(Narrative) Qianzhousaurus Feathers – (Music) MIG

Everyone needs a Qianzhousaurus feather or two!

Fictional Pairings Magazine

By. Joshua Scully

Donald Barlow didn’t have any pots on his head or bands of aluminum foil wrapped around his arms.

That was a step in the right direction.

The old man was crazy, but, aside from an absurd hat, he answered the door in ordinary dress.

“Thank you for coming,” Barlow said as he pushed the door open for his former neighbor, John Forbes. “I see you came prepared.”

Forbes stepped through the doorway with a new Winchester Alaskan rifle in his hands.

“Well, I wanted to help if I could,” Forbes replied once inside the kitchen.

Barlow had called Forbes the night before about an unusually threatening bear near his home. The former asked the latter to bring a firearm capable of bringing down a grizzly. If Forbes was successful, Barlow offered to butcher the animal and hand the meat over for freezing.

At the time, Forbes was…

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The End of Basketball Season

Basketball season has nearly come to an end!

Basketball season is nearly over for me. I haven’t really shared anything on this blog about my coaching (as I’ve tried to focus strictly on my writing), but basketball is definitely a significant part of my life. As much as I enjoy writing, I don’t have a great deal of time to do so during the season. Basketball season more or less runs from the very end of October to the end of April for me, once you include the regular season, tournaments, and development leagues. 

This season was especially memorable. The middle school team that I coach (which is also the middle school where I teach) finished the regular season with an overall record of 11 – 9. We had a record of 10 – 6 within our conference and finished the season with the Penn State Fayette Jamfest tournament in February. We had two players score over 130 points and our team averaged 35.6 points per game. 

I again served as President of the Mountain Area Basketball League, which serves children from Fayette and Somerset Counties, for a second season. The league enjoyed another year of success. 

I coached three developmental teams within the Turkeyfoot Youth Basketball league. The playoffs and championships for this league will be played Saturday, April 28th. Our teams finished 5 – 1 (boys), 4 – 2 (girls), and 6 – 1 (coed elementary). Videos and photographs from this league can be found online thanks to the Somerset Daily American

Our developmental teams often play as the “Mounties”, which was our former mascot (our entire district became the “Red Raiders” about twenty years ago). With “retro” looks coming back, George Fitzpatrick of Color Wear (a local printer that creates and produces a good part of our athletic gear) and I created the logo below to sort of help bring our own retro look back:


After Saturday, basketball season will be over for me until June. From June to July, we participate in a very brief summer season in Uniontown. My family is incredibly patient with me during the season, there is no question about that (and I greatly appreciate their patience). I’ll miss the game but I’ll will enjoy the time off. 


#SciFiFri and #SciFiSat

Check out my #ScifiFri and #ScifiSat prompt responses from Twitter!

Every Friday and Saturday, SciFiFri (found on Twitter @SciFiPrompt) offers up an opportunity for fans of science fiction to share their most intriguing ideas (generally confined to just 280 characters or less).

SciFiFri provides a theme for Friday (#SciFiFri), encouraging those participating to somehow include or reference this theme (although you don’t absolutely need to do this). Of course, part of the challenge is tailoring your particular idea to suit the theme or creating a new concept from scratch based around the theme.

Saturday (#SciFiSat) is open and you can really see genuine creativity pour out of those participating. Some of the ideas and concepts I’ve read through #SciFiFri and #SciFiSat are amazing! I’m sure that every weekend I see at least one or two that could make for a great anthology television show episode or film. The possibilities truly have no limits on either day, which is really my favorite feature of the science fiction genre. 

When I first joined Twitter several years ago, one of the first true fascinations I had through that platform was “twitterfiction“. My schedule can be absolutely crazy during the school year (especially during basketball season), so Twitter provided a means for me to read and enjoy “very short fiction” whenever I had a free moment. #SciFiFri and #SciFiSat really present some of the most unique and wonderful twitterfiction pieces you’ll find. 

I wanted to share a few of my own from the last two weekends:

“Your neighbor?”
“That old woman?”
“She built a time machine?”
“That’s why you need to rob the Medicine Shoppe?”
“The machine uses cough syrup as fuel. She needs a case.”
“And you want me to be the getaway driver?”
“Or you can use the shotgun.”

Washington was dying, but that didn’t stop his doctors from administering a grueling regiment of bloodletting and archaic medicines.
The scene was chaotic, with servants and family rushing to meet the doctors’ demands.
No one paid Martha any mind.
Or her voodoo doll.

He woke up in a cheap motel room outside Medicine Hat and had no recollection of coming to Canada. 
There was a large crucifix tied around his neck and braids of garlic were scattered around the room.
A single ticket for the next train to Calgary was in his pocket.

He pulled his wife into the next room.
“What do you think you’re doing bringing a witch doctor into our home?”
“He’s a ‘medicine man’,” she growled.
“Whatever! What are you thinking?”
“Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find an exorcist on a Friday night?!”

The bull made a final pass, and the matador bowed before the crowd. He revealed a sword and waved his cape. 
Turning to the bull, a rush of terror ripped through him. 
The bull had reared up and fumbled a revolver between two hooves.
“Never again,” the bull mooed. 

The astronauts rushed from the crash into a swamp. Flora and murky water obstructed their view of the apex predator – a massive frog.
Mylar proved a poor excuse for armour, not that any material was suited for the whipping tongues and sticky saliva encountered.
#Vss365 #SciFiSat
The creatures described their origin to mankind. Developing intelligence during the Cretaceous, these dinosaur descendants escaped Earth for a distant world prior to Chicxulub.
“Why have you returned?”
The beasts were stunned.
“Have you not resurrected our brethren?”

You may notice the “#vss” tag – more about that later!


“Exploring a Frozen World” by Joshua Scully

The Evening Theatre

Freed from parachute material, restrictive connections, and the general confines of the lander, a roving probe hummed to life and rolled onto the frigid surface of a new world.

Given the distance involved, there had never existed any hope to remotely pilot the rover. The small six-wheeled vehicle was programmed to forge a path through this frozen world, while using three cameras to photograph the vast white expanses surrounding the lander.

Photographs captured by the rover would first be relayed to the lander. An array on the lander had the capacity to communicate the images back home. The enormity of space required that visions of this extraterrestrial winterscape travel many light-years, not arriving until long after the rover ceased to function. Despite the apparent cold, this particular planet existed within the habitable zone of main sequence star. Data collected by the lander and rover, no matter how scant, may determine…

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