SF Drabble #101 “Castaway”

It had been twenty years since the crash. We look very much like the locals, so the prosthetic disguise was easy enough to maintain; they even have costume shops where you can buy the materials.

I was getting out of my car at the bowling alley when the two agents walked up. At first I thought it was a mugging. “The black blossoms along the river in Challach City were beautiful this spring,” one of them said conversationally.

I stopped in my tracks, almost dropped my bowling ball bag. For a moment i had mixed emotions: tonight was the finals.

SF Drabble #100 “Christmas Day on Yowgar III”

The word had come down about the time it stopped snowing: there was a cease fire, maybe a peace treaty. The shelling had stopped a few minutes before, and when the small arms fire trailed off there was an eerie, disturbing quiet.

Two hours later we were exploring no man’s land. The enemy came out of their holes to talk. With six thin spider legs the alien soldiers were having trouble in the snow. A couple of the boys modified some snowshoes for their feet so their medics could hunt for survivors.

I hope all this gets sorted out soon.

Fantasy Drabble #65 “Telekinesis”

I’m concentrating very hard now. My mind is completely focused on my goal. If I was closer it would be easy, but at twenty feet gingham might as well be iron plate.

There. It rises a few inches, fluttering as if in the breeze, not really long enough for a good look. It’s windy enough that she doesn’t even notice.

She has nice calves.

It’s taken an hour to get just that small peek. I could have spent that time lifting wallets: get close enough, they jump into your hand.

Life isn’t all about money. Concentrate. Just a little further.

Fantasy Drabble #64 “Collection”

I stumbled and fell before I got ten feet. It was the sulfur smell… I was nauseous. Maybe also weak from the blood loss.

It was ten feet tall, all shiny black armor, claws and teeth. It was laughing as I pulled myself up, retching. “You won’t escape, surely you know that.”

My strength was gone after only a few more steps. I collapsed in a heap and vomited into the dust.

“You made a deal.”

Behind me, the mansion was crumbling. I heard screams. The wife, kids.

“Ten years,” he said in his basso profundo voice. “Time to pay.”

SF Drabble #99 “Searching for F’Shurr”

He brought the patrol boat down into normal space with a flick of the wrist, and started his scans. He wasn’t expecting to find the Howznian here: smugglers this good don’t hide in the obvious places, and this asteroid field was about as obvious as it gets. But there was always a chance he’d gotten lazy, or overconfident, or was having engine trouble…

Nothing on sensors, and Officer Franks snorted. If the profile was accurate, the Howznian was probably already spending his ill-gotten gains on a beach of black sand by one of the liquid methane lakes of his homeworld.

SF Drabble #98 “Monkey See”

“We come from Earth,” Reyes said with affected dignity, face upturned.

The creature in the tree stared for a moment, and then responded with a long shriek.

Reyes turned to Yanick. “Well?”

“Hard to tell. There’s enough modulation in that caterwauling that it could convey information. Lord knows that braincase is big enough.” Yanick shrugged. “Or it could be an animal noise.”

“We’ll have to continue observation until they do something less equivocal. Like tool use,” Reyes said. As he turned towards the ship, a ball of wet glop struck his back.

“Or, you know, throwing their poop at us.”

Fantasy Drabble #63 “Upper West Side Faerie”

She had one broken gossamer wing, and I scooped her up from the sidewalk with some newspaper I pulled from the trash. I rushed her back to the house before anyone could see what I’d found.

“Thirsty,” she murmured weakly. I  gave her whole milk from an eyedropper. I constructed a bed out of a basket of plastic grass that I had left over from Easter.

A week later she was flying around the apartment, asking all sorts of personal questions, digging through my things, and studiously avoiding the plate glass windows she made me mark with masking tape crosses.

Fantasy Drabble #62 “Influence”

“I don’t know what you’re so afraid of,” said the face on the television, speaking directly to me. And not in that breaking the fourth wall sort of way.

“I’m not doing it,” I answered.

“You’ll feel better. You’ll be able to do as you please.”

“They’ll come and get me. They’ll put me away, and that’s if I don’t get the chair.”

“Nonsense,” the face countered reassuringly. “They’d never prove anything. Come on. You have everything to gain.”

I said nothing for a moment. I found myself looking down the hall, towards the doors behind which the children slept.