SF Drabble #308 “Timbre”

The ship hums. A good engineer can tell from the pitch, from the quality of the tone, from the amplitude, whether things are working as they should be. Caroliana is my first posting as Chief Engineer, and I’m still learning her voice.

The Assistant Chief Engineer is a Phragnian. He shakes his head and says, “You have meters, displays and telltales. They show engine status with scientific accuracy. Why foolish listening? Humans are beyond understanding.”

You might chalk it up to Phragnians having big eyes and little ears. I think some people just don’t get the romance of space travel.

Fantasy Drabble #236 “Table For Two”

“Can I start you with an appetizer?”

He looked at his watch. “Just a glass of water for now. I’ll need some time to look at the menu.”

“Very good sir.” She retreated towards the kitchen. The place was virtually deserted; it wouldn’t take her long to come back.

He had asked for a table in the very front, by the window, where he could see the street. It was bright with moonlight: not long now. He could feel it coming already, his normal hair standing on end, anticipating company.

He didn’t bother looking at the menu. She’d be enough.

Zombie Drabble #323 “Matchmaker”

“She’s cute.”

“She’s like, four years older than me.”

“So what? That’s not—”

“She’s pregnant. With somebody else’s kid.”

“What the fuck does that matter now, Corey? Whoever’s baby that is probably got eaten weeks ago. I’ve got Robin, Hank has Cynthia, and the old lady’s past it, and that leaves 'Lith. We’re gonna be stuck in here a while, bro. A long while. You wanna spend that time sleeping alone?”

Corey said nothing for a minute, and then admitted, “Not really.”

“So go talk to her. She already likes you, you saved her ass like twice.”

“Maybe I will.”

SF Drabble #307 “Local Hippo”

We call her ‘Bubbles’. She’s about eight feet long and almost six feet wide and tall. She wandered up to the lander on the second day, showing no fear — not even basic caution — but only curiosity.

Franklin has been able to get close enough to feed her; she’ll eat powdered ice cream right out of his hand now. He’s convinced she’s intelligent, and Doc agrees.

There’s a large marshy area to the West. We’re going to go check it out tomorrow, once Schultz gets the Wet Rover working. Meanwhile, Bubbles just keeps watching us intently and eating powdered ice cream.

SF Drabble #306 “Missionary”

When we got here, we were so gung-ho. I mean, of course we were; who else would they send? There was a full year of testing and training before we boarded the ship, anyone who wasn’t full of vim and vigor would have washed out.

The natives are impenetrable. They listen, and they ask questions, but they’re clearly just humoring us. They don’t really have a religion of their own, so I don’t know what’s stopping them.

We’re building a church. They’re even helping: watching them extrude the building material is a little gross, but it’s faster than firing bricks.

Zombie Drabble #322 “My Buddy”

Roland is a head in a jar. He was my best friend: we worked together at our first high school jobs, packaging testing materials to send out to schools. That job didn’t last long, but we stayed close.

I’m the one who separated his head from his body. He made me promise, so I did it. I think he was figuring that zombie Roland would die, but he didn’t. I guess you have to destroy the brain, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m trying to decide whether to take the jar when I make for the hills.