Saturday, 30 April 2016

Cold Business Acumen

Every so often, someone thinks they have a totally fresh and unique idea.

Hey, they realise, instead of taking days to travel around Mount Girere with my cargo to sell at the river markets, why don’t I just cross the mountain? Sure it’ll be cold, but I’ll save a few days and get my money much sooner!

So they come to me, and buy what they think they’ll need, and if they are smart, what I tell them they’ll need, and they go off.

And they never come back.

But I get my stuff back after a day or so…

Friday, 29 April 2016

Casting Sugar

Half a cup of angel blood…

“… and then I told her, you can’t trust Elf gold, it always vanishes in the morning…”

Five dried juniper berries picked at full moon…

“… and so I just had to buy all five of them, and the price wasn’t that bad…”

A dash of quickgold…

“… and so anyway, if you could just start converting the backyard tomorrow…”

Bat wing, engraved with my darkest desire…

“… Bodar? Are you even listening to me?”

And then turn and toss mixture at wife.

“AHHH! What the… You… This…

What is your wish, My Master?”

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Blood Money

The only sound the followed was a single coin dropping to the hard wood floor and then rolling for a moment, before falling heads up.

Her face ran through a variety of emotions, most of them negative, before settling on pained shock. The question was as obvious as it was unsaid.

I licked my lips, trying to find a way to explain myself and my actions that she would understand. Eventually, I settled on the truth.

“My memory is as long as his pockets are deep.”

I gathered up her silver before I handed over her body for my gold.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Second Out Of Space

I couldn’t understand why my time machine didn’t work. I knew I had cracked the equation, even if power generation was only enough for a second leap ahead. But instead of my test subjects skipping a second, they just vanished and never returned.

Then I realised. I was moving them a second ahead in time, but their position was locked. And thus, with the speed at which the planet, system, galaxy and universe all move, they must have been popping back thousands of miles into space.

Still, research is good now I have the discrete item disposal money flowing in…

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A Long Delayed Reply

The message was sent, eventually. She had spent days aching over the wording, needing to make sure it was perfect, then weeks agonizing over if she should send it at all, and then the seconds after it was sent regretting it and trying desperately to get it back.

The days that passed saw her confidence rise and fall, every day was a new emotion, a new thought.

When it became weeks, confidence became fear. When it was months, resignation set in.

It was years later when the reply came.

It was a rejection, but she’d forgotten about it by then.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Tequila Tong, Time Traveller (03/12/2019)

She was on her fifteenth beer.

“And another thing, why the whole slut shaming thing? I don’t get it! If it wasn’t for our slutty human nature that meant we outnumbered them, we’d have lost to the Neanderthals! And then there’s whatshername, Empress Theodora! Complete, total slut, but was instrumental in Eastern Roman history, and was a lot of fun, I might add! Or Helena Hand-Basket, total slut, burlesque dancer, and leader of the successful human resistance to the Bollian Invasion!”

I finally spoke up.

“What’s a Bollian?”

She stared at me.

“Dammit!” she said, before vanishing into thin air.

Other Versions: “Five Times” As Performed By George Sirois

Here is “Five Times”, as read by George Sirois, you can check out more of his work at

You can read the original version here!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Calm Inside Chaos

It took her thirty microseconds to realise the core had entered into cascade, and another ten for her to create the time bubble around us. But that wasn’t enough, and after a few minutes inside the bubble (5 microseconds outside it) we realised that the ship was lost.

Since I had nothing better to do, I looked at the laser.

“I’m sorry.”

She glared at me.

“You did this?”

“No, no… I meant, about us. I’m sorry I ruined it.”

She shook her head.

“You’re forgiven.”

I only lived, relatively, another forty microseconds. But at least I was happy beforehand.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Unnoticed Birthday

By midday, he knew no-one had remembered his birthday.

He understood it on one level, he avoided all social media, and thus forcing people to actually remember something was clearly far too taxing for everyone.

So he withdrew to his apartment. He turned off his phone and slid in the first disc of his favorite sitcom box set, and snuggled down with that, and some spicy popcorn. The rest of the world, from work through to the usual late night poker game could all go hang.

Which is a shame, as the poker game was where the surprise party was.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Casually Seeking Gloria


The name had always appealed to me for some reason. Maybe it was a throwback to being brought up Catholic, or just because of the hurricane on my birthday, or maybe I just really liked that pop song, I dunno.

But growing up, I never actually met one, apart from the various player characters in video games I gave the name to.

I thought I’d never find one, until I tried a new coffee place, and Gloria was behind the counter. We instantly hit it off, and now we’re married.

Thank goodness she wore the wrong nametag that day.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Precious Commodity

The Highest King was delighted when I dumped the head of the Troll Queen before him. After showering me with gems and promising me new weapons and armor and talismans from his personal armory, he also insisted I ‘enjoy his newest acquisition first’.

I had just got comfortable in a private chamber when a girl wearing practically nothing was pushed into the room.

She couldn’t have been more than twelve.

After spending an hour with her, I went to the Highest King and bought her.

Finding anyone who knows the rules of Gin Poker in this land is so rare…

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Keeping The Total Low

The clerk came back in with a stack of forms about the size of a small dog.

“So, once you’ve filled out the statutory declarations in triplicate, you just need to fill out the family history checking authorization forms, then the movement of kin sheets need to be completed, I can fetch you more sheets if you need them, and then you supply us with your banking details, plus all the authorizations and declarations with that, and we can begin to process your reparations claim.”

I stared at him.

“This seems needlessly complicated.”

He laughed.

“That’s the general idea, alas.”

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Talking About A Revolution

It started as a whisper, one lowly woman suggesting something to another, equally lowly man.

It slowly but surely gained steam, as whispers turned into furtive meetings, quiet conversations, hidden notes.

Then the voices began to be heard in public, remarks that were once unthinkable began to be said.

Then shouted.

Then screamed.

Soon the populace was demanding change, demanding revolution. From every corner of the land, the call was loud, clear and impossible to ignore.

And yet, the rulers did.

Everyone waited for the first shot, the first death, for the start of revolution.

And thus, it never came.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Not A Test

The door was locked, barred, and chained. And if that wasn’t enough, it was hidden behind some huge boxes, in the furthest, most isolated ‘storeroom’ in the ‘facility’.

Most of the residents didn’t know it existed, nor would they have cared. Hell, most of them couldn’t have been able to comprehend the concept of a door at all.

But the girl with D.I.D and the boy with bipolar disorder knew it was there, and were sure it led to freedom.

So, eventually, they managed to open it.

And it did lead to their freedom.

Just not the sort they wanted.

Other Versions: “Court In The Act” As Performed By George Sirois

Here is “Court In The Act”, as read by George Sirois, you can check out more of his work at

You can read the original version here!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Flick Of The Wrist

When I was fifteen, I developed these small lumps on my wrist. They were maybe the size of buckshot, just larger than a pinhead. I showed them to the doc when I went in for my foot after Bobby dropped that tree trunk on it, and she said it was probably nothing serious.

So I ignored them, although they stuck around for years, until finally, after Bobby ran his car over my other foot, I brought it up again with a doc.

He got all curious and cut one open.

And that was the start of the Death of Humanity.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Writer's Block

Past a certain point you stop caring.

No matter how passionate and dedicated you are when you start, the fires have to die out eventually, right? You might be able to stoke them with gimmicks, or with inspiration, or with the usual method of most artists, that is to say, drugs.

But at some point, you just run out of things to say.

If you’re lucky and cynical, you can just keep churning out variations on the theme and keep the cash rolling in, but for the artists, it’s a challenge.

I really hope to never reach that point, myself.

Friday, 15 April 2016


There was the sound of chains rattling, and an unholy moaning that seemed to rise up through the floorboards and into my very soul. I didn’t bother looking up from the stovetop.

“Morning, Mary.”

She huffed, and then drifted towards the ceiling as she normally did when she was upset.

“You could at least humor me and act scared.”

I sighed and looked up at her.

“Why? I know it’s you, I’m not going to pretend to be…”

I finally saw the look in her eyes.


“Today is our anniversary.”

I smiled, and showed her the ‘Happy Deathday’ pancake.

Thursday, 14 April 2016


At 25,000 feet, I marvelled at the cloudfish, and leant over the rail a little to get a better view.

At 24,500 feet, I realised I’d fallen over the side of the airship.

At 20,250 feet, I was sure the mage would notice.

At 17,000 feet, I couldn’t believe I was so fucking stupid as to lean over the stupid fucking railing.

At 14,750 feet, I began to pray to the Seven Goddesses.

At 6,000 feet, I gave up.

At 1,000 feet, I accepted death.

At 0 feet, I braced for impact.

At -500 feet, I began to freak out.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Quantum Of Solace

Given the planet’s population of thirty-five billion, it was obviously hard to find space to be alone.

And thus he developed the Quantum Pocket Generator. The core concept was simple enough, the machine produced a small pocket space outside the normal dimensions of our universe, but the actual mechanics were, unsurprisingly, hideously complicated.

It took him most of his adult life but finally, it worked, and he stepped into a black void and was, for the first time in his life, completely alone. He closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation of nothingness.

The tap on his shoulder surprised him somewhat.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Casino Royale

The House always wins.

But sometimes it can take time.

The House has to be patient. Sometimes, people work out how to cheat The House. Sometimes people run from The House. And sometimes, just sometimes, people get lucky.

So The House has developed tricks. ‘Free Gifts’, attractive girls and guys, bright lights, loud noises, all of them to lure people in.

The House didn’t care about what went on inside it, as long as it didn’t drive people away. The House just wanted as many people inside it at all times.

So The House could take one at a time.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Die Another Day

He never said he was immortal, just that he’d ‘die another day’. And no matter how hopeless the odds, he’d find a way to survive. From being stranded without a suit in the coldest reaches of the Amorpoch Nebula, to facing down an entire Creson Fleet, to that time he ‘accidentally’ caused a cascading black hole generator, he always found a way to survive.

In my travels with him, I went from assuming he was lucky, to thinking he was smart, to knowing he was blessed, all the way back to luck.

And then, he died.


Damn temporal flux…

Other Versions: “Bringing Her Back” As Performed By George Sirois

Here is “Bringing Her Back”, as read by George Sirois, you can check out more of his work at

You can read the original version here!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The World Is Not Enough

Imagine the room you’re in.

Well, ok, fine, I suppose you can just look, but I need you to have a mental image of the room you’re in.

Now mentally zoom out to the building that the room is in, and take in just how big a difference in size that was.

Now zoom out again, in your mind’s eye, to the block of land the building is on.

Now the local surroundings.

Now the country.

Now the continent.

Now the world.

That huge, imposing size is not nearly enough to represent just how much I hate pineapple on pizza.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Tomorrow Never Dies

I sat down next to him, hoping to learn from the Chieftain. But he didn’t look up or acknowledge my presence, he just sat and kept sharpening his sword, until I coughed.

“Tomorrow never dies.”

I waited, hoping he would continue, but he just kept sharpening, so I coughed again.

“There’s always another fight, another battle, another war. Tomorrow holds more conflict, conflict you must strive to meet. And you can’t meet it if you’re dead. So stay alive.”

I got up, satisfied. I thought I heard him mutter something about “Believing this shit” but I must have been mistaken.

Friday, 8 April 2016


While I’m sure there’s plenty of ways to be a baseball scout, there’s only two ways that pay.

The hard but safe way is for the stat nerds, the guys with laptops and smartphones who pour over every possible number and who can say, with a straight face, that some guys are 0.003% better than other guys.

But the easy and risky way? Just watch guys play. Pretty soon you get the eye for talent, or you find another line of work.

Me? My nickname says I’m the king of the second.

I do my stat work at home though.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Licence To Kill

It took a decade from the first suggestion of bringing in the system to the initial small scale trials. Of course everyone shot it down when they heard it, but funnily enough, every time a secret poll or vote was given, it would get more and more support. Most people would never willingly say, in public, upfront, that they wanted to bring it in. But most people, apparently, supported it. Now, of course, it runs well, although there’s still a small but vocal minority against the licences to kill.

But really, every other method to combat overpopulation was too impersonal.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Living Daylights

As soon as the barbarian went down, I ran.

Not very honourable of me I know, and if the Guild ever found out I’d be turned into stone for a month, but the fact was, I knew damn well that with her down, I was just an hors d'oeuvre for the Vampire Queen.

So I ran, but I got lost, and soon found myself facing a few slowly waking Thralls.

Luckily, I had the perfect spell, and summoned a being from the Sunlight Plane.

It looked around, flipped me off and vanished again.

I guess every Plane has some assholes…

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A View To A Kill

I shouldn’t have been there.

The assassin was one of the world’s best, and my anonymity was assured. I was promised a clean shot, one bullet, one dead annoying business rival.

I could have been in meetings all day, I could have gone golfing, I could have stayed home ‘sick’ and drunk wine and eaten cheese all day, toasting my newfound freedom.

But I just had to see the look in his face when the bullet hit him, I had to see the life drain from his eyes. So I was there.

And he ducked to pick up a penny…

Monday, 4 April 2016


My sweet Scott had turned twenty-three, and he still hadn’t found a girlfriend, or even a boyfriend. I was starting to get worried, and so while it hurt me to sneak behind his back, I searched his room when he was out ‘gaming’. I had hoped to find letters from a secret girlfriend, but instead I found all these books in Chinese or something. And the pictures… All young girls and weird things with tentacles doing… Things to the girls.

So I tried to pair him with that nice girl who works at the fishmongers, but it didn’t work out…

Other Versions: “Arranged Perfectly” As Performed By George Sirois

Here is “Arranged Perfectly”, as read by George Sirois, you can check out more of his work at

You can read the original version here!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

For Your Eyes Only

I thought it would be the hardest job I’d ever have to do, going through my parents’ things and sorting out what to keep, what to sell, what to throw away… The point where I’d be forced to confront the truth of their passing.

Then I found the video.

It was hidden in the bottom of their wardrobe, and had “F.Y.E.O” in red felt tip pen scrawled over it. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was…

I mean, I assumed it was a sex tape, I just wanted to make sure before I destroyed it.

Didn’t expect all that blood…

Saturday, 2 April 2016


Five billion dollars and twelve years after a President declared it would happen, humanity got to Ganymede. As Capt. Erica Borghese took the first steps out of the ship, she prepared to make her historical, inspiring quote.

Instead, the first words said on Ganymede were ‘What the fuck?’

This was, of all the possible incidents she had prepared for, finding a small, tidy looking house with a 50’s housewife looking woman tending a rock garden sitting before her was not one she’d prepared for.

The housewife looked up and smiled.

Erica shouldn’t have messed up the garden on her approach.

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Spy Who Loved Me

He was a sleeper agent, he told me. He spent years working towards getting a position of power. From his choice of fraternity to his interest in golf, everything about his life was carefully chosen to ensure the best chance of him getting powerful friends to spy on and an important job to run as his superiors saw fit.

Except me.

I was an unforeseen complication, he was supposed to marry someone with high clearance, but he loved me, and would throw it all away for me, he said.

Good thing I never liked him, hey Agent… Black, was it?