Tag Archive: retro science fiction

Mini adventures. Mini Sci-Fi. Mini History. Mini Fantasy. Mini-escapes. What you can expect from the…

“Five-Minute Escape”

short Sci-Fi story.



Copyright Terofil Gizelbach, 2013



I’m running in a high tower, an endless white tower, and I hear the sound of boots clicking on the ramp below…

If they catch me they will kill me.

I came in the transference portal in a fiery ring, an experiment in time/space travel. I hit the ground hard, in a heap, shivering. The shivers are part of the transference process—they attack during the leap and hold on for a minute or so, incapacitating you, leaving you drained, weak…

We didn’t know. No one knew. This was our first leap.

But where? Where am I? I do not know; God, I do not know…

It is like a dream. Surreal. Towers and courtyards in stark whites, brilliant, blindingly, gypsum bright. Delineated shadows, sharp, almost razor-edged. Blue cloudless skies, so deep, so blue. A polarized sky, heavy in its blueness. Terror in its blueness. And in the quiet my footsteps, running, pursued, clattering, echoing, swallowed quickly by the air, cool air, despite the harsh sunlight.

I check my locator. The return portal has appeared somewhere above me. But I am tiring. I stop, press myself against a wall. Look down the ramp. I do not see them but I can hear them. Tapping. Nearing. I check my pistol.

They will kill me if they can.

How do I know? I had only a brief glimpse of them. Tall. Thin. Huminoid. Dressed in white tight-fitting clothes without stitching. Oddly proportioned. Strange. Otherworldly. Calves too short. Thighs too long. Flexible arms, whip thin, like tentacles. And most terrifying of all…faceless. Oval white smoothness; no features save slight indentations where mouths and eyes should be. Bump for a nose. Speech, an odd mewing. Evil. Hands, three fingers clutching a thin metal tube…a weapon? Yes, surely a weapon. They will kill me if I let them.

But I will not let them.

They round the curve. I see them. I fire. The bullet snaps off the wall and into space, through the wide windows that line the corridor. They are surprised. But they come back, pointing their metal tubes. A rush of heat sears my shoulder. I do not see a ray or a projectile but I feel the pain.

I scream. I fire again, hit one of the things. It drops. It does not bleed.

Another heat blast burns my arm. My pistol falls. I turn. I run.

They follow.

I run and run and run, but I am tiring. They will catch me.


No, I see the sky! I break into the open. I am on the roof. The portal appears, shimming, a light pool into which I must dive. But it hangs in space, almost twenty feet beyond the tower, the white courtyards a mile beneath like distant squares of salt. The portal: a silver, mercurial pool in a sky lake.

Heat rushes past. They are on the roof now too. They are firing. Mewing. Closing. I have no choice. I have nowhere else to go. I run. I run with all the strength remaining to me. I run and jump from the tower, into the blueness, into the skies. I am heavy. My arms windmill to gain inches, my fingers grab at the air. My throat snaps shut. I fly—



Fall. Fall screaming, fall, dying—

The portal drops to receive me.

It takes me and I am drawn back into the laboratory, into a land of colors beyond just white and blue. Faces—human faces with eyes, mouths, noses; faces of coworkers crowd near. I lie there, shivering, weak. I can not warn them. Gibberish drools out of my mouth. I can not tell them…I can not make them shut the portal down.

Abnormally long thighs…short, muscular calves…

These creatures are jumpers.

I hear the sounds of boots hitting the lab floor behind me.



For another story like this one, try:http://www.gizelbook.com/five-minute-escape-short-sf-story-collectors/

For more information about the possibility of life on other worlds, please click the following fascinating links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterrestrial_life

ABOUT THIS BLOG… Each “Five-Minute Escape short Sci-Fi story in this blog series will be kept under 1500 words; most will clock in at about 500. The “Five-Minute Escape short Sci-Fi story will allow you to log on, take a fast trip, and get back quick to what you should have been doing in the first place…though hopefully the experience will stay with you long after you have moved on to something else. Subscribe to the blog and take a weekly…”Five-Minute Escape!” “Five-Minute Escape short Sci-Fi story copyrighted Terofil Gizelbach, 2013



Mini adventures. Mini Sci-Fi. Mini History. Mini Fantasy. Mini-escapes. What you can expect from the…

“Five-Minute Escape”

short science fiction story.



TIME: The year 2187. PLACE: The Rain Planet Plineius V

Copyright Terofil Gizelbach, 2013


Arthur! Do you have water in your ears? I asked if that creature is dangerous!”

Arthur Dolescomb looked up from his guidebook to the natural wonders of the rain planet Plineius V and sighed.

“No…no, I don’t think so, dear. Nothing in the park is considered harmful to man. However, it is a wild creature, Edna, and I hardly think it advisable to bother—“

“I didn’t ask you to think, Arthur, I asked if that…that thing is planning something horrible! You have the guidebook…just what exactly is it anyway?

Arthur stared at the thing on the pathway, decided the creature resembled nothing so much as a large mound of wilting lettuce, and consulted his guidebook. Rain pattered violently against the surrounding Ylinthis Palms, and Arthur, feeling the mist seeping through his air shield, turned up the molecular generator on his collar. The contraption, which also kept Plineius V’s ferocious insect population at bay, promptly agitated the air molecules surrounding his body. The resulting barrier kept Arthur safe and dry.

Edna on the other hand…

Edna was miserable. Edna was always miserable, mind you, but today, dripping, soggy, her thin, angular frame nearly moldy from the incessant downpour, Edna was particularly miserable. Arthur decided it was in his best interests to answer quickly.

“The book doesn’t say much about it, dear, but its name is Pacifistus Melodius. Sounds friendly enough, I’d say.”

“Disgusting blob! It looks like a overturned bowl of putrefying salad,” she said. “In fact, everything about this godforsaken planet is disgusting! Why did you bring me to this hideous jungle, Arthur? I wanted a decent vacation!”

Arthur rubbed his pudgy fingers over his balding forehead. “I did the best I could dear. You spent all our vacation money on your fusty old wardrobe artifacts. What is that contraption anyway? Can’t you just turn on your molecular generator? You’d be a whole lot drier. You’d probably feel a lot brighter too.”

Edna frowned. “I prefer to use my umbrella, thank you. It’s fashionably retro and makes me feel chic. Goodness knows,” she said, pulling her shoe out of a mud puddle, “nothing else in this nasty place does. Besides, the rain is stopping.”

Wiping away the rainwater dripping from her nose she regarded the thing quivering on the trail.

“What do you suppose it eats, Arthur?”

“I don’t know. Some native flora, fauna, or other. What does it matter?”

“Give me your sandwich.”

“But Edna, it’s my lunch and I’m hungry—”

“Give it to me!”

Breaking off a piece of the sandwich, she lobbed it on the trail before the creature. The creature stirred. Green folds parted, and a single golden eye regarded the morsel for an instant. Then the green folds closed and the eye disappeared.

“Well, it looked anyway. Didn’t seem to like your sandwich though. Small wonder. How you like sardines is simply beyond me….”

Dropping the sandwich in the mud, she rummaged in a cavernous purse done in the ancient style.

“Oh, Edna, my lunch—”

“Quiet! You can buy yourself something later at the snack stand… Ah-ha! Pea-nuts!”

Smiling triumphantly, Edna shoved the bag of nuts in Arthur’s hand. “Throw it a peanut.” She demanded.

“I’d rather not, dear. As I said—”

“Do it!”

Arthur sighed and halfheartedly tossed the creature a peanut, missing by several feet. Again the green folds parted.

“Oh, give them here!” Grabbing back the peanut bag, Edna launched several peanuts at the thing, one of which hit the creature’s open eye. The thing seemed to moan and shuffled back a pace or two. Edna followed, jabbing at the creature with her umbrella.

“Edna! No! Don’t antag—”

“Take it! Take the peanut!” Edna shouted, poking vigorously. “Why don’t you just take it!”

The green folds parted a final time and a forest of tentacles embraced Edna.

Arthur began to scream.

“The creature just couldn’t take it,” he wrote later on the missing persons report.



READ ANOTHER ONE LIKE THIS: http://www.gizelbook.com/five-minute-escape-short-short-story-the-contest/

  For more information about the possibility of alien life on other planets, please click the following fascinating links:

For a general overview, try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterrestrial_life

For an interesting older (2005) article put out by NASA, try: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/0801frozenworlds.html

ABOUT THIS BLOG… Each “Five-Minute Escape short science fiction story in this blog series will be kept under 1500 words; most will clock in at about 500. The “Five-Minute Escape” short science fiction story will allow you to log on, take a fast trip, and get back quick to what you should have been doing in the first place…though hopefully the experience will stay with you long after you have moved on to something else. Subscribe to the blog and take a weekly…”Five-Minute Escape!” “Five-Minute Escape short science fiction story copyrighted Terofil Gizelbach, 2013


Mini adventures. Mini Sci-Fi. Mini History. Mini Fantasy. Mini-escapes. That’s what you can expect from the “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story!

TIME: Before. PLACE: Far Away


Copyright Terofil Gizelbach 2013

“Prepare to be terminated, TX17!”

The cyborg Zarg advanced slowly, looking for an opening. TX17 waited, the ‘bot’s body crouching, menacing, poised for a swing.

Zarg struck first, landing a glancing jab on TX17’s shoulder. Shrugging off the blow, the ‘bot laughed. “I would have expected better of you Zarg. You’ve grown weak since our last encounter. Perhaps you rely too much on the other?”

“Just limbering up,” said Zarg. “I will not be defeated this time, TX17. The fate of my people is in my fists. I must win: they have told me so.”

TX17 laughed again. “Your people? They care nothing for you, Zarg! You are expendable. You exist only for this contest. After I break you, your people will abandon you, fool! You are nothing to them. Nothing!”

Zarg snarled, feeling the pain, the truth of TX17’s words. Mindlessly, he waded forward, opening himself to attack in his rage. TX17 swung, clipping Zarg in the chest. Zarg grunted, feeling the shock in his composites. In a haze, he fired back a counter jab blindly. Missed. Retreated. Was hammered as he back-peddled.

“You grow careless, Zarg,” TX17 said, his voice menacing in its calm. “You let your anger direct you. In the end—now—it will defeat you.”

TX17 slid forward, smiling. A fist powered forward, connected, crashed. Stunned, Zarg wobbled. His right arm dangled uselessly. In desperation, he jabbed again. Missed again. Felt a punishing blow slam his forehead.

“Goodbye, Zarg,” he heard TX17 say. Then Zarg swung. He struck with all the strength remaining to him. He struck, his fear, his rage giving him extra strength. He struck for the controller who had already abandoned him, convinced of his defeat.

And connected.

With a joy that was almost religious in its fervor, Zarg watched as TX17’s red head popped up from his body.

He hoped the controller would be happy.




“Hey! What a gyp! How did you do that? You didn’t even have your hands on the joysticks!”

Bobby Espiranto stared down at the “Battlin’ ‘Bot’s” toy boxing ring and frowned. “I didn’t do anything, Johnny,” he said. “It must have popped a spring or something and clocked your ‘Bot by accident. Anyway, I won. I knocked your Bot’s block off.”

“Yeah, you cheated you mean,” said Johnny Franzen. “You taking your hands off the joysticks was just a way to make me drop my guard! I know a gyp when I see one!”

“Honest, I didn’t, Johnny-Boy. The crummy thing must be busted.”

“Well…all right. But don’t take your hands off next time till after I knock your block off, OK?”

“Deal,” said Bobby. “Say…you don’t suppose maybe it did it somehow? I mean, maybe it didn’t wanna lose, or something.”

Johnny laughed. “It’s a toy, dummy! Next you’ll be tellin’ me they have feelings. C’mon, dopey, lets go outside and play with something else.”

“Yeah, OK,” said Bobby. “Let’s go. Who needs this junky thing anyhow?”



For a really “Boss” clip showing the “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot” toy in action, please visit the following site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV7cx4cQOuU



Each “Five-Minute Escape short-short story in this blog series will be kept under 1500 words; most will clock in at about 500. The “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story will allow you to log on, take a fast trip, and get back quick to what you should have been doing in the first place…though hopefully the experience will stay with you long after you have moved on to something else. Subscribe to the blog and take a weekly…”Five-Minute Escape!”

The “Five-Minute Escape” short-short story is copyrighted Terofil Gizelbach, 2013

Now that I’ve taken the plunge, it’s time I told you a little about me…

Overall, I’m probably pretty much like you. I always pick the wrong lanes on the highway or the slowest moving checkout line. I’d rather eat a good hamburger and fries than a whole bucket of escargot. I don’t like wearing shoes. I yell at the TV when my football team loses. I like the “Andy Griffith Show” and “Star Trek” and “Cheers.” I have a budget and have to watch what I spend. I stay up too late, and I don’t get as much sleep as I might like. I have days where I think getting out of bed was a mistake, and others I wish would never end. And I still have a boss that makes me crazy, only these days it happens to be my conscience. Which brings me to my work…

I’m a writer of Science Fiction and Children’s Literature. Wow, super glamour, right? I mean, dictating your latest potboiler into a digital recorder while your secretary transcribes your meanderings into the next bestseller…

Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat different. Despite how it is portrayed by the media, writing isn’t usually a particularly glamorous profession. For you aspiring writers, be aware that, at times, it can be a very frustrating job—one of hammering away at a sentence that just won’t pop, or at an idea that just won’t jell. It can be pretty lonely too. And the hours are long. And it doesn’t pay particularly well, unless of course you are a Stephan King. But ultimately I wouldn’t choose to be anything else. I feel very fortunate to be a writer; it is what I was meant to do. I’ve done everything from rolling egg rolls and throwing boxes into a truck, to running a major city’s budget. All have had their moments; all have made me happy at times. But when my writing rocks, there is nothing else that gives me such a high, such a feeling of raw accomplishment. That is what drove me during the late nights when my writing was my second job, and that is what still drives me now. I believe every artist is driven to create; just as every writer feels the need to write. We do it because we must.

Besides, grandmother was a professional artist. Mom liked to paint watercolrs and design clothes…

I guess it’s just in my DNA.




Another blog. Hoo boy. Seems like everyone has one these days, doesn’t it? It’s now possible to read in sublime detail about Aunt Brenda’s cat’s sixth toe, or another mindless celebrity’s latest stint in rehab, or the doings of people you would normally go out of your way to avoid. Not that there is anything wrong with blogging. To quote the statue from the movie “Animal House,” “Knowledge is Good,” and every one of us has something positive to offer—some life-enriching nugget to share. The trick is sharing something that people actually want to read. To give them something that will move them, or shake them, or make ‘em laugh—or even cry. Kinda like writing fiction or painting or art in general, I guess…

Unfortunately, I can’t always promise to “move” you here. But I will do my best to entertain you, and to share my world view with you—and, when possible, bring a little something to put a smile on your face, or put a silly or startling thought into your head. Science Fiction and Children’s literature at its finest excels at prodding the imagination. I hope my blog does too. And maybe even once in a while I might actually throw out something that will make you think about the world a little bit differently. Now that would make me happy.

Then again, maybe Aunt Brenda’s cat’s sixth toe has already changed your world view… I know I’m going back to revisit her blog.

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