Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Alien Coffee" by John H. Carroll (Novella)

Genre:  Science Fiction, Humor

Type of Short Story:  Novella

Summary:  Jillian keeps trying to drink her coffee, only to find the cup empty. However, she is NOT the one drinking it. To make matters worse, Jillian has a tendency to forget it downstairs even after filling the cup. It frustrates her more and more with each passing day until she finally discovers exactly what has been happening.

Everyone knows there are aliens living secretly on Earth. What isn’t known is how much they like coffee or what sort of affect it has on them. A Columbian drug lord has an alien problem of his own, but what can teenagers really tell him, extraterrestrial or not?

Somehow Jillian gets involved in all of it and discovers the most exciting adventure of her life. But what in the world do emo bunnies and snails have to do with anything?

Aliens, coffee, emo bunnies, snails, teenagers and a Columbian drug lord all take part in this humorous sci-fi romp. It’s hard to tell which one is worst.

In the middle of the dimly lit area was a spaceship that looked oddly like a snail. It had a long front fuselage with antenna in the same place as a snail, and a curved shell in back. Jillian stopped and frowned at it while Nyxulla moved to a screen on the wall and touched some symbols. Lights in the ceiling and along the wall turned on. “Why does your ship look like a snail?” Jillian asked.

“Actually; snails look like our ship, not the other way around,” Nyxulla corrected her.

“What do you mean?”

“This is a fairly standard ship design throughout the Amalgamation, which is what our galactic civilization is called. They come in all different sizes and models, but the drive technology is the same.” She walked over to the craft that was five times as high as they were tall on the main body and ten times as high at the shell. The entire thing was about a hundred twenty feet long. “They don’t cost much to make, but they do break every once in a while. It’s a pain in the butt to be stranded, so spare ships have been scattered on planets throughout the galaxy.”

“That makes sense I suppose,” Jillian agreed. She tentatively reached out to touch the ship. When Nyxulla didn’t stop her, she ran fingers along the smooth cool metal.

“Are there extra ships on Earth?”

“Yes. They are the snails you speak of.” Nyxulla grinned at Jillian’s look of incredulity. “A special device is needed, but they contain the basic building blocks and codes to transform into a perfectly functional ship just like this one.”

“Are you serious?” Jillian asked flatly. “Snails are really spaceships?”

“Snails aren’t spaceships exactly; they’re the biological coding for spaceships. A device is needed to transform them. The good news is that they reproduce quite well, which helps keep costs almost non-existent.” Nyxulla turned the main lights back off, leaving only the few that were on before they entered. “Every planet and moon in the galaxy has snails.”

“You mean the ones that can support life,” Jillian clarified, going back through the doorway into the hall with Nyxulla right behind.

“No. There are other snails that can survive in the vacuum of space.” The alien took the lead again. “Each one adapts to its environment. The important thing is that there’s always one available anywhere in case anyone gets stranded.” They passed through the sitting area into the other hallway.

“That’s extraordinary. How slow are the spaceships?” Jillian asked. Everything was so intriguing and odd. It was an adventure more fascinating than many of the stories she edited.

The question puzzled Nyxulla. “Slow? Why would you think they’re slow?”

“Well . . . they’re snails . . . snails are slow, so it stands to reason that the ships are slow.” It made complete sense to Jillian. They entered a large control area with a bank of windows overlooking the cliff out onto the lakes. It was right where her favorite spot had been. Buffy was sitting at a desk protruding from the left wall in a u-shape with multiple screens and was tapping on them more rapidly than Jillian had ever seen anyone move.

Nyxulla walked over to the windows and leaned on a metal bar running along the length. “Space travel has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with the manipulation of space and energy while avoiding mass and time. I’m not going to tell you much more about it. It’s basic education in the Amalgamation, but would take quite a while to explain and you’re not technically supposed to know any of it.” She stretched, which emphasized each perfect curve in her body.

Buffy chimed in. “As far as snails being slow; if you crashed on a strange planetand had to find a new ship, would you want to have to chase it down?”

See John's complete list of works on Amazon or Smashwords.  Download this story for free on Smashwords by entering this coupon code:  JH37H

No comments:

Post a Comment