Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy Arbitrary Time Division Turning Over Point

At Williamson, Ramsbottom & Williamson, the new intern had put in for a couple days off, and was called into Mr. Williamson’s office to explain himself.

“It’s New Years, sir.”

The only sound was the clock ticking the seconds away.

“So? What is so special about an arbitrary time division turning over point?” came the reply.

“It’s not arbitrary!”

“Young man it is indeed.”

“No it’s not! It takes about 365 days for the Earth to rotate around the sun!”

The lawyer took a long, slow breath.

“The celebration of the turning over point is the arbitrary part, young man…”

Monday, 30 December 2013


Everything he had ever known was a lie.

Well, not everything. Breathing in and out, eating, sleeping, that was all still valid. But he had lived his life by the teachings, he had believed with all his heart and mind that the Scriptures were true. They had to be, they made sense of the world.

Until he proved them wrong with a simple machine, he looked at the stars and found the writings wrong.

Some might have gone mad. Some might have gotten angry.

Instead, he gathered his tools, and set out.

He had a world of knowledge to rebuild.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Aesop 2.0: 5. Dave The Blue Whale

Dave the Blue Whale was proud that all the ocean’s creatures new him. From oyster to shark, everyone heard his song and knew who he was. He would brag that everyone was his friend since everyone knew his name and heard him sing. But then one day, as he swam and sang, Dave was harpooned by human hunters. And despite his calls and cries for help, no-one came to help him, no-one came to his rescue. As he was pulled out of the ocean, they just found another whale to listen to.

“Do not confuse number of ‘Friends’ with Friendship.”

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Jill Of All Trades

“Alexandria Jillette, Jill of all trades! I have heard you need assistance good barkeep and I am here to answer your prayers! As a bard by training I can sing, dance, play over thirty instruments, act, tell jokes or even perform more adult entertainment services for a negotiable price!

My skills also extend to running a bar, keeping accounts, cooking for one to one thousand, or anything else a bar could have want or need for!”

The barkeep stared at her for a long beat.

“I just need someone to muck out the stables.”

Another beat.

“I can do that!”

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Feelings You Feel

“Hey, you do those… Shabble things, right?”

“They’re called Drabbles, but yes. So?”

“You should totally do one on how this song is stupid.”

I listened for a few seconds.

“It sounds like just another generic pop song to me.”

“Well it is, but the starting line! ‘Love is the feeling you feel’! I mean, come on!”

I thought for a moment.

“OK, it’s a stupid line, but-“

“Stupid? I mean, like what else would it be? The feeling you smell? Come on!”

“But look, my writing is more fiction, I-“

“Do you want to keep dating?”


Yes dear.”

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho

It was a good enough life, especially once the internet came along. She lived on the island closest to the international date line, the last place on Earth it would be a date. And for 364 days, she was left alone.

But on that one day of the year, she paid her rent.

She heard the sleigh land, and composed herself. Checking her reflection, she headed out to meet him.

She bowed, then passed him the bat. She went back inside and covered her ears as he took to the lifelike models of children she had spent all year building.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

After a while, the fire truck arrived. Brett felt there was far too much discussion before a ladder was raised.

“Morning! I’m Joe, and you are?” said the female fire-fighter that climbed the ladder.

“Brett… Partridge.” he managed.

Behind the helmet he saw the smile.

“Yes yes, I’m a partridge in a pear tree, very funny, now please can you get me out of here?”

“Sorry, sorry, here we go…” she said, failing to hold back a laugh as she reached out to grab him.

Then the branch broke.

She caught him.

And they became a pair out of that…

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2 Turtle Doves

“So who can tell me what Shakespeare was talking about in this poem?”

After a moment a hand slowly rose.

“Yes young lady?”

“Love.” she said, simply

“Well almost anything can be said to be about love, what specifically about love do you mean?”

“The phoenix represents lust, and the turtle dove a more platonic love.

The lecturer regarded her carefully.

“Your tone indicates some scepticism?”

“Well, it’s just that love takes many forms, you have multiple loves in your life.”

“So you have two turtle doves in your life then?

“No, I have none of them. Several phoenixes though…”

Monday, 23 December 2013

3 French Hens

I had made it. There was just one final challenge between me and that prize money. Make a meal fit for the holidays, the judges said. Make a new twist on the festive season. And I had just the perfect, brilliant dish.

I got Chicken, Octopus and Lobster, and I stewed it in a classic French method, adding all the right seasoning to bring out all the flavors.

And they disqualified me! It wasn’t festive, there wasn’t a strong link to the season, they said!

So, of course, I slashed their tires. I mean, that’s a reasonable response, right?


Sunday, 22 December 2013

4 Calling Birds

He didn’t understand why his buddies were so insistent to know his plans. Yeah, it was his birthday, but they were going out for drinks that night, why need to know he was spending the day at home?

Just after the tutorial level, there was a knock of the door. He quickly answered and told the girl scout he wasn’t interested in buying her cookies.

A couple hours later he informed a nurse he wasn’t ill, and after that he explained he hadn’t ordered a maid service.

Luckily for him, he respected the police enough to let her come in.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

5 Golden Rings

Life is often a matter of perspective. When someone is behind the glass, the view of the outside world is distorted and warped, and isn’t what is ‘true’.

Certainly that would explain his viewpoint. Five times he had met a girl, fallen in love, and married her. And five times the relationship had broken down, and the marriage ended.

One could expect him to be bitter, to blame them, to turn on women altogether. But instead, he remained friendly with them all, and valued the lessons learned.

Sometimes it’s when you look into the glass that your perspective is off…

Friday, 20 December 2013

6 Geese a Laying

I blame that bard.

I mean, she couldn’t have known, sure, but if she’d just come into the village and rented her body, or even just danced at the tavern, that would have been fine.

But nope, she had to roll into town and sell herself as some sort of Jill of All Trades, as if she was the peak of entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong, she was funny, and she could sing, but then she had to start telling those stories to the children, and to Simple Jack.

Six geese I lost to him shoving gold down their throats…

Thursday, 19 December 2013

7 Swans a Swimming

“Huh.” she said, breaking the peaceful quiet the couple had been sharing.


“Well… You know how there’s that rhyme about magpies?”


Which one?”

“You know, one for sorrow, two for joy, so on and so forth.”


“Well, I wonder if there’s one for other birds.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Ah, shame. There’s a bunch of swans over there, thought maybe it was a good thing.”

“Well, if you want to say that…

Seven Swans means something, go right ahead.”

“OK, I will. Seeing Seven Swans means…

That the woman can propose.”

He froze, and then slowly smiled.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

8 Maids a Milking

In a Great House, there was a very strict hierarchy. Everyone knew exactly what position they were, and who was above and below them on the totem pole.

But they also all knew who really controlled the place.

At Georgefield House, it was the Housekeeper, Mrs. Smythe-Cock. She may nominally have been below the Butler, but there wasn’t a single thing that went on in any part of the household she wasn’t aware of.

So when it was discovered that the entire maid staff had been stealing, people were confused, didn’t she know?

The seven fired girls never said anything…

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

9 Ladies Dancing

The subtleties of politics and war are thought to be well understood, you can find books on those in any worthwhile library. But frankly, it’s boring. It’s all mud and blood, yelling and being last man standing. And war’s not much better.

But while all my fellow noblemen are focusing on turning powerful men’s ears, I’m being a warm companion to their poor, neglected wives. As they move across the dance floor, nine women who are married to powerful men, each and every one of them is showing off just for me.

I’ll be calling in my favors soon enough.

Monday, 16 December 2013

10 Lords a Leaping

I never wanted this much attention. During the long nights when the King’s Court would debate and argue, I wished for a brother who would have been able to take my Father’s role upon his death. But it was just me and my sisters.

But eventually, the King decreed I would be welcome to join him as the first Lady Advisor.

When I strode into the room, the other Lords sat around the table, and regarded me coldly.

“Thank you for not rising, I appreciate being treated as an equal person.”

The look on their faces as they sprung up…

Sunday, 15 December 2013

11 Pipers Piping

The wind blows cold and hard over this land. I’ve visited here for a few decades and I still haven’t got used to it. This Pictland chills you to the core.

My trading here was almost complete, with only a dozen old instruments left in my ship, when I heard the familiar cough of someone in power who wants to abuse it.

I looked up.

“I have permission from the local leaders-“ I began.

“New tax for mooring here.” said the ringleader, smirking.

Thinking quickly, I smiled.

“Of course, here I have here some Bag… I mean, Warpipes, very scary…”

Saturday, 14 December 2013

12 Drummers Drumming

I did what I had to.

I know that most people in my position say that, unless they’re claiming they were innocent. But in my case, it’s true.

As I was lead to the gallows, I heard them start. A simple drum beat, intended more for the marching soldiers heading towards the front lines. Then another began, and another, until the sound filled my ears, blocking out the priest reading my rights.

Head to the front lines, each strike of the drum said. We have to press forward.

Now that our coward general is dead, we might win…

I dropped.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Crossing Out Mistakes

She walked into her Father’s office and almost immediately crossed her arms.

“Come on Dad, we bought you that computer, why can’t you edit on that?”

He didn’t look up, focused on the script before him, pen in hand. The only movement he made was to cross out a section of the speech he was reading.

“Come on, join us in the modern world…”

No reply, just another cross drawn on the paper.

“This is silly!”

She reached out and lifted his head, forcing him to look at her.


He reached up and drew a cross on her face.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Never Ending Desert

He scooped another handful up from the floor to his left and poured it onto the table. With slow, steady strokes he brushed every grain of the fine white sand from his hands, and then gathered the grains into a pile. Then, using tweezers, he began to pick one grain up, mark the page with a count, and then drop it onto the floor to his right. To his left was sand as far as he could see, waiting to be counted. To his right, a small pile of sand, the grains he had already counted.

Truly, this was heaven.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Aesop 2.0: 4. The Laughing Hyena

The hyena found everything just so funny. The way hippos spent all day in the water was so very funny. The way elephants uprooted trees was hilarious. Every single thing about zebras sent the hyena into hysterics. But then one day the hyena spent too long laughing at the way all the other animals were running away that it didn’t notice the river rising. Once it realised it was stuck, it called out, hoping for some help to get away. But none of the other animals helped it, as the waters rose and rose.

“Respect others so they respect you.”

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pro Wrestling Sucks

Bobby stood in the dark, waiting for his music to play. His mind tended to wander at these moments. But today, it was focused on his job.

He was a professional wrestler. And thus, he was travelling almost every day of the year. He invariably had one or several injuries and pains in his body. He was constantly having to deal with politics, and annoying fans, and constantly having to watch what he ate and train every day. He decided that, all things considered, Wrestling Sucked.

But on the other hand, he could stop wrestling. That would be even worse.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Money Where Your Mouth Is

He opened the door, and found a camera crew and some people from a popular online video series.

“Hello, are you @RealTalkingJack?”

He nodded slowly.

“Well, I have here a list of tweets you directed at celebrities, all calling for them to give money they make from endorsements to charities. Do you stand by these claims?”

He nodded again.

“Well then, sign here and we’ll see about giving all of YOUR money to charities. Money where your mouth is.”

He looked the paper over, and then signed it.

They weren’t expecting that. But since he was committed later that day…

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Shutdown Consequences

She stood there, frozen in shock, as he waved the large kitchen knife in front of her. She found her voice, babbling incoherently, asking for forgiveness, pleading for him to not to go through with it.

He didn’t listen to her, as he lunged, the knife plunging into her stomach, the blood spurting over his hand, her babbling voice turning into a scream as she felt the cold steel plunge into her, her bitching and insults driving him to do it, her constant belittling of him driving him to-

“What are you doing?”

He slammed the laptop shut.

“Nothing dear.”

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Fresh Air is Good for You

For months, he’d needle him. Come hiking with me. Come camping. Share my interests in the great outdoors. Their friendship was built on being workmates and then a shared love of the local football team, but beyond that they had little in common.

But eventually, the constant pressuring would make or break the friendship. But then after the lawsuit from the customer, and the way he stood by him, he had to accept.

So there they were, in the woods. Even as the outdoorsman began to take deep breaths, his friend began to cough.

The mold spores took him first.

Friday, 6 December 2013

A Specialist Coat Shop

The sales assistant left her alone for a few minutes, but after she had picked up and put down half the rack the assistant approached.

“Hello, can I help you?”

The woman turned and began to blush.

“I uh… That is… I am looking for a… Coat.”

The assistant smiled. “Well, we have a variety of styles and colors, what sort of coat were you looking for?”

The customer kept stammering, her hands wringing together. Eventually she managed to speak.

“Well, I… My boyfriend… Birthday and… I…”

The assistant nodded wisely.

“Ah, then you’ll be wanting the Barry Allen collection…”

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tiger Body Parts

The Sergeant surveyed his new recruits.

“All right Ladies and Gentlemen…” he called the men and women respectively. “By God you’re the worst bunch of rejects I’ve ever had the misfortune to clap my eyes on. But by the time I’m finished with you, the weak shall be gone and the remaining will have-“

“Eye of the Tiger!”

The Sergeant turned and approached the young man..

“You never speak back son, and I don’t want eyeballs of the tiger. I want these balls of the tiger!”

The Sergeant then performed the act that got him thrown out for sexual harassment.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Everyone gets one.

One moment where it all becomes clear and obvious. Where the mind, soul and body align, and you achieve your moment of pure clarity.

These moments are powerful. Religions have been formed, wars have ended (and started), because anyone, no matter how powerful or low, can get the moment at the exact right, or indeed, wrong moment.

You can’t predict when and where, you can’t force it, it’s just a matter of waiting for the universe to align for you.

Shame that most of the time they come just before you hit the ground, metaphorically or otherwise…

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Full Chandler

It was the 27th interview that day. He sat in his trademark splayed leg slouch, and watched as she sat, her clothing stiflingly unsexual.

“Mr. Beat-Downe, I put it to that your new film and album are sexist and racist, that you objectify women, discriminate against all minorities and that you are a horrible human being.”

He stared at her for several seconds then leant in, his whisper clearly incredulous.

“Are you physically incapable of spotting parody, sarcasm?”

She returned the stare for a few seconds, then smiled.

“I ask you the exact same question.” she said, winking at him.

Monday, 2 December 2013

A Never Ending Market

He showed her into the hall. There were balloons everywhere, tables set up, a sound system up the other end, ready and waiting.

“So you just leave it up?”

“Well sure. Most times we get a day or two but sometimes it’s a few hours notice.”

“So, let me get this straight. If a guy-“

“Or girl, we don’t judge.”

“If someone thinks their significant other suspects them of something, they call you and you put on a ‘surprise party’ for them, that seems to be hard to set up. That’s-“

“Highly profitable.”

“I just lost more faith in humanity.”

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Fangirls Are Nuts

SciFiFantComicGameCon was the ‘biggest pop culture expo in the Upper-Middle-Midwestern Region’, whatever that means. I was looking through my bag when I bumped into a tall guy. Everyone else seemed to be ignoring him.

“Hey, nice costume… Discworld?” I asked, looking him over. His hooded robes were pitch black with blue highlights, and his scythe was very realistic looking.

He shook his head slowly.

“Oh… Monty Python?”

Again came the slow denial.

“So… What are you?”


I more felt the voice than heard it. And then the women next to me went into anaphylactic shock from the cafeteria food.