SF Drabble #109 “Brain Food”

Oye is hungry.

The landing boat waits under the water of the large lake. It is cloaked. The ship is safe. Oye has time to find food.

The animals smell right, but they are too small. Small animals are fast and Oye cannot catch them. The large animals look slower, but most are inside vehicles or in groups, and Oye has no weapons but fist and fang.

Time is short. He grows hungrier. As hunger grows, mind shrinks. He remembers that. Oye must find, kill, and eat something before he is too stupid to do anything but sit and slobber.

SF Drabble #108 ”APLSD”

“Wasn’t any forest when I was a boy.”

Really?” The boy was incredulous.

“Your grandfather landed with the first wave, Charles,” his mother said with a smile; she had heard the story many times.

“Not a tree anywhere,” the old man continued, nodding. “We had robots that planted seeds, then. They’d shove one into the soil, roll on a few meters, shove another one in. Took years. Then we had to wait for the trees to grow, go to seed, spread on their own. We built with brick and stone for a generation.”


“Yeah, what Charlie?”

“What’s a ‘robot’?”

Fantasy Drabble #71 “Outside The Box”

There was a somber mood in the great hall. The Beast had taken another of the King’s warriors; only the old, the injured, and the cowardly remained. Not one was left who would challenge it.

“Are we then,” the King asked, “to wait here for it to take us at it’s leisure?”

“What else is there?” The Castellan murmured.

“Poison.” The Prince, too young to fight, said it calmly.

“How do we get the Beast to drink poison? Young fool…”

“He doesn’t. We do, all of us. He eats one of us. He dies. Those who remain take the antidote.”

Fantasy Drabble #70 “Changeling”

Misk floated on the surface, looking at the distant shore. His eyes were good, better than they had been when he was a man. It was early morning; the boats were still lashed to the pier, as his own had always been. Soon the fishermen would come down from their houses, untie them, and make for the open water.

At first he had been desperate to get back, to undo what had been done to him. Now he returned only out of curiosity, nostalgia. He would never be a man again. That was fine: all he needed was down below.

Zombie Drabble #116 “The Sum of Human Knowledge”

Mira was a doe running over familiar ground. What was following her was far behind and slow moving, but the village would need time to prepare. Those working the fields would have to be warned, brought in. The gate would need to be closed, weapons readied.

There were several dozen undead this time. But it had been worth it; in the bag over her shoulder Mira carried two books about medicine, one on sewing, and a sewing kit, all in pristine condition. Any one of those was like gold, irreplaceable. Together? Mira would be First  Scout before she turned 16.

Zombie Drabble #115 “Fargo”

Herbert Jr. was nowhere as good at tracking as his father had been. Herbert Sr. had been one quarter Choctaw, and his grandfather had taught him the skill, but he had never bothered to pass it along to his own son.

These particular tracks in the snow were easy to follow. They described labored, shuffling steps in otherwise undisturbed snow. Herb kept the shotgun broken over his forearm. He was certain it was a zombie even before he found the severed foot and the tracks became a streak of corruption. Up ahead somewhere would be the rest of it, crawling.

SF Drabble #107 “Restraint”

Rocco doesn’t take the drug for the high. He used to, when the drug was coke. The new designer shit he takes for the telepathy, the premonitions. The kids don’t get it: they don’t know how to manage the ride so as to get to that place where the really good stuff happens.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Rocco’s almost forty. He has self-control. Not enough to quit drugs, enough not to go nuts and wreck the world.

It would be so easy. There was that chick in the airport bar in Houston who knew stuff. Crazy dangerous government stuff.

SF Drabble #106 “Reds”

I don’t know about anybody else, but I came to Mars because of the money.

It’s exactly the kind of work you think. Somebody buys a CAD pattern from somebody dirtside and brings it to us, and we machine it for them out of the raw materials, blanks. God knows you can’t just lift things from Earth, a wrench would cost a fortune.

A machinist on Mars gets double what he would get in Texas. Plus there’s the subsidy: the government pays people a thousand dollars a month to live here. More people emigrate on every ship. I’m never leaving.