Featured Posts

Taddle Creek Summer Tour, Toronto Friday, June 11, 2010 - That boy of mine and I drove down to Toronto, checked into a small hotel on Carlton Street and then walked down to Jet Fuel Coffee Shop. At the door we grabbed the June issue...

Read more

Good Help Is Hard To Fry fiction by Paul Phillips Obituary: New York City – Former Senator and real estate tycoon Brendan St. James passed away this morning after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Gloria and his son,...

Read more

Snapshots from a Rock Band Picnic poem by Derek Richards brown dead grass salutes the hemingway afternoon i've been craving. cleaning the shotguns, oil and exaggerations. tossing cruel poems at the sun. my hair falls to my waist because i am young. the...

Read more

The Reality of Fame guest editorial by Heather Fitzpatrick I can’t get into Glee, and for the longest time I’ve wondered why. I should love the show, I love all movies and shows about singing and dancing. I love the music they showcase, but I just can’t...

Read more

Cry Sorrow poem by Gary Beck I sing the sorrows of the world in my imperfect tongue that has renounced artistry so I can proclaim the troubles of our time without artifice. Every age endured man's bestiality, but the anguish...

Read more

  • Prev
  • Next

Starla-Astral Warrior - Part 2
fiction by Michael Mclaughlin

Category : Fame, Fame & Fortune

The candle flickered and Starla came out of her memory of how she got this assignment. She went back to ritual of arranging little ornaments and fetishes her ancestors had won in battle from all parts of the galaxies in exact positions on the skin of a giant Oroketchi, killed far back, almost at the beginning of her family’s legacy.  She rubbed all the items: the silver spoonickel, the Zenoff statue, the rocks of Plantino, the Lewni morsel, hoping to gain some energy, strength and guidance from the objects her ancestors venerated. If objects of ritual were not touched they lost their magic. Maybe one day her daughter would feel the warmth and energy of items she worshiped. It was a comforting thought, but she had no daughter. Maybe time had come to birth a daughter. The rearing would take her away from her duties only for awhile, and . . . Don’t let thoughts of a daughter interfere with the task at hand a matriarchal voice whispered and they were always right. Her life depended on it.

Starla now knew why she took this assignment. Crime was all but gone from the galaxies. She was a rare class of women, the last ones still called upon to kill. She worried in the future there would be no need for women like her. Would all her matriarchal ritual items go into a hologram museum for school children on a field trip to marvel at? The past is always unnecessary for the moderns. The children would laugh at all the strange things, their meaning lost—except for the connoisseurs of her family’s lethal occupation. She smirked, the end of her kind would be a long time coming—not her generation, not her daughter’s, and not in her daughter’s daughter’s daughter’s. Good always produces bad. That was a rule in the universe. It was as ancient as Yin and Yang.

With all the items rubbed and placed in ritual order, Starla slept. Her ancestors always came to her in dreams and she loved to sleep before battle. Her dreams were pleasant outings with the women, holding hands, laughing, running and playing together like children. Every mother’s daughter was in her dreams, all talking at once sharing at the food tables. In her dreams there were always advice on tactics, what to wear and heroine tales of bravery she never got tired of hearing.

When Starla awoke she felt the loving embraces of her ancestors and was joyful and ready to go. Dreams were good and she loved the tradition. Facing the unknowns of battle and possible death, the dreams were her touchstone to the past.

The shadows came quicker now as the delivery ship picked up speed in its decent. It was a signal to hurry. She didn’t have much time left. She preferred a small handheld weapon that her  grandmother Nebula used. What a warrior she was, maybe the best of all time. When Starla was a little girl, before her time came to be one of them, she had a paper poster (so old) of her grandmother on her bedroom wall. She stood on an outcropping of rock, dressed in a tight mini skirt, halter top, with knee high brown boots, her face splashed with the blue paint women wore back then, the hand-held weapon drawn and ready. It was the same weapon Starla now used. It was slim and fit snugly in the palm of her hand, equipped with a sensor to see in the dark and had a direction finder. The deadly ray could bend around corners to kill. The weapon was special for Starla. Maybe after this assignment she would retire it to ritual. It was getting old, almost too old to use. But some things, some good old killing things, never went out of favor.

Starla gave another reassuring glance at all the ritual items. It was a handsome collection and she was part of something very rare. Did all the women who came before her admire and believe in these things? They must have or she would not be here.

Starla moved to her wardrobe closet and paused to make a decision what to wear. She decided to wear the floral cotton blouse and brown Bermuda short shorts. The planet was pleasant this time of year. She would also wear the new shoes, the ones with the cotton ribbon straps that wound up her ankles and legs and, of course, the red sunglasses in shapes of stars—it was her trademark now. She picked out the pink handbag with an, oh so ancient “Betty Boop” logo. For her accessories she wore a red coral bracelet and a necklace of amber tied with brown macramé. Her face makeup was traditional: wet pink lipstick, blue Cleopatra eye shadow and rouge that slashed up her cheekbones. She tied her hair into a pony tail that stood straight out the top of her head and hung down over her forehead. For this occasion she dyed the tips of her hair fiery red. A spool of spider web, good for stopping blood, wrapped around one ear.

She looked in the mirror, gave a small smile and thought she looked deadly and stylish. She tucked the small weapon in her handbag, paused to look one last time at her ritual items and walked out and down the hallway to the shuttle that would take her to battle. Standing ready by the portal was an adjudicator from the universe council who would scan her for any non authorized weapons. When the woman saw Starla walking toward her, she flinched and stepped back. All women were a little fearful of her. Men too. The woman scanned her body, nodded and Starla stepped into the shuttle. Starla was glad the woman didn’t say, she was so tired of hearing it, “Hey Starla, you look dressed to kill.”

Starla sat in the shuttle, closed her eyes and tried to relax. In ritual and dreams, her past was taken care of, soon her present and future would collide in battle. Then she remembered the obnoxious paparazzi would be waiting for her the second the hatch opened and she stepped out. Even on this remote planet they were everywhere. But it was something she had to endure. Like the constant litigation to keep her copyrighted images away from those who wanted to profit from her family’s fame.

The shuttled picked up speed and she felt the force pulling her down to her future. The silver craft angled downward, knifing through the fluffy white clouds, coming in hard, fast and spectacular, all electronics blazing. One last time she checked her makeup in the shine of the forward window. Starla was a seventh generation Astral Warrior.

Starla-Astral Warrior - Part 1
Back to Cover

Post a comment