Between A Rock And A Sore Place  

‘Morning Captain.’

‘Morning Staff. What’s on the agenda today?’

‘I’m really excited about the first one. It was in the quiz the other night…’

‘Bit of a geek, aren’t you?’

‘No, listen Captain. This is cool. Name five of the fourteen planetary inter-actions that have almost lead to galactic conflagrations? Obviously there was the massacre of Stromboidal Five and the erroneous demolition of the Subcretinous star system but do you know the rest?’

‘Peabody’s alternative?’

‘What was that?’

‘Commander Peabody reassigned the gender of every male to female in the Parsimonious Group to try and remove their aggressive natures.’

‘What happened?’

‘Oh, massive civil strife, pandemics you name it.’


‘The queues to the toilets became enormous and evolved into a new group of single cell organisms which attacked each other. It was dreadful.’

‘Interesting. Anymore?’

‘Not that I can recall. I’m guessing our target isn’t one we’ve mentioned.’

‘No, go on. Have a guess.’

‘Nope. Come on, let’s see the itinerary. What’s that? Dearth? Is there something lacking on this piece of rock?’

‘Dearth? No, sorry sir, that’s a bit of my breakfast. There.’

‘Earth? Never heard of it. What are we meant to do?’

‘Oh I’m sublimating with excitement, sir!’

‘I can see the stains, Staff. Do you need a moment?’

‘A tissue, maybe?’

‘There. Go on.’

‘Well, this Earth is a bit of a lump, as you say but it is one of the few places where the mineral Brazillian appears occasionally and our sensors have identified that another piece has secreted itself to the surface.’

‘Ok. Let’s see the terms of engagement.’

‘That’s the point sir. We have to avoid engagement at any cost.’

‘Ok, so do we have a plan?’

‘Of course, Captain. In the next hour we will set in motion a weather modifier which will cause a dreary bleak snow shower to cover the rescue site. Apparently no one will come out in these conditions, other that the odd weirdy who takes pictures of wet snow flakes…’

‘Do their inhabitants do such a thing?’

‘It’s a ritualized homage to their harsh roots. That and the dog needs a walk.’

‘Right. So the weather sets in and we collect the rock and that’s it?’


‘So, come on, why did the last lot nearly cause a mass conflict?’

‘Oh one of those unfortunate misunderstandings. It was at the time when every collection fleet was under instructions to contact local life forms and create a good first impression.’

‘All a bit new agey. Did they chant?’

‘I believe they implanted the concept of yoga into the local sub-coreal cortex of a shaman.’

‘I didn’t think they still did that stuff.’

‘It’s been banned for a while but there are still pockets where it’s been resistant to eradication. Anyway, the Captain in this case – Pretentious Oddicky – did the ‘We come in peace, yada yada’ shtick and explained to their High Representative – erm, let’s see a Mrs Grommet who was there to greet him – that he would be in and out in a nano. He just needed to sort out the Brazillian if she could point him towards where he might find it.’

‘Didn’t his sensors say?’

‘It was part of the initiative back then to ask first. Anyway the High Representative appeared to know what he meant but it turned out to be the most awful trap. She lead him and reception group to what they assumed was this interrogation centre – Deirdre’s Tan And Wax Boutique – where they removed the crew’s grenoidal oomfangles in the most gratuitous piece of torture ever recorded in the known galaxy. Naturally Oddicky called for back-up, war was declared and sides were taken.’

‘What happened?’

‘Some jobsworth at HQ did some research and found out it meant something totally different on Earth and they did this stuff to their own kind who volunteered for it. So, uncivilized as it might seem, they couldn’t be blamed for imposing it on others.’

‘Takes all sorts, I suppose.’

‘Some people think getting your drong refusticated is a bit much.’

‘Hard to credit, eh? And they all grow back eventually.’

‘Yes, same with these Brazillian thingies. They get them time and again.’

‘Madness. So avoid the locals bearing wax gifts, is it?’

‘Always wise, sir.’

This piece was written in response to Sue Vincent’s latest prompt for #writephoto

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in #writephoto, flash fiction, prompt and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Between A Rock And A Sore Place  

  1. Haha, you shouldn’t ask for a Brazilian if you don’t really want one. Well done, Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Great story watch out for the traveling Vajasilas. 😂🤭💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What’s weird about photographing wet snowflakes?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ritu says:

    Too funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. And I thought it was such a lovely quiet little scene …….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Why do you think ‘Brazilian wax’ when you see a pleasant winter scene? Why?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How do you think these up??! Very good

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sue Vincent says:

    That and the dog needs a walk….Hmmm… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Between A Rock And A Sore Place ~ Geoff Le Pard #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  10. Very interesting take on the snow prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. colonialist says:

    Well written. Two drongs may not make a right.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. floridaborne says:

    very, very funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Snowfall #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

If you would like to reply please do so here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.