Zombie Drabble #120 “West 676, 30, Central Phila”

Long ago, there was a great city here. It’s ruins are everywhere; under our houses, our farms. When, after a few days hard rain, we find large pieces of poured stone newly exposed, we dig them out and use them to pile higher our walls.

Sometimes we find buried things with writing on them. Twisted, half melted things. Signs, sometimes. We can’t read any of it, no one can, not for many generations now. We write, of course, but our script is different, simpler. I suppose what we write about is, too.

Sometimes I wonder: what was the city called?

Zombie Drabble #119 “Worn Out Shoes”

There are just so many. No matter where you go, how far you walk, there are always more to catch your scent and come for you. But you can’t stop: you stop, you’re surrounded. They’ll come and you from all directions and there’ll be no escape. So you’d better have concrete or guns or both in abundance.

I’ve got neither, so I keep walking. I’ve gone clear across Iowa, cut through Nebraska and into Kansas. There are people building new towns here and there, with walls or on stilts. They always have such high hopes.

I’ll stick to the road.

SF Drabble #111 “Somewhere, Waiting For Me”

I feel like I weigh a million pounds in this suit. This deep, under all this pressure, on a planet half again more massive than Earth, even a wearing mechanical assist suit it feels like you’re walking through molasses with an anvil on your back.

The Ouloo children don’t seem encumbered. They shoot past like rockets trailing bioluminescent orange and yellow streamers. They’ll get some distance and then make another pass. It’s a game, a display of bravado. Their parents aren’t far; two immense red glows wait ahead, out of range of the incongruously white light of our helmet lamps.

SF Drabble #110 “Air Tax”

Listen: I know it seems counterintuitive to someone like you, someone who’s just crawled up out of the hole and into space, but oxygen is not free. You have to pay for it, just like food or water. Air has to be lifted in ships or made in the belt and tossed here by the catapult. Believe me, if we had room to plant trees, or soil to plant them in, we would. But even then, the soil would have to be made or lifted, and so would the seeds. Either way, it costs money to breathe. So pay up.

Fantasy Drabble #73 “Safekeeping”

Someone’s been here, I can tell. They were careful not to disturb anything, but people with power leave an aftertaste, and whoever this was, they had power. The locked drawers are still locked, nothing’s missing, but that doesn’t mean anything: the book isn’t here.

But they’ll know it was here, and that’s enough. Someone clever might have been able to read where it went. The witch is in danger. I’m in danger, but I knew that already.

Maybe the witch knows: she’s got precog spells. If she hasn’t got them pinging like mad by now we’re all in for it.

Fantasy Drabble #72 “X marks the spot”

My arms were numb and my hands didn’t want to hold the shovel anymore. “That’s it. I’m done.”

“The hell you are; we’re so close!” Ricky said, but then he saw the look on my face. “All right, take a minute. Get some water.”

I reached over the lip of the hole to find the plastic bottle, and finished it in one gulp. “How much deeper?”

“I don’t know.”


“Listen, it says to dig, it says it’s down there, and it says we’ll be rewarded when it’s free. What more do you want?”

“All right.” I retrieved my shovel.

Zombie Drabble #118 “Rumors of Wars”

This particular town’s defenses are pretty good. The gatehouse is big, big enough when open for a bus to pass through. The gate is wrought iron; I wonder where they scrounged it. The walls are seven feet high and walkable, so they have all-around visibility and can pick off any zombies that come strolling up.

But we’ll be running. Team one has the ladders and boards. Team two trails right behind, with shields and pistols. Team three, with their rifles, will pick off the sentries and then stay at the tree line and provide cover in case something goes wrong.

Zombie Drabble #117 “Front Window”

“Jeannie, hold on, there was just a huge crash outside, could you hear that on your end? Lemme look and see what it was. No, like a car cr… yeah, into the light pole across the street. It’s all right, there’s a couple people out there already calling on cell phones. No, he’s getting out, he looks all right… oops, he just threw up. Poor guy: Not only sick but now he’s gotta fix his car and pay for the light pole. What? Yeah, a lot of people. John didn’t go to work Friday. I think I’m getting it myself..."