Zombie Drabble #406 "Cashmere Cessation"

She stared into the empty cigarette hard-pack.

"I ran out a month ago." An unfamiliar voice; an older woman, one of the new arrivals.

"I found two packs under a counter in a Kwik Stop, two weeks ago. Whoever looted it before us must have missed them. I've been trying to make them last, space them out."

"I did that too. Only after meals, or only right before bed, or only after sex." The woman laughed. "Still ran out. Probably for the best."

She nodded, held the pack up to her nose, drank in the fading scent. "It's so unfair."

Zombie Drabble #405 "Potable"

Red burst through the door. "Bring every pot and pan and tupperware. Hurry."

They scooped up everything they could find and carried it up to the roof by the armful. It was only just beginning to drizzle.

Red stood at the edge, staring up and out to the West. "Is there anything big down there we can empty it into? Like a barrel?"

"There's a big utility sink. I think there's a stopper—"

"Find out. Give it a good wipe down." Red opened his mouth, let a raindrop fall in. "We're going to be on bucket brigade duty all night."

Dome 8, Section 17, Level 8, Hatch 124, Knock 5 Times

The view-port slid open, and a pair of eyes assessed him. "Can I help you?"

"I'm Rocky. Jimmy the Bits sent me."

"But that's not what he told you to say, is it." It wasn't a question.

"…'Flow my tears'?"

"That's better."

The door hissed and swung open. The bouncer was immense, and missing an arm. Rocky didn't imagine he'd have any trouble breaking someone's neck even with only the one, but the Company wouldn't have kept him on in the mines. "Twenty scrip."

He'd thought it'd be more; he handed over the bill, which the bouncer held up to the light.

"It's good."

"Can't trust an Eek freak. Though you're not one yet, I suppose." He grinned. "Give it time. Up the ladder, down the corridor, door's open."


The room was small, full of stale, fetid air. The Eekogle sat in a bowl-shaped chair. Bed? Its tentacles hung flaccid over the rim. It was surrounded by Eek freaks, sitting motionless on the floor. It was watching football on the wallscreen.

There was a handler in the corner, reading a book. His face was blotchy, discolored: old burn marks? He delivered his instructions without looking up. "Sit anywhere. Leave your pressure suit on, the medical sensors will tell us if you're having a bad trip. When you're ready, just stick out your tongue."

Rocky picked an empty patch of carpet, and sat. The man next to him was older, thin, balding. His suit lights showed green but he was sweating, breathing shallow, slack-jawed.

"It's psychotropic," the handler said. "Their ancestors developed it as a defense against predators. None of the megafauna on their planet will even give them a second look now. Not even if they're starving."

Rocky stared at the Eekogle for a long time, without moving.

You only live once. Rocky stuck out his tongue. One of the alien's tentacles lifted from the chair rim, stretched out, elongating towards him. The tip glistened with a clear excretion.

Rocky licked it.

Fantasy Drabble #316 "Olly Olly Oxen Free"

Out the door, across the grass, unlatch the gate. Down the path as the light dies, into the woods as the trees bristle, deeper and deeper, further away.

"Where are you?"

Listen carefully, taste the air, peer into the spreading grey as the color leaks out of the world. Pull out the flashlight, flip the switch on, shake it awake. Paint over shadows with the flickering beam.

"I'm here, I'm ready…"

Familiar voices, furtive, faint. Familiar faces smile, chins glowing, lit from underneath. Huddle, whisper, giggle. Conspire in whispers, plot, execute.

Peel off day-clothes and dive into the flooding night.