Fantasy Drabble #163 “Area of Effect”

The demon was waiting for him in the shuttle bus. “Yeah, can’t let you go up, sorry.”

“What? Astronaut. That was the deal—”

“You’ve gotten to be an astronaut. You’ve trained, done the simulator, had the press conference and everything. But we can’t let you go up.”

“Why not?”

“The Boss can only operate on Earth. You get up there,” it pointed at the sky with a gnarled claw, “the contract is invalidated. He gets nothing.”

“I’m going.”

“If you go up, and you end up in Hell anyway, the torment—”

“Guess I’ll have to be a good boy, then.”

SF Drabble #226 “On Delivery”

I had detailed instructions from my employer, one mister Orville Stringer who I met in Paris. I disembarked from the liner when it put in to Gneh. I took the shuttle down to the Eastern Rim Spaceport, and then hired a skimboat to take me to the Crescent Islands, specifically Kowanginge.

Willis Rentz, my contact, was waiting in the bar of the Kowanginge Hilton. He gave me an envelope containing the credit slip, I gave him the data wafer. I thanked him and headed back for the dock. That brings me up to the point where you boys arrested me.

Zombie Drabble #242 “New Pitcairn”

“It’s small.” Prince watched the island through the binoculars.

“At least four miles square, big enough. If we’re lucky there’s fruit-bearing trees. Looks like there might be. Coconuts, maybe.”

“Fantastic.” He didn’t sound enthused.

“Plus we have seeds to plant. And with the boats rigged for sail…”

“…we’ll get by. Sure.”


“I dunno. I’m just not thrilled with the lack of available women. Twenty-seven of us, eight of them… and Mrs. Reed is old.”


“There’ll be fights. You wait.”

“We’ll deal with that when it happens. Right now, I just want to get us back on dry land.”

Zombie Drabble #241 “History”

They came to this place where the rivers meet and the land is protected on three sides with water, and they settled. We don’t know how many there were, at first, but we know almost half died in the first winter. Some from bites, some from starvation; there was no one left who was still susceptible to the disease itself.

The first real count we have is in a diary entry from the third year: One hundred and seven, counting three newborns. From these few we are all descended. It is their hard work and noble sacrifice we honor today.

SF Drabble #225 “The Grind”

“Jump complete.”

“Anybody else’s head hurt?” The Doctor asked, and half the bridge nodded. “Any worse than last time?”

“No, not worse. It doesn’t seem to be cumulative,” the Captain observed.

“I’m going to want to do a few CAT scans to be sure.”

“Very well. Speaking of scans…”

“Aye, we’re getting results now, sir. We seem to be about five light-years further in the same general direction. There’s a red dwarf star about half an astronomical unit to starboard. We’re in orbit.”

“…Of the star? No planets?”

“Not so far.”

“Keep looking. Eventually there’ll be something interesting. I hope.”

SF Drabble #224 “Redman”

We treat Redman like any other member of the crew. When he first came aboard, we didn’t know what do do with him. No one could speak his language. We were lucky he could eat our food.

Now, it’s hard to remember when he wasn’t aboard. He makes jokes — in English — that are usually funny only because they don’t make sense. He cleans the wardroom every day. Not to mention, Jerry left him alone in the engine room for an hour and he managed to increase fuel efficiency by three percent. Still trying to figure out how he did it.

Zombie Drabble #240 “Jealousy”

In the front yard: One zombie, a man — well, what once was a man — wearing only bedroom slippers and tighty-whitey underwear.

Marcus snickered. “Would you look at this guy?”

“Yeah,” Carla said. “Hey, I think that’s that guy, you know, always coming into the grocery store. The one that’s always hitting on me.”

“What? Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I think. Yeah, that’s him.”

“Oh,” Marcus grabbed the baseball bat, “fuck this guy. He’s mine.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! He’s already dead! Anyway, it’s not like he’s my type.” She peered out at the half-naked corpse, tottering across the grass. “Especially now.”

Fantasy Drabble #162 “Little Voice”

Come out, talk to me.

She tried to ignore the voice, and concentrated on drying the dishes. But she could see the well through the kitchen window.

Come on; you’re perfectly safe. You know I would never hurt you.

She knew she shouldn’t, but something inside her caused her to push open the back door and step out into the warm, sticky night, and walk through the dandelions to the well. From deep down, the voice spoke again, quietly.

Good… Now, I remember, last time we were talking about the children, and how it’d be better if they weren’t around…