Journey to the Core

Ajax Seven launched with a scream of drill bit tearing through surface crust. The Core was an estimated sixteen hours directly below, along the central axis of Ajax’s drill.

Seven hours into the trip the ship lurched violently and the drill shriek intensified by an order of magnitude.

“Stop it! Kill it, or the gears will grind themselves to dust without resistance,” Captain Gustafson ordered.

“Did we strike some sort of air pocket, sir? A steam vent?” asked Briggs.

Gustafson waited patiently for the fog around the forward cameras to clear.

“A worm. Coddling moth larvae are common in apples.”

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100 words. In response to this week’s Picture It & Write prompt:

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Rough work

“Well, he’s a billionaire.”

Leala leaned on the bar and toyed with her drink.

“He sends me all over the world, I’ve got a generous expense account, travel first class, and stay at the best hotels. I gotta admit, I have had worse jobs,” she grinned.

“You’re an art appraiser?” Dan asked.

“I have Masters in Art History from Swarthmore, ASA and ISA certifications, so it’s the salary I demand. Watterston isn’t interested in collecting old masters or fine art, really. His tastes are eclectic,” Leila replied.

“He’s into odd sculptures from unknowns?”

“He’s into everything. I’ve purchased armor, cannons, even a tall-masted ship for Watterston. It was fun to research; I didn’t know a damned thing about boats.”

“So the nautical angle explains his interested in this piece?” Dan said, tapping the photo of the Anchor sculpture.

“No, I don’t think so. Most of the art he chooses has some sort of personal connection for him. I can’t figure out what this one means to him.”

Dan smiled slowly, and ordered another round. “Watterston has ex-wives, right?”

Leala blinked. “Yes, I think so.”

“By any chance would he refer either as the ‘old boat anchor’?”

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198 words. Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

A pair of Anchors