Aphelion Issue 242, Volume 23
August 2019
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page


by C. E. Gee

Buck and Connie sometimes drove up highway 99W to visit Jerry and Gail.

In summer, Connie and Gail occupied the North porch. In winter they stayed in the living room, sat near the fireplace.

Buck and Jerry were almost always in another room, playing pool.

One such day, Jerry said to Buck, “Watcha been working on?”

Buck replied, “Well, I’m always writing you know. However, recently I’ve been doing research on elongated skulls found in ancient cultures.”

“Why?” asked Jerry while racking up for another match.

Chalking his pool cue, Buck answered, “I was watching some program about King Tut on a history channel. Turns out the guy had an elongated skull.”

Buck put down the cube of chalk, continued with, “You know how my mind works. Traveling in space under zero-gee, an outsized skull could serve as a reservoir for the blood that gets pumped to the upper body that previously caused problems with vision. With a human skull, which is a relatively small and rigid container, the pressure of blood against the brain causes vision problems.”

“I think I see where this is headed,” said Jerry. “Forgive the pun.”

“Sheesh,” Jerry added as he wagged his head. “We should sit down and talk more about this. I’m getting interested.”

The two went out to the back deck, overlooking Jerry’s extensive garden.

Sitting on the deck, Buck continued. “You know, many ancient cultures tied boards to elongate and slope back the skulls of newborn infants. They did this to emulate the alien’s features. Some cultures called the aliens Sky Gods.”

Again, Jerry wagged his head as he sniffed his amazement.

Buck said, “You should look this stuff up on Wikipedia. I found over a dozen ancient cultures that did this to their infants.”

This time it was Buck who sniffed repeatedly, sniffing his bemusement.

“How do you come up with this stuff?” asked Jerry.

Buck replied, “The Knights Templar of the future are putting thoughts in my head, just like they did with Joan of Arc, George Washington, others. You like history. You should investigate the visions had by those people. At Valley Forge, George Washington wandered off into the woods, had his vision.”

“Both of those people had major influences on the establishment of the United States of America. Such was their destiny.”

“You know Buck,” said Jerry in a near whisper, “Sometimes I forget just how messed up you are.”

Replied Buck, “Well, you know, the Veterans Administration has rated me as 100% disabled by reason of PTSD. Those people know what they’re doing.”

Both Jerry and Buck laughed heartily, rose, went to be with their women.

2019 C. E. Gee

C. E. Gee (pen name) answers to "Chuck" or "Pappy", and misspent his youth at backwater locales within Oregon and Alaska. He later answered many callings: logger, factory worker, meat packer, Vietnam war draftee infantryman (1968), telecommunications technician, volunteer fireman and EMT, light show roady, farmer, businessperson.

Retired from the electronics industry and a disabled veteran, Chuck now writes Science Fiction.

His blog is at https://kinzuakid.blogspot.com

Find more by C. E. Gee in the Author Index.

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.