It’s not my discipline, but here’s a simple science activity for your student. Have them pick an outdoor tree or plant that’s nearby and keep field notes on its progress this spring. Take into account animals and insects. This will keep their writing and observation skills sharp.
The small object hit his roof with such force that it crashed right through before slamming into the kitchen floor. He screamed in terror while jumping from his couch and running to survey the damage.
His dog began to bark incessantly.
After reaching the kitchen, he peered through the hole in his ceiling to see the blue sky.
An airport resided nearby that sent planes over his house all day and night. He studied the little crater embedded within his linoleum and presumed he would find an errant bolt or some such thing.
The dog continued barking.
He did not perceive a bolt within the smoking hole, but rather a spider. This wasn’t a spider he recognized, however, and because it scurried on ten legs, he couldn’t even be sure it was a spider at all. However, it disgusted him as all spiders do, and so as soon as it left the pockmark and approached him, he stomped on it.
When he lifted his foot, he saw not one spider, but two.
The dog’s barking intensified.
The two spiders darted toward him. He assumed one of them had been attached to the other before his initial strike. They must have somehow distributed the impact. He brought his foot down upon both of them at once. He pushed hard while twisting and turning to pulverize them.
When he withdrew, four spiders appeared.
Still barking, his dog tried to attack them, but they avoided his teeth and scampered onto his back. The dog yelped, raced to the unlatched screen door, and then burst out into the open air.
He intended to chase his dog outside in order to help it, but two of the remaining spiders blocked his path. He hopped over them and dashed to the screen door. When he reached it, he saw his neighbor bent over the dog and brushing it as though trying to flick away the spiders. Suddenly, the neighbor stood and flailed her arm around. He perceived several specks—the spiders—stuck to her.
His eyes next fell upon his dog. It laid motionless on the front lawn and looked as though it had been … deflated.
A faint pricking sensation agitated his ankle. His eyes bulged when he saw a spider fastened to it. His leg grew numb even as the spider doubled in size, then tripled. The swelling continued until it exploded. Two new spiders emerged and dug into his skin. He stumbled backwards before falling into the corner near his screen door. Through it, he saw his neighbor laying prone, emaciated, next to the dog.
Before he could pull them off, those two spiders burst into four, which soon became eight, which next produced sixteen.
A year later, a single spider remained still in an open field of wilted vegetation. Several hours elapsed, but with each passing moment, a sheath formed around the spider. This resulted in an imperfect, impenetrable orb. Three other spiders did the same at different locations across the planet.
Soon millions of spiders surrounded the orb. Multitudes scuttled beneath it, lifting it from the ground. Others formed a cylinder around it. As the spiders climbed atop each other, the column grew taller and taller. The encased spider elevated as well due to the mound swelling under it.
At last, the monolith ceased its ascent. The human eye could not have perceived the top of the configuration due to its sheer height.
Total silence surrounded the tower. Though it gave not the slightest sign of falling, the surface of the structure trembled as the spiders fought to remain interlocked.
In perfect tandem, the spiders comprising the cylinder’s base combusted. Each and every spider throughout the conduit exploded just as the spider beneath it did the same, which created an upward thrust that propelled the protected spider beyond the planet’s atmosphere.
The three cocoons at the other sites also escaped gravity.
Leaving behind a planet devoid of humanity, they each rocketed into space with a different trajectory.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews or articles.
Are you in need of a new epic series? Try Dr. Nekros, a trilogy that I like to describe as Moonlighting meets The X-Files.
When Micah Vadenburgh is ravaged by a demon after trying to jump-start a ghost hunting career, he abandons his wife, his doctoral degree, and even his dog in pursuit of vengeance. Ten years later, Micah has adopted a new persona–Dr. Nekros–but is no closer to exacting revenge. Zetta Southerland, his ex-wife, appears one day with a warning that his life is in danger. Little does Dr. Nekros, or Zetta, realize that the demon is closer than they know, and they have both fallen into the monster’s trap. Dr.Nekros is a darkly humorous story about the depravity of obsession, but it also explores the bonds of family and the hope of redemption.
If this sounds like a series for you, download the first e-book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble by clicking the links …
Cupid’s got a bit of a problem. He now appears old and decrepit, and he’s lost his will to spark romance. In fact, on St. Valentine’s Day, he’s content to merely mope on a park bench, sulking. What has brought Cupid to this lowly state, and is there any way Bernie and Patti can renew his vigor to unite lovers? Find out by downloading to your Nook or Kindle for only ninety-nine cents!
I had the honor of joining Normal Public Library’s podcast entitled “Check It Out.” Though I thought we would only be discussing the fantastic novel Moonglow by Michael Chabon, Jared was also kind enough to ask me about my own work both as a writer and educator.
It was as fantastic experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Click HERE to give it a listen, and be sure to check out the other episodes as well!
It is my distinct honor to appear at Graham Crackers Comics in Normal, IL, on Saturday, February 18th. I’ll deliver a brief talk entitled “We Can Be Heroes!” followed by a reading from my science fiction novel, Andropia.
If you have not yet visited Graham Crackers, this is the perfect opportunity. I am consistently impressed with the clean, friendly atmosphere and the incredibly helpful staff. This will be a family friendly event, so bring the kids!
Hope to see you there, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
In 2011, I began an experiment called Dr. Nekros. I’d created the character a few years prior, but it wasn’t until that time that I fully committed to telling his story. Amazon Direct Publishing arrived on the scene, and I realized it provided the perfect platform to execute a form of storytelling I’d never experienced firsthand – the serial.
I knew I wanted Dr. Nekros’ odyssey to span eighteen episodes, and I knew I wanted three major story arcs that ultimately told a much grander tale. When I started, I pretty much had the first six episodes mapped out. Beyond that, I can’t claim to have fully understood where the story would ultimately end.
Writing a serial proved a thrilling experience, especially because I figured much of it out as I went. I hoped to release an episode every two months, and, for the most part, I stuck to that schedule. Oddly enough, when I about hit the half way mark of the series I came down with a terrible case of the stomach flu. My entire family suffered from it. This thing lasted for days, and none of us could hardly get out of bed. Since I had so much downtime, I took advantage of it to finally map out the end of the series. Looking back, I think I may have been a bit delirious because Dr. Nekros takes a fairly surreal turn near the end.
Those years spent writing Dr. Nekros proved to be the busiest of my life thus far. Just a few months before the serial started, my wife and I moved into a new house we built, I returned to my full-time high school teaching career, I started and finished my Master’s degree, and we had our second child. Throughout it all, Dr. Nekros’ adventures unfolded. In many ways, the not-so-good doctor kept me sane. I am the sort of person who always needs a creative outlet, and in the midst of so many obligations, he gave me the opportunity to do things my way. Of course, that’s not entirely true. The serial very much took on a life of it’s own, and I, at times, felt as though I was merely the tool for this story to arrive.
If you have not yet read the Dr. Nekros serial, I do hope you’ll share my passion and give it a try. It is an epic work, and I believe it has qualities appealing to most readers. I found the entire process incredibly satisfying, and I am thankful to have experienced such creative passion.
Simply click the image to visit the works on Amazon.