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!”

Earth Customs

(I missed all of you last week.  It was very busy with my family here from Germany, and I was just worn out. Just had no energy to write about that prosthetic limb, but I’m sure it would have made a good Zing and Zang story.  I think I’m back on track now 🙂  )


“Oh NO!  This is too horrible! How can these earth people treat each other in such a terrible  way!  I want to go home!”  Zing trembled with fear and horror as he gazed at the cage.

Zang was a bit more brave. “Zinnia, what is this about?  What are those grinning heads hanging from the branch?”

Zinnia spoke softly. “This is Halloween. That is not a real person, but only a dummy. Soon, small children will go around collecting treats from their neighbors. It is called Halloween. Celebrating their dead.  Strange, indeed.Grotesque and bizarre.”

A New Experience


The scream  brought  Zing and Zang bolt upright in their beds, trembling with fear.

“Zinnia!  ZINNIA!  Something is in terrible pain out there!  What should we do?” Zing was so paralyzed with fear he could barely whisper.

The unearthly scream came again. “Here’s a new experience for the two of you.  That is only a ridiculous, harmless bird called a peafowl. It has a huge tail that is quite beautiful when it’s fanned out.  I believe it waits until everyone is sleeping, then lets out that awful noise.

“Now go to sleep!”

Zing and Zang and Art

(We’re back from our trip to South Dakota. The flight home was tiring.  You can read about it here  if you like.  Anyway, I should be able to read all posts this week.  I was surprised at how much I missed being able to do that!  And–I thought this was a good prompt for bringing Zing and Zang back into play  🙂  )



PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“All those arches make me dizzy,” complained Zing. “Why do earth people make their buildings so huge?  Wasteful, it seems to me!”

Zang gave him a long look.  ‘You know, Zing, it seems you can find nothing to do but to complain, lately.  Just look at how beautiful the sculptures are! Look at the detail in those arches!  Look at the tasteful way the plants are used indoors!  I LOVE this place!”

“You two just make my tired ache,” grumbled Zinnia.  “Why I drew this assignment, I’ll never know. NOT my lucky day!


Evil Empire


“No!  We can’t go there!” Zang’s eyes were big and round with fear as he gazed up to what looked like an evil robot. “Look at its eyes!  They’re crossed!  Surely a sign of evil,” he insisted.

“I agree,” declared Zing, boldly holding his ground. “Zinnia/Peony, whoever  you are, we’re NOT going there!”

Zinnia sighed. “You two are trying my patience. You’ll do as  you’re told.  It’s nothing but a building. I have things to show you in there.  No harm will come. Those are NOT eyes, you silly boys. It’s just the way the lights are shining.  Come on!”

What’s Fun?


Zing, Zang, and Zinnia (oh, yes–Peony had told them her Zekonian name) got settled into the ramshackle old house. Assuming the form of human children, they explored outdoors.

“It’s pleasant,” commented Zing. “I like grass. But what is that  piece of equipment with the chains?”

“Zing, you’re too curious!”  Zang was cranky.

“It’s a game humans play,” said Zinnia. “See those plastic discs in the basket? They toss the discs into the chains and get a score when the discs drop into the basket.”

“But why?” asked Zing.

“Just for fun, Zing. It’s called Frisbee.”

“Fun?”  Zang grumped. “What’s that?”


A Hideout

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

“This is. . . . . .sad,” remarked Zing. “It has been neglected.  Why do you want us to stay here?”

Peony was patient. “Because it’s neglected. No one knows who owns it. No one does any upkeep.  The yard is overgrown, the house needs painting, and the windows are so dirty no one can see  what’s going on inside.  It’s perfect.”

“But, Peony, you can see there is no power for lights, or cooking. Or heat. What about that?”

“You two are going to need to learn to trust me.  If you’ll cooperate, I promise I’ll tell you my Zekonian name. Follow me.”