Some Creative Writing

Some time ago, I decided to do some thought experiments about various hypotheses, and I decided that the most convenient way to do that is to compose stories about them. Thus, my adventures into fiction writing. I think that it’s fair to say that a lot of science fiction qualifies as storified thought experiments, so I’m not alone.

I’ve published my stories at both Wattpad and FictionPad; I’m lpetrich in both places.

In “Watching a Supernova Up Close”, I imagined myself watching a red supergiant star as its core collapsed and made it explode as a supernova.

“Tunguska and the Titanic” is inspired by one of more far-out hypotheses about the Tunguska event. Some object hit the Earth’s atmosphere on June 30, 1908, and it exploded a few seconds before when it would have reached the ground. No macroscopic fragments of it have ever been found, despite very diligent searches. Various people have invented numerous hypotheses. A meteorite. A comet. A chunk of antimatter. A mini black hole. A gas eruption from the Earth’s interior. An experiment with a radio-frequency electric-power transmission system. An extraterrestrial spacecraft.

I found that latter hypothesis rather interesting. UFO contactee Billy Meier has an ET-spacecraft scenario that I found rather inelegant. Another UFO contactee, Elizabeth Klarer, briefly mentioned it as an ET spacecraft crashed. But I couldn’t find anything by George Adamski or Desmond Leslie on Tunguska. That left me with an idea. What if George Adamski found out about the Tunguska disaster when he was going on one of his trips with his alleged ET friends? How might it play out?

Here’s my favorite bit of it. One of GA’s ET friends says about it:

When our investigators arrived at the scene, they found a huge explosion site, with trees knocked down for miles around, and with nothing remaining of the ship. Nothing.

Then GA brings up the sinking of the RMS Titanic at almost the same time, in 1912. His ET friends ask about that, and they find that they have something in common.

I also wrote a sort of sequel, “Contact across the Solar System”, in which I try to rationalize some of GA’s odd notions. I think that I was at least half-successful. Unlike the other two stories I’d mentioned, it grew to novella length, with lots of adventures on the Earth and elsewhere. I also have a lot of people disliking GA’s ET friends when they decide to manifest themselves in a very obvious fashion.


Death’s Lover – by recursive prophet

I’ve had a love affair with death
From the day that I was born
When I stood at the portals of life’s mortal bond
And there paused, my desires torn

For I knew the time had come to end
My blessed unity
That now I’d have to stand alone,
And to feel, and hear, and see.

Alone in the light; beneath a stranger’s glare
And through those eyes I would somehow know
That I now had my space, and had entered the race
Yet be haunted wherever I might go

For I knew that for certain, my lover would return
Once again in her arms I would be
Then together back we’d walk, with no need to feel or talk
Through the halls of eternity.

The Attic – by dug_down_deep

As a writer of poetry, I am often subject to voices. They invade my unconscious mind, like rude tourists who have gone out for a swim in the deeper waters and then find themselves drowning. And they cry out for saving, three times (just like in the cartoons), then they sink through the depths until they are gone. But on occasion I take a fancy to a dying plea. I find myself a tablet, a ballpoint pen, and a quiet place to sit. I plunge the pen, point‑first, into the murky waters, stabbing the little blue‑faced swimmer through the gut, and I drop him, dripping ink and imagery, onto the dry sheet of paper. He is usually grateful (though sometimes he dies immediately), and thanks me by singing in his most beautiful voice as I scribble his words. Too late to matter, he notices the wound in his abdomen and the blood on the page, then quietly fades. Something like this scenario is called “inspiration.” Something else like this scenario is called “madness.” On one night in coldest February, one year ago today, I leaned over the icy water and prepared to poke a swimmer in the belly. Out of the sea burst a monster. And it swallowed me whole.

Continue reading

Without It All – by Andrew Cross

You tell me I need to choose the right way
Just let him into my heart
Even though you say he gives free will

Somehow you find all of this fulfilling
I’m scared of your wanting
To be watched and abused forever

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

You tell me there’s no morality without him
But it’s only cause you’re hollow
And empathy can’t deter you

Somehow you find all of this meaning
From eternal worship
What do you even think of this fucking life?

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

Think about it
The creator of the universe
Deviser of the laws of physics
Begetter of an expanding universe
Comprising billions of light years of space
Billions of years of time
Special and general relativity
Quantum indeterminacy
The shattering complexity of a living cell
This everlasting scientific and mathematical genius
Couldn’t think of a better way to forgive our sins
Than to visit our tiny speck of cosmic dust
And have himself tortured and executed as a scapegoat
So that he could forgive himself
How pathetic is that?

Fucking pathetic

Children are suffering
Societies are oppressed
Some god
Species go extinct
Stars eventually die
Some creation
Worship or be tortured for eternity
Some free will

You tell me I need to choose the right way
Just let him into my heart
Even though you say he gives free will

Somehow you find all of this fulfilling
I’m scared of your wanting
To be watched and abused forever

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

A Study in the Two Sides of Humility – by gimbol

St. Thomas

These days, the raw material of a saint
Is a bit less than it could be.

There is one that wants to argue,
But he’ll learn in the end.
In his own way, which is less than it should be.
If I got run over by a chariot tomorrow,
He wouldn’t believe it didn’t kill me
Unless he could put his fingers
In the ruts between my ribs and feel my heart.
One day, I tell him. Be patient, and maybe
You’ll learn in time to keep your sticky fingers out of it.

When that day comes, though,
He’ll want the proof of it. Always the proof.
I tell him: Go outside, Thomas!
Scream at the heavens,
Insult the Lord my Father
And bring down his rage upon your head.
That will be your fucking proof.

And Thomas?
God loves you. Just so you don’t forget.

A martyr before her burning

Those who suspect they’re weak try to hide it,
Even from themselves.
Put on a strong face, defy the world.
But those who know they’re weak, those that truly know,
Roll it around themselves, the shadow cloak,
Show their throats
Cut their own flesh to have blood enough to drip

In the end they were glad to burn me,
Glad to sear the voice from my throat –
Sick of hearing me whine:
A great fiery dose of Get a grip already,
You hysterical bitch!

But I could still whine to myself
Panegyrics to my own ability to be tortured…
I am grateful to be allowed to suffer.
But one can only be mild in comparison.

I had successfully provoked them, see.
They were kind at first, especially the young ones,
Too great pains to give me a way out.
But I was weak, determined to be mild, and so
I forced them to be devils.

Red Cross’d Bones – by Kyt Dotson

Kyt was kind enough to let Nexus have some flash fiction from an ongoing piece of work… you can see some more of Kyt’s Burning Sails stories on his Helljammer website. Other serial stories from Kyt can be seen at Mill Avenue Vexations. When not worldbuilding Kyt can be found at the Better Than Faith atheist website and forum.

It were nine-bells when the winds shifted, bringing with them the scent of roast mackerel from the galley. Most of the sailors on deck had been roused and stomachs rumbled in anticipation of the meal, but a different fate clutched our bellies that morning.

A shout came up from the crow’s nest, “Un bateau! Un bateau! Away starboard!”

As many hands as feet clattered across the deck to the starboard and leaned hard against the rail. I’ll ne’re forget that image so long as I live of that black prow’d boat cutting a feather against the deep azure sea. Not a man aboard needed the smell of sulfur and burning canvas to know what fate had us in its jaws–as the flames licked from those masts, whipping hungrily in the wind.

A chill went through the crew as the boatswain’s whistle shrilled. “Man the guns! Man the rigging! Powder shots and charges full, we may have only one shot! Get a move on! Do you want to be dead or worse!”

For it were the Burning Sails and there, high on her highest mast, the Red Jack flew, a’blazoned skull and crossbones over the flapping joli rouge. We couldn’t yet see the silhouettes of the men on that demon vessel, but surely if we could see their whites there’d be murder in their eyes. Some said the captain had insulted Connie Bluelark in another life and now she came asking her revenge.

My rifle slung easily from my shoulder as I took station behind Johnny Edgar, a bright boy of sixteen. Too bad that the lad will never see his seventeenth. I tried not to think as I bit the bullet and poured the powder down the barrel, belowdecks the toms were being set, but I knew it was for naught–not a boat has ever suffered the Burning Sails and lived to tell the tale. I stamped the bullet deep into the throat of my gun and affixed the ramrod to the stock.

With death in my sights and cold stones in my gut, I held my peace and prayed to the Good Lord to keep my aim true.

“All cannon! Give ’em a broadside!”

The roar of the guns split the day and the ship rocked as if a great hand had smacked us. Billows of ghost-white smoke belched across the blue. “Reload the guns!” shouted the quartermaster. I could hear his voice rough and booming in my ears even though the man were a deck below me and the thunder of the cannons still rang in my ears. Blood trickled down my neck. I had gone deaf in one ear.

When the clouds of white cleared, the helljammer were still there–unscathed and untouched, she swung and her cannon ports opened, bearing free the silver maws of ten and twenty iron barrels.

The Burning Sails returned the gesture–her flaming cannon tore through our hull, and smashed our mainmast to smithereens. Splinters flew, screams abounded, and the weeping of men caught my ears as I watched Johnny Edgar die at his post. He would be one of the lucky ones, I told myself as I held steady.

Only a knife in my hands, I stood no chance against these hellsmen; I’d blown my wad into the chest of the first boarder and it hadn’t slowed him a bit. The fight abovedecks was a quick one, our crew had been gutted like our boat, and there was little fight left in us. Beaten and bloodied, I bowed my head under the rapier of a rough jowled man with eyes that burned like irons from a fire. He stayed his blade after I dropped my knife.


And there she was, larger than life and full of it. The demon, Captain Connie Bluelark, wearing a dress of black sackcloth, with the crush of gold and jewels glittering from her throat. She made pause for every survivor and made the same offer:

“Death or eternal servitude,” ‘ole Connie said, her pistol leveled at my skull, and her eyes pierced through me like an awl.

“I pray the Good Lord my soul to take,” I said trying to recall my vespers, “…forfend me from evil.”

I closed my eyes and wondered if I’d hear the gunshot when Connie pulled the trigger.


“Your Soul is Weak!” – by smeggo

“Your soul is weak! You live in sin!”
I heard the soapbox preacher say.
“Without the Lord you cannot win!
Call upon your God today!”

Was it, perhaps, some kind of omen?
On life in heaven I set my hopes —
So Catholic Apostolic Roman
Was I (along with all the Popes.)

But I did not feel my spirit grow;
My emotional state was quite unmoved.
If my soul was weak, then I did know
my situation was not improved.

So to increase my spirit’s fitness,
and enhance my godly muscles,
I became Jehovah’s witness
and acolyte of C. T. Russell’s.

But soon I left the Hall forthwith
for now new beliefs were formin’;
I chose to follow Joseph Smith
when I became a saintly Mormon.

But I did not feel exactly right.
So you might ask me “whither wentest?”
I signed right up with Ellen White
as a Seventh-Day Adventist.

I found my soul grow pained and hostile.
Where were the people of the Lamb?
I thought I knew as Pentecostal
as I learned from C. F. Parham.

Yet despite my soul’s athletics
was I really safe from Hell?
Perhaps Scientolodianetics?
I went the route of Ron Hubbard, L.

To me, they seemed but after moolah,
and not of knowledge from on high.
Not like my new main man Baha’u’llah,
when I joined the church Baha’i.

Still not sure I’d found the Way
after this investigatin’,
I learned now from monseiur LaVey
when I joined the Church of Satan.

But then a rainy day, and windy
as I bit into my pita —
I thought, I’ll go and join the Hindi
and read the Bhagavad Gita.

Soon my lofty spirits fell
as each time they seemed to do;
If I became B’nei Israel,
would I find peace now as a Jew?

One day in study, I gazed at lamed
and doubts arose in consternation.
Thus next my prophet was Mohammed
as I joined an Islam Nation.

My life was not yet rid of drama
for faith had not yet changed my mood-a.
But maybe with Siddhartha Gautama
I’d learn some Truth now from the Buddha.

But no nirvana. A tarot reading?
Were there answers in astrology?
Were New Age crystals what I’m needing?
Or Kabbalistic num’rology?

That soon grew stale. Now what was next?
Zoroaster? Wicca? Pagan?
But I came across a better text —
my priest became: yes, Carl Sagan.

No need for spirits, angels, Gods;
no heavenly host or demon alliance.
Spare me the golden rules and rods —
for all Truth is found in Science.

What you see is what you get.
My peace of mind? Ne’er better rested!
Do NOT believe — now don’t forget! —
in what can’t be measured, shown, or tested.

So I don’t mind the anxious looks
the zealots/preachers/nuts are giving.
I don’t need “holy” men or books
for my life to be worth living.