Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Moment To Moment



The moments began slow, infrequent. Every so often, the world would melt away, and I’d find myself in another time, another place, another body, another universe.

I couldn’t control them, nor explain them. No matter what was happening, what I was doing, one moment here, the next in that other world, that other existence.

But soon they became regular, frequent, and I began to slowly comprehend what was happening, and whose body I was inhabiting.

Not nearly quick enough to work out what that other entity was doing though. One day, he was finished and I woke up here.

Permanently.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Too Slow A Clap



Silence. And then, slowly, mockingly, teasingly, two hands began to clap.

Even without turning around, I knew it was her. And I was almost totally sure that she would continue the slow clapping while walking up onto the stage, before she picked up the microphone.

I counted down from ten, and right on cue, I heard her amplified lip smack as she drew the moment out.

She never managed to begin, as I turned around, and for the first time in her life, my sister saw true hatred in my eyes.

She regretted setting me up from that moment on.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Altering Course



I managed to re-establish the commlink just as all the crew, or at least what was left of it, raised their hands.

“Then it’s agreed.”

She began to issue orders, even as I screamed, trying to get her attention over S.O.P.H.I.A’s announcements.

She eventually noticed me just as the ship began to head towards the anomaly, the timedrive begin to warp the continuum. She smiled, even with tears filling her eyes.

“I love you.”

The link dropped out, as they were no longer in sync with the universe.

Neither was I. She finally says it, just when I lose her…

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Cheap And Nasty



If you wanted discreet, you didn’t call him.

If you wanted subtle, you sure as hell didn’t call him.

But he was cheap, as killers went, and he had no moral boundaries, anyone was a viable target, if you paid.

He preferred rocket launchers and shrapnel grenades, fit his M.O. to be loud, dangerous and cause as much chaos as possible.

Which is why I kept him on retainer. Not that I used him to kill someone I actually wanted to kill.

If there’s twelve dead in a bus explosion, who’s going to care about another rich banker committing ‘suicide’?

Friday, 26 June 2015

Choosing The Right Frequency



I was attempting to find a way to make wafer thin speaker systems. Given the near miracles that Oxbridgium had been able to perform since it was discovered by the Miracle Squad, I thought this was a safe bet.

I quickly discovered that I was onto something, albeit something unexpected. By feeding specific sound-waves through the metal, I could make practically any solid matter crumble into dust.

I suppose I didn’t have to become a supervillain with it, but after trying to make Ms. Okada’s clothes vanish and instead murdering her, well, you know, better to evil then desperate, right?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Bloodstream



In less than a hundred sunrises, ‘It’ had managed to conquer, consume or at the least gain control over all the Orc tribes.

While the Coalition of Faith prepared for war, My Master and I researched night and day, looking a spell that could kill ‘It’.

My Master found it, one that would kill all within a bloodstream, we just had to know the source.

Researching Orc family trees was hard, but we found his mother.

When battle came, My Master cast.

I had time to wonder if the spell meant a literal stream of blood before I was killed.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Begin And End Repeat



It takes a gutsy man to enter The Bar, which was as close to a name the place had, outside of ‘inner city location known to police’ in the papers.

It takes an even gutsier man to enter The Bar willingly, and repeatedly.

The amount of guts needed inside a man to not just frequent The Bar but to actually work there, that amount is astronomical.

And to not just work, but to play the piano, to try and entertain the type of people who drink in The Bar? Incalculable.

Not sure how the fact she’s a woman factors in…

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

4pm On A Thursday



I was born at about 4pm on a Thursday.

My mother went to get some milk at 4pm on a Thursday.

It was around 4pm the next Thursday that my father finally realised she wasn’t coming back.

My first kiss was at 4pm on a Thursday.

My first slap from a girl was at 4:01pm.

The second kiss was at 4:02pm.

The message about my scholarship, the ER team giving up on my father, the February 29th when my wife proposed to me… All Thursdays, all at about 4pm, roughly.

Imagine my surprise when I died 9am on a Sunday.

Monday, 22 June 2015

A Sweet Deal



There was this weird buzzing sound when I picked up the phone, but I stuck to the greeting.

“Hello, Triple A Pest Control’s Priority 24 Hour Help Line, how-“

“You do all pests?”

I couldn’t place the accent.

“We certainly deal with all manner of pests, yes, we-“

“You aware DiabCo Lab? Where bee hive mind research done?”

“Um, not off the top of my head, but I can look it up… Some bees causing problems?”

“No, humans. We have credit numbers!”

The numbers didn’t work, but worked out a barter since I love honey.

Hey, a gig’s a gig.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

FountainCo X-235



Whenever The Author was asked about where he got his ideas, he’d make a joke about paying someone to come up with them. But if pushed, he’d admit that he had a notebook, in which he would write down phrases, ideas or even just words that pressed buttons in his head.

People expected it to be a battered, old notebook, given his career length, or someone in leather and gold considering The Author’s cash flow.

Actually it was a computer, and honestly, he didn’t really need it, it just helped him focus.

At least, he thought so. Then it died…

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Missed Connection



I was running, acutely aware that I had mere moments to make my plane, when I saw her.

The light blue hair was what caught my eye, obviously. But once caught, it noticed the cute glasses, the just right curves of the body, and the confused, lost look on her face.

My (slightly) better nature got to me, and I stopped, and asked if she was all right. She asked where the exit was, and where someone could eat.

I knew the airport well, and the hopeful look in her eye begged me to come along.

I made my plane.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Adverse Windfalls



It’s said that Australians handle adversary better than we handle good fortune.

If you put an Aussie up against a struggle, if you throw hardship in front of them, they’ll roll up their sleeves, as will their mates, and they’ll all pitch in and beat that problem down until it’s manageable.

But a windfall? Not so much. We might squander it, we might become paranoid about losing it, whatever happens, we can’t just accept it and be happy.

I didn’t buy that. I thought it was down to individual human nature.

Then I got a fortune among the suddenly destitute.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Almost Perfect Half



The Seed was how the Gods had made the world and all that exists within it. The small, perfectly round sphere had built all of creation around itself, and even now had the power to control all of existence.

Assuming it was reformed, of course. At some point it had been split in two, and I was entrusted with the still powerful (nearly) half the Keepers of the Faith had protected. For word had reached their ears that the Lightdeath Clan had the other half.

It was assumed that theirs was the slightly larger half.

That assumption was horribly wrong.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Press Enter To Post



When I head the muttering and aggressive pounding of the computer keys, I walked across the hall and into Shawn’s office. I found him furiously typing a rather long message on the company’s social media page.

“Everything OK man?” I asked him, unsure as to how he’d respond, assuming he did. Luckily, he just spoke to me over his shoulder.

“Fucking Supervisor, telling me how to do my job! I’ve been running our social media for five years now, who the hell does he think he is?”

He turned and hit post.

Then noticed it was set to public display.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

25 Hours From Tulsa



I probably should have kept track of the names of the towns I was riding through, but given I’d been riding bareback for a full day, I didn’t care what they called this place, it had a hitching post for the horse, a saloon for me.

No-one gave me a second glance as I walked in and headed for the bar. A gal was serving, but I didn’t care by that point.

“Got a room?”

“Sure Mister, if you got the Tin.”

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder, and heard the handcuffs.

Guess I didn’t ride far enough.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Revelations Within Dirty Laundry



I found him staring at one of his black work socks. I waited a few moments for him to say something before I finally broke the silence.

“Uh, Honey? Everything all right?”

He slowly turned to me, a weird expression on his face. He lifted the sock up, his finger poking through a small hole in the toe. Eventually he spoke.

“I could throw this out.”

My confused expression finally got through to him.

“For the first time in my life, I’m financially well off enough to afford to throw stuff away!

Still, could you go get the sewing kit?”

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Desperate Measures



I hung up, smiling to myself. I had him.

Well, rather, I would have him soon. I just had to get him out of his current predicament.

I knew who was chasing him, and why. Usually this would be because I was the one pulling the strings, but it was good to let a couple other wannabes in the game, keep you on your toes.

I opened the door of my office, only to be met with a gun barrel.

“Nothing personal.” He said, before pulling the trigger.

I guess the problem with wannabes is they can offer amnesty too.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Desperate Times



It’s amazing how quickly your mind can work when said mind has a better than 50/50 chance of being blown out the back of your skull within 48 hours.

I managed a complete inventory of how many favors I could call in, cross-referencing that with just how big a pile of shit I was in and reaching the conclusion that I was still aiming to be six feet under, all while driving at top speed, avoiding both cops AND pursuers.

After the crash, a shootout and a knife battle, I gave up, shanked a passer-by, grabbed her phone…

And dialled.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Bullet Proof



Having gotten away from the Costbuilder Cartel and hidden in a warehouse, I thought we could have a moment to plan, or at least reload all our weapons. But once Amber clocked Chuck with an elbow, I knew I had to play peacemaker, had to calm everyone down.

“The FUCK?” I yelled.

I wasn’t good with peacemaking.

“Someone tipped them off about where we were, and since we were together last night, must have been Cowboy!”

Chuck stood up.

“I can’t prove I didn’t-“

A sniper bullet slammed into his shoulder.

“Or maybe I can.” He muttered as he died.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Def, Dum & Blynd



I’m aware of the term ‘Groupie’, and that it has connotations. But this wasn’t about glamour or trying to get my hooks into some stupid rich kid. Their name was silly, sure, but what Def, Dum and Blynd did with Electronica, EDM… Those three men were the modern day Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, working together! And while their mousey little manager tried to keep me away, I ignored that bitch and… ‘Got’ with them, just to be close to them…

Then I found out the manager was actually making all the music, the boys were just decoration.

So I switched.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bundle Of Nerves



The landing party materialised in some sort of farmland. All of the veterans began to perform their tasks, while one of the women swayed and bent over.

“First time zipped?” asked the medical officer, running the scanner over her quickly.

“Uh, yeah, but also, first mission, I’m just a… Threat!”

As she called out she pulled her Stun Gun and fired at the angry native who was running towards them. The native collapsed and stopped moving, fully.

Turns out that a weapon that overloads nerve endings to knock creatures out is lethal if you have enough nerve endings bunched together…

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Checkmate



In thirty-seven years’ worth meetings, he must have asked about my chess set at half of them. I knew it was part of the act, he kept up the fa├žade of an old man, but I knew the Grand Chancellor was a brilliant tactician. Keeping the crown safe despite stupid Royals wasn’t easy.

But no matter how many times I offered, he never let me teach him. Far too old, far too busy.

Shame. Because when I gave the newly crowned teenage King a beautiful, seductive courtesan from my homeland, he might have understood why I whispered ‘Checkmate’ to him.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Rich Man’s Folly



Locally, it was known as the Rich Man’s Folly, a name that had been applied to half a dozen things over the years. But unlike the underground tunnel systems or the small water treatment plant, this one looked set to keep the name for years.

After all, the town had at most a thousand people living in it, why would it need a fiberoptic internet node with a maximum capacity of a yottabyte per second, whatever the hell that was?

Thing is, it was on Native land, and thus copyright law worked differently there.

Less folly, more legal run-around really.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Device



The bloody thing was maybe the size of a pack of playing cards, jet black with weird runes all over it. Not that I really cared about the aesthetics; I just cared that rich people wanted it.

The Seminary was clearly expecting any thief would have magical properties, given all the sigils and the like that a quick bit of blackmailing the third in command totally bypassed.

He thought I wanted to study it, and was quite surprised when I killed him.

The payment was large, and I blew it on drugs and girls within a week.

Good timing really.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Negotiating From The High Ground



Even as Dr. Apocgeddon held me over the side of the skyscraper by my throat, all I cared about was Gale and her safety.

“I know you two have a blood bond,” the evil Doctor was saying, oblivious to my attempts to dislodge his hands. “So tell me where the Daneche Keys are, and I won’t slaughter her.”

I got out “Fu-“ before he let me go.

Three quarters down I finally got a handhold, and began to climb back up. I guessed I had fifteen minutes of bragging and general swagging about before he’d kill her.

I guessed wrong.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Firerain



When the army was maybe half a field over, I lost my cool and kicked the Corrector of Imlanor in the shin. She didn’t open her eyes, nor move from her cross-legged position, but she did reply.

“Yes?” she asked, annoyed.

“So sorry to bother you but we’re still just ten people against a couple hundred thousand and your God has-“

I stopped as the skies opened about the army, and their hollering turned to screams as some sort of acid poured down onto them.

“There we go!” I said, as she opened her eyes in shock.

“That’s not me…”

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Adaptation Hills, SD



The town would adapt.

It was the first major settlement within a thousand miles… Well, couple hundred miles, but a very rough going couple hundred miles. A town built from scratch, by the best negro slaves money could buy.

And then that was made illegal, so the town adapted.

Irishmen could he hired for not much better than slave costs, with some chinamen to do anything technical.

Then that became illegal, so the town adapted. Women were cheaper anyway.

But then came Lights Out, and the collapse of modern society.

So the town adapted.

Or rather, reverted to its roots.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Politics V Government



Too many people confused politics with government.

Sure, they are intertwined, irrevocably so. But in all my years doing deals, shaking hands, taking meetings, I’ve met a whole lot of people who were playing politics.

Far fewer people who actually wanted to govern.

I made an effort to seek them out, to find those rare, delicate flowers who were looking to make the country, the world, a better place to live. I sought them out, brought them under my wing, got them to listen to me.

And either corrupted, blackmailed or just plain crushed them. Couldn’t risk them winning out…

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Peaks And Valleys



Every relationship has peaks and valleys.

The initial meeting, the spark of meeting someone who you find incredible and, hopefully, feels the same way about you, that sends you flying into the stratosphere.

After the initial joy wears off, then you see the flaws, and you expose your own to them, and that can lead to disaster.

But, if you both stick to it, you can ride that out, and rise again to the top of the mountain once more in the bliss of a full, loving relationship.

Then go down again, into the valley of dull monotony.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Past The Frontier



I’ve spent nearly twenty years out here on the Frontier. Seen the aftermath of Injun massacres, seen a man mauled to death by cougars, and seen a man take three whole days to die from a snake bite.

But when I came across the… incident, I was lost.

Wasn’t the blood or nothing, I’m used to that, and seeing someone taking the coward’s way out, well, that I’ve seen plenty.

But all in a circle, all laid out neat like… And the thing on the altar?

Pumped that thing so full of lead second I saw it. Seemed to work.