Fantasy Drabble #153 “Last In Line”

The ritual worked and He appeared. I almost didn’t believe at first, but in the presence of a Dark One, the stark and beautiful horror of the situation becomes quickly apparent.

The High Priestess welcomed Him, offered her complete obeisance to His smallest whim. She looked honored when He began to devour her. We stood, trembling, until He asked, “What has become of the world?”

The others were mute, so I answered. He finished the Priestess and began to eat another and another as I talked. If I can satisfy his curiosity, I may not have to satisfy his hunger.

Zombie Drabble #227 “Week Two”

I was in my bathrobe on the couch that Sunday morning — watching I don’t even remember what — when the news broke in. Spent the rest of the day watching everything go to shit. I half thought it was some sort of Orson Welles put-on, that it was a farce. At least for the first few hours.

By early afternoon I finally realized it was real, but it was already too late to get out of the building; the parking lot and the street were full of zombies. There’s eight of us in all, hoping to God the security door holds.

SF Drabble #211 “Fact Finding”

The Polixaci Ambassador stopped in his tracks. He chittered, and the translator disc said, “What are those?” He was pointing across the driveway of the country house, at the cows standing just beyond the pasture fence.

I let the farmer answer. “Those are cows. Mostly for milk and meat, but we use ‘em for all sorts of things.”

Bos primigenius taurus,” I clarified.

“And they are native to this planet?” the Ambassador asked.

The farmer laughed, said, “Yeah.”

“Odd that they should so closely resemble the Ogwondi,” the Ambassador said, relieved. Later, he clarified: “It was such a costly war.”

Fantasy Drabble #152 “Campground”

The sun began to rise, which meant we had survived. Rollo, exhausted, limped over to where I was standing and said, “I’ll send the guards out to search for survivors.”

He did not address me as ‘your Highness’, but I ignored it: Rollo had proved ready to step between me and danger all night. “They will find none,” I observed, “but it must be done. Where is Yink?”

“In the back of the second wagon. Drinking.” Rollo sounded disgusted.

“But for his magic, we would not have survived,” I said, surveying the multitude of charred monster corpses. “Let him drink.”

SF Drabble #210 “Observance”

Jo runs, she weaves in and out of crowds, knows which alleys and pedways are shortcuts and which are dead ends. The satchel the usual kind, thrown over her shoulder as if she were any other courier.

The satchel contains nothing of any consequence: some food, a generously dog-eared GovPsyInf pamphlet, a child’s toy, a data slip containing innocuous pop music. The parcel is not inside.

What she hurries to deliver this Sunday — every Sunday — is woven into the ink of her back piece: salvation itself, inscribed microscopically and masked with meaningless tribal patterns. No raid will ever find it.

Zombie Drabble #226 “Orderly”

There were no zombies anywhere to be found, hadn’t been since the third day or so. They had just started walking West out of town and had never come back; that was fine with Harvey.

He spent much of his time clearing the streets. Some of the cars still had keys in them and were easy to move. Others he had to use the tow truck; those he usually put in the high school parking lot, unless he knew in which driveways they belonged.

The town looked almost normal, now. When the cars were done, he’d start on the bones.

Fantasy Drabble #151 “Clarifications”

I’m no wizard. A wizard is just a man that learns to bend magic to his will, to one extent or another. Most of them don’t even really understand the forces they manipulate. They repeat memorized phrases and mimic gestures and then observe the results. They don’t know why it works.

I don’t use magic: I am magic. I’m made of the stuff. Using magic to affect things around me is as easy as picking something up with your fingers is to you. It’s as natural as a spider spinning a web, and if I want, every bit as deadly.

SF Drabble #209 “Tactical Entry”

“Sir?” The cop knocked again. “We know you’re in there, sir. You’re not in any trouble. Could you please come to the door so we can talk to you, sir?”

“Ray, you are one polite motherfucker.”

“No sense in agitating the guy any further than he already is. Sir? Metro Police, sir. Can you come to the door please?”

“He ain’t coming.”

“All right, all right. You download the warrant and I’ll set the transporter coordinates. You want to materialize in the kitchen this time?”

“Yeah, fine; but put me in the doorway, in case he’s got a carving knife.”

Fantasy Drabble #150 “Primordial”

It’s hard to say what came first: the lake or her. She didn’t remember a time when she didn’t swim in these waters. The locals — whose lifetimes of memories she ingested along with the rest  — believed she was created along with the lake, by Ju himself, but she remembered no such incipient event. She wasn’t even certain this ‘Ju’   really even existed, as she couldn’t remember ever encountering him or observing his influence.

Perhaps he was myth. It would explain why he did not protect his servants from her hunger when they came to the shore to wash or drink.

SF Drabble #208 “Homo Autonomicus”

He’d been saving up for nearly a year for the upgrade, and now that it was within his grasp, the anticipation had given way to unease. What if he couldn’t handle it? What if his system rejected it? These sorts of things happened; not often, but enough that there were releases to sign. The ‘Doctor’ said not to worry, that this sort of thing was routine, that they only brought up the risk because they were programmed to.

I’m sure he’s right. But the danger just seems more immediate when it’s you that might end up melted down for scrap.

Fantasy Drabble #149 “No One Home”

Blood and bile and brain, on his hands, under his knees, spread over the tile floor, dripping from his chops and his fur. He had lost himself in his meal, let his guard down. He cocked his misshapen head to listen.

For the most part, silence: a lazy evening. Laughter in a house down the street. A small dog barking three blocks down and one block over. Televisions tuned to several different shows. A teenager’s ipod dock blaring behind a locked door.

No sirens, no frightened voices. Gropk went back to eating; he would be safe for some time yet.

SF Drabble #207 “Chariot”

After a time, the mind coalesced; it imagined the ship was heavier,  by just enough to drop it into normal space. The forces at work were complicated, involving immense energy expenditures, but it had been doing this so long and so well that it was second nature. It knew where in the universe the enormous vessel would emerge, but the hundreds of tiny ships that were at the locus already were a surprise. The mind reached out to pleasantly greet them, but found only fear and anger. It was annoyed, and they began to flare and die, one by one.