A Close-Run Thing

The Sorcerer limped from the mouth of the cave, tearing fabric from his robe to wrap around his wounded arm. “Minthray! Minthray!”

“Here, my Lord.”

“Bring the horses. And water.”

“The beast, is it—”

“Finished. Go.” He sat down in the dust, sighed, coughed, and was thinking seriously about laying down when he heard a noise behind him. He twisted, hands at the ready, and saw her: a little girl, hair tied up in colorful ribbon, dressed as if for Temple. “You’re dead.”

“I am. You’ve won. But I have a question.”

The hair stood up on the back of his neck, and his shaking hands held their place, but he answered conversationally: “Ask away.”

“You could have taken my offer, and had great wealth, and even more power than you already possess. Which is clearly substantial. Instead you fought.” Her head cocked to one side with a sickening cracking and grinding of bone. “Why?”

“You would have killed everyone in the town.”

“What do you care? You’re more like me than them.”

“You’re dead; I’m not.”

“True.” She slumped, and her body was already bleached bones when it hit the ground.

Minthray returned to find him vomiting and laughing.

Zombie Drabble #436: “The Socials”

“Remember Twitter?”

“What? Yeah.” He ran a hand over his eyes, his mouth, through his hair. He rolled over to face her, squinting at the firelight. “Waste of time.”

“You were following the wrong people. I told you that, like, three times. You followed people who were good at other things. You should have followed people who were good at Twitter.”

“What on Earth does it matter now?”

She sighed. “It doesn’t, I guess. I just…”


“I almost broke up with you over that. I thought, ‘he can’t figure Twitter out, really?’. I figured we didn’t have a future.”

SF Drabble #469: “Don’t Wait Up”

He stood at the end of the metal grate walkway, facing the Arc. “Testing.”

“Coming through loud and clear. Radiation acceptable. Getting some ionization, but nothing we didn’t predict.”

I’m going closer in now.” With each step he felt slightly heavier. “Getting some gravitational effects.”

“Your mass is increasing. Shouldn’t get too much worse closer in: inverse-square law.”

The Arc spun so fast he couldn’t see it; the space-time tear created by the spinning Arc filled his visor. He reached out his hand, fingertips almost touching the anomaly. “I’m going to try going through.”

“I love you.”

“Love you too.”

The Burning Men

“You’ve gotta wonder—”


“I mean, you’ve gotta wonder if—”

“I’m saying yeah.” The old man killed his drink, looked around, shook his head. “One of these ‘capes’, just one, drop ‘em in the middle of a city, tell ‘em to kill as many as they can, boy, that’s it.”

“But what can you do? I mean, they—”

“There’s things.”

“Like what?”


“Yeah, fine, but what if… things turns out to be worse? What if things gets out of control? We trade fireman for fire…”

The old man turned, grinned, a toothy awful horror of a smile. “We burn.”