Fascinating Stories From Science – I

I wrote this for the July 11th Flash Fiction Challenge



Scientists from the Kingdom of Australia are reporting that the marsupial species known as Thylarctos plummetus, commonly called ‘dropbears,’ and previously believed extinct, are thriving in the forested regions of eastern and southern Australia. The Australian Museum describes these creatures as “predatory marsupials related to koalas.”

Little is known about dropbears, to date, as they have only recently been rediscovered. Preliminary research indicates that they seldom prey on Australians. This may be caused by the marsupial’s uncanny ability to recognize Australian accents, or they may be repelled by the scent and taste of Vegemite, common in the Australian diet.


Note: My gratitude goes to the Australian Museum, in Sydney for their inspiration and assistance in researching this article.

The prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!

 

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OLWG#111- Being Neighborly

 Written for OLWG#111


I remember when Ruben Billigmeier and his wife, Christine moved into our apartment block on the south side. It was only the two of them but they took a large three bedroom – two bath place, upstairs overlooking the pool in the centre courtyard. Margie, the kids and I had the corner place two doors down.
They were an attractive couple. Ruben had a thatch of blonde hair and wore a moustache. Christine was tall and lean with curly red hair that hung down to the middle of her back and a spray of freckles tossed across her button nose.
Ruben and I would leave for work at about the same time most days. I’d drive off in my twenty-year-old compact and he’d leave in his brand new Chrysler sedan. Over the course of a month or so I learned that he worked at the zipper factory as some kind of manager in the production area.
Margie said that Christine stayed at home and inside most of the time. She would go down to the pool for at least an hour every day though. She’d sit on a chaise, in the sun to read her magazines and work on her tan.
People, usually women who looked like housewives, would come and knock on their door. Margie would let the visitors in and they would stay anywhere between five and fifteen minutes before leaving. Sometimes they’d leave with a small paper bag in hand or cradled at their elbows. Margie thought that Christine might be selling drugs over there and decided to do some investigation, on her own. She started going down to the pool when she’d see Christine there.
They started with idle chatter. They’d talk about the weather or something else inconsequential. Margie avoided discussing religion and politics. Eventually, they became pool buddies. Margie would invite Christine up to our apartment occasionally for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, but Christine always declined. That is, she would always decline until that one day in early August when she surprised Margie and agreed.
I think I’d like that,” she said. They went upstairs and between the two of them consumed a bottle and a half of Chardonnay. This got to be a regular event with the two friends, who’d get together at our house about once a week and share a few drinks. Chardonnay was Margie’s favourite so that was primarily what they drank.
After a month or so of these informal get-togethers, Christine invited Margie up to her and Ruben’s place. Margie, of course, accepted. This was what she had been angling for. She wanted to see what went on at the Billigmeier’s.
As they made their way up the staircase and along the upper landing Christine said, “I don’t have any wine, Margie, but I have something just as good, or better. You game?”
“Sure,” Margie laughed, “Long as it won’t make me go blind!”
Christine led her friend to the dining table, laughed, and disappeared into the back of the house. When she returned she had a clear glass bottle that looked like it would hold about a litre of the golden liquid that was in it. There was a cork in the top and no label. She sat the bottle on the table, grabbed a couple of small mason jars from the sideboard and splashed a couple of fingers worth from the bottle to the jars.
Margie took a glass and sniffed it. It smelled earthy but flammable at the same time. Christine took a small sip from her glass and smiled. Margie followed suit and felt the drink warm her all the way down. It tasted like magic.
“Damn, Christine, this is wonderful.”
“Thanks, I make it myself, but don’t tell anybody.” She pointed through the door to the kitchen where a wooden sign hung. The sign read “Whisky for Sale – Good Whisky for Sale” in hand done black letters on a Redwood board.
“I thought you were selling drugs.”
“Nope, what I’m selling is better than drugs. I sell it by the bottle, I sell it by the jar, or I sell it by the shot. We couldn’t afford to live here on Ruben’s salary alone.”


I ignored the time limit this week as I was interrupted several times during the course of writing. The prompts were:

  1. whisky for sale
  2. a button nose
  3. When entrusted with a secret…