Thursday, April 15, 2010

Honor the Limit

This story was supposed to be about Limits, with an added twist of a word limit of 500. If I counted right it came out at 298.


Djari was surprised to see the patrol cruiser as his skiff exited the reserve. It was probably just a random patrol, nothing to worry about. Still, he was more than a little nervous as the officer flagged him down.

"May I come aboard?"

"Uh-of course."

Djari offered the officer a hand as he stepped onto his craft. "So, how can I be of service?"

"The officer did not smile. It was then that Djari saw the insignia of a game warden. He swallowed.

"Been doing some angling?" the warden asked.

"Yes, sir, an excellent..."

"May I see your license, please?"

Djari fumbled through his things and managed to produce the license. He was glad it was current.

The warden gave it the once over. "This seems in order. Any luck today?"

Djari felt his hopes rise. He shrugged, trying to be non-chalant. "A few keepers."

"I'd love to see them."


"Is this your live well?"

Djari tried to stop him, but the warden hit the button and the lid to the live well sprang open. Inside were four human bodies, each in its own compartment. The warden scowled.

Djari yelped. "I can explain."

"Citizen," the warden said, his voice harsh, "Are you aware that there is a monthly limit of two humans allowed to be taken from this planet?"

"Really? I..."

"In addition, the child there is obviously too small. It is impossible it measures 14 karnaks."

"I didn't have a measuring device."

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your catch and release them back to the planet. You have their abduction coordinates?"

Djari sighed. "Yes."

"Good. Due to this oversight I'm going to fine you 3000 doftali and restrict your activity on Earth to Martians."

"But the Martians are so...tame."

"Be that as it may," the warden said, processing the ticket. "Maybe next time you'll honor the limit."