Short Story Contest 2021-1

Below is a sample from the editor's fiction list so there is something here. No short story entries, yet


How I discovered time and place

Timeplace is where and now as one travels around time while maintaining a biological place in spacetime. That's very important for this story.

The first real test of controlled travel among time places came with the attempt to meet and verify crow people. Some refer to ancient crow people as Denison Man, their DNA was found in Tibet mid 2020.

This is written when the joy of laughter was stolen by capitalism and the human spirit became angry. The writing was on the wall. When the world is finally owned by one immortal corporation, palm trees grow near Earth's poles, sow bugs grow as large as armadillos and armadillos become as large as a medium-size rhinoceros.

That's the way some artists get ideas. They wonder about families living in secure pride of place artful happiness. How tremendous would be the real profit from that?

Artists are not as rare as one might think, and always necessary here and now. This story tells how an artist is driven to use a time speculator for the first time. A time and space travel machine. The artist asked; "Is there a time and place where people live healthy and happy? While Earth becomes more fertile and clean?" The artist needed some kind of Time Speculator to answer such questions and thus became a tinkerer.

I did not foresee anything yet knew then we are cosmic powered biology manifest. And we can see, read and speculate about Cosmos. Our roots in cosmic powered biology began the moment quarks first materialized from big still banging primordial plasma. Their attraction to each created Time.

Now we can bend time. The only other person who knows about this is my sister, and she discovered the speculator by semi purposeful accident.

The past is easiest in a story like this. I'll be the artist. Start with my sister, Kathleen; She is very pretty, has a ready smile, and jumped into the passenger seat just as I took off for a test run to somewhere near Siberia, maybe western Mongolia, during the time when glaciers were retreating. Earthly spring, humans had begun to bloom after thousands of isolated glacier years.

Kathleen took most of these notes as I was a total newbie with the speculator. We were moving fast and eight thousand years before Genghis Kahn. Though out of focus at first, we began to see a village, a boy and a girl.

The Speculator

What a shock! Kathleen here. I will now begin reporting in a detached professional manner while my brother tinkers on a gizmo that doesn't look overly complicated. It should be fixed soon enough. What did he call it? The "Speculator." That's it. I have high hopes for success! He ain't heavy… He's my brother.

Frankly. What I am about to describe requires some sort of intro and I have no real training for this expression. Therefore I say, to myself, "Kathleen. Let the drum roll begin!"

("Ahem, newly in-charge sister clears throat")

Though it is difficult to believe even with one's own eyes; there was a time when humans were rare.

I am looking at such a time and just pinched myself to be sure.

Believe me when I tell you — Long ago. Long, long ago; people were few and far between. It was in that long ago era when two orphan children were sheltered and nurtured by a flock of crows. A common grouping sometimes known as a congress of crows. Crows are smart. The orphan children had been quickly named Akaia and Kaiuco by the crows, so they could keep track of which child is who.

This all happened as my brother and I parked on a small hill just across the river witnessing a time-place that is fairly well but not completely in focus.

What to do with two baby human orphans was obviously quite crow confusing, at first. Freezing temperatures are not a big problem for crows. Even so. It was quick and easy for adult crows to see the human children were being stressed by cold and would soon die without parental help. Even a warm storm is cold when one is mostly naked and anywhere near a glacier.

I thought my brother had by chance happenstance adjusted our time-place to see Akaia and Kaiuco miraculously float to the top when a collapsing glacier brought a mountain of ice down upon their village. Nope. Not so. My brother had meticulously calculated our course to this exact timespace. It was during a long storm of warm rain with puffy warm winds. The village was located in a green valley below the glacier. Meltwater irrigated fields and powered dreams. It was a time of growth and a warming way when the mountain cracked like lightning and the children were instantly orphaned.

My brother says he knew crow people must exist somewhere near this timeplace from previous work in the future using an earlier model speculator. He said the earlier tries were not very accurate but there was no time for further questioning. Both of us were busy as can be.

With regard to the tragedy here and now before us, even the most observant wise elder had no idea the glacier would collapse. There was no warning. What is more? Neither elders nor toddlers suspected they as a people would one day be legendary crow people in a paradise sealed away by a rising bare mountain range freed from carrying three thousand meters of glacier ice. High resolution survey satellites have discovered and then lost paradise only very recently. Crow birds and crow people live almost invisible from above, they also have a birds eye view.

I'll skip ahead slightly and mention that the speculator eventually became something like a job for me. I personally used it most frequently in this timespace while the children were small.

The village had been located at the bottom of the valley, near the river, where fishing was plentiful and crops grew lush. A new crop was added almost every year. Most kitchens had hot and cold running water. Flycatcher compost toilets fertilized the fields.

A short walk from the village up a gentle canyon trail sheltered by oaks arrives at an overflowing hot spring. Explorers had found the hot spring when retreating ice age glaciers opened new space to human curiosity. There was a small cave next to the hot springs that had been used by humans for years before houses were built. It had been the founding location for the first heated dwellings. Crows had known of the hot springs for centuries before humans showed up and started running hot water through bamboo pipes to more distant structures.

Nearby crows had felt the mountain glacier tremble and were already in the air to see the avalanche and the survival of two children. They landed and then immediately began herding two cold and frightened children toward the warm cave. All the children wanted to do was sit down and cry for an adult. But the ground was too cold. Their infant survival might have been easier to bear if they knew each other or were from the same family. That was not so. Each had popped to the surface from different sides of their little town.

Younger crows stayed on the ground and bounced along chattering young crow talk with the young human toddlers, who occasionally stopped and chatter talked back. The young humans waved their arms and imaginary tails and told all the young crows what had happened to them. Each child had a different story and neither one was very clear about what had happened or where their parents might be.

My brother has now fixed the speculator and adjusted our time-place perfectly with the children and the crows. Akaia and Kaiuco have quite obviously been attempting to speak crow. I am concentrating to write and record as much as possible. Memories will hopefully supply details to include later.

It seemed like the foreign sound of her own crow speaking voice was the last shock Akaia's reserve human survival strength could endure. She sat down on her butt and started crying. Mother and father crow immediately hopped next to her. The larger father crow pulled Akaia's hand toward the warm cave with his beak. Mother crow squawked and pinched Akaia's rear with the tip of her sharp crow beak. This was not what infant Akaia had expected. Her eyes opened wide and she jumped to her feet. Father crow kept pulling and led her the last few meters to the cave entrance. Akaia crawled without hesitation into the warm cave and rejoined her brother Kaiuco.

The cave floor was the same smooth sand as the canyon floor leading to it. The back wall nearest the hot springs was warm to touch and just a little too hot to sleep against for very long. The children felt warm and safe. They followed the young crows deeper into the semi-darkness inside the cave opening and found the warm inner wall.

Young humans and crows waved arms and wings and talked crow as they walked back to the cave mouth. The mixed group of youngsters had taken very few steps outside the cave when the adult crows started yelling and cawing as loud as loud crows can. The young crows immediately dashed back into the cave. Akaia and Kaiuco hurried inside and gathered toward the back warm area with the young crows.

A few moments passed and then the adult crows called everyone outside again. The call was, unmistakably, "All clear!" And the young crows dashed back out of the cave. Akaia and Kaiuco followed the young crows out of the cave and were greeted by several more large adult crows who dropped nuts, fruits and berries to the ground. A large protecting civilization of tough, ice-age crows easily fed two adopted infant humans. Warm young humans began hungrily eating the wholesome foods they were accustomed to. Crows have obviously noticed what humans like to eat. What a happy sight after such a terrible disaster.

My brother says that it's time to go. He says we can come back and actually visit with crows and infant humans now that we know the timeplace. "One more trip and you won't need me," he says with a grin. Fixing the speculator was tiring. My brother says the speculator is mostly cosmic powered biology surfing big still banging at life speed and he is tired. Time to go home. I have high hopes my brother has this speculator placetime transporter idea thing figured out. He claims we have a reserved timeplace parking space. That's good enough for me.


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