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

Word Egad Lego Lego, Chop Open Near Goat Rope Aims Tank Unto Lego Aims Tank Ions Open Near Soon, Open Near, Drop Egad Chop Open Drop Ions Near Goat, Tank Hero Ions Soon, Ions, Jump Unto Soon Tank, Word Ions Soon Hero, Ions, Hero Aims Drop, Soon Open Mood Egad Tank Hero Ions Near Goat, Chop Lego Egad Vain Egad Rope, Tank Open, Puns Unto Tank, Hero Egad Rope Egad, Soon Open, Soon Open Rope Rope Yank, Tank Open, Word Aims Soon Tank Egad, Yank Open Unto Rope, Tank Ions Mood Egad, Lego Ions Kite Egad, Tank Hero Ions Soon.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Type Casting

In all my years, I never understood why mages always made it to easy to tell what type of magic they focused in just by looking at them. Every necromancer always dressed in black and bone, usually with a staff made of human skulls or some such. Every elemental manipulator just had to wear red, or brown, or blue, or a different shade of blue. I guess that one was occasionally difficult, but still, the mages were always obvious.

Until one wasn’t.

I still crushed her and her misguided associates as they tried to stop me, but points for effort.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Three Zhang, Four Li

I didn’t understand why the Chinese would be so blatant in their attempt at infiltration. The seven of them, each in their own interrogation room after the Americans brought them in, all of them claiming to be innocent, claiming to be not spies. And yet, three of them were called Zhang, and four of them Li, all on the same flight, and they claimed to not know anyone else. It stuck out like a sore thumb, and I would break them all, no matter how long it took.

Probably should have checked the ‘Americans’ out before giving them access though.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Bad Times To Signal

After all the speeches about how this would be Humanity’s New Age as we conquered Time Travel, I should have expected the explosion.

At least, I assumed that was what the flash was, but when my eyesight returned, I found myself, along with the dozen or so people nearest me, standing in the middle of a field, a triceratops was calmly chewing its way through some undergrowth.

One of the reporters then screamed, as she held up her mobile phone.

“There’s a wifi signal! We’re saved!”

I thought maybe we’d gone forward in time somehow.

We hadn’t.

And we weren’t.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Four Point Harmony Calling

Everyone has a calling, something in their life they’re meant for. Some people never find it, due to their destiny being the world’s best food blogger yet they lived in 1436, for example.

Everyone has a calling. But it follows that not everyone’s calling is noble, or amazing, or even that useful.

Mine? I’m pretty sure mine is correcting people on how Mama Cass didn’t choke on a ham sandwich, that was media speculation due to a half eaten sandwich being in the room when she died of a heart attack.

Did you know that Mama…

You did? Oh, good…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Changing Minds

Humanity used to not bother trying to change minds, instead choosing to just bash them in with stones.

But then Humanity developed stories about Gods and spirits, and changed minds via fear.

Humanity also developed art, sculpture, painting, song, dance, writing, lots of ways to change minds via beauty.

Soon afterwards, Humanity developed reason and logic, science and rational thinking, and changed minds via facts.

Then came the Internet, and Humanity tried to change minds via slurs, insults, threats and hatred.

And now, with the Great Linking complete, I can change Humanity’s minds at will. Much simpler, much less messy.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Any Day Now

Every midday, on the dot, she'd shuffle to the same bench outside the bus station. She'd sit down, pull out a pack of boiled sweets, and slowly work through it while staring at everyone getting off the bus.

I asked around, and everyone said she'd been doing this for years, and she was waiting for her son, who had gone off to fight a war.

So I started making her a coffee every day. She appreciated it, and we chatted, she seemed together enough for someone mad with grief.

At least, until the day her son got off the bus.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Slave Trainer’s Pain

He never trusted a smile he hadn’t trained into existence.

And with good reason, at least from his point of view. The part of his ear missing, the scar across his stomach, the fact his left foot was made of wood, all of them came from girls who pretended to be broken and he’d let off the leash too early.

But that was part of the job, you didn’t train slaves and not expect some of them to fight back. Pain, that was just something you dealt with.

But the pain of having to sell Her he had trouble with.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Waiting Out A Broken Heart

The break-up was acrimonious, and somewhat messy in terms of their shared items, but the worst part was that it was pretty much entirely public, with both sides constantly posting on all their social media accounts.

Although I had wanted to see her become single, I hadn’t wanted this, to see her so hurt, so broken. Not that his condition didn’t worry me too, but I was more focused on her, obviously.

So I stayed away, wanting to wait until she had recovered before moving in.

Thus, I wasn’t the rebound boyfriend, and thus, I wasn’t the guy she married.

Friday, 21 October 2016


I waved at the commlink, and her smiling face filled the screen.

“Good morning sleepyhead!”

I groaned.

“It’s the middle of the night!”

She glanced behind her.

“I can see the sun!”

“We’re on a fricking space station, of course…

Look, I’ve got a touch of the Dugali Flu and-“

“A jog around the loading dock will fix that!”

I groaned, longer, then gave up.

“Fine, fine, gimme a few…”

I got dressed, and staggered to the door. As it opened, I remembered the sun was on the other side of the planet right now, which meant that…

Impact occurred.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

270 Checks, No Balances

It’s surprisingly cost efficient to buy the Presidency, if you don’t mind being it obvious after the fact.

Forget about bombarding the airwaves with ads, by taking over a political party, or any crap like that. States take the popular vote, then the winning side chooses electors to go to the capital and vote on the next President. There’s no law that says they have to vote for the will of the people. Buy off 270 electors to vote for you and you can be President.

Although, to be fair, it’s even more cost efficient to just buy a President.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Rolling Through Your Mind

At times, I wondered if it might have been better if it had all happened at once. Just a quick snap from being fully cogent and aware of my surroundings and then straight to complete darkness and confusion.

But no, I had to experience feeling the fog rolling into my mind, I had to put up with every waking hour finding another memory no longer there, another word gone, another memory gone…

Every step, every breath, the fog in my mind gets thicker and thicker, and soon, soon I may well forget everything.

I could forget…

What was that word?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Watching The Crystal

Glory knew as she flew towards the crystal spire glinting in the sunlight that the man she was intent on bringing to justice could manipulate minds. That this mystery man was able to reach into your mind and convince you that black was white, up was down, that good was evil. He’d already used his powers to enslave half the city, but Glory had training from some of the finest minds in the galaxy, and she could resist strong manipulation attempts.

Subtle ones, like convincing her that the villain was the male on the throne, those she still fell for.

Monday, 17 October 2016

All Magic Throughout All Things

Magic flows through all creation, little one, but only a few rare souls can sense it, and only a few of the few can bend it to their will.

I, of course, am one such being. Had I chosen to make people aware of this, I’m sure that I would be either hailed as the hero of the land, or I would be hunted down and slaughtered for my crimes against the Gods.

Instead, I stayed hidden, and worked for years to create you, little one, my magic being.

You sense the flowing of magic, yes?


Destroy it all.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Take It As It Comes

The saying about how when one door closes, another one opens flashed in my mind as I rubbed my nose where the door had hit it when it was slammed shut on me, literally.

My entire adult life, and a bit of my adolescence too, was tied up with being part of the McKennedy family. From mail boy up to what I had thought was a secure job in upper middle management, all of it gone after a hostile takeover. Now what?

Then my phone rang, my favorite Doors song, the main competitors in my field on the other end…

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Just A Kiss

There have been more passionate kisses, kisses that couldn’t be put on paper without it being set ablaze.

There have been more important kisses, kisses that ruined lives, set about wars, whole civilisations dying over them.

There have been more prolonged kisses, given the average length of a kiss, this was very much on the short side.

Almost every other kiss in human history was ‘better’, on some level, than this brief, passionless peck on the lips.

But it was his first, so it was important to him.

And it was her last, so it was doubly important to her.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Braton & Kate

There was a flash of light, and the two of them, along with everything within three and a half meters from them, were no longer miles beneath the crust of the planet, but instead in a valley on the surface.

After a moment of understandable confusion, she grabbed the scanner out of the toolbox and got some readings.

“Oh my… This is a temporal event!”

He sighed, as he put down the laser drill.

“And that means what?”

“It means we’ve gone… Back in time, a long way, I can’t be sure how long just yet… But the temporal protocols say we have to destroy all this equipment.”

“Temporal protocols? The hell?”

She glared at him.

“You didn’t read the guidelines when you took the job?”

“Hey, anything beyond how to work the drill and what to mine out, I don’t need to know, I couldn’t care less about whatever crap you keyboard jockeys come up with, I’m…”

He trailed off as he noticed she was staring at his namebadge.


“Your… Your name is Braton?”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, didn’t you take the tour through the museum?”

“Again, drill, mine, nothing else.”

“You… The natives’ myths revolved around a couple, Braton and Wotee, who were emissaries from the Gods, and they brought with them energy and tools and everything!”

“So, we’re gods?”

“I guess, I mean, if this is a stable time loop then the protocols have to be ignored… My name’s not Wotee though, so maybe-“

She was cut off as an arrow slammed into the side of her head. Her companion managed to get his hand on the drill when a spear plunged through his chest.

Braton and Wotee emerged from the bushes, curious as to who these outsiders they had just killed were, and what they had.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

In The Beginning...

Every race has their own myths about how life began, and unsurprisingly, most of them portray their own race in a good light. The Dwarves say the surface dwellers were unworthy Dwarves stretched out by demons, Humans say that they began all the other races, Elves only acknowledge other life existing at knifepoint, practically.

But the Trolls, their origin myth is quite self-deprecating. They were what was left over when all the other life was created, the congealed fluids from the Life Egg, given form.

They’re wrong, of course, but they’re closer than the rest of them to the truth.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Shades Of Messy

Humans tend to be messy.

Not necessarily in terms of picking up after themselves, although plenty are like that, but rather in terms of not being able to be categorised cleanly.

You think you can declare that yes, this person here is evil and amoral, and then you find out that they support a local orphanage. Or you find that this scientist who cured a horrible disease also beats their partner, so, they still good?

The vast majority of people are not purely evil, or purely good, just various shades of messy.

Thus beware of those who sell cleaning supplies…

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


I don’t know if he had a hatred for magicians in general or me specifically. Maybe I’d done something to him in the past. Whatever the reason, he’d run me off the road, beat me up, and was now pouring out a line of gasoline trailing to the car where he left me. Once he was ready, he went to light the piece of paper he’d found in my car, intent on dropping it into the pool of gasoline, I guess.

Apparently he wasn’t aware of flash paper’s existence, or that it could set off gasoline covered hands and clothing…

Monday, 10 October 2016

In The Market

I completed the ritual.

Eventually, a short raven haired woman in a red business suit appeared inside the chalk.

“Huh, the Fifth Roman Variation Ritual. Don’t see that too often.”

Before I could speak she cut me off.

“So you’re in the market to sell your soul then? You’ve certainly come to the right place, just let me examine my paperwork and see what I can offer you today…”

A briefcase appeared in her hands, and she pulled out a file with my picture on it.

But when she opened it, she looked shocked.

“I… You… You don’t have one…”

Sunday, 9 October 2016


She had a look that either drew your eye or made you pretend you couldn’t see her. Her hair, pulled into a messy ponytail, was the only part of it that had any attempt at style. Her jeans were worn from use, not design, she wore no make up, nothing matched.

As I approached, she saw me and rolled her eyes and spoke in a mockingly rote way.

“I reject all standards of female ‘beauty’ because-“

“I just wanted to say you looked hot.”

She looked heartbroken.

“Well now what do I do? How can I win? Thanks a bunch!”

Saturday, 8 October 2016


The General looked down upon the enemy, and began to plan.

A full frontal direct assault? That wouldn’t work, too obvious, and running directly into the enemies’ defences like that would just lead to disaster.

Perhaps an attack from the rear? The ground would be favorable, but an enemy caught by surprise from behind tended to react with more chaos that was preferable.

Besieging was always an option, waiting it out, making sure their water supply got tainted, waiting for their defences to drop then striking.

Then she saw her desired target greeting a man passionately, and she moved on.

Friday, 7 October 2016


The water flows.

This is known to all, of course. Only someone with a sheltered existence would think otherwise.

But to know is not the same as to understand.

For when you understand that the water flows, truly understand, you begin to perceive the secret to living a proper life. You begin to perceive that all of life will one day be washed away, and possessions only weigh you down.

Some people refuse to understand, refuse to perceive the truth. So, sometimes, we must make sacrifices, to further our work. As for disposal of the bodies, well…

The water flows.

Thursday, 6 October 2016


Everyone knows about the class structure in the Royal Court, or at least understands how people would fight and argue about getting close to the Emperor.

But that is nothing compared to the social ladder in the Palace Staff.

Every servant, from the Emperor’s Hand right down to the Coal Boy, they knew exactly who they outranked, who outranked them, and who was coming after their position. Every day was another chance to catch someone messing up, to possibly earn another perk while hoarding those you already had.

Then came Emperor William and his blasted rota system idea. Ruined everything.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Speed is crucial in warfare. It’s not enough to have the most troops, the heaviest arms, the most brilliant tactics. When it comes down to it, it’s speed that wins. Being able to get to places first, or to retreat and not be caught, to be able to adjust faster than your opponent, that is where victory is all but assured.

Thus, Generals, I give to you speed, I give to you victory. The ‘Complete Heisenburg Aspects Readjustment Ionic Overland Transporter’. With a maximum range well beyond the furthest point on the globe, you can send anyone, anywhere.

Bids, gentlemen?

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Look, Confucius said, among many other things, not to use a cannon to kill a mosquito. Supposedly, certainly people say he said that, which is as close as you get with most things.

And sure, that’s generally good advice. Overkill is a bad thing, especially when it’s not needed. And when you factor in collateral damage, the cost of acquiring the cannon, the shells, the training… Yeah, just use a flyswatter. Much easier and appropriate for tiny insects.

But unless you have a flyswatter the size of a battleship, I’ll stick to my ion cannon for these flying aliens, thanks.

Monday, 3 October 2016


The sole track up to the farm was through the valley, which was bad when it rained, as it would get flooded. But the rest of the time, it was fine. The best part was that I could see anyone coming for a good half hour before they got to the gate.

So I could see the horse well in advance. The rider didn’t seem to be in any hurry, so I stayed busy, doing some chores while I waited.

When they did, my heart sank, even before he gave me the telegram from the front line, about my son.

Sunday, 2 October 2016


It was disconcerting to be introduced to a guy by a small group of drunk women and have them tell you his name, or at least what they called him, was ‘Elephant’, before they all start giggling.

I mean, even though he was friendly and chatty, it’s the sort of thing that throws you. I’m not that insecure, but still… ‘Elephant’? How big…

Eventually he went to the bathroom, and I had to follow and have a look.

Turns out he’s called Elephant because he never forgets a slight against him, like someone checking out his junk at a urinal…

Saturday, 1 October 2016


I stood outside the door.

In the locker room on the left, Gary was on the phone to his agent, trying to get out of his contract. In the locker room on the right, David was taking out his anger on a punching bag.

And in-between the two, in a tiny office, the booker was staring at the wall, trying to come up with something, anything, to get himself out of this mess, to get these guys to play ball and go out there and perform.

He needed a savior.

Perfect time for a bastard like me to take advantage…