A To Z Challenge N: ¡No Más!

I am officially admitting defeat in the A To Z Challenge. I alluded to this possibility in a previous post when I first started. My life is in shambles right now. I have a lot going on. I had to go out of town for a couple weekends. One right at the beginning of the challenge and last weekend. I inherited a lot of furniture, which are all upgrades. Anything that wasn’t an upgrade got donated or trashed. So, the house is chaos.

I live with my best friend in her house. We moved in just as a family she knew needed a place to stay. We all moved in at once. Things got put in places for convenience and never moved. They were here for about four months. That was a few years ago.

One of the many things I got was a new desk. It wasn’t inherited, but that’s a different story. Someone’s moving and gave it to me at the same time. I piled it in the U-Haul on top of all the furniture I inherited. I thought it would be nice to have a desk that wasn’t primarily composed of particle board. Parts of my old desk disintegrated in the rain when we moved in. I wanted it in my bedroom where my other one was. I got it in there and tried to put it back together yesterday. It didn’t come close to fitting.

My bed room is becoming an office. My friend paints, so her painting studio is moving out of the living room into the newly minted office. My exercise room is becoming my bedroom, which it was initially supposed to be after everybody else moved out. I’m hoping there’s still room for my exercise equipment and space to use it. The dining room is going to become a dining room. Imagine that.

In the meantime, everything is out of place. My desk is sitting in there in pieces with my bed and a really heavy dresser that’s facing the wall and blocking the doorway. There are books all over the floor in two different rooms. The empty book cases don’t look right of fit anywhere I can think to put them. There are boxes full of stuff that keep getting moved from room to room to room and back and back and back. I’m stuck with a dresser I didn’t want because it’s in what’s becoming my room and there’s nowhere else for it to go. Everything that moves necessitates moving something else. It’s like moving but worse because things are already in the way.

I’m using the dining room table as a desk right now. I’m surrounded by chairs, a dresser, a coffee table, shelves of DVDs, leaves for the dining room table, books on the floor, two TVs, a random stool, a cabinet full of video games, and a box full of James Brown, Lou Seal, and ET among other random objects.

The garage is full of old furniture, new furniture, and stuff we’re trying to organize for a community garage sale at the beginning of next month. That’s on top of the garage’s normal chaos. The car can’t fit in there. I can’t get to my weight bench that lives in there. I’m probably way too physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted to use it anyway.

In addition to that chaos, I found a dying rabbit in the gutter in front of my house this morning. It survived some kind of animal attack to die in a gutter. I’m still waiting for animal control to get here. It’s been over an hour. I have a blood donation appointment, that I’ve already rescheduled, and a dentist appointment next week. We won’t even get into my personal life, which is literally so personal that it’s just me sitting alone in the dark with my computer.

The point of all that is I don’t have time to write. Writing is all I want to do other than form some semblance of a personal life. I’m going to try to still do my normal weekly challenges, but I don’t know. I did start an M story. I hope to finish that and get it up. This is my N, and I’m pretty sure N was yesterday. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and want to finish, but it’s not happening.

Thank you to everybody who read my stories. I’m sorry I didn’t make it out to read more of other people’s, but, you know, this. You can read the rest of my A To Z Challenge stories.

I hope this came out more coherent than my house.

The garbage truck is here. The rabbit is lying next to the garbage can. I hope they don’t smash it. I can’t look.

A To Z Challenge: Lambads

Keep up with all the amazing installments of the A To Z Challenge. Yes, that does sound kind of bossy. Sorry. It’s more of a suggestion than a command. Do it! If you want.

I wanted this to be a comprehensive understanding of the enemies of The L Squad. I don’t have time for that. It will be a minor miracle if this is complete and coherent.

I wrote this in about 15 on my phone with a headache, no sleep, and a lot to do today. It should be much better, but I don’t have time.


Nasga was a beautiful planet. It was warm, in climate and spirit, and inviting. Nasga welcomed people from all over the universe. Some came as tourists. Some came as immigrants. Some came as tourists but converted to immigrants.

That all changed when The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom invaded. He easily conquered the peaceful planet. He enslaved any who opposed him.

The Nasgans, the original natives of the planet, didn’t know how to deal with an extraterrestrial threat or any threat. They quickly acquiesced.

From then on, Nasga was called LambaBad, and the Nasgans were Lambads, agents of evil.

In case you’ve missed them, all my A To Z Challenge writings are gathered and streamlined for reading convenience.

Rushing right along, here’s K. I might not even have time for tomorrow’s. L may be late and lame or completely left out. I have to go out of town for a ridiculously rushed, busy weekend. Only time will tell if I have time. I already rushed through this one. The potential typos will haunt me.


The heart monitor flatlined. The patient stopped responding. It was over. There was nothing left to do.

Kip curled up on Kip’s cot trying not to wet the bed. Yortian tears are serious business.

I hate to strip down a species to a few attributes, but for comprehension purposes, I should explain that Yortians are eyeballs with arms and legs. That is a ridiculously simplified explanation. I know how bereft humans are of their knowledge of other people and cultures, especially Yortians.

Captain Grek knew something was amiss. Kip was the best shot in all of R.A.D. Kip was a quick learner and excelled at Kip’s medical training. For some reason, when the other Yortians were around, Kip’s accuracy suffered. Kip’s abilities as a medic seemed to disappear. Captain Grek didn’t know what to do about it. Kip was incredibly skilled but was heading for the squad reserved for the worst performers.

Another day of training had ended badly for Kip. Kip only hit 54% of Kip’s targets and let a medical training dummy die. Kip was the subject of subtle mockery from the other Yortians. The optic capabilities of the Yortians allowed them to mock Kip without any other refugee noticing. Kip was a light iris, which, based on an archaic superstition, was inferior to darker irises. Kip was a refugee among refugees, an outcast among outcasts.

The next morning, Kip was awakened by a tap on the door.

“Hey, Kip. I’m Hitch. You’re with me today.”


“Captain Grek broke us into squads. You’re on my squad.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

“There’s no time for that feeling sorry for yourself bullcheese.”

“What’s bullcheese?”

“You don’t want to know. Let’s go. I’ll meet you out there.”

“Are you sure you want me on your squad?”

“I don’t have a choice.”


“Captain Grek gave me the outcasts, the misfits. You’ll fit right in.”

“I don’t fit in anywhere.”

“You’ll fit in here. The rest of Rad already gave up on us. They don’t expect anything from us. You’re part of something special, now. We’ll show them. We’ll show them all.”

That day, Kip hit every target and saved three dying dummies. It was the first time Kip felt at home since Kip left Yort.

A To Z Challenge: Laura Juarez

Catch up on all my previous installments here.

For today’s installment of the A To Z Challenge, we’re going by Laura’s surname. This is a look into some of the anti-alien sentiment that still exists around the time of the refugee’s release from quarantine. This is a precursor to one of my favorite chapters in The L Squad. I got weird, which is fun. Here’s the world’s introduction to Laura Juarez.

Laura Juarez

A phone smashed into the wall as Laura Juarez entered her boss’s office. She jumped and winced and considered leaving. She didn’t just want to leave the room and the building but the job. She thought of quitting many times, but this was her dream job. She followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. Journalist was the only job for her. She would have preferred to be employed by a network other than FBS, but they’re the network that gave her a chance.

“Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman asked. Yes, it is quite the coincidence that he’s Laura’s boss, and his name is Mr. Laurasbossman. I think it’s Icelandic.

“Heard?” Laura asked, trying to suppress a cough. The cigar smoke made the room look like a dirty cloud.

“The aliens. Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman repeated, cryptically.

“What about the aliens?” asked Laura Juarez.

“They’re being released. They’re freeing them from quarantine,” said Mr. Laurasbossman.

“Do you want me to do a report?” asked Laura. “I could interview some of the aliens and welcome them to our planet.”

“I want you to do a report,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “I want a report on the dangers of these aliens. I want them portrayed as vicious and blood-sucking. Tell the world about the diseases they carry.”

“If any of that were true, they wouldn’t be released from quarantine,” said Laura Juarez.

“I don’t care what’s true,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “That’s our stance. That’s our story.”

“I became a journalist to report the news, not makeup stories,” said Laura. “What about the facts?”

“No one cares about the facts,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “People want sensationalism. They want to be scared. More importantly, they need to know that these aliens are a threat to our planet’s safety.”

“I don’t believe that,” said Laura. “I think…”

“Enough!” yelled Mr. Laurasbossman, shaking free the ash from the end of his cigar. “That is the story we’re telling. Now, go tell it or go back to whatever local news channel you escaped from before coming here.”

Laura paused. She pondered the value of her integrity. She wondered if the job of her dreams, the career she worked all her life to get was worth selling out her values and her forebearers. Rage swelled up inside her at the thought. It wasn’t worth it. The time had finally come for Laura to tell this megalomaniac what she really thought of him. He could take this job and…


Laura left and got to work on her report.

A To Z Challenge: Inept, Incorrigible

Doing the A To Z Challenge reminds me of Sesame Street every day. I. I is for intelligent, ink, isosceles, interrupt, internet, infidel, incest… So far, I think I’ve been pretty good at providing stand-alone stories that also interlink and provide some insight into the characters of The L Squad while filling in the time between The L Squad Bios and the books. Some stories have suffered from being rushed. This is hard to maintain every day. That’s why it’s a challenge.

This is the first one I feel might not work as well as a stand-alone. I’ll provide a little background. Previously on A To Z Challenge… A group of various species of aliens has escaped a tyrant and crash-landed on Earth. Following a quarantine, they have finally began preparations to defend themselves and the planet from the tyrant they’re sure will follow them. Captain Grek, the head alien in charge, has formed the Refugee Alien Defenders broken into eight divisions with each division containing multiple squads. In today’s story, Captain Grek is being questioned about his weakest squad by the other division heads. That’s why you should read them all and try to keep up.

Inept, Incorrigible

“Are you really letting Hitch have his own squad?” asked Captain MkFlooffeepence.

“The R.A.D. is your creation, but Hitch seems inept and his squad incorrigible,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Tomfoolery!” said Tomfoolery.

“Those are valid points,” said Captain Grek. “I see something in all of them that gives me hope.”

“You’re not the type to base anything on hope,” said Captain Schmargf. “What’s really going on?”

“Hitch is reckless,” said Captain Chugklet. “He’s going to cause problems if he sees action.”

“I believe I can have Hitch and his squad in shape before that happens. We’re dealing with refugees here, not soldiers,” said Captain Grek. “It’s up to us to turn them into soldiers.”

“How much time do we have to do that?” asked Captain Gronult.

“There’s no way to know, but they’re worth the time and effort,” said Captain Grek. “Even if the Lambads survived their crash with the capabilities to send messages back to LambaBad, it will take years for the messages to get there and for an invasion force to return.”

“And if they prove incapable?” asked Captain Doogleynobbz.

“I agree with Grek,” said Captain Kruwkedpinz. “They are each capable of extraordinary things. If they can come together and work as a squad, they could be among the best.”

“Exactly, George’s test flight times are off the charts,” said Captain Grek.

“When he finishes the course,” said Captain MkFlooffeepence.

“He’ll improve,” said Captain Grek. “Kip is one of the best shots we have as well as a quick study as a medic.”

“When the other Yortians aren’t around,” said Captain Schmargf.

“There’s something odd about Yortian dynamics,” said Captain Kruwkedpinz. “The others won’t be on the squad.”

“All right, but what’s going on with Abby?” asked Captain Doogleynobbz. “She always does the minimal training and seems to prefer to be alone.”

“Abby’s the most gifted scientist we have,” said Captain Grek. “You all want her in your division.”

“Yeah, in the science department, not in a squad,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“She’s the catalyst. She will make that squad live up to the potential of its members,” said Captain Grek. “Hitch needs her.”

“Is it worth risking one of our top scientists on missions?” asked Captain Chugklet.

“Her knowledge and abilities could be invaluable on a mission,” said Captain Grek. “Having her on a mission could mean the difference between success and failure. Her intelligence and quick thinking will save lives.”

“Given all their unique individual talents, wouldn’t they be assets on other squads where their abilities were brought out?” asked Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“Yeah, put Hitch under Gremenski Fhart or Chuckinstuf where he’ll get some discipline,” said Captain Schmargf. “It could work for all of them.”

“Given their abilities, what they could do as a squad could be exemplary,” said Captain Grek. “Once they learn to work together, they’ll play off each other, which will bring out the best in all of them.”

“Tomfoolery?” said Tomfoolery.

“Yeah, what about Charlie?” asked Captain Gronult. “She just appeared one day.”

“Records show she was in the infirmary for an extended period following the crash,” said Captain Grek.

“How did she end up on that squad?” asked Captain Kruwkedpinz.

“I don’t know, but given how much training she missed, it seems like the right place for her,” said Captain Grek. “For whatever reason, Abby’s performance has vastly improved since she joined the squad.”

“I hope you’re right about them,” said Captain Meestuh Squawklebolce.

“I hope they’re worth the frustration,” said Captain Doogleynobbz.

“Me too.”

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