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By Johnny Blue

GENRE: Sci-fi
LOGLINE: Armageddon. With a burb, not a bang.


An examination of the "Second deadly sin"


Through the Tear


Johnny Blue [2013]

Sam Burke tentatively stretched out his arm into the air; seconds before he had witnessed something impossible, a tear had opened in the space just above him. As he moved his fingers back and forth where the opening had occurred, he muttered to himself "I must be going nuts".
Sam didn't really believe he was going nuts, because when the rip in the air opened up, a shining container fell through it. A silver tube about three feet long and two foot wide, it lay in the long grass just off the opposite side of the path where he stood.

Sam looked around in the faint hope that one of the dog walkers who frequented Chine Meadows would be out this early. No, the doggie people never showed up before seven thirty in the morning; one of the reasons he liked to come out early. Sam looked at his watch, six forty-two. He looked at the shiny cylinder in the flattened grass. Sam didn't think he was a coward but he knew he wasn't particularly brave either. He would have really liked one of those dog walkers to show up about now, even the crazy lady with the Great-Dane; anybody.
The cell-phone, of course. Sam reached into his jacket pocket for the phone his daughter Jennifer had given him last Christmas,

I know you don't like "the newfangled junk" dad but I worry about you. You're not getting any younger you know. What if you're in an emergency or something?”

Sam pressed and held the little green telephone icon on the dial pad; the way Jennifer had shown him. The small screen responded but not the way it had done at Christmas or when Jennifer made him turn it on at the beginning of the summer.

“Dad it’s no good having this thing if you don’t turn it on and carry it with you. Really dad, come on!”

So he had put the phone on the table by the door and popped it in his pocket whenever he left the house. Sooner or later he’d remember to turn it on each time as well.
This time it didn’t play the annoying little tune, it didn’t show him the picture of himself and Jenny in Santa hats; it looked like the picture on the TV when there’s no picture. All scrambly and what did they call it? White noise?
“Newfangled junk” said Sam as he stuck the useless phone back in his pocket.

The silver tube began to make a humming sound. Sam looked toward it and as he did it seemed to disappear; no, not disappear, melt. Where there had been a solid looking object seconds before, there was a mound of white goo.
It was like a big pile of semolina pudding the kind his Mum made when he was a youngster in England.
Something in the goo/pudding started to move; a wormy thing it slithered down the mound toward Sam. When it reached the grass Sam could see it more clearly. It was about four inches long and maybe two in circumference; it wasn’t exactly a worm or a slug; and definitely not a snake. It looked like it was made of soft shinny cheese.

“Wow” said Sam when he saw the little creature had a face. It reminded him of ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ from the American comic books he grew up reading. It was kinda’ cute.
Behind the little ‘Casper’ thing the mound was really moving now. Hundreds, maybe thousands of little ‘Casper’s,’ each identical to the next, were skittering onto and through the grass.
The first little creature had reached the toe of Sam’s boot. Sam looked at the big eyed smile on its face. Again he thought it's so cute. He felt comforted by its presence; he reached down and laid his open palm on the ground.

"Hey little guy, come on I won't hurt you"

The small creature wiggled toward Sam's hand, as it reached his fingers it's tiny smiling mouth opened to an astonishing ten times its original size.
In less than a second Sam's right arm was gone from finger tip to shoulder. Before his mind could grapple with the absurdity and horror of the attack, four more of the deadly 'Casper's' were at his feet their enormous mouths opening.
The original attacker and three of his colleagues took a fraction more than two-seconds to devour Samuel William Burke entirely. The forth, would be, attacking 'Casper' was caught in the cross-fire of the feeding frenzy and was gobbled up as swiftly as, and in conjunction with Sam.

None of the dog walkers made it to Chine Meadows that morning; indeed Chine Meadows would never again be visited by dogs or walkers. The spot where Sam Burke first saw the tear in the atmosphere above his head, was the epicenter for the coming devastation of all human and animal life on planet earth.
From Chine Meadows in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, the Toomblat (the name of the creatures Sam thought looked like Casper) moved with great speed, east, west, north and south.
Southward they unconsciously divided into almost equal numbers across the land and through the water of the Great Lakes.
Less than two weeks after their appearance on the planet the entire length of the eastern seaboard of North America was devoid of human and animal life.
As they fed they flourished. The Toomblat population increased rapidly.
They reproduced asexually, like starfish, unlike starfish each of the Toomblat was capable of spawning a fully grown version of its self every three or four days; and they all did.
They ate their way south to Tierra del Fuego and north to Ellesmere Island. Many of them took to the oceans joined by their brethren when the land had been picked clean.
They moved like two gigantic schools of fish through the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and converged on Europe and Africa at roughly the same time.
As they wend their way throughout the lands and seas of the planet, they fed on everything, from humans to insects. Their living meals offered no resistance, due to the aura of serenity the Toomblat exuded.
They sought out their food in every possible location; mountain top to ocean floor, jungles to deserts.They consumed everything they found in cities, towns, villages, open fields and hidden government installations.
In seven weeks, four days, eleven hours, twenty minutes and twenty-one seconds, give or take; the only life remaining on Earth consisted of plants and microbes. The Toomblat had no appetite for vegetation or sub-atomic beings, that were not attached to a larger meal.
When they had exhausted the ready stock of rations Planet Earth provided, they did what they had done in all of the previous experiments, that they had been the subjects of, they ate each other.

The last Toomblat on Earth died of starvation exactly three weeks after the last creature native to the planet (an albatross) had been eaten.


The Other Side of the Tear

Scientist one: "Why would you conduct a new Toomblat experiment on Earth One? Considering Earth One itself was a viable ongoing project."

Scientist two: "There was a slight misunderstanding, we should have targeted Earth Two. I hope the outcome isn't an inconvenience for your own work."

Scientist one: "Somewhat, though not greatly so. The Earth One project will continue."

Scientist two: "I reviewed some of the recent observations you made, concerning the Earth One experiment. It would seem we have inadvertently granted the wishes of a large number of Earth One's homo sapiens"

Scientist one: "What do you mean by that?"

Scientist two: "I mean by eradicating Earth One of humans, we have "saved the planet,"

Scientist one: "Hmm"


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