SF Drabble #67 “Spare Parts”

At first everything was a warm soothing glow. All he could feel was the mask tight across his mouth and nose. Later he became vaguely aware of bubbles rising through the tank, brushing his skin as they passed.

Now and then he would hear low distant murmurs. He opened his eyes only rarely. Once for a moment he thought he could see his own face peering through the glass, lips moving as if talking casually, but he couldn’t be sure.

The first thing he experienced with any real clarity or definition was when they came and took his left arm.

Fantasy Drabble #38 “Bargain”

The demon peered at him, red eyes piercing through white smoke. “Well?”

“I’m thinking.” Not a bad deal, really: wealth, sex, power, everything he had ever wanted. In return, his immortal soul, whatever the hell that was. “How long?”

“You get to live as long as you otherwise would have. Die naturally.” The demon took a long pull on his cigarette. “This isn’t a catchy kind of deal.”

“But then… what happens?”

“What do you care? You were going to hell anyway. At least this way you get to enjoy yourself.”

The pen felt heavy in his hands. He signed.

SF Drabble #66 “Bunker Mentality”

We all stand, watch the clock count down. We’re not sure how long it’s been counting down, but there are eight decimal places already wound down to zero. Only three places left, and they will be zeroes soon. Our ancestors knew they wouldn’t live to see it.

The immense doors have been there all our lives but are only now important: they will open whatever has become of the outside to us.

What if that world is a blackened cinder? Or, what if we have left it too long, and it belongs to someone else?

What if they don’t open?

SF Drabble #65 “Jersey Guerilla”

He peered out from behind what used to be a car. “There, on the right.”

“I see ‘em.” she confirmed, watching the Combat Assistant screen. There were four of them, those horrific weapons in hand, lumbering down the broad avenue. “Keep your heads down until you hear the bang.”

She had planted bouncing betties just under the asphalt. If the aliens got close enough…

“They’re too far apart.”

“I know. We might still get three.”

“Even one of those can kill all of us.”

“We’re attacking. You can run if you want,” she observed, “but this is still my planet.”

SF Drabble #64 “Travel Guide”

When you get to Crobrang, there are five things you have to see. The first is the ocean surface spaceport, and you’re gonna see that no matter what. The second is the enormous multihulled sailing ferries, and you’ve got to take one of those to get to the other three things.

The third is the City. There’s only one. it stretches across three big islands, it’s magnificent. The fourth is the Opera House on the big island. They don’t really have opera per se, it’s just a name. The fifth? There’s a really great Tandoori joint next door. Al’s. Seriously.

Fantasy Drabble #37 “One Dark Night”

She climbed silently down from her hiding spot amidst the rocks. The traveler sat by his campfire, did not see her till she was close enough to kill.

He didn’t run, though. “Greetings.”

She was startled, stopped in her tracks.

“What are we, then? Not human, I take it.”

She stared at him.

“Not anymore, anyhow. Sit, warm yourself…”

She did, in spite of herself.

He continued, “I have food.” He held out a metal cup, for which she eventually reached, slowly, carefully.

“There’s nothing out here more dangerous than you and I, taken together. Relax. Tell me a story.”

Fantasy Drabble #36 “Crush”

Her family moved in next door the year I was eight. She was sixteen and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

She proved conspicuously unconcerned about closing the blinds on her windows. I watched her dress, undress. I watched her shower. It was formative.

I watched her sacrificing random men to power her arcane magic. I told no one. We had an unspoken arrangement: I would flash my lights if her parents were returning unexpectedly, and she performed her nightly peepshows. And more: one night an armed man broke into our house. His heart exploded on the stairs.

Zombie Drabble #89 “Pipes”

The sewers are fairly safe. The stench down here covers our scent, so they don’t even know we’re down here. Makes it hard to eat, though. Everything tastes like crap, even when the cans are newly opened.

They can’t climb ladders, of course, and we’ve blocked up the big service entrances, but occasionally one will fall down an open manhole. They’re pretty easy to deal with when they have broken legs.

I don’t miss civilization. I don’t miss bills, traffic and lines at the bank. I certainly don’t miss being a plumber. I miss the sun. I miss being dry.

Zombie Drabble #88 “Exciting and New”

We won the Caribbean cruise in a raffle at the club. Rae was so excited, she’d never even been on a boat before.

We were only hours out of Miami when people started getting really sick. Rae just got over the flu, and so I thought it best we stay in our cabin. No sense in exposing her twice. We only knew the sick people were dying from the panicked stewards… the abandon ship announcement, when it came, was one hell of a surprise.

Only six of us in a twelve-man lifeboat, no provisions. At least it’s a pretty night.

SF Drabble #63 “Malebranche”

Our ships hang in orbit above the largest, closest moon. I don’t know what the locals call it. It’s a sea of boiling lava, most of it, and I can’t for a minute begin to understand how life ever evolved there.

But it did, and there they are. Persistent little horrors, they keep trying to come up and we keep knocking them back down.

The second planet, closer to the star, is so near Earth perfect… we can’t risk the locals taking it from us before the colony ships get here. It’s a much smaller, colder universe than people think.

Fantasy Drabble #35 “Lurk”

Through the manholes, the grates, the vents, I can hear them babbling into their precious little phones as they pass above me. In the subway I can smell them in their masses. Their sweat hangs in the air like a stale mist hours after they’ve gone.

I only grab them near closing time, while the last trains are rolling, and only when they’re alone. It’s easy. I’ve taken too many, though, they’re starting to get suspicious. They probably just think it’s a serial killer. More cops on the platforms, even after closing.

That’s all right. Policemen taste just as good.