SF Drabble #370 “Alien Spring Break”

They started appearing that afternoon, complex circular marks in the grass, on the concrete and asphalt, everywhere, just like the old guy said. The government went and fished him out of the looney bin and started asking him hard questions. Soon he was on the news.

“They're just graffiti. You know, like the kids do. Tagging. ‘I was here’, and so on. Each design indicates a particular individual. That’s why some repeat: some of them have visited multiple times.”

“But what to they want?” Asked the host.

“Oh, just blowing off steam. Probably won’t do much damage. You know kids.”

Zombie Drabble #370 “Break It Down”

There ain’t never gonna be no cure. Not without computers and sterile labs and that shit. Universities are closed, bro, and they ain’t openin’ again any time soon. Ain’t gonna be no more jets or helicopters or tanks either. Once the ones they got wear out and break, that’s it. They can make bullets, maybe, if they can find a source for all the shit they need. Takes a lotta shit to make bullets, bro, I looked it up once. And best start growin’ your own food, because Safeway’s out of fuckin’ business. Find a crossbow, hunt you a deer.

Zombie Drabble #369 “Place The Face”

We hooked up with this guy the second day, while we were being evac’d from the city. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out how I knew him. Maybe he’d lived in the apartment building on Vineyard? Or maybe he’d worked for my dad one summer? It was eating at me.

Then, Thursday night, Jenny and I were sharing a sleeping bag up on the roof of some middle school, and suddenly I remembered: I’d gone to High School with the guy. I was going to go say something to him, but I remembered: the zombies got him Tuesday.

Zombie Drabble #368 “The Quiet Man”

The walls are thin in this building. It was always a problem: the people next door arguing, the people upstairs clomping around, the couple on the other side fucking or listening to loud music or both. In those days, he was the quiet one. Now the only sound in the building was the faint moans of his now-deceased neighbors.

Now, even with the shag carpeting he stepped as lightly as he could manage, careful not to bump into walls or doorframes, set things down and picked things up with methodical precision. His greatest fear was crying out in his sleep.

Fantasy Drabble #293 “Honorable”

There were letters carved into the stones. He couldn’t read them, but they matched the ones carved into the hilt of his sword, and that was enough to propel him down the steps into the darkness.

He was greeted by a voice, friendlier than he would have thought. “I knew your father, you know.”

“And did you slay him?”

“No,” the voice returned, wistfully, “that honor was not mine. I know who did, though. Would that information buy your departure, hero?”

“Of course.”

The voice paused, then continued heavy with disappointment. “A shame, that. Your father would not have lied.”


She made her presence known with a scratch rather than a knock; he knew immediately it was her. “What?”

“Can I come in and talk to you?”

“What would be the point?”

There was a pause, and then she scratched at the door again. “Please?”

She wouldn’t go, she’d stay until he let her in. He stood, shuffled slowly to the door and drew it open with affected disinterest. “I don’t really want to get into it.”

“So let’s not get into it.”

“Fine with me.”

They sat on the couch as the television droned on. Eventually they held hands.

SF Drabble #369 “Woolies”

It was the sixteenth year of the war; I was on the Endurance. She was ripped apart near Korisk, and I ended up in an escape pod on its side down on the surface.

I was alone, though I ran into a stranded Woolie on the second day. His ship must have been killed in the same action. He appeared at my campfire, knew a couple words Standard, tried to ask to share my rations. I killed him, of course. Made a rug out of the Woolie’s fur. I have it at home on Mars. Hell of a conversation piece.

Zombie Drabble #367 “Amy”

“Mommy? Why did we leave Daddy at the house? Was it because he was being bad?”

She didn’t answer; she didn’t know how.

“Mommy? Why?”

“Honey, I need you to be quiet now, while I’m driving. Just for now.”

“But when are we going to see Daddy?”

“Soon, honey.” She knew it was a lie. Maybe Amy did, too, but she seemed to accept it. There would be more lies in the coming days, lies about the world, about their safety, about everything around them. Amy was a trusting child, maybe she could keep the truth from her a while.

SF Drabble #368 "Frozen"

He didn't remember the coffin, and before the lid was opened by the medtech he feared there had been a horrible mistake. He tried to speak, but his throat produced only a short, unintelligible croak. The medtech said something in a language he didn't understand, but another voice said, "Don't try to talk yet. Try to relax and breathe normally."

He wondered how much time had passed since he'd paid to be frozen. If the language had changed... "What... year?"

The medtech said nothing. Another voice answered, "Your cancer is gone; the year is a subject for another time."

SF Drabble #367 "Progenitor"

They stood on black rocks just above the water. She said, "Lovely, isn't it? Pristine."

"Nice not to have to wear the suit for once."

She dipped a long, articulated toe into the water. "I don't mind the suit, usually."

"Rubs my ridges the wrong way, that's all. Too binding."

She sighed. "Well, go ahead."

He bent down, opened the sample container, and poured its contents into the tide pool. "There. Come back in a hundred million years, this place'll be bursting at the seams."

She laughed and said, "I'll mark it on my calendar. If I'm not already busy."