Practical vs. Pretty

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Zing and Zang stood transfixed, watching the contraption slide slowly earthward. The bulging balloon canopy obviously worked like a massive set of brakes to slow the descent. The whole structure was just enormous, and compared to what they knew on their home planet, seemed rudimentary.

“Why don’t they just use reverse blasters?” wondered Zang.

“I guess they don’t know about that yet,” replied Zing. “Sometimes I can’t believe how backward they are. They seem somewhat intelligent.”

“Well, it’s colorful. I don’t know what it’s for, but it’s pretty.” Zang paused. “Practical isn’t always pretty.”

Image result for cute aliens

The Box

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Keeping their distance, Zing and Zang circled the box. “What do you think it is?” questioned Zang.

“How should I know?” Zing was irritated,

“What should we do?”

“Why do I always have to have the answers? I don’t know! What do you think?”

“Uh–I don’t think we should touch it.”

“Duh, Bright Boy! I’m sending images to Zirkon’s headquarters. They’ll direct us.”

Suddenly, the message came to them both: “Under NO circumstances are you to touch that box. Return home RIGHT NOW!”

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Don’t Be Normal!

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Ahh, very pretty place,” sighed Zing. He and Zang had just entered the elegant dining area in a posh hotel. The snow outside made the room seem even more cozy.

“What do we do now?” asked Zang. Nervous, he tugged at his collar and wondered why humans put up with such confinement.

“We sit at a table and wait for someone to bring us food.”

“Really? Then maybe we should make ourselves visible, or we’ll be hungry all day!”

Zang laughed. “Right. And try not to speak normally. They’d think we’re space aliens or something!”

Is It a Bird? A Plane? A CAR?!

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Poor Zing and Zang had to clue this time. It made no sense to them.

“What’s a Rockin’ Roger? What’s a 50’s diner? Why would you have a diner in an old car? Why would you stick it up so high? Even earth people aren’t that tall!” Zang slumped in dismay. He’d learned to love earth food, especially burgers, fries, and malted milk shakes.

Zing pondered. “Let’s go invisible, teleport up there, and check it from the inside.”

“Okay. Ready? Go!”

“It’s empty. And dusty. No earth people at all.”

“I see McDonald’s down the street. Come on, we can eat there.”

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The Fountain


“Earth people are so strange!” commented Zing. He and Zang were perched on the bench, watching the water fall from the spigots on all four sides of the pillar with the knob on top.

“I know,” replied Zang. “They put pipes underground from the river to this place, cover it all up with cement, and build an engine to push the water out the spouts. Why don’t they just enjoy the river?”

“Beats me! Hey, did you hear that? I just used a sling expression!”

“Sling? You mean “slang.”

“Right. Slang. Earth people have strange words, too”

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Airport Confusion

Zing and Zang are feeling overlooked. Several of the comment in the past few weeks have mentioned my favorite little aliens, and this week Kelvin nudged me in that direction. What better place to take these two than an international airport? Therefore, my second offering, better late than never 🙂

Zing and Zang perched invisibily just outside a departure gate. There were swarms of people. People sitting, walking, reading, sleeping, engaging in acts of affection that made Zing and Zang blush—which of course no one could see, so that’s all right 🙂

“Zing, this place is HUGE! And look at the size of their air transports! I wonder if they’re all going to the same place?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t understand why they don’t just teleport! Ready?

“Ready. To infinity and beyond!”

The Tree


“Aaaaagggggh!  Zang, don’t look!  Someone is KILLING this poor tree!  It’s horrible! Skinning it alive and carving designs on its insides!  Oh, we have to leave this place!”

“Zing, the tree was already dead. Can’t you see, it’s only a stump?  A tall stump, but still. It’s dead.  It has no nerves.  It cannot feel what is being done.”

Zing calmed down. He began  to examine the carvings more closely. “Zang, I can’t make out head or tail here. Do you have any idea what the carver is saying?”

“Nope. It’s not what you look at.  It’s what you see.”

Now What?

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Zing stood invisibly at the “Nature Table,” studying  the bits and pieces. He poked Zang on the shoulder.
“What is the purpose of this collection?  We saw pictures of these creatures in our studies, but nothing is alive here. Why do earth people collect  dead things from their oceans?”

“Hmm.  Probably because they do not have our capacity to go deep into their oceans and stay there long enough to study the lifespan of such creatures.”

“They are quite a helpless race.”

“They surely couldn’t live among Zerkonians and go without notice. We’d spot them miles away.”


Just for Nice

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Zing sighed, shaking his head at the strange sight.  He knew they were called umbrellas, but he didn’t understand why the were way up there when all the people were way down here, and it wasn’t even raining.  His logical mind could make no sense of it.

Zang on the other hand, was entranced. “It’s just for pretty,  Zing.  It’s nice to look at.  Like flowers floating down from the sky; like children’s lollipops in the sky; like a bouquet of flowers  floating overhead.”  He loved the colors.

“It’s not practical. It’s just pretty,” Zang said.



Zing and Zang Return

NOTE:  Zing and Zang are two aliens I created and wrote many stories about for Friday Fictioneers.  It’s been a while since I last visited them, and today’s prompt was perfect for bringing them back to life.  You can read all the stories, if you wish, by clicking on Zing and Zang Stories in my Categories.



  1. (especially in science fiction) transport or be transported across space and distance instantly.
     Image result for teleport
“You know, Zang, I was wondering if Linda had finished with us.  It’s been a long time since she reported on our activities.”
“Yes, I was wondering the same thing.  Thought maybe we’d done something to irritate her. Or maybe Earth People just lost interest. Feels good to be dusted off and useful again.”
“Right.  But do you think Earth People understand about teleportation?  After all, they look at it as nothing more than science fiction. They have no idea that we’ve been home to Zekon with Zinnia.”
“No, you’re right.  I don’t think they get it at all.  They’d probably be terrified if they knew how we travel. Odd that they haven’t wondered before now how we manage to be in so many places in such a short period of time.
“And by the way, is there any news from Zinnia?”
“She has a new assignment on the other edge of the galaxy.  She always gets stuck shepherding the newbies  like us.  That has to get old after a while.  But she does a good job. She sure helped us!”
“For sure.   Hmmmm.  Do you remember what she looked like?”
“Are you serious?  I can hardly remember what WE look like.  We have to change into something else so often that it’s hard to keep up.  I was glad to go back home for a while, just so I could stay in my own body while we were there.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean.  Human bodies aren’t very comfortable for me.  Having only two legs?  Awkward! and NO  antennae!  Honestly, I don’t know how they stay alive as long as they do, with their limited sensory capabilities.”
“Hey, we’d better get busy  before Linda decides to call it a day.  She won’t have anything to report if we don’t get moving.  Where are we headed today?”
“Some place cooler than here, I hope.  I don’t know how Earth People survive these infernal temperatures!”