TWA #12 – OOPAs Battle Thread

“Discs of Gold” by Tony Southcotte


“The London Hammer” by Tomi Wiley


ufoHere we go, short story lovers! This week the arena brings you two tales of out of place artifacts. We asked our authors to do some story telling to explain away one of the mysterious artifacts found on this page.

Tony Southcotte gives us his take on where The Dropa Stones came from:

In 1938, an expedition led by archaeologist Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula in China made an astonishing discovery. Nearby caves held traces of the ancient culture which once occupied them. Buried by the dusts of time, hundreds of stone disks lay scattered about the cave’s interior. Nothing too spectacular you may think, but the disks turned out to be eerily similar to phonograph records — nine inches in diameter, a circle cut into their centers and an obvious spiral groove. They are believed to be more than 10,000 years old. But the spiral, as it turns out, is composed of tiny hieroglyphics. When studied and translated, it was revealed that the discs tell the amazing story of spaceships that crashed into the mountains, piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa.


Go read his offering of “Discs of Gold.”

In the other corner, Tomi Wiley chimes in with her steamy explanation of The London Hammer:

In June 1936 Max Hahn and his wife Emma were on a walk when they noticed a rock with wood protruding from its core. They decided to take the oddity home and later cracked it open with a hammer and a chisel. Ironically, what they found within seemed to be an archaic hammer of sorts. A team of archaeologists checked it, and as it turns out, the rock encasing the hammer was dated back more than 400 million years (there is some question regarding that dating though); the hammer itself turned out to be more than 500 million years old, according to the same measurement. Apparently it’s so old that a section of the handle has begun the transformation to coal. Creationists, of course, were all over this. The hammer’s head, made of more than 96% iron, is far more pure than anything nature could have achieved without an assist from technology.


Finally the arena has some hot alien action in her story, “The London Hammer.”

Read! Comment! Enjoy! Discuss!

We have two judges that will render their decision by Friday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors aren’t allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Friday.

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On a side note, we are paying our authors a base level rate at the moment, but if you really enjoyed their story and want to help us make sure these awesome people get paid, please donate below. 75% goes to the author, the rest goes to keeping this place up and running.

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  1. I think this is the toughest challenge yet. Generally, when the prompt goes up I can come up with one or two viable ideas, often pretty quickly. This week, for lulz, I decided I’d brainstorm a few. I’m a lifelong Fortean, this sort of thing should be easy.


    I got nuthin’.

    I didn’t want to be beaten, so I wracked by brain and eventually came up with a neat little idea about…oh, wait, what I’d actually done is stolen one of Terry Pratchett’s ideas, which he used in Strata. Bugger.

    I tried again, and after a few hundred words recognised it as an idea Douglas Adams had used.

    So after a week, I got nuthin’.

    My hat goes off to Tony and Tomi, who actually had ideas and actually wrote stories .

    • I think that was the hardest part of this. The ideas just never took. I bounced around from each. In the end I chose the Dropa idea just because it had the least amount of real details behind it. I could fudge some details and make it into something else.

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