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.”