Fantasy Drabble #142 “Transaction”

“You are not at all frightened; you are perfectly calm and content.” She stared into his eyes, her tone reassuring and gentle. He nodded, entranced.

The deadbolt was thrown and and the chain was latched. There were bars on the window, letting in only the neon lights from across the street. They would not be disturbed.

“I’m going to bite you. You will not feel any pain. It won’t hurt at all.”

“It won’t hurt at all,” he repeated.

He was clean, healthy. She would take his blood, and the $100 he was going to pay her for the sex.

Zombie Drabble #205 “Successor States”

There are three towns in the old city.

Bridgetown is exactly that: it was built on the section of the highway bridge that the air force left standing, and part of the onramps. The only access is by ladder or pulley elevator. About five hundred people live there.

The other two towns are blocks of buildings, bricked off at street level, connected by ramps and knocked-out firewalls, numbering about three hundred each.

There was a fourth, protected by fences and trenches. They ran short of supplies, turned to raiding parties out of desperation, and the other three burned them out.

SF Drabble #198 “My First Alien”

I was waiting at the bus stop when the Polixaci ambled up to stand beside me. I’d never seen one outside of the evening news, though the UN limos that cart them around town have become ubiquitous.

After a moment, it turned to me and said, “When do we expect the vehicle to arrive?”

I found myself answering automatically. “Umm… any minute now.” Something occurred to me. “Can you pay?”

“I need currency?”

“Afraid so.”

“I understand. Thank you for your assistance.” The alien ambled off, down the street, out of sight.

I hear they all carry debit cards now.

Fantasy Drabble #141 “Tactics”

The apparition hung in the hallway like a corpse from the hangman’s noose. Its open eyes stared resolutely at the floor, as if ashamed of its fate.

The King, ashen, turned to his court magician and asked, “Is this a portent of my death?”

“My Liege, this is but an illusion, concocted by your Majesty’s enemies to rob you of your confidence before the coming battle.”

“But are you certain?”

“I have used this spell myself; it can be quite effective. But this is only a trick. What we will send against them will be real, and decidedly deadly.”

“Excellent.”

Zombie Drabble #204 “Keep Your Eye On The Ball”

George swung, and the bat struck the zombie in the jaw, causing it to stumble. When it regained its footing, the jaw was hanging by a thin shred of skin.

From outside the cage, Rankin said, “Again. Aim higher.”

He was momentarily transfixed by the gore dripping off the end of the aluminum bat. It was thick, more like jelly than liquid blood.

“Come on, hit it again.”

George remembered a spring day when he was ten, coming up to bat in little league. His father, yelling encouraging clich├ęs from the bleachers. It seemed so long ago, so far away.

SF Drabble #197 “Controlled Substances”

We traced the signal to a station orbiting one of the moons of Gogol. He’d been there for a week, trying to unload his stolen goods to less-than-upstanding merchants passing through. They all had sense enough to demur. He must have gotten desperate enough to try sending out communications to more… reliable reprobates.

By the time we got there, the station was in full lockdown. We spend three hours evacuating survivors, compartment by compartment, until we found our quarry: or what was left of him. The stolen Phigon eggs had hatched, of course, and they’re so hungry when they’re young.

Fantasy Drabble #140 “Tough Audience”

Lord Varain walked up the marble steps into the temple. A priest approached, and said, “My Lord?”

“I would speak to my Mistress. Arrange it.”

“My Lord.” The priest hurried away. Soon there was activity all around, as figures were drawn on the ground and braziers lit. When the chanting began, Varain knew it was time to move into position.

Above the chalk figures, she appeared: first as a wisp, then a cyclone, and finally a figure. “Worm, why do you seek my attention?”

“Mistress… I seek guidance. The peasants are in revolt. What shall I do?”

She laughed. “Die.”

Zombie Drabble #203 “Fighting Retreat”

Kapra put the binoculars to his eyes, and stared through them for a long while. “We’re losing.”

“Yes.”

“Just too many of them. Not enough ammunition. Not enough time to regroup when we fall back—”

“They may be slow, but they never stop. Not even for a minute.”

“I know what the problem is, Major.”

“Yes sir. Sorry, sir.”

“Order the men back to the line of Interstate 83. We’ll hold them off there as long as we can.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Any word on air support?”

“Plenty of planes, no ordinance.”

“Yeah, well, there’s a lot of that going around.”

SF Drabble #196 “Three to Five”

“All Ringid, come forward,” the guard intoned with officious disinterest. The lumbering three-toed aliens all stepped out of the line. “Work party, Area 5. Supervisor Gray.”

Ringid made up half the prison population, due to the recent violent uprisings on Ring. The rest of us were a mix of petty criminals. Only two of us were human.

“All Wheek, come forward.” The scuttling insects were dispatched to trash removal duty. “All Ji, come forward. All Phooloogon, come forward.”

We humans were always called last. Office work, inevitably. There’s something to be said for being a human in a human jail.

Fantasy Drabble #139 “Shift”

She lay on the bed, only half-covered by the sheets. While I pulled my clothes back on, I tried not to stare with little success. She asked, “How long before you can come back?”

“I’m not sure. Your father’s men are everywhere, and they know enough to be dangerous.”

“I didn’t say anything. Do you believe me?”

“Of course.” If the Baron learned what I was, he might suspect her, and she could no more pass the silver test than me.

She yawned and stretched. I leaped out the window and became a hawk, to ride the air currents home.

SF Drabble #195 “Passive”

He peered over the railing down into the red clouds below the science platform. “I don’t see them.”

“They’ll be along eventually. They tend to ride the air currents, and wherever they end up is where they end up. They don’t even really keep time, in any sense you or I would.”

“How can we negotiate with them, then?”

“Negotiate? For what?”

“Doctor, this gas giant has three large moons, all of which are mostly water ice. Not to mention the Earth-like second planet. We want to secure mining and settlement rights.”

“I can’t imagine them possibly caring either way.”

Zombie Drabble #202 “Manifesto”

You may think the world is at an end, crumbled to ashes never to rise again, but I disagree: this dark age is temporary, a transitional phase. The dead have not risen in some precursor to a biblical apocalypse, but rather to cleanse the Earth in preparation of a new, golden age.

Brothers and sisters, we need only survive until that new age begins. Together we will weather this terrible storm, and together we will walk back out into the light, to built the new order for our ourselves and our descendents. We need not seek salvation, salvation is us.