SF Drabble #337 “Sunday Go To Meeting”

The trance comes shortly after one takes the Offering, whether there’s chanting or not; that’s not common knowledge, and we don’t want it to become so. Once in the trance, the minds of the Congregants begin to link together, forming the One. Once the One is fully formed, the Think begins.

Inside the Think, the One knows that the religious trappings are an unnecessary conceit, but for some reason always chooses to preserve it. Outside, as individuals, we forget this revelation; we believe.

Only those who’ve become the One singly, as individuals, only we retain the true nature of One.

Zombie Drabble #343 “Stragglers”

“It’s Claude.”

“Where?” She craned her neck.

“There, by the trees.” They locked eyes with the man, but no one called out: they all knew better.

“Jesus, they’re gonna smell him.”

“Not if he goes soon; I think he’s waiting for an opening.”

“He’s not gonna get one, there’s just too many of… oop, there he goes.”

Claude sprinted into the midst of the horde, taking them by surprise, weaving between lurching bodies and outstretched hands. Trying to change directions on the wet grass led to disaster, however, and he went down. He was quickly surrounded.

“Well that’s that...”


Zombie Drabble #342 “Five Golden Rings”

He handed her a box, lovingly wrapped in newspaper. When she looked at him in confusion, he explained, “It’s Christmas.”

She immediately said, “No it isn’t,” but just as quickly began to wonder if he was right. “How do you know?”

“The old guy told me; he’s got a calendar in his little organizer thing, he’s been crossing off days.”

“Who carries one of those? Get a smartphone.”

“Our smartphones ran out of battery charge two months ago, and he knows it’s Christmas.”

“You have a point.” She opened the box; it was a box of kitchen matches. “Oh, baby!”

SF Drabble #336 “We Have An Arrangement”

It’s all over the gossip sites. Nobody has actually said anything, but the feed is like Big Brother: it’s a small ship, and they’re almost always on camera. A look here, a touch there, and everyone knows. The Agency hasn’t encouraged the talk, but hasn’t exactly been discouraged it, either. The ratings are up… everyone wants to see interplanetary romance blossom.

I’m married to one of the most beautiful, intelligent, charming women in the world. Only, just now she’s headed to Jupiter, and won’t be back for five years. We’re realistic. I’m seeing someone too. Not that that’ll make Perez.

SF Drabble #335 “Headlong”

Rickman repeated, “Ursula, come in, Ursula. This is Europa traffic control. Please respond.”

The Governor asked, “How fast are they going?”

Natterling called from the RADAR console, “Too fast to make orbit. They’re either gonna hit us or burn up in Jupiter’s atmosphere, depending on whether they alter course.”

“If they don’t alter course?”

"It’ll be us. Far side, maybe a hundred degrees West. Near Dome Lyria.”

The Governor ordered, “Send a MASER to EarthCon advising them of the situation. And get me Lyria on comms.”

Natterling interjected, “Four minutes. No change.”

“And I was having such a good day.”

Fantasy Drabble #261 “Passage”

The Sorcerer climbed above decks and looked out over the glassy face of the ocean. “How long has it been like this?”

“Nearly six hours, no wind at all. We’ve made our devotions, but so far we haven’t been favored. Perhaps you’ve more influence?”

“I’m neither priest nor shaman, Captain, and I know no weather spells. My power will be of no help.”

“As I feared.”

“I could try to call a monster from the deep, to tow us—”

“No! I thank you, but… Kyriletta is a fragile lady. And the wind will blow eventually, sure as the world turns.”

SF Drabble #334 “Relief”

He peeked around the corner, spyglass to his eyes. “They’re moving.”

Before anyone could respond, there was a deafening sound like a tearing of the fabric of the universe, and they all dove to the ground for cover.

By the time he was brave enough to look, the smoke had started to clear. “Jesus. I think our air support is finally here.” Where the Woolies’ positions had been, now there was only a smoldering ruin, stretching for hundreds of yards in either direction.

“What does that?”

“Battleship main gun; particle beam.”

“Boy, those Navy guys get all the nice toys.”

Zombie Drabble #341 “The Short Goodbye”

She felt sicker than she ever had before, and stayed in bed; the children would have to fend for themselves. She’d left a message for her mother, but so far she hadn’t called back.

A passing ambulance woke her momentarily sometime in the afternoon, and she thought, maybe it’s for me, but the siren waned and disappeared.

As darkness fell she was in intense stomach pain, without the strength to get up, the bed soiled with vomit and filth. She cried out in desperation for the children to go, to run away, to find Grandma, but there was no answer.

SF Drabble #333 “Information Retrieval Professional”

I’m not really the guy for this. I do mostly off-world stuff: there aren’t as many inconvenient rules. Dirt-side there’s due process and procedure and oversight and all of that nonsense. Everything’s got paperwork that goes along with it, and I’m just not a paperwork sort of guy, you know?

That said, if you want me to, I’ll get it out of him. No questions asked. My usual rates plus expenses, which, if I’m going dirt-side, will be extensive. Just the shots will run almost a thousand credits.

But rest assured, I’m worth the money. He’ll give it up. Guaranteed.

SF Drabble #332 “Backyard Camping”


“Good morning.” The alien was still curled up on the trampoline where it had fallen asleep the night before, a mass of scaly flesh and intertwined tendrils.

“Marjorie wanted me to ask if you were hungry. Or thirsty. Or, you know, wanted to take a bath or anything.”

“You’re very kind. But I don’t think I’d fit in your tub.”

“Well, we’ve got a hose. Not very dignified, but it’d get the job done.”

“I’ll probably just dip into the river before I go.”

“Suit yourself. Don’t scare the early-morning fishermen too bad, most of them are pretty old.”

Zombie Drabble #340 “Lysistrata”

He was out in the yard, sitting in a lawn chair, cooler full of beer next to him, laughing, whooping it up; shooting zombies as they came up the road.

She called out the front door, in exasperation, “You want to help us pack maybe?”

Pack? What the hell you wanna pack for? Shit, I ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

“What happens if you run out of bullets, Raymond?”

“Well then, I got the shotgun. After that I got the shovel. Woman, I’ve got this. I ain’t leavin’.”

“One of them bites you, Raymond, I swear I will never fuck you again!”

Zombie Drabble #339 “Urgent Care”

“She needs water.”

“Lower your voice.” He took her by the arm and led her out into the hall. “They all need water. There isn’t any water. What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know. I just… I don’t know what to tell them. They know I’m lying when I say we have supplies coming…”

“Michael is pretty sure it’ll rain tonight.”

“He was sure three days ago.”


“They’re not all going to make it even if it does rain tonight. And if it doesn’t, you and I and Michael will be alone here by the weekend.”