S2:E4 This is a Fundraiser!

The older couple left the theater at about nine at night. It was raining, so they decided to take a shortcut through the dark alleyway. The sounds of their feet splashing through the puddles echoed off the old brick walls. The man’s gold watch caught the sparse light. The woman nervously played with her pearl necklace.

The couple stopped short when they saw the dark figure at the other end of the alleyway. The figure carried an object in the shape of a baseball bat. The couple gasped. The shape stepped more into the little light the alleyway provided. It was a teenage boy dressed in a Century High School baseball uniform and cap. He tapped the bat against the palm of his left hand like a thug threatening a victim; a moment later, he stopped to address the couple.

“Good evening, folks,” he said with a smile in his voice, “my name is Jeffery Marks. Recently, the Century High School’s athletic budget was cut. The student body decided on a crime spree fundraiser. I’m going alley to alley robbing people to help provide for new sports equipment such as basketballs and weight-lifting equipment. I would appreciate it if you’d empty your pockets of any money and other valuables.”

“No problem,” said the man. “Anything to help in the education of our youth.” The man removed $50 from his wallet and handed over his watch. The woman handed over her pearl necklace and diamond ring.

“Thank you, Sir…Madam,” said the teen with a polite nod to the woman. “We appreciate your support. This will go a long way to supporting programs that keep us off the streets and out of the gangs.” He started to turn to leave then stopped. “Oh! Do you need a receipt for your taxes?”

“No; we’re good,” said the man.

He tipped his cap. “Good evening, Ma’am…Sir.” He turned then left the alley.

“What a nice, young man,” said the woman. “So well-mannered and taking the time to help his school.”

The man nodded. “And they say the kids of today aren’t civic minded.”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


Follow Joe Rover on Amazon for more sci-fi fantasy stories.

Grazer: A Ghostbusters Parody

The things I do to avoid editingThe following is a parody of the first Ghostbusters movie.

When there’s something bland in the neighborhood, who’re gonna call?

Food Fighters!

***

EXT: Apartment roof, Night

A giant tomato, Grazer, growls at the team of Food Fighters. 

Grilled Cheese Warrior: I thought Grazer was a giant broccoli!

Rocket Ravioli: It can be whatever it wants.

Grilled Cheese Warrior: What do we do?

Captain Heartburn: I have an idea. Go get it, PP.

Pasta Patroller gulps then approaches the sentient tomato.

Pasta Patroller: As a representative of the Newton School for Culinary Arts, I demand you halt this invasion and return to your dimension of origin.

Grazer: Are you a chef?

Pasta Patroller: No.

Grazer: Then BROIL!

The team is hit by high-energy beams and knocked back.

***

Grazer: Choose the form of the Destructor.

Pasta Patroller: We don’t understand.

Captain Heartburn: I get it. Whatever we think of, it’ll appear and destroy us. If we think of Gordon Ramsay then Gordon Ramsay will appear and destroy us.

The team takes a moment to shake off that nightmarish thought.

Captain Heartburn: Empty your minds.

Grazer: The choice has been made.

Captain Heartburn: We didn’t choose anything. I didn’t choose anything. (He addresses the rest of the team) Did you choose anything?

The team turns to the guilty-looking Pasta Patroller. 

Captain Heartburn: PP, what did you do?

Pasta Patroller: I didn’t mean to. It just popped in there. I tried to pick something that would never hurt us.

Off screen: A loud roar reverberates.

Pasta Patroller: It’s the mascot for Lovely’s Chicken Farm. It’s Sam N. Ella.

(Captain Heartburn smacks Pasta Patroller on the back of the head): You thought something called salmonella would be safe?

Pasta Patroller: Ohhh! I see it now. Yeah.

***

Rocket Ravioli: We only have one option to stop Grazer. We have to cross contaminate.

Captain Heartburn: But, Rocket, you said cross contamination is a bad thing.

Pasta Patroller: Cross contamination? Of course! A full spoilage reversal!

The team sets their microwave blasters to 425 degrees and fires at the killer tomato. They slowly move the beams closer together until they touch. The beams cause Grazer and the mega-giant chicken farm mascot to explode spraying the team with bits of food.

Rocket Ravioli: Is everyone OK?

(Captain Heartburn wiping off the tomato innards the best he can): I’ve been juiced.

END.

Don’t forget to like, follow, and comment!

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Hot Snippet from “Game File Not Found”

Shadow Spark Publishing requested a “hot” snippet. So here’s one from Game File Not Found, which I just finished the first round of editing.

Once she was completely gone, I spotted a person in a cloak standing by the wall. The figure held an ion rocket. The mystery player unequipped the rocket launcher then produced a detonator. They pressed the button.

BOOM!!

Explosives lit up the base. Fires reached high into the sky. The chaos blocked my view of the stranger for a moment. Once it was clear, the player was gone.

“Let’s get out of here!” Alyx shouted over the sounds of explosions, roaring fires, and screaming skins as they derezzed.

“Seconded!” said Scott.

We ran for the exit as more bombs went off. Custom skins, once painstakingly created by Chi-Star, rocketed into the air thanks to the shockwaves derezzed while thrashing their arms. Some skins didn’t try to escape. They welcomed their fate.

More explosions rocked the ground. The ground cracked and code sprang from the virtual earth like geysers. We made it out of the base, but we were thrown from the fire into the sulfur pits of the Underworld. The mystery player planted bombs across the map. The whole game was on fire! Mushroom clouds of fire and brimstone spewed everywhere.

BOOM!!

We should have kept moving—though there was nowhere to run. We were swept up in an explosion. The world tumbled for a moment, and I could see the lights from the fires. It was beautiful, like looking out over the city at night watching the lights come on. Calming heat hugged my skin before my brain finally realized the danger it was in. Gravity returned. The heat grew as did the sounds of explosions.

Then everything went white from one final explosion.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

Doctors of Devious Schemes

Today, Dr. Daphne Spelling, a veterinarian witch, and I came across the DDS. Daphne, through some clerical error, was invited to Doc Con. It was not a con as in convention; instead, it was a con as in confidence scheme. The convention center was filled with the DDS, or Doctors of Devious Schemes. These doctors got together to discuss—

“Ahem,” said one of the doctors. “Technically, I’m a DMD, Doctor of Malicious Deeds.”

Whatever.

These doctors were sharing tales of all their dirty deeds. However once Daphne and I entered, the party ended. Daphne arrived in her superhero uniform, as did I.

“I told you we shouldn’t have come in costume,” Daphne said through the side of her mouth.

“The invitation said ‘super attire,’” I whispered back.

“Kill them,” said the host.

The host of diabolical doctors came at us with acid mouthwash spray, cavity drills, and laughing gas. Fortunately, we had magic and super-psychic powers on our side.

Once the fight was over and the police were cleaning up, the host turned to his assistant, “I told you to send the invite to Deadlock Sister. You are so fired.”


Follow Joe Rover on Amazon for more sci-fi fantasy stories.

Broken by Dawn

During a recent visit with my grandparents in Florida at the Hope Springs Retirement Community, I learned two things. The first was that long ago some non-transbeings grew jealous (some were scared) of transbeings; they attempted to make up for their “powerless” nature by augmenting themselves with ancient cybernetics and some magic. Eventually, a battle between transbeings and these augmented people started. The transbeings won (for the most part) and the augmented people were defeated…mostly killed. Second, I learned that the retirement community is built upon one of the burial grounds for the augmented people…and also the fountain of youth.

“That explains why everyone here is…lively,” I said.

It also explained why every couple years the augmented people semi-return from the grave. They attack the retirement community so they can use the fountain to fully restore themselves.

“They’re zom-bots?” said Sally.

“Or the unrusted,” I said smiling. Everyone glared at me. “Get it? Rust? Cyborgs?” I sighed. “Fine, we’ll go with zom-bots. So, how do we fight them?”

“The same way we do every time,” said Grandpa, “hold them off until they run out of fountain fluids and return to the grave.”

And that’s what we did. I used my gifts and gadgets while The Pack used their gadgets. As for the rest of the retirement community, they used everything from rolling pins to golf carts to the kitchen sink to battle the zom-bots.

Grandpa smacked one off me that was either trying to eat my brains or just claw my face.

“And you guys wonder why family doesn’t visit often,” I said before bashing a group with a nearby trash dumpster.

Grandma hit one with a baseball bat. “They certainly neglected to mention the recurring invading horde of ancient undead warriors in the brochure.”

Finally, the zom-bots time was up. They either fell where they stood (later cleaned up by the gardeners) or shambled back to wherever they rested until their next attempt.

“OK!” said the activities director. “Now that the survival part of this evening’s activities is complete, let’s all head into the main hall for cake and ice cream.”


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

School Rats

A rash of thefts at the high school caused it to be closed…that is when The Pack and I sprang into action. We surveilled the school and spotted the rats responsible, and I do means rats.

Hundreds of rats filled the halls squeaking and chewing. They worked together to move equipment and disable security systems. As we followed the rats, we soon learned the mastermind behind the raid was the Pied Piper, or someone pretending to be said piper. They used a flute to control the rats; the Piper was here to get his back pay. The school promised him the open music teacher position then went back on it.

“They never learn do they?” I said shaking my head. “At least he’s only stealing equipment and not drowning students,” I said.

The piper who wore a more…brightly colored outfit than Danny claimed he was a descendent of the legendary Pied Piper. He said the flute was passed down through his family. Either way, I ended his musical villain career by breaking his flute. The rats scurried away but the Piper did not.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning falls under public domain.


Follow Joe Rover on Amazon for more sci-fi fantasy stories.

Whatever Happened to the Monkey

My friends and I were tasked with retrieving the Monkey’s Paw—the same one that grants wishes but at a high cost. My cousin told us my family had it, saying that my family came from treasure protectors—at least one side of my family. We checked in the crawl space under the stairs and soon found ourselves in a cave. Once we emerged from the cave, we were in a city that looked Middle Eastern. Soon we ran into a young Chinese male, who was a modern-ish version of Aladdin. Apparently, we were related. “Only family members could access the cave vault,” he said.

We soon learned that the Monkey’s Paw, which was kept in the palace vault, was the severed hand of Sun Tukong, a sibling to the Monkey King. Sun Tukong was so evil, they cut off his hand, thus removing his powers, and placed the paw in a jade box then buried the box.

Aladdin and his genie informed us that we would have to the steal the paw from the vault. “Only the cave vault can keep it safe,” he said.

The Pack and I succeeded in stealing the paw only to learn that Aladdin and the genie were really Sun Tukong and Wishmaker in disguise. Sun Tukong found Wishmaker’s lamp and “forced” him to help—it didn’t take much convincing.

Fortunately, the real Aladdin and genie arrived to help us. Sun Tukong was captured. Wishmaker was forced back into his lamp. The paw was added to the collection of dangerous relics within the cave.

Aladdin and similar characters fall within public domain.


Follow Joe Rover on Amazon for more sci-fi fantasy stories.

The DMV vs Loki

The man wearing the high-end, designer-made causal clothes entered Hunter’s office at Crookman, Chaser, and Faust with the flair that screamed VIP.

Hunter choked on his drink. “Loki?!”

The reincarnation of the Norse god of mischief gave the corner office, including the view that looked over the city like some god with a yet-to-be-decided attitude, a once-over. “I see you’ve done well for yourself.”

“What do you want?” my brother said with the bitterness gained from knowing a troublemaker friend.

“I happen to be in need of a lawyer.”

“When are you not?”

Loki “ignored” his comment with a small noise. “I am being sued by the DMV, the Department of Meme Violations.”

Hunter cocked an eyebrow. “Meme violations? What’d you do? Make too many Marcus Easter jokes?”

Loki sighed with a mischievous grin. “If only it were that simple. I need you and your marvelous silver-tongue. You remember all the fun we used to get into.”

Hunter turned his head to his paperwork. “I don’t do that anymore.”

It was Loki’s turn to cock an eyebrow. “Oh really? And I suppose getting the number of that hot little number at the coffee shop was all because of your ‘smooth moves.’”

Loki put his hands on the desk and leaned forward. Hunter continued to keep his eyes glued to his desk. “Admit it. You miss the thrill of talking people into doing what you want.”

“I don’t.”

Loki sighed as he leaned back into a straight posture. “We were gods once. Giants among men. Now we’re business owners and social media influencers. Thor ruled the lightning and thunder; now, he owns a power company. And I was master of mischievous pranks; now, I create memes. These mortals control us, and we let them.”

“It’s veiled threats like that that make me less interested in helping you.”

“Do it for me.”

“Hard pass.”

“Come on.”

“No.”

“For old times’ sake.”

“Not a chance.”

Loki’s voice took on a deeper and booming tone. “How about I unleash a plague of frogs upon this firm?”

Hunter finally looked up from his paperwork. “That’s a bit more convincing.”

Copyright Joe Rover. 2022. All rights reserved.


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

The Moon vs. The Aliens

My friends from the moon, Number One and Number Two, contacted me. Aliens invaded the moon claiming it as their own. Their plan for the moon: turn it into a giant factory that makes different kinds of cheeses. The aliens planned to sell the cheeses on Galaxy Buy (or gBuy). 

“You don’t need a superhero,” I said. “You need a lawyer.”

Fortunately, my brother, Hunter, is a lawyer. He agreed to represent the two. Thankfully, the aliens decided to settle instead of going through a costly court battle. Earth, Number One, and Number Two retained “ownership” of the moon.

One of the aliens sighed. “I guess we’ll have to go back to harvesting humans for money.”

“Say wha?” I said.

“Humans are a delicacy, much like caviar,” said the second alien. “Humans and cheese. Everyone loves them. If we can’t sell cheese, we’ll have to sell humans.”

“Hmm,” said Hunter. “I think I have a plan that might satisfy everyone.”

The plan was to start up a small factory on the moon. The moon colonists would help run the factory for a share of the profits. In exchange, no human harvesting.

One of the aliens sighed heavily. “But that’ll cut into our profits! A smaller factory means less production.” I bared my canine teeth and growled at him. He swallowed. “Then again, we can work it out.”


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

Making that Climb

“Hey, folks, and welcome back to The Overlord Show!” said the host. He pointed to a digital counter above the stage. “We’re making that slow climb to 6.6k subscribers. Once we reach that goal, the world gets a big surprise! One that’ll change the world. But now, we have a brand-new act brought to you by our most recent addition to the mindless slave, I mean, player theater. All the way from Boise, whether they want to be here or not, is the Glayd Brothers.” The host clapped as he walked off stage.

Two young men dressed in overalls that didn’t look like they fit stepped on the stage. The way the brothers, who did not look similar in any way, moved suggested that they’d never worn the overalls. They started to bounce in time to some music.

“Hey, Jeb,” said one.

“Yeah, Sam,” said the other awkwardly turning his head towards his brother.

“Do you know why Farmer Brown was banned from the Farmer’s Market?”

Jeb turned his head towards the audience/camera. It was a jerky movement. “No, I do not know. Why was he?”

“Because his jokes were too corny.”

A comical rift played while the two danced in slow movements. They looked like animated characters that had their pages flipped slowly.


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction.