Thursday, September 30, 2010


At work, the claw machine has new, Halloween-themed stuffed toys.

It’s perfect for the season.

And at the back of the machine is Casper, the friendly ghost. For Halloween he’s dressed as an Egyptian mummy.

When I first saw it, I shuddered. Why on earth would Casper have a Halloween costume at all, let alone dress as a mummy?

He’s already a freaking ghost, for crying out loud!

It’s an abomination, a betrayal of a beloved character!

On an unrelated note, my doctor says I need to stop getting worked up over trivialities or I’ll give myself a heart attack…

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sacrifices Made For Love

He loved her, truly and deeply.

She was growing older, more noticeably each day, but he couldn’t imagine life without her.

So year after year he made excuses not to go.

A little longer, surely, couldn’t hurt. She was his life, and nobody would notice.

But eventually, inevitably, somebody did.

And men came to escort him to the hospital, for a test or two to figure out why he didn’t seem to age.

And two tests became five, ten, hundreds.

And days became decades.

He knows he’ll never be free. He hates what his life’s become.

But he regrets nothing.

Monday, September 27, 2010


And so, I was captured by pirates.

It’s less awesome than it sounds.

My wrists and ankles bound, I’m blindfolded in the stinking cargo bay of a strange ship. To my left, someone’s crying. I’m not sure who.

Outside men argue in a language I don’t understand. hopefully they’ve asked for a ransom. Hopefully somebody pays.

This isn’t how I’d hoped to spend my vacation. I only wanted to relax, and learn a little about wine-tasting.

Admittedly, part of the blame is my own.

I was the one who misread the travel brochure.

But seriously, who markets a Somalia Cruise?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


They say once you’ve killed somebody, the value of life lessens, and murder thereafter becomes easier.

So I killed someone.

Nobody important, I’d chosen him at random to minimize the chance of being caught. And yes, it was rough. He fought back, for starters, with more strength than I’d expected. But more than that, the act itself weighed upon me.

I was ending another human being. What gave me the right?

But I persevered, and eventually the struggling ceased.

And you know what? I honestly think that, should the need ever arise to kill somebody, it’ll be a little easier…

Friday, September 24, 2010


He stared desperately up at her.

“Surely,” he pleaded, “you know I’m innocent!”

But she couldn’t meet his gaze. Silently, she turned her back.

And as she left his cell, he was overcome by despair greater than any had ever known.

Seriously, the despair was great. Like, fucking amazing.

Born of betrayal and hopelessness, it was almost tangible, like a cloud. There was purity to it, like true love, like abandonment.

It was… beautiful.

But I digress. The next day he was hanged. He died alone and afraid.

And I still can’t get over how much I loved that despair.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Plan

1) Procure kittens.

2) Perfect cutsie-pie handwriting.

3) Genetically and, where results would go unnoticed, cybernetically enhance kittens. Razor claws, improved strength, speed and agility, fangs that rip through steel. That sort of thing.

4) Using shock collars and cuddles, teach kittens to equate affection with physical pain, such that any kindness drives them into murderous frenzy.

5) Craft adorable sign reading: “Free Kittens”

6) Stand by highway with cardboard box.

The angle? No angle, I have absolutely nothing to gain by this plan. Sometimes you have to do what you do for the simple joy you derive from it…

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I’ve replaced the light bulbs in my home.

The new bulbs burn just as brightly as the old ones, provide just as much light, but require much less power to run.

I’ve also weatherized all my doors and windows, and replaced my water heater with a far more energy-efficient one.

The work was difficult, yes. Difficult and initially expensive. But it’s all been worthwhile, with the energy I’ll save via my new, modern, more efficient home.

Because these savings have given me tremendous power. Power greater than normal men could dream of.

Power I shall use… TO RULE THE WORLD!!!

Story a Day (feat. T-Pain)

I can’t seem to shake him.

It started as I came home from work Friday. I was halfway there when I saw his top-hat bobbing through the crowd behind me, and realized I was being followed.

I keep trying to shake him, but every time I think he’s gone I hear the gentle fwip-fwip-fwip of dreadlocks brushing his shoulders.

In darker moments I wonder if he’ll plague me to the grave.

I don’t know which of you told him I planned on recording with Akon and Beyonce, but when I find out I swear to God I’ll make you pay…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Virus, Transmitted via Bite

It seemed, to our starvation-crazed minds, a tidy solution.

After all, we’d run out of canned goods days ago, and they’d gladly eat us were only they given opportunity.

So we cobbled together a rope-trap, slung it over the wall, and waited.

It didn’t take long for one of them to shamble into it. We retrieved the trap, crushed it’s skull, and that night we feasted.

But by morning every one of us was sick.

Brian went first, he passed this afternoon.

He’ll reanimate before long.

I imagine he’ll be here soon to devour me.

I imagine I’ll let him.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Tree

It’s said that on the outskirts of town there’s a clearing, and in this clearing a tree.

And during the nights when the moon is full, the beasts of the forest, deer, rabbits, elves and gnomes, gather there to dance.

And the wonder and magic of nature is thusly displayed by moonlight, and anyone fortunate enough to witness it understands, for perhaps the first time, what it means to be alive.

…and sometimes, while I’m working graveyard shifts, serving waffles, I wonder if I ought to go there, and see it for myself.

But there never seems to be time…

Friday, September 17, 2010


The toughest part was grave robbery.

This fact may not surprise you.

It’s true, nonetheless. Digging up a grave’s hard work, and in the middle of the night you can’t see what you’re doing. Plus, the caretaker patrols every few hours. Avoiding him was perhaps the toughest part.

But I managed, and got the coffin out of the ground, into the van, and back to my place. It’s in my room as we speak. No idea where I’ll ditch the coffin, but I’d consider the process worthwhile.

They say every closet has a skeleton.

And now, finally, mine does too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


She’d been told to treasure her youth, so she did.

She stored it in a paper-lined box, in a warm, dry spot on the top shelf of her bedroom closet, and kept it safe. Pristine.

Now, walking to work, you’d never know she still had it. She’s withered and drained, like 50 years of hardship have beaten her down. Moving slowly, arthritic joints creaking, grimacing in pain.

But she doesn’t complain. Because at the end of the day, she takes the box down from the closet, retrieves her treasure, and slips back into it.

And she’s perfect, and young. Renewed….

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nothing Under the Bed

Timothy was screaming again.

He tried not to, he was nearly six now, but he was terrified of what darkness concealed in the night.

He screamed until his father arrived.

His eyes red from exhaustion, he did his best to sound understanding.

“Timmy, it’s four in the morning, we’ve been over this. Your mother and I both have work tomorrow, go to sleep. There’s nothing under the bed. Nothing.”

And before Timothy could even respond, the door swung back shut, leaving him alone, in the dark, petrified by thoughts of the eternal, empty void that existed just under his bed…

Monday, September 13, 2010

Domination Deferred

Voltra’ag stared blankly at the shambles his life had become.

His kingdoms had been flooded by months of rain and, adding insult to injury, the fortress he’d thought impenetrable, and his unstoppable superweapon within, were rubble before him. Behind his iron mask, he wept.

He’d lost everything, because he had not learned three simple lessons.

1) Supervillains fail because unlike heroes, who can unite in the name of justice, their goals diverge.

2) Speak of your schemes to no-one unless you’re absolutely certain they’ll join you.

3) A man with a weather-control satellite is no man to be trifled with.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little Ghost

It was a very old house, but in a very good neighbourhood, and worth a great deal more than I’d paid for it.

It took less than a week for me to learn why.

My third night in the place, I was awoken by a ghastly moan the likes of which no human voice should ever utter. A human voice could utter it, but it should not.

As I awoke I saw, sitting at the foot of my bed, a vaporous child, pale and drawn, in clothes curiously out of date, staring at me with eyes larger than his head should fit. His head could fit them, indeed it did, but it should not.

He stared at me, curious. I stared back, gulping down a scream. That gulp was a narrow thing indeed.

“What, I mean, who, I mean, what are you doing here?” I sputtered.

“I lived here,” he replied, too solemnly for a child his apparent age, “and then, later, I died here. Father, when the bank threatened to take this house away, killed mother, and me. And then himself. Mother went to heaven, Father to hell, and here I remain. I can’t leave, I wouldn’t know where to go. This house is the only home I’d ever known.”

“I will never leave this house. Never.”

I softened toward him then. I mean, he was just a kid, he didn’t deserve such a horrible fate. Then the implied threat became clearer. This was his home. I had invaded it. And what, pray tell, does an angry ghost do in a situation like this?

“But I live here now too.” I whispered, feeling the blood drain from my face. “What do you intend to… do to me?”

He cocked his head quizzically, then smiled.

“Do to you? Nothing. I just wanted to say hello, and welcome. I’d missed having people around…”

And with that the little ghost faded slowly back into the aether, leaving me shivering in the cold of my darkened room.

I didn’t sleep well that night.

I occasionally catch glimpses of the spirit roaming the halls of my new home, and when he catches my eye he’ll sometimes wave, and it still sends those same chills down my spine.

I have, from time to time, considered selling the place.

But, as I’ve said, it’s a very good neighbourhood. One that should be well outside my price range.

And there are worse roommates in the world.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Halfway out the door I froze, as a sudden, sharp fear came over me, momentarily convincing me I’d never see you again.

I looked back at you, still on your laptop, finishing your homework, and wondered if I ought to say something. But what? I love you? You’re in my heart always? It’s ridiculous, it’s overwrought.

So I said bye, you grunted, and I left, still reassuring myself everything was fine, you’d be fine, and that you’d be waiting when I got home from work.

I wonder what happened with that. I hope you’re okay.

I never made it home…

Thursday, September 9, 2010


For my last wish, I wished you back to me.

It’d been nearly a year since the funeral, but the time had done nothing. If anything, my life had fallen farther apart each passing day.

So I wished.

The Genie smiled, nodded, and told me my wish was granted, and that you’d be home by dusk.

So here I sit. With a bottle of the wine we drank the first weekend you came to town to see me, and cinnamon rolls from the place at the mall you’d always liked.

And a shotgun.


However it turns out, I’m ready.

Same as it Ever Was

I found myself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And I asked myself, how did I get here?

Drinks? A few, and then driving home, to a beautiful house, and a beautiful wife. But my eyes couldn’t focus.

Lost, I asked myself: Where does that highway lead to?

Fumbling the wheel, I asked myself: How do I work this?

Something leapt. The car lurched, then stopped. I never saw it. I felt ill.

I asked myself: Am I right? Am I wrong?

Leaning out the window, seeing the bike, I said to myself: My god, what have I done?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


There’s a snake in Brazil who’s venom’s the most deadly poison the world’s ever known. Unprotected contact with this snake ensures death within minutes.

But in a village near their habitat, the natives have an immunity to this poison. It’s they who harvest this venom, and sell it to those who know how to find them.

Winning their trust isn’t easy, and the venom’s expensive, but it’s more than worth it to see the look on your face as you finish your wine.

And watch you gasp for air.

But I don’t see why an anecdote would help with that…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Power of Love

Building the army of giant robots was surprisingly easy. The trouble came when I tried to power them up.

My neighbourhood was blacked out for three weeks, the grid couldn’t handle my power requirements. It was time to go back to the drawing board.

I brainstormed energy sources, but anything that’d provide sufficient power’d surely be noticed by my neighbours.

Finally it came to me: Love. Love’s the most powerful force of all…

…anyway, enough about that. Are you coming to the pub tonight? I want you to meet Linda, she works with me. You’ll like her, she’s really cool.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


There’ve been times where I’ve wondered: What am I?

Does identity require bodily continuity? Without physical form, would I simply cease? Or is there fundamental “self”-ness that exists beyond form, independent of body, that exists past passing.

I never called it soul, or spirit, since I wasn’t even sure it existed. But I did, in odd reflective moments, wonder.

Now, floating high above the accident, staring down at the twisted remains of the car that contains my own twisted remains, I’m no closer to an answer. If I had a voice, I’d laugh.

Because I no longer feel like me…

Saturday, September 4, 2010


The Satellite watched the cities of earth dispassionately as one by one their lights blinked out, shrouding the world in darkness.

It hadn’t heard from mission control in months, and the AI expected no future communication, yet somewhere within it’s processors, it couldn’t stop staring as the globe finally darkened.

If it did have a spirit, it found the sight dispiriting.

The Satellite didn’t know what happened to humanity, but it would miss them, now that they were gone.

It saved digital images as the last lights went out, then continued it’s orbit, suspended in darkness, wondering what happened next.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Oracle

Vortagg stared the Oracle down, knuckles white upon his sword.

“I seek knowledge of my death, woman. Give me this knowledge.”

The crone’s shoulders slumped. That question never ended well.

“There’ll be a boy born in the village of Torain, and once grown he’ll lead a rebellion against you. Your fortress’ll fall, he’ll slay you, and your head’ll be paraded through the streets on a pike.”

Vortagg left the Oracles cottage, smiling to himself. The boy needed to be dealt with, but it’d wait. He had his answer, and it was good.

The cancer was benign. He would survive it.


She left today, for the mysterious Orient.

I’d miss her, to be sure, but I didn’t begrudge. It’ll be a magnificent adventure.

She’s always wanted to see the world.

I bade her goodbye, and waited. She wouldn’t be gone as long as all that, and when she returned, she’d have tales of adventure, as well as exotic silks and spices procured upon her travels.

Was I jealous? Yes, but it wasn’t my time. This trip was something she had to do on her own. Her own private learning experience.

It’d broaden her horizons.

Alternately, I’d fundamentally misunderstood what “Orientation” meant.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Third Reel

The farmhouse exploded, spraying debris through night skies. And, from the wreckage, he came.

Machete hanging from one hand, mask unsinged, he shambled toward the two of us.

The bomb was my last idea. If that hadn’t killed him, what would?

So we bolted. We’d never outrun him, but when he stopped to kill one of us, the other might escape. Our only hope.

You were a young woman, blonde and topless, who hadn’t had a single line of dialogue in the first two thirds of the film.

I ran, keeping two steps ahead of you. I liked my odds.