A SciFi Flash Fiction
by Linda Mooney
Mack strode into the bedroom after returning home from work to find DeShay sitting in the middle of the bed. Her bared chrome feet were propped up on the quilt, and pieces of cotton were stuck between her toes. Curious, he stopped to see what she was up to.
She was holding a small bottle of something which emitted a highly pungent odor, and she was applying the liquid from it to the metallic tips of her digits with a tiny brush. Throwing his jacket over the back of the nearby chair, he eased himself down on the bed next to her to watch.
DeShay smiled and glanced over at him. “I had to try it for myself.”
He laughed softly. “I can see that. But why?”
“I was at that place today where you buy food, and there were two women over in the section where you buy items to make yourself more beautiful. They were talking loudly and laughing and arguing. The noise caught my attention. I went over to listen, and I discovered they were talking about painting their nails.”
Mack bit his lips to keep from commenting and patiently waited for her to continue. She held up the bottle for him to see. “They were particularly interested in this color. I liked it, too. When they left, I got one. Now, I am painting my foot nails.” She examined the tips of her fingers. “I debate whether or not to do my hand nails. What do you think?”
“I think you should do what makes you happy.”
It seemed an odd ritual for her to do, especially since she rarely went barefoot. The syntho souls of her specially-made boots could withstand anything. Even temperatures as low as minus forty degrees, to as high as one thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The only time she didn’t wear them was when she was home.
DeShay shrugged, one of the human attributes she’d adopted. “I know it may seem silly to you, but it makes me happy. It makes me feel…”
“Human?” he supplied, lightly jesting.
“It makes me feel as if I have properly taken care of them.” She smiled. “I think I will make this a regular part of my regimen in my personal hygiene.”
“Who is going to see them?” Mack questioned.
“You, for one.” She wriggled all ten experimentally. “What do you think? They are pretty, right?”
He looked at her feet. The shade she was using was a pale pink. It reminded him of the tea roses his mother used to raise in the back yard when he was growing up. And he told her so.
DeShay studied her feet, but this time from his perspective. “I never thought of it like that. I chose this hue because I thought it was pretty, but you are right. My foot nails are now the color of tea roses.”
“Too bad that stuff doesn’t smell like tea roses.” Getting up from the bed, he went over to the wall to turn on the air filtration unit. After all these years, with all the advancements in science, technology, medicine, and a million other improvements and upgrades, you’d think they’d make a nail polish that wasn’t noxious to the point of giving people a headache, he mused to himself. But he’d never complain about it to her.
He glanced over at where she continued to admire her handiwork. “Are you going to do your fingernails now?”
“No. Not yet. Maybe later, after dinner.” She flashed him a smile. “I tried fixing your favorite. Chicken tortellini. I hope it is to your liking.”
Mack tried not to groan. Her military prowess may be unsurpassed, but her cooking skills were rudimentary at best. On the up side, at least he knew he could make himself a sandwich if their meal turned out to be inedible.
Surprisingly, the chicken tortellini was pretty good. After they were finished, they stretched out on the bed. DeShay cuddled in his lap as he indulged in a bag of peanut butter cookies she’d also bought that day. The movie they’d selected to watch was soon ignored as they mused over more of the day’s happenings. Their mood soon mellowed, with one kiss leading to another, until their combined heat began to infuse them with a deep yet playful hunger.
Nuzzling the sensitive skin beneath her ear, Mack ran a hand along her thigh. “DeShay, are your toes still the color of roses?”
She giggled softly, stroking his body with hers. “I think they are.”
He grinned. “You think?” He loved to tease her. She was totally unpredictable, which added to her appeal.
“I have not looked at them lately,” she tried to explain. “I do not know if the polish will wash off or wear off after a while. I need to find out how often human females paint them.”
He kissed her earlobe. “I’m so proud of you. You know that, right? But you don’t have to try so hard to appear human. I love you just the way you are, mechanical body parts and all.”
“I know, but why?”
“But they’re what make you you.” He tapped her forehead with a finger. “Those doctors and scientist may have replaced most of your human limbs with superior artificial ones, but that doesn’t change the human side of you.”
“I am not human. I am a cyborg.”
“You’re the love of my life,” he argued, chuckling.
“I am an amalgamation of what is the best of a human female and…” She paused when his head suddenly vanished under the quilt. “Mack, what are you…ooohhh!”The next second, she was jerked underneath the covers as Mack smothered her with his passion. But at one point, he made sure to kiss those wonderfully strange feet with toenails the color of roses.
~ ~ ~
MY BATTLE LORD'S PASSION
Book 9 of The Battle Lord Saga
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 53.2K
The battle lord and lady of Alta Novis are still recovering from disease and loss, but things are slowly getting back to normal. Of course, things can’t be that easy. There’s a new enemy in town, of the eight-legged variety—an infestation of them. The species is a new one, and it's unknown how dangerous they are, but Yulen isn’t going to take any risks to find out.
With a plan in motion, Yulen and a small army of men set out to track down the giant creatures, finding their nest in a cave. He and his crew waste no time going in to burn out the egg sacs, but when Yulen emerges from the flaming caverns, he finds himself…in the past? At least, he believes so when he sees the figure of a long-dead adversary.
Somehow, a twist of fate has switched Yulen with a different version of himself. With the monstrous Yulen. The way he was before Atty. Before love. Before his acceptance of the Mutah. Realizing the other D’Jacques could be with his Atty, the reformed Yulen is seeing what his life would be like if she'd never come along. Now he must figure out how to get back to his own present. But before he does, he knows he has to bring this alternate timeline back up to speed with his own thriving world.
Parallel lives, parallel realities, but totally different people and circumstances. Sometimes you learn a lot about yourself from experiences that you never knew possible, and it alters the course of your future for the better.
Warning! Contains hammies, seven years imprisonment, hard-won trust, a threat from within, an unexplained phenomenon, stagnation, and a love that crosses all boundaries of time and space.