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June 2017 Ficlet Challenge
For a change, the challenge for June is a homophone.

The word prompt is ... DUNE

A potential crossover, a further exploration of the episode 'Sand' or perhaps a visit to a beach or desert?

June brides are something of a tradition which dates back to Roman times when they celebrated the festival of the deity Jupiter and his wife (and sister!) Juno, who was the goddess of marriage and childbirth, on the first day of June. The Victorians reinforced the tradition of summer weddings because flowers were plentiful and masked the smell of body odour.

For the second challenge, write a ficlet featuring a marriage or partnership ceremony.

A Tale With No Tail

Vila bought a villa on a dune in June. He was the sole soul in the pub where he ate sole to celebrate his purchase. He also had a good wine so there was no reason to whine.

He told a beautiful girl about the house in July. ‘You lie!’ she said. She really had a hard heart. He tried to show her the house, but he had lost his key at the quay. Besides, a deer blocked the door. ‘Oh dear’, he said. But he did not despair at all. With an awl, he picked the lock of the shed. He did not shed a tear, not even when he teared a nail.

When he stumbled inside, something fell on his head. He didn’t wear a hat and immediately felt something wet in his hair. ‘I don’t even have an heir!’ he exclaimed, ‘I am too young do die!’ ‘It’s just dye’, the girl tried to ease him.

Nonetheless he sat down. ’ Don’t just lie there’, she said, ‘give me some lye so that I can clean you.’ He looked into her eye. ‘Aye’, he said.

They went out again where she cleaned him thoroughly. He had the feeling that she really liked him when she tenderly rubbed his nose. Who knows, he thought, looking at the bright sun, one day, we may even have a son.

It seemed as if there was some brake on this usual skill at breaking in. But it did not matter now that he had met her.
Huggy, very well done, very clever, but with a Dune prompt I am surprised you didn't write a Dayna story. I must get to work on one.
Edited by JustBrad on 01 June 2017 20:07:34
Hugbot, once again I'm in awe at your command of English - your homophone-rich story is worthy of Doctor Seuss!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7

My views are my own
VILA: I'm entitled to my opinion.
AVON: It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.
As Huggy didn't write a Dayna story, figured I'd have a go.

“And if you subtly alter the amino acids, you can predictably affect the DNA strain.”

Dayna shook the fog from her mind. Suddenly Justin had her interest. “Genetic mutation?”

Justin smiled. “I prefer ‘genetic enhancement.’ It’s my specialty. Alas, since fulfilling my contract with Genetic Terraform, they have lost interest in me, so I work as a tutor.”

Dayna offered a teasing smile. “Lucky for me.”

Justin chuckled. “For me, too, though I think you are just being coy. Well, that’s it. Your lessons are complete. I’m off tomorrow.”

Justin placed a large case on the table and began packing away his books and charts. Dayna’s eyes were drawn to several jars. She snatched one up, her normally skeptical eyes unusually wide and wonder struck. “What is this?”

“My last project. I told you I was working for Genetic Terraform. It’s an experiment to make hostile, desert worlds habitable. I told them it needed more time, but they took all my samples and notes and dismissed me. I protested, and immediately got a visit from a Federation major named Keller who told me to forget all about it, so I forgot all about it.”

Dayna turned the jar over and over in her hand. “It looks like ordinary beach sand, but it’s warm. I swear I can hear it talking to me, calling me.”

“I hope not.” Justin tried to pull the jar away, but Dayna wouldn’t let go. Finally he succeeded in prying the jar away from her and locked it in his case. “Will you see me off, tomorrow?”

Dayna crept quietly down the hall and into Justin’s room. While the geneticist snored softly, she gently opened his case and removed one of the jars of sand. Creeping up the spiral staircase, she opened the hatch onto the beach.

Under the moonlight, Dayna opened the jar. She ran the sand through her fingers and felt her temperature rise. Suddenly, all she could think of was Justin. She tried to brush the sand off, but it clung to her hands.

She heard her father call. “Dayna, what are you doing up there?”

Realizing what she had done, Dayna dumped the sand onto the beach, threw the jar into the sea, washed her hands in the surf, and climbed down. “Just star gazing, father.”

Dayna lay on her bunk. She’d made a fool of herself at Justin’s farewell. She so wanted to kiss him. Well, she didn’t really, she didn’t even like him, but for reasons she could not explain, she so wanted to kiss him.

The genetically altered sand lay on the beach, hidden in plain sight, just so much more sand on an endless beach. This planet had possibilities. There were at least two young females here, and any number of males hiding in the dunes. Yes, this planet had possibilities. Fortunately for Dayna, and unfortunately for the sand, it also had a rising salt water tide.
Joe Dredd
That is such a good explanation Brad, it must've been so.
Joe Dredd
Hugbot wrote:
With an awl, he picked the lock of the shed.

Hence the saying, It was awl or not' in.
Hugbot, that's great fun and very neat !

Brad, that is nice outside the (sand)box thinking !
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories and *my PD as Kerr Avon Tribute*
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
Great story, Brad; an unusual, unexpected and highly original connection between Animals and Sand, and yet perfectly convincing. Of course Dayna does not suffer from such a horrible case of bad taste! (Come to think of it, does this mean that I am in with a chance after all? Pfft)

And thank you for your nice comments on my silly homophone story. I love playing with language, but it is always a little dangerous to mess around with a foreign language.
And now for something completely different. A ficlet featuring a marriage? That calls for a story full of love and joy and happiness and .... but wait. This is Blake’s 7, isn’t it?

Rest for the Wicked

It had been a wonderfully touching wedding ceremony, and the reception was splendid to say the least. After all, the father was a successful Federation official and had to live up to his social status.

There was champagne; there was food that most of the Beta guests and even some of the Alphas had never tasted in their lives; there was a combo performing proper music instead of the muzak that penetrated the passageways of the city; the guests wore made-to-measure dresses and suits and not the drab colour-coded working apparels; and the lush decorations even tried to outshine the fancyful dresses of the ladies.

The father of the bride was in a cheerful mode, entertaining his guests, sparkling with wit, laughing a lot and enjoying himself. What a great party! All the lovely guests, all the heart-warming conversations! Today, no one talked about business. No one dared to talk about politics; not with the father of the bride amongst them. When he cut the wedding cake, he waited for any comments about his being familiar with sharp tools, but again, no one dared to make any references like that.

In the evening, the young couple left for the space port to catch their cruise on the Space Princess. It was long after midnight when the last guests had gone. The parents of the bride still sat among the remnants of the party, sipping a last glass of wine, holding hands and sharing sweet memories of their wedding and their honeymoon trip decades ago.

But while his daughter went to see the miracles of space, her father had to go to work again. The next morning, he packed his lunch box and his briefcase and drove to Central Security. A bunch of uncooperative prisoners was waiting for him. It was a lousy job, but someone had to do it.
Hugbot wrote:

...Of course Dayna does not suffer from such a horrible case of bad taste! (Come to think of it, does this mean that I am in with a chance after all? Pfft)

I'm sure Justin must have another jar of that sand hidden somewhere. Pfft

And a good story, Huggy, drawn from the dark pages of the not so distant past. Even the most evil men in history had loving families.
trevor travis

Goth was a methane-heavy hell-hole of a planet. It was also where Jenna Stannis fell in love.

To begin with, she’d manipulated Gola for own her ends. But she was highly flattered by the attention. In his own, rough, simple way, Gola was a sweetheart.

When he’d proposed, she’d kept him hanging for a few days. To let him know who was in charge of their relationship. But she could see the hurt in his eyes – the fear that she’d reject him. So she told him ‘yes’. He had beamed his hugest smile.


The Reverend Stevens had fallen on hard times. Life was so eventful in Walford that everyone was dead, and there was no-one left to marry, christen or bury.

He had no choice but to move to Goth.

He stood before the congregation in the tent. The ceremony was drawing towards its close.

“If anyone has reason for these two not to wed, speak now or forever hold your peace”. He’d said those words so many times. Usually without intervention.

“Yes, I object!”, said the hairy newcomer.

“Who are you?”, questioned Reverend Stevens.

“He is Adidas, my brother”, said Gola.

“Not another one”, sighed Jenna.

“I am rightful Charl of the Tents of Goth”, said Adidas, “I challenge my brother to a duel to the death.”

A bloody battle ensued, as the wedding cake and most of the magnificent spread were ruined. Adidas ended up dead, with a spike through his head. Jenna wiped his blood from her white dress.

“Gola”, she asked. “Just how many brothers do you have? You’ve already killed Nike and Reebok this week.”

“We have none of your strange moving pictures, my love. There’s not much to do on Goth, so we amuse ourselves with fools and games and pair-bonding.”

Reverend Stevens coughed. “If we could get back to the ceremony. Now where was I… oh yes… if anyone has reason for these two not to wed, speak now or forever hold your peace”.

“I have a reason”, said Servalan, as she strode into the tent. She pointed at Jenna: “She is an enemy of the Federation, and it’s time she was brought to justice.”

Four Federation guards followed Servalan, each brandishing a gun.

“Before you shoot everyone dead, would you like a drink?”, asked Tara.

“I don’t mind if we do”, said one of the Federation guards. They emptied the contents of the goblets into their mouths. Thirty seconds later, they were dead.

“Now, will you sit down, madam”, asked Reverend Stevens. Servalan glared at him, but did so. “Right, let’s get back to it... if anyone has reason for these two not to wed, speak now or forever hold your peace”.

Blake’s arm shot up into the air.

Jenna’s heart raced. So Blake had feelings for her, after all.

She’d let Gola down gently, of course. But Blake was the one. The love of her life. He’d left it late, but thank goodness, he’d said so in time.

Suddenly she was in a daydream. They were by the lakeside at Gardinos. Blake had just been in for a dip, while she sunbathed. He gently caressed her shoulders and kissed the back of her neck.

She imagined that she could see the fantastic mountain scenery of Del-Ten. She and Blake were flying through the low gravity, kissing and snuggling all the while.

A voice cut through her dreams. The voice of Reverend Stevens. “Blake, do you have an objection?”

“What? Oh no. I just had a bit of cramp. Carry on vicar.”

And they all lived happily ever after. Well, apart from Blake. He was brutally stabbed the same evening. Jenna concealed the weapon.

Edited by trevor travis on 03 June 2017 19:41:18
Joe Dredd
trevor travis wrote:
When he’d proposed, she’d kept him hanging for a few days.

But then he sprinkled some glittering green sand on her.

What a hunk!
Joe Dredd
A Case of Identity

Having made sure everything in the little office was set up to her satisfaction, the balding man stepped back into the hall, this time accompanied by the lady in glasses.

The small clutch of actors sat in loose groups, talking. Some were drinking tea and some were smoking. The ladies sat on the wooden fold-up chairs while the men perched or leaned on whatever surfaces they could find. Mike had climbed up to the top of a high pile of gym mats and was having a lie down.

Vere gave a quick double-clap to get their attention. The chatter ceased and the actors turned towards him. Mike peered down from his makeshift tower.

"Now everyone," said Vere, "we'll get back to rehearsals in a minute. Firstly though we'll get you all measured up for your costumes as we discussed." He turned to Jan and beamed. "Ladies first, Jen. You hop up now and run along with--"

Vere paused. The costume designer. What was her name again? Oh, how silly! He knew it. It was on the tip of his tongue. Sandy? No... Ah! That was it!

"--and run along with Dune!"
@TT: Hilarious as usual. Clueless Blake strikes again, and so many lovely details and references (the shoe brands, the vicar,...)
@JD: Yay, another funny story! VL's notoriety for confusing names makes him the perfect hero for a story with a homophonic word prompt. And I guess the sand cellar is now becoming a running for this month's assorted ficlets?
Joe Dredd
Huggy, I am so taken with your Justin/sand notion, that it's been tickling me pink to make a running joke out of it.

I expect it will get very old for everyone much sooner than it does for me, so at some point I expect I will diplomatically cease... but perhaps not yet!
Joe Dredd wrote:

Huggy, I am so taken with your Justin/sand notion

Actually, the credit for this goes to Brad. But you are right, making this connection was a stroke of sheer genius!
Joe Dredd
Oops, yes - so it was. The man's a genius.
That's a fantastic story Brad...

TT poor Jenna!!!..watch out Blake... that's probably how he got his scar in the canon version.

Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Anna was dead. The adrenaline induced by the excitement of evading the Security forces and leaving Earth had drained away; the pain in his shoulder diminished to a nagging ache. He was stuck here for a while in this ramshackle district of Aeronia, with its hodgepodge of poorly constructed, decaying apartments, tawdry bars and palaces of entertainment- all peeling paint, flickering neon and partially boarded windows - relying on his ability to fix computer systems for his keep.

And Anna was dead.

At the end of the street where he lodged, the wharf stretched along the length of the harbour and the occasional ship came and went bringing supplies of protein cultures and fresh fruits for the better off and the fungus paste that mixed with water, made a thick, tasteless stew, for the rest. In the distance, red banded cliffs fronted with sand dunes tumbled down to an oily sea.

He woke to the sound of Anna's voice. It took him several seconds before he remembered she was dead. He was glad to leave his room, leave its oppressive brown walls and scuffed floors and make his way to the Shadow Queen, the gambling house which had hired his services to fix the on-line gaming machines in favour of the House. In truth, though, the air outside was no more salubrious than that in the apartment block. It had a smokey, burnt taste which soon had him coughing. He worked all day in the Shadow Queen, refusing the drugs that were offered like sweets to the customers but tossing down several shots of the raw spirit that masqueraded as whiskey as he worked.

It was still light when he finished and his eyes were streaming from dust and smoke, his head spinning slightly from the alcohol he'd consumed. He could not face returning to his room. Instead he walked to the far end of the wharf, deserted now in the yellow evening light. A light wind had sprung up and the faint tang of salt it carried dried his skin as he clambered down the iron steps onto the dunes. The sand sucked at his feet, soft mouths dragging him back as he tried to stride forward. Waves fringed with brown scum licked at the shore line and the sun vomited its last rays on the heaving water.

Anna was dead.

He stared out to the horizon, his eyes still leaking moisture from dust and salt.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
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