The Ambush

Originally posted on Aug 11 2008

The Ambush Audio Download and enjoy!

Prompt
With wet grass on his/her feet he/she moved forward as quietly as possible.

The Ambush

I was watching her from the comfort of my deck chair, the coffee in my mug warming my hands. She was so sure of herself even though she was bound to fail just like she had done the last twenty times she had tried this. It was still fun to watch. Her bare feet were covered in the freshly mowed, wet grass and this time she was moving closer as quietly has she could, giggles escaping every few seconds.
She was two feet away. If she could just keep quiet and keep moving in slowly, she might actually have a chance of success this time. But then I would have to get up and interfere. I was just setting my coffee down when it happened.
“Chickie, Chickie, Chickie!” she screamed as she bolted forward. The chickens were never in any real danger. She was bright and pretty fast for a two year old, but her arms out run did not stand a chance against a terrified chickens sprint. They all scattered while she screamed with delight as she chased two or three of them around the yard.
I sat back and grabbed my coffee from the table. Now it was my turn to giggle. She loved this game, and it was certainly not doing any harm.
She slowed down again, now a little out of breath and started slowly moving in on a group of them. Even though they were a little more wary at the moment, they still found what ever they were catching on the ground more interesting. She was still a good distance away but moving in slowly when I saw it. A brown hen was coming up from behind her. I set my coffee down and prepared to move. The chickens had all been very good with the kids, but this one had a look about it that said it was about to become soup.
It came up behind her moving only a little faster than she was. She was already starting to giggle as she approached the small group of chickens that she planned to ambush. But I was more interested in the hen about to ambush her.
Her body tensed to squeal her battle cry and run at them again, but she never made it. The hen attacked from the rear, pecking at an interesting flower it saw on her dress. It only pecked once before realizing its mistake and quickly turning to run the other way.
The little girl whirled around, hands on hips and stomped her foot. “Bad chickie!” I nearly feel over laughing.

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What’s in a Name? The Power that a Name can Hold

297755main_GPN-2001-000009_fullRecently my wife and I have started watching Bones. I missed this when it first came out. Ok, I miss most things when they first come out. Truth is I don’t watch much broadcast TV, at least not as broadcast TV. But that is not what I want to talk about.

As I said, we were watching Bones the other night, and they found someone dead. Surprise! This person worked for “The Agency.” It was said that the Agency, would protect its own. That the agency would protect their interests. It was even hinted that the agency might have killed this person to protect their image and keep certain secrets. At one point, FBI agent Booth says, “… I don’t care what you say, our government does not kill people,” to which Bones replies “You were a sniper…” This suggested two things, first that yes, our government does kill people, and second that it would not be such a stretch to believe that, “The Agency” would also kill people to keep their secrets.

Probably none of this is surprising. It should also not surprise you that a show about how wonderful science is, and that routinely takes jabs at religion and belief systems, government agencies, and what a lot of people feel is pretty normal stuff, would take a jab at another government agency. What is surprising about this is what “Agency” they were talking about, NASA!

I don’t think that any one would be really surprised, in this day and age, that every government agency has a bit of a dark side. But, NASA is one of those that is held up as a shining beacon of progress, of hope for the future of not only our government, but of the human race in the form of colonization of other worlds. NASA is one that we, well at least I, hope has not been touched by this.

Let me make it very clear. This was a fiction. I believe it to be a fiction, and I am only talking about it because I want to show the power of names.

Throughout the episode, they called it “The Agency,” only occasionally referring to it as NASA. Only hinting at the work that they do obliquely. By calling it the agency, and focusing on the actions of a few, they were able to cast it in a dark light. They were able to make it look like any other part of what is routinely portrayed on this show and others as a completely corrupt government that was capable of doing incredibly bad things. That is the power of a name. That is the power of suggestion that a name has. I think that if they had called it NASA all the way through the episode no one would have taken the episode seriously. It would have been laughed at. If they had shown even one rocket lifting off, or some pictures of space, it would have completely ruined the mood they were going for. As it was, the closest they got was one very cropped shot of two people in space suits and a few seconds aboard the “vomit comet.” Even the picking of that and using that name likely was intended to give a negative feel to it. No one likes to vomit.

I want to be clear about this. I don’t think NASA or really any part of the government is bad intrinsically. In fact, I think that most government agencies really try to do good, even the ones that we typically think of as being “bad.” I think NASA really is a beacon of hope for scientific progress, and the future of man kind. But, I do think, that there is incredible power in names.

As a fiction writer, I think this is important to keep in mind as we name our organizations, and groups, locations and star ships. Those names will determine how our readers perceive them. And how are works will be seen by others.

A Real Father is Snot Afraid

Originally Posted May 20 2008

0217141935-01Sorry for the delay folks, I originally thought the audio was missing for this one, but I was able to recover it, so here you go.

As the intro says, prompts from various places. I wrote this one a while ago after having a conversation with an expectant parent, who was asking advice about things they needed to buy for their new baby.


Download and listen to Audio for A Real Father is Snot Afraid.

A Real Father is Snot Not Afraid.

Jimmy was lying kicking and screaming on the floor while his father knelt over him, with the child under him to hold him down. He pinned the child’s arms to the floor with one hand and with the other produced a blue plastic item that looked like a small very short turkey baster, from his pocket. At the sight of it the child screamed louder, and now tears streamed down his cheeks. Arthor, after some difficulty got the end of the turkey baster into the child’s nose squeezed and released. Then with the same amount of trouble he repeated this with the other nostril.

When it was all over he kissed the child on the forehead and said, “Come on now, Jimmy was that really all that bad?” Jimmy wiggled his way away from his father, kicking to get out from under him and in the process kicked him in the knee, in a way that seemed to be more than a little intentional, then ran off still whimpering.

Arthur stood up rubbing his knee. “I don’t know how you do it John, you have 8 of those and I only have one. He is more than I can handle some times.”

“We pick our battles, Arthur” I said.

“Yeah, but how?” He said as he made his way to the sink. Before I could answer he started to clean the item that I like to call the brain sucker. He ran the water until is was steaming then stuck the open end into the stream and worked the action several times. When this was done he shut the water off and squeezed the bulb a number of times to expel and remaining water.

“I mean Mary and I are some times so tired at the end of the day we can barely make it up the stairs.” as he spoke he got a paper towel from under the sink and dried the brain sucker off. Then he pulled out an alcohol pad and cleaned all the exposed surfaces.

“I know how you feel. There are days when we have each fallen asleep on the sofa after the kids are in bed.” Done with the alcohol pad he tossed it in the trash and carried the brain sucker to the dish washer and put it in.

To the obviously surprised look on my face at this Arthur said, “You don’t want anything like that floating around with your dishes so we get it all cleaned out first.”

“Oh”

“So what do you guys do?” he said as he opened a drawer next to the sink. In the drawer were four more of the little torture devices.

My youngest daughter ran up to me at that point. “Daddy, Marvin has a googie.” The was code for he needed to blow his nose. Marvin trailed behind her in with his unsteady walk. I picked him up.

“Alice says you have a googie is that true.” Marvin giggled. I grab his nose with my thumb in index finger and the mucus came out on to my fingers. I let go of his nose and Marvin giggled again.

“Daddy silly.” Marvin said as I put him down again and he toddled off. Arthur was almost white.

“Fathers are snot afraid.” I said rinsing my fingers under the sink.

Creative Commons License
A Real Father is Snot Afraid by Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at greathites.blogspot.com.

Runing late – Again!

Not to worry, Great Hites #30 is still on it’s way. This has been a very busy week for me this week. I will try to get the new stories out tonight.

LIfe happens

Today’s story is going to be late. I could share the whole story, but the short of it is that life gets in the way so I don’t have my story done yet, and I figured it was better not to try to rush it. I don’t have any challenge stories so…

I will entertain entries into this weeks contest for an extra day, so if you are just like me and haven’t finished your story by the deadline you have an extension. Monday night at midnight. As I got the question recently, I am eastern but I will accept midnight, your local, or mine which ever one gives you the best advantage.