Zombie Drabble #387 “Ghost Dog”

“Don’t turn around.”

He hadn’t heard anyone come in, and of course he’d searched the house for zombies before starting in searching for supplies. “Sure.”

“Got any .32 ammo?”

“Nope, only nine mil. And solid shells.”

“You’re wasting your time here, I cleaned this place out three weeks ago.”

“I always think someone should come up with chalk marks, like hobos used to.”

“Most of ‘em would be lies.”


There was a long silence. Eventually he risked turning around; there was nobody there. He searched the house again, and found nothing. He was almost certain he hadn’t imagined it.

Zombie Drabble #386 “Safety First”

You go into a house, you never know what you’ll find. There could be one zombie, there could be five, there could be none. There could be a pantry full of canned goods, there could be bare shelves. If you spend more than ten minutes in one house, you’re risking getting surrounded, and anyway, if you haven’t found the good stuff by then, you never will.

Don’t even think about apartments if you’re out alone. one way in, one way out. Whatever’s in there isn’t worth your life. I mean, unless it is. If you’re starving, all bets are off.

SF Drabble #384 “Hand To Hand”

The ship rang like a bell, again, and she was thrown forcefully against the bulkhead. She kept her grip, and was regaining her bearings when Reese floated by with blood globules leaking from his flattened nose and disturbingly open eyes.

The intercom buzzed. All hands, prepare to repel boarders.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.” She pushed off, sailed across the half-lit compartment, and grabbed a handhold close to the weapons locker. “I hope somebody remembered to charge these things this time.”

No such luck: plenty of beam rifles, no live power cells. “That’s it. I’m not re-upping again.”

SF Drabble #383 “Sour Grapes”

I knew from the knock that it was the Deacons. I wanted to put on pants. “Just a second.”

Now, sir.”

I answered the door in boxers. It slid open to reveal blasters at the ready and a fill-in-the-blanks search warrant. I didn’t bother reading it. “Come on in.”

I wasn’t worried. I didn’t have any illicit materials, or even drugs, not that the Deacons give a crap about drugs. They’re looking for schismatics, blasphemers, apostates. My ex keeps informing on me, but the joke’s on her: lying’s a sin, and filing a false report will get you six months.

Fantasy Drabble #300 “Last But Not Least”

Shywild was old, even for his kind. The others of Elven-kind had died during the wars, or by their own hand or of grief after losing the wars, but, unhappily, he had hung on, had soldiered on, had lived on. He despised as lonely a world bursting with people.

Now there were cars and parking lots where there had been fauns and forest, skyscrapers where there had been sky, machines where there had been magic: the humans had defiled their hard-fought prize. They didn’t even remember that they were at war. They were fools, and they had inherited the Earth.

Fantasy Drabble #299 “Annulment”

She was still cleaning up the detritus of spell-casting when Mauritz appeared in the doorway. “Ah, you’re here. Have a seat. Anywhere’s fine.” It was Mauritz’s house, after all: she wouldn’t fret over the stains or smell.

Mauritz’s zombie lumbered over to the couch and settled onto it, bits of flesh sloughing off onto the upholstery.

He needed marching orders, direction. “I’ll be with you in a minute, Maury.” There was still one more order of business, the locator spell.

Mauritz, suspicious, had wisely invested in revenge. Mauritz’s wife had bought his death, but alas for her, not its permanence.

SF Drabble #382 “Reporting From The Scene”

“Jack, I’m not sure, but let me try to see what I can make out from the top of the stairs here. Again, we’re in the basement of a partially collapsed building near twelfth street, about eight blocks from… yeah, yes, that was another explosion, sounded like it was a good distance away. There was some artillery falling around the landing site about ten minutes ago, and then some level bombing, but it’s been quiet since… yes, Jack, I can see up the street and the alien craft seems to have disgorged numerous smaller… okay, I’m seeing a bright li—”

SF Drabble #381 “Reproduction”

Tracking. Cloak engaged. Stand by for course correction: mark. Stand by for full power: mark. Range closing. Scans inconclusive. Stand by. Stand by.

Range closing. Scans indicate nuclear power source, hydrogen scoop design. System of origin computed. Destination system computed.

Range closing. Scans indicate five organisms active, one thousand four hundred and twenty three organism cryogenically frozen. Biped, opposable thumbs; bipeds probable crew and colonists.

Range closing, no change in target attitude. Cloak stable. Stand by weapons.

Stand by to match course and speed. Mark. Parallel course achieved. Position directly above target achieved. Stand by boarding. Stand by ovipositor teams.

Zombie Drabble #385 “The New Economy”

There was a farmer we ran into only because we smelled wood burning on the wind, and followed it back to his place. Nice enough guy. For him, the end of the world hadn’t changed much: he worked his land, tended his livestock and his crops, only instead of selling his product he lived off it himself. He knew what was happening, of course, but he figured, what’s it to him?

We explained it. He had guns, of course, that type always does, but we got the drop easy. Shelter. Lots of food. It’ll be months before we move on.

Zombie Drabble #384 “Relics”

It had been going for a while before he realized he’d been hearing it: a radio, or somebody’s iPod earbuds up way too high. He wrestled his way out of the too-small sleeping back and padded through the room in stocking feet to try to find the source of the noise.

It was the Carsons’ teenager, what was her name? “Emily.”

She reached into her own sleeping back and the noise stopped. “What?”

“What are you listening to?”

“Some classical piece I’ve never heard of before. Found the iPod yesterday.”

He convinced her to share. It was Debussy, “La Mer.”

Fantasy Drabble #297 “Sir Hubert”

Midnight rounds are unfailingly uneventful: everyone's asleep, including any enemies of the Crown. You’ll be patrolling the quiet halls, trying not to let your sword or armor clatter, and there he’ll be, a shimmering panic.

They’re coming.

“They’re not coming, Hubert, that was a long time ago.”

They’ll kill you all. They’ll kill me.

“Got your tenses mixed up, you have. Still: I appreciate the warning. Well done, you: mission accomplished. Eternal rest well-earned.”

It never works. They’re almost here.

We don’t know what his real name was in life; ‘Hubert’ suits his face. “Best get ready, then, Hubert.”

Fantasy Drabble #296 “On A String”

It wasn’t voices or anything like that. Nobody came to me in a vision. I just got this urge to go down there and dig, and after a few days of fighting it I gave in.

Nobody bothered me while I worked. If you look like you belong, like you know what you’re doing, people more or less leave you alone. I dug up the bones, put them in a bag, took them home, no problem.

The bones must be the guy pulling the strings. Who else? Now I have to figure out what’s next. Maybe I’ll get another urge.