Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hand-made, Locally Grown, Artisanal

Emily looked over the makeshift table, lips pursed.  The nightmare peddler swayed, ugly face indifferent.

“This one?” Emily asked, pointing to an angular silver one.

“Cut you,” the man grunted.

“And these?”  Two distressed yarn balls.

“Spiders.  Spiders everywhere.”

“Not very creative,” Emily sniffed.

“Scare you,” the man gasped, “to death.”

Emily raised an eyebrow and smirked.  “We’re done here,” she told me.

We’d crunched three steps across the gravel when the nightmare man spoke again.  “No,” he said.

The opening of his tent was dark behind him.  “Please,” he said again, straining to focus his eyes.


We kept walking.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Contributions to the War Effort

It’s Donation Day, and we line up outside the cafeteria.  Afternoon classes are canceled, which would be good except today is Art day.  I like Art class.

I line up with the others.  One by one we pass by the open warhead and add our hatred of the enemy to the seethe.  When I make the sign and spit, only a few dribbles emerge.  The soldier doesn’t say anything, but I know he’s recording it all.  Too many under-donations and my whole family will get marked as Unpolitical, maybe even Seditious.


I can’t even feel very upset about that anymore.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rush

The Beast passes by, and we must jump.  I jump well and catch hold of the thick fur along his flank.  My sister Mia does not jump so well, and she falls.  I wish that I could have caught her.  I wish that anyone could.

The Wall looms ahead.  How many of us, clinging to his hair and skin, will be shaken off by the impact?  And even then, what will we find on the other side but more Beasts, huge and terrible and indifferent?  It is no way to live.

But I will live.


The Beast is gathering speed.

Monday, August 4, 2014

GISHWHES 2014

So apparently there is a thing called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, and one of the items on this year's list is to get a "published SF author" to write a 140-word story with the phrases "Misha," "Queen of England," and "Elopus" in it.

Well, shoot, son.  Y'all have come to the right place, I tell you what.

Hit me up on Twitter @scattercat or here in the comments; I get e-mails either way.  Drop a few dollars in my hat over there to the right and you'll have your story ASAP.  :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Roundabout" at IGMS

My borderline-sociopath-versus-evil-elder-god-of-the-U.S.-highway-system story is up at Intergalactic Medicine Show, right here.  And no more paywall over yonder, either!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Measured in Coffee Spoons

Herbert wandered, lost in thought.  He came to a fork in the road.  Confused, he bent and picked it up.  Fine silverware, no sign of tarnish.  Curious.

"Well?" said a voice from below.  Herbert glanced down to see a kneeling man in what had once been a fine suit, now dirty and bedraggled, straining at the seams to contain the immense girth of its owner.  Indeed, it was odd he hadn't seen the man, so large was he.  His mouth was smeared with dirt.

"Well," the man said again, "start eating." 

Eventually, Herbert regretted taking an extra cake at tea.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Social Engineering

Nua was disconcerted when she entered Tyo's apartment.  "Last week this was a shitty economy with a roach problem," she said, eyeing the solid gold fountain bubbling with Dom Perignon.  Overhead, a flock of phoenixes sang classic Limp Bizkit songs with full orchestration.

"Yeah, well," Tyo shrugged.  "I found the old Telnet server God used to make the universe.  Dude never changed his password.  Old people and computers, right?  Family members and birthdays, t'cha."  Tyo spat and laughed.  A diamond robot scurried out to clean the marble.

"Twelve twenty-five?" Nua asked.

"Jeez, how Americanized are you?  One over zero, babe."