Mark's muscles were getting tired. He'd been on his perch for over an hour and his legs were starting to ache. His target, Heather, had come home one day with a giant wicker nic-nack, and had decided that the best place for it was on top of the wall separating the kitchen from the living room. Of course, when she decided that, the wall went floor to ceiling and it would be Mark's two month project to knock out the wall just above the cupboards, minus the load-baring beam, and finish it so it looked like it was originally built that way. For his efforts, Mark was afforded a perfect spot to ambush Heather with his foam-dart gun.
Just as he was starting to transfer his weight, he heard his mark come walking down the hall toward the front door. She'd have to pass right by his perch, and when she did, he was going to let her have it. Mark locked on to the back of her head, exhaled, and squeezed the trigger, placing a dart squarely in the back of her brunette hair. Mark smiled in the anticipation of Heather blowing up and jumping to reach his leg, but his smile slowly faded as Heather just stood there.
His eyebrows furrowed, "Heather?" No response. "Heather, you know I was just joking." No response. Mark felt a pang in his stomach. Instinctively he held the dart gun in his right hand as his left slowly pulled the pistol on his hip out of its holster. Mark swallowed hard, licked his lips and tried one more time, "Heather, turn around, please." His side arm was already pointed at what he thought was his wife's head, but instead of her beautiful face, he saw the stretched, black skin, and bulging eyes of a Rasling, framed in a wig made to look like Heather's hair. The Rasling flashed a quick grin, and Mark loosed two shots that ruined the couches Heather picked out a couple of months before.
For a decade, Mark worked on The Interplanetary Dignitary Defense Force (INDDF), a special task force made up of several races from different planets, set up to defend against threats on planet's leaders. Mark got tired of chasing down Traconian terrorists, and decided to quit and be a police officer on earth. A few years later he met Heather.
While on the force, he had dealt with Raslings on many occasions, so he wasn't too worried about Heather, not just yet anyway. To be fair, Raslings weren't really so much intergalactic threats as they were the-obnoxious-uncle of the Universe Family Christmas Party, the one who likes to jump out from behind doors and scare people, but doesn't know that it's not funny when he does it to the great aunt with a heart condition.
Mark, and the rest of INDDF saw them as a rock in their shoe. They weren't after galactic conquest, or embargo deals, or even money. They really just enjoyed scaring as many people as possible just to see the looks on their faces, and they found that putting leaders of planets in danger was the easiest way to do it. In the beginning, INDDF would try and talk Rislings down from their pranks, but found that whenever they did, the Rislings would blow something up, or kill someone just to get a reaction out of the on-lookers, so instead, INDDF officers learned to shoot first and ask questions later. The Risling community didn't even get offended by it, they saw their pranksters being killed as an occupational hazard. "At least they got us a few laughs before being riddled with plasma blasts."
So, Mark knew Heather certainly wasn't dead. He also knew she wasn't in the house anymore. Rislings had already gagged her and carried her off long ago, they just dressed up one of their people for a chuckle. One thing didn't make sense though: Rislings always went after the biggest group of terrified people possible, so what did they want with a botanist? Especially one from a planet that had never recovered from being technologically behind any planet within 3000 light-years? There were only a handful of people on earth who would even know she was gone.
At any rate, he was going to have to get her back, he couldn't do it alone, and he knew that the first person to call was...
Okay, so I've been gone since late September, and I feel like I should probably tell you all where I've been. First, I had school, which I already explained. I was officially a college graduate on December 15th. We went out for Chipotle burritos to celebrate. I thought I'd rest over the Christmas break, then hit writing head on in January, along with hitting the treadmill (I haven't been on a work out regiment since before I got married, and all that busy college food has not done good things).
January is when all the fun really started though. Literally on January first, our internet stopped working. It had always been spotty, but January first marked the day when it seriously quit. Then, a couple days later I was in my parents' basement lifting when I sat a dumbbell down wrong (lift and set down with your knees you youngsters). This re-herniated a disc in my back, which put me either on my parents' living room floor, or my own for the past month (I'm literally typing this from my own right now). Along with this, both my baby and my wife have been sick. It's been fun.
Last night, my internet got turned back on, my baby slept really well, and this morning I was able to take a good long shower and put my pants on without laying on the floor. To celebrate, I thought I'd start blogging again.
If you read through all of that, I thank you. The story at the top came to me last night, and I've been thinking for a while that two of my greatest writing weaknesses are Sci-fi and action, so I thought I'd give myself a writing exercise this morning that would stretch me in both of those areas. Let me know how you thought I did either in the comments below, or on facebook.
For those of you still interested in Stacey (I'm looking at you all my family members who keep asking my mom if I'm ever writing again), I have not forgotten about him. In fact, I have all kinds of places I want him to go, and will start writing that story again soon, I promise.
Have yourself a great day.