Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Cheap Shot at Twilight

Meyers released her thrice damned book, and Vampires were defanged.

No longer would they consume plasma, nor spurn the cross. Hurting none, they were gentle protectors, companions to young girls. They glittered and sparkled prettily but ultimately harmlessly in the sun.

It was irritating, to be sure. An affront to a thousand years of mythology, throwing out the mystique of what had been a creature of terror. “Glitter-pires” left nothing of what vampires were in their new, shiny, glimmering personae. But nobody saw the harm.

Until the day the Pixies, the Sprites and the Fae started thirsting for human blood.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Mermaid

One beautiful summer morning, from the back porch of the cabin at which I spend my vacation, I saw a mermaid sunning herself by the ocean.

Water glistened off her taught, nude, porcelain back and shimmering blue-green tail as she lazed upon a rock in my backyard, and her long, golden blonde hair fell in ringlets around her perfect heart-shaped face. She looked up at me, smiling so innocently that it made my heart ache.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was far and away the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.

And, I later learned, the most delicious.

Friday, January 29, 2010


“I demand a do-over!” I howled at her.

She just stared from the door, suitcase in hand, as though she couldn’t comprehend what I had said. For seconds that felt like years, the two of us stood there, mutely staring at one another.

Finally she sighed, looking exhausted.

“It doesn’t work that way.” She said, struggling to keep sadness out of her voice.

She shut the door behind her, and when the cab pulled away I still hadn’t moved from the same spot in the middle of the living room that once we called ours.

I hadn’t figured it would.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Details Pt. 2

They say the Devil’s in the details.

And one way or another, they intended to prove it. A team of thirty five of the world’s leading religious thinkers, each with a scientific background, gathered together for further study.

The equipment they were using was top of the line, banks of computers, powerful electron microscopes, the best gear overseen by the best people in their fields. The lab worked 24 hours a day, examining phenomena too minute for the eye to see, or the mind to comprehend.

If the Devil was in the details, they’d find him.

However long it took.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


They say that God is in the details.

And I personally believe them. Because when you pay enough attention to the world around you, you start to notice the little things. They start jumping out of the world at you, taking up attention that you’d never have thought to give them.

Beautiful, but commonplace things. A flower in the park, or the smile of a pretty girl you pass on the street. Small enough that they’d ordinarily slide right past your eye as you go about your business.

But as you slow down to pay attention to details.

Comes revelation.

All Empires Crumble

Alexander sat upon his throne, holding his head in his hands.

The news from his chancellor hadn’t been good. Two more provinces had risen up, overthrowing their provincial governors and joining in the separatist alliance. It seemed his empire was crumbling around him, and he didn’t know what to do to stem the tide.

He wondered what his father, he who conquered so much of the world and held it together by sheer force of personality, would do, and realized that his father would never allow his empire to fall into disrepair in the first place.

But his father was dead three years, of a strange wasting sickness he‘d caught in the tropical campaigns. And the glorious empire he founded was dying by inches, it’s people rebelling against the central governor.

The imperial senate were too busy lining their own pockets and intriguing against one another to govern, the generals, used to campaigns of conquest, were brutalizing the peoples of the empire, the governors growing fat off the labour of their subjects, then slaughtered like fattened calves as those same subjects rose up in rebellion.

And it was up to Alexander, of the fey features and gentle disposition, to hold it together, a task for which he was uniquely unqualified.

He breathed deeply, desperately wracking his brain for any solution, but none would come.

It took a few minutes for him to even realized he was crying.

All empires crumble, all nations fall.

The trick is to not be there when it happens.

Alexander, in the wreckage of a once glorious testament to human will to dominate, felt more like a prisoner than any man in history.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Experiment 932

The isolation chamber was activated and the outside world began to vanish.

At the flip of a switch the lights went out and the whole world receded, leaving me floating, like a fly in amber, alone in the perfect silence.

The doctor’s at the project had had no idea when I began the treatments two years ago that my genetic predisposition toward psionics would become so overdeveloped. Every mind on earth is open to me now, and I know of no way to close myself from them.

They told me, when we began, that I would be a soldier, that through their enhancements my talents would allow me to serve my country. After all, with a mind reader on your side, no one in the world could keep secrets, we’d know all, and through that knowledge have an insurmountable advantage against our rivals. Tactics in battle, lies told at the negotiating table, locations of troop reserves, nothing could be hidden, I’d know the thoughts of the world.

The thoughts of a world are, however, useless to me. I don’t have any idea what a given person is thinking, it’s all lost in the cacophony. Close to seven billion voices all screaming at once, and I can’t make out the words to any specific one. And the over stimulation leaves me incapable of thought of my own.

So the project was suspended. Not only was my ability to read minds useless for the project’s purposes, but my life was constant, thoughtless agony. So they closed down the lab and transferred me to a private facility where I’d be “boxed” in a total sensory immersion isolation chamber, a prisoner in a coffin sized cell, unable to see another human face, or hear a voice, or sense a thought again for the rest of my, God willing, short life.

There in the darkness, I closed my eyes, at last free from the barrage of thoughts, and allowed myself to drift into the first peaceful sleep I’d had in months.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Zombie in a Theme Park

Brian awoke from the sleep of death and shambled forward, hungry for brains.

During his life he’d worked at the theme park, bringing joy to children with his cartoonish visage. Now that visage no longer inspired joy as he staggered through the grounds, determined, unstoppable, ever looking for hapless victims, but ever unsated.

He would, from time to time, catch a still-living victim, but once he had them in his grasp he found he could not, however hard he tried, sink his teeth into their tender, succulent flesh.

There’s nothing more tragic than a Zombie trapped in a mascot suit.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Peter sat alone in his little apartment, cursing the darkness.

The power had gone out again, it had been happening more and more since the radioactive wall of transistors had sprayed sparks down upon him that fateful day in the lab, and he knew no way of making it stop.

Outside of his room, he could hear the building come alive with people fumbling in the darkness, looking for anything battery powered to help them find their way through the blackout.

It’s true what uncle Ben had told him.

With great power comes great possibility you’d trip a circuit breaker.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Revolution

I can lead you to glory, the hero cried forth.

The townsfolk were a ragtag crew, and they had been oppressed so long that they’d forgotten what freedom tasted like. The hero’s words seemed like madness, few of them had ever even held a sword, and the Overmaster’s armies were powerful, his eye all seeing.

But the hero’s message of hope inspired them, it called out to something in their hearts that they’d long forgotten even existed, but that they now new they desperately needed.

His noble words gnawed at them, and as they pondered his offer to lead them in rebellion against the Overmaster they knew they could not live in subjugation one moment longer. So, one by one, they stood, and cheered, and cried to the heavens for the freedom they had so long been denied. They were not soldiers, but to free themselves they became an army that day.

In his castle on a hill the Overmaster, safe in his seat of power, laughed as he observed this. The Hero, his pawn, had done his job admirably. The townsfolk would rise up against him, and his armies would put them down with all the brutality they could muster. His armies, after all, were well trained and well armed, and the townsfolk hadn’t even rudimentary weapons. By weeks end blood would run through the streets of the town.

The Overmaster smiled to himself.

You have to crush a rebellion now and again.

Otherwise your subjects would forget to fear you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Science marches on, they told me.

Also; that you can’t fight progress. I thus grew up with the notion that humankind’s progress was a linier affair, that we were moving relentlessly forward, overcoming clearly defined obstacles toward some sort of discernable end, that we couldn’t be swayed from our path. It appeared to me that it was onwards and upward for us here on this little rock. That our will and our intellect were unstoppable. Invincible.

But lately, looking at the world around me, I’ve grown to doubt it.

After all, I imagine they said similar things in ancient Greece…

Shameless self promotion.

"Time Machine", one of my hundred word short stories has been picked up by "The Drabblecast", a podcast available through itunes and from the website:

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Children at the Bar

They’ve started letting children drink.

They get younger and younger out at the sorts of bars I go to, it started a few years ago. But now they’re literally children. At most they’re in Junior High. They run around the bar, shouting at one another about in some incomprehensible tongue, getting drunker than they should, embarrassing themselves.

They fill up the pub, making things uncomfortable for the adults still willing to go out.

They never should have let children into the bar.

Which is what they’re doing.

They have to be.

It can’t possibly be anything to do with me….

Monday, January 18, 2010


I awoke, stretched and slowly grew accustomed to my new body.

Powerful legs flexed under me, long, thick tail helping me balance as I got unsteadily to my feet, tiny, stunted arms in front of me scrabbling at the air. I smiled, mouth full of razor sharp fangs, as I saw myself, all scales and claws and fangs, in the mirror by the slab on which I’d so recently lay.

They’d called me mad when I said I was undergoing surgery to become a Raptor.

But Mama always said I could be anything I wanted, if I believed in myself…


I’d always been told they didn’t exist when I was a child, and with time I grew to believe it. But there it is, in the woodlands out behind my grandparents old farm, drinking calmly from the river, as though it had always been there.


Strong and proud, alabaster mane cascading down upon it’s ashen white shoulders, silver/grey horn shining in the morning sun.

I find myself struck dumb, taken aback by the awesome beauty of this brilliant, mythic beast as it approaches me.

So dumbstruck, in fact, that It barely registers when it’s fangs sink into my flesh…

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The tanker truck behind him exploded, a ball of fire engulfing him, and for a moment he was gone, seemingly destroyed in the blast. He couldn’t have survived that. Nobody could. I was finally safe.

But a moment later, he walked out through the fire, flesh burned away to nothing, metallic skeleton revealed, and shambled impassively toward me, determined, murderous, unstoppable.


As he walked out of the shade of a nearby building and into the sun, he glittered and shone beautifully in the sun, like an angel.

They should never have let Stephanie Meyer write the new Terminator flick.

The Future

As the colony ship lifted off, ferrying that first batch of colonists out of our galaxy to live among the stars, it was impossible to deny. The future had arrived, and it was everything I’d dreamed it would be as a child, back in the twentieth century.

I sat, looking out the window of my rest home, and smiled, trying to imagine the lives the people on that ship would live, so different from my own.

I wouldn’t see much of the future, but I was glad I lived to see it arrive.

I closed my eyes and drifted off…

Time Machine

“You can’t build a time machine out of spare parts you found at a yard sale!” she told me.
But when my machine whirred to life, lights flashing and gears turning, opening a rift in the very fabric of time through which both it and I disappeared, I proved her wrong.
Now, trapped three thousand years in the past, staring at the wreckage of my creation, unable to buy parts to repair it, I realize what she meant.
You can build a time machine out of spare parts you found at a yard sale.
But not a very good one.


Doctor Carlson hadn’t meant to kill anyone the day that he began his experimentation, he’d never have hurt a fly intentionally, but within moments of his machine’s activation people started dying. Some quickly, some violently, others lingering months, even years, ending their lives in hospital beds, in pain, shrunken and unrecognizable, eyes vacant, bodies withered, passing away with barely a gasp. People continued to be born in the interim, to be sure, but within one hundred and fifty years of Doctor Carlson’s mad experiment every man, woman and child that was on earth the day that he began was dead.