Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Bullet Time

I probably had half a second, give or take a few microseconds, between the moment when he pulled the trigger to when the bullet would make the trip between the chamber of the semi-automatic and the wall directly behind my left eye socket.

In that half second, I surprised myself with how quickly I could think.

I was able to realise he was pulling the trigger, then hope that the gun would malfunction, a brief moment of terror, then acceptance that I was now going to die.

However, the realisation the bullet just somehow stopped in midair took much longer.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

By Starlight

The moons were waning, leaving just starlight to illuminate the night.

He always claimed he was one sixteenth Elven, but it wasn’t helping him much as he tried to silently move through the underbrush, hunting for nightdeer.

But once he came upon the lagoon, the starlight glinting off the water gave him a better view, perfect to gaze upon the Nymph sitting a few yards away.

She clearly had just emerged from the lagoon, droplets of water cascading down her form, as she ran her fingers through her reed like ‘hair’.

Then a nightdeer trotted through and ruined the moment.

Monday, 28 September 2015

A Specific Shade

Despite being one of the richest men in the world, Steven had a certain degree of anonymity. He made his money with boring but safe investments, he was neither praised for his philanthropy nor hated for his bastardry.

Which was good, as it meant no-one pried into his private life. Steven had certain… tastes, when it came to women and their company.

As he was in New York, he called Cassandra, and she sent around someone who specialised in what he wanted.

Sally turned up with no make up, an oversized jumper, pizza, beer, and the ‘Breaking Bad’ box set.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Circles Within Circles

Circles within circles.

To understand the universe, I needed power. True power. And while I never felt it was enough, I obtained the power to examine the universe down to the building blocks of existence.

Every time, there were circles within circles. Until the very end of circles.

But I still lacked true understanding, and so I headed the other way, and began to obtain the power to understand the macro as well as the micro. Systems, Galaxies, it was still circles within circles, and I understood the universe.

And then I broke through to the Multiverse.

Circles within circles…

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Ask A Stupid Question

The question hung in the air, as everyone sitting at the table stopped breathing except for the poor fool who asked it and the woman who was asked. The moment dragged, as an eruption of righteous anger and fury was surely about to come out and hit the young man right in the face.

But it didn’t. Instead, she calmly picked up her water and sipped it slowly, then placed the cup down with careful precision back on the napkin. Then, and only then, she shifted in her seat slightly to face him.

I expected a slap. Not a kiss.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Dodo 2.0

Back on Earth in the pre-ancient days, there was this bird called the Dodo, that died out because it didn’t understand the concept of humans being predators. So they’d come over to a human, all curious, then get killed and eaten right quick.

I guess these yellow bird things are related, given how easy it is to hunt them. Just put down some leaves under the ship, then tractor them up when they come to eat. I have a whole storeroom of brand new exotic creatures that are so stupid they-

Just cut the power.

And are now holding weapons.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mugging Without A Camera

I couldn’t understand what was taking the guy so long to understand the concept. He was in a suit and was thus rich, or at least richer than me, and I had a gun pointed at him and thus would now relieve him of some of that richness or else he’d become rich in lead.

But he just stood there, his head tilted to the side, staring at me with blank, almost dead eyes.

“I said, gimme your watch!” I tried again.

Then, he smiled.


His flesh began to dissolve into smoke, then it began to dissolve my flesh…

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Memories Involving Ill Fitting Shoes

The years that passed from that day drove most of the memories into the haze that covered most of his mind. He could remember a vague action here, a confused moment there, but mostly, it was just a jumble of sound and color.

Although, with that said, he did remember that his feet hurt for most of it. When he finally got to take off his shoes in an uncomfortable chair, he remembered that brief moment of bliss between the pinching of the leather and the burning of blood rushing back in.

He’d prefer to remember the wedding itself, though.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Importance Of Doom Avoidance

OK, my buff and mind control spell is nearly finished, just need the final line.

‘And Which No Man Can Stop…’

No, no, that just lets a woman do it.

‘And Which No One Can Stop…’

Wait, that would leave me open to two or more people.

‘And Which No Person Or People Can Stop…’

Dammit, that totally leaves me vulnerable to automatons and the like…

‘And Which Cannot Be Stopped By Any Mortal…’

Well hell, let’s just call the God of Golems now and save some time!

‘And Which Cannot Be Stopped At All.’

Wait, I can do that?

Monday, 21 September 2015

Broom Axle

It ended up being one of the longest running continuous productions in history, thanks mainly to the writer.

He wrote the original draft in high school, and polished it up enough to get it up and running by nineteen, helped immensely by his trust fund. But the thing was, he was never truly happy with it.

So, every week or so, he tweaked it. A line here, a word there. Sometimes a major change would be needed. Rob became Roberta. Don changed race. A song was added.

It went through drama, musical, comedy…

At least the name didn’t change.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Abundance Of Choice

There were four thousand, three hundred and seventeen different ways I could have done my errands that morning, considering the various options of order and method.

But I wanted to finish early.

There were eight hundred and forty-six ways I could have walked between my final errands, taking into account speed, route and what I could be doing during.

But I wanted to finish early.

There were fifty-two ways I could have crossed the street, most of them ninety-nine percent safe.

But I wanted to finish early.

There were two ways I could have dodged.

But I was too late.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Fresh Birthday

She had spent hours in the kitchen, refusing every offer to help. She was insistent that this was my special day, so I binged on that new sitcom in the morning, then spent the afternoon defending the fictional citizens of the Empire from those who would harm them.

And then when it was time, she sat me down and served course after course, each better than the last. And then came the final masterpiece, a mint chocolate cake, my favorite, made with real mint she’d grown herself.

I didn’t have the balls to explain I only liked artificial mint flavor.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Stuck Between Shades

The war between the forces of Darkness and the forces of Light had been going on for eons, and yet at the same time for just an instant. Black magic and White magic slammed against each other, over and over, each time altering the fabric of existence, changing, destroying, creating.

Those who were neither following a false prophet to their doom or dedicated to the path of righteousness (both sides thought they were the second one) needed a hero, not of the dark, not of the light, but of both.

And then Greymark was born, or created by battle, perhaps…

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Proverbs 28:5

“Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.”

It was written in cross-stitching inside a frame on her desk. I never really thought to ask about it, if she chose to believe, more power to her. Certainly as a boss she didn’t push it. She didn’t pepper meetings with quotes, she didn’t get angry when she found out Betty from accounts had an abortion, she was a nice enough boss.

It wasn’t until later that I realised the double bluff.

True evil does understand what’s right, so they can act like it…

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


O.S.B. was old school and proud of it. That’s how he got his nickacronym, Old School Bob. You wouldn’t hire someone like that to hack into surveillance cameras, but if you needed a mechanical safe cracked or something out of someone’s pocket, O.S.B. could be your guy, if you had enough physical cash handy.

It took me long enough to get it into his head what a floppy disk was and why it would be important. But he promised to get it for me, and he did, and left it in one of his usual hiding spots.

Green Park fountain…

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Kind Of Blue Algae

Xenobiologist’s Log, local time 25:44, day 102.

Thirteen new plant strains identified, see attached files. Special note to the algae sample, temporary designation “Kind Of Blue Algae”, molecular structure is very unique.

Dr. Davis Personal Log, mission day 633.

There was computer glitch this morning, we lost the entire jazz and classical music archives. I’m so going to kill the techies.

Starship Quester Fault Log, Fault #145

Data Overflow issue found, files on local algae are increasing exponentially for some reason, as if it’s taking over the ship like a virus, but that’s impossible-

No more logs. Only Me now.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Power Loss

Everything he had, gone.

All the support everyone had given him, wasted, as now he had no power and no real opportunity to come back from this.

His entire life had been building to this, from all that expensive guidance as a child, molding him for his rightful position, through to all the deals and questionable actions he had done to ensure he got to where he had been.

But now, as he stared into the mirror, a broken, powerless man, only one thing ran through his head.

Finally! Now he could relax for the first time in his life…

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Checklists And Guardians

As Gus stood at the front gate to Mercedes’ house, he made sure he had everything.

Breath mints, check.

Enough money for dinner, movie and a six-pack, check.

Fake ID, check.

Condom, check.

Flowers to give to Mercedes’ mother upon arrival… FUCK!

He looked around, and his eyes fell on a rose bush just inside the gate.

When Mercedes’ mother opened the front door, she slowly glared at the trail of dirt from the entrance to the roses in his slightly bloody hands.

“Those are my husband’s roses.”

He gulped, but then she smiled.

“I’ve always hated them, come in.”

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Counter Issues

I looked around, hoping to find an escape route. But there were mines scattered across my left, and the gunmen, sorry, gunpeople, had the right covered. But since I still held the bomb’s remote detonator, they were holding off, until someone up the chain of command turned up.

“Toss the detonator out or my boys and girls here will fill you with more holes than swiss cheese, troublemaker. I’ll give you to the count of six!”

I knew had to be thinking fast, but the weirdness of choosing that number threw me long enough to give up and press ‘ignite’.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Its Name Is Consistency

I was about fifty moments into my nightly sword sharpening when Hayer had one of her usual bouts of unreasonableness.

“Every night. Every FUCKING night.”

“Consistency provides assurance.” I told her, as I did every time she began her bout.

“How come the damn thing isn’t gone by now? You sharpen it so damn much it’s a miracle there’s any sword left!”

This was a new take, and I needed a moment to think up a statement she would accept.

“Consistent sharpening techniques allow-“

She suddenly lunged towards me, and I reacted.

I reset my count and started sharpening afresh.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Oh, the world’s still here. Good.

Let’s see if everything still works.

Main arm…

Other arm…

And lower arms….

Good, good. Now to check I can still summon Milkthing.

Calling Milkthing…

No, not you NonMilkthing! Milkthing!

Wait, what are you…

You can’t take my shield! I need that!





No, not milk… Oh… Fine…

I sighed as I tossed the blanket into the wash. Who knew a baby could scream that loud over nothing?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Invention Of Karma

It was maybe half past two when the rain cleared and we stepped out from under the awning when a bird swooped down and dropped some shit on her shoulder. She stared at it for a long moment before I tried to cut the tension.

“Well you know that’s considered lucky.”

She glared at me, then a bus zoomed past, drenching her with water from the backed up gutter. I thought quickly.

“That’s lucky in Mongolia you know.”

Then someone bumped the awning and more water drenched her.

“Buy a lottery ticket!” I urged.

She only got three numbers right.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Sugar Babes

I never called them Sugar Babes to their face. I know it’s a planetist term, I’m not insensitive.

But spending a lot of time around them, I learned why the term got traction. I always assumed that it was just because their skin was such a stark white color and they didn’t let their males leave the planet for some reason.

And then one night I finally gave in and visited one of their “Coffee” bars. I knew it was nothing like Earth Coffee, but didn’t understand the blinds around the booths.

Then I had a Coffee with two sugars…

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Stare

I was maybe halfway through my Jumbo Deluxe Loaded Baconized Burger Combo, when I realised I had gotten all three sauces on my shirt. I looked around for the napkins I had nabbed, and then my eyes met hers across the food court.

She was a little girl, maybe ten years old, and her expression was simultaneously the most judgemental and most pitying I’ve ever seen.

I didn’t know why, but that stare made me question my entire life history.

Then the girl’s mother noticed she’d dropped her black glasses, picked them up, and then led the blind girl away.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Umeko’s Party Trick

It was Umeko’s party trick since she was a teenager. She was barely over five foot, maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet with bricks in her handbag, and yet, upon request, she could ask anyone to stand a few feet away from her, and then with a sudden leap, she’d go from vertical to horizontal and (almost) always knock you down hard.

She’d learned it as a kid from her father, and like most good party tricks it was impressive, but useless.

Right up until the time she noticed this allergic idiot about to bite down on a prawn ball.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Expecting Miracles

He tried to slink to his desk without the boss spotting him, but Old Man Winters was too clever for that.

“So what was it, unicorn attack?” his superior asked, sarcasm dripping off every syllable.

He took one deep breath.

“No, there was an accident on Tu-“

“I don’t care! Half your pay has walked out the door, and if you don’t do some magical work today, it’ll be all of it, got it?”

He bit back a snappy retort.

“Yes Master.”

“Get on with it.”

He turned and rolled up his sleeves, and began to convert lead into gold.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Recrossing Calm Water Bridge

It could have been at a party, they both knew a few of the same people, that’s how they met in the first place after all.

It could have been at that coffee place that she introduced him to, she still went there and he was now equally addicted to caffeine, thanks to her.

It could have been at a concert, a conference, she could have needed her computer fixed, he could have had a torn suit jacket.

But no, they met again on the bridge where they broke up.

The river of life can be so unrealistic at times…

Thursday, 3 September 2015

School Work

“Free Internet Wifi! Thanks to the City Council!”

The sign went up on the outside of the library, explaining how the council wanted to help the kids get ahead on their schoolwork, and thus in the school grounds there was now free wifi.

It was, of course, extremely popular, and all the kids used it for their laptops and smartphones. Sure, there were some people outside the school who abused the privilege, but they were relatively few.

Just a great little idea and system. I got hundreds of pictures, records and other blackmail material, before the school worked it out…

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


It couldn’t have ended any other way, really.

Susan’s need to have everything just so, her life ordered, controlled, set. Right down to the lines of her suit jackets pressed perfectly, to the millimetre.

Janelle’s innate ability to, no matter how important the occasion or essential the task, to be distracted at a key moment, or to get too engrossed in something, or just plain sleep through something.

Something had to give, they clearly could not maintain a relationship without something changing.

Tears would be shed eventually, I was sure of it.

And they were.

At the wedding though, surprisingly…

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hardcore Russian Roulette

I must have been dragged a good mile before I was dumped into a surprisingly comfy seat, then tied up with unsurprisingly rough rope. When the hood was yanked off me, it took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the scene.

Nestor, I expected. The vodka, sure.

The nuclear warhead? Not so much.

Nestor smiled as he poured himself a large drink.

“Today we play, how you say, Russian Roulette!”

I stared at him.

“Where’s the revolver then?”

“My rules better! Tell me where she is, or I start cutting wires!”

He managed to cut three wires safely.