Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Big John

Everyone called him Big John, apart from his wife who called him Darlin’.

Well, apparently there was one situation she called him Big John, ‘ccording to some of the ladies round these parts, but that ain’t here nor there.

Ever since him and his little lady rode into town, he was always looking out for his fellow man, always offering to pitch in and help tend the herds of folks who were down with pox, or joining posses to hunt thieves. Big heart really.

Like I said, everyone called him Big John

Even the bounty hunters who came for him.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


“77347, you got a present!”

I continued my push ups.

“I said, 77347, you got a present!”

I kept counting.

“77347, if you don’t want solitary for a week you stand up right this second, ya hear me?”

I got to a thousand and then slowly stood up.


“It’s your birthday 77347?”

“Dunno Officers. What day is it?”

The guards chuckled.

“Must be, why else would your bitch send you a cake?”

They revealed the cake.

“Oh, wait, better check for hacksaws!”

They tore the cake apart and tossed it at me.

Luckily it still blew up when lit.

Site News: The Rumble

So just a quick heads up/explanation for the upcoming month. Due to work and personal life I'm doing another theme run, in this case I'll be writing almost 30 or so Drabbles based on the list of men who have won the WWE's Royal Rumble match.

However, given that unlike past theme lists this list would be too restrictive if I just used names, instead each Drabble will be based on part of their name or gimmick or catchphrase or some such. I'm sure you'll pick it up. We'll be ending near the end of the month, right after the 2015 Royal Rumble.


Monday, 29 December 2014

The Storytelling Nexus

Most people are able to grasp the concept of a level of existence where stories intermix, where characters and settings coexist. However, the Storytelling Nexus is a little… Meta for most people. They can’t understand the idea that ways of storytelling exist somewhere. But they do.

At first there was just The Story. But soon it grew and split, into the Spoken Word and the Painting. And as every new method of telling stories developed, they came into existence, or an old style split or grew to accommodate it.

It’s a nice place, although the red light district is huge…

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Military Industrial Complex Bargaining

“For the record… Ladies-“ I began, checking to make sure they were all female as I strode into the room.

“Potentially illegal operational operatives of my non-publicised businesses do not get to collectively bargain.”

Bloodless Mary spoke up as she poured some drinks.

“You paid ‘armless Jack more to kill a five star general than you paid both Konchie Twins to kidnap one!”

The women all began to knock back drinks, so I took one from them and drank slowly as the discussions and negotiations dragged, until I was forced to give in fully, as they’d poisoned the ice cubes.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Ahead Of Me

She was always ahead of me.

She was born just under half a year before me.

She was named Alison Davies, so she’d always be ahead of me alphabetically.

She was put into school a year earlier than me.

She was the one who decided we’d be friends based on where we lived before I’d even notice her.

She was a university graduate as I still toiled on my thesis.

She was the one who proposed to me.

She was just able to make the plane while I got stuck in transit.

She was very brave as it went down.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day

I was feeling good about everything when I walked through the door, the bugs had left most of the second field alone. But any thoughts of the farm vanished when I saw my wife’s face.

“I know this is hard, but it’s time to box it up.”

Had I been in a worse mood, I would have taken issue, but instead, I sighed once, and headed down to the cellar.

As I walked down the steps, I tried to clear my mind, tried to think everything through, but once I saw the small coffin and lid, I just lost it.

Thursday, 25 December 2014


We never found out if it was planned, or just a horrible coincidence, that the Invasion occurred on Christmas Day. Humanity had stooped that low before, but aliens were meant to be different.

Not that I cared much, stuck in the tunnels beneath Munich, lost from my troop, the prototype jammer in a sack. And then he appeared.

A civilian, I presume, given how he held the rifle. The end of his nose had been hacked off, blood slowly dripping out. But all I cared about was the torch and map he had.

I never did find out his name.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Bureau of Lengthening Interdepartmental Teamwork Zeal (Extended Network).

You have to know an acronym like that had to come from a committee, with many stakeholders having input and working towards a brighter future and all that other wank.

Regardless, it was up to Muggins here to implement the damn thing. Not that the budget wasn’t impressive, and the pay increase was good, sure.

But I found it kinda hard to justify to myself, installing spying software on everyone’s computers to monitor their teamworking.

But then I guess if you sign up to join a spy agency, you’re cool with spying.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


When you’re one of the few doctors in the only medical clinic within fifty miles of the warzone, you learn to not get too freaked out. Certainly not when a kid drags in a woman missing a leg.

The kid was familiar, but even so I tried to get an interpreter, but they were all busy. Not that it mattered, the kid kept saying ‘Donna’ or ‘Donner’, maybe. So I took ‘Donna’ and, after a few hours, saved her.

While the woman the kid was actually trying to save, his mother, died due to a lack of a donor heart.

Monday, 22 December 2014


You know, most people don’t bother to read the classics. Those ancient stories are the foundation of our society, and it behoves us to know where we came from, in order to better understand where we are going.

Take Cupid, for instance. Everyone knows what he’s like now, but he’s more than that in the Sagas.

Mostly as a plot device to start stories in motion, sure. But he got his own story, the love affair between Cupid and Psyche, where Cupid discovered how painful his ‘weapons’ truly were.

Important lesson, wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Torturer?

Scream if you agree.

Sunday, 21 December 2014


I’d like to think that before the ‘Sign From God’ my people were content and calm, but despite what my advisers keep telling me, I strongly suspect that they were already upset, and this moving star was just an excuse to demand… Well, any number of things. Less taxes, less ruling from the nobles, more pigs, I presume. Plus sending out the guards to kill a few of them won’t work, I still need them to tend the fields and such. But, I think that I can still win them over, perhaps.

So tell me, how soon can you invade?

Saturday, 20 December 2014


The dress was sheer enough that you had to stare to make sure she was actually wearing anything, and with a body that could create and destroy religions, you were happy to stare regardless.

Every man wished she’d head towards him, either due to a desire to bed her or to know where she got the dress. But to the relief of most of the women (and the disappointment of the rest) she was on a mission, as she approached the quiet, nervous billionaire heir in the corner.

She quickly got her claws in.

And then he got his out…

Friday, 19 December 2014


His walk was unlike anything you’d ever seen before. He held his arms up at right angles with the rest of his body, like he was resting them on giant invisible blocks. His palms weren’t flat though, they kept switching with every step between hanging limply and raising up as if he was constantly surprised about something. And then when he ran, it was totally different, he folded his arms over and then-

“Yes, thank you, but can you tell me about the perpetrator’s physical apperance?”

Oh, well he was… Tallish, I think. Uh… White, maybe? Hair was… Uh… Um…

Thursday, 18 December 2014


It was exactly four and a half minutes after my girlfriend became my ex-girlfriend that I sat down on the grass near the ‘Groovy’ stage.

It was exactly thirty-six seconds after I sat down that I saw her.

It was exactly a minute twenty later that I saw her face appear from the swirl of purple cloth that drifted around her in the breeze as she spun to the music.

It was exactly forty-five seconds later that I walked over to her and clumsily asked for her name.

It has been exactly twenty years since I met my now wife.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


The Committee had designated it to be the twelfth most guarded job in the New Corporation. But while all the jobs higher on the flow chart were to be guarded from attacks from outside, the Historical Realignment Coordinator, informally and thus illegally called the Dasher, was guarded to prevent attacks from within.

For the person who spent every day reviewing unedited documents from pre-committee and removing all the non-core words and ideas, surely they would eventually go mad and try to think outside the box.

Luckily, the current coordinator is focused on working out why the name Richard is banned…

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Bliss Is Ignorance

He decided, after much careful thought, that since he only had a small time on this planet, he wasn’t going to pay attention to anything that wasn’t worth his attention.

People trying to sell him things were the most obvious to be ignored, that was barely a stretch for him.

Then he expanded that to ignoring all those who just wanted to talk with him about their religion, cause or issue.

Easy step from there to just anyone who disagreed with him. Even just once, he would begin to ignore them.

Went well, until he ignored the people yelling ‘TRAIN!’

Monday, 15 December 2014

Trouble In Paradise

Everyone in the office had noticed the change.

While he was never full of sunshine and lollypops, there was a marked difference between his attitude and mood a few weeks ago and how he acted now. Whereas he had once been agreeable and polite, now he was snappy, he never smiled, he was just generally mildly unpleasant. At least he kept to himself so no-one minded that much, but still, the common theory was that his home life must have taken a turn for the worse.

When actually it was the exact opposite. Work was keeping him away from Her.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Simple Kidnapping Case

The dame sauntered into my office, her hips swaying so much she nearly knocked over my coat stand. She practically poured herself onto the chair as I lit a stogie.

“You saved the Silcock baby from that cult, right?”

I chuckled softly.

“Don’t believe the rumors dollface, the sacrifice talk was a smokescreen for a simple kidnapping.”

She shook her head, her locks flowing like liquid gold.

“Well my darling little niece seems to be caught up in a similar… kidnapping.”

I took the case, and found the girl easy enough.

After all, how many little girls demolish city blocks?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Day Planning

She had been waiting maybe half an hour before he emerged from the bathroom, fully dressed and ready for work. She fell into step beside him.

“So you’ll begin today with an appearance on TV, Gary and Julia are the sympathetic hosts, Robert is the token left winger. Defend inequality, roundaboutly.

Then it’s to the Hill for the appropriations bill for Science Bureau, fight for every dime, try and cut as much as possible.

Back here at lunch, we’ll talk more then. Questions?”

“Who am I again?”

There was an exasperated sigh.

“Senator Gregory Albertson, Xu. Call yourself a spy…”

Friday, 12 December 2014

Angel Between The Sheets

She knew that some people would label her with terms that were insulting, at least to those who used those labels. But she also knew that she was doing good, that she was helping the men she interacted with. Far too many men had become overwhelmed, the monotony of their lives crushing their souls.

For some, it only took a few minutes, one conversation was enough to turn them around. Others, one night between the sheets. In extreme cases, a few months in a full relationship.

But she was lost when she met the man who enjoyed the soul-crushing monotony…

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Act 1, Scene 1

It all started when he was seven and a half years old.

The class had to produce a short ‘play’ as part of the presentation evening every year. Usually, this ended up being just a few unconnected scenes with the kids who could remember lines, and then a song from all the kids who couldn’t.

But after being told about this, a couple days later he brought in an actual play he had written.

The characters were pretty flat, and most of the jokes were lame, but it was performed, and he began his career as a writer.

With plagiarism.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Material Things

In my life, there’s been material objects that had an impact on where I’ve ended up. The car I won at 16 thanks to a lucky flush draw. The cord that tripped me, costing me my shot at Jessica. The jumper leads that let me ‘save’ Lauren.

Of course, the biggest impact came from the bullet.

Which is to be expected, after all, a bullet tends to produce serious consequences, so why wouldn’t it impact my life?

Although in retrospect, if given the choice, I’d rather have just taken it in the arm instead of leaving my fingerprint on it.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Five Times

The first time I saw her, she was on her knees, wearing a cotton dress and some chains, while she was being auctioned off.

The second time I saw her, she was pouring wine during one of High Priest Rerlom’s feasts.

The third time I saw her, I almost won her, but High Priest Rokali managed to score a triple on his last roll.

The fourth time I saw her was an hour later, when Prince Gorla got a double double and won her.

The fifth time I saw her, she was kneeling, while High Priest Rokali crowned her Queen.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Post Fall

It was hell after the Fall.

Life hadn’t been ideal before it, especially not for certain groups within society, and the Fall itself wasn’t a cakewalk, but at least in both of those, you could delude yourself into thinking you had control of your own destiny, mostly.

But after the Fall, your existence was at the whim of the weather, the fickle nature of what remained of the infrastructure, and the seemingly inevitable end from a raider’s crude weapon.

Life was cruel, short, miserable and quite frankly not worth living.

But it was so much better than after the Rise.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Election Night

By the time I finished the interviews, I found her alone, sitting on the floor, streamers and ‘Elect Jack South!” signs scattered around her, and a few empty bottles of alcohol lined up in front of her.

“So…” I began, before she held up a hand, and pointed at the muted TV in the corner, where an ‘expert’ silently talked about nothing at all, probably.

After a moment, she chuckled.

“So it’s official then, if even WNC is calling it. Jack South’s going to Washington. Despite knowing nothing and not wanting to go at all.”

I licked my lips.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

S.L.I.C Disorder

‘Sudden Loss of Impulse-Control Disorder” he called it.

Was a mental condition he developed in his teenage years, where he’d occasionally snap and do something impulsive, like try and steal your lunch or punch a co-worker or scream racial epithets at random. Was a chemical imbalance in his head, totally not his fault, but with time and medication if could be contained he swore.

I thought he was just another entitled young prick who had thought up some slimy excuse to just do whatever he felt like and blame a medical condition, and told him so.

I was so wrong.

Friday, 5 December 2014


“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Excuse me sir?”


“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Sir, my name is Gloria, and I’m-“

“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“The Floor Manager on duty.”


“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Please step away from the machine, sir.”


“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“We believe it’s developed a fault.”

“Because I’m on a hot streak?”

“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Sir, twenty-seven mini jackpots-“

“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Twenty-eight, that’s clearly a fault.”

“No, I’ll keep playing.”

“Yee-Ha, You’ve Struck Gold Pardner!”

“Very well, guards!”

“Better luck next time, pilgrim!”



Thursday, 4 December 2014

Choosing Choice Choices

They say that your choices truly define who you are.

They mean the big choices, the shooting the bad guy/saving the girl choices.

Except that when you end up faced with such a choice, you are shaped by all the little choices made prior to that point, so it’s no real choice at all.

And those little choices? All the influences on your life guide those for the most part, no real choices there.

So in the end, the only choice that matters is the choice to be born or not. And you don’t even get to make that one…

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


My thrall dragged the small sack into my den and then, after kicking it once or twice to stop it squirming, pulled out the small being within and placed it within the rune circle. I regarded the female, as it turned out.

“You sure this is a Gnome?”

“Quite sure, Mistress. Found her hiding among the dwarves, but she’s a gnome!”

“She looks fairly Hobbity to me…”

“Mistress, next you’ll be saying she looks like a Gnoll!”

I glared at my thrall, and it whimpered.

“The spell specifically needs a Gnome.” I explained, casting.

Turns out it was a Leprechaun.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Daily Routine

Eventually, it was as much a part of my day as sleeping and eating. After breakfast, before heading out the door for work, I would sit down and write, or rather type a short note to her.

The tone varied wildly. Some days it was sweet, thanking her for her and being a part of my life.

And others, it was pretty much porn, describing in some detail a carnal act I wanted to perform on her.

And then I’d hit send, and my wife would wake up to a love letter.

Thankfully, so far, she hasn’t discovered the BCC.

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Networking

With thirty million people living in the greater New York area, unexpected meetings between people were still common, even with WiHi and Threadcount and other competing apps people had installed in their chip phones.

People still struck up conversations while waiting for taxis, or got stuck together in weather shelters, new friendships and relationships still began to form despite technology seemingly trying to end all connections that didn’t involve monthly subscription fees.

Sure, the vast majority of meetings did come via the net, but not all, and that was good enough.

Meant I could take it down and not worry.