Alien Paintbrush

You do know that today is Wednesday, right? It’s vote day over at Indies Unlimited. The day we come together to vote on our favorite flash fiction stories for the week. Sorry, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is the day that we vote on the stories based on the prompts (written and picture) that were supplied on Saturday.

We aren’t going to vote on just any old flash fiction, that would be silly. Nope, the stories have to work with the prompts provided. A select panel of judges from Indies Unlimited pick out the best stories that work best with the prompts and then leave them open for the rest of us to vote on the ones we like best.

Alien Paintbrush

Professor Goodwin always enjoyed taking his class on hikes through this section of the refuge.

But today, something was different – wrong, even. The trees were covered in this strange, colorful substance, unlike anything he’d ever seen before.

“What’s this stuff?” Jimmy asked, touching it.

“I don’t know,” Rachel answered. “But it wasn’t here before that UFO flew over last night.”

Without so much as a word, Jimmy collapsed…

Alien Paintbrush

photo by K. S. Brooks

The sticky resin began to pulse and grow as it covered Jimmy’s hand. Rachel screamed as it quickly encased his arm and then his torso and finally his legs and his head. The substance continued to pulse and squiggle around his body, but any sign of Jimmy was gone.

“Stay back!” Professor Goodwin said.

His words had come too late as Rachel backed into a gloop covered branch and then fell forward into several other students. Each of them fell prey to the resin as Jimmy had. The professor watched the children fall like dominoes with his mouth agape.

When the last child had fallen, covered with the sticky resin, he closed his mouth and his lips twisted to a smile. This situation would fund his research grant for the next twenty years, he was sure of it. He pulled out his phone and snapped pictures of the children’s cocoons, and wished that he had had the presence of mind to start collecting data sooner.

Professor Goodwin stepped over Jimmy’s cocoon as he moved away from the affected area. He needed a stick to poke at the resin.

He turned his back to Jimmy’s cocoon, to all of the children as his thoughts turned to his future life of luxury researching this phenomenon. He never saw the puff of smoke that exhaled from Jimmy’s cocoon as it split down the center. He never saw the tentacle that stretched out to snake its way around his leg.

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Make a trip on over to Indies Unlimited and check out the stories. Remember to vote for your favorite.

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