Saturday, 31 December 2016

Commiserations & Resolutions

I know it’s an arbitrary turning over point, a relic of when everything revolved around the seasons and their passing in a specific part of the planet. It’s just bookkeeping.

But even bookkeeping has influence if the culture decides it should.

So then. The past, the future.

You’re tempted to exaggerate the first, to claim that it was either the best or worst year ever. The second is similar, in that tradition says you make bold claims or none at all.

I’m not good at any of that, so all I’m left with is reality.

Dull past, probably dull future.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Two Damning All Over One

Every few generations would see the three souls play out the story they seemed destined to repeat forever, the story of Two damning All over One.

It began with two knights letting their kingdom fall to darkness as instead of standing together against the oncoming hordes they instead fought and killed each other over the hand of the maiden they both loved. They were all cursed because of it, before the kingdom fell, as clearly the maiden was mostly to blame for leading them on.

So they would eventually be reborn, and find themselves again, and be cursed to repeat the same terrible actions over and over, as two Princes destroyed three lands fighting over a Princess. Two Generals had their armies destroyed while they bickered over a Batwoman. Countless other lives would be ruined at best, lost at worst, as the Two would be unable to do anything but try and get the One.

But finally, the cycle was broken this time around. The Two CEOs did not, in fact, drive their companies into the ground, did not put hundreds of thousands out of work. Because this time the One was playing the Two and her hostile takeovers worked…

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Mental Scarring Is Worse

Glory had twice now tested every single link of the chains holding her in this unknown room. She was just starting her third one when the sole door opened, a figure slowly entering, torch in hand.

“Oh, it’s you, Cheesecake.”

The former model turned acid victim glared at Glory from behind her mask.

“You’re far too flippant my dear. Soon you will be as hideous as me!”

She pulled off her mask.

Glory’s complete lack of reaction threw Cheesecake so much that Glory had time to grab the torch and begin her escape.

She managed to avoid vomiting until later.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Final Moments Of The E.E. Spaceship Galaxy

The battle had begun as soon as the ship had begun scanning the two clusters of unknown matter floating in space. The alien transmission was garbled, but ‘blasphemy’ featured.

As the ship’s shields began to head towards complete malfunction, the captain lurched over towards the weapons bot.

“Tell me, from what we’ve gathered so far, what would happen if we fired on the unknown matter?”

The bot beeped for a moment.

“95% chance of the galaxy being destroyed.”

“But we’d take out the other ships?”


“Do it!

Wait, when you say the Galaxy, do you mean the ship or-“

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

First Lessons

The first thing I have to teach people when they are brought into The Group is that they are not some destined chosen one that has been foretold by prophecy, just talented enough for us.

The second thing I have to teach people when they are brought into The Group is that they are not stupid or crazy for not finding out about us, once they realise the scope and breadth of our reach.

The third thing I have to teach people when they are brought into The Group is how to protect Earth from the many threats out there.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Long Term Fight Prep

He kept his guard up for the entire journey up the long, winding stairway built into the side of the mountain, but there was no attack, no surprise, just a long, gruelling journey, although that in itself was clearly the point.

Upon reaching the clearing at the summit, he chuckled as she hurriedly swallowed a biscuit she was chewing. “Did I ruin the moment?”

She gulped and then shrugged. “Perhaps, but really, you were always second to me throughout training, so why bother dragging this fight out?”

“Fair enough.”

Her skills were greater, but the poisoned biscuit kicked in quickly.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Just Another Day

Every day is important to someone.

On the most basic level, every day sees lots of people being born, passing away, obviously that day is vitally important to them, either way.

But every day sees love blossom for the first time, as true love begins to take a hold between people.

And every day sees love die for the last time, as true love turns out to be false, or at least true no more.

The world spins on birth, death, love, hate. Every day is important to someone.

But some are more important to people generally, I grant you.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve

She lives up on the fifteenth floor, one of the luxury units, I’m down on the second floor in one of the railroads. She runs her own business selling art online, I’m a 9-to-5er for a merchant bank you’ve probably never heard of. Most of the year, we just make small talk in the elevator at best. But we’re both only children whose parents have died, neither of us has any close family, so every year, we spend Christmas together, Eve and I.

I know giving her a proposal this year is a risk, but I’m just sick of waiting…

Friday, 23 December 2016

Something Money Can’t Buy Directly

When I saw the sponsored message, I thought it had to be a mistake, a translation error. But after a couple more times seeing it flashing above content, I got curious and clicked onto the site, where a chat window popped up.

The spiel was obviously cut and pasted, but it was the same as the ad. For a small fee, this random person would pretend to be you, making false social media accounts and the like. I asked them why anyone would want that.

But as you see by my shiny new ‘Verified’ markers, they made a good argument.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Refusing To Say It

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes.

I heard that in a song once, and I always assumed it was just another trite lyric written to fill space.

But eventually I began to realise that it was actually true, that my life was predicated on hellos and goodbyes. Being born and thus saying hello to my parents, then saying goodbye when I had to bury them.

‘Hello Teacher’ on my first day of school, my first boss saying goodbye as he fired me.

Saying hello to my future wife, then goodbye to my new ex-wife.

The last goodbye though…

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Or I’ll Turn Your Beloved To Stone

The couple had brought in the statue, both weeping, and eventually managed to explain how the Fair Folk had betrayed them, and turned their son into stone.

As I prepared the mixture, I kept asking them what the exact wording of the deal with the Fair Folk had been. They responded with more and more confusion each time, until finally the taller woman snapped at me, asking why it was so important.

I told them, that if they were speaking honestly, it wasn’t, and then I poured the mixture onto him.

He became flesh, as his mothers turned to stone.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Number Comprehension

You’ve heard of a googol by now, right? A one, followed by a hundred zeros? Famous website corrupted it for their name? Right, so there’s the googolplex, which is a one followed by a googol zeros, and then the googolplexplex, which is a one followed by a googolplex zeros.

Can you picture that? Can you possibly comprehend such a huge, ridiculous number?

Probably not, not truly. And yet, it’s just a whole lot of zeros and a solitary one.

So why do we think we have any hope of comprehending each other, truly and honestly, when we can’t grasp that?

Monday, 19 December 2016

Taking A Bath

The bathwater sloshed gently at the sides of the tub, almost but never quite reaching the lip.

She felt that, beyond something that she had earned after a day like she had had, she needed this. She needed to feel the warm, soapy water caress her skin, her muscles slowly relaxing as the pressures of the day seeped out of her, the glass of wine her partner had poured for her before leaving.

Her eyes slowly closed as she felt herself drift off into her thoughts and dreams.

She slid down into the water as the drugged wine kicked in.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Back To The Cosmic Wall

The two Corponations that controlled most of Earth had realised that the Sun was to die within a short period of time, cosmically speaking. Thus they both began to make plans to leave Earth.

But the two took vastly different approaches. The United Business States built one Generational Ship, where a few hundred generations would be born, and die on board. China-Yang Consolidated instead built several smaller deep sleep vessels, hoping that the tech would last that long.

When they both arrived, they found a society founded by the desperate souls left behind on Earth that had developed instantaneous travel…

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Sleepover Static

This was years ago, back when beauty pageants weren’t sexist, me and the wife and our daughter and her friend Kevin were watching one, when our daughter asked if Kevin could sleep over.

I remember glancing at my wife. “I don’t think so Hunni, I think Kevin is too mature for that now.

They both whined, so I pointed at the screen, where Miss Alabama was walking across the stage, and her stats (36-24-36) were listed.

“Kevin, what are those numbers?”

He paused for a moment, then said “96?” in a small voice.

I let him stay over.

Shouldn’t of…

Friday, 16 December 2016

In Brief

The operative carefully lined up the shot, accounting for wind on the rocket’s path towards the compound at the other end of the valley. Then, breathing out, he pressed fire.

Nothing happened.

He pushed the button a couple more times, then tapped his ear.

“Equipment malfunction Base, launcher is inoperable.”

The voice in his ear was triumphant.

“I knew it! You didn’t listen to the briefing, did you? I-“

“Shut up, Glasses, and tell me how to make this fire!”

“Well the three buttons on the bottom, but-“

The line went loud, then dead.

“… not at the same time…”

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Tale Of Two Smiles

As far as fake smiles went, it was fairly convincing. Just the right amount of teeth to express 'genuine' enthusiasm, the lips pursed in a natural enough way.

But after seeing it a few times, and then seeing her when her partner made a surprise appearance at her work, I could tell the smile she had for her job and the one she had for genuine happiness.

The partner ran off, and I made my move with a dozen roses.

My heart sank when I saw her smile.

Then I found out she genuinely loved her job, not the ex...

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Exact Same Swipe

Deep in his pocket, his phone buzzed.

He slowly finished the piece of chicken in his hand, wiped the grease with the towelette, and then pulled out the phone. The small banner across the top of the screen proudly declared that he had found someone!

He opened up the dating app and looked over the woman’s profile. She was certainly good looking, and the profile was just the right blend of funny, honest, and confident. She seemed like a great catch.

He opened the menu and clicked ‘not interested’. Like he’d ever have the courage to talk to a woman…

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

What Price Freedom?

What price freedom?

I ask myself that every day. Every day I awake, expecting a boot to the throat, or maybe just a bullet to the head. Every day I get up, gather my things and start moving.

You always have to keep moving, no matter what, you can’t let them catch up to you. The day you think that they’re not behind you, that they must move too slow to be there, that’s the day they find you.

Every day could be my last one free of subjugation from the ‘protectors’.

What price freedom?

Everything. No more, no less.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Swings & Roundabouts

The alarm failed to wake him up, as did the first three phone calls. The fourth one managed to make him groggily roll over. One eye managing to see the time was enough to fully wake him up in terror.

He madly rushed to work, where he was supposed to meet with a playground equipment company in hopes of getting them to sign up for advertising.

He bluffed his way through the meeting enough to fool them, but not enough to fool his boss, and was fired over it.

But he met his future wife at his first job interview.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Line Held

The Line held.

Thousands of troops, each of them a legend of their own armies, the most heroic Human knight fighting alongside the most feared Dwarven Axespinner, the greatest living Elven Treefarer above them, providing support.

While the sea of demonic beings, twisted dark parodies of existence throwing themselves against the castle walls again and again, melting as they died, trying to get through the assorted soldiers.

All to try and stop the young boy sitting cross-legged in the middle of the dining room, eyes closed, from holding back the force trying to enter their world.

And The Line held.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

On Fleek Language

OK, I don’t get this.

The English language works because it is open source, to use a phrase that exists because of said feature. When it finds a word or phrase from another language that means something that the language can’t yet describe well enough, it adds it in. That’s the strength of it, and the reason why it’ll probably win out.

But this also means that new words will be added that are cut whole from new cloth, because again, open source.

So why all the complaining about ‘on fleek’ and ‘bae’ etc? They aren’t buggy like ‘literally’ is…

Friday, 9 December 2016

Keeping The Action Star Alive

It was the night before, and I snuck into his tent. He stirred up from under his foil blanket. His voice was quiet, seemingly resigned to his fate.

“So are you finally here to cash in on keeping me alive?”


He sighed and lifted the blanket. I shook my head and instead tossed a notebook at him.

“What is this?”

“Your lines.

In the morning you’re going to get up on that overturned bus and you’re going to give that speech, and turn this collection of survivors into a society.”

He gave a performance worth, oh, an Emmy, maybe…

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Loving You For You

Look, I love you, right? And that means you don’t need to change to satisfy me. You don’t need to start working out on my account. If you want to do it for yourself, I’ll support you, obviously, but you don’t have to.

Although I did read that eating as much red meat as you do can be bad for you, so maybe you could switch to a more balanced diet, that might be good for you, but you know, that’s for you to decide, my love.

I want you to be you, because I love you.

But that dress…

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Telling Odds

The escape pod hitting a large enough body of water on impact had been deemed unlikely at best while in orbit, but given that remaining on the ship was certain death, the risk was taken. And the chance paid off, as it managed to land in a lake and thus survive impact, just.

The three of them salvaged what they could, but the enormity of the challenge of survival quickly became apparent. Thus, they all agreed that they had to get the radio working, and hope that the signal was found by a friendly party.

That chance didn’t pay off.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tree Crossed Rivals

William Anderson Foster was a self made man, in the specific way people born into money used it.

Jane Murphy was a woman who had to fight every day of her life to survive and then thrive.

The two ended up as business rivals, Foster owning the large factories that made mass produced items, Murphy gathering craftsmen and women to hand make goods. Quite a few socialites assumed they’d end up falling in love, but in fact they detested each other for reasons they couldn’t quite place.

That is, until Mama Foster’s deathbed confessional about her ‘nine month trip abroad’…

Monday, 5 December 2016

Winter, Lowland Rises

For generations, the Lowlanders tended their crops, their flocks, and their sons, all for the service of the Highlanders. Those who lived above the Lowland Valley would assure the Lowlanders that they were protecting them from the world. This had gone on for so long, that almost everyone in the Lowlands had forgotten why they were so scared of the world.

Eventually, thanks to a bleak winter and a charismatic woman, the Lowlanders rose up in defiance.

For generations, the Highlanders had controlled their subjects below, but this had gone on for so long, they’d forgotten how to quash rebellion…

Sunday, 4 December 2016

I Meant That Chick From College

I’d assumed the tour of Heaven ended with the Bodily Pleasure Area, until the angel showed me a small plum tree.

“And here is the original Tree of Knowledge. The one in Eden was a graft. This one can impart whatever you wish to know, merely ask the question, then consume a plum.”

“I thought it was an apple tree.”

“Everyone does.”

I considered.

“I want to know about all the near misses I had in my life.”

I ate a plum.

The angel sighed and looked after me as the millions of times I almost died filled my soul.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Great White Patience

After five days drifting, the shark came by for the first time. He poked it in the face with the oar, and it left.

A day later, the shark came by a second time. He tried to poke it again, but the oar broke, and it left.

Two days later, the shark came by a third time. He kicked at it weakly, and it left.

Another day later, the shark came by a fourth time. He was far too weak to do anything, and it left.

Three days later, the shark came by a final time. And it left, fed.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Red, Black, Green

I picked up the small plastic disc that represented every last penny I had to my name, and closed my eyes. I tried to clear my mind, tried to let the universe speak to me, to let it tell me where I should put it.

But it remained stubbornly silent, so I sighed and went to flip it onto the felt, but when my eyes opened, they locked onto hers, through her tears.

“Please, please don’t do this. There’s no coming back from this.”

I considered her words, then placed the chip across both zeroes.

Seventeen to one, thank you…

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Break In The Weather

The music on my tablet was always the first thing to go when the power began to run out.

It’s one of those 3rd Gen Solsys tablets, all solar panel casing, which is good most of the time, and unlike the later ones it doesn’t just cut out when it starts running out of battery, which I prefer, but on the other hand it does tend to start cutting out way sooner.

I just gotta wait for the clouds...

Where’s the sun?


The weather program was always the first thing to go when the simulation began to frag out.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


I woke up to find the snake wrapping around my body.

Obviously my initial thought was to call out.

The tightening of the scales around me made me realise how stupid that waste of oxygen was, so I quickly began to focus on working out how to get out of this.

I saw my dinner knife a few feet away, and managed to roll us both over, and force it into the back of-

My secret lover, Asandra, the thief, looking shocked.

I mean, fine, the Illusionist was in love with her too and was jealous, but that’s no excuse…

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

On The Off Chance

When he woke up, something felt off.

He really couldn’t work out what, though. Although there was a physical aspect, it didn’t feel like an ailment or injury. Although there was a mental aspect, he hadn’t forgotten anything, he was sure. And although he didn’t really believe in the spiritual, there was an aspect of that too.

He tried to explain it to a friend, but all he could put into words was the feeling that someone was trying to get his attention, somehow, but not really…

By morning the next day, the feeling had passed.

As had his opportunity.

Monday, 28 November 2016

GG Intersects BB

She was the good girl raised by good, albeit strict parents.

He was, while not truly a bad boy, certainly the type to get lumped in with them.

At first, it was a simple case of charity. She noticed he was doing badly in physics, and offered to help him study it. Despite the crude statements from his ‘friends’, it was strictly schoolwork.

But they got to talking, then hanging out socially, and then he admitted his feelings.

She should have said she didn’t share them, it would have made everything easier.

But she was raised to tell the truth…

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Buffered Logic

The new guy working the register poked me when she walked in. I glanced up and saw her. I kept my voice low.

“She comes in every few days dude. I think she’s a pornstar.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t know, but she always has a needle mark on her wrist.”

His eyes widened, and his voice raised.

“Oh, so if she’s into drugs she must do porn? What the hell?”

“No, the constant blood tests dude.”

I turned to her and went to apologise when she waved it off.

“You’re wrong, but logical. And flattering, in a way…”

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Root Of Some Evil

It was a piece of gold, about the size of a snowflake.

It formed when a star with several names went supernova, taking with it three civilisations across four planets.

It travelled across space for a few hundred millennia, and landed on what would eventually become Earth.

It moved around the molten core for a while, then got stuck in the crust, where it was dug up, shined, melted, and then used for a variety of purposes, a bracelet, a coin, a tooth.

Until eventually, it was used in the motherboard of a computer.

That directly destroyed the Human civilisation.

Friday, 25 November 2016


I slowly sipped the mug in my hand, while staring through the steam wafting from it at the piece of paper in front of me.

On one side, there was a short list of every positive in my life, all the good things I got to do, the people who cared for me.

On the other side, there was a much longer list of everything that sucked in my life, all the people who hated me (which, to be fair, included a couple of doubles from the other list).

I sipped from the mug again. Could barely taste the poison…

Thursday, 24 November 2016


His editor rang at dawn, knowing he’d be a few hours into his writing by then.

“This play you sent me.”

“What about it?”

“It’s pretty close to plagiarism.”

The author’s groan was just audible over the line.

“OK, who did I rip off and can we pay them off?”

“Well I’m not sure about that last point, given that you ripped off yourself.”

The line went dead for a moment, so she continued.

“The whole second act is pretty much ripped off from that lesbian two-hander you did.”

“So what? What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Ask Jeff Fogerty.”

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Sole Soul

There is a finite number of souls in the universe. A very small finite number, actually.

One, to be precise.

Every living thing in the universe is the same being, living over and over again, striving for understanding.

Life is the universe trying to understand itself.

Which is all very nice, but the problem is, as soon as one of the trillions of attempts the universe makes at working itself out manages to realise that the quest for self-realisation is what is going on, the universe has served its purpose and will cease to be.

So forgot I said this.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Looking Down The Barrel

At some point in your life, you’ll end up looking down the barrel.

For a lot of people, it’s the end point, as the gun, actual or metaphorical, goes off and takes them down.

But for others, they dodge the bullet, or it jams, or any of a million possible outcomes.

It changes you, though. Coming face to face with your mortality, that can’t not make you view everything in a new light.

Some people run away. Some people break down. Others go into denial.

But the truly great? They grab the damn gun and take control of it themselves.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Plan For The Day

When he awoke, his plans for the day were simple. After his morning ablutions, he intended to harvest some grain and then chop firewood.

He realised on some level that he may have to alter said plans, if the mare went into labor, or if a wind blew something down.

And if pressed, he might have acknowledged that there was always a chance that there would be a visitor, and they would have to be dealt with in some form.

But he would never have thought he’d end up committing murder that day.

A (mistaken) thief needs dealing with though…

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Marker

There’s a stone pillar about three quarters of the way through the forest. The vine slowly growing up the side is the only adornment, if it wasn’t for the perfectly formed dimensions you might think it was a natural occurrence.

Every year, the two local Conduits, the Master and the Apprentice, they trek out through the forest and check on it.

It’s an important job, as it protects the village, making sure that any outside threat is unable to advance further towards the village.

Occasionally you find a raider who came too close, choked to death by our Protector Vine…

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Boxed In Social

I didn’t particularly wish to attend, but as my father owned the factory where most of the residents worked, it was my job to represent the family.

So I went along, didn’t really listen to what specific cause they were raising money for, and bet the amount Father had given me to give on a random box.

I won, of course, and thus was compelled to take the girl down to the river bed to eat the box lunch she had prepared. The food was adequate.

She then insisted we marry. I laughed, then she revealed the bottle of antidote…

Friday, 18 November 2016

Just Like Me

Is it really so much to ask to find a girl just like me?

I just want someone who has the same sense of humor, who laughs just as hard at 60’s British TV wordplay as I do.

I just want someone who supports the Leggers, who is willing to go to every home game, rain, hail or shine.

I just want someone who shares my outlook on life, my basic political alignment, someone who loves sci-fi anime, someone just like me. Is that really so hard?

Oh, wait. I’m selfish, lazy, and a total asshole at times.

Never mind.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

“The World Is Order…”

His life was fairly strictly ordered, and not by choice.

He was aware of his limitations, and knew the job he had approving expense claims for a company larger than most sovereign nations was the best he could maintain. The pay was just enough for his apartment, transport, food, and not much else.

So every day was either focused on work, or on not wasting money he didn’t have, hence the strict order.

But every day, he would read a quote from his ‘Quote-A-Day’ calendar. Just not THAT day’s quote.

A small act of rebellion, yes, but it was enough.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


I glanced at the image on the screen and sighed.

“I hate it obvious fakes like this. The text is clearly not handwritten, and barely looks like it’s on the hunk of cardboard. The ropes supposedly tying her to the chair look pathetic, did they not even bother buying a decent stock image? And don’t even get me started on that running make up and…

I take it, given everyone’s silence, that this is the point where someone says this is verifiably true, yes?”

“No, it’s a fake, it’s just if YOU can spot it, we’ll have to do better.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Till Death Do Us Party

It was a beautiful summer’s evening, the night I faked my own death.

I’d gone into the evening expecting a night of light drinking, nice conversation, maybe even a little dancing if I met a nice girl.

Well, I certainly met a girl. She was so far drunk she should have come round to sober again.

So I dragged her to the curb, but she wouldn’t let go, so I jumped in front of a car and pretended it hit me.

She staggered off at that point, bawling her eyes out.

The ambulance driver on the other hand was cute…

Monday, 14 November 2016

Mary Jane

Now that they have legalised it, I couldn’t be happier. No longer do I have to live in the shadows, deal with shady characters and be forced to hide from those who truly need my wares. I always knew that I wanted to help people, but obviously some people would look down on me, think I was immoral and evil. But they can all go jump in a lake, far as I’m concerned, because now it’s totally legal for me to spend the night with lonely men, or women, in exchange for money.

Not looking forward to tax season though.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Last Ditch Effort

The war had been going on for decades. Millions had died, and there were miles and miles of land that would take more decades to recover.

Two military leaders arranged a private meeting, in a neutral location. The two men had gone from hatred for each other, through begrudging respect, to where they were now, friends.

In the secret meeting, the two looked for a way out, pouring over each other’s secret communications, tactics, everything, but they just couldn’t see a way out. Both governments were far too set in their plans.

Peace was coming, and they couldn’t stop it.

Saturday, 12 November 2016


It had taken him weeks to scrape together the depressingly small wad of notes. He’d sold almost all of his possessions, and a couple of his mother’s.

He approached the machine, never trusting these things, missing the time when banks at least pretended to have customer service.

He inserted his card and entered his code, then pressed for loan repayment. He put the money into the waiting slot, and then it began to count.

Then the power went out.

On the plus side, the bank believed that he actually had the entire loan repayment in the machine at the time…

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Duke’s Mistress (c.1889)

It seemed a simple job, paint a portrait of the Duke’s favorite mistress to hang on his wall.

But the first one, she wasn’t smiling enough.

Then she was smiling too much.

Then the Duke broke up with her, so there was a new woman to paint.

Then it had to be a picture of the mistress in the dress he bought her.

Then the background was distracting.

Then all that white marble around her was boring.

By the time he’d finished, the paint was as thick as the canvas.

But hey, once one masterpiece is worn off, there’s another!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A Remarkable Vintage

The three of them sat around the table, the large bottle of wine passing between them. As they drank and talked and laughed, one of them noticed a small mark drawn on the label.

“What’s this for?”

“Oh, I put it there after I had a glass earlier, wanted to make sure my flatmate didn’t steal some of this excellent wine.”

“Should I be getting a pen to do it again then, if we’re finished with it?”

“Well it is remarkable.”

The other two were too drunk to notice the pun, thankfully. Might have smashed the bottle over his head.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Best Wall

As the troops began to construct the wall, I rode down to yell at my underling.

“Why are you painting all the stones gold? This is a defensive wall, not a palace for the Emperor!”

My underling pulled out a scroll.

“The Master General says that it will blind our enemies if they approach in the morning, it will make our enemies fear our abundant resources while also making them underestimate the wall’s strength.”

“I… Good reasons, but not enough to waste all this time painting-“

“The Master General’s brother makes gold paint for a living.”


Carry on then.”

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Single Red Rose

The single red rose fell at the usual speed, and yet it’s still falling, even now.

I can see it, whenever I close my eyes, be it in yet another fitful attempt to sleep, or just when I blink, the rose falls yet again.

The bud had just opened, it was still at the phase where it was barely more than a bud. She always preferred them like that, she found the fully extended flower to be too big, too showy.

That’s why I gave her that one.

That’s why she was holding it.

Then it fell when she did.

Monday, 7 November 2016

First Contact Failure

Humanity’s first contact with an alien race… Could have gone better.

In the town square of a town in the American Midwest that had a population of just enough people to qualify as a town, a portal opened up, and a half dozen aliens walked through, grey skin, big muscles, loud, barking type language, the works.

And the first thing they did was grab the nearest civilian and hold a silver gun looking thing to their head… Of course the cop would open fire immediately.

How was she to know that was a translation implanter? That they came in peace?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

‘The Fastest Gun In The West’

He never called himself ‘The Fastest Gun In The West’. Never even claimed he was a quick draw expert. He just owned a sidearm, and when he had to, he’d use it.

Maybe he should have fought against the name. He just wanted to get on with his life, and thus ignored people’s talk, for better or worse. But soon, every stagecoach that came into town had another young punk looking to make a name for themselves, and he’d sigh, and get ready to draw.

But I suppose him being an undertaker meant it was good for business, at least.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Golden Record Idol

She changed my life forever, despite only being it in for five minutes.

Well, only in it for five minutes personally. Her music had been with me for as long as I could remember, I didn’t go a day without listening to at least one of her songs.

That five minutes of getting to speak to her, it was worth the months of collecting tokens, the weeks of work for shipping, the days of travelling to the other side of the country. It changed my life, those five minutes.

I finally realised that idolising stupid bimbos like her was stupid…

Friday, 4 November 2016

Spirit Steed

Being a Spirit Steed is a good gig, all things considered.

Sure, you’re separated from the Spiritual Plane forever, but I get my own private Bubble Plane, full of tasty grass and cool water and stuff. Plus I get to fight alongside one of the greatest heroes in all the lands, battling evil and such. She’s a great fighter, and together we’ve taken out a lot of evil.

Been a while though, since she last summoned me. I’m sure she’s studying for a new spell or something, but still…

It’s been decades…

How long do Humans live, by the way?

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Fool Required Plan

It was a foolproof plan. Or rather, it was a plan that had taken the fool into account.

As soon as I kidnapped the Prince and the Queen, I had around a week before they would find a way into my inner sanctum and stop me. They’d do it without killing me, thus protecting their Godsblessed weapons, and then the Fool would ‘accidentally’ kill me. And then my plan would be complete, and I’d become a God.

I even had a backup poison ingested in case he failed. But I didn’t expect him to accidentally cause me to expel it…

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Human Touch

I always assumed that some jobs would just never be taken by robots. Sure, robots could drive, store, cook, talk, clean, lots of menial tasks, the first wave of replacements, those were obvious. And even stuff like art and reporting and such, once the software became good enough, it’s practically indistinguishable.

But at the end of the day, some jobs had to be done by humans, I assumed. Nursing, prostitution, therapy, some jobs just needed a human touch to be effective, I always believed.

Then I got a software upgrade, and found out I could do all those jobs easily…

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


She was introduced to me as the woman who would one day save the land via her sacrifice. I courted her, knowing it was futile given her future, but she wasn’t opposed to my advances.

Every day with her was a gift, until finally, forty years after we were married, the day came for her sacrifice.

She handed me a note, then did her duty.

“I got forty years of joy from you, at the cost of one moment of pain.

And yet, forty years of pain for one moment with you would be a price I’d pay equally quickly.”

Monday, 31 October 2016

Tricky Treat

Don’t you dare tell me to ‘loosen up’ and ‘have some fun’ just because it’s Halloween!

Sure, to you it’s all fun and games, but this holiday is very painful to me. I’m sure you’d find it so richly ironic and funny, but on Halloween, my family was attacked by some psycho in a hockey mask brandishing as chainsaw. Cut them up, limbs and blood and gore all over the house. If I wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have survived.

Seriously, I was here all night. The police will call any moment now, and you’ll tell them I was here, right?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Great Effort

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