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The Autists: Brigitte (Speculative Fiction Modern Parables)

by J. R. Kruze on 2019-06-23

The Autists had failed as an "evolved" race.

While they could out-think and out-strategise, and out-everything the older Homo Saps, their own calculations showed that their race of Homo Transire only had a couple of generations at most before they were terminal. No new savants, no new super-empaths, only dead-end mediocrity.

How could such brilliant minds get it so wrong?

Brigitte was the Founder's only savant offspring and even her own children were happier to just live mundane normal lives with average grades in school and only aspire to get college degree, a house, a car for each of them, and a mountain of debt. Watch TV, consume fast food, be average.

No breakthrough research, no soul-inspiring artwork.

Her own children, now grown, couldn't understand her any better. She could empathize their feelings from anywhere on the planet. While they had a hard time empathizing with their pets, let alone their own growing children.

Mundanity had struck back - with a vengeance.

She was looking for someone who could tell her why - or become one of the last few of her race on this mudball called Earth.

Excerpt:

They'd run the calculations thousands of times, with millions of permutations. The best math minds on the planet. And they all agreed. Homo Transire was dying out.

Terminal. That's when your offspring aren't useful anymore. Not that we didn't love them. But they didn't understand us. They couldn't. We were wired completely different.

Once my children were on their own, busy making me a grandmother, I got back to work. Started collecting new datasets, checking for new equations, something we had to have missed.

For all the work we'd done in finding and matching the most brilliant among us as mates for the others - none of these 2nd and 3rd generations turned out to be anything hardly better than average. Sure, there were some pretty bright kids in all that. Beautiful babies. Talented in their cribs. But once they got past 7 or 8, all that talent started showing limits. Kids who were prodigies as babes couldn't draw or play music any better than their peers of that same age.

It didn't matter what school or who the teachers were. Or what books or computer programs. No amount of money thrown at them produced any better results that the "free" public schools we all paid for.

And I talked to myself as I drove this back gravel road which my GPS said was the fastest route to the remote research station out in this Gawd-forsaken Flyover Country.

I could see putting our campuses out in the suburbs. But dust and gravel roads weren't designed to be driven with any speed - not unless you wanted to...

Oh no. No, no, no. NO NO NO.

The car swerved and I was forced to slow down, cresting to a stop on the top of a hill. Over into a grassy entrance to some farmer's field.

Sure, now the "low air pressure" light and tacky dinging started. I had one, if not two flats on this thing.

My bad luck was holding. No bars on my cel.

And no empath within sending distance.

So I rested my head against my steering wheel and swore against the ancient gods in alphabetical order (using the Greek alphabet, of course.)

And right before I could muster up my courage to face the inevitable, a shadow flooded across my window and a rap on it startled me into double-checking the locks everywhere. There was no face behind that glare into my auto-tinting windows. Yet rolling them down could be perhaps the last thing I'd remember...

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The Case of the Naughty Nightmare (Short Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy)

by J. R. Kruze on 2018-12-30

I'd heard a scream in the storm-filled, rainy night, but thought at first it was just the peacocks roosting in the shed on my farm.

When it didn't repeat, I thought no more of it.

Until I opened the door to my tiny home and found a naked woman laying on my couch, face down.

She seemed to be sleeping. I could see her back rise and fall, so I knew she was breathing.

There was no car out front, no tracks to the door or inside. She seemed dry, but I hadn't touched her.

Her tearful eyes then flashed open and focused on me, pure terror in her look. "Please help me - "

And then she fainted dead away...

Excerpt:

It only took a few steps to reach and kneel beside her. She did have a pulse, but no fever. Breathing evenly. And when I saw the rain drops coming off my chore coat onto her bare skin, I reached up to pull the coverlet off the back of that couch to cover and protect her.

Then I rose back up to shrug out of that sopping coat and hang it up with my soaked wide-brimmed hat to drip over the black, hard plastic boot tray below it. My soaked brown leather chore boots were next. Toeing these off and setting them such that the coat drippings weren't going to keep them wet.

Turning back to my guest, I saw she was still resting OK, so I reached up to the long shelf across the end of that cabin, above the door, and pulled down several winter comforters. One went across her on top of the fall-patterned hand-knit coverlet she had already. The other comforter I laid across the back of the couch for ready access if she later turned feverish.

Kneeling again, I gently elevated her head to put a pillow under it, then brushed her dark russet hair off her face and back from her neck. Almost an angel now, as she rested.

Then I recognized her - it was Joyce. The story who had haunted me to write her into existence. But here she was in human form, not just pictured in my own mind's eye. Sure, I talk about writing books into life, but had never actually witnessed one taking full human shape.

Yet, here she was. In my tiny cabin, on my single couch that took up the biggest part of the floor space, even without expanding that futon into a full-size bed.

That sleeping form was a mystery in her own right. Yet I wasn't going to get any answers until she'd rested enough to wake on her own.

Joyce had almost seemed an endless story-fountain of inspiration for my own queue. Her stories had many of the same characters, but different episodes and involvements that were always interesting and entertaining. So she had earned her own series of stories, all popular in their own right.

None of this prepared me for a very real story-turned-human in my tiny home cabin. Or gave me any clue to why she had just appeared here.

The warm honeyed coffee, as well as relaxing after the slogging, wet field work started to make my eye lids heavy. Finishing off the last of my brew, I set it on the desk top away from the edge where it wouldn't fall or get knocked over by accident.

Rolling my chair back to the wall and stretching out my legs, I folded my arms and rested my head against the wall as I looked at my guest again. She was still resting, quiet against the matching quiet of that cabin as the rain pattered on the insulated metal roof. The patter became a rhythm that soon helped me drop into my own deep sleep.

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One Thought, Then Gone (Short Fiction Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy)

by J. R. Kruze on 2018-09-30

I was sent here to keep me safe. From horrors I wasn't supposed to know about.

But they didn't understand the first thing about arriving in a female body with raging hormones and a genius beyond understanding of myself and anyone around us.

Of course, they wiped my memory. That didn't mean I couldn't figure out that I didn't belong.

Then I met someone that I could almost trust. Not to give me away.

Because if anyone really found out who I was - including me - then the universe would literally collapse on itself.

Seriously. Not just another teen-angst romance. This was deadly serious.

Deadly for everyone, including me. And somehow, he seemed to actually care...

Excerpt:

First day of school for that second year of torture.

And since we had roughly the same last name, we were assigned seats in order and wound up in the back of the room by each other.

And that meant we had to collaborate on class projects. Chemistry. Another yawning class to endure. Until what? Until the day was over. Then we had homework and then we went to sleep and then woke up and started over.

A gigantic baby-sitting service to raise their kids to get jobs like they did. And have kids. And let them get raised like us, like our parents were.

"Some gigantic conspiracy." That guy sitting in the next row over mumbled.

"What?" I asked.

"Just a way to keep us all amused until we get our scrap of paper saying we did wrote our dots and dashes just so and can go out and now be carbon copies of what they want us to be, good little boys and girls." Clearer this time. A full run-on sentence.

"Kinda grumpy today?" I said.

"Maybe. But thanks for noticing." He replied.

"I'm Harriet - but please call me Hari." Introductions were best cut short.

"Sal - short for Salamon." To the point, but with a smile. "Nice to meet someone else who was saddled strangely right out of the gate."

I had to smile at this. The guy was colorful. I tended to be reticent, quiet.

"So what do you think of this lab work we're assigned?" Maybe curious, maybe polite small talk.

"Sucks. As usual. Teacher does the lecture, makes us do something so we can parrot the answer back. It's called 'learning.' Could be worse, I imagine." Now I started to warm to the subject.

"Yea, well. You're probably right, could be worse." He slid down into his seat so his shoulders were on the backrest and elbows on the laminated top. "Stuff gives me nightmares as it is."

"Nightmares?" I turned to him. This struck a chord.

"Sure - am I in the right class, do I have the right books, am I dressed like I'm supposed to. What about that cutie in the front row - is she going to ask my something and I won't know what to say? And then I wake up and see that I still have hours to go before I'm supposed to get up and show up at the circus again." He frowned at remembering.

"Yeah, I know about that. Except the cutie in the front row. She's an air head. Don't worry about her asking you anything. She's into getting top grades." I frowned on my own.

"Just another trap to catch you." He gave a wry grin out of the corner of his mouth, half turned toward me.

"Lots of traps here. But I'm beginning to figure them all out. They might have a pattern." I turned more toward him to see his response...

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