Saturday, April 30, 2011

They'd learn a lesson...


There’s that one-lane road
before the bluffs
Is that one house. You know
the one. Faded pink wood
Siding with dark green trim
Weathered to almost grey
with crab grass and bald patches
running the length of the lawn
A quarter mile from door
to mailbox. And that tree
bark curling
from the trunk from age
and neglect.
The tree with the tiny door
Between two roots
The one that leads to the fairy dwelling.
That is the house. Kids throw rocks
at it. The fairies don’t like that.
Also, they do not like children.
Nor do they have scruples.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bank management was very odd sometimes...


At first, Wilson did not believe his eyes. Really. A gnome? In his office? Three apples high, wearing a cone-shaped red cap, holding onto a large leather bag standing on the chair across from his desk. He blinked a few times until the tiny fellow assured Wilson of his non-hallucinatory real existence. The gnome thunked the bag on the desk, and it opened to reveal gold pieces. The gnome needed to open a CD, long-term with a fixed interest rate. Wilson made sure “Eisel” had proper identification (how, exactly, did a gnome get a driver’s license?) and started the paperwork.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Over the bar...


In the folklore of second graders, if you manage to swing higher than the top of the swing set, loop around, and come back down again, you actually end up in a parallel universe. Similar, but slightly different from our own. Some second graders believed that you’d never know you’d entered this other realm; your synapses would be rewritten instantly to adapt to the new reality. Other second graders believed that first set of second graders were busybody, know-it-all jerkfaces who needed to stop reading Asimov, Heinlein and Bradbury at lunch and spending their recesses in the gifted program’s trailer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things were different, there...


“Promise you will never go away,” the image in the mirror pleaded.

Combing her dark hair, Ellen sighed, wishing her double would follow her lead. “I cannot promise. There may come a time when I must leave this place.”

“Take me with you,” her other self pleaded. “Take the mirror from the wall so that we are never parted.”

“I am a knightess. What if I am required to go to battle?”

Her reflection blinked. “Knightess? You go to war? As the men do?”

Ellen laughed. “Men? Go to battle? Who would cook and clean and care for the children?”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Knowledge isn't power...


A few things I learned from the movies: only the penitent man shall pass; when someone asks if you are a god, you say yes. It’s better to burn out than to fade away. Stuff like that. Life-lesson sort of stuff. Oh yeah, and aliens are either here to destroy humanity or enlighten humanity. I wasn’t entirely prepared for aliens wanting to barter with humanity. Nor was I prepared for a bartering system that involved sticks, spit, and peeing on fire. However, I did get the purpose of life for two Twinkies and a Dr. Pepper. I miss my Twinkies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

There might have been crickets somewhere...


Leaves rustling,
air conditioning systems
on bright, empty buses.
two-door hatchbacks with
broken mufflers, a hazy
humidity-ring around the moon.
Sitting on cement benches
in the shadows of a Gothic tower
lit artistically
for passers by.
Bare feet in the grass
and talking about
the sculpture in front of the museum
and Batman.
That’s how summer goes;
the last order at Taco Bell
crumbling rice and clotting refried beans
in burritos that remind us more of
mummified birds from the Egypt Hall
than Mexican food.
You complain
about that artist we both hate.
I always agree.
Love is
a burrito.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


So, Hugo nominations were announced today. Dude, I know, right? And Chicks Dig Time Lords, which contains a comic by me and Katy Shuttleworth, was nominated! We're thrilled to death, and really excited for our publisher, Mad Norwegian, and our editors, Tara O'shea and Lynne Thomas. I've made friends with a lot of neato-cool people because of this book, such as K. Tempest Bradford and Seanen Macguire, just to name a few. I've gotten to do things at conventions I normally wouldn't have gotten to do, such as autographing a book for my favorite author, among other awesome things.*

*Also, the above is exactly 100 words. Just for the hell of it.

It was such a dirty business...


The zombie-rights activists were at it again, always stirring something up int he news. Most vampires hated it, they felt it weakened thee caused of their own kind to be lumped into the same "undead" category with zombies, who were indiscriminate in their want for brains. Vampires were undead, sure. And they wanted another vital part of humanity. But it wasn't BRAINS. Going after brains--a lost pint never hurt anyone. But NO ONE saw that. It was just... "eww, you're undead, you feed off the living, gross." Zombies would be the death of vampires--politically, socially, all of it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It was the map's fault, really...


The sky was on fire. Or at least, that’s what it looked like. Red clouds shimmered in the sky, glowing as they changed shape and flickering. The horizon glimmered like far-off lightening, deep indigo hues mixed with a haze of illumination. He didn’t know WHERE they were, exactly. In fact—he almost didn’t care. They weren’t where they had intended to be, and that was all that really mattered. He’d just quickly and quietly pile everyone back into the…

“Are we lost?”

“We’re not lost.”

“Do you know where we are?”

“Define ‘know.’”

“Then we’re lost.”

“Get back in the ship.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spontanious destruction was a real pain...


Apparently if you are the witness to one crime, and the victim of another crime in the same twenty-four hour period, the police take a special interest in your mundane little life. I know, right? I mean—I am the victim here. Wrong place, wrong time, all of that. No, I have no idea how all that glass shattered at the museum. I’m really sorry for the Tiffany stained glass windows, and all those cases, but don’t look at me. And I have no idea how my house caught on fire. You can’t think I—look, ok. It’s possible. Maybe.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It wanted so much and yet little...


Moist clay, pure like the kind from art class
So grey it’s maybe green, lays at the bend
in the creek like a bald fingertip
It wants to be made into something
ugly or beautiful--it does not matter
but it can wait no longer; it is bursting
bubbles of shifting air in anticipation
of BECOMING. It was aspirational clay;
its hero the swath of wet, marginally
cohesive strip of dirt that was used
to form Adam. The clay wanted to be great.
Greater than the David. Greater
than Bon Jovi. It wanted to inspire.
And make people cry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The creeking is part of the charm...


The trolley car creaked down the street, the walls shifting slightly at each bend in the track, like the cars on an old, dried-out wooden coaster. There were years of paint covering the rivets holding the metal together and sometimes, in the summer, when the car turned into an oven, the latex would bubble, giving bored children something to pick at as the car wound along busy streets and seep residential hills as the conductor called out stops and women with too many packages yanked the cord that rang the bell. They’d step off and that old girl would sigh.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Careful how you trod...


They say that in space, no one can hear you scream. Which is technically true. The lack of air DOES actually preclude the transmission of sound. However, when the body realizes that it's in the vacuum of space, and implosion is imminent (and keep in mind, this all happens in less than the blink of an eye) the mind screams and the soul releases a howl that the higher beings find deafening. Therefore, the interdimensional beings of the universe respectfully request that you double-check all life support equipment for faults prior to all space walks. Thank you for your cooperation.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Only a momentary glitch...


The universe ended for the fifth time that day. No, the world had not ended five times in one day alone, that’d be silly. But it ended for the fifth time, in total, on that sunny afternoon with the muddy sounds of the marching band emanating through the cracked windows of the music hall. Somewhere in the distance, a hawk snatched up a squealing rodent, a frog croaked, and the universe ceased to be for about twenty-four seconds. After a reboot, and a complete backup from storage, thing proceeded on as usual, including the third trombone being out of tune.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The universe was full of complexities...


The Universal Law of Pie states that not all cultures possess a food substance similar to that which is known in English-speaking Earth culture as “pie,” but that all worlds which have carbon-based, land-dwelling life forms contain at least one culture that makes such substances for nourishment or festive purposes. There are also twelve deep-water, space or sky cultures that make round pastries containing fruity or meaty filling, but six of those do so solely for mating purposes. Students must understand at least fifty-seven pie-related rituals before applying for an exchange program on any non-Earth planet. Students, KNOW YOUR PIE!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cats loved early spring...


It was the end of winter, which meant the fairies would wake after the Big Thaw, when the ground unfroze for the summer. They’d yawn and stumble out of their dens, stretching and rubbing their tiny fairy eye as they set about seeing all the work that would need to be done on their part, to bring spring fully into bloom. Elmer enjoyed this time of year most of all. No, he didn’t like the wet paws, or the chill and dampness that clung to his fur. But half-awake fairies were delicious, especially when they stumbled directly into his mouth.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ponies could only be better if you could snort them...


Ever since Mars got satellite television that included a package of channels that had the cartoons the Martians so desperately craved, there’d been a run on ponies. No, aliens were not coming to Earth and abducting baby horses. Well, sorta. The little green men would sneak off to Earth in cloaked ships once or twice a month and would huff it to those big box stores that were damned near everywhere and seemed to sell everything in the world, and would clear out the My Little Pony section. They were practically gold on the black market back home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Those silly things...


Esau loved his toy elephant. His mother had fashioned it for him from a split coconut, a length of hose, and various other bits and bobs from around the house. It went with him everywhere, to pre-school, to the park, even to his therapist, who thought it was a dapper elephant, and told Esau this often when they discussed his day, and his feelings, and his alien abduction. This is why Esau was alarmed, and startled, and mad when, on a class trip to the zoo, his toy elephant escaped into the elephant pen to live with his own kind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monotony was so...monotonal...


He couldn’t say he liked her, exactly. But she was new, and therefore a novelty item. Like when the Circle K had caramel Drumsticks in addition to the plain old vanilla ones. And the girls at this school were definitely vanilla. Same girls, same bags of issues since grade school. This was a new girl, with a new bag of issues. New issues were far more interesting and shiny and new than the same old stuff Brittany and Jemma and Wren were pushing. Issues that included, but were not limited to: knocking things over, setting people on fire, and cheating.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Man did so little with so much time...


There were…twenty-two hours in a day. Well, twenty-two that belonged to Man. The other two hours belonged to the Parting King and the Bearing King, an hour each, respectively. The other twenty-two belonged to Man to do with as he pleased. But at midnight, the Parting King reined. He appeared from the hollow of the Earth’s oldest tree and swept the land, marking those who were to die. At the stroke of one, the Bearing King came forth, marking those that were to be born. His finger drew upon their foreheads the straight or winding path their lives would take.

Friday, April 8, 2011

And time marched on...


Tick, tick, tick…the sound of gears turning and clicking and moving and generally going about the business of telling time, one second after the next, with a steady certainty that never slowed or wound down. One tick after the next, over and over in perpetuity. The sound hit the white walls and carpets of the room, sinking into them, absorbed and remembered for all time. The walls were adorned with which time-keeping devices. Digital, mechanical, utilitarian and ornate. The electronic devices all blinked at 12:00 in red and blue and green. The mechanical, likewise, were also correct twice a day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Looking for a path out...


They sat at rows and rows of long, thin tables and stiff molded plastic chairs. Each of them slid the blocks back and forth, up and down, until they got the darkest block out of the maze. At the end of each maze, a new one presented itself, appearing the moment the puzzle was complete. They had to do this, there was no choice. The men in the booth watched, constantly, to make sure a block was being moved at every single moment. Hesitation was not permitted, nor was looking away from the task at hand. And so life went.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

They swooshed around so nicely...


The tiny mud-octopuses sloshed around in the murky waters at the edge of the riverbed, their adorable appendages waving around as their itty bitty suction cups pulsated as  they came in contact with leaves, rocks and other debris. There was no denying, they were awful cute. Often they were collected and kept as pets by kids who lived in the saucer-shaped houses on the edge of the river. Malcom had no idea why. They ate four times their weight in garbage every single day. They were murder to keep fed outside their natural environment. But they were all the rage.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another day at the office...


“Oh.” Samantha closed the oversized bank bag just as quickly as she’d opened it.

Raymond turned from the bloody body splayed across the white sofa with its mouth agape and a stiffly wadded up hundred dollar bill protruding from its jugular. “What is it?”

Making a face, Samantha opened the bag again, and pulled something out, pinched between her gloved index finger and thumb. “A bag of toes.” She bit her lips together for a moment, contemplating the bag. “Eleven of them.” She looked in the bag. “And rest is quarters. Hundreds of them. Covered in coke. Or anthrax.”

Sunday, April 3, 2011

They also sold action figures...


There were fourteen types of elf. That’s what the informational packet said. It had fourteen drawings with statistics under them, detailing the types of elves you might see in the Forest of Whispers. As you saw one of the main elf types, you asked him (or her, they weren’t sexist here) for a token, and if you collected all fourteen, you could redeem them for a special prize at the huge gift shop on the other end of the wood.  Mostly it involved a t-shirt that was always too small and shortbread cookies, but the cookies were kind of good.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pirates came in twos...


Wednesday was New Comics Day. And with New Comics Day came the weirdos. Not just the people so enthusiastic about comics that they showed up five minutes before the store opened for the day. Or the unkempt masses that would kill you for even daring IMPLY that Wolverine wasn’t the best character in the history of the medium. Ever. But the guys that insisted the store stay open after dark, even in summer, when that meant being open till ten, so the self-professed vampires could pick up their stack. And the grown men in pirate costumes. They were the worst.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fieldtrips were TOO educational...


Bennie was fascinated with zombies. If it weren’t so macabre, his mother would say that he loved zombies. He had books about them, watched movies about them, drew pictures of them, not to mention talked about them non-stop. His mother had only just convinced him (with a brief grounding, and absolutely no dessert) that zombies were not proper conversation at the dinner table, least of all for a six-year-old boy. She blamed his class field trip to the zoo. The new open-air zombie exhibit was the first thing he’d seen—all of them milling about and eating donated cadaver flesh.