Timothy O. Goyette
|The Dreaming Fire|
|A Fisherman's Guide to Bottomdwellers|
Sid vs. The Flood
by Edward Sullivan
“Morty....Morty...Morty. I need to talk to you!” Sidney Barnes was the only geologist desperate enough to work on Dingus 4. He was normally a bit excitable, today he was frantic.
“Sid my boy! Calm down, Calm Down. How is that hover sled I sold you and that pretty wife of yours treating you?” Mortimer J. Giles was a used transportation merchant on a planet named Dingus 4. You should make your own assumptions.
“Mort. Amelia and me....”
“Amelia and I.”
“Amelia and you what?”
“You mean Amelia and I. You said Amelia and me.”
“Mort there is no time for that seriously. We were just out in the desert and I took some seismograph readings. A monster quake is coming and it is going to knock down the Molok Dam, the natural levee which keeps Lake Poopoocaca from flooding this valley. The whole outpost, the entire Deluget settlement is going to be wiped clean off the map. I need your fastest rocket sled. Amelia took our rocket sled to the mountains with a biological specimen and the hover sled wont be quick enough.”
“Well, your in luck I have a beautiful one seat Shmucko in the yard that just came in from off world.”
“Mort I need a two seater and I saw the Galliant parked out front. We both know that thing can leave a Shmucko in the dust. I got this thing to bring with me.” He held up the ugliest er.... frog Mort had ever seen.
“WHAT IS THAT?”
“It is one of the last two Tiddalik frogs on this planet. These are the buggers which turned this planet into a desert. They can absorb ten times there own body weight in water. They are all female and reproduce by parthenogenesis. Each one has one thousand eggs which are desiccated until it gorges itself on water. If it gets wet we are in big trouble. It starts laying after it absorbs ten fluid ounces”
“How you know all that Rock boy?”
“Amelia told me.”
“Ahhh, a geologist and a biologist, a match made in heaven! You wait right here and I will prep the Galliant for you.”
Mort waddles out to the yard. A moment later Sid hears engines flare and looks out to see Mort in the Galliant headed for the hills.
Sid looks down at the counter. There is one set of keys there. The tag on them say Shmucko.
“AHHHH! Now I have to head for the hills with this damn thing on my lap.”
Sidney grabs the keys and runs out to what could easily be the worst rocket sled in this star system. He jumps in and after several tries fires it up. He takes off for the mountains. Once he gets going he calls Amelia on the Dig-i-phone.
“Amelia I am on my way. I will meet you at Aborigine Peak.”
“Okay Sid. Just don’t get that frog wet.”
Sidney has the Shmucko pushed to the limit. He doesn’t think it will be enough. He can already feel the vibrations as he left the sled yard. Now he feels a full fledged quake around him.
“Amelia I think the dam is going to break. I don’t think I will make it.”
“You have to honey. That frog will create an ecological disaster if you don’t.”
Sidney hears a tremendous boom and sees the torrent shoot into the valley. It will be on him in minutes. He needs probably twice the time he has.
“God Dammit Morty. I am going to ring your neck. We could have gone together and you could have held the frakkin frog. Or I could have held the frakkin frog, anything but this!”
The wall of water was more than halfway to him now. He could see it in the rearview mirror. It almost seemed as if he had a chance. It was going to be so close. The water started coming underneath him just as he got near the base of the mountain.
“Oh please God, Oh please God!” Sidney was very scared. Bowel trembling kind of scared.
He felt the tidal force of the water push on the back of the Schmucko just as he began to ascend. The force pushed him farther up the hill by a factor of two at least. Somehow, someway he had survived. He gunned it up the mountain and did not stop till he was well over the water line. He was only about half way up the mountain though he would be driving at least twenty more minutes till he got to the summit camp. The radio crackled.
“Sidney, come in.”
“Yeah go ahead Amelia.”
“Thank God. The water didn’t get you! Did the cabin of your sled stay water tight?”
“Yeah it did. I do have bad news though. The frog was in my lap and it most certainly got hydrated!”
This is a funny story well told. The ending was a bit of a groaner - but I liked the nods to rednecks in outer space. Good touches with the frog that caused the desert and the used car salesman - make your own assumptions. Well done, indeed! Very spirited.
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Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
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