Daydreams from a Working Stiff is a collection of a few of my daydreams. As the title infers, I am a working stiff as well as an accomplished daydreamer. Many of my coworkers and friends find it difficult to understand how an apparently “normal” working stiff writes the kind of stories I do. What can I say? After all, I have never claimed to be sane—I’m just a working stiff!
The paperback (cover at left) is now available at createspace eshop and available at amazon.com in a week, or so.
The ebook (cover at right) is available at amazon.com.
The following is a brief introduction to each of the six science fiction novellas contained in Daydreams from a Working Stiff - An Anthology.
Government Lot #7777-68
At times, Conrad had lost money on his purchases at the government auctions, but not always. Since he had also made a fortune by dealing in the surplus equipment and supplies no longer needed by the overgrown bureaucracy, he submitted bids for several of the sealed crates. Never in his wildest dreams would Conrad Winter have guessed that a crate at a government auction would contain the product of a secret government project. Considering that the project ended abruptly two hundred years earlier gave Conrad reason to worry. Surprises at the government sales were to be expected, but nothing like the one Conrad received today. Now that he was the proud owner of Government Lot #7777-68, Conrad worried about what would happen if the authorities were to discover their clerical error and arrive to correct the mistake.
It did not matter that fishing was not very good today. Simply spending his vacation on a planet where he could fly fish was perfection in Garrett Reizer’s opinion. Delrid boasted the largest expanses of unspoiled forests in the galaxy. Garrett and his security team would have never believed that such an idyllic vacation would be interrupted. However, Delrid was about to have a visitor with questionable motives. Garrett’s plans for his vacation are radically changed with the visitor’s unauthorized arrival. His supervisor was a firm believer that taking a strong offensive posture was the best approach when dealing with unpredictable adversaries while he had always been philosophically opposed to enraging newcomers into violent responses. Garrett finds himself walking a fine line between following his orders while aiding and abetting a wounded alien.
Receiving the prestigious assignment to translate the Fulton Collection of ancient documents was an opportunity that Aaron thought was not within the realms of possibility. The private collection was on temporary loan to St. Mary’s University and Reverend Aaron Dalton, S.M.S. would spend most of his time scrutinizing the fragile sheaths of parchment. The collection as a whole was housed in a large fireproof room with a specialized air filtration system. Without the extensive humidity control systems, Aaron knew that the frail parchment would quickly disintegrate in the semitropical climate of San Antonio, Texas. It is not until Aaron leaves the security of the reinforced vault that he discovers a catastrophe has struck without warning. Although Aaron maintains his composure, he is astonished that the catastrophe has killed everyone on campus. Aaron finds himself struggling as he searches for survivors elsewhere.
Assistant Prosecutor Roxi Mardt was puzzled as to why Judge Trey Wakes was coming to her office this late in the day. She was now in the uncomfortable predicament of waiting for the handsome, but strict judge to arrive. She felt it was a shame that such an attractive man should be so unapproachable. As she waited, Roxi focused her attention on her next case. If convicted, the defendant would receive a sentence of life in prison—now there was a horrendous punishment! The one hundred-year old Legal Reformation Act had eliminated the death penalty, but had levied life sentences as punishment for most crimes. The real kicker was that there was no longer a chance for parole. A life sentence meant that a convicted felon would spend the remainder of his, or her, life in prison. The Act also regulated the prison system to the point where the average person knew very little of what actually transpired behind the walls of the L.R.A. Prison Unit. Locally, the prison was referred to as the “Warehouse.” When Judge Ware tells Roxi that she is the target of an investigation, she learns of a terrifying fate that awaits her within the walls of the Warehouse.
Visitor to the Light Air
Cryss drifted aimlessly with the current. The heavy air was warmer here, but it was also much shallower and she knew that she should not linger very long at these depths. Her father had always warned her about being too curious about things, but Cryss could not resist exploring the shallows. There were so many interesting things to see here that Cryss continued to investigate the colorful plants and rocks. As the only survivor of an attack that killed the other members of her clan, Cryss knew that her father’s warnings came from his own person experiences as well as the inherited knowledge of his ancestors. Still, the jagged scar on her hip reminded her of how fragile life could be so she grudgingly floated to deeper and safer levels. Although she was tempted to fly higher and explore the light air world, she was afraid of an encounter with the people of the light air world. Her worse nightmare becomes reality when the ruthless people of the light air capture Cryss. Her greatest fear is that the elders’ stories of the people of the light air are true.
Serving Zoo Time
His head throbbed viciously and it made him reluctant to open his eyes. Gradually, the headache subsided enough for Parker Ryan to make an effort to find out what happened. He squinted in the bright light and it was several additional seconds before his eyes adjusted enough so he could see clearly. Parker was surprised to be indoors since the last thing he remembered was making repairs to the solar panels on the outside of the space station. He was now barefoot and dressed in gym shorts and a tee shirt which caused him to wonder what happened to his space suit. Parker sat up slowly and discovered that he was on a bed much larger than the cots on board the station. Suddenly, two people walked straight to Parker and took hold of his arms. Unlike humans, they had two thumbs on each hand with three fingers between the thumbs. They penned him with his back against the wall. Parker asked them who they were, but neither would respond to his inquiries. He began to think they must be guards since they appeared to be in uniform. Because he was face-to-chest with the two guards, he could not see what was going on in the room behind them. Parker heard others moving about in the room and he assumed the strange gurgling noises were their language. When the uniformed aliens leave, Parker is stunned to find a semiconscious woman on the bed. Where, how, and why Parker and the woman are imprisoned together are his primary questions. Parker is horrified to learn the answers to his questions.