Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Clear Waters

Only three of us made it out of the plane before drowning, burning, or both.

Three was better than two, obviously, but I only spoke English, while the other guy only spoke French, and she spoke… Finnish? Icelandish? I couldn’t tell. And given that our ability to communicate rested mostly on gestures, she couldn’t tell me.

We must have drifted there for at least a week, until finally she sidled up to me and made a finger into a hole repeatedly gesture.

I was dumping his body overboard when she started crying, when I realise she didn’t mean ‘stab him’.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Not Paid By The Word

The Custodians of Earth were huddled on one side of the Los Francisco, while the Gathering of Forces had the docks. Glory, as the hometown hero, stood to address her fellow heroes, while Louisette spoke to her fellow Gatherers.

Louisette’s speech was long, poetic. She, along with all those she spoke to, were better than the scum that lived in the city. Be it from birth, or from the Empowering, or from years of training, they were better, so why shouldn’t they have everything?

Glory’s was just four words.

“We Must Not Fail!”

Many heroes fell.

But they didn’t fail.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Price Of Skimpy Armor

It was just two warriors this day. I’d made an effort to make my food long lasting, the meat salted, the bread hard, the fruit dried. I spoke with the female as she paid, while her companion loaded up their mule.

“So, uh Ma’am, why do you female warriors wear such skimpy armor? Compared to your male companions, I mean?”

She smiled softly.

“Because the ones you see in ‘skimpy armor’ are warriors that rely on speed. Other women wear full plate. Right Susanna?”

Her companion muttered in a clearly female voice.

The one paying calmly took back her money.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Three’s The Number You Get, Actually

When you become known as a writer, especially one that bases their works on the otherwise mundane, everyone who crosses your path tends to fall into three basic groups.

Those with few brains or a high opinion of themselves, although most people with one also enjoy the other, they tend to want to tell you all about themselves and their boring lives.

The smarter ones, they tend to clam up, out of the fear that anything they do say or share will end up on paper.

The third group? They’re the ones who do end up whole on the page.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Dropped Connection

The program ran through the incoming video chat jingle twice before it was opened. The webcam showed a bleary-eyed short haired woman, scratching her chest through the old t-shirt she apparently slept in.

"Look, it's 5 in the fucking morning, I only got to sleep an hour ago, can you please..."

She trailed off as her eyes widened enough to take in the suit, the floral display, the sign.

The ring.

"I-" she began, and then the connection froze.

He rebooted the system quickly, then called her back as soon as he could.

Her account was closed within the day.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Future Sashes

After falling for a few moments, I got pulled from the nothingness into the future.

I knew it was the future because everyone was wearing one of those stupid metal sash things you always see in science fiction. They asked me if I knew about this "time distortion event", and then what year I was from.

I was about to tell them I knew this was the future because of the sashes when they took them off. They began to fold and unfold them into a blade, a tarp, a water filter system.

Good thing I kept my mouth shut.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


His name was Ovidius, although he had a nickname used behind his back, based, you’d assume, on how he was roughly spherical.

But despite this, he was one of the leading voices in the Senate, not a debate was heard on Rome’s expansion into Africa or new rules on slave ownership transfers where Ovidius’ opinion was not sought out, sooner or later, and then given.

Eventually, he stood for Patrician, and seemed poised to win.

But the thing was, his nickname, Oleogustus? ‘Fat Taste’? That referred to his taste in women.

And the current Patrician’s wife was very fat indeed…

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


We sent a dozen envoys to the Umami as the Encroaching Hoard took system after system, and every time, the message back was ‘all things in their time’ and ‘finding peace’ and all that crap. We would have stopped trying, but since they were one of the oldest societies in the Galaxy, plus had those massive Crusader Warships… If only they’d join us.

And at our final stand, they did. Every race and coalition left standing, in one final desperate attempt to stop the Hoard. And then the Umami appeared, saying it was time.

And they opened fire on us…

Monday, 20 February 2017


I’m not bitter. Really.

I’m just…

I mean, look, try and see it from my point of view. Years of my life, doing all the calculations to try and work out the formula, having to brute force my way through thousands of possible combinations, then he waltzes in, has a thirty minute ‘brainstorm’ and then comes up with one off the top of his head, and suddenly he’s the genius.

I’m sure it’s got a flaw, I’m testing it thoroughly now. I’m sure I’ll break it, prove him wrong.

But I’m not bitter. I’m just… Being scientific.

Yeah, that’s it.

Sunday, 19 February 2017


There’s a moment shared by fighters, ones authorised by a government and armed with the latest hi-tech weaponry, or ones gripping a hunk of wood before they try and rob a lady of her spare change.

That moment where you are about to start a fight, where you know you’re about to confront danger head on, you pause, even for half a second, grip your weapon, and then go.

For me, that’s a handful of salt. Because if it all goes to hell, I’m messing up the summoning ritual, and either saving my life or taking everyone else with me…

Saturday, 18 February 2017


Sour was his name round these parts, which always led to surprise when people met him, since he got the name for his drinking habits. He was actually a really outgoing, nice guy. Always happy to lend a hand, always happy to help out, always there to support a friend in need.

Given the neighbourhood, he was taken advantage of, sure, almost all the time, but never too badly, up until the Wonski brothers cleared out his bank account, and his apartment.

We all chipped in a little to help him out, but after that, his name became more accurate.

Friday, 17 February 2017


They say that the small moments are the ones you remember. But I was fairly sure that this big moment of getting fired, a small box of my things thrust into my arms… That seemed more likely to be a moment I’d remember forever.

Longest elevator ride in my life, felt like. Then it stopped on level 25, and an intern almost skipped in, looking over a coffee list. She glanced up at me, then at the box, and after a moment pulled out a small packet from her purse.


I guess that was one small moment I’d remember…

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Counting Points

Look, my overall point is that we’ve become far too focused on ideological purity when it comes to viewpoints. Thanks to the media and the internet and society and all those other bugbears, having a nuanced, objective opinion about any topic, even love, just gets you attacked from both sides. You’re supposed to just blindly support or blindly attack every topic, every idea, every thing.

That’s not love, or hate. That’s just fucking stupid.

And I’m getting a bit sick of fucking stupid.

For the most part, obviously. There are many factors at play, after all.

See what I mean?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Counter-Counterpoint To Yesterday

But of course, that’s not to say that love hasn’t produced positives, obviously. For without love, we wouldn’t be here.

And I don’t mean in a sheer physical sense, I’m not discussing the ‘no love means no sex means no reproduction’ train of thought. I mean that we, as a species, wouldn’t be here.

Humanity is defined by love, and hate, which is the other side of love. But love is the more important one. Love makes us care about our tribe, our family, our country, our team, love makes us human. That should be obvious to all.

And yet…

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Counterpoint Of Today

Love is a topic that most art revolves around, be it romantic, or familial, for pets, for all, love is a cornerstone of art.

And today, of all days, is a day where love takes center stage, mainly focused on romantic love, certainly, but most types of love get a run today.

And certainly I know love, or at least I believe I do, or at the very least I have known it, so you would assume I could put together something romantic for the day.


Every point needs a counterpoint.

Love has destroyed so much. Remember that, please.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Mark's Time

As the seconds were ticking by, it seemed every one was taking a little longer than the last.

I assumed it was because I was focusing on my work, but then I knocked a wire off the bench and its fall was slow, delayed. I reached out and grabbed it, and it felt heavier, as if my taking it changed something about its make-up.

It had to be the machine before me doing it, I theorised, and with my new found time I set myself to trying to work it all out.

Then time snapped back, snapping me with it…

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Marking Time

The invite to my Class Reunion had, as well as the invite, a hand written letter from Sophie, who had been Class President and all that. Her letter was to the point, as she said she wanted to make sure I understood that she, along with everyone else, would love to see me there. And that she understood how I hated marking the passages of time, how I never celebrated birthdays or wore a watch or anything, but for everyone else’s sake, would I please attend?

I crumpled them both up. What good is marking any time to an immortal?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Circumstances Around Choice

Despite the best efforts of historians, and despite how popular culture eventually remembers such things, you can't separate events into one single person, one single decision. No matter how powerful the person or influential the decision, every action has dozens of factors playing on it, no one person is truly solely responsible for their actions. The circumstances of every choice share just as much of the credit, good or bad, as the person or people that make it.

At least, that's what I tell myself every day. And yet every day I see their faces, and I feel the shame.

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Passage Of Rites

My long, dangerous job done, I now just had to watch over the Creature as the Mage slowly drew the circle of runes around it. But even I had my limits of boredom.

“So where did you learn this ‘Rite of Hellfire’ anyway?”

He didn’t look around, just tossed an old book at me.

I opened it up, flicking through the pages.

“I didn’t know you read Ancientia.”

“I don’t, but I can translate Runes just fine.”

“Um, wait, doesn’t Ancientia go upwards? Because you seem to be writing those down the wrong way, facing out rather than-“

Everything burned.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Wake And Bake

The smell of freshly baked bread filled his world as he woke. It had been years since he’d last smelt it. Mainly because it had been years since he’d last met anyone.

So he took his time, silently pulling himself to a crouch, picking up his laser shotgun and his lightsword, and then moved as fast as he could without giving away his position, he looked down into his kitchen.

Several large hunters were making themselves at home, with his face rotating in one of their holoscreens.

The smell was coming from one of them, genetically modified sweat glands probably…

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Closeted Feelings

Greg was the receptionist in the foyer, while Suzi worked in data validation. Ever since he was hired, the two of them had been actively avoiding each other, due to the intense and obvious attraction they had for each other since the first time they saw each other. Greg was in a committed relationship, Suzi was heading into her second year of marriage.

And then the Holiday Season parry happened. Both of them got drunk…

Afterwards, they both agreed that it had been a mistake, never to be repeated.

At least, they began to, before they went at it again.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

What Happens Just Outside Vegas...

I let the engine run, looking at my phone as if I was studying a map, but the road was clear for miles either way. So I killed the engine, got out, and slowly walked to the rear of the car, lighting a cigar before I opened the trunk.

“Now, I know you probably don’t quite understand what’s going on here son, and I suppose the kind thing would be to explain to you what you did and who it royally pissed off.”

I took a long drag.

“But I ain’t paid to be kind.”

I flicked my switchblade open.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Spoiled Spoils

I counted the coins in order, bronze, silver, gold. I scratched out the numbers on a brick in the wall above where the treasure chest was as I went, then did some quick calculations, and then divvied up.

I was short by a few gold.

I started from the gold this time, scratching the numbers into the wall, but the numbers were right, so I redid the division.

I was over by a few silver.

I would have recounted them yet again, but at this point the mimic tired of playing with me, and stopped pretending to be a wall.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Soul Patch

It started small. It always does.

Nobody ever goes straight into eternal fiery pits of hell from a pure standing start. You gotta start off with a subtle coating of impurity, convince someone that a little immorality is fine, then you ramp up from there.

And, not to be too immodest, but I was one of the best. I'm the demon who got Joan of Arc right before she burned, after all.

But in all my time adding impurity to souls, I never thought about that taunting the angels and then talking to them might be removing my own impurity...

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Her Name Was Roberta

Her name didn't matter. In the grand scheme of things.

On a personal level, of course it mattered to her. It was her name, after all. Your identity, your personality and your soul, they are linked to your name.

And certainly there were plenty of government departments and businesses that wanted her name recorded and kept, either to prevent fraud or to sell her things, and that wasn't totally separate in both cases.

The records should have her name, yes. But it's not that important. Once she stood up to the troops and was shot, her name became somewhat irrelevant...

Friday, 3 February 2017

Wartime Research Papers

"I want my objections noted!"

"And once more, Doctor, they are. The Government understands that your Grandfather's work-"

"Has been declared to be off limits by every scientific body! We cannot benefit from the horrors he was forced to commit on innocent victims, and-"

"That was before we were under threat of alien invasion. The reports he sent to Central Command indicated he was close to perfecting human hybridization, and we need that data now."

Reluctantly, she turned the key and opened the filing cabinet. She pulled out a notebook and opened it.

"Screw Central Command", scrawled over and over...

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Skipping Today

Look, I’ll level with you, I’m really not feeling this today. I mean, even without everything that’s going on in the world today, all the protests needed for all the obvious evil, on a personal level, I’ve been dealing with some stuff that I don’t want to get into here, but suffice to say, I’m really not in the right frame of mind to be doing this. And that’s without the eight or nine drinks I just had. So maybe we could just call this one a mulligan and try again tomorrow? OK?

No? Oh fine then.

Scalpel please, nurse.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017


I got careless, focusing too much on the mountain in the distance, when I tripped on the vine and fell onto my hands and knees.

Then the viper hissed.

The only movement I made was to breathe and to pump blood through my body, as my eyes stayed locked on the creature as it shifted before me. Then it lunged.

All its venom got was my rucksack, before I yanked it back and ran.

I guess vipers can track their venom, how else would the same viper find me down this ravine, with broken legs? Unless it got very lucky…

Site News: Unexplained Absence

Hey everyone, just a quick note. Sorry about the sudden and unexplained lack of posts. I developed a viral infection on Australia Day, and was unable to get to my computer or do much of anything for a few days. By the time I was okish, I had stuff to take care of, so I was unable to write anything. Later tonight will be the return of the Drabbles, with this year's Rumble entry. Thank you for understanding!