O 2019Orogeny, or mountain building, featured as my A to Z for O in 2015. This year my theme is flashbacks. I’m picking out posts from the seven A to Zs I’ve done before.

Wednesday 17th is supposed to be the publishing date for my Write-Edit-Publish story of the month. That’s my post for J for Jewel Box, one of the few new posts I’ve included.  Please pop over there if you haven’t seen it already.

Now back to Orogeny… both theory and fiction.

Orogeny – the 2015 post

What mad fool decided to do natural phenomena for her A to Z Challenge theme this year and still keep her Friday Flash Fiction theme?  Oh, that would be me.

OOrogeny is the process of mountain building and has nothing to do with erogenous zones!  Most mountain ranges are formed by the collision of two or more tectonic plates, the vast surfaces which move over the crust of the earth, also causing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The Andes and Rockies are formed by the Pacific plate forcing itself underneath the continental crust and making the continent shift upwards, crumpling and folding on a massive scale.

The Himalaya is formed by the movement of the Indian plate, once part of Gondwana, smashing against the Eurasian plate and moving underneath it to make it a plateau (diagram from sites.google.com but unknown original source).

Formation_himalaya_mountains orogeny

The Alps are the result of the movement north of the African continental crust, and the Mediterranean Sea a product of the squashing and folding as well.


How on earth to make a short story out of that?  Ah!  My asteroid miners Pete and the Swede to the rescue. This might not be suitable for younger readers.

'These orogenous zones - how sensitive are they?' Lars didn’t mind the whole ship hearing him. #flashfiction #viridianseries #atozchallenge O for Orogeny - mountain building #geology Share on X


“So if you touch it there, and move it like that …  Oh, I see!  That’s, er, impressive.”

Maggie glanced in at the miners, Lars and Pete. They said they’d be doing a planet survey, not larking about. She continued preparing something edible from the space rations.  It was her first time on one of their general planet scouting trips, and she took her responsibility for the group’s cuisine seriously.  Bawdy laughter erupted from Lars, while Pete protested that it wasn’t that funny.

Boys, Maggie thought, shaking her head.  These guys were her best clients, but they still had one-track minds.

“So these orogenous zones – how sensitive are they?” Lars didn’t mind the whole ship hearing him.

“You have to be a bit careful.  A little pressure can have a huge reaction.” Pete was quieter, as usual.

The pair of them could have the decency to keep their man talk down now we girls are on board, Maggie thought.

“And that curved bit there…”

“Treat it with great respect,” Pete said firmly.

“What about heat?”

“Probably an algal bloom, in time; a rosy glow, reddening in the fissures.”

Maggie banged the bowls down on the counter. They could stop this talk right now.  It was okay in the bedroom, but not when they were supposed to be working.  She threw their portions of the meal into the bowls and stomped through to the control room, grateful for the full gravity they kept on board.  She shoved the bowls onto the console in front of each of them.

“Thanks, Maggie,” said Pete, reaching to give her waist a squeeze.  She skipped out of his way.

“None of that dirty talk at mealtimes, thank you!”

“What dirty talk?”

“Don’t you act the innocent with me!  All that talk of erogenous zones.”

Pete looked blank, and turned to look at Lars.  Lars looked at Maggie and burst into laughter.  Pete’s face changed and he too rocked with glee.

“Orogenous zones, Maggie.  O-rogenous… places where mountains are growing on the planet below us.”

Maggie’s righteous heat turned to a pink flush that burned her cheeks and ran all the way down her neck.

Pete gathered her back to his side and whispered in her ear. “S’ok, Maggie… I’ll check out the other sort with you later.”

© J M Pett 2015

flashbackfriday logoFirst published 17th April 2015.

You can join in our Flashback Friday meme any time you like – check the details here.

See the adventures of Lars, Pete, Maggie, Dolores and Aramintha in the Viridian System series – check them here.

Orogeny: Flash Fiction + link to #WEP post #AtoZChallenge
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6 thoughts on “Orogeny: Flash Fiction + link to #WEP post #AtoZChallenge

  • 17 April, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Might be educational for younger readers :O

    • 18 April, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      Education through fiction… whatever next!

  • 17 April, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Poor Maggie – but the situation made me laugh.

    • 18 April, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      🙂 Maggie puts up with a lot, poor woman.

  • 20 April, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Jemima, I love how funny this misunderstanding of similar-sounding words was in your fictional story. I totally got Maggie’s anger. Clever way to combine both challenges!

    • 26 April, 2019 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks, Denise 🙂 I love puns, or malapropisms!

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