Shanel Aileen Wilson

Shanel Wilson has been constructing vivid, fictional worlds long before she became a general construction administrator in Southern California. Drawn to the glowing glamour of Hollywood, Shanel spent much of her childhood performing on stage, exploring film studio lots and singing every moment she got. Shanel received her BFA from the Dodge College of Film at Chapman University where she truly fell in love with writing. 

Shanel is currently writing her debut science fiction novel about near-future space exploration, as well as a plethora of Sci Fi and Fantasy short stories. Nature is an endless source of inspiration for Shanel, from the mysteries of the ocean to the far reaches of space. She loves to explore those fantastical settings, while diving deep into the intricate relationships of her characters. 

Shanel enjoys spending time with her partner and two children exploring the coasts, mountains and deserts on their travels. She also enjoys other creative pursuits, like handmaking the family’s annual matching Halloween costumes or building a new desk with her partner. Otherwise, you can find Shanel with her nose stuck in a Neil Gaiman book or watching her favorite drag queens on TV. 

Shanel won my November Contest in 2020 and has been a finalist a number of times before and since. She is my most decorated Champion for all her prize-winning stories.

Check out the latest from Shanel on her blog: starviewsbyshanel.wordpress.com. You can also find her on Twitter: @shanelaileenw.

Shanel’s Stories

Shadow of the Dunes

by Shanel Wilson

Emilia’s violet eyes doom her to the life of a Westminster Bride, unless she can find another path beyond the desert.

Night of the Rocket–Westminster

Shanel’s Collaboration Stories

A ship sails smooth waters beneath an evening sky towards a cloudbank

The Beast Below

by Shanel Wilson and Frasier Armitage

Death whispered in the waves as The Tempest left Newlondon behind. Antonio found himself trapped on a Death Ship.

Night of the Rocket–Newlondon

Circle of Champions

by Shanel Wilson, Frasier Armitage, Jim Hamilton and Matthew Cross

Salem’s mech-fighting skills earn her a spot in the Circle of Champions, but can she survive the first Zero-G battle in the Thunderdome?

Shanel’s Contest-Winning Stories

A Forest of Blue Eyes

by Shanel Wilson

Despite Ma’s warning to stay close to camp on the new planet, Shim had followed the girl with blue eyes. Imagine, blue eyes! Now he was lost in the desert and dying of thirst. There was no choice but to follow the footprints in the red sand.

November Contest Winner – 2020

Mayday

by Shanel Wilson

Cass escaped Mars with an infection of the Vere, crash landed on Earth and made it inside the family farmhouse. But now triangle ships are headed towards the house!

May Contest Finalist – 2021

Fools

by Shanel Wilson

A cat burglar’s high-rise heist goes awry. Can she still escape with the lavalier?

April Contest Finalist – 2021

Almost Home

by Shanel Wilson

Cass escaped Mars with an infection of the Vere, crash landed on Earth and made it inside the family farmhouse. But now triangle ships are headed towards the house!

October Contest Finalist – 2020

Don’t miss “The Pyramid” Part 2–a gripping new installment

The Pyramid

A Circle of Champions collaboration story

The Circle of Champions, the winners of my monthly writing contests, bring forth another great Sci Fi story collaboration. This week, Glenn R. Frank continues the story begun by Jim Hamilton and jumps things into high gear.

The Pyramid

Part 1 by Jim Hamilton

At 2:27 p.m., on an otherwise unremarkable Friday afternoon, The Pyramid shimmered into being only 17.2 miles northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Fully a mile on a side and rising 4,000 feet above the desert landscape, it was impossible to miss.

By 2:37 p.m., hundreds of videos of it were already trending on every social media platform and two local news stations were transmitting raw footage as their helicopters flew towards it. Already, millions of people around the globe were beginning to endlessly speculate—each wanting to be the first to successfully guess the whys and wherefores of The Pyramid.

Two thousand miles to the east–2,095 miles to be exact–the U.S. president was holding a meeting in the Oval Office when the head of her security detail opened the door and said, “Madame President, I need for you to come with me right now. Protocol seven.”

Surprised at the sudden interruption, she immediately arose while apologizing, “Gentlemen, I’m afraid that you’ll have to excuse me.” She quickly followed the Secret Service agent out of the room and down the hall to the elevator.

As the car made its descent deep underground, the agent handed her a tablet. “You need to see this, ma’am.”

“What am I looking at?” she asked, as she watched the news video.

The chyron was too small to make out.

“It’s a giant pyramid, ma’am. It appeared about fifteen minutes ago outside Las Vegas.”

The elevator bell dinged and the doors parted. The President strode into the Situation Room and stood for a moment, studying the displays before addressing the Officer of the Day. “Status report!”

“Yes, ma’am. As you can see from the various video feeds, a large pyramid has suddenly appeared outside of Las Vegas.”

“Yes, yes. I’ve already got that part.”

Unfazed, he continued. “It covers about a square mile and is of unknown origin. We’ve got an AWAC en route to the site and two F-35s from Groom Lake are already orbiting five miles out. All air traffic in and out of McCarran International has been halted or diverted elsewhere. Local police and Homeland Security are currently working to cordon off the area on the ground.” He pointed at one of the screens. “That feed is from one of our military satellites that was fortunate enough to be watching at the time.”

“Any hostile activity?”

“None yet, ma’am. The relevant personnel have all been contacted and are on their way. The Secretary of Defense should be here at any moment.”

“Very good, Leroy,” she said, as she took her seat at the head of the long oval table. As she waited for the others to arrive, she contemplated the scenes on the ever-changing screens, frustrated with the lack of information at her disposal. She had seen the UFO files and knew that Earth had been visited before. She knew that this could only be another visit, but for what purpose? She crossed her fingers and hoped that they had come in peace.

Part 2 by Glenn R. Frank

“Osiris Flight, be advised, telemetry and comms are on live-feed to the White House Sit-Room.”

Maj. Holder knew this was as much a jab at his frequent use of profanity as it was critical information. He could feel his wingman’s silent laughter, in spite of the radio silence that followed.

“Osiris One. Acknowledged,” Holder responded.

Holder looked down to his left toward the pyramid. His F-35’s helmet visor displayed the view as if he were looking through the side of his aircraft. It accented the huge object with infrared and data overlays.

“The structure has no radar return but is visible as solid material on all other wavelengths. Request permission for close approach.”

“Granted, Osiris One.”

“Osiris Two, maintain five-mile orbit,” Holder instructed his wingman.

“Acknowledged,” came Capt. Anderson’s reply.

Holder rolled his plane left and pointed it at the pyramid. He approached and engaged the hover ability of his aircraft, slowing to a standstill half a mile from the structure.

“Surface still appears solid . . . Zero radar reflection . . . No signs of electronic emissions . . . .”

A point of light blazed on the surface of the pyramid, from which a dark object zipped over Holder’s head and accelerated toward Las Vegas. His heart pounded. He hesitated for just an instant before he spun his plane and punched the throttle in pursuit.

“Shit! Bogie deployment from the structure. Osiris flight in pursuit!”

Anderson’s F-35 zipped past him, chasing the unknown object as Holder boosted up to maximum afterburner speed. The dark, winged object flew over the Las Vegas Strip at an altitude of 1,000 feet, made two abrupt ninety degree turns, and sped straight back toward the pyramid. Anderson and Holder banked hard but couldn’t hold the turn as tight as the alien craft.

“Holy Cra . . . ” Holder caught himself mid-phrase. “Object has doubled back to the pyramid – we’re in pursuit.”

Flight control cut in. “Weapons release is not authorized, NOT authorized, pursue only.”

The object accelerated away from them and re-entered the side of the pyramid at full speed in a flash of light.

“I’m going through,” shouted Anderson.

“Veer off,” Holder ordered.

Anderson’s plane flew right into the side of the pyramid with a flash, just as the UFO had. He vanished from sight and radar.

“Osiris Two entered the Pyramid. I’m following him.”

“Negative, Osiris One . . .” 

But Holder had already plunged into the pyramid.

Complete darkness enveloped his view. A shrill sound attacked his ears and a metallic taste filled his mouth, making him sick.

“Osiris Two . . . respond,” he managed to choke out. There was no reply.

The darkness cleared with another flash of light. It was replaced by a dim, blue landscape of hills and an enormous white disk dominating the sky.

Alarms blared – engine flameout. 

Holder attempted a restart. No good. The engine was O2 starved and dead.

Wherever I am, there‘s not enough oxygen in this atmosphere!

The ground came up fast. He yanked the ejection trigger and the seat shot him through the canopy. He blacked out.


Glenn sure kicked the action into high gear! Next week, Jim Hamilton will pick up the baton again and add Part 3 in 500 words or less.

Check in next Friday for what is sure to be another thrilling part of “The Pyramid.”

If you enjoyed the story so far, please leave a kind comment for Jim and Glenn below. Anyone want to guess what will happen next?

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

Don’t miss this ripped-from-the-headlines Sci Fi story: The Pyramid

The Circle of Champions, the winners of my monthly writing contests, bring forth another great Sci Fi story collaboration. Our consummate pass-the-baton leader, Jim Hamilton, joined forces with the newest Champions, Glenn R. Frank and Jeremy Wilson, to write a Sci Fi techno-thriller UFO sighting. Only this time, the whole world can see “The Pyramid.”

The Pyramid

A Circle of Champions collaboration story

Today, we unveil the first of five parts. Jim Hamilton kicks it off with a mysterious appearance and the U.S. president in the Situation Room.

The Pyramid

Part 1 by Jim Hamilton

At 2:27 p.m., on an otherwise unremarkable Friday afternoon, The Pyramid shimmered into being only 17.2 miles northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Fully a mile on a side and rising 4,000 feet above the desert landscape, it was impossible to miss.

By 2:37 p.m., hundreds of videos of it were already trending on every social media platform and two local news stations were transmitting raw footage as their helicopters flew towards it. Already, millions of people around the globe were beginning to endlessly speculate—each wanting to be the first to successfully guess the whys and wherefores of The Pyramid.

Two thousand miles to the east–2,095 miles to be exact–the U.S. president was holding a meeting in the Oval Office when the head of her security detail opened the door and said, “Madame President, I need for you to come with me right now. Protocol seven.”

Surprised at the sudden interruption, she immediately arose while apologizing, “Gentlemen, I’m afraid that you’ll have to excuse me.” She quickly followed the Secret Service agent out of the room and down the hall to the elevator.

As the car made its descent deep underground, the agent handed her a tablet. “You need to see this, ma’am.”

“What am I looking at?” she asked, as she watched the news video.

The chyron was too small to make out.

“It’s a giant pyramid, ma’am. It appeared about fifteen minutes ago outside Las Vegas.”

The elevator bell dinged and the doors parted. The President strode into the Situation Room and stood for a moment, studying the displays before addressing the Officer of the Day. “Status report!”

“Yes, ma’am. As you can see from the various video feeds, a large pyramid has suddenly appeared outside of Las Vegas.”

“Yes, yes. I’ve already got that part.”

Unfazed, he continued. “It covers about a square mile and is of unknown origin. We’ve got an AWAC en route to the site and two F-35s from Groom Lake are already orbiting five miles out. All air traffic in and out of McCarran International has been halted or diverted elsewhere. Local police and Homeland Security are currently working to cordon off the area on the ground.” He pointed at one of the screens. “That feed is from one of our military satellites that was fortunate enough to be watching at the time.”

“Any hostile activity?”

“None yet, ma’am. The relevant personnel have all been contacted and are on their way. The Secretary of Defense should be here at any moment.”

“Very good, Leroy,” she said, as she took her seat at the head of the long oval table. As she waited for the others to arrive, she contemplated the scenes on the ever-changing screens, frustrated with the lack of information at her disposal. She had seen the UFO files and knew that Earth had been visited before. She knew that this could only be another visit, but for what purpose? She crossed her fingers and hoped that they had come in peace.


Jim got us off to an incredible start. Next week, it will be up to Glenn R. Frank, the winner of my May Contest, to pick up the baton and move the story along in 500 words or less.

Check in next Friday for what is sure to be another thrilling part of “The Pyramid.”

If you enjoyed “The Pyramid” so far, please leave a kind comment for Jim Hamilton below. Anyone want to guess what will happen next?

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

Here’s another great story from my Champions: “The Orb”

The Circle of Champions, the winners of my monthly writing contests, bring forth another great Sci Fi story collaboration. Today, we reveal Part 5, the conclusion of the story!

The Orb

A Circle of Champions collaboration story

Jim Hamilton, who won my October Contest, took on the challenge of writing a story in five parts with two other champions, Katherine Shaw and S. Songweaver. Each writer wrote a segment of 500 words or less and handed it off to the next writer, pass-the-baton style. Jim started the story below and wrote Parts 3 and 5.

And now . . . the complete story!

The Orb

Part 1 by Jim Hamilton

It was five o’clock on a Saturday morning when Elizabeth and Robert Tanwell were rudely awakened by a pounding on their front door.

“Who the hell can that be at this hour?” asked Betty. She nudged her husband. “Go see who it is, Bobby.”

“I will, honey,” he said, getting out of bed and drawing on his bathrobe. “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

As Bobby descended the stairs, the pounding continued. “I’m coming!” he yelled, as loudly as he could. When he reached the door, he peered through the peephole and was surprised to see a policeman and a man in a dark gray suit staring back at him. He unlocked the deadbolt and opened the door. “Good morning, officers, what can I do for you?”

The middle-aged gentleman in the suit regarded Bobby with piercing eyes. “Are you Robert Marris Tanwell?”

“Yes, sir, that would be me.”

Holding up several folded sheets of paper, he handed Bobby one of them. “You are hereby under arrest for felony theft, including breaking and entering a government facility.” He handed Bobby another set of papers. “This is a warrant allowing us to search the premises for any evidence involved in the afore-mentioned crime.” He handed Bobby the last of the papers. “And this is a warrant authorizing the freezing of any assets you may have.” He nodded at the uniformed policeman. “Officer Wilmington here will take you into custody.”

The officer spoke up. “Please step out of the house and face the street, sir.”

“I haven’t done anything wrong!”

Dazed, Bobby complied and became aware of the numerous vehicles that lined his driveway. Within seconds, a menacing-looking, riot-gear-clad squad rushed past him into the house. As the officer brought Bobby’s arms behind him and fastened them with handcuffs, Bobby swore he could hear Betty screaming over the policeman’s words.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” He turned Bobby around to face him. “Do you understand these rights as I have explained them?”

“I haven’t done anything wrong!” Bobby protested. He looked at his house, searching for Betty. “What about my wife?”

The officer repeated, “Do you understand these rights as I have explained them?”

“Yes, yes, I do.” Bobby shook his head, “I think I want a lawyer now.”

Without replying, the policeman led Bobby to a marked SUV and opened the rear door. “Watch your head.”

Before climbing in, Bobby turned once more toward the house, hoping to catch a glimpse of Betty, but there was still no sign of her. As the door closed behind him, he wondered what he had gotten himself into. One thing he knew for sure, it had to be something to do with that alien artifact he had found in his backyard two weeks ago.


Part 2 by Katherine Shaw

Bobby’s heart hammered in his chest as he sat sandwiched between two stern-faced officers, both of them staring forwards as the SUV jostled them in their seats. No one had spoken to him since they had set off, ignoring his anxious questions until he finally gave up and succumbed to their silence. With nothing to distract his whirring thoughts, Bobby’s panic only grew.

They hadn’t told anyone about the artifact, had they? No, definitely not. It was in his office, in its box, while they figured out what the hell they were going to do with it.

The journey was taking much longer than Bobby had anticipated. He’d had no time to properly dress or put on his watch, but the rising sun told him it must be nearly six. Surely the police station is much closer than this? Unless . . .

A dull ache spread across his tightening chest. Are they going to kill me?

Finally, the car slowed, and the crunch of gravel under the wheels suggested they had reached their destination. Bobby braced himself for the worst as the officer to his left stepped out of the car and signaled for him to follow.

He was led into a stark, featureless building with no obvious signage or markings, and the inside was equally devoid of identity. The walls were painted a humorless gray, and the expressionless staff members walking the corridors were dressed in plain, dark suits. He could have been anywhere, which only frightened Bobby more.

The leading officer stopped partway down a corridor and motioned for Bobby to enter a room to his right. It didn’t take a genius to recognize it as an interrogation room. He shuffled to the lone chair in the center of the room and sat, his hands clasped tightly on his lap. After several long minutes, a new officer entered. He was tall and thin, all angles and corners. His eyes were like cold steel.

“Where is it, Tanwell”? His voice was as sharp as his features.

“I’m sorry, what—“

“Do not play dumb with me. We’ve seen the tapes.”

“Tapes? What tapes?” Panic roiled in Bobby’s stomach. “Will someone tell me what’s going on? I haven’t done anything!”

The officer’s mouth twisted into a smirk and Bobby’s panic froze into ice cold dread. “They say a picture is worth a thousand words, Mr. Tanwell, but what about several minutes of film?”

He held up a small remote and pushed a button. The nearest wall opened up to reveal a large, black screen which came to life at the officer’s touch. It showed a security tape from some sort of museum or archive, dated the night before.

What does this have to do with . . . ?

Bobby’s eyes bulged as a figure walked into the shot. A recognizable but impossible figure. It was him. Bobby himself!

“No! It can’t be! I’ve never—“

The words caught in his throat as he saw his doppelgänger punch into a glass case to retrieve an item from within. He didn’t even flinch, simply pocketed the object, turned and walked back out of the shot. The tape flickered and looped around, showing Bobby over and over again. But it wasn’t Bobby; it couldn’t be. 


Part 3 by Jim Hamilton

Bobby had a sinking feeling in his gut. He didn’t remember this place or breaking into it, but now
that he thought about it, this explained where the meteorite must have come from. And that nasty
gash on the back of my hand
, he thought to himself.

He glanced at his bandage as the officer spoke. “Isn’t that where you hurt your hand?”

Bobby paled as he looked back up again. “I . . . I think so, but I don’t remember it, I swear!”

The officer smirked as he said, “Let me guess—you’re taking Ambien?”

Bobby shook his head. “No, nothing like that, but I’ve had several blackouts recently where I don’t
remember what happened.” He pointed at the screen. “That must be one of them.”

“Blackouts? Seriously?” The officer laughed. “Do you really expect me to believe that?”

Bobby nodded vigorously. “It’s the truth, officer. It all started with an alien artifact that fell into
my backyard.”

The officer laughed again. “Oh, now you’re bringing aliens into it?”

“I’m serious! Two weeks ago, my wife and I heard a loud thump coming from the backyard.
When we went to see what it was. There was a dull silver sphere, about the size of a golf ball, embedded in the dirt. From the very beginning, we both felt . . . I don’t know, drawn to it. I picked it up and we brought it back into the house.”

“Maybe a large ball bearing fell from a plane?”

“That’s what we thought. However, when we went to bed, it was on our coffee table. When we
woke up, we found it in our microwave. It was glowing brightly enough to hurt your eyes to look
at it.”

“How did it get in the microwave?”

“I don’t know.”

Bobby shook his head, knowing it sounded insane. “One of us must have moved it,
but neither of us remember doing so.”

He paused for a moment, collecting his thoughts. “Since then, we found it in the sink, filled with water. Then it moved to a large wooden box. Next it was nestled into some kind of sawdust and fertilizer. Then a light coating of sand was added. Last night, I found what looked like a meteorite in the box next to it.” He pointed at the video that was still looping. “One that I . . . apparently stole from this place.”

“Do you honestly expect me to believe that cockamamie story?”

“Yes! Because it’s the truth! I went to the store last night to get groceries and when I got home,
the meteorite was in one of the grocery bags and my right hand was bandaged.” He rubbed his
temples. “I remember shopping and coming home, but I don’t remember anything else.”

“As we speak, we’re searching your house. Care to tell me what we’ll find?”

Bobby nodded. “The box is on my desk.” He smiled. “However, I don’t think that your meteorite
is actually a meteorite.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because, when I went to bed, it had cracked open and green goo was oozing out.”


Part 4 by S. Songweaver

“Green goo?” The officer raised an eyebrow; it sounded absurd.

“Yes, green goo,” Bobby insisted. “Actually, not unlike the stuff that’s coming out of the door behind you.”

The officer didn’t budge, his steely, cold eyes fixed on Bobby. “You really think I’ll fall for that?”

“I mean, it’s nothing to fall for, sir.” Bobby said, frowning at the green sludge squeezing through the crack of the interrogation room’s door.

The man in front of him scowled and turned. “What the . . . ?” he managed before his face was accosted by the green mush sliding up his nostrils and into his mouth.

Bobby panicked and jumped up from his chair as the officer slumped and fell forward onto the floor.

A few moments passed before he gathered enough bravery to nudge the man with his feet. “Sir?”

“Sir . . . ? Are you . . . OK?”

The man stirred, causing Bobby to jump back.

“Mr. Tanwell, you are safe.” The officer broke into a broad smile.

Bobby gulped.

“We have to get you out of here.” The man’s voice sounded squeaky; it was different than before. His eyes were glazed, like he didn’t quite know how to operate them.

“Uhh . . . ”

“Don’t worry, we might be alien, but we come in pieces,” the officer offered, making a Star Trek-style sign with his fingers.

Confused, Bobby managed, “Are you the orb thing that’s been controlling my wife?”

“Yes, terribly sorry about that.” The officer gathered himself off the floor, seeming like he was learning how to walk again. He looked down at his arms like they were new to him. “We needed something from the museum and this facility. I promise we’ll get you home safe, and you won’t remember a thing. Nor will the people here.”

The man made a hiccup noise as he walked into the door. “Right, primitive technology,” it reminded itself, finding the doorknob. “Follow me, Mr. Tanwell. We shall meet up with your wife. My mates are with her now.”

Bobby hesitantly looked at the officer and the open door, then back at the chair that he had been seated in just moments before. “This is a weird dream. I’m dreaming and I’m going to wake up soon.” He pinched himself. No dice.

“Hurry, Mr. Tanwell, we are on a line-dead.”

The man gestured for Bobby to go.

“You mean deadline,” Bobby corrected, following the officer out of the room and down the hall.

“No, I mean line-dead. My connection to the others was terminated when I came to get you. And until we meet up with them again, I can’t restore my live connection. If we don’t meet up at the checkpoint, I might miss them, and my ship will leave without me,” the officer replied, rushing past the security doors. “I just want to go home, Mr. Tanwell. I hope you can relate.”

Bobby frowned. It was as much as he could relate to a clump of green goo, he supposed.

“Your planet is terribly primitive, and we never, ever wanted to end up here again,” the officer added. “We were supposed to go to Andromeda, but my mates insisted on exploring something new. This is the last time I let them drive.”

At that moment, Bobby realized he might have a lot more in common with the strange alien sludge than he had thought.


Part 5 by Jim Hamilton

As he followed his former interrogator through the door and along the same unremarkable hallways, he asked, “You said that Betty—my wife—is okay?”

“Yes, Mr. Tanwell. We just need to collect the rest of us and get to the checkpoint.” He turned his head and smiled. “You can call me Zed, by the way.”

They arrived at the entrance where another man in a suit waited for them. Bobby watched as the new guy handed Zed an orb that looked like the one that had landed in Bobby’s backyard.

“Good job, men!” The man collapsed on the floor and, in only a couple of seconds, green goo oozed out of his pores and disappeared up Zed’s leg. Bobby was surprised by how fast it moved. Zed opened the outer door and walked over to a black SUV, apparently waiting for them. “This is where I turn us over to Harriman, here, who’ll drive us back to your house.” He passed the orb to the driver and green goo flowed down his arm and up the sleeve of Harriman.

“Get in, Mr. Tanwell,” said the driver, as the interrogator collapsed in a heap on the ground.

Bobby ran around to the passenger side and hopped in. He was glad to see that this Harriman knew how to drive as they sped down the gravel road and turned onto a highway. As they rode along, Harriman explained things to Bobby.

“I’m sure that you’re confused and have a lot of questions.”

“That’s a bit of an understatement,” replied Bobby.

“We come from a galaxy, far, far away. Our ship crashed here several hundred years ago and has lain in a museum all that time.”

“That’s the meteorite I stole?”

“Yes. And while we were waiting for a rescue probe, we kept tabs on your development.” Harriman laughed. “Your species is quite amusing.”

“Is the orb we found your rescue probe?”

“Yes. Actually, it’s the second one. The first one collided with one of your weather balloons and was taken to this facility for study.”

“And the green goo?”

“Actually, the ‘goo’, as you call it, is actually a colloidal environment that protects our silicon bodies from oxidizing and seizing up.”

“Silicon? Like nanobots or something?”

Harriman nodded. “Close enough. There’s trillions of us in this goo. We can control anyone that touches the orb, like you and your wife did.” He gestured to himself. “Or Officer Harriman here. He was the first to enter your office and was drawn to the orb. Once we controlled him, he passed the orb around to the rest of those present.”

Bobby saw that they were nearing his neighborhood. “So, where is this checkpoint?”

“It’s actually in your backyard. They’re all waiting for us.” He held up the orb. “We’re no longer line-dead. Physical contact with the orbs allows us to communicate.”

He turned into Bobby’s driveway, still filled with other black SUVs. Bobby and Harriman made their way to the backyard where a dozen enforcement officers welcomed them.

“Bobby!” exclaimed Betty, as she ran to give him a hug. “I was so worried about you!”

He hugged her back, his body flooded with relief at seeing his wife alive and well. “I’m okay. They told me you were safe, but I had to see for myself.”

One of the FBI agents called out, pointing at the sky. They all looked up and spotted a silver ball descending to where the probe had originally landed.

Bobby eyed the small sphere. “That’s it? That’s your rescue ship?”

Harriman laughed. “We’re microscopic. We don’t need a lot of room.”

Bobby and Betty watched in fascination as a large hole opened in the sphere and the goo flowed from Harriman and others into it. One-by-one, the various officers collapsed on the ground until only Harriman was left. He deposited the two smaller probes into the hole and it sealed itself.

“In a few more seconds, we’ll be gone,” he said, turning back to Bobby. “None of you will remember anything, and the videos have all been erased.” He smiled. “We want to thank you for your valuable assistance and apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.”

With that, Harriman collapsed and the silvery ball shot up into the atmosphere. Bobby and Betty barely had time to lock eyes in bewildered amusement before their vision faded to black, and their bodies collapsed from under them.

Later, they groggily awoke. They were alone, the only sound being the cool early evening air stirring the shrubbery around them. 

“Why are we lying out here in the yard?” asked Betty.

“I don’t know,” answered Bobby. “But I had the strangest dream about aliens.”

“Aliens?”

“Yes. Aliens.” He pulled out the notebook he always kept with him and began furiously scribbling. “It’s a great idea for my next novel, and I want to get it all down before I forget it!” 

Bobby smiled and looked up at the darkening sky. “This one’s going to be a real corker!”


And, indeed, this pass-the-baton story was a corker! Thanks to Jim Hamilton, Katherine Shaw, and S. Songweaver for sharing this fun Sci Fi story.

If you enjoyed “The Orb,” please leave some kind comments for Jim, Katherine and S. below.

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross