SF Drabble #17 “Gratitude”

I ain’t saying they should get run off or nothing. I ain’t saying that at all. I just think, these aliens come to our planet, they should show some respect. All I hear anymore is, oh, they’re so great, they’re so advanced, their technology is so amazing… well, way I figure it, we was doing fine before they showed up, and I don’t think I oughta have to kowtow to something that looks like a cross between a platypus and a cockroach just cause they’re all smart and whatnot. I mean, curing cancer was great and all, thanks, but damn.

Zombie Drabble #48 “Six Degrees Of Zombie Separation” (For Glen Bartram)

My best friend Perry, after he turned, bit this flight attendant named Janice. She managed to hide the wound long enough to deadhead to L.A. Sunday afternoon as planned. She turned in the airport bathroom, and bit a lady from Houston, who turned Monday night and bit her son, who she was in town to visit. He was an extra on a film that was shooting in the Valley. They loaded up some of the production trucks and headed for the hills, but not before he turned and bit the director. Wednesday, the director, when he turned, bit Kevin Bacon.

Zombie Drabble #47 “Shelf Life”

Most of the zombies you find walking around now, years after the day, are leathery skin and bones, walking gristle. It’s the exposure: standing in the rain and snow and wind for a decade, bug-eaten and sun-dried.

You only find fresh ones in the buildings. We keep finding good as new zombies in bathrooms while searching for medicines. The number of people who died while kneeling on the bathroom floor, retching, face against the porcelain, must have been astronomical. They must go dormant after a while with no food; but as soon as we open the door, up they stand.

SF Drabble #16 “We Conquered From The Ocean Too”

When this started, everyone thought it was a meteor shower: then a couple pods came down real close to the shore. They all landed in the water, of course. A Navy helicopter got some good video of one pod splashing down, breaking open just under the surface, and disgorging it’s occupant, with it’s tentacles, machinery, weapons, everything.

They’re forming up somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, building something deep underwater. There’s a few of them swimming with a big pod of dolphins, I heard. I wonder if the dolphins are going to be on our side when it starts.

Zombie Drabble #46 “No Money Fun”

Sometimes, when we’re out scrounging, a little game Chris, Bob and I like to play is ‘zombie tipping’. It’s exactly what it sounds like it would be. They’ll shamble up to you, arms outstretched, your buddy will rush up and get down on his hands and knees behind them, and you’ll push the Zombie in the chest and it’ll fall down.

Only, last time, Chris didn’t get back up fast enough and the zombie sat up real quick and bit him. We had to leave him. I suppose next time we go out we’ll tip him, for old time’s sake.

Fantasy Drabble #2 “Mother Knows Best”

My daughter woke up this morning desperately in love with this boy from school she’d never mentioned before. I knew immediately it was a love spell. So I broke out the trusty grimoire and worked a spell of my own.

Undine comes home with an odd story: seems the love of her life got her into the janitor’s closet, but as soon as he got excited, his… wand… turned black and purple and excruciatingly painful. After a minute of fighting her off he chanted some stuff she didn’t understand and now Undine doesn’t remember what she ever saw in him…

Zombie Drabble #45 “Pillow Talk”

Even during the zombie apocalypse, there are quiet moments. My girlfriend and I were holed up in the loft of some old barn, you know, in the hay. We started talking about our top ten lists… you know, where you pick ten celebrities your partner has to give you permission to have sex with if you ever meet them. Most of hers were actors, a couple football players, you know. Andy Roddick. Mine was all actresses and Victoria’s Secret models. She said it was weird how they were probably all dead now. Then we totally did it in the hay.

Fantasy Drabble #1

Believe me when I tell you this: the Fountain Of Youth is real. I don’t know whether it was real in Ponce de Leon’s time. Really, I don’t see how it could have been. See, it’s an outdoor spigot on the side of an abandoned building, in a fenced in alley. I don’t know who owns the building, or who fenced in the alley. All I know is this: a week ago I was a 52 year old, addicted to crack, and now I look about 19 and in perfect health. The problem is, the abandoned building has been condemned…

Pet Sounds

The new neighbors had seemed nice enough: they were human, polite, reasonably well dressed. Out here in the suburbs you get all kinds, of course.

Helen brought them over a pan of lasagna after a couple days, you know, to break the ice. They talked for a minute at the door. No kids. He was a pilot for Virgin Interplanetary, just got off doing the Moon to Mars run, promoted to the home office. The wife was a teacher still looking for a local job. Chemistry I think. Maybe Biology.

Doesn't matter.

They seemed very appreciative of the lasagna, but didn't invite her in. We chalked it up to the house still being a mess of boxes. The wife brought the pan back later that same day. That should have been our first clue.

We have 2 dogs. Sorry, we had two dogs. Spike and Angel. Don't give me any crap, my wife named them. They were little yappy dogs of I have no idea what breed. Personally I couldn't stand either of them but the wife loved the heck out of those little suckers which is the only reason I bring it up.

So after about a week, they had a fencing company come and put up one of those six foot high wooden privacy fences. I thought, well, it's a little antisocial, and the chain link fence that was there was doing find with keeping our dogs out of that yard, but whatever. They're homeowners, they can put up a privacy fence if they like, no skin off my nose.

The next night, Helen called the dogs in and neither came, so she went out into the yard looking. Angel she found hiding under the porch, but Spike was nowhere to be seen. I figured he had just come in the doggy door when Helen wasn't looking and was hiding in the house somewhere. We looked for a little while before deciding he'd show up again when he got hungry enough.

It wasn't until the next day when we couldn't find Angel either that I noticed the hole the dogs had dug under that privacy fence. I couldn't see directly through the hole, though: the fence was dug into the ground several inches so it was kind of an 'elbow' tunnel. I reached through and felt around, but nothing. I snapped my fingers, just to see if I could get the dogs to come, but again nothing.

I went over and tried the gate to the neighbors backyard, but it was locked with a padlock, so I walked around to knock on the front door. I could hear some hushed talking from inside before he opened the door. "Hey, neighbor. What can I do for you?" the pilot said.

I tried to be casual about it. "Hey, I think my dogs may have dug under the fence and gotten into your yard. Mind if we go back there and check?"

"Not at all: here, I'll come out." He pulled the door shut behind him. He hadn't opened it very far, but since he was being so cooperative I didn't think much of it at the time. As we walked around to the side, he said, "I haven't seen them back there, but it can't hurt to look again."

We went around, and he unlocked the gate. The backyard hadn't changed much, except for there was a brand new shed back in the corner. We looked around everywhere we thought the dogs could have gotten to, but no luck.

"Could they have gotten into the shed?" I asked.

"It's been locked up tight since I put it up, so I don't think so."

He didn't move to open it, and I didn't want to press the issue. Anyhow, it didn't look like there was any way to get in with the doors shut and locked, so I figured the dogs weren't in there anyway. "Right, right."

There was an uncomfortable moment, during which I noticed his wife was watching us through the kitchen window curtains, and then I said, "Okay, well, thanks."

"I'll keep an eye out for them."

"Thanks again."

I went out and around and back to our place; he locked up the gate behind us and went back into his.

We never did see the dogs again.

Four nights later we heard some strange noises while we were sleeping, I can't really describe it. They culminated in a loud crashing sound that sounded a little like the time the hurricane wind took the roof off my father's garage back in '21. Not quite as loud though, and there wasn't so much as a drop of rain that night. Anyway, I got up to check, and the house was all right, doors and windows, so I went back to bed.

The next morning when we got up Helen said that there was a big hole in the privacy fence, and I should go look and see what happened. So I did.

The hole wasn't big, it was enormous. I stepped through it, that's how big it was. There wasn't anything in the neighbors' yard that hadn't been there when I had been there last, except: the sliding glass door to the house was open, and so were the shed doors.

Inside the shed were two cages. One was a cube about three feet tall, and one was a cube about six feet tall. The door of the six foot cage was twisted and bent and broken and hanging on it's hinges. There were some little, dog-sized bones inside the cage. Mixed in with larger ones. There was a smell that was... not right. it occurred to me, maybe the pilot brought something back down with him, maybe some exotic pet.

I didn't bother checking the neighbors' house. I went straight back into my own house and locked the doors behind me and called the police.

I hereby attest that this account is entirely factual to my knowledge.

Zombie Drabble #44 “They Call Harris Hall The Cloister”

College is supposed to be the beginning of your adult life, not the end. This is so fucked up. I wonder how many of the girls are locked in their rooms now, all zombiefied.

I don’t know how he got in: maybe some girl managed to sneak him past the desk. I wonder if he ate her.  Either way, he’s still hungry, and he knows I’m in here, because it’s Wednesday and he hasn’t moved from outside my dorm room door since Sunday.

If I had focus like that I probably would’ve gotten better grades. Not that it matters now.

SF Drabble #15 “Walkabout”

I took a supply rocket to the L5 Colonies, then talked my way onto a courier ship to Mars. I hung around the embassies in the Hellas Planitia until I found someone hiring for an outbound run. That took me to the colonies at Epsilon Indi and Tau Ceti, and from there to a Fouwhi outpost around some red giant, I didn’t know the name. I hopped ships to a Madive packet ship headed for the main Association circuit. Once I get tired of alien planets covered with strange and beautiful cities, I figure I’ll head for the galactic core.

Zombie Drabble #43 “Cayman Islands Getaway”

You don’t really take guns with you on vacation, as a rule. It’s also not a time you are very concerned with laying in supplies, with the possible exceptions of beer, condoms, and suntan lotion. But the islands are the islands, and so we bought a couple machetes off the locals. Not with cash, of course… we traded away all Jenny’s gold and silver jewelry and my Rolex.

So then we set off hacking and slashing our way down the beach, looking for a pier with boats still tied up. Zombie tourists have a hard time shambling in white sand.