Wednesday, 25 January 2017

H/er Lifeform’s Work

There were 1,342 races within the Galactic Collective. More than three quarters of these races tended towards Galactic Standard Proportions, what Dr. Greenville called ‘humanoid’, when s/he forgot that that term was systemist.

S/he was obsessed with this fact, and spent h/er entire life studying the phenomena. S/he never accepted that the GSP was the result of concurrent evolution. S/he was sure that there was a reason for this, a combined meaning for all life.

S/he was wrong, of course, but s/he did discover the cure for Cell Degrading out of it, so we downplay her beliefs in the records.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Snow White's Discovery

She shivered as the snow soaked through the last layer of clothing and her skin began to moisten. She paused, holding up the lantern yet again in an attempt to see more than a few feet ahead of her, but all she saw was the pure white snow on the ground, the flakes falling to join them, and maybe, just maybe, the black mass of the forest on the horizon.

She lowered the lantern, pulled her cloak a little tighter, and began to stride slowly through the snow once again.

They called her Snow White when they found her body.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Every Day

The pain wasn't unbearable, but only on a technicality since he somehow managed to bear it. Every waking moment was spent in agony, every sleeping moment filled with fevered dreams of pain and anguish experienced and yet to come.

The occasional moment where it subsided from red hot pain down to merely a brutal sensation of distress, those were the moments he lived for, as they were his oasis, his salvation. They kept him going, the hope that it might get better for a second or two

Besides, it was better than asking for help. That's just what They wanted...

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Metaphoric Stones

“For my children…”

There was a lot about his job he hated.

“We need stability…”

The hours sucked, the pay sucked more, and the weather, well apart from the occasional cold snap, it sucked too.

“I wanted to help…”

And now there was this.

“She asked me…”

He was just the grunt, he wasn’t paid to think, he did that on his own time.

“To end this madness…”

But surely this was going too far?

“Just a bit of fun…”

A saying’s one thing.

“My intentions were good…”

But did Hell have to actually pave the road with all these?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Faith Called In Sick

He had stood outside the office building for almost twenty minutes. In another fifteen, he was due to walk in and have a job interview his father had arranged, one he was supposedly already going to ‘ace’. But deep down, he wanted to run across the road to the bar opposite, which was rather rowdy sounding for this time of day.

If he entered the office building, he’d meet with Frederica, her suit neatly pressed, her bun severe. She would interview him, and it would eventually follow on that their marriage would be long, their surroundings comfortable, and both of them would be happy, in a way, with their lives.

If he ran into the bar, he’d be greeted by the sight of Clementine doing shots using just her mouth while walking on her hands and knees along the bar. From that moment on, his life would be chaotic, varied and above all else fun, until the two of them would die when their tandem parachute failed to open and they slammed into the Peruvian desert.

But instead, he stood there, indecisively, for long enough that Paloma would crash into him on her scooter, and lead him down another path…

Friday, 20 January 2017


It took a good half an hour, but finally the doctor walked into the room.

“So, Mr. Kennedy, what seems to be the trouble?”

“Well, it’s silly, but my girlfriend insisted I get this checked out. I have a vision issue, maybe.”

“What specifically is the issue?”

“I, uh… Well you play video games at all?”

The doctor rose an eyebrow.

“A little…”

“Well, like, you know when framerate goes down, and it gets all choppy? It looks like that sometimes.”

The doctor flickered slightly as he was updated to be able to deal with a Soul sensing the Program.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Anything Else?

When the hotel room door opened, the young woman gave a short curtesy.

“Hello, can I help?”

The older woman paused for a fraction longer than she needed to, and stepped back from the door.

“Yes, I was wondering where the extra towels I asked for?”

She indicated towards the open bathroom, where some towels were neatly stacked on the sink.

The maid walked over and bending at the waist, opened the drawer beneath the sink and pulled out some more towels. She then turned around again, and smiled.

“Anything else?”

“Uh… No, thanks.”

Both of them regretted that answer.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

James’ Garden

We try to keep our gated community a friendly, Christian place to live, but ever since that pesky court case, we’re not allowed to ask about people’s faiths or anything like that when they apply to buy a house. But we’ve found ways around it, we’ve gotten good at judging people.

But we still make mistakes. Like the guy on Jonah St, he quoted bible verses so well in the interview, so knowledgeable about the Good Book, of course we accepted him. Then he moves in with three wives! When we confronted him, he just spouted something about ‘Exodus 21:10’…

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dignity Within The Realm

The Realm had lasted for millennia, in part, because of a strict moral code for combat, for society, and for life in general. From the King and Queen down to the lowest farm hand, every person was treated with respect and had dignity, at least to a degree unheard of outside The Realm. “The highest leader is supported by the lowest worker”, as they would say.

Thus, the Aligned Lands assumed that by fighting dirty, they could easily defeat them.

They clearly didn’t realise that another reason for The Realm’s longevity was by not understanding that outsiders were also people…

Monday, 16 January 2017

Sinque Censi

You’d think the moment I first saw the woman who would become the love of my life, that the sight of her would be all that I remember. But it’s the memory of the other senses that stay with me.

The taste of the small pool of decent, if unspectacular red wine that was suddenly caught in my mouth.

The smell of the sandalwood and musk candle that the hostess had just stuck under my nose.

The sound of the DJ awkwardly transitioning between songs.

And the feeling of my wife’s hand squeezing mine as she chatted with the hostess.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Morning Self-Reflection

Every day, after rising and cleaning himself, he pauses for a moment in front of the mirror. He stares, unblinking, at his own reflection for several long moments.

His days are always busy, filled with work to help those less fortunate, time spent with loved ones to make sure they had the support they needed, as well as all those small acts of kindness he did whenever he found them.

But this moment every day was his, as it allowed him to reflect on his daily actions.

And to make sure the monster inside himself was contained for another day.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Sinner’s Desert

They tell you that you get used to the heat. That after a while you won’t even notice it. Liars, the lot of them. Every day is a fresh hell, opening the door every morning, and that first rush of boiling hot air slamming into you, you never get used to that, never adjust.

Every day is spent sweating, heaving, desperately trying to find that brief moment of shade, of cool fluid, enough to turn the heat from overpowering to merely overbearing.

But I guess it’s fitting, atonement is supposed to be like this, right? Just with more red pitchfolks?

Friday, 13 January 2017

Watching On

The stripper was watching the clock, counting down the minutes before she could leave.

The patron was watching the stripper, his eyes slightly glassy from both booze and lust.

The bartender was watching the waitress, given that she was new.

The waitress was watching her tray, not wanting to spill yet another drink.

The bouncer was watching the patron, making sure he didn’t get grabby.

The private investigator was watching the door, ready to photograph the patron when he emerged, to show the patron’s wife.

The owner was watching the clock, counting down the minutes before the bomb went off.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Grumpy Young Man V3.1

The Populace Supervisor rushed into my workdome.

“He’s shutdown!”

I sighed.

“And ‘He’ in that sentence is…?”

“The Hold Out.”

“Well, he finally passed on then? The last person who insisted on no droid assistance has left us. So?”

She made that double palmed motion I hated.

“No, you don’t… There has to be one, for the Populace’s overall wellbeing, they like knowing someone is rebelling, so we clone them. But twenty-five years ago he died, briefly, so we cloned him and… You’re the clone, so you…”

“… Fuck off.”

She beamed.

“That’s the spirit!”

She pulled out her Zapper.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Luck Of The Draw

As soon as the bullet left the chamber, I regretted my decision.

Time helpfully slowed down, as I was able to see every fiery powder speck drift from the barrel as the surprisingly small piece of lead began to move, as if drifting on a gentle breeze, through the air.

I was unable to move a muscle, due to this being a split second or out of guilty fear, or both, or neither, I don’t know for sure. All I know is that I pulled the trigger.

The bullet slammed into her chest.

Where her lucky pendant always hanged.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Back Seat Guarding

By the third time she had arrived at the hotel across the street, the two men I had stationed by the front door were enamored with her.

I watched them leer as she stepped out of the limo, with a bodyguard. Yes, she was attractive, but still. I walked over and chewed them out, telling them in very clear terms that they had to be more careful, instead of watching her, they should be watching the security guard who was clearly armed who was with her.

Of course, now I know we should all have been watching the limo driver…

Monday, 9 January 2017


For as long as I can remember, it’s just been the two of us, living off the land, slowly but surely working out way down the coast. He tells me stories about how life used to be, how people used to plug themselves into this thing called the interweb, and how they’d talk and play games and even have sex with people on the other side of the world, back before everything collapsed into anarchy.

Still, even with that and all the other things humans had before, I wouldn’t want to live back then. I love Big Brother too much.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Life Of A Runner

Whenever things got hard, or complicated, or just not completely pleasant, I would run.

When my parents began to argue every night, and plates got thrown around, I ran to my grandmother.

When my grades began to slip, and my college opportunities became limited, I ran to the city.

When my friend began to demand I stop crashing on their couch, either paying up or getting out, I got out and ran to wherever.

Until finally, with nowhere left to run to, I finally faced facts and made a stand.

Now I’m running all the time, to avoid the cops…

Saturday, 7 January 2017

All Gone To Hell

I can pinpoint the moment it all went to hell.

It started well, just me, couple of my buddies, a half dozen or so girls from the camp on the other side of the lake, a crate of mixed mixers and three bottles of vodka.

It continued better, with drinking and talking and more drinking and more talking then more drinking, less talking, more… other activities.

It wasn’t the moment where one of the girls said she knew this neat trick, and began to draw in the dirt.

It was the moment where the pentagram she drew began to glow…

Friday, 6 January 2017

Alba Montem Flos

At the top of a remote mountain, nestled in the ice and snow, is a small bush. Its roots are deep into the rock of the mountain, keeping it secure.

Every few years, it begins to develop a small, white flower, no bigger than a teardrop. And then, if it isn’t blown off by the wind, it opens.

And the tiny worms that spend most of their lives frozen onto the leaves of the bush will sense it, and awaken to pollinate and feed.

Life finds a way, even here.

Until some idiot grabs a memento from his mountain climb…

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Cleaning Rain

You may have heard in interviews and memoirs that in all of sports and/or entertainment and/or art, that there’s nothing like the feeling of stepping through the curtain as a Professional Wrestler. And that’s true.

But what’s not talked about as much is the payoff you have to make. The first is paid for by the comedown when you step back through the curtain the other way.

Because no matter how well the match goes, how exciting it was, how loud the fans were, how well you and your partners and opponents did…

There’s always a better one coming up.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Why The Watch Was Asleep

It was essential that he keep his eyes open. The enemy could try and breach the wall any second, a covert assault in the middle of the night would be tactically smart after all.

Every moment that passed, however, was like another bag of cement placed on his eyelids. No matter how many times he told himself he had to remain alert, no matter how many pinches he gave himself, it became harder and harder to stay awake.

Eventually, his eyes closed.

They opened shortly thereafter, to find no enemy.

Thus he felt no guilt every future time he slept…

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Woman In Chains

The campfire crackled softly, as the man sitting in the dirt on the other side slowly rolled a cigarette, taking his time to make sure just the right amount of tobacco was inside the corn husk he was using as paper. He noticed my staring.

“Redskin showed me this, before I put a bullet in his head.”

He finished it, and then lit it in the campfire, then took a long drag of smoke, sighing as he enjoyed it.

“Nothing like a smoke after you nab a bounty. Better than a three dollar whore!”

I paused.

“I’d be worth two…”

Monday, 2 January 2017

Early Threading

The sound of the beater from my Mother’s loom was a reassuring clunk. She passed the shuttle through the various threads stretched up across the machine, then pressed her foot down, and the beater clunked again. I was next to her on the small seat, her legs dangling down. She was showing me how it worked, and then she mentioned how this was a skill that would help feed my family, but I’d have to be careful not to make my husband feel that he wasn’t doing a good job of providing.

The clunking sounded somewhat less reassuring after that.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Thrice Upon A Time

The fact that there are only three realities tends to anger those beings who discover this fact, to a somewhat disturbing level.

My colleague believes this trend is due to simple greed, that beings that reach that power level are upset there is no reality of complete sexual liberation or whatever. I suspect that it is deeper, that the notion that loss is truly permanent, that is the source of anger.

Because the only choice that mattered happened a long time ago, and the only choice left is who in the other two timelines can help contain the third one…