Monday, 30 June 2014


Safe with tenure, he spent his days teaching bored kids, and his nights working on his nearly perfect economic model.

The problem with every other economic model was that they kept relying on people being rational, that they’d make the best rational decision available. But every time someone applied one to real people, they’d act irrationally and ruin it.

But after many years, he had accounted for every variable, and began to make predictions.

That all failed.

So, he refocused. If he couldn’t make the model irrational enough, he’d make people rational.

He rationalized twelve before they cut him down.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Lessons In Growing Up

It was the moment she grew up, although she didn’t realise it then. She just thought it was a regular, normal night. She got tucked into her bed and her father kissed her on the head and told her he’d be back in the morning.

She never saw him after that.

That moment stuck with her, and she vowed to never do the same with her kids. At every chance, she told them she’d never leave, she’d be there for them always.

Until she learnt what her father obviously had.

Sometimes you have to leave those you love the most.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Respecting The Competition

The two of them spotted each other across the crowded room. One was in a perfectly cut suit, the other a smart grey dress that showed off a little skin.

Both knew each other, having spent many years here in the Capital lobbying, giving out reports and meetings and many things that were in no way bribes.

One of them was cloaked in the righteousness of moral superiority, the other knew deep down they were ‘evil’ but was paid enough not to care.

They shared a nod of respect, then went back to lobby for their respective mining companies’ interests.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Giving Up Molly

I finally got him away from all distractions.

Naturally, struggling and coming down took hours, but calm took hold.

“You cannot do this to both you and your significant-“

“Who da fuck you fink you talkin’ to? I’m-“

“My baby boy. My son. A man who had all of God’s gifts shown him from birth until-“

“Until you got into drugs, HO!”

I didn’t show him how much it hurt.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t with flaw. I was as lost as you, until I found God.”

It took many days, but finally I won.

“OK! I’ll quit MDMA, happy?”

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Desperate Lone Combatants

The motley crew of deluded fools who dared stand up to me and my quest for world domination breached my last disposable troops and burst into my throne room and right into my trap. I paused to tell them how stupid they truly were.

“You fools, you think…”

I trailed off as I stared at them.

“Uh... Sorry, I’m about to hypnotise the world’s population and the last line of pathetic defence are a 1950’s housewife, a furry, someone in garish pink armor, and a severely under-dressed Japanese schoolgirl?”

They nodded, seemingly confused by the question.

“… I hate DLC.”

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Man In The Mirror

I finally woke up to myself as I stared at myself in the mirror after yet another year of everything going wrong.

I’d let people down, I’d ruined my relationship, I’d lost my job, all because I wasn’t willing to admit to myself that the person in the mirror needed to change. For too long I’d seen a man in the mirror I didn’t recognize, and one that I didn’t, couldn’t live up to. Not without changing my outlook.

I saw my doctor the following day, and within a few months I had begun preparing for the gender reassignment surgery.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Do No Evil (TM, C, R)

He entered the glass and steel rimmed foyer with only a slight pause to prepare himself. Waiting at the secure entrance to the building proper was a woman, her suit neatly pressed, her face set to ‘PR’.

“Hello, and welcome to-“

She stopped when she noticed he was staring at the large plaque on the wall, upon which the company’s corporate motto was writ large.

“’Do No Evil’.” he read. He sighed softly.

“See, a noble sentiment, but the fact you have to declare that is worrying…”

The lawsuit between them decided that unintentional evil didn’t break said motto though.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Taking Shots

He came up to the bar and began to take some shots.

“Fucking bitch. Who the fuck does she think she is, accusing me of having an affair. I told her I’ve not been feeling well and that I’m just seeing my doctor for tests! Is it my fault my doctor just happens to be a rather attractive woman? Or that due to the amount of tests she made some house calls after her shifts? So what?”

He turned around and found himself facing an armed guard.

“Sir, it’s range policy not to let members discharge firearms while clearly emotional…”

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Shaving A Second Off

I had been staring at the when the coffee cup appeared next to me. I looked up at Officer 57-VU, who smiled at me.

“Rough night?”

I snorted as I began to stir the coffee.

“Something like that. I mean, with the troop movements near the border with the United Republic and the deadlock in the meeting of Royal Democracies, we are ticking away to all out war. Like five minutes and one second to it. So messy… Needs cleaning up.”

Officer 57-VU nodded and left.

An hour later an Ambassador was shot and we went to five minutes even.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Ratchet Skank

He prided himself on being an old fashioned engineer. As part of that, he refused to distinguish what type of sissy suited ‘executive’ was on his shop floor talking around him.

“Mr. Turner, if you abide by the company’s guidelines on bullying and harassment, we should be able to reduce this issue to just a reprimand in your file.”

He continued to ignore her.

“Ratchet Skank!” he called out, a young female worker hurrying over to where he pointed.

“You can’t say that!”


Because it’s technically a socket wrench?”

The ‘executive’ paused.

“That only makes it around 7.5% better!”

Friday, 20 June 2014

Aesop 2.0: 12. The Land Of Royalty

In the Land of Royalty, everyone was a King or Queen, a Prince or a Princess. It was a happy land, where everyone was nice and looked beautiful every day. Except for one person, there was a cleaner, who every day went around in their rags and cleaned up after everyone. They were happy to do it, but all the Royalty were sick of seeing them, they were so ugly! So they fired them. And then the Land got very dirty indeed…

“Respect all those who work beneath you. They make it possible for you to be where you are.”

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Aesop 2.0: 11. The Bird-Of-Paradise And The Hunter

The Bird-Of-Paradise loved to show off its plumage, the color and shape of its feathers making it stand out among all the birds. Animals would come far and wide to view it, and it would happily show off how beautiful it was. But one day, a Hunter came into the forest, and when the Bird-Of-Paradise tried to show off, the Hunter shooed it away. The Bird-Of-Paradise wouldn’t take that, so it continued to display its colors, until the Hunter killed it to stop it scaring off the rare Dull-Grey-Eagle.

“Attractiveness is subjective. Understand that other people will have other viewpoints.”

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Not So Fine Print

He had spent his entire life living by the creed that in artistic work, it wasn’t finished when you could add no more, but rather when you could remove no more. He had gotten more and more minimalist, starting in sculpture before moving to painting and now writing, each time aiming to express himself in fewer and fewer strokes, lines, words.

He found a competition that seemed perfect for him, but after he hit submit, he noticed he’d misread the site. They wanted a foreword for a story collection, not a four word story.

Luckily though, exoticness was a criteria…

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Letting Go

She was adjusting her bra when he walked in. She looked up, and then up some more.

“Well, aren’t you a big boy?” she said coquettishly.

He remained in the doorway, rubbing one hand over the other constantly.

She blinked and instantly went from plaything to councillor. “Relax hun, come over here and tell Leena what the problem is… First time? It’s OK…”

He finally spoke.

“I... I’m always holding back, always controlling myself. I just… Want to be able to let go.”

She smiled.

“OK. My safeword is Grapefruit, or snapping my fingers.”

Luckily the brothel had a doctor.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Paper Cuts

It was just after five when he gave out.

“All right, do it.” he muttered, draining the last of the whisky he had drunk all night as we argued.

“You sure?” said his suck up, sorry, ‘assistant’, who clearly wasn’t convinced.

“We need to cut the budget by a tenth or the government doesn’t get the bailout, and this is the only way we’ll manage it without voter revolt. Do it!”

I nodded and began to shift the numbers, making it seem like we were firing people.

And actually doing so as well, but I didn’t bother telling him that.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Foundations of Trust

He knelt on one knee before me, holding out a small case that could only contain one thing.

“I swear myself to you, forever. I will not leave you, I will stand by you always. You will have nothing to fear, for I scream to the heavens that I will not betray you, that I will do my utmost to treat you as you deserve, with love. And I promise I will never hurt you.”

He reached out for my hand, but I pulled it away.

“I know all that, and I believe in you. Me on the other hand…”

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Ball Admiring

You have to admire the balls.

We still argue about when we went from being an army to a resistance, but no matter where you draw the line, we were very much in the hole now. So when Dansia said he had a plan to sneak into the invaders’ HQ and blow it up, we had no choice but to let him try.

The next day we raided a craft coming out of HQ. We found a whole lot of various crumbed food shapes. After feasting we worked out what, who they were.

Still, you have to admire the balls.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Expectations In Victory

Everyone suddenly realised what would happen as they took the court. After all, the defending champion was the number one seed, they’d earned more in sponsorship in the past year than the GDP of several small companies, and the entire tournament was seen more as a mere formality before they won it and broke a few more records. Their opponent was a kid, some amateur who had gotten in via some lucky breaks and a wildcard entry. Everyone could see the story, and everyone began to think ahead.

But the champ won handily, confounding everyone who understood basic story structure.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Gritty Knight

He was the night, the deepest shadow, the darkest angel of death that-

There was a flash of fire, and Glory, Los Francisco’s protector, landed in the alleyway.

“Hey Atoner. What brings you to LF?”

The dark soul glared at the red and blue clad woman.

“My sins.”

Glory rolled her eyes.

“I meant specifically dude. You chasing someone?”

The tortured existence that was his penance to-

“Hello? Anyone in there?”

He glared at her.

“Life is pain, and my path is-“

Glory suddenly swung her staff around and shot a powerblast, incapacitating the approaching assassin.

“Sorry, you were saying?”  

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Giving Up The Ghost

It took me about three hours to finally get into the panic room hidden in the back of the second guest bedroom. Partly because it was well hidden, but also because of the weird ass security system the place had, lights kept going out and shit.

But eventually I hacked the lock and got inside. Inside wasn’t the old upper class bitch I was expecting but some young girl. I couldn’t help but smile, maybe I’d get some more fun.

“He’s behind you.” she said, smiling.

I didn’t get to turn around before I felt it reach into my chest.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Mystical Journey Pit Stop

Maybe thirty miles after my phone died and fifty miles past the last signpost, I finally saw someone, an old man sitting on the front porch of his house, fields of wheat surrounding his property, and rose bushes covering most of that.

I pulled into his drive and got out of the car.

“Excuse me, where’s this road go?”

He slowly crushed out a cigarette on the arm of his rocking chair.

“Every road goes somewhere, but it’s more important to know why you’re travelling it.”

I stared at him.

“To get to Greenville.”

He seemed disappointed for some reason.

Monday, 9 June 2014


For a third time, she checked over her tools, running through her mental checklist of what she’d need. True, in her career she’d never forgotten anything in her bag, but the moment she didn’t focus, she’d slip up.

After a couple breaths she looked down at the front of her patient. This wasn’t an ideal location, but it was an emergency appendix removal, and she didn’t have time to get to a sterile area. Instead, she’d just make do with what light she had.

She picked up her scalpel, and then began to cut the mouldy appendix from the book.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Buried Treasure

She wasn’t a tortured soul or broken, she was just quiet, shy and introverted. When faced with a boisterous family and upbringing, you either pitched in and tried to out-live the others, or you retreat and let it wash over you.

She was very much the second type.

But deep down, she could be, would be, a beautiful soul. Buried beneath the weak smiles and the unassuming personality was kindness, grace, and a huge wellspring of love and affection for the lucky guy or girl willing to dig it out.

Too bad no-one was willing to put in the hours.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Good Enough Is

He lived his life deliberately avoiding the pursuit of perfection. He’d never get the perfect coffee, never find the perfect home, never meet the perfect girl, so he would find something good and then settle early. He always pointed out that it saved time, and he was a lot less stressed than all his friends who would expend more effort for not that much better a result. His life wasn’t great, it wasn’t filled with highs and lows, he just coasted through life taking what was good enough at face value.

He was really upset after death during the scoring.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Perfect Mismatch

It wasn’t that Peter didn’t get romance, as a concept. He understood making an effort to create a magical moment was important to Kate, how she needed to feel special and loved.

But he always preferred the spontaneous, the unexpected kisses, the sudden embraces, the ‘special moments’ in bar bathrooms. He found that a lot more exciting, being in the moment rather than intense long term planning.

But she wanted romance, and it was their anniversary. So he spent months preparing, and he created a perfect night for her.

And in exchange, she wore mismatched lingerie, which drove him wild.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Skilled Negotiators

The ‘siege’ lasted twelve hours.

Once the various guild leaders and nobles were executed, there was still a problem. The city, even before the war, was reluctantly multi-racial, with Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Ratmen, and scattered pockets of seemingly every race that could speak common somewhere within the walls. And most of them were taking this opportunity to settle old scores.

The Emperor would have let them fight, but they were threatening the city’s defences, and so he appointed whores to represent each race. Every race was accounted for, and they all knew each other anyway.

A treaty came swiftly.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Aesop 2.0: 10. The Scholar And The Box

The Scholar was surprised to find a beautiful box delivered to his home, and wanted to know more about it. He went to a woodcutter, who told him the type of wood that the box was made of. He went to a carpenter, who told him about the way the wood had been joined together. He went to an artist, who told him about the style and form of the inlaid pattern of the design. But he didn’t ask the assassin inside his opinion.

“When examining an issue, don’t forget to get the view from inside as well as outside.”

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tasman Absorption

It’s not deliberate. It just happens.

New Zealand has a population the size of one of (biggest) cities. So if someone talented in any sort of performance art begins to make some noise, there’s a finite level they can reach over there.

So they come over here to Australia, and if they make it big, well then, they made it big here, clearly they’re Australian! I mean, unless they’re constantly reinforcing the point that they’re a Kiwi through and through, we claim them as our own.

It’s not deliberate.

Unless they mess up, then we deliberately call them Kiwis again.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Little Ray Of Sunshine

For what seemed like decades, Verona would pester me to have a child. She kept going on about how empty the halls felt, that the little pitter-patter that only a child could bring would be like music to her ears.

I kept telling her it was a bad idea, and then I kept trying to drown her out with drink, but eventually, I gave in and we began trying.

Pretty soon we had a daughter and one of us was proven right. She was like a little ray of sunshine.

Well, not literally. She was still a vampire like us…

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Misplaced In Translation

Marvin was forever an outcast, at least he certainly thought so. He felt so sure about things, that life’s purpose was so simple but glorious. Science was too busy looking at rocks, and every religion he looked into got it wrong. God didn’t create anything, God was the end goal, the end point, what would be created at the end of existence.

But eventually he found a likeminded voice, in a cartoon from Japan, one of the characters spoke at length about his exact vision.

He contacted the creator, but blamed the reply talking about ‘parody’ as a translation issue.