Posts Tagged ‘microfiction’

David Attenborough Rocks My World

September 15, 2010

“Man, it’s Blue Planet!” I said. “Blue Planet’s on!”

“I hate that show.”

“Dude, you and Kris put that on every single fucking time you fucked.”

He squirmed on the couch. “We were trying to be discreet.”

I punched his shoulder. “Real discrete. Always always knew what you were up to when that shit blasted out.”

He shifted in his seat.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“Nothing.” He got up and walked to his room, muttering something about Pavlov.

“Holy shit,” I yelled, “you’re missing this fish’s insides, dude!”


Photovoltaic Leguminous Organic Wetware Electroservo Robot

April 1, 2010

Thing needs some polishing. Don’t know if it’s ever gonna be 55, either, though those’ve been famous last words of mine.

“Thank god we shut that thing down before it could activate these. Whatever they were supposed to do.”

Ms. Selkirk held two of the strange little spheres in fortunate locations. Her blouse was still held in PhLOWER’s prehensile flytrap mouth. Dr. Montcalm’s corpse rested in the embrace of vines that had suddenly scrabbled for wall-mounted fiberoptic jacks, his hands clutching the switch that had closed the lab skylight.

Dr. Fenkus draped a lab coat around Ms. Selkirk’s shoulders, and they limped out together.

One of the spheres littering the lab floor wiggled, and a crack formed. A tiny metallic vine pushed its way out. And began to stretch towards the skylight switch.

Three Flash Pieces from Writing Prompts

November 18, 2009

Demons walk our streets. Few of them look inhuman, and most of that group can cover it up with a hat or a baggy coat or baggy pants. What they can’t do, however, is drive a car.

A train or a bus will not reject a demon. No one knows if it’s too difficult for a vehicle to detect a demon among too many people, or if they just can’t throw out the bathwater without ejecting the baby with it. But this is why subways and buses have a smell all their own.

So the next time someone insists that they love the T and would never drive in this city, remember that not all of them are worried about parking and traffic and absent street signs and rotaries and one-way streets.

Behind her the noise escalated. It took her a while to hear it, although her dog perked up before it approached even a whisper. The noise’s slow escalation continued to go unnoticed even when it reached a quiet ringing; she heard it merely as that sound a silent house makes to keep itself entertained. But in a few minutes the sound had reached the level where it could not be denied that something was something. She walked through her house, her dog cautiously behind her legs, until she located the source of what had become a harsh, angular wail. There, between her washer and drier, a hole in the air was widening. A glorious, bright light shone out of the rift, and as the wail became a scream she could see a glowing face peering through, blinking rapidly. Something beautiful is being born into this world, she thought. And it is not happy about it.

[This story’s prompt was to use a word someone else had invented. In this case it’s “perkiblot”. When I edit this I’m going to take that out so it’s not so awkward. Still, even with that, I’m especially proud of this story.]

All she left behind was a note and a half-finished mug of coffee. The note said nothing she hadn’t said before; he needed more motivation and personal hygiene, and she pleaded for him to seek professional help, this time ostensibly for his sake alone. And possibly the sake of one of her therapist friends. But he knew the coffee mug would speak volumes.

He lifted it up and placed it in the sink, then returned to examine the kitchen table where the coffee had been. He’d been an atheist when they’d met, and mostly still was, but she’d taught him enough perkiblot to make him at least acknowledge its therapeutic value. He peered intently at the ‘blot the mug had left behind, tracing the condensation’s silhouette in the air above it, careful not to disturb its fragile existence. He recalled the rules of deciphering a perkiblot, recalling also and inadvertently the first time she’d put her clammy, nervous hand on his and guided him through the process.

This one was happy news, as far as he was concerned: she would return. Not soon and not without reservation and not when he’d need her most. But she would return.

He took one of the thick paper towels she’d bought and wiped the kitchen table clean.


November 16, 2009

[Haven’t written many pieces longer than 55 words lately, but this one demanded the tiniest bit extra space. Still very much a work in progress, though, particularly the very end.]

“Don’t worry, young man,” the Martian policeman said, “He’s just a baby. He’s harmless, long as his blindfold’s on.” He patted the basilisk’s rump, his red hand making Christmas colors against its scales. The beast turned its great head to lick its rider’s fingers.

“How’s he know where to go?” I asked. My dad continued to hiss at me to get back to his side of the street.

“We’ve been breeding them for hearing for thousands of years,” he said. Then he leaned down to whisper in my ear. “By the time you’re old enough, we’ll be training humans to ride them.” My eyes widened.

The policeman straightened up in his saddle. “I’m Officer Quint.” He shook my hand. “Now, get back to your father. I don’t think he likes Ivan here very much.” He winked at me.

I re-crossed the street. My dad walked us quickly home.

When we got inside, he turned to me and said, “I can’t say this out there or they’ll put me away, but those lizards are a menace, and their riders are imperialist savages.”

“Daddy,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You don’t have to be mean to Officer Quint just ’cause you’re scared of basilisks.”

He stared at me. Moments passed and still he stared. Then he turned and walked to his study, muttering, “He’s still just a kid, still a boy.”

And 55-ized.

August 29, 2009

You’re Stalking Me

The cat from your Facebook pictures jumps onto your keyboard between me and your private LiveJournal entries to bathe in borrowed attention. You’re just like that cat… does that mean you know who I am? How else could I keep seeing you in town, or at the grocer’s? As characters in library books and dreams?


August 29, 2009

“Fucking ow, that hurt,” he complained, rubbing his arm.

I carefully placed the syringe in a plastic bag and threw it in the disposal oven. “Maybe you’ll think twice then before sleeping with another Outsider.” I rolled my plastic gloves off and threw them in too.

He shrugged. “I’ve already slept with everyone this side of the quarantine fence.” Then he winked. “Except you.”

I laughed hard, nearly choking into my facemask. “Never,” I started, then had to laugh some more. “Excuse me.” I cleared my throat. “Never hit on your doctor. No surer way to murder romance than with a medical file.”

He took his antibiotics and left, but I think there was actually a seed of truth to his look of false hurt. Almost made me reconsider. Almost.


August 26, 2009

The robots came like army ants across the field of battle. Some fell to our tanks’ fire, but even from the command tower I felt the shockwave as the metal horde slammed into our front line. I watched one robot dodge a tank’s cannon fire, climb atop, pry it open, and devour its screaming, wiggling occupants. When it was done, it looked directly at me, seemingly thinking, time for the main course.

I dropped my binoculars and stared hard at the research director. “‘Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot?’ You really thought that was a good idea? Really?”

A Better Mousetrap

August 5, 2009

Don’t know if I can 55 this, but it’s pretty good for a half hour’s writing!

As soon as I welded the ON button onto the little black box that housed my time machine, a version of me from an alternate timeline appeared.

“I’ll take that,” he said, pointing a gun at me.  I handed over the machine.  “You inferior versions of me never see that coming.”  He shook his head, opening a backpack containing dozens of black boxes.  “Did none of you actually read science fiction as a kid?”

That’s when I pressed the button on my belt.  The black box glowed blue and the alterna-me holding it disintegrated into dust.  I swept the dust up and added it to the pile behind me.  “Did none of you double-major in psychology?” I asked, welding the ON button onto another box.

I’m really on this horror kick it seems.

July 25, 2009

Won’t have time to finish this until late tonight, but I like it.  (Still 8 words over.)  I like the title “The Skeleton Tree” but I’m not sure I want to give that much in the title.

The white root wrapped itself around the hiker’s ankle, pulling him towards  the hole  at the base of the tree. As he was yanked below, his last sight was the tree above: pure white with black tumors, smooth bark and leafless branches.

When the search party passed by, the wind was rustling the tree’s new scarlet leaves, causing pale white seeds to fall.

Kissing Tree

July 24, 2009

I call her or she calls me on the first rain of Spring and we meet where we first kissed. This is historical re-enactment, only with more saliva. We stand under the Maple on 21st and we kiss and the rain gathers in the star-shaped leaves and falls in huge drops, like water balloons.

It’s my turn to be seeing someone else, but when we kiss I’ll forget Sarah, like she forgot Marcus last year. Every year we remember love like it’s a bicycle, but after we kiss we can walk away. I don’t have to deal with her office gossip and she doesn’t have to deal with my baseball news.

This year she gets there first, but she’s sitting on a stump. It was our tree but it was not our tree. We gamely try to slog through it, but the kiss is wrong. The rain comes down like lances, not bombs. And I’m thinking of Sarah and she’s thinking of whoever will come after Marcus. And maybe she was thinking of Marcus last year, and maybe I was thinking of that waitress.

Probably we should even thank whoever cut that tree down. Probably.