February 4, 2014


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.
Change of pace for a bit – I’m going to look at elements of EXTREMELY popular SF, F, and H; break them apart and use each element as a jumping of point for a story idea…

Popular Science Fiction Story/Series: Dune
SF Trope: messiah
Current Event: Song lyrics: “Siamese, Lebanese, Chinese speaking strip TV's Singapore, El Salvador, Coca-Cola....Mercury, luxury, shove that Fender fist at me…Embryo, UFO, freako psycho horror show; Hips n' lips n' beauty queens Venus ramp, sexy tramp, make up muck, My vegas vamp” [http://www.releaselyrics.com/8433/sigue-sigue-sputnik-21st-century-boy-(tv-messiah)/]

They’d been waiting in the abandoned port of Duluth for ten hours.

Logan Andrist frowned and said, “You’re sure Professor Buddlorem told you to meet him here?”

Nkokoyanga Pomodimo held up her tablet computer, thumbed the screen to life and tapped until she had the message. She handed it to Logan and said, “Right here. Used to be a downhill ski resort here.”

“What’s ‘downhill skiing’?”

“No idea.”

He turned in a complete circle again, then looked up into the sky. It was a dark, dark blue as the last of the blood red sunlight drained from the sky. Stars came out, wavering at first in the thickening air near Lake Superior. The lake had once teemed with diverse life forms. Now giant salmon and tiny, razor-toothed smelt battled fast-swimming lamprey for the zebra mussels they’d been gengineered to feed on.

None of the creatures had been created for any purpose but weapons in the war that had heated up between the Chinese States of America and Fragmented Canada.

Now neither side could safely fish the waters. Anyone who plied the surface had to run armed as it was said that one of the countries had developed some massive creature – a freshwater whale or octopus or squid or shrieking eel – that lived in the depths of the Inland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LydQXydQKrc) Sea. Logan sighed and said, “You think it’ll ever look like it used to?”

“When? Like at the end of the Ice Age or you want the middle of the Deglaciation of North America or before the European Invasion of Laurentia?” Nkokoyanga snapped. She tapped her tablet furiously. A moment later, it bleated angrily. She said, “I’m not even getting a GPS signal.”


“What are you, deaf and stupid?”

“Neither,” he snapped back. “What I mean is that how can you possibly be signal blocked?”

“We must be out of line-of-sight...”

Logan said, “How can we be invisible to a satellite?”

She opened her mouth, then closed it. “I’m being blocked.” She looked around, then down at the harbor far below them. They were standing on a hill that had once been a ski resort – if the ancient map could be believed. But instead off the reflection of the azure sky like the one in the picture, the waters below seemed to surge with murky gray, roiling as something swam through the bay, leaving a faint, oily wake. She stared at the water far below for a while then said, “I don’t think anything we do can turn back the clock far enough for these lakes. Even if we dump a million tons of iron into them, they’re still gonna die.”

“That could be serious...” Logan began, pausing. He’d seen something move back on the tree line. It was movement that couldn’t be caused by the steady wind off the lake. Besides movement, it brought with it a cold, fish smell.

“Of course it could be serious, you idiot! It’s the...”

Cutting Nkokoyanga off, Logan said, “If you’d let me finish, I was going to say it could have
serious ramifications for the land surrounding the lakes. All kinds of flora and fauna...”

“Why can’t you just say plants and animals?”
“Because it’s more than that,” he began, when something walked out of the heavy brush at the edge of the clearing.

A tall figure, dressed simply for the mid-summer weather, walked up to them and said something in a language neither understood. Nkokoyanga bent over her tablet, tapping furiously. The figure said in plain Spandaringlish, “You won’t find Ojibwe in your computer,
I’m sorry to say.”

Logan said, “Why not?”

“It’s a forgotten language,” the figure said. Logan couldn’t figure out if it was a male voice or a female voice. Maybe both. It said, “Ojibwe was one of the languages spoken in these hills in the past.”

Nkokoyanga snorted, “There weren’t any people on Laurentia to speak...”

He laughed and said, “I’m a native of these parts, Madame Pomodimo, not an idiot.”

“How do you know my name?”

He snorted this time and said, “I know everything, and I’m about to tell you a large part of what I know.”

Names: Central African Republic, Gbaya; Minnesota, Minnesota

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