Monday, February 28, 2011

It wasn't the mold's fault...


It was another one of those political bumper stickers. “Slime mold are people too,” it said in tall, square navy letters against a bright yellow background. Shanna had half a mind to hit the vehicle in front of her, just based on the stupid bumper sticker alone. She didn’t care if radiation from nuclear fallout had instigated a world-wide phenomenon of spontaneous slime mold mutation, giving them sentient, psychic abilities. They were still slime molds, damnit. She was “people.” Mold was mold. And it got cleared away with bleach and hot water. No matter how much it screamed or protested.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The soap bubbles were the best part...


Simon had a…thing for front-loading washing machines. It wasn’t sexual; it was just a thing. He liked climbing inside and going for a ride. He liked going around and around and around. He liked the soap bubbles, and the taste of towels. It was a horrible addiction, and his momma told him to stop, but he couldn’t. She told him one day he’d get caught breaking into people’s houses for a ride in their front-loader, but he didn’t care. Elves broke into houses for all sorts of reasons: to make shoes, to clean messes…why NOT to ride a washing machine?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The ways of the forrest...


There were exactly twelve advantages  in being a Woodland Ogre, over a Tree Troll. Nine of them involved the harassment of travelers, and shaking them down for loose change. Two, concerned the fabrication of weapons of war, for which there was a treaty with the Grass Elves regarding fair trade and material usage. The final one regarded certain reproductive issues. Tree Trolls tended to… eat their partners. It wasn’t entirely intentional, but somehow, in the heat of the moment, the female Tree Trolls had a tendency to bite the heads off their mates, laying fertilized eggs in the males’ necks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A kiss is just a kiss, a pie is just a pie...

Anthony looked down at my plate. “I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s just pie.”

I pointed to him with my fork, the prongs coming to rest an inch or so away from his bulbous nose. “The thing is never just the thing.”

He pushed the fork away from his face. “Is this going to be that philosophical bullshit again? Cos I only got a C in philosophy, so I’m hardly qualified if you’re having a metaphysical crisis or something.”

I took a bite of the pecan and pastry mess on my plate.  “Pie is never just pie.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making a point to the hero...


Septiva put her sword away, staring at the figure on the floor. “We could stuff him in the refrigerator.”

Bolin seemed to contemplate it for a moment, looking at the black Kenmore appliance, then to their victim. “Look at him. He won’t fit.”  

Nudging him with the foot of her boot, Septiva reached beneath her cape, pulling out something that looked like a turkey slicer.“We can just scrunch him up some. Or hack off some limbs.”

“Don’t be grotesque.”

“He’s dead. He won’t notice.”

“I just think… shoving people in refrigerators for the hero to find sends the wrong message.”  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The years hadn't been kind...


Gil Brenner was one of those actors from those old TV shows that got replayed on cable late at night. The ones my parents used to watch when I was young. I’d sit with them, not understanding a damned thing going on. I still remembered that, after all these years. So I hated seeing the massive hole in Gil’s torso and the scorch marks on the floor. Mom had always thought he was so handsome; she’d not want to see this. Raising my laser-pistol, I stepped over his body, chasing after the man in the alien getup who’d shot him.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flight security...


They never told him anything.  Never. They just expected him to know what was going on, without any sort of indication of what they were doing. They just expected him to know that they had invited the Gantorian ambassador on the flight. Nor did he know that the ambassador was the green-skinned fellow with the over-sized bag that wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin, and nor did he realize that the fellow would be a total jerk about checking his bag. So, when he’d called security, and it turned into an inter-planetary incident, he had PLENTY of people to blame.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

There was always a world in need of saving...


The pastry was light and fluffy, but had the dry, slightly crisp bite of being just a day or two past its “best-by” date. It didn’t matter; the man was hungry. He’d been driving all night, and had stopped for gas just as the day began peaking over the horizon. The gas station didn’t have much; salty nuts, the usual assortment of chips, and those weird energy drinks that tasted mostly like sugar and ass. He only hoped that the carbohydrates would be enough to power him through another six hours of highway. This planet wouldn’t save itself, after all.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A market for everything...


The catacombs were dark, but not dank. The Only Ones had chosen to burry their dead in a long, winding maze of tunnels just under their arid grasslands and above the water table. Ridged skulls lined the walls, clawed appendages twisted in unnatural positions along the tunnel ceilings and floors. The Only Ones had not been, as they thought, the only sentient life forms in the universe. They had been conquered, dying out millennia ago, leaving all of this behind. Tyrol shined his light on the treasures buried with the dead, knowing he’d make a fortune on the black market.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Children liked flashy things...


There were no gumdrops in the can formerly containing coffee grounds, that was certain. The only reason why Jessica checked was because she had previously found, in addition to the normal assortment of broken watch parts, Christmas ornaments, and lose change, were a handful of gumdrops. Sure, they’d been rock-hard, and covered in dust, but… GUMDROPS! Forbidden sweets, in her grandmother’s kitchen. But today, it was just as one would expect—watch parts and coins and this and that. She was about to declare the entire search and discovery mission a loss, until she pulled out a large glowing blue orb…

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If it wasn't one thing it was another...


The dragon kidnapped the maiden according to the terms provided by the Schedule Twelve Rules for Kidnapping and Imprisoning Maidens, Princesses and Other Female Entities. He'd snatched her in the middle of the night. He absconded with her to a cave containing the correct amounts of gold, silver and rubies. He'd even filled ou Form 95-B, which assured the maiden's fair treatment and that her honor would be preserved according to Abduction Rule Nine. Which was why he had no idea why she was being so difficult. This running awat and screaming and fainting bit was so two-hundred years ago.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The truth about unicorns...


Of all the animals in the Magic Wood, the unicorns were the most bloodthirsty. Sure, the gnomes killed the occasional traveler that no one would miss. And the elves would eat the flesh of anyone who dared invade their territory. The trolls defended their bridges valiantly and violently, except when pilgrims paid the tolls. It also made them extortionists, but at least they were only killing when it was semi-warranted. But the unicorns? Those white terror-beasts? Have YOU ever seen a unicorn? No. Because anyone who even looks upon them meets with certain death. Their victims are never even found.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

What it came back to...


Having had enough nostalgia for the evening, i closed the box of unsorted photos and slid it back under the bed. She'd been gone a year and a half but I still found myself performing this same ritual every Saturday night.

"It's time to move on, Leslie told me from the doorway, leaning against it with a sad smil. "It's been long enough. It's healthy and normal and all of that."

I sighed, getting up from the floor. "I'd like to. I really would. But it is hard to go through the normal stages of grief when you insist on haunting me."
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

She always searched, never found...

There was a haze around the iron lampposts on the lane. The smell of spent gasoline from the last truck to pass down the road mixed with the heavy perfume of lilacs, both hanging in the humid air of early evening.  In the miasma of summer, a small flicker green orb moved from lamp to lamp. It would stop on the top, rest a moment, and continue on. Finally, at the street corner, it stopped for a moment, resting. In its leisure, the light dimmed, and opaque fairy wings fluttered slowly against the sky, in the last remnants of day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

They all looked so innocent...


It was easy to watch them, on the other side of the glass, and not think about how deadly they were. They looked tame and civil, in the zoo enclosure. They did normal things, like sleeping and playing with toys. And they looked so happy, there. You’d see their contentment as they went about their little routines, and you’d think…I want one as a pet. But then you’d read the informational boards again, and you’d remember how they destroyed the rainforests and ravaged the savannah and killed the oceans, and you’d remember that humans could never really, truly be tamed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet fiery bean-burger death..


Oddly enough, it turned out the aliens didn't come to enlighten or enslave us. They came with a business proposition--fuel for food. Veggie-burgers, black bean and mushroom ones, specifically. They were also willing to perform manual labor for fried zucchini and use their molecular de-formulators to get rid of Earth's landfills.

It wasn't altruistic, though it may have seamed that way to us at first; they turned out to be using the stuff to police fourth-dimensional beings that ran roughshod over their home planet.

I didn't care; veggie burger sales were down and I had a business to keep afloat.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things never worked right...


"Well, there's your problem," the technician in the white cotton and poly-fiber blend shirt said, flicking straight greasy hair from his eyes then pointed to some number on the holo-display.

"Oh?" I asked non-committally. Just to make it look like I possibly knew (or cared) what he was talking about.

He nodded sagaciously, pulling a laser controller out of his pocket protector. Firing the light at the holo and clicking, he illuminated the lines four, seven and thirteen, and the corrosponding series of Rs, and Ws and Xs after them. "You've got kittens in your light-engine, captain."

Dammit. Not again.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The hand of God rushed past...


Lloyd was scheduled to go to the road this morning. It had been decided among the squirrels some time before, possibly Tuesday. The time all ran together when you were a squirrel. There were legends, of the time before the road, and building and people feeding them bread and potato chips. When squirrels went to the "woods" to die. It'd still been scheduled, of course. Squirrel-society was much tidier that way. But the road, and its metal machines served that function now. So, Lloyd made his goodbyes. He told Matilda she was a good wife, then stepped out into traffic.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

We'll never know...


The crunch of the fresh powdery snow made Sam hungry. It made him think about crackers, which made him think about soup, which made him think about the rumbling in his tummy… well, you get the idea. Anyway ,each step was a painful reminder of how he’d missed dinner since he started hunting the knee-high green alien around the deserted college campus. This really was no way to spend a holiday. He’d been hoping for pie or cranberry sauce, or something. Not wrangling creatures from other worlds.  What was it doing here? Why was it stealing hamburgers?  Questions without answers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Always appease the mythical creatures....


Once again, the fairies were not pleased. They had done all the work; they’d baked and mixed and prepared…They’d iced the cupcakes. They’d  decorated them with sprinkles and fruits. They’d placed them in glass display cases and the remainder in paper boxes tied securely with string. They’d even cleaned the kitchen when they were done, and made the front of the bakery presentable to the early morning customers that stopped by for pastries and tea. They did all that…and Mr. Fleischer, the bakery owner, had failed yet again to deliver upon their demands. All they asked for was human flesh.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Addiction was a powerful thing...


Fred hated the catnip. He hated it mostly because he loved it so much. He hated its tempting smell and its alluring taste. He despised his lack of control—as soon as it was in front of him, he was a mess. Rolling in it, licking it, sniffing it like a line of cocaine. He hated the shudder that ran through him every time he did it. He hated the idea of eyes watching him when he indulged in his favorite habit.--the way his wife looked at him, with her hands on her hips like that, glaring and judging.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sometimes a tongue is just a tongue and a sigh is just a sigh.


Buddy, the adorable butterscotch colored Labrador puppy was a demon—a monster, maybe an alien. No one would believe Josh, but Buddy was a demon. When his parents went to bed, Buddy would nuzzle open the door to Josh’s room, then stand by the bed. Josh would hold his breath and wait for it, and every night, just when Josh thought that maybe he was mistaken, and maybe the dog was just a dog, the dog’s long, prehensile tongue would reach up and lick and caress the boy’s face and then tuck him in, and then Buddy would leave.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

At least they did not suffer...


Merle was the balloon on the right. The yellow one, with the wording stretched across his bright, latex chest, inflated with helium until he was near-bursting. Sometimes, when his little girl skipped down the street, he bumped against the other balloons, Melvin the pink one, Sally the green one. They squeaked as they pressed together going through the front door to the girl’s home. They all bumped their heads gently on the ceiling as the girl slept. Just before dawn, on the third day of their existence, Merle got sick of the others and murdered them in their slowly deflating sleep.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It was one of those judgement calls...


The Council of Six deliberated under the Tree of Weeping, its long drooping branches rustling in the baking heat of summer. Two elves, two unicorns, an odious little man with a scraggly beard, and a wood spirit. To let the interloper pass through their lands, or to kill her where she stood. The elves felt it was worth the risk, should any of the Kingdom of Grass need passage across the sea. The man had no opinion, other than that she would make a good wife. The spirit reserved judgment and the unicorns sharpened their horns, to run her through.