Free Poems and Stories

Stories: One Night At Sheri-Too-Long's Popcorn Bar, Excerpts from The Unabridged Traveler's Guide as UFOs in Galaxy A.G.2

Poetry: After The Fire, The Barn, Inevitable Singularity, Storm of Souls, Dragon Love

One Night At Sheri-Too-Long's Popcorn Bar
[originally published in “Animated Objects”]

"This is a very special day," he says, raising his glass with his six fingered third hand and tapping my glass.

Why does this always happen to me? I could go to the loneliest, faraway bar--a place on a planet outside the known universe and some unnamed genetic hybrid will find me. They always treat me like a long lost brother. They talk and talk and talk until I'm all sticky and wet with their words.

I discreetly blink a change control code into my three dimensional self-projector implant to create a transformation in my outer displacement.

"I'm a lucky guy!" he says smiling, looking straight into my eyes.

So transparency doesn't bother this guy. Great. I fade back into the bar's temporal zone just in time for the bartender('s hair) to notice me. Her dark cloak of hair undulates around her body, covering her in a living full length gown.

A mass of curls form '??' above her head. I draw '==' on the counter and longingly watch her hair make another Ankle-high Buffalo Bill for me while the bartender carries on a conversation in sign language with a Venusian in a pressurized tank. I begin to imagine what else hair like that could do...

“Not only is this a special day, but meeting you here really makes it unforgettable,” he says.

The remnants of my daydreams scatter to the darker corners of the darkened bar. This guy has to pick now to get friendly. Just when I’m in the process of building up the energy to talk to the bartender; her hair’s been giving me erotic daydreams all evening. I was definitely not looking for a pal, I want the bartender(‘s hair).

“Do I know you?” I ask as rudely as I can. I look him up and down. Didn’t anyone tell him that polka dots were out of style on this side of the universe and those big, floppy red shoes--where did this guy come from?

“I know you’re here, you know I’m here. Double knowing. It doesn’t get better than this,” he says confidently, his orange curly hair bobbing up and down as he nods.

Now I know I’m in trouble. I have no idea what he’s talking about. So I just stare at him. Then suddenly his words have a startling affect on my subconscious, resulting in an unexpected physical change. I liquefy and pour into the rim around the bar chair.


I knew that was coming.

“You’re my kind of person,” he says and pours into his chair’s rim. A drop splashes into me and suddenly we’re in direct pipeline mental contact.

All matters of fellowship and love floods my mind. Life is good. Rainbows always come out after the rain. A list of words with a heart replacing the letter ‘o’ begin to march through my mind.

I recompose and say, “Just a minute--you can’t just go around splashing yourself into strangers.”

“I thought like that once,” he says after recomposing. “But now that I’ve met you. Well, I can’t stay unaffected. You’re the best.” He reaches out to slap me on the back, but I activate my Portable Matter Contact Repellent and his hand swings through a temporary tunnel in my torso.

That’s my limit. Accidental mind drips are one thing (and I’m not so sure that drip was an accident), but body touching without so much as an eye-to-eye invitation--that’s an outrage! I slide my right hand into my jacket searching for my Guiltless De-molecularizer when a thin filament wraps around my wrist. I look down and it’s a strand of the bartender’s hair. She’s still talking to someone else, but her hair forms the words BE KIND in the air.

I can’t believe it--a dream come true. Her hair noticed me! Maybe I could retrieve some joy from this evening. If...

If I could get rid of this guy and spend some time with the bartender(‘s hair). I take an empty hand out of my jacket and three strands of hair caress my cheek before the bartender walks to the other end of the bar. This gives me the kind of chills I’ve been fantasizing about since I first saw her hair in action.

It’s time to jump to light speed. I have to make this guy go away and I have to do it in a civilized way since her hair made it clear it didn’t want me to disperse him into star matter.

So this guy’s sitting there real impressed with knowing me (I don’t know why) and wanting something (I don’t know what).

His eyes are bright and filled with expectation. I take all my three-dimensional energy, pipe it into a one-way line in his direction and say, “I can see that you want something--that you have a question to ask me.”

He nods, smiling with a rim of pink teeth around his lower head. He looks around mischievously to see if anyone is listening and leans toward me.

I blink and his face had transforms to pasty white with blue eyebrows and a large, red, round nose.

“TRICK OR TREAT!” he yells. The force of his words fling me across the room and I adhere to the wall like one of those six pointed Niobium wall hangings.



It's kind of relief.

He runs out of the bar, laughing loudly. And it takes two hours for the bartender(‘s hair) to coax me down from the wall. Not the worst two hours of my life, but I’d rather have that kind of stuff done to me in private instead of in front of the gamey crowd of the bar. But sometimes you have to take your treats (or tricks) where you can get them.

The End

Excerpts from The Unabridged Traveler's Guide as UFOs in Galaxy A.G.2
[originally published in “Scars” anthology]

Chapter 3, Section 1.3.1a:

Maintain an acceptable holo image at all times when visiting the most interesting planet, native-named Earth, in the “Milky Way” galaxy. Neatness and a good fitting image will gain high marks on the believability scale if inadvertently seen by Earth's sentient beings. Several varieties of images have been tested and rated in this galaxy. Certain highly stylized images have been found to invoke agitated states in members of the species. Reference: “Mars Attacks” vid 84.I.77, “Alien” vid series 39.N.5.2.

However, there is a wide range of acceptable non-Earth styles to choose from that allow individuality and personal style. Simplicity within the seeded archetypes has found to be most successful. For popular interpretations of these images reference: “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” vid 45.A.3.7, “X-Files” vid series 849.N.4.9.

Exceptions to the lists of fashionable images is the favorite earthling Elvis look. A minimal amount of language and behavior imprinting is necessary to become acceptable to the natives. The only restriction is for travelers sensitive to flash light, since this look invokes picture taking from the natives. This image will allow you to travel among the natives freely; however, it is important to keep in mind that this look should only be worn in the Las Vegas sector, to avoid the rippling effects that have resulted from its overuse. See references to multi-media archives, keyword: “Elvis Sightings”.

Chapter 7, Section 5.2.9g:

Abduction of human beings has been strictly forbidden since the unfortunate incidents with unconscious memory leaks. These leaks have not caused any high level problems and the long term effects have been entertaining; however, they introduce unacceptable risks for the travel program. Reference: all works of Chris Carter starting in the 20th Century vid series 209.Z.4.7.

Abduction of other life forms is allowed as long as the entire creature is taken. Although the problems produced by the Geuu taking only internal organs and leaving the external coverings (see section on Bovine Internal Studies) has not resulted in Earth being put on the non-visitory list, we do not want to create additional issues for the Interspatial Uniplacated Traveler’s Board (IUTP).

Chapter 14, Section 8.4.2v:

It is important to establish viable landing sites if planet fall is intended. Studies have found that locations of expected visitation are best since the local natives will have already woven tales to explain any signs of other worldly sightings. Reference maps of Roswell, Grovers Mill, Area 51. Other sectors have been deemed attractive because of their tolerance of aberrant images. Reference layouts of Hollywood, New York City, all locations of Disney World.

When visiting it is important to clean up after yourself. The non-littering clause signed by all participants of the traveler’s contract will be strictly enforced. Dark matter, hot or cold, in particular must be kept out of this developing galaxy for obvious reasons. Manipulation of native material is strictly forbidden from the sub-molecular level to larger structures. Documented incidents of the breaking of these rules serve as clear examples of what not to do, no matter how visually pleasing. Reference: the Step Pyramid of King Joser in Egypt, which involved the masterful memory imprinting of several generations of natives. Note that the creation of crop circles by vacationers is discouraged unless you hold at least a Level III certificate in topical Terrain soil and plant design. Although amusing in its final result, these kinds of graffiti will no longer be tolerated by IUTP.

In conclusion, we expect all vacationers to review the entire Traveler’s Guide in any preferred form (visual, eatable, scent, spiked, etc) and commit it to memory. Enjoy!

The End

After The Fire
by Linda D. Addison
(Published in Dark Voices, 2000; reprinted in Being Full of Light, Insubstantial & Essence magazine 2008)

I lie in the ashes
desire, memories, hope, love–gone
reduced to a same grayness
except for the hint of shape
the sense of what was.

How to rebuild
from such fragile dust
What brick can be formed
with these emptied hands?

I gather what
the wind does not take
mix with tears, draw a capricious design
on ground willing to take
my final offering.

Standing on sooted bare feet
waiting for the cleansing of the next life
dressed in ashes
I spread my arms.

The Barn
by Linda D. Addison
(Published in The Edge, 2000; reprinted in Being Full of Light, Insubstantial)

It stands alone
gray wood stripped of paint
doors long gone,

the sunlight stabs
through its broken roof
the inner darkness splits into jagged shadows,

abandoned, waiting to be torn down
no one will reenter here
memories of life long gone.

My womb moans with the ghost
of the broken structure
both emptied, we wait to be torn down.

What is a Science-fiction poem...?
(Published in Being Full of Light, Insubstantial 2007)

Inevitable Singularity
by Linda D. Addison

a hand had five fingers, a body two arms,
humans the capacity to love and hate, give and take,
choice, a hidden agenda, created predictable consequences.

spatial-temporal needs influence body development
common sense comes in a bottle, clocks are meaningless,
ripe for transformation, the universe continues to expand.

BLT was bacon, lettuce, tomato on whole-wheat or white
Artificial Intelligence lived in the dreams of scientists and writers,
a fork was a fork, a spoon—a spoon.

nano-brain-computer interfacing creates food in the stomach,
school children play with critical technologies at recess,
trash becomes precious input to self-evolving systems.

becomes After
when the Universe is rewound by the
One Quantum Computer before it is turned on.

What is a horror poem...?
(Published in Fantastic Stories magazine 2005; Annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror Honorable Mention; reprinted in Being Full of Light, Insubstantial)

Storm of Souls
by Linda D. Addison

the rain won’t stop
endless pounding
breaking down weak roofs
crumbling concrete
opening the wound of earth
slowly removing every path, every road

my ears hurt from the echoing
the rain won’t stop
my house is melting, brick like butter
the rats laugh and wait
deep inside, the bones cry
more water for the soup

the rain won’t stop
even when I repent
I promise in strips of skin
in the blood of my unborn
but in this storm of souls
there is no redemption.

What is a fantasy poem...?
(Published in Being Full of Light, Insubstantial)

Dragon Love
by Linda D. Addison

Drawn by his fiery strength
I ignore the smoke-filled air
my eyes locked to golden light
in emerald-blue eyes.

Our souls were joined
in one night’s flight
my legs wrapped tightly
around his long strong neck.

We eat outdoors
meals cooked by his sweet breath
I wear a gown of discarded scales
so we can lie together at night.


Artwork by Newton Ewell.

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