Friday, 31 October 2014

Mistaking Slenderman

The Internet has a lot to answer for. For every good thing it has done, there’s a problem it has caused. Allowing people from across the world to meet and share common interests and ideas is all well and good, but some ideas aren’t ones you want shared.

Take Slenderman, for instance. You know him, everyone online has at least heard of him. Tall, pale white skin, no face, black tentacles, hunts people and children… You know the guy.

Except that, well, you don’t.

For starters, he’s not a guy. I mean, the concept of gender is somewhat irrelevant here, Slenderman is as much male as ‘he’ is a babysitter. And how you visualise Slenderman is not what it actually looks like, it’s merely the nearest thing our puny brains can comprehend to it’s true form.

But the main thing people get wrong is that they see him as a threat, as the bad guy. That’s not true at all.

There are many, many creatures out there looking to take you, take your children. Horrors beyond your and my understanding. Slenderman you can at least visualise in some form, there are others as far beyond your grasp as nuclear physics are beyond the grasp of a housecat.

And Slenderman is trying to protect you, protect the children. It is the good guy here, it’s trying to get you to run away from the danger, but we keep running from it, and into the grasp of the true evil. It’s very sad.

But I hope, one day, you and everyone else will see the truth. Slenderman was very kind to me when we met. I mean, sure he took my eye, but it was a very apologetic about it, I’m quite sure.

Now hold still, this will only hurt a little.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Sometimes, he felt sorry for the pawns.

After all, they were people, most of them trying to get out of the gutter that he had put them in. They ran his drug labs, walked his streets, attacked who he said to attack, take the rap when he ordered them to.

He treated them as nicely as they deserved, and protected them to a degree. They were his pawns, and as their king, he felt some duty to protect them.

But then when he realised that he was just another pawn for a queen above him… Then he stopped feeling sorry.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

New Message From Gronak! (#4)

“Greetings Fellow Human! May Gronak ask question at you?”

I thought you… Never mind, what?

“I ask more question about thing we call love.”

Of course you do.

“Why give up love?”

Uh, some people have been burnt by others and-

“No, I refer to when someone let love go do other activity away from someone.”

Oh that. Well, you love them so much you want them to be happy, so you let them go be happy.

“But then someone is non-happy.”

Love means you sometimes are unhappy.

“Why do it then?”

Without it, humanity dies.


*Gronak is offline.*

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


One minute, Glory and Ayoneman were battling Spacee and Timee in front of their black hole generator, the next, all four were sucked into, well, a black hole, it appeared.

The rest of the Custodians of Earth quickly rushed to the machine. The three smartest minds on the planet worked quickly on the problem.

Within 10 minutes they’d worked out the wormhole induction that had occurred, and after 5 more minutes, they reversed it.

Glory and Ayoneman reappeared, their clothes tattered. The geniuses explained that time dilation often occurred, minutes here, years there.

Glory and Ayoneman didn’t mention the children.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Imperfect Storm

Seemed like whenever we began to head into stormy waters, a passenger would joke about hoping it wasn’t a Perfect Storm.

I tried to keep ambivalent about it, but eventually I cracked, and when the next person (a poor innocent Japanese girl) made a comment, I let loose.

I explained that the origins of the phrase were that it was originally a positive thing, and that even with current usage, imperfect storms were far more frequent and far more dangerous.

Of course, for a bunch of reasons, that directly led to me firing. It was a…

Horrible set of circumstances.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sad, Crazy Talk

So I was checking to see if anyone had leaked the new SnakeRed album when I saw this crazy post.

It started by sarcastically asking if the reader had heard of Steven Haynes, as if anyone hasn’t heard of him of any of his multi-platinum records.

It went on to say that his uplifting tone, his consistent positive attitude to life in his music was some conspiracy, that he was kept happy by drugs on the orders of the government to stop him using his talents to depress people.

Crazy, right? I’d link you but it got deleted pretty quick…

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Field

I woke up in the field.

I looked around, trying to find someone, anyone. Failing that, a landmark, a building, even just a hill or valley.

But all I could see was the field of flowers, pale red tulips in all directions, as far as I could see.

I looked at where I had been laying, but couldn’t find it, there was no outline, flowers stood all around me.

I jumped and landed on my back, and felt the flowers crush beneath me.

I got up, and saw not one flower was damaged.

I ran.

I fell.

I woke again.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Rock Naming

It was a tall pillar of stone overlooking the valley that had developed over millennia. It had several names, over time.

To the original inhabitants, it was Where The Sky And Ground Birthed The Storm Goddess.

To the colonizers, it was The Tall Finger Rock.

To the settlers, it was McGillian’s Point.

To the developers, it was Golden Rock Point.

To the teenagers, it was ‘The Main Street’

To the police, it was Suicide Point #53.

To the historians, it was Tall McGillian’s Point.

To the planetary invaders, it was a good vantage point to put a plasma cannon array.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Your Starter For 10…

It was the one fact she couldn’t remember.

As she was led onto the quiz show set, she kept going back to her boyfriend’s sessions with her, drilling popular culture into her head.

Anything she had deemed worthy she already knew, but to win big she’d need pop culture facts as well. But for some reason, she couldn’t recall how many seasons ‘Dark Space Limit’ had.

If this were a story, that would be the final question and she’d lose everything.

But this wasn’t a story.

It was near the start, and just cost her a trip to South America.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Gold Medal Performance

I left the party early, as my room was on the other side of the Winter Games village. When I entered the elevator, she was already there. She glanced at me and noticed the gold medal around my neck.

“Sport?” she asked in an almost stereotypical German accent.


She looked confused.

“They give medals in hairdressing?”

I laughed, she didn’t. After a moment, I noticed the two official carry cases in her hand.

“What you win yours in then?”

“Deception, impersonation.”

“They give medals in those?”

“Not directly.”

I only worked out what she meant when I sobered up.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Unbeatable Record

For centuries, it remained as the one record that could never conceivably be challenged.

No matter how much faster, stronger, tougher people got, at the end of the day, he was just a freak of nature. No-one had come close to swimming right around the world before him, and after him, there was a marked continuance of no-one getting close to it.

His body was perfectly suited to the task, he trained hard, and while it took him weeks, he did it. Legitimately, honestly, fairly.

Just a shame it was before civilisation had developed and thus no-one knew about it.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Double Time

I enjoyed my four day weekend, sure, but I was also eager to return to the office, now that my creative batteries were recharged.

However, the moment I stepped onto my floor, I could smell something… Off. It was subtle, a hint of something disgusting, but not enough to make me retch or anything.

After opening a few doors, I found him in one of the lesser used waiting rooms. Wearing the bright spandex tights of a bike courier, he tried to stand up.

“You were here since Thursday?” I guessed. He nodded, weakly. “Why?”

“Last… thirty-six hours… triple-double-triple time…”

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Boat On The River

His name was not known across the lands.

Instead, his name was known across the waters. Because while most anyone could make a crude pole, and most carpenters could make a decent oar, Baroma’s poles and oars were, unquestionably, the best in the world.

He made them for people all over the world, and thus his daughters (because even a craftsman has more than one interest) got used to dealing in many different currencies.

But one customer always paid in bags of ancient coins in small currencies.

Because after all, what else is Styx’s ferryman going to spend money on?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Shouting Out Into The Void

The smaller wrestler got an elbow up to block the charge, and as the giant staggered backwards, threw a superkick, cover, two count.

Obviously, said the internet, this was a reference to how the smaller guy won his second world title against another giant.

Nonsense replied, well, the internet, it was a blatant insult to the finish of their competitor’s secondary title change last week.

And the internet had many more theories, ranging from the obscure to the intricate.

Had any of them known it was improvised after the smaller wrestler fucked up a spot, they’d have been very disappointed.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Chance To Escape

There were seventy-three FJ24 forms left to process before lunch. George reached for the next one when the unidentified woman crashed through the window and landed next to the plastic fern.

She glanced at him and then scooped up the glowing statue into a bag, opened the door to the hallway then went into the stationary supply room.

George went to say something when three large and one small man came through the window. George silently pointed at the supply room door and went back to work.

After all, there were still seventy-three FJ24 forms left to process before lunch.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Warning Bells

The Bells were forged in the fires of the climactic battle that say He Who Must Be Blessed banish the Dark Princess to her Shadow Realms, the final battle of the Old Times, the first of the Modern Age, the Age Of Us.

They were foretold to be a warning, that they would forever be silent until the day when the Dark Princess was to rise again and once more try to cast her evil across the lands.

They stood silent for thousands of years.

This morning they rang.

But by now we’ve studied seismic shifts, and so we’re fine.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Band -1

The gravel, small as peas, moved beneath their feet and from it a faint dust rose, the perfume of the town.

At least, that’s how she saw it. For him, he just felt the ground beneath him move.

She heard the hustle and bustle of society working together to prosper together in ways that they could never do by themselves.

He just heard a noisy marketplace.

She saw the interplay of amber light on green trees and marvelled at the beauty of the world in even the simplest times.

He saw a discarded pizza.

She lived.

He kept her alive.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Band 0

My little world started to reveal itself to me.

Slowly at first, the mist clearing as waters receded, lands formed, life began to form.

I watched, transfixed, as in the blink of an eye the life went from barely moving single cells to multi-cell organisms, and then more and more complexity arose as every creature strived to become more, become greater.

I tried to keep my hands off, but I couldn’t resist a nudge there, a tinker there. Maybe I included too many beetles, but I liked them.

And then, finally, true intelligence formed.

And it killed my little world.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Band 1

“If you don’t have a capacity for solitude, you will always be lonely.” – Sherry Turkle.

I lived by those words as I walked through life without companionship. I was not lonely, I was alone, and that was fine. I didn’t need anyone, Me, Myself and I were all the company I needed.

And then everything changed as the whirlwind in female form that was Her entered my life. She came in, opened my eyes to the joys and wonders of being with someone, then as quickly as she arrived she left, leaving me lonely, for the first time ever.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

One Through Eight

The first mixture killed the hobo… I mean, the test subject.

The second elixir caused the victim to shake uncontrollably and foam at the mouth.

The third concoction went back to killing the drinker.

The fourth draught, while increasing intelligence, also turned your skin bright blue.

The fifth and sixth tonics had no notable affect.

The seventh brew I’m not allowed to talk about without my lawyer present.

The eighth spirit showed promise up until the screaming started.

And the ninth potion was useless, just made you kiss everything. I sold the recipe to a gypsy for fifty bucks though…

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Following The Money

Some people get the wrong idea when I tell them I’m a forensic accountant. I get a lot of jokes about adding up the costs of rubber gloves, when in actuality I just get called in after the arrest, and get handed a bunch of data and told to work out what is going on.

And most times, I do work it out, I follow the money and most times, I prove what is and isn’t legitimate, what is and isn’t criminal.

I follow the money, but it never occurred to me that some of the money followed me back…

Friday, 10 October 2014

Trusted Source

I was bound by the state laws on physician–patient privilege, and thus couldn’t go to the police with my suspicions. I mean, my patient kept telling me of his blackouts, about how he’d have dinner with his wife, and then pass out, and wake up in random locations with no memory of how he got there. And those locations kept matching perfectly with the scenes of the Unforgiving Murderer’s crimes?

Eventually, with my guidance, he accepted his crimes and gave himself up. Case closed, thankfully.

Until his wife killed me for taking away her alibi before she was finished…

Thursday, 9 October 2014

New Viewpoints

I should have known.

When I detected life forms on the surface, I should have stayed in orbit.

When I saw here as I landed, I should have flown back up, instead of, through the communicator, begin to talk to her.

When I learned they were a tribal race, where they would give anything needed to those higher up, I should have left.

When she looked scared and hid, I shouldn’t have tried to defend her from her pursuer.

But I should have known, once he took out my eye, that when I beat him, she’d then give me hers.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

An Important Distinction

I was pretty fortunate that I got to continue working on my comic when it was bought off me. And then when they decided to make a movie with her, I got to have input into casting and the like.

Despite knowing who had to play her given that I had based her on one specific actress, I still sat in on all the auditions and screen tests that they wanted, and several I suggested.

After all, there’s a difference between who I think can actually play the part, and who I’m quite happy to look at wearing her costume.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Learning The Final Point

He was the greatest swordsman in the land, but old, and looking to pass on his knowledge to someone worthy. But try as he might, no-one impressed him before they died on his blade, until she appeared. After it took him almost half an hour to beat her, he agreed to teach her.

The training lasted over a decade.

One day, when he felt she was ready, he attacked her.

After an hour, she landed a killing blow. As he began to bleed out, she madly began to try and stop the bleeding, much to his annoyance.

She’d learned nothing.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Premeditation Addiction

It took me a while to work out how to carry all the extra bottles of detergent I had bought with the ‘2 for 1’ offer up from the car, but I eventually managed it.

Of course, once I opened the door I forgot all about the savings I’d gotten.

I took in the burnt out candles, the now empty bottle of wine, the wilted rose petals across the floor. There on the sofa she sat, looking drunk, tired and angry.

Well how was I expected to understand that ‘having a surprise for me’ meant I should come home ASAP?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Adjusting To Adventurers

The King had sent me to pick up his new chandelier from the crystal makers, and…

Well all right, The King didn’t send me personally, there are several levels of servants and the like between us, but The King certainly knew someone was sent to fetch it!

When I brought the horses and cart to get it, the ten or so apprentices were carrying it when I noticed the odd looking holes in the wood. I asked what they were there for, and was told it was for ease of swinging.

Surprising how essential that feature’s turned out to be…

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Winners Deal

You often hear that wrestling is a drug. Ask almost anyone who has walked through the curtain, they’ll say that getting into that ring is like a drug.

And they’re right.

But you’ve got it backwards.

You think that it’s the thrill of performing that keeps drawing us wrestlers back in. But the thing is, we go out there and make you pay for what you want, and we give you just a taste, deny you what you want and make you come back with the promise of a true high, eventually.

Wrestling is a drug. And we’re the dealers.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Exact Change

The sign on the cart read “Exact Change Only”, and yet seemingly everyone tried to buy food or drink with a large bill. It wasn’t my idea, but I got to be the lucky guy to have to deal with the abuse over the rule. It got to the point where I pre-emptively began to hate people as they approached and I could tell they were gonna try and ask for me to ‘bend the rules just this once’.

The exact hundredth person who asked got a bottle of ketchup to the face.

Certainly was the exact change I needed…

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Daily Machine

The machine is always hungry, always demanding more.

It is, of course, a choice you make to begin to feed it. You can choose to ignore it, to not engage with it, and your life will be happy and free and dull and calm and boring and lacking that spark of creativity that can warm your soul or burn it to the ground. When you begin to create, when you commit to constant creativity, that is a huge sacrifice.

For every day, you must create, for the machine always wants more.

Thankfully though, indulgent self-absorbed crap is fine by it.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Book Covers

As a little girl, I was taught to never judge a book by its cover, to always focus on what was inside someone. Certainly my mother would never have fallen in love with my father if she’d focused on his appearance as opposed to his character, his personality, his soul.

This did get me a label of a weirdo, as I would treat everyone with respect (until they proved that they didn’t deserve it). Speaking with the homeless is ‘weird’, apparently. Didn’t feel weird I met Second Street Sally.

Right up until I found out some books have accurate covers.