SF Drabble #215 “Ceres Complaint Box”

To whom it may concern,

Maybe it hasn’t occurred to you people that I’m all alone up here. It’s not like I can while away the time in conversation. It’s not like I can just call up my friends and invite them over for pizza. I have to entertain myself.

So if I don’t get the weekly download, I don’t get my subscriptions. I just have to sit here. And I know I’m still getting charged for the stuff I picked whether I get it or not.

Sort the goddamn antenna out. And remember: I can shut down the auto-miners.

SF Drabble #214 “Cross Examination”

“What do you remember?”

“I was driving, and there was this bright light, and suddenly I was strapped to this table on a spaceship and—”

“How do you know it was a spaceship?”

“Well, there was this hum, you know?”

“Fine. Go on.”

“Well, then I was surrounded by aliens, and they were pokin’ at me—”

“What did the aliens look like?”

“Well, they were short and had grey skin, and these big black eyes, and long fingers—”

“So, not at all like my client, then.” The lawyer pointed at the defense table, where a squat, black-carapaced insectoid alien sat.

Fantasy Drabble #156 “Normalcy”

It’s just a wardrobe. It’s not a door. I mean, there’s a door on it, but it doesn’t lead to anywhere. Understand? Just hang your clothes in there. There’s no reason for anyone to be stepping into it. You can reach all your things just fine from outside.

I don’t want to hear anything about anyone getting lost in any parallel dimensions or fantastic worlds, or befriending any mythical creatures, or getting enchanted by any magical spells of any kind. Is that clear? I’m quite serious about this. There’s been quite enough of that sort of thing around here already.

Zombie Drabble #230 “Cancer And You”

I had a doctor’s appointment that Friday. Got one of those diagnoses where they give you a pamphlet and a pitying look they’re trying desperately to hide, and regardless of their success you’re a zombie the rest of the day.

Ironic, huh?

I wonder if they’ll even eat me. I wonder if they can smell the death on me. Or, in me. I wonder if I walked out into my front yard and threw my head back and stood there with the sun on my face, whether they would think of me as food or as one of their own.

Fantasy Drabble #155 “Territory”

Half the town was gone by the time they tried fire, but even that didn’t work: the roots and branches wouldn’t burn. If you cut them from the trees with an axe, then they would light, but another would have just grown in their place. It was a losing battle.

I was only seven. I remember my father talking to the mayor, faces serious. I remember being told to gather my things now. Mother helped me, but still we left a great deal behind. By the next morning the forest had retaken the town, and we were on the road.

Zombie Drabble #229 “For A Good Time Call”

Okay. Stay calm.

That’s Mrs. Rondelay in the yard, and she’s eating the paperboy. Never really liked that kid anyway. Pretty sure he was the one who knocked over our mailbox last year.

There’s nobody near the car, but I’m pretty sure the tank is nearly empty: didn’t refill it on the way home from the bar last night. And where would I go anyway?

Probably best to stay put. Someone will come and rescue me. I’ve got a lot of friends, we all go out clubbing together. I mean, surely one of them will think of me. Won’t they?

SF Drabble #213 “Nothing That Works Is Ever Over”

A screw tightened here, a wire wrapped and taped there, and Doctor Rynkist was done. He closed the chestplate and climbed carefully down the ladder.

The firebox was already lit and working. Dr. Rynkist waved for his assistant to shovel in some more coal. Most roboticists these days worked with printed circuits, molded plastic, tiny microchips animated by Lithium-ion batteries; but not him. When the pressure was great enough, his creation would rumble wheezing and belching to life. Then, they would see. They would all understand that he wasn’t irrelevant. Hiram Rynkist’s steam was a force to be reckoned with.

Fantasy Drabble #154 “Take Me To The River”

He had seen the water sprite before, years ago, so when she once again rose out of the current he was not quite as terribly frightened as he would have expected.

“You remember me, human?”

“Yes, miss.” He even looked directly at her, which he had not done the last time.

“You are older.”

“Eight years since you wrecked Roddy’s Town, miss.”

“They were poisoning my waters.”

“They were.”

“Did you have family there? A mate? Did I wrong you?”

“No, no one.”

“Do you have a mate now?”

“No miss, I… why?”

“Dive in,” she said, “and find out.”

Zombie Drabble #228 “Last Day on Earth”

Mr. Rinkman got up slowly, careful not to drop cigarette ash onto the carpet. The stereo was old, from the fifties, an enormous piece of furniture cabinetry with the speakers built in. He carefully picked up the vinyl record and turned it over to side ‘B’, before taking the needle and gingerly placing it at the beginning of the record. While he was there, he edged the volume knob a little louder; there was more banging downstairs now, and his hearing wasn’t so good anymore. He settled back into his easy chair and took another long drag on his cigarette.

SF Drabble #212 “Justice”

Interstellar travel writing. What a great racket that is. I think I’ll get into that.


I’m not even sure what law it is I’ve broken; all I know is I’ve spent four days in this cage so far, and all they’ll tell me is that I will be punished fairly. That is, if I live long enough to get to the punishment, considering all that comes out of the food dispenser is brick after brick of what looks like fruitcake but smells like fish and rotten eggs.

There isn’t even a human embassy on this planet. I’m so fucked.