Zombie Drabble #184 “Self Actualization”

Violet digs. It seems to her like all she does is dig. But, the trench must be dug, or else they won’t be safe, and it’s only a third complete. She’s the only woman digging out of four. Two are older, and the third… well, she’s a delicate flower, let’s put it that way. Sooner or later someone will have a stern talk with her.

Violet works at her own pace. She’s lost almost twenty pounds. Peter Bross has taught her how to shoot, and she’s gotten pretty good. Who new the zombie apocalypse would be good for her self-esteem?

Zombie Drabble #183 “The Skies Over Omaha”

We hadn’t seen plane nor chopper in almost a month. Heard something a couple weeks ago on the shortwave about a shitload of stuff going up from Canaveral, and some from Vandenberg, but that may just have been rumor.

This morning’s contrails had us cheering. Then there were a couple more, coming from the opposite direction. Ray, with his binoculars, said they all looked American. Then there were a whole bunch, all scrambled up together. Missile trails, too. One plane came down just west of town, an F-22, someone thought. What the hell do they think they’re fighting over now?

SF Drabble #173 “Autonomic Robot Titan Explorer”

Artie is a good dog. He landed safely and opened up his reentry capsule and walked right out just like he was supposed to.

Artie recorded pictures and HD video of the landing site and took all sorts of very important readings, and even dug up some samples with his attachments. He is smart enough to know where to look and what to look for all by himself without being told.

Artie isn’t sure what to make of the locals. They stand around and watch him dig. Artie will radio and ask Mother about what to say to them later.

SF Drabble #172 “The Venal Shepherd”

I was originally a Company man. But after the collapse there was no Company, so I had to go Corporate. All my kit is paid for by the Inc. Stealth suit, smart gun, fake iRecords.

I considered going freelance, but not for very long; people loyal to nothing are rarely hired, and when they are it’s for truly repellant scenarios that would nauseate even the most hardened operative. Plus, afterwards you get a bullet for your trouble, to ‘tie up loose ends’.

Most of what I do is shadow security for Honchos. I rarely have to kill. It’s almost boring.

SF Drabble #171 “Adjustment”

When I came back, I was only about three years older. We spent most of the near the speed of light so there’s time dilation effects.

Earth is gone. At least, my Earth. The cities aren’t even in the same places, and I don’t speak the language. It sounds vaguely asiatic to me, with maybe some Spanish thrown in… it doesn’t matter. There’s only the one language, oddly. I’m learning a basic vocabulary, and I keep asking for a history book, and they keep promising to bring me one, but it never seems to appear. I suppose I’ll learn eventually.

SF Drabble #170 “Manifest Destiny”

We landed on Peohore just ahead of the day line, to catch them sleeping. Their weapons were old-style LASER rifles, like pre-unification human ones, only with less charge: they’d get three, maybe four shots before the guns were useless. And us in mirror-finish shock suits. No orbital or air, no armor, no artillery. It was fuckin’ laughable.

They seemed amazed. I was guarding some Peohoray prisoners, they kept asking me, why? Why did we invade their planet? We’re peaceful, we haven’t had a war in hundreds of years, we pose no threat to the Earth Empire. Why the invasion?


Zombie Drabble #182 “Infotech”

I’m not sure how long it’s been. This is the second winter, so, about a year and a half. I was too busy at the start to keep track, and then once I was settled, safe, I didn’t have a way of figuring it out. The power had been out for too long, and I don’t know enough about astronomy and things like that. My iPhone could tell me easily, if it still had a few seconds’ charge, but it’s a brick. I don’t even know why I still carry it around. What do I think is going to happen?

Zombie Drabble #181 “Binge”

I haven’t been to a meeting in a week. I usually go every day.

Last time I saw my sponsor, he was in the parking lot of the Denny’s, eating some goth kid’s brains. I didn’t try to stop him: I had to give up my guns as part of the plea agreement the last time I was arrested for drunk and disorderly, right before I went into rehab. I’ll have to get new ones somehow, ‘cause it’s starting to get pretty hairy out here.

I really want a drink. The zombie apocalypse hasn’t been very good for my sobriety.

Fantasy Drabble #120 “The Craft”

Your mother? Your mother was a witch. No, not a bitch — and I don’t to hear you using that kind of language in this house — your mother was a real-life spell-casting sister of the dark ones. Oh, I knew it going in, I thought it was hot… I mean, I thought it was cool.

But it’s not cool, understand? There’s nothing cool about spending all your money on herbs and potions and sacrificing helpless animals and leaving your family to run off and try to summon Agaliarept or whoever. Anyway, you’re a good girl, you won’t turn out like that.

Fantasy Drabble #119 “Strange Bedfellows”

She walked through the castle gates unmolested. She was a Princess: none of the guards would have dared to touch her even had they not already been terrified into inaction. From his perch atop the wall Midz-Aset watched her make her way inside, into the throne room.

It would not take long. Irie would explain the new reality to her father the King, and he would step aside. She would be safe. No father would strike his daughter down, not even to keep a throne, as long as there was a dragon’s gullet to look forward to if he did.

SF Drabble #169 “Dead Reckoning”

The yellow dwarf sun appeared to grow steadily larger. His forward viewscreen was already dilated almost fully to black, but still the star was too bright to look at. With the computer out, he was relying on the clock and the readouts of engine thrust. If he’d done his math right, he would fall past the star — missing its corona by just enough to keep from melting his heat shield — to be thrown back out like a stone from a slingshot with enough velocity to take him within range of rescue by colonial patrols.

If he’d done his math right.

SF Drabble #168 “Diversity”

The creature ambled past them, enormous, lobster-red, leaving behind a strong odor of ammonia. Rickles nodded to it, and continued digging.

“What’d you go and do that for?” asked Pence, who had made a conspicuous point of holding his nose.


“Respect to the Ruggo. What was that about? Since when you nod at Ruggos?”

“They don’t like being called Ruggos. And I nod at anyone I damn well please, Harvey Pence.”

The man snorted. “Just wonderin’ is all. I don’t know how you can stand that smell.”

“For your information, they don’t much care for our smell much either.”

Zombie Drabble #180 “Culling The Herd”

“She’s slowing us down.” Pete whispered angrily.

Astrid didn’t look over at the elderly lady from the daycare before answering, quietly. “I’m not leaving her behind. You’re welcome to go on ahead if you like.”

“Don’t be stupid. No one could survive on their own. I’m useful, she’s not. It’s simple.”

“Not going to happen, buddy.” She said with finality.

Pete was shouting now, and had picked up his baseball bat. “Listen, lady, you’re going to have to make some hard choices if you want to live. Start now.”

“Fine.” Astrid raised the pistol and shot Pete in the head.

Zombie Drabble #179 “Buoyancy”

When it was the only option I had left, I jumped into the river. A good ten feet down; in normal circumstance I would have been too scared, but now? I didn’t even think about it.

Before that, all my swimming had been in chlorine-treated, professionally maintained pools. I quickly learned to keep my mouth closed. By the time I made it to the other side and found a gassed-up motorboat tied off on some private pier, I was exhausted and proud and more than a mile downstream.

I’m not saying I’m Michael Phelps; but I’m not zombie food either.