“These 'pockets' that the simians have invented are quite ingenious,” remarked Dpres Seon, staring down at the aforementioned object with curiosity.
The man, or at least, what passed for a man, was a creature known as a Sadones, a species that greatly resembled the marsupial koalas and wombats of the planet they were orbiting. The chief scientist on his exploration vessel, it was his duty to assist in the study of the inhabitants of the newly discovered world.
“I agree,” said Sol Lem, a fellow member of the Sadones species and the first officer of the vessel. “I am quite surprised that we never thought of such a thing, especially when these 'pockets' are very similar to our natural pouches, except able to hold nearly everything solid.”
There was a short pause as the two male Sadones looked at each other, before shifting their gaze to the only female member of their race present on the team tasked to study the planet. Another scientist assigned to the vessel, Dias Sapare had been colleagues with the other two for a long period of time, and instantly knew what they were thinking.
“I am not letting you use my pouch as a storage space,” she snapped. “Do you know how awkward and ridiculous it would be, carrying things that aren't my child in there?”
“But ...” began Dpres.
“If you say 'it's for science', I will destroy your tree,” she growled, anger intensifying. “If you're so intent on these 'pockets', then go steal some from the simians if you want!”
It was only hours later when Dias realised that her two moronic friends would probably listen to her and attempt to 'borrow' pockets from the natives, but it was already too late, and clothing stores all around the planet were reporting the strange disappearances of their stock.
By Alex Humva:
He sat in his chair, waiting quietly for the bell above the door to chime. In his hand he held fresh, crisp ten dollar bills, his whole shop's profit for the month. Before it paid the bills and gave him a little extra to spend on his daughters; now, it just paid the bills. Small tears began to form as his fists balled up, those fresh and crisp dollar bills crunching into wads. He wanted to do something with his shop, wanted to do something with his life. His family barely ate nowadays; once they attended dinner every Sunday, at the fancy restaurant on the crossing of Main and Maple Avenue. Now they were lucky if they went to the small club down on the outskirts of town.
The bell chimed, three well dressed men walking in. One had a cigar in his mouth, which he took out and deposited on a smoke tray. He reeked of slime covered money, so much so that he was lucky he didn't slip on the trail he was leaving behind him. His two companions were the athletic sort; well dressed, though they seemed less like this high-society alien and more akin to middle class baseball players. The man suspected, in his mind, that they were quite handy with the bat, regardless of their chosen sport.
“Mr. Hackett,” the foreigner said with a smile on his face. “You look flustered; did someone pay you a visit? You know you can always tell us if someone's bothering you.”
“I'm quite alright, thank you.” He looked at his hands, the money now crumpled and torn in some places. Silently he laid them out on his counter, smoothing them out one by one. “There. You see this? One hundred dollars. Exactly what you asked for.”
“Ah, so business is still good? Nice to know; in this day in age, people can't be careful enough. They're saying the economy's going take a downturn here soon, make sure you've got good investments Mr. Hackett. My boss runs a firm that could help you with that.”
“I think I'll be fine, thank you.”
“Well then, everything seems in order, best of wishes to you and your family Mr. Hackett. Happy New Years.” The man smiled his perfect, picturesque smile, and left, his companions following him. The man slumped back in his chair, looking at what was left of his money. It'd get his family by. It always had.
The men got into a car, the athletic ones taking the front while the alien took the back seat.
“Boss, do you think he'll squeal?” One of the brutes asked.
“No, no. He's exactly where we want him; in our pocket.”
A Pocket of Resistance
The knight gasped for breath as he stood, sword held in a ready position, shield angled to deflect opposing blades, his eyes flicking about, seeking other foes. He was dressed in mail from head to toe, a metal cap fronted by a nosepiece fashioned in the likeness of a cross mounting his skull. A white surcoat was worn over this, a black cross respondent upon it. But his mail was rent in several places, and blood leaked from a wound in his shield arm. He was alone in the still fighting city of Jerusalem. His eyes were dazed and blank, his sword covered in blood. He lowered his blade and shield, looking around, his blank expression turning into horror at the sight around him; Christian knights like himself lay sprawled in places among the corpses of a small detachment of the city guard they had died fighting, but even more numerous were other corpses. Women and children. An old man lay among them.
“What have I done?” he gasped, staggering forwards, then running forwards into the streets, seeking to outrun the sight behind him. The sounds of battle were fading behind him. The city had fallen, but it… He had been in the wrong, his comrades had been in the wrong. His enemies had died nobly, his comrades carried their blood into the next world.
“Sweet Jesus,” he gasped as he came to a halt in a narrow road. “What have I done?”
There was no one around, and the curved sword fell from his grasp. It was not his own; he had picked it up in battle from a man he had slain.
“Am I a thief in the night?” He looked back behind him to where his fellow soldiers of Christ must still be. “A dog on the run?”
Soldiers of Christ, the words made him almost vomit. Could he and his be of Christ after what they had done? Those who died in battle, had the graces given to them saved their souls form the fire that must surely await them otherwise? He dared not think.
A voice cried out, soft but still audible to his ears. A warning. He looked up, and realized he was looking down an alley. There were men here. He was in too deeply. Had all the city fallen? He was keenly aware that he had dropped his sword. He reached for his dagger, but stopped himself before his hand could move. Let this little pocket of men make the first move. One of them did, and he heard the creak of a bow being drawn back. He stopped himself moving his shield to defend himself, transfixed by a strange shock of justice. He had slain those without a weapon in his hand. It was fitting then that he die in like manner, that his sins be expunged.
Then the dart slammed into his surcoat and mail, sending the knight crumpling to the ground, guilt free at last.
The Little Elf that Lived in a Pocket
The Little Elf that Lived in a Pocket
There was once an elf that lived in the pocket of a trench coat that had been abandoned in an alley. It wasn’t the roomiest of places to live and how the furnishings were barren!
“It may not be much, but it has a charm about it, for sure!” She told herself each morning when she woke up and each evening when she went to bed.
One day the little pocket of the elf began to shake and swing, leaving its resident scared out of her wits.
“What’s this?!” She shrieked as she fumbled around, hoping to gain some footing.
She somehow managed to crawl and climb her way to the lip of her home to see a poor shoemaker dusting off the trench coat in which the little elf lived. Slowly, shivering in the cold, he shuffled back to his hovel where there were many forlorn half-finished shoes scattered about. The poor man’s hands had been shaking so much that he could hardly stich the shoes together properly.
“What an outright shame this is!” the little elf cried out at the sight, her own home forgotten. “Why, this poor fella needs help, he does!”
Later that night, when the shoemaker had somehow fallen asleep on the icy ground, the elf got to work. She pushed and pulled throughout the night, trying desperately to help the poor man who was curled up in a mere trench coat for warmth. It took almost all of her strength and concentration, but by morning a single pair of beautiful shoes was left in the poor man’s room.
“Goodness gracious!” The man gave a shout as the shoes entered his line of sight. “I must’ve forgotten these, how silly of me!” and he rushed into town to sell his only good pair of shoes. They were so well constructed that the man had no trouble selling them right away for a generous price. The man quickly spent his earnings on food and wood for the fire. When he returned home, he dined for the first time in what must have been years, the elf guessed as he scarfed it all down. Then, he lit a fire for the room and fell asleep lazily in the glow’s warmth.
The elf felt the glow of the fire and felt rejuvenated.
“Why, I feel like I can make two pairs of shoes in this warmth, I can!”
And so it went that the elf would make more and more shoes each night, and the man would sell and spend his money on wood, wine and women. This went on for many a year until one day the elf, who had worked so much, had grown old and tired. She could no longer craft any shoes, and thus the man eventually sold out. He had no savings to go back on and he had long since lost his craft for shoemaking. To this day his pockets are just as empty as the elf’s former home.
by Nicholas Joseph:
With a scream from the child in his lap, he went down the slide, feet in the pocket of the sack. The said son in the lap threw his hands up, thrilled at the built up anticipation of the climb to the top of the slide. The father felt the youngling’s hands slap his chest, and they coasted down to the fake golf green, both of their lungs lacking air.
Handing the ride attendant at the bottom the sack, they exited the gate to the rest of the park. The man felt his arm wrenched as his son was running to the next ride, and the ride after that, and the ride after that, his thin legs flopping around in the child sized kahki shorts. The man passed a woman on the rail of the merry go round with a smile, as a girl on a bouncing horse cried “Daddy!” With an exhasperated grin he followed his eager eyed son, whom was determined to say he had gone on every ride.
Finally- the wetboats. He passed the boy onto the ride attendant, watching the teenager secure the child into the seat. With a sigh, he allowed himself a moment to catch his breath, leaning over the rail as the boat went by. The son reached an arm out in an attempt to touch hands with his father- the man laughed, and stood poised, slipping his hands in his pockets as the machine’s motor pulled him to the far side of the ride.
He felt his pants tighten, as his palms rested in the pockets, resting on his thighs. No pressure. Amusement. These fleeting thoughts went through his head as he watched his son go by. The ideas were so cliche, that if the boy was happy he was happy- but he bought into it. Just that few minutes of screams that were somewhat distant, trying to reach his mind, he was at peace, as he was an observer, disconnected as he watched his son grow. He had to be removed, sometimes, to allow the child to discover who he was on his own.
The boy climbed down from the boat, and stumbled to the exit, where he clasped his parent’s hand. The baby fat parted to reveal a smile under the breeze tossed thin brown hair. The boy was happy, and the father was content, a night of the family enjoying themselves in a bright lighted amusement park, a break from the city life. “Daddy, where to next?” the squeaky voice asked. The father reached into his pocket once more, in search of tickets, but found none.