It Came from…


Life imitates art, which imitates life, which then imitates art in what seems to be a never-ending cycle.  Orwell’s 1984 came around, late, but it came around. Contemporary (as opposed to historical) thriller novels were transformed by the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Arthur Bremer’s diary was the inspiration for the film Taxi Driver which in turn inspired the actions of John Hinckley, Jr. which to this day has launched variations of jokes about Jodie Foster. And so it goes.

Accordingly…submitted for your perusal, here is an article with an embedded video  regarding a discovery made off of the California coast. Please take a moment to read the article and particularly to watch the video, which looks like a mashup of The Blair Witch Project and Alien. We’re going to base our exercise of the day around this, but you will be mightily entertained by the article and video, regardless.

The video spooked me badly for a couple of reasons. The first is the resemblance of that orb to a spider egg. Contrary to the assertion made by one of the scientists, “most” spiders don’t carry around the eggs on their stomachs. Many, though not the majority, wrap the evil little demon spawns in silk and hang them in webs, though if they are smart they don’t do it at my house. So…where did that thing come from? The second is the reaction of Little Sebastian to the egg. Sebastian at first appears to be curious, then frightened of the orb, more frightened than he was of the duct taped suction on the end of the ten-foot pole that the team used to, probably unwisely, suck that thing up. Put it in a biobox? You bet! And who gets to open it? I won’t suggest anyone, other than to note that John Hinckley, Jr. appears to have been released from custody just in time to do the job. The thing just looks…wrong: the color, the location… that video looks like the beginning of any one of a hundred science fiction films where after a half-hour of buildup things go badl, where the folks who are happily chatting and giddy-up giddy with the joy of their discovery are suddenly gouging their own and each other’s’ eyes out and getting ready to release God knows what upon a world that should be expecting it but which remains totally clueless and unprepared.

And that is where today’s exercise comes in, my friends. Tell us what happens after the team sucks the orb up, like one of those vacuum things they sell in the catalogs showing the smiling woman vacuuming the giant spider off of the curtain from a discreet, Hartlaub-approved distance. Be scary, funny, happy, or sad. Here are a few of mine:

— It is discovered that the orb is a  lost extraterrestrial artifact. The ETs, not being European, have never heard of the principle of abandonment and they want the orb back. Now.

— The vacuum sucks the orb up, revealing a drain. The ocean level starts dropping.

— The act of jarring the orb sets off a signal which is transmitted to an extra-orbital missile launching station, which slowly begins to turn toward earth..

—Suddenly, the sound of trumpets is heard simultaneously at all points on Earth. Then the clouds part and a bright light appears.

— At least three different groups blame the project for contributing to global warming and demand research money to counteract the effects. Facebook goes crazy.

— The crab scuttles back to its lair, where a female voice is heard asking, “What’s wrong, Sebastian?”

— The crab, after a series of events and mishaps, finds itself in the mustache of a biker on a Harley doing 80 mph on I-10 E out of Houston. The crab tells the biker what is happening and convinces him to turn around and save the day, but…what? Oh, sorry. Wrong crab. Forget that one.

You get the idea. Be serious. Be playful. Be whimsical. But please be creative. And share. We have the nine year old antichrist with us today so I may be awhile getting back to you but I shall do so eventually. Thank you.

14 thoughts on “It Came from…

  1. Hmmm…seems to me the orb gives off sonic waves that deters predators, because once the crab got close enough, he immediately back away but kept eagle-eyeing the orb. Maybe alien scuba divers stashed their demon spawn under the cavernous walls until the nucleus was large enough to reek havoc on the world. But I’d be very careful if I were one of the scientists, because I heard whoever dares to disturb its sleep will be plagued by a curse of great magnitude… I probably shouldn’t mention what awaits them. I’ll simply say, “Enjoy your life while you still can. You’re living on borrowed time.”

  2. First! Sue, I love it! Blake Crouch already dragged me back to the science fiction genre with his new book DARK MATTER, and you’re going to keep me there. Thanks!

  3. I don’t know about the orb, but that crab or whatever looks like one of the replicators from Stargate. 😎

    • Yeah, BK, not cool at all. If I found something that looked like that in my basement I’d move! Thanks!

  4. Way cool. They say we know more about outer space than our own deep seas. I think the purple orb holds inside the miniaturized remains of a lost civilization. Sort of like a snow globe or that necklace the pug dog wore in Men in Black.

    I love science!

    • Wow. I love your take on the orb, Kris. I mean, it might be anything…and what it looks like to us doesn’t mean that’s what it is. I’m now given to understand that cats visualize us as larger versions of themselves (with opposable thumbs, who have been placed on earth to do their bidding). I wonder what WE are misinterpreting. Besides everything.

      I’ve heard that too about the ocean in relation to space. It’s difficult to get one’s head around how truly huge it is — just the surface, not the mention what is underneath.

      I love science as well. I don’t always understand it. My younger daughter is majoring in neuroscience and I have noooooooooo idea what she is talking about half of the time. Thanks again for taking time away from your next novel, which we are all eagerly awaiting.

  5. Good afternoon, Joe. Great exercise. And interesting story.

    So, here’s my take on what happens after the team sucks up the orb:

    After sampling, the blob began to unfold and and revealed two distinct lobes…and a box with multiple blinking purple lights…a transmitter.
    The Nautilus suddenly went pitch-black.
    Screaming is heard throughout the boat (the movie version).
    After ten seconds of deathly quiet, the lights come back on.
    Bodies are scattered everywhere, skulls flipped open like a cigarette lighter, but empty. Blood covers the walls and floor.
    The transmitter’s purple lights blink rapidly. An electronic voice is heard over the intercom, “Stage one complete.Send in the tectonic mantle piercer. Prepare to upload the core.”
    In the background, electronic voices matching the dead crew are heard, “Yes, commander, we had a little glitch here, but everything is under our control now.”

    Okay, for Larry and Sue, that’s the concept. I’ll leave the premise to you, Joe.

    Have a great weekend.

    • That’s great, Steve! What a script. Who gets to open the door?

      What you describe is going to happen sooner or later, if it hasn’t already. Something always seems ready to wipe us all out, doesn’t it? Thanks for stopping by again and for the reminder.

    • Catfriend, I love it! Indeed, life imitates art, maybe a little TOO closely in this case. Thanks!

      Wasn’t The Abyss the most expensive movie ever made up to that point?

  6. I’m inclined to agree with Catfriend–it really does look like it contains a universe.

    Alternatively, whatever it is has probably already been acquired by Mr. Bezos. He’ll discover that whoever touches it immediately creates a more perfect, immortal image of himself. But he’ll be unable to control it, and it will soon eat and replace him. It’s from space, of course, but rather than signal the ship that accidentally dropped it here 50k of our years ago, it will delight in ruling over our planet. Unfortunately (for it) the ship will pass by again, and realize its mistake. It will suck up the Mr. Bezos-shaped blob, put it in the enormous tank containing billions of similar blobs, and carry it off to the intergalactic dump where it was on its way to in the first place (as it is the waste of some creature so large and multidimensional that it’s beyond our ken). Then we will be forever left with the mystery of what happened to Mr. Bezos, and there will be many reported sightings of him with Prince and Elvis.

  7. If you haven’t noticed…if one were to put a finger into Laura’s wit, one would pull back a bloody stump. Ending at the shoulder. I don’t think that I will EVER see a photo of Jeff Bezos again without thinking of Laura’s contribution a split second before spitting coffee all over the place. Thanks, Laura. And yes, her books are every bit as good — better — as her posts.

  8. For some reason, my mobile app’s not working for replies…

    Perhaps, if it’s not too late, I can suggest this is the trailer for…



    • G., you’re never late at TKZ! I’m glad you gave us such a great comment…orange you?

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