SF Drabble #297 “Youth Astronomy”

Have you ever really looked at the moons, I mean, really? They’re so different: Jedris with her red, orange, yellow and black all swirling together; Collon, silver and uniform.

Father makes eyepieces. I got him to make me a spyglass. When I looked at Collon through it, it was as big as your head, but still only silver, no blemishes, nothing. Father is making me a more powerful spyglass now; I’m building a base for it in the yard from poured stone. When it’s done I’m going to make maps of both moons’ surfaces.

I have a theory about Collon.

Zombie Drabble #316 “Afternoon, Day One”

Mr. Henks sat on the curb, refused to get up when the zombies appeared yet again. “Go on. I can’t. Knees.” Kristen didn’t argue, none of them did. They ran, not looking back, leaving Henks to be slowly, inexorably encircled.

That night as she lay awake on the strip mall roof, heart still pounding, Kristen thought of Henks. They hadn’t heard any screams, but the horde couldn’t have missed the old man. He’d bought them time, but was it by running off in another direction, or offering them an easy meal?

Who would be left behind tomorrow? Anyone? Perhaps her?

Fantasy Drabble #227 “The Circle”

In the city, magic is relegated to the basements and the alleys, the back-rooms of dusty knick-knack shops with no customers to be seen, the anonymous third-floor apartments on whose doors no one is ever heard to knock. It has been driven to ground.

But out here in the country there is magic everywhere: it walks proudly on the paths and along the banks of the rivers, head raised. It gives the rhythm to the taverns, it lights the farmhouses.

Destroying it will be no mean task, but we will prevail. The Realm will be ruled by men, not witches.

Zombie Drabble #315 “Back And To The Left”

Albert sat in the corner, arms folded in front of his stomach, rocking slowly back and forth.

Outside, Dewayne asked the Sheriff, “What’s wrong with Al?”

“I guess he’s just had enough.”

“I didn’t think having had enough was an option.”

The Sheriff chuckled at the black humor, before remembering he was supposed to act like a leader. “Let him be... maybe he’ll snap out of it.”

“I hope so, he’s our best shot.” Albert could have been a sniper: he was a magician with a scoped rifle.

“Maybe that’s it. Maybe he’s sick of seeing all those heads explode.”

SF Drabble #296 “The Mary Abigail”

I put her down on an escarpment overlooking as brutal a sea of hardpan desert as I had ever seen on a hundred planets. It’s pretty, in its own desolate way. Telltales say there’s more ammonia than oxygen in the air: at least I won’t have to worry about being interrupted by natives while making these repairs. Hard enough being in the suit without having to carry a particle-beam rifle and look over my shoulder every two minutes.

They say the way to end up with a million Credits as a freight privateer is to start out with three million.

SF Drabble #295 “Customs”

“Anyone coming down today?” The Supervisor asked conversationally.

“Manifest says three Polixac, a Yourian and something called a Hourch.”

“Never heard of ‘em.” He checked the spelling and typed it into his pad. “Hourch. Non-sapient exomorph native to Youri, quadrupedal, three meters long, often kept as a companion by wealthy Yourians.”

“So, a pet.”

“Looks like.”

“Never had a pet come down before. Do we have rules for that?”

“I’d assume the Polixac do. You should ask.”

“You’re not staying?”

“I’ve got an appointment over at Terminal Three.”

“Have fun with that.”

“Don’t get eaten.”

“Hey, thanks. Thanks a lot.”

Zombie Drabble #314 “Stakeout”

Plywood nailed over the windows, across the doorways. Looks strong, but how strong? There’s a ladder up to a second-floor balcony where the railing has been removed. Do we climb it? If there’s someone alive in there, why wasn’t it pulled up out of reach? The occupant might have gone searching for food or other supplies and never returned. Or they might have gone recently and return just as we are ransacking their possessions.

We can’t just sit and observe; sooner or later zombies will smell us and come looking for meat. We have to decide. I hate this part.