The Ghost Called Bob #5

After three years of my little Halloween stories – I thought Bob’s story should carry on! r Bob got up to more tricks in year two more frolics in year three , he was back again last year.

And he’s back again!


The night draw in once more the last browned and wind blown leaves remain on the trees. Awaiting the cold winds that will shed the trees of the last of summer’s warm. The mists descend as night falls, the glowing pumpkin jack-o-lanterns dimly illuminate the houses that invite the children to play their trick – or treat.


Despite the stories told every year the children venture out, daring the goulful duo to appear. Mary floats about the dampened and misty streets, swathes of fog mask her wanderings as the first children make their way onto the spooky streets, hoping to bring home their haul of chocolate and treats.

As Mary wonders where Bob might be she rounds the corner to find him there. With almost a fright she jumps in the air. Giggling with mischief Bob gets a slap. Spinning his head he faces Mary with a lift of his hand he shows her the companion he found. Lucy, growing ever bigger with a costume of ragged clothes and face pale and bloodied she appears a spooky sight.

Lucy motions with a wave, rushing to a darkened place two others await, a witch and a Goblin wave to Lucy. Presenting the ghouls Lucy looks and nothing is there. With a snigger the pair show their amusement. Lucy’s fisted hands angrily planted on her hips. But anger is turned to laughter as the two turn to find the ghosty pair right behind them. As they screech Lucy is bent up with laughter.

With now five of them they wander through the village, all taking turns to jump out on the unsuspecting. As Bob pop his head up from a drain some boys leap to run only to find Mary staring with an undead look. With a shriek louder than the girls they run not looking back.

The girls share the abandoned sugary loot among them, laughing as they seek the next stop. A man in a van shines his light down the narrow road, waving for them to move Mary stands to block him and gives a deathly stare. The driver frustrated turns to look to see Bob with the rope around his neck. Quickly backing away Bob is left floating in mid air.

With giggles and laughs they finish their tirade of terror. Lucy says a sad farewell, offering a flower to each of the ghouls, again the ghosts make their way back to their resting places. With new friends made they look forward keenly to their night of freedom. As light starts to return Bob winces at the silhouetted gibbet and turn to the brightness as Mary looks on. They say their goodbyes and once again sink down to their graves as the light of the new day dawns.

The flowers left atop each of their graves, the gifts of love they couldn’t take.
Lucy will be there next year and again they can have their night of spooky fun!

© Simon Farnell 2020


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The Sci-Fi Files – The Shark Tag

Enigmatic Episodes looks at the mysteries and urban legends that I’ve found on the internet and finds out more about them. Are they real? Could there be a cover up? What monster may live on, in or outside our Earth? Are the Aliens watching us?

This Sci-Fi files tales takes us back to the ocean depths to something that happened when a casual beach walker found a tag that had been attached to a 3 metre Great White shark. When the data on it was analysed it revealed that on Christmas Eve 2003 the shark dived to a depth of 1900ft at high speed, then the temperature rose from 7 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celcius.

Shark 1
Chart showing depth and temperature data of tag – Image Credit Daily Star

This indicated that the shark was consumed and was now in the belly of a larger beast. So the question was asked – what could eat a 3 metre long Great White? Popular theories of either a Killer Whale or another Great White seem plausible, but the problem is that the internal temperatures of these beasts doesn’t quite fit the data.
Even if it was a larger Great White the largest so far recorded is 20ft or over 7 metres long and a 3 metre Great White would be than a mixed grill for a man at a local pub.

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/500771/What-ate-9ft-shark-mystery-monster-Dave-Riggs-Australia


shark

Can we believe what the scientists tell us? It’s terrifying to think of a monster shark in normal terms that could consume a smaller one of it’s own kind. But could there be a species down there that’s so much bigger than we know about now. Unconfirmed sightings of giant squid, sharks of 30ft or more in length and dead animals washed up on our beaches that defy our knowledge make one ask the question again.

What kind of monster eats a Great White?



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Word Prompt Story – Fusion

Word prompt stories – I’m going to try and look for a word prompt daily (haha don’t laugh) and see if I can create something short and sweet to write around it. As it’s me I’ll probably try and put a science fiction spin on it.

For all you reading it, this is a challenge for you as well, can you come up with something based in the chosen word? Post it on your blog and link back to this post something short of around 50 – 200 words (but no limit really) , it can be a story, poem, thought or whatever.

Why not join in and create something?

Fusion

Nothing prepared me for what I saw that day, in a place where no man could exist, a human like creature stood outside. But with the brightness of the sun shining from his body as if some unnatural fusion between man and star had taken place.

He beckoned for me to come and somehow I could not resist. In disbelief I rose and the bulk head door opened. The air stayed in the cabin and I took the hand of this being.

Would I return? I didn’t care.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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AD Astra – As good as promised, or a lot of empty void?

When I saw the trailer for this film – I had to go see it. I can cannot stress how I really, really wanted to like this film. I had in my mind an Interstellar – esque feel with an original story line. I had no idea what to expect really. What follows is a short breakdown, there are some spoilers but I haven’t spoiled everything.

The film starts well enough, Brad Pitt’s man character Roy McBride is pushed off a space structure by a mysterious energy wave and down to Earth. The scene is pretty dramatic and not a million miles away from a factual jump carried out in 2007 by Felix Baumgartner.

Moving the story forward a mission that Roy’s father was leading falls under suspicion as the cause. This mission called the Lima Project was sent out to the outer solar system 26 years ago to look for life beyond Earth. Nothing was heard from the Lima Project for 16 years after it reached Neptune and was presumed destroyed.

Now it looks like it may have survived and Roy McBride is sent out to Mars to make contact with his father. Typically Roy is very unemotional, but loses the plot after he suspects details are being hidden from him and despite being taken off the mission manages to get aboard the spacecraft bound for Neptune.

What’s the film about?

For me this is hard to say, all I can say really is that it’s about one man’s yearning for his father’s love and acceptance and how obsession has kept them apart and essentially affected both their lives and relationship.

Sure there’s a save the world aspect to this but there isn’t ever really a sense of urgency about this.

Apparently the director James Gray wanted to create a movie that depicted the most realistic depiction that’s been put into a space movie yet. For me I don’t think he achieved that and 2001 still holds that mantle despite being 50 years old although some movies like Interstellar and the Martian have been on a per but maybe not as detailed.

Scientific Inaccuracies

This is where I really, really think the film was let down.
1) Why did Roy have to go to Mars to make a phone call to his dad?
2) The messages being sent by laser (which still travels at the speed of light) from Mars to Neptune were depicted to get an immediate response.

As well as these there were numerous ‘little bits’ that added to the swarf of inaccuracy that really took something away from the realism that James Gray was trying to achieve.

What Else?

There were meant to be epic scenes in this film… hmm.. a passing shot of Jupiter and Saturn were given but there could have been more to it I feel. In a similar way that this was given in Interstellar. The depiction of Neptune was very good I have to admit, but there was something that kept me from feeling the realism.

Part of the issue I feel is that the story pace was rushed, possibly to make sure that audiences didn’t fall asleep. But that pace needed to slow, for the sake of the realism that was trying to be captured. I agree that it wouldn’t probably have been a hit if the pace / realism was worked on but then this wasn’t a big selling film anyway.

I really didn’t get the moon buggy fight scene either, it felt a bit like they threw it in to give some oomph after they looked at what they had and thought ‘meh’ but I may be wrong.

(Spoiler in this bit)
Something else that seems to have caught my attention is that human life now seems pretty cheap, between Moon marauders, lost Norwegian crews killed by killer moneys and all that there was a pretty significant body count that was thrown off as – yeah, some more guys have died. But in a way that kind of feeds into the final message in the film of ‘All we have are each other’.

What was good about it?

The concept, story and potential was great. That’s why I had high hopes for this. It saddens me to say but it just didn’t deliver. I really, really wish it had, I think it could have as well.

But the film I have to say was interesting, the world created for this story was set in the not too distant future looks at the commercialisation and exploration of space in a big way. All nations seem to be in on the action it’s humanity’s new frontier.

There were a number of EVA (spacewalk) scenes and I have to say they were pretty well done and pretty realistic. However I’m not sure gaffa tape over a broken helmet visor would survive the rigours of space. That was a little silly and maybe pinched from the Martian?

In Summary

I don’t need to say much more, the jist of it all is already here. I really hate to be negative about something like this as time, money, effort of many people have been put into a film.

I’m not saying they have done a terrible job, just that something seems to be in the way of being the great film it could have been.

No ownership claimed on Images – Taken from Google


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Digital Art with InkScape – The Spooky Scene

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. This pumpkin drawing is a simple and quick little sketch that quite cool.

Layers

Use the layer tool to create different layers for all the different drawing elements, this will help greatly in putting everything in the right order. Find it under Layer > Layers and layers can be added moved and the like. To work on a layer click on it. + to add – to remove. and the move layers up down order.

But this shows how I did it.

Background

Create two layers for the background at the very bottom on the layer order. I made the very back layer black. The next background layer up I made grey and then added Filters > Textures > Watercolour

I then the the opacity of the layer to 60% to make the black show through a bit.

Grass

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you will have seen how I created the Grass. If not the Link is Here. Add a rectangle below and fill to fill in the area below the grass.
I set the grass as one layer from the top.

Draw the Tree Branches

There’s no easy way to draw the tree branches. Using the pen tool to create branches, starting from large sizes and getting smaller. Where there’s white gaps use the bucket fill tool to fill them in and make them the size and shape that’s wanted.

I have cheated a bit and done some copying and modification. That’s cuts down a bit on the time to make them.

Add Bats and Pumpkins

From the .PNG files that have been made of the bats and pumpkins, import them into the picture and place them about as desired.

Add the Moon

The moon is simply a circle in white, I set the opacity to 70% and a blur of 5. Put it on it’s own layer and set the order behind the trees and bats.

Gravestones

I used three layers for these so I could give the picture and impression of depth. I created them from rectangles in different shapes and the crosses are two rectangles merged together. I add a little blur (about 1) to the gravestones at the front, the back ones are grayer with a blur of about 4.

Rotate them using the Object ? Transform tool and adjust the rotation. This give your graveyard the very unkempt look and feel.

Hand

The hand was a bit tricky, but it’s drawn from the pen tool and then the shape filled in. It wasn’t right first time bu the node tool helped make it about right.


There it is! I won’t say it’s simple but nothing too hard. I like this spooky scene I’ve wanted to make it for ages but I’ve not done it – until now.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Word Prompt Story – Project

Word prompt stories – I’m going to try and look for a word prompt daily (haha don’t laugh) and see if I can create something short and sweet to write around it. As it’s me I’ll probably try and put a science fiction spin on it.

For all you reading it, this is a challenge for you as well, can you come up with something based in the chosen word? Post it on your blog and link back to this post something short of around 50 – 200 words (but no limit really) , it can be a story, poem, thought or whatever.

Why not join in and create something?

Project

I had never in all my days seen any man made object as large and as complex as the starship that was spread out before him. The immensity boggled the mind, the attention to detail was outstanding.

I was going to take this and my crew further from Earth than any had been before. They said the project was nearing completion, I said it was just getting started.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Enigmatic Episodes – The Black Knight

Enigmatic Episodes looks at the mysteries and urban legends that I’ve found on the internet and finds out more about them. Are they real? Could there be a cover up? What monster may live on, in or outside our Earth? Are the Aliens watching us?

What is the Black Knight? Why should anyone care?

According to conspiracy theorists, it’s very important and everyone should care. The Black Knight is said to be a 13,000 year old satellite from an alien race that’s been sending signals to Earth for all this time. It’s purpose and origins totally unknown.

The story is that Nikola Tesla first detected radio signals which even to this day have not been explained. The Black knight was allegedly first detected in 1960 by the US Navy, the sighting of this this and the identification of the Black Knight has been applied retrospectively to Tesla’s radio signals.

The Black Knight’s orbit differs from most other satellites as it circles the Earth in a Polar orbit (top to bottom) rather than an equatorial orbit (round the middle). We use polar satellite for Earth observation, which gives some idea to it’s purpose. Our first polar orbital satellite was only launched in 1960.

Black_Knight_Satellite

Various unconfirmed reports of the Black Knight tracking the shuttle, satellites and the ISS have leaked into general knowledge. But are they true? Is there a more rational explanation?

The Wikipedia link below details the alleged real facts around the Black Knight and it’s said that Nikola Tesla’s radio signal cannot be attributed to an alien satellite, the US Navy’s detection of it in 1960 was poor identification of a satellite and the claims around a 13,000 year old satellite were made by a Scottish author to the media and later retracted.

Wikipedia – The Black Knight

Like all conspiracy  theories, there’s always the questions either side. It seems absurd to accept the idea of an alien satellite orbiting Earth. But if another race wanted to monitor us for a long time it’s only recently that we’ve been able to detect it. Perhaps it’s calling card, maybe it’s purpose is far more sinister.

Whatever it is, it exists. Whether a fragment of another human spacecraft, or alien satellite. Only when it’s captured and examined will the mystery end. Or maybe, it will only be beginning…

No ownership claimed on image – taken from Google


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The Clone Soldier

This is my entry for October’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Clone.

Awake.

Consciousness returning to her. A flood a memories invading their thoughts as if for the first time. Time ebbed on and the light came and went, the room, the bed all familiar. The smell of the old wood walls as comforting as the warmth of the sun.

Rising from the bed she reached over for the watch placed on the bedside cabinet. Metallic and heavy in the hand it slipped onto their wrist easily. Glancing down at the time it was getting late, hunger was now taking over her thoughts. The thought of warm bread and chicken soup permeated and wouldn’t go away. Reaching over to the foot of the bed she pulled on a white tank top and black cargo trousers.

Lifting from the bed and onto her feet, legs wobbling slightly as if the sleep had been so deep that the legs had forgotten how to walk for a moment. Reaching out to the old brass door knob and turning it, pulling the door open to find the old wooden walls and wooden table that were so familiar. At the head already there was a steaming bowl of chicken soup and warm bread. A dish of butter waited with a knife placed neatly with a spoon next to it. No cloth or mats covered the table. A card was placed in the middle of the table, blank and white with no markings it was of no interest compared to the food.

Just moment later the small meal was all but devoured, the last remnants of warm bread had just gone. Suddenly she jumped off the chair and almost out of their skin, cursing as she leapt back.

“Who the hell are you?” She screamed. A man, thin and graying, with a serious look and round glasses was suddenly sat before them at the other end of the table.

“I hope you enjoyed that Alissa.” finally breaking silence in a matter of fact tone.

“That’s not what I asked!” Alissa growled back. “Who are you?”

“Please, sit down. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m Dr Dak Shouten.”

“What are you doing here and where did you come from?” Alissa growled back again, backed into the far corner of the room.

“Please, sit and I will explain.” Shouten asked calmly. Puling out a control tablet he pressed a button. The wooden walls slid slowly down into the floor . On one side there was the grey and dusty rocky surface of the Moon and on the other tens of people running about in clean suits and masks in what appeared to be a complex set up to create something. But Alissa couldn’t see or make out what it could be.

Looking back at Shouten he motioned for her to sit, slowly pulling out the chair, Alissa sat. Waiting for whatever was going to come next.

“I’ve been here the whole time, you couldn’t see me behind the holographic screen. I’m looking after you, you’re one of our best soldiers and you were recently wounded and nearly died. You’ve been undergoing genetic therapy and for nearly three months your body has been undergoing repair. You were coming back to consciousnesses only three days ago so we have put you somewhere familiar to wake up to. I hope you like it.”

Alissa looked up, not knowing how to take all this in she simply nodded nervously.

“I’m afraid though that we do have some business we need to get out of the way, it won’t take long.” Shouten glanced at the card.

“What is it?”

“The card has some information abut your last mission we need to retrieve.”

“So, retrieve it.”

“We can’t, it’s locked the contents to your Genputer. Only you can access it.”

“I see, so the ‘best solider bit’ was all rubbish! You just wanted this!” Alissa retorted aggressively.

“Look, you’re here and you shouldn’t be. It’s the least you can do.” Shouten insisted.

Alissa got up and picked up the card, placing it in her palm, the access circuits in her skin glowed from red to green. She had accessed the card.

“We need to know the access code for the enemy’s Teragenic computer.”

Alissa scrolled and browsed through the interface in her mind, as if it was there in the room all the files and folders she had collected from through her life were there. Training, missions, memories of friends, some gone from this world.

“Found it.”

Shouten sat forward, waiting intently “You should be able to send it through to my own Genputer.”

She accessed the file and instantly something happened. A flood of information memories and data. For a short moment she processed it.

“Here.” Alissa sent a file to the Genputer in Shouten’s brain.

“Excellent, let’s see what we have. This is a memory file of your last-” Shouten was pushed to the floor. Alissa slid her hand under the table and pulled out his hidden weapon.

“Don’t -” Alissa raised the weapon and shot. She pulled the access tag from his neck and the holo screen device from his pocket. Pressing a button Alissa vanished, a few seconds later the door flew open and three guards pushed in with their weapons raised. Shouting as they moved forward their weapons strafed the far wall.

Alissa slipped out of the door, unseen, unheard. Her method of escape clearly written by the genetic master that preceded her. Cloned from original that didn’t quite make it. The card contained all the information she needed, her enemy that she was now escaping from trying to steal her coded secrets with her own genetics.

“They’ll have to try harder than that!” Was Alissa’s parting thought as the gateway took her to her freedom.


Awake.

Consciousness returning to her. A flood a memories invading their thoughts as if for the first time. Time ebbed on and the light came and went, the room, the bed all familiar. The smell of the old wood walls as comforting as the warmth of the sun.

© Simon Farnell 2020



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Inktober – Ghost

I’ve hear about this Inktober thing for years now and I’ve never thought about taking part. While I’m not really taking part fully I thought I might dive in some days.

Today’s prompt was Ghost and thinking that a white sheet with two holes poked in it wouldn’t be good enough I thought Slimer might be a good subject choice!

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Word Prompt Story – Mentor

Word prompt stories – I’m going to try and look for a word prompt daily (haha don’t laugh) and see if I can create something short and sweet to write around it. As it’s me I’ll probably try and put a science fiction spin on it.

For all you reading it, this is a challenge for you as well, can you come up with something based in the chosen word? Post it on your blog and link back to this post something short of around 50 – 200 words (but no limit really) , it can be a story, poem, thought or whatever.

Why not join in and create something?

Mentor

As his mentor Garan-har was meant to train him. But for days he had not said a word. He couldn’t tell if he had dome something wrong, or if this was a lesson. knowing Garan-har is was a lesson.

But what was he supposed to do?

Like now, he had been meditating under the stars for hours. Not a word. Not a sound.

Suddenly his eyes opened.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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