Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Memory Loss

The four awoke. They all blankly looked at the expanse of screens in front of them. Although several alarms were going off, every eye focused on the spent amnesia grenade sitting on the bench. Next to it sat a las-gun and a hastily scribbled note.

‘Barry’s The One’.

The sole female was the first to move, grabbing the las-gun and pointing it at the men.

“Hey, whoa…” said one, holding up his hands.

“Well I’m clearly not…”

She suddenly fired once she noticed the nametags.

Lucky too, Barry almost remembered tossing the grenade to stop the shapechangers from taking over.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Name Changing

The form’s now more bureaucratically boring, but it’s still my job to deal with everyone who has decided their name needs changing. Most of the time it’s people with that look in their eyes, the look of someone who thinks they’ve seen the light and thus need to be called Moonchild or something. The rest of the time it’s usually an eighteen year old, in to change from a Moonchild to a more normal name.

But the times when it’s one normal name to another, they’re the ones you remember. Since normal old names are the most useful to steal…

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Silence Of Sound

In a world filled with data, with activity, with noise, is it any wonder it eventually became meaningless to me? That the more the world tried to step in, the more the world filled up space, the more I pulled back?

When I got rid of my television, most thought I was ahead of the curve. When I got rid of the internet, most thought I was being a ‘hipster’. When I moved away, I no longer cared what they thought.

I eventually managed to shut it out, I finally found my peace and quiet.

And then I met her.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

All About The Numbers

As they filed into the bus, I gave them my brightest (fake) smile.

“Hello all, I’m Greg, and I’m sure you’re all going to have a wondrous time at the ‘Happiest Kingdom Of Them All’. But before we begin, we just have some numbers you gotta remember for me, all right? The bus between your hotel and the Park is 5-7-4. What number is it, nice and loud?”

“5-7-4.” they chanted back.

“And it leaves the Park at 18-45. What time?”


“And finally, 1-7-5-.-5-0.”

“1-7-5-.-5-0.” they chanted back, confused.

“That’s the price of the taxi ride back. Let’s go!”

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Specifics Of Summoning

I awoke to find the guys I’d just met standing over me, wearing these dark robes and chanting in some foreign language I didn’t understand.

“Uh, guys? Why… Why am I tied up? And naked? I probably should have asked that one first, but-“

Johnny, assuming that was his name (which I was starting to doubt it was) glared at me.

“You will be the conduit for the Dark Lord Tizsmoilon, as he requires a virgin to-“

“I’m not a virgin!” I said quickly.

‘Johnny’ snorted.

“We read your dating profile.”

“It says ‘Grey Area’!”

Not-Barry finished chanting.

Nothing happened.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Exodus 1:8

From behind my food cart, I watched as the kids cheered on the old men and women marching along, slower now with every passing year, as well as those who could no longer walk.

“’Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.’”

I turned, and a young man stood there, his uniform covered in dirt and red fluid.

“What do you mean by that?”

“Why are they celebrating war? War is horrible. War is disgusting, and brutal, and not to be celebrated.”

“Remembering isn’t celebrating.” I managed, weakly.

He looked at me, then faded away.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Diet Program

I had just finished stacking the Jumbo aspirin when they came around the corner. He was pushing the cart, she was speaking in a tone of voice I knew all too well.

“Why are we in this relationship if you won’t listen to me? All I’m trying to do is help, but you keep ignoring me, and keep cheating, what’s the point? Why have me if you won’t just LISTEN?”

He stopped, turned around, and then reached over and pushed her shoulder. She slumped over.

“Hey, where’s the bot program aisle?” he asked me.

“Seventeen, next to the replacement heads.”

Non-Drabble: 'Star Trek: Fargo Station' (Fiasco Game Module)

So over the Easter Long Weekend, I attended Eyecon 2014, one of Sydney's biggest and best RPG conventions. And there I ran several sessions of a "Fiasco" game I'd written, 'Star Trek: Fargo Station'.

"Fiasco" is an awesome storytelling RPG that is sometimes known as 'The Coen Brothers RPG' in that it's built around creating characters with big dreams and small brains, setting up an awesome plan to get rich and successful and then horribly, horribly screwing it all up. My module seemed popular, so I'm sharing it with the world for free. Now, obviously I don't own the Star Trek universe or any of the related properties and such, nor do I own the Fiasco system, no claim is made to owning either, and this is published under fair use with no attempt to claim ownership of the properties. Should you own either property and want this taken down, by all means let me know and I'll do so.

For more information on the "Fiasco" system, as well as purchasing it (you'll need it to use this module after all), you can find that right here!

The file is on Google Drive, just clicky the linky!

And here's the prologue, to set the mood...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Day Off

I slipped on my running shoes and headed out, ‘The Distance’ beginning to play in my headphones.

As I left the apartment block, I saw Allen. I nodded at him, but he held out a hand, so I stopped and pulled out one earphone.

“What’s up?”

“Well… Happy birthday.” he said, sounding confused.

“Thanks…” I said, his awkward tone confusing me.

“I’m just… Surprised you’re running today, given it’s your birthday.”

I smiled.

“Well, sure, give myself a day off. And hey, why not Easter too, to relax? And then the occasional Sunday off would be ok, right?”

I ran.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Year of the Pig

The knock on the door woke me up.

After stumbling out of bed, I managed a weak ‘Hold up’ to the door as I looked for something to wear. I eventually grabbed a bathrobe and slipped it on.

There was Snippers, in the arms of a man I didn’t know.

“She managed to sneak in while I was moving in last night.”

“Oh, thank you so much…” I said, taking my cat. I invited him inside for a thank you coffee.

Turned out he was a cop, and thus I missed out on a year of tricks thanks to him…

Monday, 21 April 2014

Year of the Dog

Seventy seven.

It took a moment for him to release that his cycle of falling then dying had stopped.

Eventually he lifted his head. He now found himself in a long corridor. The walls were that special type of green you only saw in the schools of his youth.

He had hated school.

Just as he began to look for a door, he heard a growl. Upon turning, he came face to face with a massive dog.

He began to run. For a year, he’d run, get caught, get eaten, then wake up and have to run again.

Seventy eight.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Year of the Rooster

El Gallo owned this city. Maybe not in terms of deeds, but if it happened in this town, you either worked on his watch, or were on borrowed time.

It had taken him years to do it. He’d slowly risen up the ranks of the Hennys, taken out the Crows, and seized full power by turning the Capons into their namesake. But once he was in power, seemed nothing would bring him down.

Of course, he only lasted a year on the outside before they locked him up on video piracy charges. Now he’s running things from inside the cage…

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Year of the Monkey

The youth was staring at the display when I walked up. As one of the museum’s guides, I often had to try and help the visitors understand the displays.

“So this charts the history of the planet, as divided into symbolic measures of time, into ‘years’. Now-“

“I get that,” she interrupted with obvious disdain. “But why these divisions? Who decided this was how it worked?”

“They were agreed upon by consensus of the scientific community. This ‘year’ is when the giant lizards existed, and this ‘year’ is when the monkeys existed on this planet, before they killed themselves off.”

Friday, 18 April 2014

Year of the Goat

You know what really pisses me off? The term GOAT. I mean, the animals are bad enough, but Greatest Of All Time, that phrase annoys me to no end. Over the past months I’ve seen it become more and more common, used to describe something as being the very best as possible. Goats are horrible, smelly creatures that do nothing but eat and attack things with those nasty horns. They are the very opposite of good. If we could make this the year of no GOATs, that would be for the betterment of all.

Arthur Troll
Under The Bridge

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Year of the Horse

Grace was cleaning the dishes when I walked into the room, looking at my phone.

“Honey, you’re good at these trivia things, what was the 2012 Picture Oscar winner?”

She paused and stared off to her left.

“Argo.” came the replay after a few seconds.

“And what’s another word for zero?”

“Oh? Zip? Naught?”

“Hmm… Oh, um, Friday the 13th and…”

I smiled as the correct answer was accepted. And then another set of questions appeared.

“2005’s most famous trial? The hell?”

She went back to the sink.

“Can’t help you there. You know I lost that year to heroin.”

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Year of the Snake

If he was named, it would be Snake, since every animal here was called by who they were. Well, almost every animal. Someone was clearly the favorite, given that they had a proper name and everything. And the other, curvier one as well.

But Snake had a plan to take over, a way to make Day Seven the first in his time. He approached the newer one, and began to work his magic.

He’d hoped they’d die. Or at least just get taken down a notch. Instead, Snake’s next year was spent avoiding everyone else for ruining their easy ride…

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Year of the Dragon

Most people were thinking it, but it wasn’t until Father Bickly brought it up in his sermon that people were willing to say it aloud. Maybe not the Satan part, but the Dragon, certainly. How else do you explain people and homes going up in flames?

It was maybe thirteen months after the first home went up that the King’s men arrived. They laughed at us and our ‘stories’ but they rode out to kill the Dragon.

They never told us what happened, they just rode back to the castle, a large metal tube and metal basket carried between them…

Monday, 14 April 2014

Year of the Rabbit

To be clear, she never asked me if I was all right with it. She just came into the University lab and hugged me and said that she’d been chosen as a ‘Bunny’, although once I’d calmed down (I nearly dropped the acid!) I wondered if she couldn’t just be a ‘Rabbit’ instead.

Then she became Bunny of the Year, although she kept joking she was the Rabbit, and with that, she was off travelling the world instead of finishing her degree. Sure, she came back to me after the year, richer and more open to…

Fine, I’ll stop complaining.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Year of the Tiger

Afterwards, we’d call it the Year of the Tiger, but at the time, it was just the new finish of the act. After the teleportation and Zalynda’s trademark card routine, Rendal and Nir would lead the tiger out on stage, do some small comedy, do the color change, then elevate, and finally turn it into a swarm of tiger butterflies. Beautiful routine.

And since the tiger was old and so well trained that it was basically a house cat, we thought we’d be set for years. But then someone tipped off the cops about us killing the butterflies each night…

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Year of the Ox

In the village, not much thought was given to names. Creative naming used brain power that could be better used by feet to move or arms to work. So when the huge dark-skinned man came into the village and offered to pull the plow in exchange for food and shelter, guess what we called him?

He stayed for one season, never complaining about the work, doing whatever we asked. He built many buildings, gave us a huge harvest and saved the village.

Some of the men were upset when all the babies were born, but if they were like Daddy…

Friday, 11 April 2014

Year of the Rat

Gathering information about criminal gangs isn’t easy. Well, all right, it could be easy if we could just crack a few heads, old school style. But today? There’s a dozen forms just to get a wire tap on a phone!

But for the Candolio family, we finally got lucky, one of the sons was upset at his share and became our informant. For a year, he gave us what he could, and we began to build a case around his information, everything was based on him

So when he turned out to be playing us, you can understand my… ‘response’.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Typical Man

“Gift Genie” said the sign, as did the nametag on the young woman standing beneath it. The rather desperate looking man who ran up to her didn’t notice the glassy smile.

“Wife… Birthday… Now… Help!” he said, his hands shaking as he tried to speak clearly.

“Of course sir, come with me please, now what does she-“

The ‘Genie’ noticed she was not being followed. She turned around to find him staring at a display.

“That’s the new Hard-Worker Belt Sander…”

He grabbed the box and ran to the checkout.

His wife loved it, she finished the deck much quicker.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


The announcement spread over social media in about twenty minutes.

For the fans and most of the boys, it gave them pause to reminisce about the old days, and a final chance to say thanks.

For the ‘fans’ who lacked any real empathy, it gave them a final chance to say how much that he sucked when he wrestled.

For the company, it gave them another thing to manage, as they quickly pulled together the tribute video.

But at the end of the day, the worst part wasn’t what it gave. It was the father and husband that it took.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Streak Breaking

He sat on a bench, staring at nothing.

It had begun as a quirk of booking, a bit of trivia, until the storyline possibilities came into play. And then it became more and more of him, until it was him, his run without a loss was all he had.

And now it was to be over. Sure, his opponent said the right things, acted humble, but he could tell the kid didn’t mean it.

But that’s the problem with being a locker room leader. You’re still just locker room.

Still, he went out there and led.

Just from his back.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Dreams Coming True

I opened the door to a bunch of roses. Behind it was Susan.

“I’m sorry.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“You’ve always been so kind, and I know you’ve wanted to take things to the next level for so long. I… I have issues, and I’ve been trying to work through them, and I realised I should be honest and accept that I do care for you, and want to take things to the next level, if you’ll have me.”

I sighed.

“This is because I just won the lottery, isn’t it?”


I paused. She wasn’t that good an actor…

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Side Effects Of Certain Wars

“And so class, when the Nazi forces came to Stalingrad, they, and the Russians, had given much propaganda attention to the city, since it was named for the Russian leader. But from a logistical stand point, it was also vital because # Tsaritsyn was the next city to fall, as the Russians were more concerned with securing the northern borders from # Himmler, upon seizing control of Germany upon Hitler’s death in 1941, quickly brought the Russians back on side while he directed the forces to attack England # and thus the Allies won.”

Being temporally locked sucks at times.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Deus Ex Machina

Aphrodite appeared with her customary pink smoke and soft, contented sigh.

There before her, Ares lay, openly (well, as openly as one could be in the heart of his private palace) fornicating with Eris, that chaotic bitch!

Aphrodite strode forth and slapped Eris in the head with the first thing that she could, one of Ares’ shields.

As the two goddesses began to fight, ripping hair and scratching eyes, Ares pulled them apart, smirking.

“Ladies, ladies, I have a solution!”

But then, they never found out that ‘solution’, since at that moment man stopped believing in them and they vanished.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Correct Use of 20

Tyrone was focused on making sure his text was perfect, DTF but also chill.

“You don’t spell out twenty, it’s just the numerals.”

He jumped off the sofa, and glared at his sister.

“The hell you doing girl? Can’t a man have some privacy?”

Diamond rolled her eyes.

“Look, you want to spend time with Jasmin, or Jazmine, or Jada or anyone like that, whatever. But at least get the slang right!”


He ended up telling the story to his friends, and eventually “insistence about correct spelling of slang” became known by her name.

Well, Dimond, but close enough…

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Right Tool, Right Job

Some jobs, you need a sledgehammer. You need loud, dramatic, violent. Sometimes someone’s gotta be taken out in as bloody and as impressive a way possible, to serve as a warning and a threat.

And some jobs need a scalpel. Sometimes someone needs to be removed quietly, with no fuss, no trail, just a case of here today, gone tomorrow, and with no possible connection to be drawn back to the one footing the bill.

But as I stare at the sledgehammer and the scalpel’s dead bodies, I know that you need a fire to destroy them both.

They burned.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Just A Little Late

I was woken from my drunken coma by my roommate.

“Dude, you almost forgot April Fools!”


I sat up, clutching my head. I could just work out my phone in his hands.

“You always do a hilarious April Fools joke dude! Come on, everyone is expecting it…”

I sat up slowly, and grabbed the phone. I quickly typed in a short note saying that I could no longer lie to everyone, and I was coming out.

“There.” I said as I sent it then went right back to sleep.

It was several hours until I remembered it was October.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Cute Puppy Says: ‘Mine!’

Many people have collections of things. Some people have a couple of things, others several, some lots.

And then you have the odd ones.

Nate was one of those. He had the largest ‘Cute Puppy’ merchandise collection outside of its native South Korea. Most of his spare cash went to the various pencil cases, boutique beers and everything else ‘Cute Puppy’ was slapped on.

Then one night, as he turned out the lights, he was hit from behind.

When he awoke, it was all gone, except for one small roll of leather.

‘Cute Puppy Lock Picking Set’ read the label.