Monday, August 8, 2016

An Ounce of Prevention

Several years ago, I finished my story “An Ounce of Prevention” about a being from the distant future who comes back to nudge humanity onto a better path with the help of a present day schlub.  At the time I was just getting into self-publishing and I didn’t know which ereader would be best, Kindle or Nook.  So I published some stories on Kindle, and “An Ounce of Prevention” on Nook.  I sold a couple copies, but it soon became clear that Kindle was the better option.  I kept “An Ounce of Prevention” on it just in case someone noticed it there, but also because I was too lazy to change it.  Eventually, last year I took it down, waited a few months, then revised the story.  Last week I then republished it for Kindle.

Here’s an excerpt:

Jason took a step back, and collapsed into his beanbag chair. For ten or fifteen seconds he just stared at the woman. Shaking his head, he asked, “Do you have a name?”

“You lack the organs to ‘speak’ let alone ‘hear’ my name.”

“Then what do I call you?”

The woman frowned. “Does it matter?”

Jason thought for a moment. Finally, he said, “I think I’m either okay with or just ignoring the fact that you’re not … human. But I think not having a name to call you bothers me on a … primal level, maybe, something.” He finished with a mumbled, “I don’t know.”

The woman nodded. “What would you like to call me?”

Jason looked over at his bookcase and on the second shelf down a tome by Tolstoy caught his attention. “Anna?” he asked.

“Anna it is.”

“Okay … Anna. Sit down.”

She moved some books off a chair and sat down facing him. For a second he was engrossed by her legs. He shook his head and looked back to her face. “Uh, do you want me to … take you to my leader?”

“If I wished to speak to your President, I would just walk into the White House.”

“The Secret Service would probably stop you.”

“They would fail.”

A shiver ran down Jason’s back. He sat up straight and asked, “Why have you come to me?”

“I believe you may be of some service to my mission.”

“Which is?”

“The salvation of the universe.”

It was several attempts before Jason could speak his question, “I could save the universe?”

Anna shook her head. “No. I could wipe out your species and the universe would not notice. My mission is to try to save several million insignificant species in the hope that collectively you’ll make a difference.”


If that sounds at all interesting, I hope you’ll check it out.

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