SF Drabble #167 “1.5% Chance Of Flesh-Craving Mutancy”

“Feel any different?” The doctor was listening to his heart through a stethoscope.

“No. Should I?”

“Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. Most of the changes should be on a very basic level, physiologically speaking. The big changes, the noticeable changes, they’ll happen gradually, as your reconstituted genes begin to affect your body. I doubt there’ll be much in the way of discomfort.”


The doctor peered into his ear with an otoscope. “Everything looks good so far.”

“Can I go home?”

“Well, we’d like to keep you overnight for observation. Just to be on the safe side.”


SF Drabble #166 “Forty Acres”

On the day side, the wind is hurricane strength and unrelenting. It’s cold, most of the time, and when it’s not cold it’s wet. There are quakes every other day, and we’ve already lost two people and a snowcat down suddenly appearing cracks in the ice. I’m told it’ll be generations before it’s even roughly Earthlike, if ever. Plus we’re all taking higher than normal radiation doses from the primary. Did I mention everything looks bluer than it should?

And that’s just the day side. The night side is a dark, frozen airless hell.

It’s not much, but it’s ours.

Zombie Drabble #178 “Citizenship”

Shay was as close to it as he’d ever been to one of them.

It reached through the wrought iron fence with arms severed above the elbow, its gurgling moans of hunger pathetic and horrifying. In its gaping mouth maggots teemed where a tongue had once been.

He turned to vomit, dropping to his hands and knees on the brick walkway.

“So,” a voice said, cold but without malice, “can you do it? You’re going to have to do it, to stay. We have to know.”

Shay wiped his mouth and held out his other hand to take the pistol.

Zombie Drabble #177 “Seven-Two Off Suit”

Listen, I know we don’t really know each other all that well, and it was just that one time and you were on the rebound from Jack, and we were drunk or whatever, but that night really meant a lot to me and I just think that we could be really great together and what with all this crazy shit going down you need someone you’re compatible with who you can trust to get you through it, who’ll look out for you and protect you from the zombie hordes, and I honestly think I can that guy for you, Sophie.

Fantasy Drabble #118 “Freaks Come Out”

I guess it was the day we moved in, the neighbor came over; very nice, her husband worked in the same section Phil was going to be in. She made a big thing about the shutters being closed and the doors locked after sunset. I just thought, oh, you know, there’s people like that everywhere, afraid of their own shadows.

Then there’s Billy’s softball league: the schedule says games must end by seven. Even if they‘re not done, they’ll call the game at seven. And everything in town closes by 8.

What the hell goes on at night around here?

Fantasy Drabble #117 “Alternative”

I remember running through the snow, I remember the voices and the barking of dogs behind me. I remember falling, though I don’t remember being captured. My cellmate tells that I was bleeding from the head when they tossed me in here.

I don’t think I’m in danger of being eaten: they’re not sure enough about what I am. I think they’ve sent for someone important, so that a judgment can be made.

I haven’t seen another human. My cellmate with the dog-face calls me a ‘naked monkey.’ Our captors are tall, red, horns, the works. I’m not very optimistic.

Zombie Drabble #176 “Neutron Activated”

There are no zombies here. The fallout is even worse on them than on us. The virus that animates them, moves them, gives them hunger, it shrivels up and dies when irradiated. With no walking dead to invade it, this blackened cinder of a city teems with life: plants, animals, and us.

We spend most of our time underground, in the tunnels, in the old basements and cellars. Even so, we don’t live long. We get sick young. There are defects. We live with them. Cancer is a way of life rather than a fearsome possibility. But we live on.

Zombie Drabble #175 “Diorama”

There was a woman in a chair, head down, hands in her lap. A man was sprawled across the kitchen floor, the broken bottle beside him. Upstairs, in beds, were three children and an older woman; they had clearly been tucked in, lovingly arranged just so.

The house must have stayed sealed and dry for a long time. Years, maybe. The bodies were untouched, dry, mummified. Even in this climate, it was remarkable.

We didn’t bother searching for food or weapons. With guns, the inhabitants might have tried escape, and they surely would have eaten everything before turning to poison.

SF Drabble #165 “Endless Vacation”

They were artificial, Gorangi-shaped, and they had badges. When he opened the door, one said, “Human Garrison Andrew Ong?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“We have orders to bring you to the spaceport. The shuttle is ready to return to the liner—”

“I’m not going.”

“The shuttle will only wait one more Tenth before it leaves—”

“I’m saying: I’m not leaving Gorang. Ever. I love it here.”

“You will need to apply for a residency permit. An agent from Population Control will need to interview you. Please do not leave your current location.”


He shut the door, and they ambled off.

SF Drabble #164 “Aisle Twelve”

I wondered if I should. I usually don’t. But something about him… I think it was the kids. He was so patient, attentive, not at all annoyed with their questions, their needs. Maybe it was because was feeling like there wasn’t enough good in the world.

I waited till he ducked around the corner to get something while the rest of his family moved down an aisle. I tapped him on the shoulder, and before walking away, handed him the note:

“Go to the cardiologist by Thursday or you will die Friday.” I’d written his birthday, social security number also.

Zombie Drabble #174 “But You Can Leave Your Hat On”

He kept walking so as not to worry the others, but the truth was: he’d given up. It didn’t seem to matter whether he survived or not, or for how long. Everything he wanted to do and be in life was now impossible.

Then — around the time they had to climb atop the van to get over the brick wall — the redhead, Iris, smiled at him as he helped her up and over.

Just a smile. But something about it — he couldn’t really say what — recharged him, reinvigorated him. He wanted to live now, just to see that smile again.

Zombie Drabble #173 “Connectivity”

The power had gone off during the night. Until then she’d been keeping an open Skype call to Kelly in Poughkeepsie, just to know that she was ok. Plus, instant messaging her friends to keep track. When the power died, her iPad still had a full battery, but there was suddenly no wifi available, and she hadn’t bought the 3G version. She tried calling Kelly, but the lines were too busy. After a while, the call went through, but there was no answer. Her phone had maybe a six hour charge, if she kept it closed until a call came.