Here is the very first story from my Tales from the Afterworld series. Please see my notes after the story for further details.

Back For More by Andres Diaz

Copyright 2018
The city of Gaia, Kenya, Earth
Mid Thirty First Century C.E.

Nanette Pahlavi, sat at her desk working when her aide burst through the door with two armed men.

“Madam President, she’s back,” was all the aide needed to say.

“I’ll handle her,” Nanette said as she stood up from her desk. Reaching into the middle drawer of the desk, she pulled out a rectangular piece of metal about six inches long.

“But Madam President,” the aide began to say. He stopped talking when he saw the serious look on Nanette’s face.

“I’ll be back,” Nanette said confidently. Exiting the office she took the elevator down to the building’s lobby. Walking into the waiting area she saw a very attractive, middle aged Greek woman sitting in a chair reading a magazine.

“Back for more, Medusa?” Nanette asked.

“Your choice of magazines suck,” Medusa said dismissively as she tossed the magazine on to the table in front of her.

“There’s no one in the gymnasium at this time of night,” Nanette said.

“I hope you moved the nice statues I made you the last time I was here. They’re only going to get in the way while I’m killing you,” said Medusa as she got up out of her chair.

“You mean try to,” Nanette said coldly.

Both women walked side by side towards the gymnasium.

“So what’s it like being the President of the United Earth?” asked Medusa.

“Small talk, Medusa? What do you care?” asked Nanette clearly annoyed.

“I was just wondering what the job is like. Whoever kills the President becomes the President, right?”

“That’s not how democracy works,” answered Nanette, even more annoyed.

“Democracy? Are you pathetic humans still doing that?” Medusa asked dismissively as both women entered the gymnasium.

“Arm yourself,” ordered Nanette as she held out the rectangular piece of metal. Squeezing it tightly, a blade unfolded itself and the metal turned into a sword. Medusa held her hand out in front of her and revealed a sword in her hand as well.

Both women fought fiercely but Nanette had the advantage. She was tired of Medusa’s games and wanted to end her once and for all. She kicked Medusa, sending her sprawling on the floor.

“How did you improve so quickly?” Medusa asked in disbelief.

“I’ve been training with Miyamoto Musashi,” answered Nanette. She saw the fear in Medusa’s eyes and saw her start to glow. Nanette knew Medusa was scared by the knowledge that one of the greatest warriors from history had been teaching her how to fight.

As Medusa turned into her Gorgon form, Nanette pulled her hijab down to cover her eyes. Medusa was fast, but Nanette was an expert at following people’s movements by sound alone. Medusa charged at Nanette, but she was able to block and parry several strikes before Medusa lost her temper and swung her sword wildly. Nanette was prepared for it and effortlessly ducked under Medusa’s swing. Medusa backed off, but had nowhere to hide and was unable to sneak up on Nanette, in the enormously empty room.

Medusa tried to slip out one of the doors, only to find it locked. Every door she tried was locked.

“You want the game to continue, don’t you?” Nanette asked.

“Let’s leave this room, you have the advantage over me, here,” Medusa stated.

“There’s only one door you haven’t tried yet and it’s unlocked. It’s on my left,” said Nanette as she pointed towards the door. Medusa slithered over to it and tried to open it. Pounding on the door, she roared with frustration,

“You said it wasn’t locked!”

Medusa froze in fear as she heard Nanette whisper in her ear,

“You’re supposed to pull, not push.”

Nanette leapt back while swinging her sword, decapitating the Gorgon. After kicking Medusa’s lifeless body so it fell over her severed head, Nanette lifted her hijab over her eyes. Pulling out her phone she called up to her office and told them Medusa was dead.

Author’s notes

Tales from the Afterworld is a collection of short stories, microfiction and books that will explore a world, one thousand years in the future, where humanity is still working to get back on its feet, after almost getting exterminated by a hostile alien species. The gods and goddesses from ancient mythology returned to the World of the Living, bringing with them the souls of various famous historical figures to help defeat the aliens and rebuild the Earth. Even though the gods have tried to keep their presence a secret from the general population, they sometimes let select people know of their existence. My stories featuring Medlow Staur take place in the same universe and the same time frame as Tales from the Afterworld. There will be crossovers between the two in the future as well.

In this story, Nanette Pahlavi is the President of the planet Earth and has to deal with multiple assassination attempts by Medusa. I don’t really give any backstory to the fight or how the feud began. I just had a cool idea and ran with it. Nanette has been fully aware of the gods existence since childhood and worked with them and was trained in various skills and disciplines over the years. Even though she knows gods of ancient mythology exist, she just thinks of them as superheroes. She is a devout Muslim and wears a hijab. I don’t mention that in the beginning of the story, I kind of wanted to surprise the reader.

I hope you enjoyed this work of microfiction and I hope you will check out my previous and future works!

Andres Diaz

Albany, NY, USA

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