Monday, 29 February 2016

Legal Leaping

So I had it all planned out. He was a very old man, but he had billions in oil money, and he’d probably be dead soon, so I was set for life for just a few months work. And even if I had to get out of there, the wedding would occur right after my 18th birthday, with the pre-nup signed on ‘my birthday’ of February 28th. He found it so cute that I was born on February 29th.

Then his fucking lawyer pointed out March 1st would be my ‘legally accepted 18th birthday’, thus invalidating any contract signed earlier…

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Fourth Party

The Dwarves mined metals but needed food. The Humans wanted the metals and had the food. But neither side trusted the other, thus Elves acted as third parties, taking food and metal back and forth between the two, for a share in both the food and the metal.

As a half-elf, I dealt mostly with the Humans. They seemed content enough with the deal, and they would always answer my questions when I was curious about their society.

But I probably shouldn’t have asked them why they didn’t just kill the dwarves and take the mines. Hadn’t occurred to them…

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Virtual Reality Reality

When virtual reality first started, it was declared the downfall of human existence, like every new media is. But since it was crude and barely worked, most naysayers went back to attacking movies or comic books.

But then VR came back, and it came back good. And after a few years, it became great. And then a few years after that, it became realistic.

At that point, maybe, you could argue it was a problem, that this might lead to a lack of human interaction, and thus the birth rate would plummet.

Thank goodness for annoying pop up ads then.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Mother Tongue

So me friends tell me that this bartender knows English and is constantly complaining that he has no-one to talk to. So they make a big deal of bringing him over to meet me.

“Hello.” he says, nervously.

“Hey, so you miss speaking English then?”

He stared at me for a long moment.

“Our father, which art in heaven.” he finally manages.

I thought it over.

“Hallowed be thy name.” I reply.

We go through the whole thing, and he leaves to get us a round of drinks. My friends ask me what we talked about.

“Religion.”, I told them.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Conversations At Knifepoint

Value is subjective.

After all, a gold coin can get you a good meal, a clean bed and a body of your preference to warm it, but only in places that value gold. Out on the Farchuk Islands, a gold coin can only get you a coconut, if the coin is shiny enough to catch a child’s eye.

Gold, silver, art, goods, services, everything you can imagine buying or selling, there is no intrinsic value in it, only what someone is willing to give up to have it.

For instance, your life. What are you willing to give for it?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Moments To Take Back

Everyone has the moments they want to take back. The moments where I was too scared, or too drunk, or where I just didn’t do what I should have.

The moment where she waited for me to kiss her.

The moment I screamed my brother’s secret to the world.

The moment I got laughed off stage.

The moment I grabbed that girl’s ass.

The moment I refused to visit my mother’s deathbed.

Yours are probably different, but you have those moments I’m sure. But unlike you, and everyone else, I will be taking mine back.

The Device is nearly finished.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Watergate Under The Bridge

The plane had just taken off when the guy behind me began to talk with, or more accurately at, the lady next to him about a bunch of ‘government cover-ups’.

After a half hour, I turned around.

“Hey buddy, you know how I know all that junk about the US Government hiding stuff is BS? The arguably sneakiest, slimiest, most despicable President in US history could not keep a single damn break in quiet, and lost everything over it. If he couldn’t keep that a secret, I doubt anyone can hide aliens.”

He seemed convinced. My superiors will be pleased.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Winning The War

I was too busy studying the readouts to notice him approaching, but luckily my guards managed to grab him before he could get his hands on me.

“MURDERER!” he screamed at me. I looked up.

“Can I help you… Colonel?”

“My men… All my men were on the western front which you just obliterated!”

I sighed.

“We lost a lot of good men. But our enemy has been practically wiped out, and the world has seen the full power of our satellite. The war is won, Colonel.”

And it was. But I didn’t realise we’d lost just the PR war…

Sunday, 21 February 2016


Usually, I did as much research as possible on my targets before execution. I had to know the best time and place to have a clear shot, I had to know what they’d do if I missed, who would come after me when I hit. But the anonymous Swiss bank account that was my client insisted I know as little as possible. I had the time and place, and was told a weapon would be provided to shoot the only male there.

The money was good. I took the shot.

In both senses, considering it was a temporally looped gun…

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

I should have told her how I felt a long ago.

I could have owned up to the flowers.

I would have had a shot, at least.

I should have stayed sober at the reception.

I could have gone home at any time.

I would have been in the clear.

I should not have dragged her into the kitchen.

I could not have known about the oil that was spilt.

I would not have slipped.

I should have told her to stay.

I could have gone to the hospital alone.

I would not have stolen her heart if I had…

Friday, 19 February 2016

A True Hero’s Posture

‘When all hope is lost, and those around them have fallen, that is when a true hero stands straightest.’

All through my training, and through my time as just another nameless body in a dented suit of armor, the engraving above the portcullis of my Noble’s castle kept me going. No matter how much it hurt, no matter how much I wanted to bend and break, I kept going, since I knew a true hero was my destiny.

When the time came for me to prove myself a true hero, I stood straight.

And took an arrow in the eye.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Aesop 2.0: 21. The Prince And The Barmaid

The Prince, as Princes often do in these tales, would disguise himself as a commoner and go among his people. And, as often happens, he fell in love, with a beautiful, if unrefined, young lady who worked in an inn. For months the two were madly in love, until The Prince could lie to her no more, and revealed who he was to her. In shock, she laughed and made a joke about wanting him to leave for lying to her. Heartbroken, he left before she could stop him. He never came back.

“Be careful what you say in jest.”

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Ranger’s A Car

It seemed so pleased with itself when it revealed the group of heroes it had resurrected to save us. It had assured me that it would make a balanced group based on its research on the internet. But when I saw them, I admit that I could have handled it better.

When I asked, for instance, why William Shakespeare was there, I could have used less profanity. Then it told me that its research had indicated that a Bard was a good sixth party member, and as Shakespeare was The Bard…

At least the wrestler dude in facepaint was useful.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Seeking Death

When they brought the spy into the command bunker for me to interrogate, I was taken aback. Not that my men followed my orders, they knew the penalty for disobedience, but by the age of the spy. I was hoping for some attractive girl to have fun with, and expecting a nondescript young man to torture.

Instead, the enemy kneeling before me must have been eighty years old.

Now, had I known the lengths my enemies would go to, I’d have ordered him x-rayed for homing beacons instead of just strip-searched. But by then, the missile was already on target.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Cast Down In Chains

She was kept chained up in the basement ever since she was old enough to feed herself. The only companionship she had between the daily spray with the hose and bowl of gruel was the flickering bare bulb on the other side of the room, and the spiders that scuttled around the walls on occasion.

Lacking anything resembling an education, she had little concept of the world, or her place in it. She couldn’t really comprehend what was being done to her.

But she understood, on some level, that she deserved it. Even she could sense the evil inside her…

Sunday, 14 February 2016

From Via Flaminia

You’d think a writer would be able to write a decent love letter, while perhaps not in their sleep, in a light doze.

But honest, raw emotion? It’s one thing to use that as fuel to create a character, a scene, a story. To just lay it out naked, that’s hard.

So when society decides it’s time to express emotion, when the expectation is there to show emotion by the written word, it being the chosen artistic expression outlet…

Pointless waffling about meta crap ensures.

But really, one letter?

I’d much rather just tell you I love you every day.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

I Deeply Regret To Inform You

Dad’s telegram arrived as my mother was changing my nappy for the very first time. She kept it in the safe in the study, but she never let me read it, at least while she kept her mental faculties. Once her mind went, I finally got the key to the safe, opened it, and finally found the telegram stuck between an old playbill and a photograph of the two of them at a beach.

The telegram seemed perfectly normal, the ‘deep regret’ and his name and battalion and all that, all normal.

Until I reread it and saw the ‘brother’…

Friday, 12 February 2016

Andrea Ingram

Andrea Ingram has been my secretary for about a month now.

Andrea Ingram took a little while to get a grip on the job, but she’s now the best secretary in the company, perhaps the best I’ve ever seen.

Andrea Ingram has some issues with physical contact, which is understandable, but hopefully we can work through those.

Andrea Ingram claims to speak almost every language I do, but I’ve noticed several instances of her pronunciation being way off.

Andrea Ingram seems to be getting sweet on me, which is a bit of a problem.

Andrea Ingram is still in beta…

Thursday, 11 February 2016

All That Glitters

If you stood on the bottom of the fence surrounding the pigs, round about midday on sunny days, and looked up at the very top of the hill overlooking my farm, you would see something shiny.

I could never make it out clearly, but something up there caught the sunlight just so.

I waited for many years, until my parents brought me a wife and we had enough kids to look after the farm for a few days.

I finally got to walk up and see what it was that glittered.

Not everything glittery is gold, yes.

But, gold glitters…

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Language Barriers

The text transmission said that their representative had studied Human extensively and spoke it fluently. Given the way the message was parsed out, I wasn’t too confident.

When the airlock opened and she walked in, I was momentarily stunned, given how closely she adhered to human standards of beauty.

“Uh, hello, welcome to the Fornby Station, my name is Samuel.”


I stared at her as she held out her hand.

“Excuse me?”

“Fuck. Me name is Fuck.

Why shocking?”

“Well that’s an offensive word in my language.”

“Word be offensive? How?”

I never did get her to understand that…

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Numbers On The Screen

Eventually they just became numbers on the screen.

They always were numbers on the screen, in graphs and the like, don’t get me wrong. But when I started, there was still a mental connection. Each line was the share price, which was a share of a company, which, while not technically a physical thing, still led to physical people doing jobs, having a livelihood, putting food on the table and all that.

The connection lasted a while, until eventually, I stopped thinking of it like that, and just saw numbers to bet on.

That was when I became really successful.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Down To The Wire

After the psychotic laughter, the tape continued explaining the trap we were in.

“The bomb before you will go off once the large shaft on top fully descends down into the case. See the two wires? Red and blue? One stops the bomb. The other makes the shaft slide down.

You killed my daughter by making the wrong choice, so make another!”

I would have cut the red, until my partner pointed out that he’d want me to make the wrong choice and thus we should cut neither, the bomb must arm via wire cutting.

Bomb didn’t go off, obviously.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Power Flower

At the very top of the tallest skyscraper in the eighteenth biggest city in the country, there was, unsurprisingly, a whole bunch of masts and poles. Mobile phone, GPS, short wave radio and a few even more obscure electrical systems put waves of energy out every second, every minute, every day.

It was far away from the ground, from water, from anything natural. But storms brought enough of both that a seed could grow, and a flower form.

No-one saw it, but it grew, even under all that power and stress.

Until finally, something changed.

And The Flower woke up.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Eve’s Rib

She kept typing as she suddenly spoke at me.

“How would you react if I told you originally, Eve was the first human, given that women are the ones who give birth and what have you, and then Adam was made from her rib, which explained why women have wider hips, and then as the first human and thus the one who was in charge, she got demoted and given births as a worse punishment, and all this was flipped centuries later to bolster new male domination?”

“That’d be… I can see that.”

“Awesome, talk show circuit here I come…”

Friday, 5 February 2016

Aesop 2.0: 20. The Giant By The River

The Giant lived on the other side of a wide river from the Dryads, who would spend their days laughing at the Giant’s size, at how he was so tall and gangly. The Giant wished he was shorter, hating the way the Dryads would laugh at him. One day a Fairy came by, and the Giant asked if she could make him shorter. The Fairy was confused, as she told him she was there to ask him to make her taller. The two became friends, and ignored the Dryads completely.

“Whatever you hate about yourself, someone else wishes they had.”

Thursday, 4 February 2016

So You Want To Make Magic

So, you want to make a spell. You have two options.

One, in the nearest Magical Library you have access to, you study all the great works you can comprehend, and slowly expand your ability to sense the energy inherent in all things, then develop a new way to manipulate said energy, via the methodology explained in great detail in previously mentioned texts.

Two, you tell the Goddesses where to go and wing it.

As someone who spends their life researching magic, you might assume I advise option one. Nope.

I get so much good information when mavericks die interestingly…

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Stuffed Up

He made a show of lighting his cigar before blowing the ‘Kuban’s’ smoke in her face.

“Look Bitch, I don’t want to leave here with you screaming about your shattered kneecaps. It’s almost too much of a cliché.


She tried to look calm, but couldn’t hide the glance towards the stuffed toy on her bed.

The Boss grabbed it.


He ripped it open, revealing a small gold brick.

“Well that’ll do!” he said, laughing, before walking out.

She waited till they left then immediately began packing. She had maybe an hour before they found out it was fake…

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Reality Of The Situation

With no access to mind altering substances, coupled with a lack of the fortitude required for self-mutilation, she was forced to face the reality of the situation, that being she was trapped in a pitch black room just large enough for her to feel annoyingly cramped.

She spent the first few days crying out for help.

Then she spent a few days feeling out the room, working out the exact dimensions.

It then took her another day to realise she hadn’t eaten, drank or slept, and thus she began to try and work out the actual reality of the situation.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Trigger Warning

Out here, most people just shoot first and ask questions later. But me, I like to think I’m more of a gentleman than most, and I give you a warning. True, that warning is the click of my metal tipped gloves as they slide past the guard onto the trigger, but it’s more than most iron packers will give you. Plus, you only ever get one.

I knew there was a chance that this might cost me one day, but I thought I could outdraw anyone, at any time, on any day.

But the sniper, he came with no warning…