SF Drabble #137 “Saving Rachel”

The secret is to not be so obvious. Even people who wouldn’t ever believe in precognition will bust you if they assume you’re acting on nefariously acquired inside information. You can’t warn people that an airplane is going to go down. They’ll look for whatever’s wrong, find it, and think you sabotaged it and then had second thoughts. They won’t even care it’s not possible; anything’s more possible than seeing the future.

Sometimes you just can’t help yourself. I once invited a friend to go to Bermuda with me, just so she wouldn’t go on a Kibbutz and get bombed.

SF Drabble #136 “Shutterbug”

“Wait until it comes around again, try to get it right after it crosses the horizon line.”

“Check.” The comet was spinning, and Redman watched the stars streak diaigonally across the sky. He quieted his uneasy stomach by sheer force of will. “You watching the clock?”

“Yeah. Ten seconds, get ready.”

The Earth, when it broke the horizon, was the size of a basketball held at arms’ length. It would get bigger as the comet got closer, but they would be lifting off pretty soon. Redman held down the button, camera in burst mode.

“They’re gonna love these.”

“No doubt.”

Zombie Drabble #148 “Barter System”

“Hello!” Johnston called up again. After another moment, a head appeared from an open window, two stories up.

“What are you yellin’ about? You wanna call every dead thing within a mile?”

“Sorry… saw your lights. You have anything to trade?”

“Like what?”

“Food? Water tablets? Alcohol, or shoes?”

“Ain’t got shoes. Been huntin’ for food.”

“Yeah. Well, we have some .22 long cartridges we could part with.”

“I suppose I have some whiskey I ain’t plannin’ on drinkin’.”

“We come up or you come down?”

“Lemme think on it.”

“Right. We’ll stay here and try not to get eaten.”

Zombie Drabble #147 “Sirens”

“Wake up.”

“Huh… What?”

“What’s that sound?”

“Civil Defense Warning. They used to test it weekly when I was a kid. Every Wednesday afternoon. You could set your clock by it.”

“But it’s been like, two weeks. I think everybody knows about the zombie apocalypse by now. What was it supposed to warn you about?”

“Huh? Air raid. Nukes. It’s a cold war thing. If there was going to be a nuclear war, they’d…” a cold chill went up his spine. “Does this place have a basement?”

“Yeah. There might be zombies—”

“Grab the guns. I have a bad feeling.”

Fantasy Drabble #94 “Medicine Woman”

She pulled the hood forward so that it fell further down over her face, and kept her head down as she walked amongst the townspeople. It would save her from having to return the looks of disgust or pity with one of patient forbearance.

Magic comes at a price, always. The damage - to her skin, her features, her hair, her teeth, her cartilage and bone - was permanent. The beauty of her youth would never return.

Some days she regretted it; today was not such a day. The Innkeeper’s baby would live. It was worth a few more wrinkles.

Fantasy Drabble #93 “Non Omnis Moriar”

No one shows the proper reverence anymore.

They swarm the palace, these common people with their cameras and their bawling children. When I was alive they would have risked their necks making even the slightest sound within these walls; now they shout and laugh and swear and perch themselves like grinning fools on my throne, and I am powerless to stop them. There are guards here, but they do nothing. They do not even carry swords.

It is infuriating.

One day the curse will be lifted, and I will be made whole again; these vermin will taste my displeasure then.

Zombie Drabble #146 “Handbook”

“Hey, look at that one.”

“Huh? Which one?”

“That one. That’s that guy that wrote the book.”

“What are you talking about? What book?”

“The book on how to survive a zombie outbreak. I saw them interview him on T.V.”

“Okay, so?”

“Well, I mean, he’s a zombie.”


“So, does that mean the book is full of shit?”

“Fuck, I don’t know, Shay. Maybe he got the disease and turned, never got a chance to try to survive.”

“Man, that’s sad. Anyway, do you think we should stop using it?”

“Using what?”

“The book!”

“Hell, it’s worked so far.”

Zombie Drabble #145 “Redistribution”

I woke up this morning, and most of my stuff was just gone. Somebody climbed up here, took my hatchet, my pack, and my waterskin, and then climbed back down, all without waking me. They left my rifle, and what was loaded in it, but they took both full ammo boxes.

I didn’t get why they left me alive, until I found the note.

“Hope you live, because the gene pool needs you, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Being alone out here is just stupid. Find three people that need a fourth and hook up. Thanks for the supplies.”

SF Drabble #135 “Alpha Aurigae”

Observing the Capellan “Red Fur People” one is quickly familiarized with their courtship and mating customs, since any trusted observer is invited onto the communal sleeping mat (whereas any untrusted observer would likely not live long enough to see the mat.)

The female is the instigator, choosing from amongst her passive suitors. Once paired, they stand together in the center of the mat. It is the only time standing upright is not a major social transgression. Once they have received the attention and tacit consent of the entire Pueblo, they find some privacy in a corner to perform actual mating.

SF Drabble #134 “Alshain”

It was my grandfather who named it Jackpot. They had no idea what to expect when they arrived at Beta Aquilae, so finding this planet was like “opening your wallet to discover the winning lottery ticket,” to use his words.

They almost called it ‘Arbor’, which would have been just as appropriate: the single continent is covered by a rich forest of fruit bearing trees, more than a hundred separate species.

All the fruit is edible. The largest land animal is a squirrel-sized lizard. They’re edible too, technically, but they taste awful. Gramps never bothered thawing the fertilized cattle ovum.

Fantasy Drabble #92 “Opportunity Knocks”

Sword swinging, he waded into the enemy and they fell before him one after another. They were mere peasants, not trained soldiers: no real weapons or shields, only sharpened farming tools, axes. His own army had already pushed them back almost as far as the river.

Old King Cleve had blundered mightily when he banished all his magicians. Those that hadn’t come to work for Rikar had gone to to the King’s other enemies, and now those enemies were mobilizing. Muscle alone could not protect foolish old Cleve.

But Rikar was here first, and thus would gain the lion’s share.

Fantasy Drabble #91 “Motivation”

The demon was all black armor and claws and horns. And teeth: it was grinning at him. “You are pitifully slow.”

“It’s hot,” he protested, “and I’m out of shape.”

The guard shrugged. “This is Hell. It won’t get cooler, and you won’t get thinner.”

“Then I guess I won’t get any faster, either.”

“That’s a good bet,” the demon agreed.

Another demon approached, and yelled at the guard, “What are you doing? Don’t talk to them, just stab them if they’re not fast enough. Hell, stab them if they are fast enough.”

“Sorry; I’m new here,” said the demon.

Zombie Drabble #144 “Shake Shake Shake”

The world started shaking. Mr. Murray yelled, “Get away from the buildings!” It was a good thing, too: the plate glass windows of the stores started shattering.

We couldn’t shoot, too hard to aim, but it didn’t matter because the zombies weren’t coming anymore: they had all fallen over. When the shaking ended, it appeared that they couldn’t get back up.

“Hey, check it out.”


“We could stay here all day,” I said.

“Don’t be stupid.” He aimed at a close one pulling itself along with its hands, and put a bullet through its head. “They can still crawl.”

Zombie Drabble #145 “Companionship”

I went to my friend’s house Sunday afternoon, after my landlord tried to eat me; the old lady was slow so I got away. My friends were already gone. Their minivan was gone, though, so that’s a good sign. After that I tried work, but it was closed, nobody there, even though we’re open on Sundays. I saw one of our regulars in the parking lot, looked like he was eating somebody laying between two cars. There was no one at my folks house either, but the truck was gone.

Living through this will really suck if I’m all alone.