Kreative Kue 328

Kreative Kue 327 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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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

The Excavation by John W. Howell © 2021

“Everyone, please be careful. We have been working at this site for over a year.”

“I hear you have turned up nothing but this one artifact.”

“That is correct. It appears the civilization disappeared without a trace.”

“Except for this one artifact.”

“Quite true, Ambrose. We are almost certain others will be found, but so far, this is all the evidence we have that anyone existed here before.”

“So, how would you describe the artifact, professor.”

“You can see for yourself that it is green and make out of a substance that is hard and clear.”

“Do you have a guess as to its age?”

“It is tough to determine since we would have to take a piece of it and then do a dating process. However, given the low level of technology, I would put this object in the twenty-first century, say around 2021.”

“Wow, professor, that was five thousand years ago.”

“I know, er, what was your name again?”

“Tantius.”

“Ah, yes, Tantius, the son of Truntious. It is over five thousand years. You see, back then, humans used to walk around with sustenance in containers. These were made out of silica and were a very crude method of portability compared to our standards.”

“Why did they need to carry sustenance, Professor.”

“No one is sure Tantius. They had a term for it. They called it carry-out.”

“Wasn’t that what helped make them extinct?”

“Well done, Ambrose. Yes, their carry-out finally did them in. Unfortunately, they did not know how to dispose of these containers, so their rivers and oceans finally ran dry with the magnitude of the waste.”

“Yet this is the only artifact.”

“It is a little poetic, isn’t it? I suppose we will never know where all the dross finally went. However, we should be thankful that it is gone.”

“What are you going to do with this artifact?”

“We will wrap it and carefully transport it back to Tandox. They can study it more there and will be able to lift the traces of matter that will identify the last user of this container.”

“What then?”

“The matter can be used to replicate the user for further study.”

“I would love to see that. They say humans only had two eyes.”

“Yes, Tantis. They were definitely inferior to our race. If they hadn’t eliminated themselves, they would be no match for us. Unfortunately, we only have sketchy descriptions of them, but they seemed to be ill-equipped for survival. Well, are we ready to head back to the classroom?”

“Speaking for myself, this has been a fascinating discussion. I could really go for some lunch.”

“Lovely, Tantis, thank you. We have some fresh dung waiting for us when we get back, which I’m sure you will enjoy.”


Ray T Walker  is the award winning author of Seventeen novels, many compendiums of short stories and two books of poetry. He is a guitar player, songwriter, father, an occasional philosopher, political thinker, aesthete and imagine-er of the ethereal and unusual.. Details of Ray’s books can be found on his website at https://www.raytwalker.com/ and at his Amazon author page

(Untitled) by Ray T Walker © 2021

I said goodbye to Jane a long time ago, a difficult day in June, the sun shining and tears streaming from her charcoal eyes. I never knew what would happen. Perhaps I would have been kind but I was not. Brutal, her possessiveness getting to me, a faithful lover. Sent away from the object of her affection Jane mired herself in drink and casual sex and one day understood that things had changed.

A relaxing holiday, detoxing, laying on the beach, reinventing the girl she once was. Keith was the first person she met. He owned a vineyard, had his own label. Probably not the right guy for the new Jane, he would have suited her before she had met me. Depressed and forlorn she took the coke only because she wished to be with someone. The sex she was looking forward to, perhaps would forgetting me in sensation, that night was terrible, breath smelling of onions and whiskey. He was flabby, drunk and flaccid, she told me.

An explanation.

“She had too much coke, too much blow and an ill conceived plan to go para-gliding in the morning. Drunk and high. Reception were diligent enough to book the trip despite possible misgivings. An argument in the morning, she not right for him, he not for her. Drinking at eight when you did not stop till two the night before. Jane found the saddle and was dragged from the small pontoon over the ocean the bottle of our best red still in her hand. I laughed as she waved at me high above the sea, the parachute wide, all well.

She was still drinking and the wind was rising. She threw the bottle upon the beach below as the speedboat, turned to drag her back out to sea.

I watched, her friend said, as she unclasped the straps, one by one, the parachute, slid sideways dipping as she released the first strap. I hoped that she was just joking, being the silly girl I met last night. She was fun. but she released the other. She fell like a stone. Had it not been for you watching then she would have died instantly.

He saw it all; the drinking, the idiocy, used to it, de rigueur for her. A crazy girl. When she lost control and dipped into the ocean he was ready. He Knew what was coming, left his seat, dove into the ocean, dived and held her above the water. As a kid a trained lifeguard knowing what to do. The beach was almost deserted as she was dragged from the sea. To late. She was gone.

I wept, her new friend wept.

A body, a black bag, going to the UK. I walked the beach for one last time and found the bottle. A smile formed despite my torment. A note inside said; Sorry. I Love You.

Could have been meant for anyone.


My effort was:

Ampulla

“John. Come and look at this.”

“Oh yeah. A bottle.”

“Look at it closely. It’s not just a bottle. There’s something… I don’t know… different; maybe even special about it.”

“How can you say that, Janet? There’s no proper label on it or anything to suggest what it held.”

“I don’t think that’s relevant. What was in it probably isn’t all that interesting.”

“What then?”

“That marking on it. What does it say to you?”

“Somebody can’t spell?”

“No. That’s a deliberate literary device called a tautogram.”

“Don’t you mean alliteration?”

“No, I don’t. Technically, the difference between a tautogram and alliteration is that tautograms are written and visual, while alliterations are phonetic. Most alliterations are also tautograms; not necessarily all since different letters can often take on the same sound. Most tautograms are alliterations, too.”

“Where’d you get that from?”

“Wikipedia.”

“Oh, it must be right, then.”

“I choose to believe so.”

“Well. If it’s a tautogram—”

“Which it is.”

“Why did the author not use an alliteration? The C of creates has the K sound so it’d still work, but he wouldn’t have to debase himself by committing a spelling error of almost puerile proportions.”

“You have no eye for design, John. Using the K allowed him to produce something visually pleasing as well as getting his message across. Branding, we call it.”

“Stupid, is what I’d call it.”

“Any way, even that isn’t why I wanted you to look at it. Don’t the shape, colour, material and design say anything to you?”

“Oh, Janet; you genius. I see what you mean. This isn’t just any bottle, is it?”

“No, it isn’t. So what’s your interpretation of it?”

“It’s… let me see; how best to put this? It’s a green, screw-top bottle.”

“You have no soul, do you? No poetry, no appreciation of the finer things in life.”

“Okay, smarty-pants; what’s your interpretation of the damned thing?”

“It’s very old – probably dating from the Roman occupation. I call it ampulla.”

“Ampulla? What’s that?”

“Duh. You reckon you had a proper education? Ampulla is Latin for bottle.”

“And you know that how?”

“Google Translate.”

“Okay, whatever. So what’s your assertion that it’s a Roman relic actually based on?”

“Where it is.”

“What – in the soil?”

“Yes.”

“And can you see any other Roman artefacts around it?”

“Not yet, but we’ll find some if we start digging.”

“And you don’t think that it could have ended up there at any other time in the last two millennia?”

“I grant you that possibility, but my instincts say otherwise.”

“What instincts?”

“As an archaeologist.”

“You aren’t an archaeologist.”

“Am so. At least, I’m learning.”

“Since when?”

“Since yesterday, if you must know. I got the link to the first online lesson this morning.”

“So you haven’t actually started yet.”

“Not as such, no.”

“And yet you have instincts.”

“Yeah. Spooky, isn’t it?”

“Okay, Jan. Based on my instincts—”

“As what?”

“Oh, I don’t know: sceptic, realist, rational human being – take your pick.”

“And what do your instincts tell you, oh wise one?”

“What is the nearest evidence of human habitation?”

“What do you mean?”

“Within, say a half a mile, what evidence do you see of human activity?”

“The theme park next door, obviously.”

“And what is the major feature of this theme park?”

“Without a doubt, the scariest roller-coaster this side of the pond.”

“That’s it. That’s my theory.”

“What?”

“Somebody lost their bottle!”


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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 keithchanning@gmail.com 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.

3 thoughts on “Kreative Kue 328

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