Friday, 28 February 2014

Break Through


She looked over at the noise.

“Oh, Clyde!”


“Oh, Sally, how are you my dear? How’s the little ‘un?”


“Oh, good, good, first tooth just came through a couple days ago.”

“I remember when-“


“My third got his, he was crying constantly. Eventually had to let him suck on some of my whisky.”


“Well hopefully we can avoid having to give her booze.”

He chuckled softly.


“Um, look, is everything all right?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Because while I’ve stood here, you’ve dropped your car keys six-“


“Seven times.”

He paused, tears welling.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


After staring at the blank screen for several hours I called her up.

“Hey, it’s me.”

“How’s the column going?”

“I got nothing.”

There was a pause.

“Define nothing.”

“As in no words, not even a topic.”

It was muffled, but I heard an exasperated sigh.

“All right, why not use that then? Write about not having anything to write about-“

“I am not about to write some meta bullshit article about my inability to write a column!”

“And then, if you let me finish, you move into talking about famous writer’s blocks in history.”

Another pause.

“That could work.”

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V

The doctors had made it clear that any further surgery was pointless, she had hours left. And so her husband was allowed some time alone with her.

They’d both shed tears, both had spoken of treasured memories and lost loved ones. And now they were having a rather heated argument.

“I just… You’re my wife, and you’re telling me to do this? You can’t really expect me to… This is unnatural!”

She waited until he fell silent.

“It’s what I truly want.”

He closed his eyes and then took a deep breath.


He attached the wire, and uploaded her.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Human Civilisation 6th Edition: Fare Evasion (Feat)

Fare Evasion


Chaotic Alignment, Speech 50 OR Youthful Appearance Perk


Player is able to reduce the price of all public transport by half (rounded up), claiming they are in the first age bracket.


This feat does not stack with a successful Forgery/Disguise check, unless a Legendary check is required, in which case it gives a +20 bonus to the roll.

Fare Evasion, Advanced


Fare Evasion, Speech 75 OR Agility 17 OR Imposing Presence Perk AND Authoritative Voice Perk


Player is able to ignore all costs of all public transport via doubletalk, dodging or deadly presence.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Goth Architecture

Mistress Viceraven sat down.

“What?” she asked dismissively.

“I… Look, I know you and I have had our issues. I focused too much on work, especially when your mother died. I suppose I was locking away my grief…”

She raised a black eyebrow on her pale skin but said nothing.

“But all this… I’ve ignored this for too long, assumed this was a phase, but you’re scaring me, the stuff you’re doing… I just want my little girl back. Or at least a chance to meet the woman you’ve become.”

After a moment, Mary burst into tears and hugged me.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

First Person, You See

I found him in the corner of the training course, scared out of his mind. I lifted my visor and looked over his odd clothing.

“You from the village?” I asked him, confused.

He looked at me blankly.

“Look, this is a training ground for new recruits to Empress Alstonia’s Army. It’s not safe for civilians to just blindly…”

He slowly rose to his feet. The odd clothing, the bright orange dyed fingers, the mystics spoke of such people. And the white shape in his hands, with the colored jewels…

“A controller? Here? Maybe the war is winnable after all…”

Saturday, 22 February 2014

An Unremarkable Woman

She’s not the life of the party, nor is she an introverted artistic genius.

Her eyes aren’t shocking green or piercing blue, they’re just a middle of the road brown.

She’s doesn’t have encyclopaedic knowledge of anything, she hasn’t mastered any obscure art, although she can bake a cake ok.

Rich, successful, stunning, famous, witty, glamorous, respected, powerful, she’s none of these.

She’s just another face in the crowd, an unremarkable woman in a world filled with unique snowflakes that are all special.

But she loves me, and I love her.

So she’s the most important woman in the world.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Gun Control

Her score was almost perfect. When she was dismantling the pistol I approached.

“Hey, just wondering why a young woman such as yourself got into shooting, if...”

Her stare made me stop, before she held up four fingers.

“One, because I’m a realist. I wanted to make sure I knew how to handle a gun and to make one safe.

Two, because I’m a completionist. I stick to something until I master it.

Three, because I’m a cynic. When society collapses, the unit of currency becomes the bullet.

And four, because I’m a nerd. Gotta keep the zombies at bay.”

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Passcode Reminder

The cops call me in when they need to open doors and safes that have electronic locks. So when I walked into the penthouse, the large imposing door with a discreet keypad didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the post it note stuck above it with a date.


I turned to the officers huddled over a tablet.

“It’s gotta be about the Liberation Day of Lebanon…”

“No, it’s Nicholas Clay, one of his films…”

“How many digits?” I asked.

“Six, according to his wife.”

I nodded, and then annoyed them when I got it first go.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Underwear Personality

I hadn’t seen Pete for several minutes, so I excused myself from the conversation and looked for him. I found him in one of the bedrooms, digging through drawers. And bras.

“The hell are you doing?” I whispered.

“Being a good wingman. See?”

He held up a black bra and matching panties.

“Black underwear means they totally put out.”

“No it doesn’t, you idiot. It just means they have black clothing. Red, that means they’re up for it, probably.”

“And what does this mean?” he asked, holding up a barely there leather strap outfit.

“That I’m in love.” I replied.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Old School Wrestling School

“And Break!”

The trainer dispersed us, each of thus finding our partner before beginning to go through the sequence. We were only a few days in, but already people had dropped out. As the trainer told us, wrestling wasn’t for everyone. But doing ring crew the previous night, seeing the show, it reminded us why we wanted to be wrestlers.

But then the trainer came over, as I was on all fours for the roll up move.

“Noticed you chatting up our women’s champ last night… That’s against the rules. And Break…” he said, dropping his knee onto my ankle.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Aesop 2.0: 8. The Famous Fox

The Fox was going about his business when he remembered a funny joke, and so he laughed. The other animals all found the Fox’s laugh amusing, and they laughed too. The Fox became quite popular, as he went around laughing and making all the other animals laugh. But after all the animals had seen it, they grew bored of the Fox’s laughter. The Fox couldn’t accept that, and kept going around laughing, expecting praise and attention. Eventually he laughed at a lion, who ate him up.

“Don’t assume fame or fortune is forever, it may well just be a fad.”

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Games Geeks Play

As the cards were sorted and the resources got distributed, we played a different game.

“Man, half the girls at work are stunning, but all of them just see me as the ‘techy guy’, none of them show any interest in me.”

Strong opening.

Then the trump got played.

“Guys, my sister is a stripper, as are the other 2 women in my share house. They have friends over all the time, all of them model level, and every one of them sees me as a kid brother.”

He won, until he started dating one of them.

Ruined the game.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Searching The Archives

‘Senator Turner’ has 8 hits in past 7 days. Sorted chronologically, oldest to newest.

“Brave Senator stands up to unions”

“’Cleaning Up The Mess’: An Exclusive Interview with Senator Paul Turner”

“Tax Cuts Proposed: Senator gives us a blueprint.”

“’Like Moths to a Flame’: The Media’s unwarranted attacks on the Government.”

“A glimpse into the private life of a Senator’s Wife.”

“Opposition planning to force children into armed forces: Explosive new claims!”

“A return to Peace and Prosperity: The Government’s foolproof ten point plan.”

“Editorial: Why the press must be kept free, and this paper’s happiness to criticise the Government.”

Friday, 14 February 2014

Old Fashioned Love Story

They met at a birthday party, her best friend was his work colleague. They got to talking via trying to come up with the funniest way to describe how bad the DJ was. They met for coffee a few days later. And then dinner a few nights after that. Then came dancing, and then a different sort of ‘dancing’. Pretty soon they were official, then serious, and then married. And they lived happily ever after, like in stories.

Sure, she needed a few Old Fashioneds every night, and he couldn’t handle money very well, but you can’t have everything, right?

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A Plethora of Ons

They, they being the old men and slightly older women left here, said that the only way off of the streets was on a slab, on trial, or on your back.

Problem was, way I saw it, if I stuck around, I’d wind up on drugs, on welfare, and/or on my back anyway.

So I worked hard, and that got me nowhere, despite what old rich crackers keep spitting out on the ‘news’.

In the end I got really lucky, as I found out that, to avoid those ons, I had to embrace another.

Coz I got out on stage.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Memories of Main Events

He tried to sneak out the side door while the crowd was swarming the new champ, but I saw him and ran up. He quickly scowled at me.

“Yeah kid? What you want from me?” he said.

“Mr. Aggressor, I just wanted to say that was awesome, and you were a great champ! I want to be just like you when I get older!”

He raised an eyebrow.

“Except for the whole losing the title, right?”

“Nah, I want to be in the main event and lose the title like that! Make memories and stuff!”

“Smart.”, I think he mumbled.

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Resisting The Urges

Like all dictatorships, it had begun with the need to sacrifice some liberties for extra securities. But this time, it ramped up to drugging the populus and controlling their minds. The Resistance would take the antidote and fight for freedom, but it often led to splits between families, between lovers.

“Just trust me!”

“You… You have to realise what you’re asking…”

“I know, I know, but it… Everything is clearer, more beautiful…”

“We will get into so much trouble if we’re caught…”

“One meeting. All I ask.”

Together, they took the pills and went to the Political Rally that evening.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Real Life: The Game

‘Stay down!’

The cop pushed me behind the “Queen Fighters XIV” machine while the bullets flew.

“The hell is happening?” I shouted over the din.

“Gang dispute… Back up is on its-“

Right at that moment, a bullet slammed into the cop’s shoulder. He spun around and slammed back first into the “Soccer Football Extreme” cabinet.

“How do I…” I tried to speak, lamely. Slowly, he handed me his gun.

“I saw you on that gun game over there… You can do it, kid.”

I took a breath and prepared to shoot.

Turns out light gun skills don’t mean jack…

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Behind The Looking Glass

I guess you can say that I was pretty deep into the whole conspiracy theory thing. I believed 9/11 was an inside job, I came to doubt man walked on the moon, etcetc. Since I was pretty good at hacking into computers, I began to dig, and I pretty quickly began to find these threads, I began to find this shadow part of the government that seemed to be behind it all. I was excited.

And then I dug too deep, and worked out its job was to spread these rumors. To pretend the government was that powerful. Very disappointing.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Ten Things I Hate About Anna

The fact she can never tell my twin sisters apart.

How she doesn’t like my eggplant lasagne.

She’s got a higher high score in Peggle than me.

The way she never flattens bottles when tossing them out.

That despite years of living with an engineer, she can’t understand even basic scientific principals.

Her ‘Bad Hair Day’ hat.

Her habit of checking our horoscopes every day and then reading them out to me.

That little sigh she makes every time after sex.

The way she impulsively runs after stuff that is blown out of my hand without looking around.

Her death.

Friday, 7 February 2014


Like most of Glory’s classmates, when Paige gained her powers, she needed a conduit. In her case, she could manipulate matter, but only if she read the change desired aloud. She began by making the cute boy notice her, and pretty soon she tried to take over the city. Glory thought she was dealt with after that though, since Glory managed to dunk The Narrator’s face into the acid meant for Glory.

That is, until the prison turned into a vast tower. Glory flew to the top, and there The Narrator sat, fingers reading Braille.

“Everything Burns.” The Narrator read.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Unicycle Built For One

Everyone working on the Talos project was mindful of the ‘Daisy Bell’ issue, as the head of the project reminded them of it often. The song was now synonymous with A.I in popular culture, after it was the first song sung by a computer. And here they were, building the first ever (known) fully functional, independent android with true A.I.

The first ever thing it did had to be special.

So they made sure it had etiquette and social factors programmed in as “very important”.

And then, in front of the world’s media, they turned it on.

And it swore.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Buyer’s Market

On the outside, it was a shipping container in a vacant lot. On the inside, the walls were covered in runes, a large one in chalk filling the floor, a mixture of lines and letters, although it hurt your mind to stare.

Bound and gagged, the young homeless girl struggled as the devoted worshipers chanted in Latin before the sacrifice was made.

Sadly for the worshippers, there was only one person in that crate at the moment the demon crossed over that was truly ready for possession, only one praying for anyone, anything, to just make the pain go away…

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Power of Specific Words

We all turned at the sound of the crash. Even over the rock music blaring over the speakers and the high pitched squeals of the other go-karts, the sound of one flipping over and rolling into the barricade, that tends to carry and override other sounds.

As the manager, I was one of the first on the scene, behind only the medical team and the boy’s mother, who looked up at me, righteous anger filling her eyes.

I looked her square in the eye.

“I said there was no significant risk…”

I saved so much money with that one word.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Chain Reaction

Kav was beaten for a few hours, but to his credit, he did not break. So they tossed him back into the cell with his master, the Great and Powerful Sanstonus.

“When you’re ready.” was all Sanstonus said as Kav stumbled and fell, sprawled on the floor, the chains binding Sanstonus clinking.

Kav spat out some blood and glared at his Master. “And do what?” he managed.

“They left my canteens over there in the corner.”

Kav grumbled but fetched them. He went to pour it into Sanstonus’ mouth when the wizard reared back.

“Mix them! They’ll melt the chains…”

Sunday, 2 February 2014

For Want of a Pincushion

Technically we weren’t at war. The peace treaty wasn’t broken yet. But the government was under no illusions that we would not, eventually, have to go to war. So we intelligence departments had to start a quiet recruitment drive.

The young woman sitting across from me seemed perfect. She came from mixed heritage, spoke several languages, the works.

“So… How far are you willing to go for your country?”

“I’ll happily give my life, sir.”

I sighed.

“We don’t need women willing to give their lives. We need women willing to give their bodies…”

She baulked, like so many did…

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Set Menu

As the only European in this tiny town in the middle of Vietnam, whenever another foreigner turned up, I was gently prodded to meet them.

So when a young boy ran up and said “Khác với!” I followed him to the restaurant.

Inside was a striking young woman, eating a bowl of meat. I glanced at it then the chef.

“Uh, you do realise that’s-“ I began.

“Don’t tell me!”

I awaited her guess. After a few moments of silent eating, I tried again.


“This is wonderful, I don’t wish to stop, so don’t tell me!”

I liked her.