The Small Man Chronicles: There Be Dragons

The Small Man Chronicles: There Be Dragons (1938)

Small Man Chronicles

a J.R. Dallas novel

(extract from Chapter XVIII)

published one year after J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or There And Back Again

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The Smalluns had made it to Asragarn.

And Mandrarg was near.

The giant owls of Forellem had not brought them all the way, for they had other, more interesting things to do like do other things and such.

Thall, the tallest of the Smalluns, knew there was only one way to proceed: through the dark woods of Klorsharum and passed the rivers of Gooloore. The journey was perilous but this was his quest, their quest, and he wasn’t about to give up now.

“Young Small Man, you have served us well thusfar”, Thall said to Polio, “We Smalluns need you but this is not your fight. If you wish to return to your meaningless existence, with your round doors and your cheese, you may do so. We will not think less of you.”

“I’ll be honest, Thall, I don’t like you people and I care not for your long and tedious quest”, replied the Small Man, “But I will help you. Because Old Man Hat is very powerful and he will no doubt vaporise me or put a sinister curse on my soul should I refuse.”

Old Man Hat, who was standing behind Thall, giving Polio a stern stare and making throat-cutting gestures at him, said nothing.

“Very well”, Thall said with a smile, “On we go! Your courage will not go unrewarded, young Small Man.”

Thall ruffles Polio’s hair and walks on as everyone follows.

“I’m 78!”, yelled a vastly ignored Polio.

The dark woods of Klorsharum were dark.

So dark in fact that one could only walk through them with the help of a lit torch, or two. Luckily, Old Man Hat possessed many abilities, one of which was to generate strange white light from his staff. This was certainly helpful. But they were many and Polio’s tiny feet could not quite keep up with the rest of the group. It was only a matter of time before he would lose them completely, despite his many vocal complaints.

And lose them, he did.

Polio was now walking in total darkness. He became more and more aware of the bizarre sounds which emanated from those treacherous woods.

“I hate Smalluns…”, he thought.

What could he do but keep walking and hope that someone would eventually come back for him or that he would somehow catch up? Then again, what if some forest creature was to attack him and feast on him long before that?

This thought unnerved Polio and he started shaking.

That’s when he remembered: the bracelet.

Of course! The bracelet from the monkey mines of Blerrendor! It had proved itself most useful and displayed incredible powers earlier in the quest, surely it could come in handy in this desperate instant. All he had to do was wear it and think of what he wanted, then the bracelet would no doubt provide him with that!

But why wish for something as trivial as a mere boost? Why not wish for The Smalluns’ Pointy Mountain back? Or the death of the beast Mandrarg? Then that darn quest would be over! Hell, why not just wish for a short trip back home?

It sure was tempting…

Then again, perhaps there were more creative things he could do with this bracelet. Old Man Hat could swallow that rusty staff of his, impale himself from orifice to orifice with it. Thall and all the Smalluns in the land could all be tied together into one big ball by their veins and nerve-endings, with only their raw muscle tissue keeping them warm at night. Mandrarg could be summoned and I could sit back and watch as he devoured each of them, limb by limb, eyeball by eyeball, before my very eyes as a female Fairyun lets me lick those pointy ears of hers.

“Young Polio!”, a loud voice came from the darkness.

Polio looked up, as if brutally awoken from a delicious dream. Above him, stood a stern-looking Old Man Hat, who was puffing on his fern pipe anxiously.

“What is the meaning of this stalling?”, he said, “Explain yourself!”

Halfway between anger and shame, Polio was seriously considering wearing that bracelet. In fact, he was so close to wearing it, it was almost passed his wrist.

“Well?”, pressed the old man.

“I… “, the Small Man struggled.

“Speak, damn you!”

“I… couldn’t reach. I’m too small.”, Polio said finally.

“Too small? No creature is too small that it can’t run or hold on to a taller, and therefore superior, being’s leg in order to follow a pack during a most important journey.”

Polio resisted the bracelet’s power and slipped it back in his coat pocket, without Old Man Hat noticing.

“May I… hang on to your leg?”, Polio asked.

“Not on your life, peasant!”

Old Man Hat walked on, leaving Polio to follow on foot, cursing his name under his breath.

“I could have skinned you…”, Polio muttered.

“What was that?”

“N… nothing. Just talking to myself.”

“And they say I’m high…”, Old Man Hat concluded.

Polio had soon rejoined the group when Thall sensed something was amiss.

“What is there, Thall? What do you sense?”, said Yarlaan, one of the hairiest of the Smalluns present.

“Klargens…”

Just then, a pack of rabid klargens, foaming at the mouth and emitting terrifying shrieks, burst out of the forest and start surrounding Polio, Old Man Hat and the Smalluns. Once again, Polio starts to consider his bracelet. Slowly and discreetly, he removes it from his pocket and leads it to his wrist as the klargens get closer and closer.

“This is it…”, Polio thought, “First I get rid of the klargens, then the old man’s getting melted in the fiery pits of Warglor. Beard first.”

And, just as Polio was about to finally wear the bracelet, spears came flying from nowhere, impaling every single klargen right there and then. Polio couldn’t understand what had happened. Had the bracelet worked already? That was impossible, he hadn’t pulled it passed his wrist yet.

Out of the darkness, light finally appeared revealing the Smalluns’ saviours: a group of armed Fairyun men on their typically white, blonde and blue-eyed horses.

“Fairyuns…”, Old Man Hat said to himself.

Polio puts the bracelet back in his coat pocket.

“Smalluns, are you all well?”, said the whitest of all the Fairyuns.

“We’re fine.”, replied Thall, reluctantly.

“How did you find us?”, Old Man Hat asked.

“We sensed you would all wander here, and the dark woods of Klorsharum are not known for being the safest of places.”

“We do not need your charity or your company.”, Thall retorted.

Old Man Hat gives Thall a piercing look of disappointment and intervenes:

“What Thall means to say is: we do not mean to be a burden.”

“Your quest is a perilous one, we only wish to offer our assistance should you ever need it.”

Thall emits an audible grunt.

“Thank you, Melomas, you are most kind.”

“We will lead you out of the dark woods. After that, if you wish to proceed without our help, we shall not get in your way.”

And so Melomas and the Fairyuns led the way and we were soon out of the woods. But there were more obstacles yet to come.

The Smalluns had reached the rivers of Gooloore, night had turned to day and the Fairyuns had said their goodbyes for they knew that not all these Smalluns would make it back.

“Blasted river, how will we ever get across?”, Old Man Hat asked himself.

“What about the owls? Call the owls.”, suggested Polio.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“The owls are not ours to summon.”

“But we summoned them earlier.”

“That was different.”

“How?”

“That was a cliff, this is a river.”

“I don’t understand. Don’t you have a spell? Can’t you dry the river?”

“No. We’ll have to go around.”

“That’ll take ages! We’ll never get there!”

“Do you have a better suggestion, foolish Small Man?”

“I could use the…”

“Yes?”

“The… wood to build a bridge. We could all do that.”

Overhearing the conversation, Thall stepped in:

“We are not lumberjacks, young Small Man! We are warriors and Smallun warriors do not build bridges!”

“But…”

Old Man Hat hits Polio across the face with his staff. Polio reaches into his coat pocket.

“We’re going around.”, Old Man Hat finally said to everyone, “Follow me.”

As the group marched on behind Old Man Hat, Polio could only sit there and manage his anger internally. But this time, by extending this quest even more senselessly, the old man had gone too far. Polio finally takes out his bracelet and, without hesitation, wears it.

“Take me to Mandrarg, deep inside the Pointy Mountain.”

In a flash, Polio was there.

Removing the bracelet, Polio looked around to find that he was ankles-deep in a sea of riches. Gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, it was a sparkling paradise and Polio had never seen anything like it.

Unfortunately, where there are riches, there be dragons.

The ground started to shake beneath Polio’s feet. Or so he thought, for it wasn’t the ground that was lifting him, it was Mandrarg. The bracelet had landed Polio right on his head. Losing his balance, Polio fell back, dropping the bracelet in the process. What was he going to do?

As he started searching through all the coins and gems around him for the bracelet, he heard Mandrarg’s booming, cavernous voice and it was easily the most frightening sound he’d ever heard in his entire life.

“Who dares enter my mountain?”

“N-no-one, I assure you.”, replied Polio nervously, still searching for the bracelet.

“I was wondering when you Smalluns would disturb my slumber.”

“I-I’m no Smallun, I’m a Small Man, from the Parkypark Lands in the West.”

“Small Man? I’ve never seen a Small Man.”

“Trust me, I’m no Smallun. In fact, I hate Smalluns. So you see… we have something in common, you and I.”

“You think me a fool, Small Man?”

Mandrarg’s voice was much more aggressive now.

“N-no, of course not! Your… excellency.”, replied the Small Man sheepishly.

“You may not be a Smallun but you are one of them nonetheless. You are aiding them in some way.”

“That’s not true! Y-you’re mistaken, oh great Mandrarg!”

“Silence!”

Mandrarg’s breath reeked of smoke and it felt like fire could burst out of his vast nostrils at any second. The beast approached its scaly, toothy mouth closer and closer to the Small Man, ready to eat him when Polio finally found his bracelet.

“Take me back! Take me back to the Smalluns!”

And, just like that, he was back with the Smalluns, trailing behind as usual. Old Man Hat turns around to find a shaking Polio, lying in the dirt.

“Young Small Man! Hurry up! This is no picnic!”

Polio turns to Old Man Hat and gives him a dirty look, followed by a wry smile. As if he’d just got an idea.

“Coming!”

Putting the bracelet back on, Polio wished for something unpleasant. Just then, Old Man Hat felt the trousers under his robe get looser. Polio had made him a small man, just not all over.

What a fiendish punishment.

The bracelet had finally taken hold of Polio.

And it would never let go.

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More fantasy tales from J.R. Dallas next year.

Only on WeTheMindthinkers.

See Little Earth Map HERE.

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Dead Air

Dead Air (2003)

Dead Air

by Matt Kowalski

the incredible true story that inspired the motion picture “Gravity”

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Space.

I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

I mean, I “get” it: it’s far.

But it’s not like you can eat it or take it to the movies.

Before going up there, even I had that misguided “isn’t space grand?” attitude. I guess you never know what’s waiting for you behind the curtain unless you actually are the curtain, or something to that effect. I don’t know why I kept going back up there, maybe I just really like that diarrhoea-style space food, maybe Earth just doesn’t do it for me.

Now as to why she went up there… that’s a whole other mystery altogether.

Medical doctors with daughter issues have no business being in zero gravity settings. I learned that the hard way.

I always knew she was trouble, the minute I saw her. She had that look. You know that unconfident, sweaty, eyes-darting-left-and-right type of look? “How she passed the psychological evaluation I’ll never know…”, I thought. It seems silly now but how could I have known?

Sure, NASA isn’t exactly known for its overall incompetence but, every so often, mistakes slip through the cracks, even in the most professional and together of places. It happens. I should have known better but her making it up there, I suppose, wasn’t completely unfeasible.

I was assigned to supervising repairs on Explorer, she was working on the Hubble when mission control warned us about debris hitting us and that’s when I saw it. A look in her eyes I’d never seen before. Her edgy desperation had suddenly opened up the door to something much more knowing, much darker. Without hurry, there she remained, seemingly continuing repairs as debris started hitting us but really doing their bidding.

Before getting “accidentally” knocked off out of danger and into the dark chasm of space, I saw her neatly place a metallic item on the skin of the shuttle. It was like some kind of spinning cylinder with blue blinking lights shining all around it. Something not from our world. This is when I finally understood that what was happening to us was no accident.

Luckily, I had my thruster pack handy: stupid thing saved my life.

She killed Shariff.

He was one of our key engineers, the man had a family and a positive (read: naive) outlook on life. He was a good man and she killed his face, just like that. That device she planted on Explorer before floating away was clearly emitting some kind of magnetic field leading the debris to the shuttle. Shariff was almost at the airlock when part of that satellite hit him.

Can’t believe we were pinning this debacle on the Russians.

I’m Russian!

So there I was, at a somewhat safe distance from the disaster. Shuttle’s down, she’s floating far out. I had two options: find a way out and get back to Earth or get to her and find out why she did what she did. THEN get back to Earth.

I decided to get the bitch.

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Seeing as she was probably programmed or hypnotised to do these things, I would find her, find out the truth, her plan, and deal with her accordingly.

When I found her, she was hysterical: breathing loudly and wasting oxygen. Her real, cowardly self had resurfaced and I had to calm her down in order to reach deep and find what else was lurking inside her psyche. There wasn’t much time to get the both of us over to another structure.

She told me about her dead daughter.

Ruined the vibe.

Can’t listen to good music in space, these days.

Anyway, we just about made it when the debris came back, knocking me away unexpectedly. That bitch had once again called the debris towards us: she must have been onto me. She knew I suspected her.

That’s when I got the idea: fake my own death and bring her down another way.

She was holding my hand, pretending to save me. I let go.

What she didn’t know was that my thruster pack still had plenty of fuel. I would make my way to a nearby Chinese satellite, where she would no doubt be heading, and set a trap for her.

It took some time but I finally made it. The people there were good people. They were on their way back to Earth when I warned them of a possible impending attack on our world by an unknown force. I flipped the oxygen switch down without them noticing, waited for them to get dizzy and, eventually, they believed me. We devised a plan: they would take the first escape pod down and warn the authorities, warn NASA, and I would hide and come back down with her.

Soon after the Chinese astronauts had left, she finally made it and, luckily, didn’t notice me hiding under the pod. I saw her sneak in, try to communicate with an Earth base and that’s when it happened.

She started barking.

Like a dog.

Well, seemingly like a dog but it was much stranger than that. Much more disturbing and high-pitched. She turned off her oxygen completely and closed her eyes. Suddenly, she re-opened them and I saw like a mist pass over her blank gaze. Over the pod, something crazy happened.

Space dogs.

Yes, I saw three dogs with spinning blue collars, floating in bubbles and communicating with her from the outside. What they were transmitting sounded like co-ordinates. They were planning an attack! I knew it!

I wasn’t insane!

The space dogs barked, she barked back, I listened.

After a couple of minutes, they floated away. That’s when I realised that my thruster pack was running completely out of fuel. I had to make it inside the pod, somehow. Luckily, she was still unconscious so, if I acted fast, I could open the pod, sneak inside, hide and make sure she didn’t see me when she woke up. Which is what I did. I was afraid for a moment when she blindly opened her eyes but, thinking fast, I pretended to be a ghost, knocked her out and hid inside the pod, right at the back.

She woke up and turned the oxygen back on. Thank God for that.

As if overwhelmed by a new sense of lust for life, she followed the procedures to get back to Earth and so we did. We almost burned-up on re-entry and I almost drowned when we landed but I had taken off my space suit as soon as we did so sneaking out underwater after her was easy. I even pushed a frog towards her in order to send her in a different direction.

Dogs respond to frogs.

Popping up over the water to breathe every so often, I eventually saw her stand and walk away.

Just then, the authorities arrived: the Chinese astronauts had followed my instructions! She was instantly apprehended, given a strong sedative and taken back to NASA headquarters. I, of course, followed.

What they found was staggering.

Testing revealed a small but significant bone-shaped substance inside her brain. It was carefully removed and analysed. Apparently, the substance contained a highly concentrated dose of nuclear energy. The space dogs’ plan, then, would have been to turn us all into skeletons, invade the Earth and feast on our bones. They led her into space in order to psychically impregnate her head with this powerful weapon as, from their far distance, they could only hypnotise her.

This explained everything!

The barking, the sudden change of emotions, the hysterical mood swings, the incompetence, it all makes sense now!

Unfortunately for her, by removing the substance, which had reached deep parts of her brain, she was left with a limited amount of capabilities. Essentially all she could do from now on was get on all fours, bark and eat doggy treats. To this day, she still resides at our NASA kennel. She’s happier than ever and I go feed her biscuits once a week.

Poor Dr Stone.

It’s like something out of a bad movie or something…

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More sci-fi “true stories” soon.

Only on WeTheMindThinkers.

Is THIS The End? Or Is THAT?!

Is THIS The End? Or Is THAT?! (1990)

ITHIS2

an Alan Smithee film

screenplay by Alan Smithee

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Extract from a never-made 1990 comedy sci-fi film about a group of Hollywood comedy actors who hide out in a basement apartment while what could very well be the apocalypse breaks out in the world outside.

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INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY

Chevy Chase is sitting on a worn armchair, wearing a “Caddyshack” cap, swinging a golf club around casually. He looks perturbed by something. Steve Martin is sitting on a nearby sofa, trying to fix an old radio. In the middle is Rick Moranis, who is building a periscope with rolls of toilet paper, scotch tape and mirrors.

CHEVY CHASE

(annoyed, to Rick)

What the fuck are you doing?

RICK MORANIS

What do you mean? We need to see what’s going on, maybe it’s not that bad.

CHEVY CHASE

Not that bad?! Are you nuts? You saw what happened to Martin Short! Whatever’s out there is not fucking kidding around.

RICK MORANIS

Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to know what we’re up against!

CHEVY CHASE

It might! Why? What did you have in mind? Fucking shrink ‘em to death?

RICK MORANIS

(stands up, angry)

Don’t you fucking…

Chevy Chase stands up also, ready to fight. Steve Martin promptly gets between them.

STEVE MARTIN

Settle down…

CHEVY CHASE

(to Rick, taunting him)

Show us what you got, Spaceballs.

STEVE MARTIN

Alright, that’s enough! Let’s not say anything we might end up regretting. Rick, you’re building a periscope and that’s very admirable: you’re right, we should know what we’re facing. Chevy, I know it’s a difficult time but we need to stick together. We can’t afford to turn on each other like this.

CHEVY CHASE

(bitter)

Oh that’s right, take his fucking side. I thought we were “amigos”, I guess I was wrong.

Goldie Hawn walks in the room from the kitchen, she looks nervous and slurs her words.

GOLDIE HAWN

Hey, y-you guys got a spoon?

CHEVY CHASE

That’s actually all we have is a fucking spoon.

STEVE MARTIN

It’s on top of the fridge. Wait, you’re not using it for heroin, are you?

Goldie Hawn nervously scratches her arms one after the other and stands there not blinking for an entire minute.

GOLDIE HAWN

No…

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN. DAY

Dan Aykroyd is washing dishes quietly. Goldie Hawn walks in and grabs the spoon from the top of the fridge. She spits in it and wipes it on her shirt. She sits down, opens a small wooden box, rolls up her sleeve and starts trying an elastic around her bicep.

GOLDIE HAWN

You ok, Dan?

DAN AYKROYD

(to himself, emotional)

I knew it, I just knew it…

Dan Aykroyd drops a plate in the sink and bursts into tears. Goldie Hawn heats up the spoon and taps her vein.

GOLDIE HAWN

What’s up?

DAN AYKROYD

I always knew the intergalactic council would one day reach our solar system, I just… never expected them to be hostile…

Goldie Hawn injects herself and savours the moment.

GOLDIE HAWN

(to herself)

Oh yeah, there’s the spot…

DAN AYKROYD

(ignoring Goldie)

This changes everything…

Finally done, Goldie Hawn folds her arm and closes her eyes before standing up zombie-like.

GOLDIE HAWN

(slowed-down speech)

I’m gonna… go to the bathroom. I’ll be… right back.

DAN AYKROYD

Bill’s in there. Leave him alone.

GOLDIE HAWN

What’s he doing?

DAN AYKROYD

He’s reading my new Ghostbusters screenplay, let him concentrate.

GOLDIE HAWN

But I… I gotta sit down and take a shit or something…

DAN AYKROYD

Spoken like a true house shitter.

From the bathroom, we hear the toilet flush. Soon after, Bill Murray exits and walks into the kitchen. Goldie Hawn promptly stumbles to the bathroom and locks the door.

BILL MURRAY

What’s going on?

DAN AYKROYD

So? What did you think?

BILL MURRAY

(nonchalant)

I’m sorry Dan, ran out of paper. It was good though, can you print another copy?

DAN AYKROYD

(outraged)

What?! No! That was the only one!

BILL MURRAY

(unfased)

Bummer.

Bill Murray casually opens the fridge and finds nothing there except a severed hand holding on to an Oscar statuette which reads: “Best Supporting Actress: Whoopi Goldberg”.

BILL MURRAY

(loud)

Alright, who ate all the food?

INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY

After a look of sheer disbelief, Chevy Chase runs to the kitchen.

CHEVY CHASE

(angry)

What?!

STEVE MARTIN

(to himself)

Oh boy…

Chevy Chase soon walks up to the bedroom door and knocks hard on it.

CHEVY CHASE

(loud, angry)

Open up you fat fucks!

After he gets no response, Chevy Chase kicks the door down. Bill, Steve, Dan and Rick have now assembled around him. They find James Belushi and John Candy on the bed with Harold Ramis’ severed head.

CHEVY CHASE

Alright, which one of you porkers ate all the fucking food?

JAMES BELUSHI

Hey! I resent that!

BILL MURRAY

What were you guys doing with Harold’s head?

James and John discreetly tuck in their shirts and zip their flies.

JAMES BELUSHI & JOHN CANDY

(acting innocent)

Nothing…

RICK MORANIS

(panicking)

That was all the food we had left! What are we gonna do?

CHEVY CHASE

There’s only one thing we can do. We’re gonna have to eat one of ‘em.

RICK MORANIS

(shocked)

What?!

CHEVY CHASE

(simply)

You heard me.

DAN AYKROYD

That’s exactly what the good Belushi would have suggested…

JAMES BELUSHI

Hey man, I didn’t eat shit! I was just in the mood for some Ramis is all! Is that a crime?

(pointing at John)

He’s the one! He ate all the food! Eat him!

John Candy breaks down in tears.

JOHN CANDY

I couldn’t help myself… I eat when I’m nervous! I’m sorry.

CHEVY CHASE

Yeah? Well I eat when I’m pissed off and right now, I gotta tell ya: I’m real fucking hungry.

BILL MURRAY

(nonchalant)

I’m kinda hungry.

DAN AYKROYD

I could eat.

RICK MORANIS

(disbelief, to Steve Martin)

Steve, say something! You can’t possibly let this happen!

STEVE MARTIN

Usually, I wouldn’t but… it sort of makes sense. Happened to me in “Little Shop” and I turned out OK. You remember.

RICK MORANIS

That was a movie! This is real life!

A half-asleep Goldie Hawn finally exits the bathroom and joins them.

GOLDIE HAWN

Maybe the little one wants to volunteer?

There’s a beat as everyone turns to Rick.

RICK MORANIS

I’ll get the saw…

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY – LATER

Everyone is sitting around eating what’s left of James Belushi.

JOHN CANDY

(to Dan)

You gonna finish that?

DAN AYKROYD

Hands off, you know the best bit’s around the bone.

RICK MORANIS

We’re all going to hell…

BILL MURRAY

Eating Jim was definitely the right choice. He tastes just like ham.

RICK MORANIS

But he didn’t eat our food, John did!

JOHN CANDY

Yeah but I’m funny.

GOLDIE HAWN

Hey you guys, check me out: I’m snorting Belushi!

STEVE MARTIN

Come on, Goldie, that’s gross!

Steve holds Jim Belushi’s nose in his hand and eats it by picking inside of it, as if it were a snail. Goldie Hawn snorts an acid-like substance and seconds later, the inside of her head melts.

Her eyes fall out.

BILL MURRAY

What was that?

DAN AYKROYD

(simply)

His stomach I think.

Just then, there’s a knock at the door.

STEVE MARTIN

Who could this be?

INT. ENTRANCE. DAY

They all walk towards the door, Steve finally opens it to reveal Bobcat Goldthwait, who is  sweating profusely. He appears to be on a leash.

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT

Hey (snorts) you GUYS! W-whaaaat’s UP (snorts)!

CHEVY CHASE

Bobcat? What the fuck? You still alive?

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT

Yeeeeah man! (snorts) Nnnnn… the MASTER wants to see you guys (snorts).

STEVE MARTIN

The “Master”?

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT

Follow me, it’s (snorts) SAFE! I p-promise.

They all follow Bobcat outside, up the staircase.

EXT. STREET. DAY

The entire street is is ruins: fire everywhere, cars toppled over, destroyed houses. As everyone steps onto the pavement, we see a large dragon-like creature being ridden by Michael Keaton, who is holding Bobcat on a leash.

MICHAEL KEATON

Well look what the “Cat” dragged in…

CHEVY CHASE

(to Michael)

How the fuck are you riding that dragon right now?

MICHAEL KEATON

They gave it to me.

STEVE MARTIN

Who?

MICHAEL KEATON

Get with the times, man. The aliens, of course.

DAN AYKROYD

I knew it!

RICK MORANIS

Th-they just gave you a dragon?

MICHAEL KEATON

Don’t you know anything? War’s over. President made a deal with them: they leave us alone, we share our resources with ‘em. It’s all good. Diplomacy, motherfuckers.

RICK MORANIS

But… we ate Jim Belushi…

BILL MURRAY

And Whoopi, don’t forget Whoopi.

STEVE MARTIN

Why did we eat her again? I thought we had food at that point.

BILL MURRAY

I cut off her hand, it was the humane thing to do.

STEVE MARTIN

Fair enough.

RICK MORANIS

(to himself)

I’m done with movies…

CHEVY CHASE

(to Michael)

Wait… why did they give you a dragon of all people?

JOHN CANDY

Yeah! What gives?

MICHAEL KEATON

Don’t you guys know?

Everyone looks at each other, confused. Steve shrugs.

There’s a beat.

MICHAEL KEATON

I’m Batman.

No one reacts.

Suddenly, Michael’s dragon eats up Rick Moranis.

MICHAEL KEATON

(to everyone)

Shit, sorry fellas…

CHEVY CHASE

It’s cool, somebody had to fucking eat him.

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After reading Alan Smithee’s screenplay for “Is This The End? Or Is That?!”, producers instantly dropped the project and never mentioned it ever again. To this day, the actors written into the script remain unaware that they were almost part of the very first end-of-the-world comedy blockbuster.

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More from Alan Smithee soon.

Only on We, The Mindthinkers.

Futurearth

“Futurearth” (1995)

Futurearth Book Cover

a Brendan M. Midnight short story

Inspired the motion-picture “After Earth”

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The young soldier was cold.

Outside, the cold had made everything cold: even the trees.

As he lay down waiting for death, a beard of snow grew on his face.

Colonel Unfeer, meanwhile, sat in his pod, powerless. He thought of his son, he thought of his late daughter and he thought of his wife.

He thought.

All at once, he thought of all of them and how he had failed them. If only he had been there when the unthinkable happened. He could not fear. He had evolved and they hadn’t, but did they deserve a fate worse than his? The answer was no.

Fear was a choice, he once believed.

Now, he wasn’t so sure…

If only there was a way to save all he had left: his son.

His wife didn’t matter right now.

And then he remembered.

“Birds…”, Unfeer said to himself.

Both his legs had been broken in the crash and he was losing blood rapidly but he still had his brain.

“Computer, find me a bird. A big one.”, the Colonel ordered his screen.

“Processing…”, the computer replied.

Still lying on the frozen grass, young J.D. Unfeer could feel the fear leave him. Perhaps he had finally attained the nirvana of self-control his father had often spoken of, or perhaps he was dying. His eyes turned to the grass around his right hand. On it, was an elaborate slug-like creature wearing what looked at first like a very small leather jacket but was in fact another layer of skin.

The creature starts climbing on J.D.’s hand, leaving behind it a trail of blood and scars. The young soldier, frozen solid, could not feel the pain or anything else. He could only stare at the creature, paralysed, and let it do what it was doing. Which, it turns out, was defecating.

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Back in the conapt, Colonel Unfeer was losing patience.

“The birds, goddamn it! The birds!”

“Processing…”, replied the computer.

There had to be an easier way.

A legend told of an early form of technology which allowed humans to tap into any living creature at a distance. He remembered his great-grandfather teaching him this. How, long before the Earth perished, a form of primitive communication known as the “Internets” evolved into a wireless web connecting everything to each other telepathically and, therefore, spiritually. This, of course, was only a tale he had heard as a young child but if he could only remember the details of how humans learned to control that technology, perhaps…

Finally, he knew what he had to do.

It hit him like a bold of lighting, in his brain.

“Computer, locate mind darts.”

“Processing…”

“Come on, come on…”

“Mind darts detected.”

On-screen, a blue dot appeared on the map of the ship: it was very close to the red dot which depicted Unfeer’s current location.

J.D. was about to lose consciousness. The slug had reached his lower back.

Crawling down the ship’s unlit corridors, slithering with great difficulty, Colonel Unfeer felt tremendous amounts of physical pain but the adrenaline pumping through his arms which pulled him forward again and again kept him focused. Behind him, a trail of blood was left by his gushing legs. He had soon arrived at the Science Quarters, a pod which, like all the others, was made of bone.

The scientists onboard the ship used this room to do science.

Crawling inside the room, Unfeer saw the fleshy pocket which contained the mind darts, embedded inside the wall next to the eye-nets, the ivory stomachs and the tri-toothed crystal chopsticks.

“Computer: release compartment B-12.”

Promptly, the wall purse burst open.

The transparent jelly-like wax poured out and the box of mind darts (made of eggshells and hard milk) hung there, ready to be plucked.

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J.D. had finally fainted, his snow beard was sparkling in the chilling wind.

The slug was now in him.

It was then that it came for the boy.

A great, impressive bird he had encountered prior had swooped down and was now dragging the young soldier with its claws over the grass. The poor bird was cold, but it wasn’t about to give up on J.D..

Soon enough, the latter found himself, still unconscious, resting in a warm hole in the ground, covered with leaves and the bird’s own comfortably hot faecal matter. But the frost had taken its toll on the unfortunate beast and after lying on the leaves over the boy, it fell asleep never to awake again.

The next day, J.D. opened his eyes feeling  predictably cool but unexpectedly alive.

Alive?

But how?!

That was unexpected.

J.D. starts to crawl out of the hole, still unsure as to how exactly he could have ended up in that particular location safe and sound. Once up and out, however, it all made sense.

Before him lay the bird, dead.

He remembered the previous day, when he had tried to save its young but mistakenly destroyed their nest, killing them in the process. The bird had followed him here and saved his life, all because he had risked his own life for its brood.

Or, at least, that’s what the young soldier thought before getting a closer look at the bird’s body. On its side and on its neck were small glowing darts made of teeth and elbows.

“Father?”, J.D. enquired.

“You have done well, my son.”, replied the bird’s neck, “You have made me proud.”

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More from Brendan M. Midnight soon.

Only on WeTheMindthinkers.

Introducing Gilles Vorace

Little known French science fiction writer Gilles Vorace was a contemporary of legendary author Jules Verne. Not only that but they grew up together in Nantes, went to the same boarding school and used to share stories, along with Jules’ brother Paul.

Their friendship, however, ended circa 1864 when Vorace vehemently accused Verne of stealing his novel “The Mountains Upside Down” to build his classic “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth”. Vorace never forgave Verne, whose take on the situation amounted to this quote:

“The man is unhinged.”

Finally, Vorace’s “The Mountains Upside Down” is seeing the light of day and We, The MindThinkers are here to bring you several extracts from this unique piece of work.

An extract from Chapter III is coming soon only on We, The Mindthinkers.