SF Drabble #443 "That's Nice, Dear, But It's Not A Planet"

"You need to take a shower."

"Listen," Carl began, and then shook his head as if he'd thought better of continuing.


"I'm planning my burn, Reese. We get one shot at this." He added, calmly, "Let's just get this thing on the ground, okay?"

"I'm just saying, I don't spend a lot of time next to you in the cockpit, but—"

"Reese, I was married, did you know that? She was gorgeous. Cheerleader in High School, the whole thing. But she nitpicked the hell out of me, so here I am."

"Wait, you came to Pluto to avoid nagging?"

SF Drabble #442 "Travel Buddies"

He strapped into the seat as it adjusted its shape to better accommodate him. In the end it felt almost womblike in its comfort. Next to him: a seat taking a completely different shape to accommodate an alien. "Do you know how long it takes to get up to the liner?"

"Fifty skith. Maybe… one-twentieth of your day?"

"Oh, all right. That's not bad."

"You have an interesting odor."

"Sorry. Big spaceport, I had to run for the gate." He would have shrugged, but his shoulders wouldn't move. "Couldn't miss the flight."

"For only fifty skith, I can tolerate it."

Five Sentence Fiction: "Eater"

"I have a family," he says, trying to keep the quiver of fear out of his voice.

She smiles, walks slowly around the cage, dragging her fingers from bar to bar, and finally says, "You're not a very good liar." She slips the key into the lock, and the heavy door swings open. He doesn't rush her; he backs away.

He has seen her feed once already today.

Fantasy Drabble #360 "Crime Doesn't Pay"

"What keeps them from raiding your hoard when you're not here?" The Oreiad Winnis asked, looking at the pile of half-melted armor and blackened bone. "You do leave from time to time, yes? What if some adventurer snuck in while you were—"

"One did, once." Midz-Aset snorted steam, continued, "A thief, the best in the land. He left his scent in his footprints. I flew to his home village, but he had fled; I burned it. I found his family's hiding place, but he was absent; I ate them. In the end he gave himself up just to end it."


There is a little town in her head, made of tin cans and cereal boxes and exhaust pipes. It sits on a wooded knoll out by where the highway will someday be once Eisenhower does his thing, where the middle class will eventually paint their neighborhoods across the straining landscape, where for a little while longer there is still magic seeping out of the ground like oil.

It is always autumn. She is the town's only permanent resident.

There are other people here and there, by invitation only, imported and expelled following her whim or favor: her mother, always; her father, mostly; certain school friends often; her brother, rarely, only when he is good or it is his birthday. Together they collect turning leaves and four-leaf-clovers and happy memories.

There will come a day when she will get in the car and drive down the hill to adulthood; not today.