Short Fiction: Protected Species by Horace Brown Fyfe

Well, October has been a bit of a busy month for me. I had this grand plan to write posts each week about zombies . . . so obviously what I should do is write one Zombie post (see last week) and then write about  something completely different.


Ok. This week’s short fiction post is about Horace Brown Fyfe’s Protected Species. I’m really excited about this piece because I feel like my exposure to it was the easiest, most natural, maybe even organic, way to find a short story ever. It was really quite simple, yet at the same time quite refreshing. I’ve been doing lots of reading lately and it all seems to be very targeted. Read X work to get a baseline for Y genre. Wikipedia the bio for author A and try to extrapolate the inspiration for novel B. Blah Blah Blah. And that isn’t to say I’m not enjoying it, it’s just that I build up these things to much in my mind. Fyfe’s piece was different. I picked it on accident. The story goes something like this:

Act I

JD (me) attends Capclave 2013 (WHOO!!). JD meets lots of authors and listens to many different pieces. He shakes his head appreciatively. He wanders around the Hilton in search of food and soda. After food and soda have been procured, he ventures into the dealer’s room determined NOT to buy anything! After talking with the first man he encounters he decides to buy two Science Fiction anthologies because a) he is interested in Science Fiction and b) he wants the man to stop talking to him. He leaves the dealer’s room and runs into an author he’d like to promote on A&A. The anthologies are forgotten.

Act II

JD (me again) leaves work Friday but leaves his Kindle at his desk as not to lose it during whatever adventure he may procure during the weekend. JD then adventures all weekend! He does not return to work until Monday morning. He’s borrowed his parent’s vehicle for transportation and thus has not noticed the Kindle’s absence. Alas, he’s foiled by his own cleverness. The Kindle is too well hidden and he again forgets to bring it home with him . . . 

Tuesday morning arrives and JD is escorted to his residence just outside the college. He has exactly enough time to unlock his door, gather the supplies needed for a day of hard toil, and catch his transport to the college. He has no more or less than time than needed; he has just enough. In fact, a Swiss watch maker might learn a great deal about precision from the events here transpired but alas, I digress. With his supplies gathered he reaches to his desk for his Kindle. Where is it?! No! It is his desk at work, not at home, that contains the device. Jd grabs whatever resembles a book on his desk at home and throws it into his pack, already in pursuit of the transport that will take him to the college.


Once safely aboard the vessel, JD reaches into his pack to find the item he procured off his desk is in fact one of the anthologies he has recently purchased at Capclave 2013 (Whoo!!). He opens the volume to the table of contents, selects H. B. Fyfe’s Protected Species (at random, he has not heard of any of the authors contained within this work) and reads happily ever after.

The End

Wow. Maybe I should become an author myself. That was simply riveting. Anyway, back to Protected Species. I really can’t say much about it except for the fact that I enjoyed it immensely. To say much more will likely give away the twist, which I don’t want to do. What I can tell you is that it takes place on a planet that isn’t Earth (if you’re wondering, yes you can deduce that the story takes place in the future and that we are exploring other planets). The main character is Jeff Otis and he has come to the planet to check the progress of its colonization. Everything is on schedule but he is perturbed by the worker’s attempts to hunt and kill a primitive ape-like species. He encounters one for himself. There is a startling revelation.

Please go read this one for yourself. It’s really short.

Bye all. Hope this was a fun post!

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