Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A Dry Heat

It had been… days?

He could remember the cold of the night, and how the delight of cooling quickly turned to fear of freezing. And he knew that he’d gone from the eyeball drying heat to the breath catching cold and back again, so it had to be days.

But how many? He didn’t know. All he knew was that he had to keep moving, every inch and foot taking him to her arms. She was waiting for him, she wouldn’t lose faith, he had to keep moving, towards her.

And further away from where the search teams were looking.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Not Alone

There were too many clich├ęd stories that said that if Humanity ever found out it wasn’t alone in the galaxy, we’d regret it. Far too many bad (and, to be fair, good) movies showed aliens to be distrustful, warlike and out to destroy us.

So, like us, really.

The idea that aliens might wish us well, might help us, that had some play in stories too, but overall it seemed if Humanity found aliens out there, it would be bad.

But far too few people thought about how we’d react to finding them here, on Earth.

Poorly, it turned out.

Monday, 5 October 2015

The 7:24 To CBD

Every workday, two men and two women, each wearing conservative business attire, caught the 7:24 into the CBD.

They would all get off at Central Terminus and then all go separate ways. Every morning, like clockwork.

It took a few months for Gary to break the ice, but pretty soon Rob, Kay and Lucy became firm friends, thankful that none of them worked in the same field.

And while it was a little weird at first, when they became a pair of couples, it just felt right.

Lucy and Kay were Co-Best Women at Rob and Gary’s wedding and everything…

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Killing Time

She was laying at the end of the dock, a foot idly dangling over the edge. She didn’t move as I approached, although when I stood over her she opened an eye.

“Howdy.” she said with usual glibness.

“Isn’t there something better you could be doing with your time?”

This clearly hit home to her, as she opened up her other eye.

“You saying this ain’t important?”

I tried another tactic.

“I’m just saying you could be helping fix the barn wall instead of-“

One of Them emerged from the water and went for her, so we got to killing.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

One Coin, One Song

One coin, one song.

There was always a troublemaker or two who’d ask for the Red Blizzard Saga or Unending Love, but most people would just want the classic bardic tunes. The Dragon Call, Green Hills Under Starlight, The Ballad of Drena and Ednor, stuff like that.

One coin, one song.

And very occasionally, some young novice would pay for her to try out their ‘masterpiece’. She always tried to be kind to them, she remembered when she was young too.

So she didn’t think anything of the chant from the hooded figure.

Most costly one coin she’d ever earn…

Friday, 2 October 2015

Memory Sustaining

The way my wife smiled when my hand touched hers. The sound of my son’s laughter. The hugs my daughter would give me every bedtime.

I had to focus on those memories, they were what kept me going. I couldn’t give in, I couldn’t let this cell break me. That’s what they wanted, me to forget, so I would remember

The way my wife smiled when my hand touched hers. The sound of my daughter’s laughter. The hugs… No, wait

The way my wife smiled when she hugged my son’s daughter…

The way…

The way out is obedience, I know…

Thursday, 1 October 2015


In the grand scheme of stupid things to name your child, Catatonia is defendable. Yes, it’s a stupid name, but it is at least a real word, and one that not too many people know off the top of their head.

Still, when I met Catatonia, I didn’t mention that, I’d spent far too many hours having to defend myself against people whose parents felt they were special snowflakes.

Instead, I murmured something about Greek being a lovely language, and that seemed to work.

We actually got on OK.

Right until she grabbed my arm.

Then we got on better.