Kreative Kue 320

Kreative Kue 319 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

2014-01-28 12-30-27_0031a

John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

Are You Sure? by John W. Howell © 2021

“Control. Wolfman.”

“Go ahead, Wolfman.”

“We are circling the target now.”

“You are clear to execute.”

“Roger that control. I have a question.”

“A question, Wolfman?”

“Roger control.”

“Go ahead.”

“You guys sure about this?”

“What do you mean.”

“This doesn’t look like a terrorist camp.”

“Let’s check coordinates. We have you at 225 West Delta sector.”

“Affirmative control. My DME is the same.”

“So, what’s the problem?”

“The visual on the target looks very much like a convent.”

“A convent?”



“Any unfriendly fire?”

“Negative. Also, no visible ground to air emplacements.”

“Intel says the place is thick with anti-aircraft installations.”

“That’s what I was told at the briefing.”

“Your call. Wolfman.”

“Roger that control. Wingman and I will make one more pass over the target, but I’m of a mind to return to base.”

“Roger Wolfman. Your discretion. Control standing by.”


“Yeah, Wolfman.”

“You see anything.”


“We are going to do one more pass, and my guess is someone screwed up on the intel.”

“Right with you, Wolfman.”

“Let’s do a 180 on my mark. Three, two, one. Execute. Control, Wolfman.”

“Go, Wolfman.”

“Wingman and I are turning a 180 to observe. We’ll report what we see.”

“Roger that, Wolfman. Control standing by.”

“Roger Cont—”

“You broke up there, Wolfman. . . Wolfman? Control over. Wolfman?  Coyote. Do you read? Wolfman, Coyote, Wolfman, do you read. Control calling. Please come in.”

My effort was:


“You sure you have the right coordinates, Ptakh?”

“Hundred percent, Boss. I reseeded the satellites, reinitialised the computational matrix device and reran all the numbers. Everything checks out.”

“But it still looks wrong.”

“Agreed, Boss. What else can I do, though?”

“Have you run a sanity check?”

“Isn’t it a bit late for that? I underwent all the usual psychological profiling as well as the mental acuity and synaptic integrity checks before we left.”

“Not on you, idiot; on the system.”

“Oh, that. Yeah. everything checks out okay.”

“Inter-polar back-channelling?”


“Sub-messinal extemporisation?”

“Don’t know what that means.”

“Good, I just made it up to see if you were listening. So all the standard checks are clean.”

“Every one.”

“What about the pasta-antipasti pods?”

“Don’t you mean matter-antimatter?”

“No, I’m hungry. What’s for lunch?”

“Whatever the food replicators can produce from the primordial sludge they use as raw materials.”

“Do what you can, Ptakh.”


“How was lunch, Boss?”

“Awful. See what you can do with reprogramming the replicators to produce something that approaches edible without hiding behind a mask of rancidity.”

“It might take a while.”

“Just do it. Meanwhile, what is this place we’re approaching?”

“According to the enchiridion—”

“The what?”

“The enchiridion, Boss.”

“And that is?”

“The handbook, Boss. I just thought it deserved a swankier name. Anyway, according to it, this is a place of worship, a seminary and something akin to an orphanage and alms-house.”

“Is this your big-words day, Ptakh? Have you perchance swallowed a thesaurus?”

“I don’t think so, Boss. Weren’t they wiped out with the rest of the dinosaurs on one or our early visits?”

“No, Ptakh. A thesaurus is a book of words.”

“Is there another sort?”

“Haven’t you heard of picture-books?”


“Anyway, tell me what else we know about this place.”

“It’s one of the places where they pray for all sorts of things.”


“Like world peace, healing for their sick, good harvests and sometimes parking places.”

“Are they still doing that?”


“No, praying; idiot.”

“Oh yeah. It’s getting more popular too, by all accounts. Different factions use different names for their ‘gods’ and have different rules about how to pray and so on. They even fight wars between themselves because they can’t cope with groups believing different things from each other. And some go so far as to think it’s better to die than to believe the wrong thing. Other people, of course; no-one ever thinks it’s better for them to die themselves than to believe whatever it is they do.”

“Are you having a laugh at me, Ptakh?”

“No, Boss. It’s all in the enchiridion.”

“Okay, child. Find a clearing. This looks as good a place to start as any. Boy are they in for a shock when they realise who they’ve been praying to.”



On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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