SF Drabble #42 “Companionship, Guaranteed”

The veal parmesan was delicious, but he couldn’t eat it, couldn’t enjoy it, not with her standing in there, like that. He went and took her hand, and led her to a chair. He fixed her a plate, and then sat down again at his own.

“I don’t need to eat.”

“I know. I just… I felt bad.”

“Would you like me to…”

“No. Just… pretend to eat, I suppose.”

She picked up the fork and put some pasta in her mouth. She chewed, smiled. She did it with programmed, effortless precision.

It didn’t make him feel any more comfortable.

Zombie Drabble #68 “When You’re A Jet”

I’ve been watching the traffic and security camera feeds. I’m the only one left in Dispatch, so I have a lot of time. It’s been four, five days since the cops pulled out.

But the streets don’t completely belong to the zombies yet: the gangs own a wide swath of the city. They blocked off from about 12th to 31st, between the railroad and the river. I think MS-13 has most of the power, because they have most of the heavy guns, but they’re working together, trying to save the city.

I think maybe it’s because it’s all they have.

Fantasy Drabble #19 “Red, Jonah, Margaret, and Me”

It’s dark and wet in here. And the stink…

The thing is moving, running: I’m being tossed around pretty good. If it reaches the water, I don’t know if getting out will still be possible. If it reaches the bottom, being inside the monster’s stomach will be the only thing keeping me from being crushed by the pressure.

I can’t do anything from inside. I have no sword, nothing to make fire. They’ll have to rescue me; kill it, cut it open, pull me out. I would say I’m not holding my breath, but it really does stink in here…

SF Drabble #41 “Insight”

I can hear everything everyone thinks, within about a hundred yards, anyway. Have done since puberty.

The thing that would surprise you most, I suspect, is how blank most people are, most of the time. They’re not thinking about their day, or even what they had for breakfast, much less anything profound or insightful. They’re not thinking at all. They’re busy soaking up People magazine and American Idol and fourth down and six yards and there’s the snap.

People always ask me how I can stand all the ‘noise’. There isn’t any noise. There’s never any noise.

It’s pathetic, actually.

SF Drabble #40 “Non Corporeal”

We were looking in the wrong places: the four big moons, the rock and ice, the oceans below. They were down there, they were everywhere, they were here the whole time, just not the way we expected. No shape we recognized, no shape at all.

If they evolved in Jupiter’s atmosphere, or if it’s a colony, it doesn’t matter. They own it all now. Probably Saturn too, Neptune, Uranus.

I wonder if we’ll ever be able to communicate. I wonder how old they are. I wonder if they’ve been coming to Earth and posing as ghosts, as a practical joke.

Fantasy Drabble #18 “Capes”

Mandy was waiting for me on the couch, mostly naked, when I got home. I told her I wasn’t interested: too tired. The costume, the mask, they hit the floor and I hit the shower.

The Game Player was a tough fight. He must have hooked up with one of the technical guys, the gadget men. The guys with powers are hard enough, but the gadget makers… you never know what to expect.

I am forearmed by Mandy’s visions. Game Player was a piece of cake compared to the coming fight with Panix. She’s got powers and gadgets. Strong ones.

Zombie Drabble #67 “Office Space”

God I hate my job. I work at one of those companies where once a month you have to go to a meeting with this guy with no tie on who asks what your ‘success strategy’ is. Last time I told him, ‘to goof off whenever possible’. Of course it got back to the boss. So he asks me to work the weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

So I was here at the office, alone, when the shit hit the fan. So I’m still here all alone, with like a year’s worth of supplies. And they’re all zombie food. Strategy worked.

SF Drabble #39 “Good Company”

I work for EastCo. My wife, too, now that EastCo owns Central Systems: it was part of the division of spoils at the end of the war. EastCo’s troops had the technological edge, of course, having been born out of the conglomeration of defense companies from the old USA. The ‘Oils’ didn’t have a chance.

I’m just glad there wasn’t a lot of fighting around here. China’s a mess, and so’s most of India and the middle east. My brother was in Singapore for the bombings, but he made it through. I told him not to go working for Lenovo.

Fantasy Drabble #17 “Why Choose The Lesser Evil?”

Exactly on the stroke of eight, the breeze strengthens and the dust devil gathers. My master takes shape inside the cloud. Difficult to discern at first, his great and terrible features soon sharpen.

I have brought the traditional offering. I have recited the oaths. I have laid waste his enemies and prospered his followers. My neck is laid bare to his mercy or hunger, but I fear not: I have been a faithful and constant servant.

It is not enough. His shape falls back to dust, dispersing onto the winds. I must redouble my efforts to bring about his return.

Zombie Drabble #66 “In Sickness And In Health”

I found a priest, and I put it to him. He said, “My dear, I’ve seen the boy’s arm. He’s got eight hours left, maybe ten. Surely you know that…”

“I know, father. And so does he. It’s what we want.”

The Father nodded. “All right then.”

They wouldn’t untie Freddie, even during the ceremony, but they let him put the ring on my finger. After, they left us alone in the cell, me in the dress I’d been carting around and him tied to the bed.

He never once asked me to untie him. I slept on the floor.

Zombie Drabble #65 “Life’s a Journey”

We gas up the semi with the engine running. It takes awhile, so we try to find stations without any zombies too close to them before we stop. There was little warning and a lot of confusion when it all went down so a lot of them still have mostly full tanks. One of us waits behind the wheel, one pumps the gas, and the other two stand guard on top of the trailer.

The rest of the time we’re headed down the highway. At some point we’ll find someplace safe to stop. I mean, there has to be someplace.

SF Drabble #39 “Self Correcting”

I only went back ten minutes the first time. At first I thought it hadn’t worked. When I increased the voltage, I went back a year. I could tell because my wife’s things were still in the house.

The third time, I went back twenty years. I borrowed some clothes from whoever it was who lived there then, and took a walk. Within a minute, a car almost ran me down. Then another. Then a truck. The drivers couldn’t explain what happened.

I’m going back to my own time now. I think the universe is trying to edit me out.

Fantasy Drabble #16 “Perspective”

While home visiting the parents, I stayed in my old room. Haven’t been back in five or six years. First thing I did was check under the bed.

The monster was withered, forlorn, near death from neglect. I offered, “You don’t look so good.”

It grunted weakly, “And you do? You need a haircut: you look like a girl.”

“Girls wear their hair short too. My girlfriend…”

The monster snorted in disgust. “Your girlfriend. I suppose you do all sorts of gooey romantic things with her.”


The monster shook it’s monstrous head. Slime dripped sloppily onto the carpet. “Disgusting.”

Fantasy Drabble #15 “A Girl’s Best Friend”

My car is possessed. But not in a Christine or Maximum Overdrive sort of way.

I got drunk a few months ago and tried to drive home. I passed out behind the wheel, but instead of crashing, the Mini pulled itself over and woke me up by yelling at me through the stereo. It really read me the riot act about drunk driving.

I know, you’re thinking I imagined it. But I quit drinking that night and the car still talks to me. We’re friends now. It thinks I need to meet a nice man. Just not in a bar.

SF Drabble #38 “Tell The President I’ll Call Him Back.”

The orbital club only has five members: the US, the EU, Russia, China, and Wallace Wills. It’s no wonder, the world’s entire financial system runs on his software. One of his other companies builds the heavy lift boosters everyone uses, so he gets them for cost. I hear when his personal ship went up the first time all hell broke loose, but nobody could do anything about it because it was Wallace Wills.

He’s building a luxury resort in orbit around Mars, a spinning cylinder a kilometer long. Talk about a destination vacation.

I should start playing the lottery again.