Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sold Out Stadium

As a young, idealistic youth, I’d looked around at the world and realised just how messed up it was, how much of the pain and chaos that existed was preventable. If only people could work together…

But politics didn’t interest me, it seemed like little true change came from them. Instead, it was the superstars, the artists, they were the ones who could change people’s hearts and minds.

So I focused on my music, and now I’m a household name.

I’ll need to wait another year before I start doing stuff though, my brand’s not rock solid yet, maybe three…

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Taking Them Off

She looked shocked for a moment, then a smile grew across her lips. She took her time raising a hand up to the frame of her glasses, her red fingernails sliding along the thin black metal. She fluttered her eyelids behind the clear plastic of the lenses, and then slowly she slid them off, flicking her head from side to side, her black hair cascading down around her face, a vision of beauty unleashed, her look playful, yet also determined desire.

I debated what to say next, but honesty won out.

“I meant the drinking glasses here on the table…”

Monday, 29 August 2016

Shifting Through Ideas

I let them all shout and carry on, while I desperately tried to think.

Everyone had their own idea on what to do, everyone was sure their plan could save us. I needed to pick, or come up with an idea, quickly if possible.

Those screaming for us to capitulate, or to attack, I dismissed out of hand. Those shouting for a deal with someone, anyone, there was no deal that could save us, so I tossed them.

The only voice left was the whisper in my ear for the two of us to just run away.

That one won.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Third Cherry

Three years.

Three whole years, he’d waited, patiently, to pop this particular cherry.

There had been times when he’d felt down, felt that this would never happen, but they’d pass, as he knew, deep down, it would happen.

But now that it was happening, he was nervous, obviously, but also worried. What if it didn’t live up to the hype? Sure, everyone said how amazing it felt, how it was incredible, but was that just locker room talk?

Well, only one way to find out…

He pressed ‘Start’.

The sexbot slowly rose to its feet and requested the activation code.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Movement Leaders

She was carried along by the crowd, every attempt to leave it ruined by a shove from behind, a press from the side, or just the threat of trampling. Eventually she just gave up trying to get out and instead worked on getting to the head of it, and seeking an out there.

By the time she got there, the crowd had mostly stopped, and was milling about in front of a large gate. There was a sense of people waiting for something, everyone wanting to follow someone else’s lead.

She tripped and fell against the gate, which swung open…

Friday, 26 August 2016

Turning Work Into Benefit

Most people don’t understand why transmutation engineers get paid so much. The best way to educate them would be to let them try turning something into something else, but since getting it wrong would involve blowing up citystates, obviously that’s a little hard.

It’s as much an art as a science, having to find the right frequencies, to entwine them, and to convince something to become something else… You need years of training, and great engineers can get lots of perks. Nice offices, company cars…

People looking the other way when you bring in body parts to turn into paperweights…

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Unprepared For Disappointment

A door slammed in the distance. Running footsteps soon followed, getting louder and louder until finally a sobbing young lady turned the corner. She didn’t notice me at first, too wrapped up in her own problems, but after a moment her wet eyes widened, and she raised a hand.

“I… I really can’t handle trouble right now…”

I chuckled, and flicked open my blade.

“I guess everyone has to get used to disappointment, don’t they?”

She shook her head, and after a moment red flames began to swirl around her head.

I laughed and flicked them away with a gesture.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Dried Crimson

By the time I got there, the blood had dried.

The red droplets mocked me, a spray of life, left behind to taunt me, to make me envision what had happened there, what was done to him.

I tried to piece something, anything together, a clue, a hint, even just a fucking direction to move in. But there was nothing, just the line of dried fluid on the ground. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, my entire being focused solely on the blood of my kin.

So I didn’t realise they were above me until it was too late.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Bedtime Story

Every night, my father would tell me the same story, the story of the Dragon and the Wizard.

It was the same story his father had told him, and his father had told him, and so on, all the way back to when the Dragon lay dead and when the Wizard was the one telling the story to his son.

Of course, eventually, I realised that it was constantly changing, morphing to be what it had to be, probably for many generations.

Hence I didn’t feel bad when I changed it to a Dragon and a Witch for my daughter…

Monday, 22 August 2016

Going Sugarless

It was probably the hardest decision he’d ever made. But he had to face facts. Sugar had to go.

He just couldn’t handle it anymore, the impact on his wallet alone... Everywhere, every shop, he’d have to shill out a few bucks on some candy there, a milkshake there, and that’s not even counting all the meals out. Sugar always featured heavily in those.

So, for the benefit of his health, his mental wellbeing, his budget, every aspect of his life, they all pointed in the same direction.

He knocked on the door. Sugar opened it, and he dumped her.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Nice Assumption

It was kinda hard to not notice her when I walked into the lecture hall. She was bent over the desk, her pink hotpants leaving little to the imagination, and the butterfly tattoo peeking out the top filling in some blanks.

But I wasn’t about to jump to conclusions. I’d heard far too many stories about people making assumptions to make one here. So, I coughed politely. She spun around, hair flying everywhere.


“I was looking for a Professor Winter?”

“Do I look like a professor?”

“Not a traditional one.”

She smiled.

“Good, because I ain’t a traditional professor…”

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Breaking Out The Thesaurus

The first thing I ever said to her was ‘I Love You’.

It was at a charity trivia night, she was the friend of a friend, and she was trying to finish the movie title that started with ‘P.S.’

She always remembered that, and thus when we became a couple, I wasn’t able to say those three words, since it always sounded weird to her, given they were my first words to her.

They were also my last words to her, my darling wife, as she lay on her death bed.

Her last words to me were “Still sounds weird…”

Friday, 19 August 2016

True Artist’s Fear

“Do you know what artists fear more than anything?”

“Chainsaw wielding maniacs?”

“… What?”

“You know, big scary guys with chainsaws, running around going ‘AHHHHH’ and shit.”

“No no, I understand the concept, I just… Why would artists fear them?”

“Well, doesn’t everyone?”

“I… You… Yes, alright, fine, technically, but what do artists specifically fear most, is what I’m getting at.”

“Oh, uh, their art coming to life and turning on their creators?”

“That has literally never happened.”

“Exactly, well overdue for it to happen!”

“No it’s…

No, look, artists fear, more than anything-“



Yes, bears. Well done.”

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Caught Illegality

“It's only illegal if you get caught.”

I heard that a lot from my parents, as I grew up. The first few times, it was after I’d ruined some scam by asking a question or saying that wasn’t true, and they’d explain things to me, after my beating of course.

At first I was just told to cry, and they’d handle the rest. Then, over time, I began to take a more active role, I’d set up the scam and my parents would do the payoff.

But since they quickly found out I turned them in, that make it illegal?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tall Poppy Syndrome

There's this Aussie thing, 'Tall Poppy Syndrome'. It kicks in when someone gets a little too famous, a little too popular, when the Poppy stands a little taller than the other Poppies would like.

At that point, the other Poppies will start to cut them back down to size. A gentle mocking, a dismissive downgrade of their talent, through to attacks that the Tall Poppy has "forgotten it's roots" or some such.

It's a byproduct of the inferiority complex the Aussie nation has overall.

I would have noticed it kicking in for me, but the air's so thin up here...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The ‘One True Love’ Paradigm

The idea of the ‘One True Love’ is arguably the most destructive force in human history.

Not in terms of grand disaster, power wins easily there. It can’t compete if you judge it based on wars fought, or societies ruined, it ain’t a shut out, but it’s not close.

But in terms of the sheer amount of people who had their lives ruined because they were chasing their supposed destiny, or who had their lives made that much worse by society constantly reinforcing the notion…

It all adds up.

And the fact that it’s true makes it that much worse…

Monday, 15 August 2016

Dawn Frost

The air was heavy with frost, but also with anticipation.

Her approach was silent, like a shadow, and yet I could track every movement, every hidden breath, every momentary pause as she regained her bearings.

Eventually she emerged into my clearing, forgoing any attempt at remaining hidden. I nodded, ever so slightly to her, still sitting in my preferred relaxation squat.

“You know why I’m here.”

The tone was warm, a stark contrast to the air, and to her purpose.

I sighed and rose to my feet.

She thrust forward with her blade.

I countered, and killed my only daughter.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Childish, At Her Age And Position

I looked incredulously at her.

“Come again?”

“Hey now, I didn’t like the food that much!”

I sighed.

“Can you repeat your last statement?”


Hey now, I didn’t like the food that much!”

“The one before that.”

“Oh, right, sorry, sorry. I was just saying that I enjoyed that salad so much, I went ahead and bought the franchise.”

“See, I thought that is what you said, but given how we’re supposed to be getting out of management and enjoying retirement, I didn’t quite believe you. What on earth possessed you to do that?”

“I told you, the salad!”

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The End Of Magic

There’s a reason magic died out, you know.

It used to work, used to be common and widespread. All the old spells performed by witch doctors and gypsies and most types of priest, they all used to actually do what was said. Love potions created love, you could ensure the sex of your child, headaches really could go away…

But then too many people in too many placed started thinking critically. Science became a thing, logic and reason became widespread. The printing press was built. People woke up to the ‘real’ world around them.

And the spell was broken.


Friday, 12 August 2016


When I got to the scene, my new partner was already theorizing. Clearly this wasn’t a case of a clumsy idiot tripping over his shoelaces and hitting his head on the curb, not at all. Because he was facing to the left, and the untied shoelace was on the right, clearly this was an elaborate set up designed to look like a stupid accident.

But, given that a recently installed surveillance camera nearby was actually working, despite the sign saying it would be installed by Friday, we could examine the tape.

He never shut up about how he was right…

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Inability To Carry Out

Certain lives must be protected for the sake of causality. The line that leads to the invention of time travel is clear, and unfortunately, it requires many monsters to survive.

You can’t go back and kill Hitler, because then Germany gets a leader who actually wins World War 2.

You can’t go back and kill Stalin, because then the USSR wins the Cold War.

You can’t go back and kill Hong Xiuquan, because then China doesn’t win World War 3.

But I can kill Azikiwe, save a few million lives…

Except I have to do it when she’s a baby.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Peace At Last

There could never be peace between the Cavewalkers and the Rivercrossers.

For generation upon generation, that was what both sides told each other. The two tribes were just too different, and ‘they’ worshiped heathen gods, and ‘they’ stole our land or women or something else, generations ago.

A few from each generation would often try to make peace, but they’d either get killed by the other tribe for being from the other tribe, or killed by their own tribe for being a traitor.

But eventually, peace did rule across the lands.

Once both tribes were wiped out by the Ironwielders.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Civil Arrangement

There was this… Deal we had going.

Neither of us were particularly proud of certain aspects of our lives, and thus by coming together as a couple, we could project an air of normality where none should really have existed.

And in a way, having someone to help share the load of hiding and shame and everything, it was nice, in a way.

Then it became socially acceptable to be gay, but by then we’d gotten used to having the other around.

But once marriage equality came in, she left me high and dry.

My desires were soon found out.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Bad Career Move

Given how many people had killed for this DVD, I had assumed it was something special. It being a sex tape kinda threw me.

Ok, she’s the latest “America’s Sweetheart” turned high-profile Feminist spokeswoman, but plenty of women like that have recovered from having a sex tape leak. Hell, she wasn’t married, what’s the big deal?

It wasn’t until the third time watching it that I bothered to actually take a close look at the man.

Realising it was the (arguably) most powerful man in the world, that explained a lot, before the drone blew my entire apartment block up…

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Taking Our Jobs

The bot must have knocked on my door for a good ten minutes before I finally opened the door.


Its face lit up.

“Greetings, Homeowner! I’m a Salebot 5000, here on behalf of SecureBot-“

“Not interested.”

I tried to shut the door but it got a blocker in the way before I could.

“I’ll only take a moment of your time Homeowner, your safety is our main concern!”

“I am not interested! I’ve not needed any security system these past few-“

I trailed off as a panel on the bot slid to the side, revealing a blaster.

“Valuables. Now.”

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Devil/Details 2016

Once the candidate was alone, she took a deep breath.

“Fuck Antidisestablishmentarianism.”

There was a flash of smoke, and They appeared, today in the form of a rather scantly clad school girl.


“You promised to be discreet!”

They raised an eyebrow.

“When I sold my soul to you to become President, you promised no-one would notice, but… Come on!”

The candidate pointed to the TV, where her rival’s many gaffes and scandals were being replayed. They watched for a little while.

“Uh, I’ll be honest with you, I’m just stuffing the ballot box on the day, that’s not me…”

Friday, 5 August 2016

Drunk Driver On Chance Road

In this town, there’s always been up and comers trying to knock off the established players, always someone looking to cut in and take over.

I’ve seen plenty of them come and go. Most of them were dumb, only thinking a move ahead, they’d whack a boss and think that made them.

A few were good, they were smart, they took power and kept it, they became true players.

But the best I ever saw, Frankie, by now he would have owned all the city, at a minimum.

Problem is, playing this game, sometimes random chance takes you out first…

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Garlic Bread For All

The whole village threw me a celebratory banquet after I returned from freeing them from the tyranny of the Vampyre. I drank, ate, listened to slightly boring speeches, all of it was fine. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the woman on the other side of the bonfire. Her eyes were so familiar.

I went over to her, we chatted, and found a quiet place away from everyone else. I was removing her bodice when I realised I’d seen those eyes just a few hours before. Of course by then the Vampyre had thrown my sword into the bushes…

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Black Bird Singing

A happy black bird started singing at my door.
Rather early in the morning, maybe half past four.
The song itself was fine, a pleasant little tune.
But it wore out its welcome all too soon.
So I rose from my bed, threw on a dirty shirt,
And went to speak to the bird sitting on my front dirt.
I told the black bird that I understood the need
To sing and to call, for others to heed.
But I needed sleep, enough to throw a jab,
So the drunk African woman got up and went to get a cab.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Clean Up Crew

The runner doubled back, back to where Glory had subdued his partner, not that it helped.

But she stopped when she saw a figure huddled over said partner, hands near their throat.

“Excuse me?” Glory asked as she landed.

The figure spun round, and the unmistakable glint of a scalpel was dulled slightly by the blood.

“EXCUSE ME?” Glory asked, now extremely furious.

“Well, didn’t you find it odd, all the people you beat up and threw a beacon on, no court appearances? We’re the… Clean Up Crew.”

Glory noted the ‘we’ right as the knife plunged at her back.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Family Dinner

It was time for dessert, as made by the eldest daughter.

Everyone dug in, and murmurs of approval quickly followed. Grandma, on the other hand, ate slowly and carefully, then once she was done, turned to look to her granddaughter.

“Very good my dear, you must tell me, such unique flavors in the crust, which seasonings did you use?”

“Now Grandma, you’ve never told anyone your cooking secrets, why should I?”

Grandma glanced at the spice rack, and saw the three jars that had been moved then smiled.

Daughter smiled back, since her jars of spice were in her purse.