a short time make a big enough impression to make me feel safer with him than anyone I have known for years? What is about all the interactions and communication between us that has left me beguiled and enchanted? Why is the time we have together never enough, but I am always left yearning for more?

Why is it that being in his arms, receiving his glances and kisses and touches feels pure, yet exquisite, while other men make me feel uncomfortable and defensive? Why does it feel as if we are performing a perfect harmony, while in reality we are only engaging in mundane actions? Eating together, walking together, sitting on the bus together. Yet it always feels thrilling.

It is a complete and utter mystery to me. It is delicious and dazzling romance. It is so far beyond hormones, I cannot fathom to explain it. But it is one of the highlights of life and energises me to do things I thought were impossible.



This post was in response to The Genre Challenge created by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:

Today’s randomly selected genre is: romantic mystery


Did He Really Say “Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You”?

It was the first date Annabelle had been on since saying goodbye to Robin. Matthew was a friend of Nina, who had been a friend since college. Nina had told Annabelle that Matt was a very decent guy, and although he could come across a little shy, he was a real catch.

Matt had suggested that they meet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. He loved history and often spent hours wandering around the museum at weekends. Annabelle knew the museum well. She used to live in an apartment around ten minutes away.

Before meeting they had told each other what they would be wearing, and agreed which entrance into the museum to meet at. Robin e-mailed Annabelle the night before saying how much he was looking forward to meeting her. He also announced that he had decided to carry a book and a rose, so that she could identify him amongst the crowds, and hoped she wouldn’t think it too much of a cliche.

Walking towards the museum, Annabelle spotted Matt and had time to regard him before he saw her. He had light brown curly hair and a handsome chiselled face. He looked smart.  Matt seemed surprised when Annabelle approached him and inquired, “Hi…are you Matthew?

Yes, hi. Are you Annabelle? Wow!

Annabelle held out her hand, and Matt accordingly took it and then leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Matt seemed to be shaking.

Annabelle suggested they find a cafe to sit and have some coffee. They crossed the busy road and headed towards the many cafes that were bustling with tourists. Matt seemed to keep a distance from Annabelle. Rather than walking besides each other, he seemed to make sure his pace was too fast for Annabelle to keep up with. Annabelle pointed to a pretty Italian cafe. Matt nodded and went in ahead of Annabelle, and found a table which was right at the back of the cafe near the restroom.

Do you want to go first?” asked Mike.


Do you want to get your coffee first? I will look after the table.

Oh! Yes, sure. Shall I get you a coffee too?” suggested Annabelle.

No! I will get my own.” Matt grinned.

Annabelle stood in the queue trying not to contemplate whether she was enjoying the date so far. It had only been a few minutes. It just felt so different from dates with Robin. As she reached the front of the queue, she ordered a peppermint tea. She only drank peppermint tea when she felt anxious. As the waitress was making her tea, Annabelle turned and saw that Matt was looking her up and down and that he had a broad grin.

Once Annabelle had returned to the table with her tea, Matt jumped up to go and join the queue. He remarked that her coffee looked odd. Annabelle sat staring at the rose and the book that were laid on the table while she waited for Matt to join her again. They sat opposite each other and for a few moments there was silence, which Annabelle could not bear. She started to ask Matt questions about his work and his family, whether he had hobbies and interests other than history.

Matt then asked Annabelle what kind of relationship she was looking for. Annabelle was hesitant for a moment and said she did not really have any particular expectations. Matt then told Annabelle that he didn’t really want a relationship with lots of talking and chatting. He said he can’t cope with a woman who is needy. He explained he likes his own space, and did not really want someone always disturbing his peace with phone calls and messages. He mentioned that if he is watching something interesting on television, the last thing he wants is an interruption.

Annabelle absorbed what Matt was telling her. She was not sure how to reply. So she said something that she doubted was wise on a first date, “The thing is Matt, I have just had a year-long relationship with a wonderful man. He and I were in touch nearly everyday and we did things together. We visited lots of interesting places, we went for walks in the countryside, we made love a lot… there was a lot of making love. I am not really over him. But he has gone, he is in another country now. We have said our goodbyes and although we will always be friends, we have both agreed that we are now single and free to pursue romantic connections elsewhere. So I am just starting out with dating again, I don’t have anything set in my mind.

Oh this is the guy Nina mentioned. Well, if he has moved to a different country, it’s over then isn’t it. I don’t mind having sex with you, well, I mean, I am sure I will quite enjoy it. It’s all the chatting I don’t want. It does my head in. I had a girlfriend for a couple of years, and she was driving me insane with wanting to talk all the time. I’m not having any of that. I am a man who needs his space, but who likes to spend time with a beautiful woman every now and then, and of course sex will be a part of that.”

So, am I correct in understanding Matt, that after today, you don’t want me to text you, or call you. You will let me know when you feel like having a woman’s company? Is that right?

That would be ideal, you’ve got it in a nutshell” replied Matt looking satisfied that Annabelle had understood him so quickly.

Annabelle put her bag over her shoulder and rose up from the table. “Well, thank you for making time to meet me Matt. I will do as you say, I won’t text you or call you. I don”t want to disturb your peace, or your enjoyment of life, or any interesting television programs.”

This was great Annabelle, I am glad we got on so well and that we understood each other. I will call you about next time. We could have sex if you want next time we meet up.”

I am going to have to go Matt. I need to be somewhere and I am worried I am going to be late.”

Alright Annabelle. Look forward to seeing you next time. Do you wanna kiss before you go like?

Maybe next time Matt.” Annabelle turned and fled from the cafe. As soon as she left, she began to run towards the tube station. She boarded a train headed west-bound. Forty-seven minutes later she stepped off the train and bounded towards the escalator leading upwards. She rushed through the tunnel towards the elevators where scores of people were waiting patiently. When the doors of the elevator opened, Annabelle managed to squeeze her way into an elevator which then speedily took it’s passengers up three floors.

On leaving the elevator, Annabelle viewed the signs and message boards that were displayed. She walked towards a desk under a glowing red sign that read “Singapore Airlines”. A pristine assistant greeted her with a beaming smile and asked how they could be of service. Annabelle asked if she could purchase a ticket on the next flight to Adelaide, Australia.

talking on phoneAs soon as she had purchased her ticket, she dialled Robin’s number on her phone. Within a couple of ringing tones, she heard his voice “Hey baby, I love it when you call me at three o”clock in the morning. I was just thinking of you when my phone started ringing. How did you know?

Oh Robin, I am so sorry I woke you, I forgot about the time difference.”

Annabelle, you can call me anytime, I love hearing the sound of your voice.”

Robin, do you have plans twenty seven hours from now?

Hmm – let me see that will be Monday morning at around six o’clock. I think I will be exactly where I am right now, in bed, dreaming about my girl back in London.

Do you think you could change your plans for me Robin?

What no hot fantasising about you?

Would you maybe meet me at the airport instead?

Here? The airport here in Adelaide! Yaa-hess! Wow Annabelle – you’re coming over!


This post in response to The Genre Challenge hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith

Today’s genre: Romance