Immigrants – Les Bohem
5300 words Science Fiction
The obvious conclusion that this was a sentient, carbon-based life went without saying. That he came from a people with a technology more advanced than ours – he got here, didn’t he? But the questions of what kind of sentient – of why he’d gotten here and what he wanted and how he planned to go about getting it – those questions were debated endlessly. Linda would just have to wait for Adam to wake up and provide the answers.
Linda was called in a few months before the arrival. Something spotted in the sky – something moving towards us – something no one could account for. The protocols were in place, and they were ready. Biologists, astrophysicists, chemists, engineers, soldiers, clergy – a world-wide, multidisciplinary team – a group of people who had all firmly believed that this day would never come. It was the kind of thing, some poor junior senator from Nebraska is put on a contingency committee – what to do in case of alien contact. Seriously. He gets a trip to some international conference in the Hague – something the whole world can agree on ‘cause it’s never gonna happen. But the protocols had been in place, and now when they were needed, they functioned beautifully. From around the world, the experts came.
The Other Fifty – Les Bohem
9000 words General Fiction
Rick plays guitar. And he’s good, as good as any of them, ever, but being good means nothing without the other fifty. The other fifty is that fifty percent that means you’ll make it. It’s luck and timing and sureness and being ready to kill. Soon, the breaks start to fall Rick’s way, and he’s about to find out whether or not he’s got that other fifty, and to find out the price you pay for having it. Is the view worth the climb?
In the summer of 2012, I was working a construction job in Hawthorn with my father. The commute from North Hollywood was a bitch. I’d get up around six every morning, and we’d get back home around eight at night. We’d eat dinner and then I’d take the train to Sunset and Vermont. I’d meet my friend, Tommy, and we’d play music, play until three or four in the morning. I’d take the train home, lie down for five minutes, and get up for work. Sundays I’d sleep. That was my life, but it wasn’t going to stay that way. I knew that just as sure as I knew that I was good, as good as any of them, and that being good didn’t mean anything without the other fifty.