I Gave My Name: Flash Fiction

I stood up and gave my name. That was all I gave. It was not the name my parents gave me. But after a week, it was the name everyone on this floor knew me by, so that was the name I gave.

The next person in the circle stood up and gave a name. I realized I was supposed to sit back down, and did so.

The self naming continued. As far as I could tell, we all gave pseudonyms. Shan, Dro, Berry, Hard Tack, and Anna Mae were a few of the names I remember. We were all guys. At least we all had beards or evidence of shaving. So even if some thought Anna Mae was a given name, I wasn’t convinced.

That was a long time ago. Twenty years, they tell us. One day kind of blends into another, so it’s hard to tell for sure. Dro and Anna Mae died. Tragic accident they said. Jess and Tanner replaced them.

But today, they came and told us we’re going home. They finished taking our space ship apart and copying it and put it back together.

The thing is, this planet had no visible technology when we arrived. I am pretty sure they couldn’t tell the difference between aluminum and titanium, or even iron for that matter. Heat treating had to be a complete unknown. A torque wrench or a pyrometer were gadgets that were in the mechanic’s crib, but could they distinguish that from the cargo that had been intended for trade? I doubt it. They had let a couple of the people from another floor out of the building to advise them on how to put the pieces back together after the replication. They didn’t comprehend that a pastry chef and a linguist would be useless in assembling a spacecraft.

So here we were. Free to go home. On their copy of our own spacecraft. Which was probably a safer bet than the original, which might actually still have functional take off capability, but surely would never get us home.

They’d listened to our conversations for years. But even now, they did not understand the concept of specialization.

We were free to go home now. Or free to stand up and give our names, and be welcomed into the native population, having finally been deemed harmless.

I’m starting a new novel now that Knomo is done

It took a lot of restarts to get The Convolution of Knomo Choicius to its almost finished state. I still have to get an artist to the cover. I may tweak a few more things based on my beta readers comments. At one point, I lost heart, thinking there was so much work to get it to the point that people would read it, that it was easier to give up and start afresh with all the new knowledge of creative writing that I have. So I got this idea…

A crazy idea about a winged and armed species living on another planet. They have an advanced spiritual practice. Homo Saps and Knomos arrive and things change!

Here’s the beginning of the first chapter…

Moses of Kosbar


You might as well call me Moses. That’s what my mother did. She had quite a sense of humor. You see, I was a girl.

Moses isn’t my formal given name. But that’s another story. Mom wanted me to aim high and she thought calling me Moses would remind me of my duty to my people.

Of course, in the old days, we did not call ourselves people. In our language, it’s a different word. But ever since you Homo Saps arrived on our planet, we’ve adopted a fair number of your words, and people is one of them.

Anyway, going back to the story that I was asked to record, the time was four hundred of our “years” after a renegade group of homo saps took us away from the rest of the autochthonous people of Kosbar. That’s part of why mom called me Moses. She said it was now time for freedom and being reunited with our Magenta, Cyan, and Yellow family members, and resuming our duties and dietary habits so we could reclaim our place as the Blue Seers. Same number of years after which Moses appeared to liberate the Israelites from Egypt. Of course the Israelites originally went voluntarily to Egypt, and that was not the case of our removal from the homeland.

We were essentially forced into bondage when some Homo Saps snuck onto the grounds of our campground during our annual nature festival, while we slept. They dispersed a drug in the air to deepen our sleep, tied our hands behind our backs, clipped the feathers on our wings, loaded us into wagons and carried us away. This was all for our own good, those who were on the scene were told, when they awakened in what was essentially a prison compound. Now we would no longer be kept in the dark unless ordered by the Yellows to perform some out of doors task. We would be free to see the sunlight all day, and freed to do what we wanted. What they didn’t understand is that we were not treated like mushrooms against our will by our own people. We Blue Seers were those who successfully went through a rigorous application, training, and apprenticeship process. We Blue Seers came from all three of the other color groups, and did not turn Blue until we changed our diets to accord with the teachings of The Great Merwogon.

We tried to explain, but the Saps didn’t listen, even when the offspring turned out to be of all of the other three colors, and even when the original Blues reverted to Yellow, Cyan, and Magenta.

Our arms were free to move, but with our wing feathers clipped, we had no way to escape. We eventually found out that we had been transported to a different continent, which was an island. The plants were different enough that it wasn’t obvious how to recreate our spirituality supporting diet and get our powers back.

So now, here we were. Four hundred years or five generations after our ancestors were first brought to the far continent. The Saps claimed we could go when we wanted, but the fact was that we had no idea where home was, or how to find out. Four hundred years after the kidnaping, they no longer clipped our wings. Maybe if we had our Blue Seer powers, we could attempt to go. Practically speaking, four generations after all those who knew the techniques to become a Blue Seer had passed on, it was highly unlikely. How good do you think a soufflé would turn out, when made by someone who had never seen an egg beater?