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Duke’s Digs – #atozchallenge

April 5, 2016


Duke’s Digs

Duke walked around the dig site in amazement. All of his workers slept. He headed back into town in his Jeep. Halfway there, the roads were blocked. People dozed in their cars. He walked to town and once he got there, everyone there slept too. He was completely baffled. He went into his hotel and up to his room.

As he entered, he stopped in his tracks. Two creatures stood in the center of the room. Each was about six feet tall. One, who appeared to be male, was pale with long white hair, deep-set blue eyes, and dressed in a sparkling blue jumpsuit. The other, who appeared to be a female, was dark-skinned with long blonde hair and large, oval-shaped black eyes, and dressed in a long, flowing white dress.

“Do not be alarmed Duke Jackson. We mean you no harm,” the male said.

Duke studied the pair for a moment. “Who are you? Did you have something to do with everyone sleeping?” he finally inquired.

The female nodded. “I am Amele, an Arcturian. This,” she said pointing to her companion, “is Hentak. He is a Centurion. We are here on a mission from the Galactic Federation.”

Duke rubbed his eyes. He too must be asleep. He blinked, closed his eyes, hummed to himself for a moment and then opened his eyes again. No, they were still there.

“Okay, supposing I believe you are who you say you are and from where you say you are from, then why’d you put everyone to sleep? I thought the Galactic Federation were benevolent.”

“We are, Duke Jackson,” Hentak replied. “But we have no time to waste with meddlesome humans. You have an artifact that we must retrieve.”

Amele placed a long slender hand on Hentak’s arm. “You will frighten him by speaking so boldly, Hentak.”

“Listen, lady. I don’t frighten easily. Just tell me what you need so I can get back to my dig site.”

“The blue crystal that you dug up three days ago, Mr. Jackson,” Amele stated.

Duke ripped the hat off of his head and threw it onto the floor. “Now just wait a minute! How’d you know… no one saw… Maybe I don’t have a blue crystal!”

Hentak glared at Duke. “You do have it, Duke Jackson. And you will give it to us.”

“Hentak! Please, let me handle this,” Amele said as she firmly gripped his arm. She turned her attention to Duke. “Mr. Jackson, you do not understand. That beautiful gem is sending a signal into outer space. Before long, it will attract the attention of the Overlords unless we can get it secured.”

“The who?”

“The Overlords. We do not have time for a history lesson, Mr. Jackson. The longer that crystal remains insecure, the sooner your planet will be under attack again. Now where is the crystal?”

Duke pondered the information. An attack? History lesson? He didn’t understand. “I don’t have it here,” he insisted.

“Then you will take us to it, Duke Jackson!”

Amele ignored the rudeness of her companion. “Please, Mr. Jackson. We cannot protect your planet so long as it is broadcasting.”

Duke rubbed his goatee. “If I take you to it, will you explain this history to me?”

“We don’t have time,” Amele whispered.

“Then I am not taking you anywhere,” Duke replied and crossed his arms in front of his chest.

Hentak glanced at Amele. She nodded. “Do it,” she said.

Hentak moved toward Duke at lightning speed. He clasped Duke’s head between his hands. Duke was paralyzed. After a long moment, Hentak removed his hands. Duke stood transfixed for a bit longer and then he was able to move again. He shoved Hentak away.

“Say! What’s the big idea?”

“It is at the dig site,” Hentak informed Amele. The pair proceeded past Duke and out the door.

“Wait! I will take you. I don’t want you aliens messing around with my other artifacts.”

Amele stopped and turned to Duke. “Very well. Hold my hand.”

Duke cocked his head at her. Was she messing with him again? He inched his hand towards hers and she clasped onto it tightly. She then joined hands with Hentak. Seconds later, they were at the dig-site.

It took Duke a few seconds to re-orient himself. He wobbled a bit and nearly fell to the ground. He shook his head. “That was a neat trick!” he finally declared.

“The crystal, Duke Jackson!”

“Okay, okay. You sure are a pushy one!” Duke shouted. He went to a tent and rummaged around in it. Finally, he returned to the pair with a black bag. He tossed it in the air toward Amele who just barely caught it.

“Mr. Jackson! This is not a game!”

“You caught it. So what are you squawking about?”

Amele let out a deep sigh. “This is why we must guard you Earthlings. You are still such children. Let’s go, Hentak,” she said as she reached out for his hand.

Hentak took it and just as they were about to disappear, Duke jumped on Hentak’s back. In a flash, the three stood inside a spacecraft. Hentak shrugged Duke off of his back and raised his fist up to strike him. Duke ducked his head and laughed.

“We must take him back, Amele!”

“No, Hentak. We don’t have time for that. We will just have to take Mr. Jackson with us.”

“Cool!” Duke exclaimed as he settled into a chair. “Now we have time for that history lesson!”

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(904 words)


The Prompt via Mandy WallaceEveryone on Earth falls asleep at the same time, except one man.

Each day for the A to Z Challenge I will be writing a 500-1000 word Science Fiction story. I hope you will enjoy them.

  1. What a wonderful mind you have to create such stories!

  2. You have an amazing imagination. So many things could happen here.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

  3. An interesting twist at the end of this story. Thanks for visiting my blog. Carolyn @

  4. Fascinating read. Didn’t know I’d come across such fantastic writers when I signed up for A to Z. That will be my biggest takeaway from this.

    • Thank you, dear.. there are so many great poets and fiction writers doing this challenge.. it really is a great highlight of it 🙂

  5. What’s with the ‘again’? This is a beginning, surely.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from

    • Ah.. but is it? How did the crystal get there? who buried it and why? hmmmm… the beginning or a continuation? *laughs*

      • There is one problem with beginnings. Well, two, actually.
        I did a beginning called ‘Albert and Jarvis’. Folk asked for more. Part 56 will post on Friday.
        I did another called ‘MS Waist of Space’. Folm asked for more. Part 31 will post on Saturday.
        They were both meant to be one-offs with cliff-hanger endings.

      • *laughs* yes, it does seem to happen that way. I am getting that a lot with these flash fiction pieces.. I just don’t have time to write them all!
        I love ‘Albert and Jarvis’ but I haven’t read much of ‘Ms Waist of Space’ I need to trot over there and give it a good read from start to finish!

      • Waist of Space is silly. I can’t think of a better word to describe it. I’m so pleased you like A&J. It does my head in a bit, sometimes, it’s so complicated.

  6. Err… I’m so curious about the history lesson now. Will be watching out just in case if it ever appears here.

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