Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
Featured image art generated by Jason H. Abbott using starryai.
“So, what’s your screenplay pitch?” “Seven samurai reincarnate as stray dogs to save a peasant village from bandit marauders.” “That sounds… good, actually. But no one would direct it.” “One would. A master of cinema.” “Who?” “Akita Kurosawa.” “Oh no! A mermaid pirate!” the boatswain says. “Mermaid pirate infers I’m a mermaid that’s chosen piracy. In fact, I’m a pirate turned into a mermaid!” “A… pirate mermaid?” “Aye.” “Well, you’re very cute.” “Oh you,” she giggles. “Now, give me yer gold!” My children and husband run to me. Wolves sniffing palms. My beautiful beasts. They know as I collapse: The virus is reshaping me as it had them. I cry. Thoughts shrink. Humanity fades. I howl. Fear passes. Joy begins: We are a family reunited. Aira unrolls the map in lamplight. “What is this made of? Leather?” Roslyn shivers. “It’s said Blacksilk tattooed it on another pirate so it couldn’t be stolen.” “Wait. So, this is—” A bloody ghost woman rises through the table. “The skin off me back, girls!” Hadrosaurs huddled and munched below the butte. Atop it, the tweens laid under unknown constellations. “Even Neil deGrasse Tyson couldn’t figure these stars out,” the boy scout said beside the cave girl. “But whenever we are, we’ve got each other!” She smiled. “I’m surprised your blade didn’t shatter!” he quips as they cross swords. “Who fights with arms and armor of glass, anyway?” Cinderella kicks the point of her translucent slipper into the prince’s codpiece. “Not glass,” she says, watching him crumple. “Diamond.” I speak in the general’s chamber, where he’s led humanity’s defense entombed in life support since before my birth. “Sir, the enemy invades Terra.” “Bring my weapons.” “Sir?” Machinery falls away as a ten-meter cyborg body rises. “All forces, engage.”