by Rod Marsden
futuristic science fiction
Mixing with your betters can get you killed. Dragons know this as does a certain maverick pilot and his researcher wife. It is possible to get thrown into events not of your own making in which you must do your best to survive. Meanwhile, somewhere not far from mainland Tasmania, there is an island named Green Maiden’s Folly. What’s it like? Is it paradise, or has it been made over into a worse destination hellhole than Devil’s Island used to be like in the 19th and 20th Centuries? On Green Maiden’s Folly, the destiny of the dragon is revealed.
Elanora, Ronald, and Don hid behind shelving as the two robots, with their maiden officer, entered the premises. Then Elanora shook up a fire extinguisher, pressed a button, and let fly the foam directly at the face of a robot, covering the red, blinking eyes with the stuff. Ronald and Don did likewise to the other robot with astonishing results. Blinded by the foam continually being sprayed at its face, one of the machines closed down. The other, also blinded by the foam, listened for movement and took out its gun. Once the weapon was out, Elanora, Ronald, and Don were still, hoping not to be fired upon. This was not true of the maiden officer.
She knocked a fire extinguisher away from one of her mobile robots and tried to wipe the foam from its eyes. This was a bad mistake.
The robot fired and blew apart her head. Elanora and Ronald watched, mesmerized, as chunks of the maiden’s brain and skull landed on the floor, and blood spurted from where her head should have been.
Ronald was momentarily reminded of the horrors of the arena in May and so was sickened by what had happened. He moaned gently to himself. After seeing the worst of it, he lowered his eyes and shook his head to clear it. Elanora, after she had gotten over the shock of witnessing the maiden officer in such a state, also shook her head to clear it so she could continue with the mission. All this happened in a matter of seconds, but the awfulness of it would stay with Elanora, Ronald and Don a long time.
About The Author
Author Rod Marsden was born in Sydney, Australia. He has three degrees, all related to writing and history. He spent nine and a half years as a civilian clerk with the Royal Australian Navy. His proudest moments there were in the publications area.
He enjoys wildlife photography and in recent years, joined Illawarra Birders. He went on a birding expedition to the main north island of New Zealand, where he came upon wildlife unique to that country. There he also met up for the first time with correspondent, friend, and novelist Lyn McConchie. He shares his fascination with nature with his entire family, including his niece Jasmine Perala. Her pet, Kiki, is a young, female eclectus parrot and, soggy from a recent shower, is featured on Rod Marsden’s shoulder on the back cover of this book.
His stories have been published in Australia, England, Russia, the USA, and Canada. He has work in the Australian anthology Small Suburban Crimes, the American anthology Cats Do it Better, the American steampunk anthology Break Time, the Canadian anthology Morbid Metamorphosis, and in the Canadian anthology Grey Matter Monsters – Takers of Souls.
Many of his short stories, including “The Antarctic Pineapple,” have been published in Night to Dawn magazine. Undead Reb Down Under and Other Vampire Stories is a collection of his early short fiction on vampirism. Disco Evil is his first venture into the vampire novel. Ghost Dance is his first undertaking into dark fantasy involving a quest plus secret agents out to prevent demonic takeover. It has been reprinted with a new cover. Desk Job is his salute to Lewis Carroll.
His short plays, Zombie Vision, Hyde and Seek, and Smarty were well received at Cronulla Arts Theatre, south coast, New South Wales, Australia. Both his plays Smarty and Hyde and Seek made it into Sydney’s Short and Sweet contest.
He has a short story in The Twofer Compendium edited by Ruth Littner and Ann Stolinsky (2020) in which he mentions the Berry Celtic Festival, which took place every May in a farming community on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is a festival that, unfortunately, had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus but will hopefully resume in May 2021.
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