Saturday, September 11, 2021
Everyone here is aware of the significance of September 11th. It continues to trigger heartfelt pain in many of us. I begin this post with a moment of silence. Then I ask you to escape with me into something whimsical. Respectfully, I need us to be happy.
Welcome to my sanctuary. You’ve reached The Armadillo Files. Get a flashlight, though. I had an extended computer problem, and my personal “stuff” was a big problem throughout the week. Reflective of my life, this episode went “offline” in a literal way. That said, this is a short chapter.
Random Reader Things
Fortunately I had a flashlight handy. It was one of a set of three random reader things from GP Cox. Another, coffee, has featured in the episodes, but that was specifically “instant.” Anyhow, I used it again here. The third was bushbaby. To be honest, when I first saw that, I couldn’t think how I was ever going to use a bushbaby in this story. Challenge yourself, and imagine how you would use these three things in a story.
Previously in The Armadillo Files
Last time some kind of spaceship carrying Delia Faraday and Tatu Pinkerton, aka Fang, landed. The feline auxiliary pilots went to their next assignment. It looked like they touched down okay, if not where Fang expected. Although, I’ve led you astray before… Are you ready?
6 — Who turned out the lights?
Purple lights suddenly turned to red. The mechanical sounding voice I previously heard coming from the next compartment blared in a wobble.
“Lithium enabler malfunction. System failure imminent. Deploy auxiliary devices for all visual and locator fuuunctiooonsss…” the voice groaned to a stop.
“TROLLEY! What visual devices? You don’t mean my lenses, do you? TROLLEY!” Fang yelled, flailing his arms dramatically.
The red lights flashed a last time. All the illumination of the control panels extinguished. I wasn’t sure from where the lighting of the compartment came, but it slowly dimmed to nothing. We were in complete darkness.
“What were you going on about — lenses?” I asked, turning in the pitch black toward the last place I had seen my erstwhile armadillo.
“There were side effects to the modifications that allowed me to masquerade as your pet armadillo of the pink fairy species. Especially since I kept the form for years. I developed the nearsightedness of the species. Prime made up for that by implanting corrective lenses in my eyes. But now they’re offline with the rest of the visual components of the system,” he explained dejectedly.
I heard him plop into one of the seats, but then he hopped back to his feet. Rattle and rustle sounds made me think he was rummaging through a drawer. I hoped he had a flashlight in there somewhere, and I told him as much.
Something glass rolled across the floor. It stopped against my foot. Picking it up, I realized it was that jar of instant coffee. I tucked it away before he had another chance to pour any more of the crystals into my mouth.
With an exclamation of satisfaction, he switched on the flashlight. A moment later he was looking at a strange photograph that appeared to move. I went to look over his shoulder.
“Aw, a cute little bushbaby!” I exclaimed.
“Not so cute if you knew him. We were in basic training together,” Fang replied, leaving me speechless.
The noise of a motor broke the stillness of the night. I looked up, even though we were inside. Fang tilted his head, listening. Hurriedly he switched off the light.
“I recognize that model. Yes, Dilly. I’m nearsighted, but my hearing is terrific. Another side effect. That’s an observation plane. Be really still. Sometimes motion activates it, and we don’t want the system to come back up right now. The way our luck is running on this mission, all the lights will come on just as the plane flies over. They probably aren’t on a recon mission in the dark, but any lights would draw their attention,” he grumbled.
The rumble of the engines grew closer and louder.
♦ ♦ ♦
When The Lights Go On Again, sung by Vera Lynn circa 1942
♦ ♦ ♦
That was written as a song of hope, hope for a return to normal. I think many of us can relate to that hope today. But no political or religious remarks here at my sanctuary. I love to hear from you, so be sure to stop and say hello. Whether your comment is to me or another commenter, keep it friendly. Hugs on the wing!
♦ ♦ ♦
The September issue of Dead of Winter is here. Journey 9, Doors of Attunement!
Dead of Winter, All the Journeys
Universal Purchase Links
Journey 9, Doors of Attunement
Journey 8, The Lost Library
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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