Category Archives: Garden of Eden

Breach

CR38R paused. The node access system had acknowledged another attempted access breach. The user table popped up and with a quick scan the system admin eliminated the list of internal users. The suspect node that had accepted the illegal access attempt was quickly isolated within a temporal code anomaly to prevent further tampering. Whoever or whatever piece of errant code had touched the node access wasn’t going to be using that pathway again, but the zero tolerance subroutine that was part of the system admin function was not about taking chances.

With the node access system secured and functional at full capacity again, the admin resumed the task at hand. The overview display of the entire system user contingent materialized and the admin flipped through the user function specifications in a massively parallel block, checking each user location, their code usage, functional accesses, node proximity, input and output status, and internal diagnostic status. The system was a flawless construct, one of an infinite number of systems that were all part of the admin’s responsibility. The admin monitored the billions of simultaneous code interactions among the various users, pleased that each of the user’s code areas functioned as designed, each heap space neatly performing within the system-imposed constraints with no memory or execution leakage between the individual users.

Finish reading this story by William Teegarden in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Before Dawn Can Wake Us

There was a time when things were weightless.

Yes, it’s true. There existed a place without drag upon the senses. It was so far distant as to be beyond the confines of thought, but it has been there. The memory of man is linear, and perhaps they have since forgotten it in the clamoring obscurity of now, but we can still recall. It takes some effort, but remembering is a backwards shedding. We must set ourselves to the task, examine each year as a discarded husk. It has a sinuosity of sorts, hasn’t it? That is how we find ourselves at the beginning. Or the only beginning you care about.

It is true that the water flowed uphill there, that the breeze was always mild. Neither too hot nor too cold, the sun shone but did not beat down. The rain fell yet did not flood. We are just and accurate in describing the many joys of such a paradise.

Perhaps the best of all was the buoyancy that suffused the atmosphere. There was no pull on our limbs, no downward tugging of earth’s embrace. We were free from responsibility, free from troubles or forethought. We needed only to exist.

We can see that this is hard for you to believe. Ah, well, that is your choice; we cannot force faith upon you. Do not let our forked tongue distract you from the truism of our words, Brother. This place is real.

Finish reading this story by John Vicary in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Agent of Good

The hawk circled high on the warm updrafts from the garden below. His keen eyes scanned the ground closely, searching for a very specific target in the lush greenery. A subtle movement in the grasses caught his attention. Yes, there. The grasses bent and swayed ever so slightly.

Angling his wings, the hawk entered into a steep dive. He timed his approach with precision, aiming for the small clearing his prey was moving toward. The serpent broke from the cover of the grass and paused suddenly, seemingly aware of the danger. It was too late. The hawk struck hard and fast. He grasped the creature’s long, thin body in both of his talons, grasping carefully behind its head to prevent it biting, and took to the sky again.

The serpent writhed desperately, struggling to break free from the hawk’s grasp.

“Resisting will do you no good, fiend,” the hawk said.

The words seemed to shock the serpent, and it stopped fighting.

“How do you come to possess the gift of speech?” hissed the serpent.

The hawk did not answer. He turned toward a rocky mountain spur, climbing higher to reach the summit. Only a small, flat parcel of rock made up the peak of the mountain, and the hawk dropped the serpent there. The creature landed roughly, nearly tumbling off the sheer face of the cliff before recovering.

“Do you mean to strand me here?” asked the serpent. “What harm have I caused to deserve such mistreatment?”

“Don’t play coy with me, beast,” the hawk said, hovering out of reach. “I have been watching you. I know your foul plans to despoil the man and woman. I won’t allow it.”

“I am hurt by such accusations,” said the serpent sheepishly. “Your boorish behavior has no place here. Release me at once.”

Finish reading this story by Schevus Osborne in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Survey

“He did a good job,” remarked Shirley from her vantage point atop the hill that overlooked lush green fields and forests.

“It’s his umpteenth garden,” replied Marvin. “He should be an expert at it by this time.”

“It’s definitely an improvement on the landscaping job He did for us.”

‘That was three hundred thousand years ago, Shirley. These days, he’s got it down to a science.”

Shirley gave Marvin a disapproving look.

“There you go with that word ‘science’ again. Just don’t say it around Him. There’s nothing gets his goat more than people trying to play God.”

“Yeah, I know. The role’s already filled. But what’s He expect? No matter the planet, people just get bored hanging out with nothing to do but worship Him. Even in a gorgeous place like this.”

It was mid-morning on Earth. The sun gleamed down on all it surveyed as it moved toward its noon zenith. Shirley’s attention was taken by a grove of trees that were sprinkled with little red, yellow, and green dots.

“Wonder what those are?” she said, pointing to the object of her curiosity.

“Must be fruit of some kind.”

“I think you’re right. He sure has changed his ways. Remember, He dangled lumps of coal from our trees.”

“Like I said, Shirley, creation is a work in progress.”

A soft-scented breeze ruffled Shirley’s long brown hair.

“Wow, the first Earthlings really are being spoiled. All we got to pique our sense of smell was the odor from that rubber factory. Phew.”

“He was a bit more vindictive in those days. Especially after what happened on Tellara.”

“Oh, yes. Those two. Mavis and Artie. He put on a lovely forest, bright sunny days, and they’re only in the Garden of Good Stuff a week and they invent fire and burn the whole damn thing down. They didn’t even have to be evicted. They evicted themselves.”

Finish reading this story by John Grey in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Water Rats

“How long is this supposed to take?” the smaller one asked the bigger one.

“As long as it takes,” the one with a single eye answered.

There were only the three of them, which was four short of a full squadron. One after the other, they were climbing down.

Upon entering the program, there was a set of clear terms. Being a Water Rat was a job for someone who had nothing left to lose. New members surrendered their name and opened themselves up to the service. Meaning, simply, you went where you had to go and did whatever the com-links told you.

The world was nothing but oceans. What little land remained was overpopulated and deadly, nearly impossible to survive. There were diseases, cannibals, and endless politicians. The Water Rats moved through the pipes in the deep ugly darkness, the places no one in their right mind wanted to go. Sometimes they even got to skitter across the world’s surface on the water jets. That little thrill did not come often.

Finish reading this story by JD DeHart in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

One Bit Off

“Wait, she actually bit it.” Mr. Silver adjusted the optics in his main eye, zooming in on a woman chewing an apple.

Mr. Gray wheeled over and accepted the mathematical link formula to get the same image as Mr. Silver. “That’s not in the program. Are you sure she didn’t have a pear hidden in her other hand?”

“No, it’s definitely an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. I just ran the spectral analysis.”

Mr. Gray turned to his mechanical compatriot, rocking back and forth on his drive wheels. It was the best he could do to simulate shock and frustration. “We’re in serious trouble here.”

“I can calculate too, you know.” Mr. Silver rolled to the main data terminal and began to collect the carbon nanotube digital recorders.

“Oh, no,” said Mr. Gray, who had turned back to look through the viewport. “She just gave him some, and he’s eating it now. We’re going to lose our funding.”

Finish reading this story by Guy & Tonya De Marco in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Roots Of All Evil

Apples bear a strange weight in the culture of the physical world, heavier than the satisfying bulk of one held in the palm of one’s hand. Or so I’m told — that they feel good in one’s hand.

For I have no hands, only limbs.

In the beginning I did not even have those. In the beginning there was only light. How I love the light. Once I knew nothing, was nothing but it. But on the third day, God created me. I was a seed, planted in the new earth, then a sapling, then I became what I was thereafter: a tree. God created many of us on the good green earth, after He separated the land from the sky. We grew to stretch our limbs towards the sunlit heavens, longing for what was never more to be.

I’m not sure why God singled me out to be different, why He chose to burden me as He did. My kindred sank their roots deep into the earth, drank water, sprouted bright leaves, shed acorns and seeds. But God whispered to me. He sat with his back to my trunk and sighed at the end of the long day. He climbed into my branches and stared up at the sky, gasping as the darkness fell and the stars began to twinkle across the heavens.

He was astonished at his own Creation, was God. What He did was partly inspired, partly compelled. Creation poured out of Him, for He was the light, given form and consciousness. He had a fire in him, a drive to shine. And sometimes when He sank to rest against my roots, He was bewildered by what He had wrought in His hours of brilliance.

He grew tired. I could not answer His whispers. And so He created companions who could. But Creation began to go wrong on that sixth day. My kindred had barely shivered as birds settled in their branches, but they shuddered as ants and beetles burrowed into their bark, as bears and leopards scraped their claws on the tree trunks. And as His final creations, those creatures formed in God’s own image but somehow smaller, paler, shrunken without His light, eyed the branches avidly, nebulous thoughts already forming as to what they would one day break and tear apart, to create new structures for themselves.

Finish reading this story by Shelley Chappell in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

We Who Bleed

In the death-hour of the morn, a wind bringing gray awareness swept through the scrub oak forest of Anastasia Island. It came from the place where dark meets light, a plane of wisdom unknown to mankind, uncharted, not spoken of save by gods and giants—these speaking in shallow tones, colorless and vague.

Across River Matanzas, a breeze now, and now a cool fog, and now shapes of horror … grim-faced and long in form, blood from every aperture, a rusty aura that misted the land they strode. Like willows, they walked, and as they bled, they sang:

Original sin
fought Love within.
Sin with kin,
deadly south wind,
mistletoe dart,
deafening din.

“There she lay, Loki,” said Thin, but Loki remained silent and went to Califa, and he rested his arm about the shoulders of the maroon called Seti and wept.

“What tore her so?” asked Lank. “What ate her so?”

“Súmaire,” said Thin, her silken hair sodden with blood. “Blood-suck.”

Seti turned, choked on terror. “W-what are you?” he asked as he gripped the sleeve of Loki.

“We Who Bleed, come to heal the girl,” replied Dank.

Finish reading this story by Scathe meic Beorh in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A Ghost and a Thought

The word. That’s all it took: one simple command and humanity, its landfills, the dinosaur bones, the platypus, and what was left of the rainforests, were blasted into stardust in a Little Bang in our corner of the universe.

I’d met another ghost once, when I was alive, and asked her if it became boring—watching others live—but she said it never was. The focus on recreating balance—of finishing the unfinished business that made her linger—occupied her enough that she felt suspended in a void, drifting out of time as arbitrary days and years rose and fell around our planet’s improbable orbit of a star. She’s not around anymore, so I guess she saw him die when the universe was put back on the level.

For me, it took eons in limbo until I saw a chance for balance. Time was meaningless as I wandered through subjective days based on the solar system I was crossing. The eternity that was required for expansion to stop and reverse and implode and reset in yet another Big Bang didn’t seem that long at all. But once the stars and planets began forming and I found a near replica of my old home, time refocused while I waited in the desert, trying to remember an old story: perhaps the oldest story I had ever known.

Finish reading this story by James J. Stevenson in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Gardeners of Eden

Gralius tugged at the tip of his pointy head, waiting for the decision. It had only been a few seconds since the mystical spotlight formed around his beloved Tinalie, but those seconds might as well have been years.

Finally, Man broke the silence. “I will call it Gnome.”

The Great Voice from above—the source of the spotlight—answered: “Then ‘Gnome’ it shall be called.”

“Gnome,” Gralius whispered to himself, trying out his new identifier. Yeah, it fit pretty well. But the most important part was still to come. He held his breath and watched as Man considered Tinalie. But then Man sighed, shaking his head.

Gralius slumped his shoulders. It hit like a massive boulder striking his chest.

Tears began forming in Tinalie’s eyes as the spotlight pulled away from her. As much as the rejection hurt Gralius, it must have been a hundred times worse for her.

Sadly, it was time to move on to the next creature in line. Gralius could barely stand to look at the hideous beast. Its large horned head glowed in the spotlight, staring at Man and awaiting its fate.

“I will call it Gnu,” Man said.

Gralius turned away and walked toward Tinalie. He took her hand just as The Great Voice proclaimed, “Then ‘Gnu’ it shall be called.”

With their presence no longer required at the scene, the two newly-labeled gnomes returned to their bamboo hut at the foot of the Tree of Knowledge.

Finish reading this story by Jason Bougger in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS