Author : Selena Thomason
Ian knew he shouldnâ€™t get involved. Still, he set down his drink, tapped on the towering back next to him and said, “Look, why don’t you leave her alone? Clearly the lady is not interested.”
The hulk turned towards him, which is when Ian noticed the extra pair of arms coming out of the alien’s torso.
A Ketchin, Ian thought. That’s just great.
Ian had heard of the Ketchins but never actually seen one. They were supposed to be formidable fighters, both strong and skilled. Ian expelled a long breath and bolstered his nerve. It was too late to back down now.
The woman moved between them. “Come on boys, there’s no need for trouble,” she cooed.
Ian couldn’t decide if she was stupid or drunk. “Miss, you best get out of the way and let me handle this.”
Instead, the woman pulled Ian to the side and lowered her voice. “Look, fly-boy, I don’t need or want your help.” Ian was startled to find that all the sweetness had gone out of her demeanor.
“What?” How much had she been drinking, he wondered. “He was clearly hitting on you.”
“Well of course he was, you idiot,” she whispered. “I’m secreting a Ketchin pheromone. Do you have any idea how much it costs to get those artificially? A least a week’s pay. A busy week’s pay.”
“You want this lug’s attention?” Ian realized too late that he had raised his voice again.
“Well, yeah!” she fired back.
The Ketchin pounded an inner fist to his chest. “Want me, she does,” he proclaimed proudly from a couple feet away.
Ian leaned into the woman and whispered, “But why?”
“You don’t know much, do you fly-boy?” She pulled Ian away a few more steps while waving flirtatiously to the alien as if to say she would be right back. “Look, Ketchin are easily satisfiedâ€¦ physically, you know, and without any intimate contact on my part. Get it?”
Ian balked at trying to untangle that unpleasant mental picture. He just stared back at the woman.
“Their erogenous zones are under their inner arms,” she prompted.
“Really?” Ian leaned around the woman to get a look at the Ketchin who was still gazing lovingly at the strange woman.
“All I have to do rub him under his arms and thenâ€¦”
Ian raised his hands as if to stop her from continuing the sentence. “Enough. I get it. But why would you want to?”
The woman leaned in closer. “Ketchin males are very agreeable post-pleasure. And very generousâ€¦.” She glanced over at her alien prey and gave him another wave.
“So, if you could just stay out of it.”
“Right. Gotcha. Consider me out of it.”
“No problem. I really was just trying to help.”
“I know. Thanks anyway.”
Ian sat back down at the bar and ordered a double. He vowed that next time he would confirm the damsel was actually in distress before getting involved.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact email@example.com