Flash Fiction: Delay

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Other stories featuring the prompt can be found here.


Waiting. Waiting. Even spaceships run late. When was the last time one departed or arrived on time? A problem on Mars. There always is. Why not divert? Give us a Milky Way view? Because that would cost extra and the rich aliens might lose a lizard tail. Their technology so much more advanced than ours; they can put man in the next solar system but can’t run a simple transport service. What happened to bigger brains are better? The crap they lord it over us with. Their DNA superior; why do they need my sperm? Don’t worry kids, daddy’s coming home.



  1. There’s a lot going on in this story, with an enslaved and resentful humanity moaning that aliens are no better at running a punctual transport system than humans are. At least daddy’s on his way home from Proxima Centauri! Ambitious effort, Tannille.

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  2. The public address system bursts into life.. “Flight 69 to Paradise Island is leaving at gate 99.” You wake up and try to put your neck back where it usually is. Sleep doesn’t come easy on a day like this. That weird dream leaves you wondering about your own sanity.

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  3. Hah! Funny how we both had an ‘alien’ sense to this … 😉
    Well done!
    And … yes … there’s always ‘something’ going on, on Mars.
    I hear Mercury is even more capricious … 😉

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  4. my, my, dr. watson, wait time is all relative. as einstein said, “put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.” 🙂

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  5. As traffic increases, delays become inevitable. With Elon Musk on the job, space transport may come through, though US government has to subsidise it.

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  6. A good story, Tannille. I don’t know. Those aliens sound sneaky to me. Why do they need human sperm? The people of Earth better be careful. The aliens may be far more than a transportation company. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  7. It sounds to me like the aliens know us very well – make sure we have lots of little things to complain about and we won’t notice the really big things that are going on. I always love a good alien story and this is no exception.

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