Monday, 31 August 2015

Special Request

She wanted a love poem. He wasn’t the greatest at picking up signals, but clearly, she was a little frustrated that she’d been dating a poet this long, and he’d not written anything for her.

So, he cleared some time, sat down with his favorite pen and a notebook, and thought about her.

He thought about her looks, her smile, her mind, her view of life, everything about her that made her her.

He stared at that blank page for hours, trying to work out how to express his feelings.

In the end, he just dumped her to save face.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

You’ll Live To Regret This

Her hand hovered over the large blue button that would end the world as we knew it, a sick smile on her face. I couldn’t break free from the nanoties, and thus did the only thing I could.

“You will live to regret this!”

She paused for a split second before turning to face me, her expression of suicidal mania replaced by annoyance.

“I quite obviously won’t, genius. The entire point of this plan is to wipe out the planet and thus allow Master to feed upon the planet, thus-“

That was enough time for Shinjo to take her out.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

War Of Art

Once they broke through the trench lines, I knew it was all over. I didn’t care who shot me, but since I knew someone would, I deserted, and headed home.

I was probably a few hours ahead of them when I climbed the stairs up to the apartment I’d hoped to raise my kids in, and called out to the woman I would be spending the rest of my life with.

She didn’t answer, slumped as she was in front of her canvas, the blood dried slightly.

I lost her, but at least I saw true joy one last time.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Fallen Mighty

I had only intended to stare at her sitting dejectedly in the mud for a moment, but after several she glared up at me.

“Are you going to help me or not?”

I had assumed her current predicament would blow some of her attitude away, but there was that same peevish sense of self-entitlement dripping off every syllable.

Still, I found myself helping her to her feet, and then made my best effort to wipe away some of the mud.

She sighed in her usual dramatic way, then shook her head.


It was mostly sarcastic, but still an improvement.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Contemplating Armageddon

I had hoped that, when the world ended, it was because billions of years had passed and we’d evolved into beings of energy.

I had wondered if the trends that the academics had worked out would indeed end the world, if we’d ruin it within a millennia.

I had feared that someone would build the wrong thing and we’d all end as grey goo.

I had heard, but discounted, the rantings that said a being of pure evil would rise up and cause Armageddon.

But a being of pure good, that judged us all unworthy? That didn’t occur to me.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


She felt she had no other option, which is a dangerous emotion in a mother.

But even though her life was worthless, as the priests kept saying during the only daylight hours not spent toiling, she felt that this newborn deserved better. After all, it was the Baron’s child, she could count backwards well enough to know that one drunken rape led to this child.

Thus, in dead of night, she placed the child on the Baron’s doorstep, hoping he would take her in.

The Baroness found the child, and knew, instantly, whose it was.

She had it dealt with.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


It was a fantastic dinner party.

All five of his guests were in sparklingly form, the comments over appetizers about some of the other patrons in the restaurant were very witty, which certainly explained the dirty looks.

As the fish was served, Gabriel began to tell one of his famous stories, one that lasted well into the main, although it never dragged.

Then the dessert and cheeses came with excellent wine, as Helena did an impromptu poetry recital.

Only then did Derek’s mind clear and he realised he was alone at the table.

Although the bill was sadly very real.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Safe And Sound

He was born Brage Blanco, but he had become known as ‘White Noise’ as he began to become more well known in the criminal world as a Posthuman who, in his case, could manipulate sound waves and happened to be albino.

Likewise, Socrates Hublot was known in the same circles, by his real name, as being one of the best bodyguards around, since nothing could penetrate his skin.

They each had successful careers as criminals, keeping under the radar of the Custodians, until their one failed, misguided attempt at working together.

All because ‘Safe and Sound’ had a nice ring…

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Nebula Lover

No matter how many times I saw the Cascading Nebula, I never tired of its beauty. The way the blue tints would shift and merge and breakaway, which gave the Nebula its name of course, it was always so beautiful, even seeing it two, three times a week as I shipped rations, weapons, whatever people had on Trilax 4 that they wanted to sell on Dimona Prime, or vice versa.

I guess the nickname of ‘Nebula Lover’ is pretty mild, considering. Certainly there could be worse things to be called.

But I never thought it was alive. Or could transform…

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Right Tool, Right Job

“Wakey wakey!”

I was nice and awake to hear this, thanks to a kick to my broken ribs.

“It’s a lovely… Well no, it sucks outside, but you’d still love to see it, right?”

He continued to talk in that same mocking tone, as I tried to focus on calming my breathing and blocking out the pain. I managed to withstand another kick, and him yanking my chair back upright.

The screwdriver jammed into my thigh, that I whimpered at. He laughed, and turned to fetch another weapon.

I’d undone the ropes, and now I was armed with a screwdriver.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Red Lined

I checked and rechecked the numbers, hoping against hope that they’d change, that I’d find that one I forgot to carry, or that a few zeros would magically appear somewhere.

But, of course, they didn’t.

I took my time heading up to the boss’ office, drawing out the moment for as long as I could. I turned off some lights, I cleaned cups in the break room, I must have drunk a dozen cups of water, but then, eventually, I went to break the news.

I presume he’d worked out the sums hours ago, given how cold his corpse was.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Doroa College

No-one knows more than me that relationships like this are a bad idea.

I mean, I know it’s technically legal, and I know you’re a consenting adult, as am I, and that that should mean it’s perfectly ok to be doing this, but…

What if we get caught? We’ll both lose our jobs, at the very least, and who knows what else they’ll do, our lives will be ruined if this gets out

I just…

I truly feel that until the school is integrated fully, Miss Adley, we should no longer have these ‘racial harmony meetings’, and…


Kiss me.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Pretty Little Headshots

Everyone these days has a smartphone. Which means that everyone has a ‘camera’. And that means most everyone thinks that they are a photographer, that they are an artist. And that’s bullshit.

I carry my camera, a real camera, everywhere I go, no matter how many people stare at it. There’s true art everywhere, but I tend to focus on people. I’ve taken thousands of photos of people’s faces and profiles, I’d love to show you my collection of headshots.

I can’t, of course. A lot of them were taken after I killed them, so naturally they’re locked away safe…

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Reversing Paris Syndrome

I knew all too well of the troubles someone could get into when they idolised a location. I had read all about Paris Syndrome and the like, the idea that when you go to a place that you consider the center of sophistication and culture and then you find it’s just another city or country, it can mess with your head. So I made an effort to avoid that, when I began to travel. I focused on keeping my expectations low.

Didn’t spot the possible issue until I found a genuinely perfect town, at which point I broke down totally.

Monday, 17 August 2015

King Rician The Great

As monarchs went, he wasn’t a noble, kind ruler of the people. Instead, he was greedy, uncaring, selfish. He imposed levies and taxes on whatever he could think of, and spent most of the money on fine food, finer alcohol and cheap women.

In any other time and place, he’d have been overthrown quicker than you can say ‘people’s democracy’, but oddly enough he was tolerated since he befriended all nearby rulers with his parties.

At the time, he was just… whatever.

But historically, he’s the greatest ruler ever.

Because he was clever enough to pay the record keepers well.

Sunday, 16 August 2015


Provided you allow for translation, equivalence and such, there are few phrases that have only ever been said once. Most people assume that such phrases involve putting disjointed items into one sentence, like “Put the carrot in the devil” (said twenty five times) or “My hovercraft is full of jelly snakes” (four times).

In fact, there have been just three totally unique phrases in history, so far.

One of them is so obscene that it wiped out the Roibak tribe (eventually).

The second involved a uniquely named person and a uniquely named horse.

And the other one started history itself.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Last Chance To Speak

It was when he got on his knees that I lost my temper.

I told him to stop making a fool of himself as I pulled on his shoulder to force him to stand.

“One last thing, please, Maria, please let me speak!”

I should have walked away, I should have turned on my heel and left him there. But no, I had to let him speak, I had to let him try one last time to force his way back into my life after I’d dumped his cheating ass.


“She’s my sister!”

That just made it much worse.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Pool Shark

I had the con down to perfection.

With my badly shaved haircut, woefully uncool clothing, and with a well trained pathetic cough at the hint of cigarette smoke, I was almost the perfect fish out of water in the seedy bars I’d frequent.

After a soft drink or two, I’d start to badly shoot some pool. And then, like clockwork, there would be someone who’d come over and goad me into a game for money, at which point I destroy them on the felt.

Like I said, I had it down. Until I pulled it in a true shark pool…

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Sabrina 003

She was a legit SB-003 Diner Servebot, not one of those plasticy SBX retro anniversary versions. She was the only reason I went into the noodle joint, the food sucked.

But then one day when I went in, she’d been replaced with a damn Waitron XJ9 unit!

I found Sabrina out the back in the trash. I gathered up her components and took her home.

Took me a few months to clean her up and replace all her malfunctioning circuits, but I got her to turn on, finally.

Once I work out how to override her free will, I’m set.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Kir’s Life

My life’s in a pattern now, albeit a patternless one. Every day is different, no two days match, and yet the broad strokes, the same general actions, they are almost like clockwork.

Some days I will get elaborate, Bloody Marys for breakfast, Daiquiris for lunch, Slow Comfortable Screws for dinner, Perfect Martinis for afters.

Other days, it will be whatever booze I can get down my throat at whatever time I can get it.

Anyone who would have been bothered to try and help me has long gone, thankfully. Just me and the booze.

It’s better than remembering, after all.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Lack Of Plan B

There was no Plan B.

There probably should have been one, really, we had plenty of time while we were rushing on horseback towards the giant volcano that had sprung up overnight.

Heck, could have been a fifteen minute conversation while the horses drank at a stream, just a quick “By the way, if the Interment spell fails, do we have a second idea?”

But nope, we were all so convinced we had this in the bag, we were already counting the gems and overly friendly villagers as we swaggered in.

Still, we did win.

Well, not lose at least.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Surprising Aftertaste

All week she’d been promising me a big surprise. I told her I didn’t like surprises, but she insisted.

Friday ended up being busy as hell, so when she greeted me with a cup of warm tea I drank it down quickly.

I didn’t notice the residue at the bottom, or the bitter taste of the sleeping pills until it was too late and I’d passed out.

When I finally woke up, she had a lavish spread out for breakfast, hence the “need to make sure I hadn’t surprised her mid-cooking”.

Breakfast was good enough for me to forgive her.

Sunday, 9 August 2015


While most cities dealt with the rise of superheros and villains, things stayed old school round here. The Taynts had a monopoly on weapons, The Three Squids had drugs and prostitution, and the Sherfields were banging on the doors of both of them.

And then Pandermonia came into town. She wasn’t like the traditional crims, but she wasn’t like the other supervillians.

She played all three groups, and the cops, and a couple of heroes, turning the turf war from low level scuffles to all out war. Everyone ended up weak and hurting.

Then her ‘twin’ sister Harmoni took over…

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Dropping Out

Beth and I communicated mostly by text. We’d met and everything, this wasn’t an internet fling or anything, we were in a normal relationship, but with her work taking her all over the state and my work having unexpected hours, it just made sense to mainly talk via text.

And thus, I thought it was alright to be to say ‘I Love You’ first, via text.

The long, drawn out delay before she replied gave me time to run through hope, anxiety, fear, annoyance, anger before finally settling on dawning realisation that she must have no coverage.

Then she replied...

Friday, 7 August 2015

Reality 2.0

By the time ‘Reality 2.0’ was finally legally allowed to be sold, the technology was years old, which was good in a way, most of the bugs had been ironed out, and there were already lots of mods and optional updates by the underground Realers circuit.

That’s important, because when you have the ability to experience literally anything, most imaginations just shut down, so preloaded scenes and ideas helped convince people to hook their brains up.

Then came the glitch, which of course had to be in the “Sex With Supermodels” scene, so everyone got it.

Population needed halving, really…

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Minor Things That Drive You Mad

I managed to put up with it for maybe fifteen minutes before I was finally too mad not to say something.

“Could you stop that?”

She looked up from her book, her eyes narrowing behind designer glasses.

“Stop what?”

I nodded at her hand, and the cheap pen she was holding.

“The constant clicking, it’s annoying.”

She stared at me as if I was mad.

“Look, I get you’re studying, and I’m sure you don’t realise your doing it, but I’m trying to concentrate, and the clicking of that pen is distracting me.”

“What pen?”

I guess I was mad…

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Three Rules Of Tian

In my fifteen years of running the Rangers Guild, plus my twenty-seven years actually working, I’ve seen a lot of weird creatures. A mage or witch gets drunk or possessed or whatever and decides that the world really needs a Slug Dragon, or a Swordshifter, or a creature that only eats people named Chris, or Kris, or Quiss or…

Anyway, the Three Rules, they’ve served me well.

One, do your fucking research.

Two, take out the prey’s senses, one by one.

And three, get a title like Guildmaster so you no longer need a name like Chris, or Kris, or…

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Little Girl Three Doors Over

Growing up, he saw the little girl from three doors over every day.

To be fair, it wasn’t exactly a huge village, so he saw most people most days. But the little girl, with her annoying pigtails and squeaky voice, every day he saw her.

Be it walking to the other side of the village to go to school, or being forced to kick a ball around with her by his parents, every day he saw that little girl.

The war changed all that.

Because when he returned from fighting on the battlefields, he finally saw the woman she’d become.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Knocking On The Door

Doug spent years spent travelling the country, wrestling in front of twenty people for ten bucks, the usual hard work story that most everyone in wrestling without a famous parent had to tell.

And when he got to the main stage, it was a pity hire, as they just wanted his wife, but she insisted he get a job as well.

They threw him out there as a glorified jobber who ranted about spending years knocking on the door, waiting for a shot.

Yet not knocking before opening doors led to him getting information that led to a big push…

Sunday, 2 August 2015

View From The Stairwell

The five year old him looked out the window of his mother’s top floor government subsidised flat.

The fifty year old him looked out the window of his top floor stunning penthouse suite.

The five year old him thought long and hard about how he would drag himself out of the gutter and to a better life.

The fifty year old him thought long and hard about how he had dragged himself out of the gutter and to a better life.

The five year old him couldn’t wait.

The fifty year old him still regretted what he had to do.

Saturday, 1 August 2015


Five months of the year, I’m a cowhand for the McAllisters over in Green Valley. Then it takes a couple months to drive them to the railhead. Then I spend another five months beating up drunks who get frisky with the girls at Moonbeam House. Then back to Green Valley, start over.

Not bad, but it’s real Ace-high thanks to having Rosemary.

No matter how hard a day I have, be it taming a bucking bronco or dealing with a dude with too many cowboy cocktails in him, I’m looked after.

Life’s good. Long as Rose and Mary never meet.