SF Drabble #441 "Sleeper"

All of this — the house in the suburbs, the family, the real estate license, the barbecues and dinner parties, the strip mall hair salon and full grocery cart — it's a construct. You're not a happily married mother of two children under six: you're a weapon.

You've seen the video, seen your own face, heard your own voice explain the reality of this to your future self. You've seen your signature on the contract, you've seen the training logs, the fitness reports, the swiss-cheese paper targets, the final orders.

No more bourgeois fucking around, Foxtrot: it's time to do your duty.


The cellar was black and musty and cool. He leaned heavy against his cane, placed his feet with methodical care. He conquered the darkness light switch by light switch.

There had been parties down here, once upon a time, the after-hours kind where one sends the household staff home. There had been Cuban cigars and Russian women and gambling. Afterwards, there had been companionable regrets.

It was all gone now: the friends were spent forces, like him, or dead; the women had found husbands or self-respect. One couldn't even get Cuban cigars today.

All that was left was the booze.

The Good Stuff

Come back from the show, Little Rick shows up, wants to know where Jenny went, right? Like I fucking keep track of Jenny. He's all over the place, raiding the fridge, trying to give me noise like, oh, I gotta make sure she calls his shit. She ain't gonna call you, Rick.

When he leaves, I see his bag on the table, like, his brown bag. And you know I know what's in the bag, and Little Rick's too stupid to keep a count. So I figure I got thirty seconds to grab what I can.

Two little blues. One goes down, one goes in my pocket. He comes back, gets his bag. I'm like, hey, man, be more careful with that shit. He's like, whatever, man, and he splits.

I lock the front door and hit the couch. Like, half hour later, Jenny's fucking thrift store paintings start changing.

SF Drabble #440 "For The Woman Who Has Everything"

"This is the newest model?" She walked around the android, looking it up and down, sliding a finger along the bicep and around the shoulder and down the back. "Fully loaded?"

"Yes, the 7000 Series. This one's a 7800XT," the manager nodded. "All the luxury appointments."

"Complex household tasks?"

"Yes, ma'am. Even does the dishes. Quite a bargain at only—"

"And more intimate services?" she pressed, pulling the waistband open just enough to peek.

"I, ah… I can't say. That is, I…" the manager hemmed and hawed. Behind him, his secretary gave a nod and a grin and a wink.


She knows where she's going, where they're going, where she's taking him.

He follows on, trying to keep his bearings and his socks dry; soon enough he gives up on both. "How much further?"

She doesn't answer at first. He hurries to catch up to her, splashing and cursing. When he reaches her elbow she says, "Tired?"

"No," he insists. He doesn't want her to think he's changed his mind. "Just wondering."

The stream curves around a hill capped by an old oak; she leads him up by the hand, sits in the shade, takes off her sweater.