Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Dragon Mountains

The Dragon Mountains should have been the scene of constant, unending war. In the middle of the Four Empires, they should have been forever under attack, won and lost. After all, while the fact that the Dragons lived there was scary, the Dragons’ Hoards? Those were desired by all.

But, that gold instead spread to the Empires on a slow, steady pace from the humans that served the Dragons. And thus, since everyone got some, the Mountains were left alone.

Good thing, too. Not that the Dragons couldn’t defend themselves, but if people knew that the gold was their excrement…

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Site News/Non-Drabble: #whatsnext and End of Book 1

So two main things, both related to the story below. First is that it's a sorta-kinda-pseudo reference/tribute to the #whatsnext experiment, where thanks to BBC First, Gracie Otto was curator in a drama story written via twitter by the public. I was all over that, and even managed to get the last word (although to be fair, the last word was somewhat obvious). So, if you want to read that and see all my stuff that got in, you can check that out here!

Plus now I can say I've collaborated with Gracie Otto and Megan Washington and a whole lot of people!

Anyway, the story also marks the point where I'm going to end my first e-book of these things. There won't be any pause to the Drabbles, there will be one tomorrow and so on, but this is where the first book will end. I'll be setting up a Kickstarter soon for it, never know your luck.

Thanks for reading, and see you tomorrow!

What's Next?

And as he looked over the ruins of what was once his family home, only then did he realise that no matter how short the journey, you could never truly go home.


He sat back, after clicking save, and took a long, satisfied breath. Sure, it’d need edits, rewrites, more edits, and in the future it’d be reworked and retold, but right now, the story was done.

He closed that file, and opened a new one, missing the old catharsis of replacing paper in a typewriter. But the blank ‘page’ still stared back, asking a simple question.

What’s next?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Eating Out

After the funeral, and the wake, the two most important men in her life went back to her now widower’s home.

“You know, I never could understand how you put up with it.”

It took a moment for the reply to come from the kitchen.

“With what?”

“Your wife was a porn star, and her most famous video is “Introduction to Oral Sex”, which she made with me. And yet you never made a fuss, or complained, or…”

“Eh, I coped.”

The widower said this as he placed the tray down.

“Ooh, pork belly!”


He then noticed the tattoo.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Fighting Upwards

The betting took longer than the ‘fight’. Tonne saw the left hand coming and as his opponent swung past, one shot to the top of the head knocked him out cold.

As the various lowlifes worked out the bets and payment, Tonne swiped his pay and headed for the bar. As he got his usual large vodka, from the shadows an older man in a tailored suit with matching women on each arm approached him.

“Good job.”

“Thanks. Learnt that move in the gutter.”

The older man laughed.

“Funny, that’s where I learnt this.” he replied, waving at the club.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Click Here To Block Everything

She was sort of a hipster, sort of a flower child, mostly in my way.

“Would you like-“


“How do you know without hearing what it is?”

I stopped, sighed, and turned around.

“Look, here’s the thing. You’re basically a human pop up ad, all right? I’m just trying to go about my business and you want to sell me something, be it a product, a service, or more likely a cause. The fact that you have to sell it like this means I don’t want it.”

“I’m inviting people to the Free Love Festival.”

I cancelled my blocker.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Balancing Act

He slowly climbed up the turnbuckle.

In character, he’d be thinking about winning. In the fans’ heads, he’d be thinking about how to bury the new guys. In the boys’ heads, he’d be thinking about the rat he’d be banging tonight. And in the bosses’ head…

Well that was the problem. He was in demand, which was good, but it also meant he had begun to take too many bookings, and he was getting tired. And pretty soon, double bookings would start cropping up.

So he jumped, and hoped for injury.

But not the one he got in the head…

Monday, 25 August 2014

The L Word

“Say it.” she said, playfully.

“No.” he said, curtly.

“Oh come on, you know you want to…” The playful tone was still there, just.

“Look, I’m not going to say it!”

The pause that followed had a very quick drop in temperature.

“Why not? I’ve said it over and over again but you have never said it once, why won’t you tell me you love me?”

“Because whenever I have, something horrible has happened.”

Another pause, this one more consistent in temperature.

“Nothing bad will happen, I promise.”


“I love you.”

More silence.

The bad happened a week later.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Rescuing Princess MacGuffin

The Temple had been declared impenetrable by man, but Prince Victorious was never one to shy away from an impossible task.

He rode forth, and found the treacherous quicksands of the Demonic Desert nothing but an annoyance, and the Forest of Terrors was a stroll in the park.

The Temple itself was slightly challenging, as the cultists clearly were desperate to perform whatever ritual it was that they needed the Princess for. But he slew them all, and opened the door to her cell.

And set off the trap she had prepared when she escaped herself a few hours prior.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Units Of Currency

Before the concept was created, the unit of currency was a blow to the head.

Once the idea eventually formed, the unit of currency was different in every bartered deal.

When kingdoms formed, laws rose, the unit of currency became metal pieces, and then coins were (almost) universally accepted.

Once paper was invented, it was only a matter of time before they began to use it as units of currency.

Then came the digital age, and units of currency became theoretical.

Then came The Pulse. And now the unit of currency is back to being a blow to the head…

Friday, 22 August 2014

Nickel & Dime

He was called Dime, because that was all he ever claimed to have on him, ‘just a dime bag, man, honestly…’

She was called Nickel, supposedly because of her job in ‘scrap’ metal, but really just because she was Dime’s girl.

Their life was a classic underprivileged story, a cycle of crime and punishment, but every time he got caught, she stayed true, and tried to prevent the next catch.

Until she won the lottery, hundreds of millions now hers. Everyone told her to dump him, but she stayed true.

As did he.

But his jail buddies had other ideas.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Shot In The Dark

The lights went out, or she fell away from them, she couldn’t tell. All she knew was that the boss… Thing was in front of her, and then she was falling, claws and teeth tearing, cutting.

She knew it was a trick, solid ground was beneath her, he (…?) must be playing games with her. She tried to focus, tried to will herself to see reality, but she just kept falling, as the cuts got deeper.

Eventually, she gave up trying to disbelieve, and instead just pulled her gun out and fired it where she hoped he’d be.

She hit.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ignoble Truths

Like most religious practices, reincarnation doesn’t work unless you truly believe in it. Humanity is special, as unlikely as that may seem at times, and if they believed in something, that would change reality.

And the reality this time was at a turning point. The coming years would be challenging, and it needed a leader for the faithful with just the right mix of intelligence, charisma and faith. Luckily, just as the last leader was dying, such a young boy was being born, and he’d secure their faith for generations.

Shame that the doctor pulled the other twin out first.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Aesop 2.0: 13. The Minnow And The Sardine

The Minnow has spent his entire life this body of water, only a few body lengths wide and not much longer, and shallow. It was the world, and the Minnow was happy, and never listened to the Sardine, that spoke of a world outside the edge of the water. Then one day the world grew as more and more water came from above, and soon the world seemed to go on forever. The Sardine swam away, but the Minnow stayed put, and stayed until the World dried all away.

“Don’t expect miracles, but if one occurs, don’t ignore it either.”

Monday, 18 August 2014

A Prince Frog

She wanted a prince.

But she knew that you didn’t just find a prince on a street corner. Princes didn’t grow on trees. No, if she wanted to find her royal, she’d have to kiss an awful lot of frogs.

So she closed her eyes and dived in. She left no frog unkissed, since she knew that any of one them could be the prince…

So many weren’t though.

But eventually, she found him. The diamond in the rough, the rose in the thorns, the prince among the frogs.

Shame that all those frogs had given her warts by then.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Overcoming The First Step

“Call me Alpha Male.”

“Whatever you want baby.” replied the hooker.

No no, that’s silly.

Mother dyed her clothes today.

Who cares about that?

It was a pleasure to turn left at the highway.

This isn’t a road trip kinda book!

The past is an airport lounge, they overcharge things there.

… No, I don’t think so.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in pursuit of a runaway fugitive must be in want for a helicopter.

Not bad, not bad, but this is meant to be a thriller…

It was a stark and dormant night.


Saturday, 16 August 2014


It’s really no surprise that teenagers rebel against the world.

Think about it, they spend their entire lives up to that point being told that the princess will save them, or that there’s a prince to rescue, and that happily ever afters are the norm.

Then they grow up. And the Real World just says ‘NOPE!’

They find out that reality is a long, dull, repetitive slog with no royalty to speak of, so get to work.

Then they really grow up, hopefully. And they learn that it’s not about the crowns in victory, it’s about the journey forever towards...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Sheriff For Our Future

He really left an impression.

Most teachers tended to fade from memory, either because they follow the guidelines to the letter, or because they just flat out suck and get reassigned quickly. This class was not one that handled even the slightest hint of fear. Not that we set out to ruin them, well some of us… OK, we’re jerks. But it’s fun man!

Of course, when he came in, all guns blazing, that was different. All the talk of respect and stuff, right up til Sal threw him headfirst at the wall.

Like I said, he left an impression.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dear In The Headlights

Once the dead began to rise again, we headed out to the country.

I had just taken the wheel when out of the darkness a deer jumped in front of us and slammed into the fender.

“Stay here.” I told her, but she got out anyway, muttering something about the bathroom.

I focused on getting the carcass out from where it had stuck when a Zed lunged at me. I re-killed it with my crowbar. I called out for Sally, and she, or rather it, came out of the bushes.

I ended up with more than deer in the headlights.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

No Dreamers Apply

Dreamers were no longer wanted.

It had happened so gradually that you couldn’t really say where the tipping point was. All you could tell that before, dreamers were wanted, needed. And now, people didn’t want to bother, they preferred reality reflected back at them. Why would they want to see what was false, when the truth was so much more interesting, and was true to boot?

And so the dreamers dropped their dreams for the rules of reality, others choosing the (no longer) proverbial easy way out.

Me? I chose a third option.

Now I make my dreams into reality.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Turning The Page

Sir Roderick glanced up when the flap of his tent opened, but as soon as he saw who it was, he went back to reading the large tome on his lap.

“Wine.” he said simply, turning the page of the book. The young boy got the wineskin and poured it into a goblet and placed it into the knight’s raised hand.

“No better way to know your opponent than by studying his history, Boy. Lord Amerston is a cunning man who will do anything to win.”

“Even bribery.”

The knight went to rebuke the boy, but the poison was quicker.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Wrestling With Upgrades

When the first ‘Implantable Electronic Devices’ came onto the market, they were horribly expensive, so I didn’t get one.

As the new IED models came out, they got cheaper and smaller, but by the time they became affordable, they were fragile. As a wrestler, I couldn’t get one, they’d break first match.

Then when they started getting larger again and yet still cheaper, and people began to become more and more cyborgy, I could easily have afford it, but my gimmick would have been ruined.

Thankfully. I mean, otherwise people would have found out I was a robot all along.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Reasonable Grief

I pulled to the side of the road, or as close as I could given the various police cars that were already there. I got out and looked around with panic, before I spotted the group of huddled figures. I strode towards them quickly, ignoring the policewoman that wanted me to stop.

I got there just as a doctor, I guess, was opening my dead son’s shirt. I pushed him out of the way and cradled my boy, before the cops pulled me away from the scene.

But at least there was now a reason my DNA was on him.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Repeated Prickings

Overall, Mindy knew it was hardly a major issue, hell it barely qualified as a ‘First World Problem’, if she was the sort to think in internet memes, which she wasn’t. She was just having a bit of a clumsy patch.

Every couple of days, she would prick a finger with her needle, or step on a tack, or on one occasion lean against an exposed nail. None of them were serious injuries, but she was running out of alcohol swabs.

Then she met David, and it all stopped. She might have thought harder on that, but she was distracted.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Until Morale Improves

Once the comms had been cut off from the relay, tensions slowly began to rise on the base.

But the asteroid fracture, having all that ore lost, that was the last straw. The Boss deigned to call a group meeting in the mess, and proceeded to yell at all of us about how crap we were.

The morale officer then said he had ‘a foolproof 100 point plan’ to solve the problem. The Boss was pleased and said to implement it.

Point 1 was for the workers to beat up The Boss.

Points 2 to 100 were ‘Repeat Point 1’.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Scoring Parties

As usual for mid-afternoon, my call woke him up.


“Pi Alpha Rho, impromptu kegger, dude.”

“… Really? Dude, their last one of those was like a… 4.7! I’ll see you at Triple Sigma’s pool party after I finish sleeping, their last one was a total 8.4.”

While waiting for the bass to stop dropping, my curiosity finally bubbled over.”

“How the hell do you score these things anyway?”

He snorted.

“Easy dude, take last night, was a 7.9.”

He hung up, then sent me a text of the girl sleeping in his bed.

I’d have scored her 6.3 myself…

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Writing An Open Invitation

It had taken a few minutes, and he’d had to kill… Well, incapacitate one of his brothers on the way, but the Novice finally got to the Abbot’s quarters.

“Father, there’s-“

The Abbot cut him off with a curt “I am out of ink” without looking up from his writing.

“But Father, there is this… mist-“

“I am out of ink.” the Abbot repeated. Confused, the Novice quickly fetched an inkpot.

“Father, a mist is turning-“

“Wrong ink.” said the Abbot as he slapped the inkpot out of the Novice’s hands and then plunged his quill into the Novice’s throat.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

You’re Hate Mail

Every hour, like clockwork, another message would arrive, the grammar horrible and with no seeming logic or reason involved, nor any real connection to the items he had posted.

‘Your work horrible and you should kill you’re mother.’

‘This crap is crappy, I hate this shit.’

‘WTF your work sucks and you should die in a fire because your terrible!!!!’

He forced himself to read all of them, not ignoring a single one.

Eventually he managed to stop caring, and which point he deleted the automated program that he had set up and then began to share his work online.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Assigning Blame

I don’t blame the manufacturer. It’s a legal product with a legitimate reason to exist.

I don’t blame the young lady. Clearly she was in a state, that’s why I approached her and asked if she was ok.

I don’t blame the restaurant’s staff. They clearly don’t expect a maced man to stagger in and ask for an ambulance to be called.

I don’t blame the 911 operator for sending cops, it’s who the staff asked for after all.

But the cops who refused to get me medical attention until they’d interview me? Yeah, I blame them for my blindness.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Other Versions: 'MPDG' as an Audio performance by Greg Pak.

So this is the first time this has happened so far, but hopefully not the last. If/when someone chooses to use one of my Drabbles to either perform, create or evolve into another piece, I hope to share it with you via this sort of post.

Thanks to a Kickstarter, Comic book writer, filmmaker and all round great guy Greg Pak recorded an audio version of my Drabble 'MPDG'. And here it is.

Many thanks again to Greg for doing this!

News At Survival

“Warriors of Earth, we have been monitoring your signals for the past few cycles, and we have determined that you four are the best chance both of out races have to fight-“

The MMA star raised his hand at this point.

“Uh, whatever you are, I think you have a problem here. She’s a professional wrestler, he’s a movie star, and that’s a projection of a cartoon, right? You think we’ve got any chance in a real fight?”

The Anime schoolgirl focused, and shot a fireball that put a large, real hole in the wall.

“Maybe a small chance then…”

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Party Transition

When they burst through the door, the bikini-clad beauties around me all screamed and scattered.

“Sorry ladies, but your friend here is a very naughty boy!” said the owner of the boot whose imprint was now on my front door.

“You’ll have to forgive me, which debt are you and your friends here to collect?” I asked as I picked up one of the spilt bottle of champagne.

The five of them walked in, letting the scared girls run past.

“Cole’s fifty million.” the leader said.

“Ah yes, I spent that on bodyguards.”

Then my bikini-clad bodyguards took them out.

Friday, 1 August 2014

(Most Of) The Theist/Atheist Spectrum Explained With An (Imperfect) Boat Metaphor

Stuck in open waters.

Strong Theist: I know there’s a boat this way, it has spoken to me! *swims against current*

Leaning Towards Theism: There may be a boat, seems quite possible… *slowly swims against current*

Completely Impartial: I have no idea if there’s a boat or not. *floats in place awaiting further information*

Leaning Towards Atheism: I don’t know there’s no boat, but I don’t think there is… *slowly swims with current*

Strong Atheist: There is no evidence of a boat. *swims with current*

Fundamentalist Theist: *shoots everyone swimming with current then demands women carry him to boat*