The Patient Ones

April 18, 2014 5 comments

It’s Storybook Corner time again! As usual, I’m getting this in just under the wire.

This is a 300-500 word story based on a photo prompt, and is hosted by Adam Ickes. This week’s photo is quite open – just a door – where could it lead?

But first, the logo!



You can read the other stories for this month (March) by clicking on the little blue froggy below.

And here’s the photo for this month’s prompt.



Marcus took a deep breath and walked through the door, shaking the snow from his boots. It was warmer inside, and warmer too at his ultimate destination, he hoped.

They had arrived twenty-two years ago amid world-wide panic. “Invasion!” was the word on everyone’s lips. “Aliens!” followed close behind.

After a few days nothing untoward had happened. Contact was made.

The Vonotvi, they called themselves. A peaceful race from the far side of the galaxy, their planet had died when their sun exploded. These two hundred were the last of their race.

They brought new culture, new technology. Technology like Space Fold Unlimited Travel allowing almost instantaneous travel across the planet between any two terminals. Operated by SFUTlinkTM under the guidance of the Vonotvi, this building held one such terminal.

Today Marcus was travelling to warmer climes. The last of his family lost in a flaming mass of twisted metal, he was leaving familiar shores and painful memories behind.

He’d heard the stories, of course. People disappearing, walking in one end and never seen again. Nobody was particularly worried. Did they really disappear? No-one had reported them missing. Most were transients. Who knew if they were missing or not?

The Vonotvi had been on Earth for decades with never a problem and besides, there weren’t enough of them to cause trouble. Conspiracy theorists, they’ll always find something. Everyone used SFUT. Commuters, celebrities, hell, even world leaders. Perfectly safe!

And so Marcus walked up to the desk, swiped his ID and joined the queue of travellers. Men, women, children. Families. Families like the one he’d lost.

He swallowed to clear the lump in his throat and approached the Threshold. A swirling, pulsating mass of colours, the Threshold was everything popular science fiction had promised. One by one the travellers entered, to emerge on the other side of the planet. Marcus closed his eyes and crossed into the “tunnel”.

Immediately the air exploded from his body. He felt weightless. He opened his eyes but had no air in his lungs to scream as his eyeballs threatened to burst from his skull. He was floating in blackness, unable to breathe. Something had gone horribly wrong!

As consciousness left him, he imagined he saw a dark shape approaching.

When he opened his eyes again, everything was clear. He stood in a large metal bay, a hanger maybe, amidst many others. A huge screen flashed images of a planet – clear blue seas, huge cities, open countryside, somehow familiar? – his enhanced brain absorbed the information. Power generation centres, transport hubs, seats of power. Tactics. Mission parameters. The vicious pincers at the ends of his arms, bonded to his flesh, felt wrong somehow. Everything felt a little wrong, but he put that thought aside as he screeched the Vonotvi battle cry, echoed by thousands of others in the hanger.

Ka Vonotvi kee’ash! “For Vonotvi to the death!”

In the gallery above, two Vonotvi, or “Patient Ones”, smiled in grim satisfaction.



It’s time for Friday Fictioneers again – that came round fast! – brought to us as always by Rochelle. The photo, to which we write a 100 word story, has this week been contributed by Douglas M. Macilroy.

Quite a fun photo this one, so I’ll leave the horror and my current penchant for demonic possession alone for this week! Here’s a bit of silliness instead.

To read all the other stories, click on the little blue froggy below.


Copyright Douglas M. Macilroy

“So, a diver, a carpenter and a lawyer walk into a living room…”

“You mean bar.”

“Say what?”

“A diver, a carpenter and a lawyer walk into a bar.”

“Who’s telling this joke?”

“Well, excuse me.”

“May I continue?”

“If you must.”

“So, a diver, a carpenter and a lawyer walk into a living room, and the kid says, ‘What are you guys doing here?’”

“What kid?”

“The kid in the living room. Right, so the guys look at each other and then the diver says – oh boy, this is hilarious, you’re gonna love this – the diver says…“

Aw darn, that’s my 100 words all used up. Hey, I didn’t make the rules.

What did the diver say? Was it really hilarious? Do we care? Tune in again, same time next week, for a completely different story with no diver, living room and still no punchline!

Sharing My World Week 14

It’s Share Your World time again, courtesy of Cee over at her photography blog. I’ll dive straight in.


If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?
That’s a tricky one.

Tricky tricky tricky.

I’ll go with the following:


Bumpy road. That’s what most days are like. Especially at the moment when we’re still clearing up the work from last weekend while “normal” work is also there to be done. It can be quite confusing, like the following sign.


Picture by Dickbauch, public domain

What the hell? I’ve been on a “roundabout of roundabouts” like this somewhere to the north of London, while following friends in another car. In the end I pretty much just followed them and hoped for the best. I didn’t have a clue what was going on. At least the hospital with A&E (that’s ER) department is clearly marked in case of unfortunate collisions!

Is your hair short (total neck and ear showing), medium (covering ears and neck), long (below shoulders), extra long (at least halfway down your back) or bald?
Short! “Four” on the back and sides, “eight” on the top (that’s measured in eighths of an inch). Here’s a picture of me from one of our websites, to illustrate (taken at Chapel Porth, Cornwall). Currently my hair is about the same length (I get it cut every 6 weeks) but I’ve lost a few pounds! Yay!



When you are with your friends, do your interactions include much touching—for example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs? Would you like to have more of this? (Note: the answers may vary depending on where you live on this wonderful planet.)
No touching. I emit an aura of “stay away” somehow. There are one or two friends I hug but I never initiate it.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $100?
I wouldn’t be able to as it’s not legal tender. So the first thing to do is to convert it to GBP. I’m assuming that we’re talking USD here so that comes to just under £60, currently. Suddenly that doesn’t sound so much.

That’s a bit over a full tank of petrol for my Fiesta. I think I’d fill up the car, drive somewhere nice and I’d have a bit left over for some food and bits and bobs. Here’s somewhere nice (Colliford Lake, Cornwall).

Colliford Lake


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful that the work at the weekend went well. I’m looking forward to getting the rest of it cleared away next week (though it probably won’t be completely done).

Six on the Sixth – April

Not content with trying to cram a whole story into 100 words, I’ve decided to have a go at Adam Ickes’ “Six on the Sixth” prompt. The idea is to write between one and ten six word stories. Adam provides prompt words, which we don’t need to use – it’s all quite flexible really.

It’s six words on the sixth of the month – and it’s the twelfth today! Will the madness never end? If it’s the twelfth, do I get twelve words? Just checking… no, apparently I don’t.

There is a link-up so you can read all the other contributions – just click on the little blue froggy below. It’s amazing what people manage to fit into just six words!

For my first go I’ve decided to use each of the six prompt words as themes for my stories. Here goes!

Picnic’s promise stolen by Heaven’s tears.

Blindfold damp with tears. “Ready, aim…”

A careless step. Toe meets wall.

Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla (with sprinkles).

Head to toe, the tattooed man.

Blue and red – a winning combination!

New Flesh

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for Friday Fictioneers!

The goal is to write approximately 100 words, inspired by a photo which this week has been contributed by DLovering. Our host as always is Rochelle.

You can read all the other stories for this week by clicking on the little blue froggy. Here he is!

I’ve edited this a gazillion times and I’m still not entirely happy (I need about 30 more words!), but here it is anyway.

What with all this stuff at work I’m way behind with my reading but I promise I will try to catch up!


Copyright DLovering

The festival was over. For Manuel it had been most profitable. Wallets, assorted watches, rings… one ring caught his attention. It looked old. Really old. There was an inscription, written in a script he had never seen before.

He’d taken it from an old, gaunt man whose skin had felt like paper, and so cold – wrong somehow – as Manuel had crushed the life from him.

He put the ring on, suppressing a shudder as it seemed to melt into his flesh.

Far away, Galchallon, Lord of the Dark, smiled. New flesh to do his bidding. A new soul upon which to feast.


Yes, I know, I went with yet another demonic possession. Weird, huh? What’s going on in this head of mine?

Sharing My World Week 13

It’s time once again to Share My World! The questions have been posed by Cee over at her photography blog. I don’t have a lot of time, I’m off to work soon to start the “long weekend of work” so I’m writing this now in case I don’t have any more free time until next week.


Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Of course there are other thingies and whatnots out there. Have you not seen the TV? I was watching an excellent documentary the other day, it was called “Star Trek” I think, and they had lots of pictures of extraterrestrials. Here’s one (copyright probably CBS/Paramount).


Not human, as shown in the documentary “Star Trek”

What type of pet or pets do you not want to have?
I wouldn’t want a duck-billed platypus as a pet. I would think that they’d be quite hard to take care of!


High-maintenance pet.

(Picture from State of the Environment, Tasmania website, credited to Dave Watts).

If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
I’d be bluey-purple. I like that range of colours. Or alternatively I’d be white, because no-one would use those much and I’d exist a long time.


What type of transportation would you be? Why?
Transportation? I’d don’t really fancy dragging people from place to place. If I had to be a mode of transportation, maybe a little boat, cutting through the waves in the sunshine. That might be nice. Except I wouldn’t know if it were nice or not, because I’d be a boat, and boats aren’t aware of such things.



From, for sale now at only £6.5m. I’ll take two!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Oh dear, this tricky question again. I’m grateful I’m still alive and kicking. I’m looking forward to the hopefully successful completion of this weekend’s big project at work.

See you next time when I will be “sharing my world” once again!

Categories: About draliman Tags:

Lord of the Stage

It’s Friday Fictioneers time again, hosted as always by Rochelle. This week’s photo has been contributed by Kent Bonham.

I’m having to work all weekend, late nights and early mornings, so I’m slipping this in quickly before starting. I’ll try to read as many of the other contributions (which can be found by clicking on the little blue froggy below) as possible but I don’t know how much time I will have.



Copyright Kent Bonham

Harry stood in the empty theatre, staring at the stage light. Everyone else had long since gone, but he couldn’t tear his eyes from the lamp. It seemed to be staring back at him through slit eyes, laughing at him through gaping maw.

So entranced was he that he barely felt the knife which slid into his back, neatly severing his spine. An arm slipped around him as his legs gave way, easing him to the ground.

“I dedicate this life to you, my Lord Calitrax,” whispered his killer.

The lamp seemed to glow red before fading away to darkness.


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