Tag Archives: Fiction

MoD: Terrorist Activity

This was my submission to Machine of Death II – so the story follows the requirements for that book which can be found here.  (It wasn’t accepted for that volume, so here it is for everyone to read for free!)


Sarita stood in the doorway, eyes wide open, laughing almost loud enough to hear over the sound of her machine pistols. A terrible shot, with no idea even how to aim, much less any interest in doing so, she enjoyed the pose and the loud noises and the drama. I am so sexy! She knew how good she must look right now. She did wish that Steven had let her wear her high heels tonight, but she had to admit that the knee-high French paratrooper boots she’d just bought were pretty hot with her all-black outfit. The soldiers who had come around the corner of the steel corridor, maybe thirty feet away, weren’t in much danger, but they had no way of knowing that. They jumped back around the corner. This gave Sarita enough time to toss her glossy black mane out of her face, reload her left pistol, and yell “Wooooooo!” as she started to fire again. I am a sexy badass!

“Wooooooo!” wasn’t much of a war cry, but Sarita wasn’t much of a warrior. That is what she used to yell on the dance floor when she was clubbing, and it was all she could think of now. This rush of adrenaline was why she’d joined Free the Future, and it made all those boring conversations and planning meetings worthwhile.

Jane, ever practical, had been ignoring all the gunfire and had picked the lock on the door behind them, leading into the heart of the MAU Ops Center. One of the soldiers shoved his rifle around the corner and started firing wildly down the hallway.  Steven and Pedrag dove through the now-opened door, while Jane grabbed the back of Sarita’s black silk jacket and pulled her into the room. They tripped and fell over, Sarita landing on Jane. As Pedrag slammed the heavy steel door shut Sarita sat up and tried to fire a few more rounds down the hall, but they just bounced off of the interior of the door and ricocheted around the room. Steven grunted softly, leaned against the wall, and slid to the floor. There was a perfectly round 9 millimeter hole in the exact center of his forehead.

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Winging It

So, I’m just winging it here, there’s this guy. Let’s call him Bob.

Bob’s not anti-social, just shy, thoughtful, nerdy, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe a scientist, or a mechanical engineer. No, wait, I got it: he’s a database administrator. (Actually, his job isn’t really relevant.)

So, anyway, he sees this girl, I don’t know, not at a party (I don’t think he goes to parties very often). Somewhere in public. At the grocery store. Yes.

So, he sees her, she’s trying to buy something, pears, yeah, but doesn’t know how to pick them. Bob prides himself on his mad pear-selection skillz, so he helps her out. They talk a little, joke around, it’s all good. He’s a nerd, but he’s old enough to be able to fake some social skills.

Crap, I forgot to mention: she’s hot. Like, smoking. And smart, witty, fun, smells good, you name it, she got it. I think her name starts with ‘J’, but I can’t remember it right now. I don’t think that really matters to this story, anyway. Total babe, though.

So, yeah, she gets her pears. Bob then epically fails to even ask for her phone number, or to suggest that they should get together, hang out, get married and move to the suburbs. He just smiles and says “See ya!” as she walks away. In all fairness, his brain is so overwhelmed with random synaptic discharges that’s it’s pretty impressive that he can even get that much out without drooling or stuttering. Still, though, Bob. You gotta at least try!

So, anyway, back to the story, Bob goes home and cries himself to sleep.

The End.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

What? I never said it was going to be a happy story!


The little toad, made of stone, would sell his soul to be real. To jump away from this shelf. To be able to hop and catch flies and swim. To find a fine looking lady toad and settle down on a lily pad.

Unfortunately, being made of stone means he has no soul to sell, and no buyers.

So there he sits, motionless, gathering dust, and dreaming.


He woke his family at the usual time, but instead of everyone hurrying to their morning chores he gathered them around him. His wife’s weathered face remained placid, but his nearly-grown son and young daughter were bubbling with excitement. He’d never delayed the morning chores before! Not for anything!

He cleared his throat. “Well, today’s January 1st, 1400. So, the Middle Ages are over. Son, you need to learn to read. And in Italian! No more of this just being an ignorant peasant nonsense for you, or just learning Latin.” His son looked startled, but before he could speak his father continued. “Daughter, I want you move to a town as soon as possible. Try and work for a merchant, or maybe be an artist’s model.” His daughter started to cry.

“None of that, now – there’s a Renaissance on, and we need to start acting like it.”

His patient wife finally spoke up. “Dear, it’s not like these things happen instantly. We can…”

“No, I’ll not have my family stuck in the past. It’s finally 1400, and we can start to change.” He tried to look heroically off into the distance, but since they were still seated around the rough table in the tiny hut, there really wasn’t any distance available to him. That didn’t matter – he’d been waiting for the Renaissance all his life, and by God and all the very best saints they were going to do it right!

Wait, no, make that “by God and all that’s best in humanity”. Whew, despite his enthusiasm, he could see where this would even be tough for him. But it would be worth it – the Middle Ages were no picnic. He was ready for change.

Red and Black

“Do you have any idea how many knights I’ve defeated?” hissed the great red dragon.

“Do you have any idea how many dragons I’ve defeated?” retorted the black knight.

The dragon sniffed. “Probably not that many – you mammals are so short lived. Let’s be realistic – I’m nearing my second millennium, so I’ve no doubt that my record is longer and more distinguished than yours.”

The knight looked grim. “Talk is cheap – victory does not come from boasting, but from deeds!”

The dragon grunted, letting a small wisp of flame out. Knights, especially young knights like this, could be so pompous.

Seeing the fire, the knight lowered his visor, and cried, “May St. George and the Blessed Virgin Mary both guide my hand!”

They both scooted their chairs up to the checkerboard. The dragon rumbled “You’re black – you get the first move.”

Three Words

The Brick Elephant ate the whole fig tree in one shot. (Yup, and then he started right in on another one!)

The Stainless Steel Elephant looked disdainful. There’s simply no justification for gluttony like that – it’s undignified. She sniffed over the sad state of youth today. (Maybe she is older than Brick, but he’s fully growed up. Snooty old hag!)

The Plastic Elephant looked impressed. He knew his limitations, and if he tried to eat a whole fig tree at once he’d just be sick. He probably wouldn’t be able to finish it, anyway. (That Brick, though, he doesn’t even think twice about it – there’s not much as slows him down!)

The Flesh-and-Blood Elephant looked determined. She was sweet on Brick, and found her own fig tree and set to, trying to impress her hero. (She kept glancing over at him – you could tell that hussy was hoping he’d notice her. As if!)

The Helium Elephant didn’t look like anything much at all, and floated off, unnoticed. (Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. And don’t come back round here, neither!)

The Wooden Elephant looked shocked. Shocked! In conflicts between pachyderms and forest, she doesn’t know who to support. (”Can’t we all just get along?” No, we can’t, so shut up already!)

And, finally, the Force-Field Elephant looked thoughtful. He then transformed himself into a fig tree – not so much to change sides as to gain perspective. (He’d change back right quick if Brick headed his way, though – you can bet on that!)

The Brick Elephant, completely oblivious to all this fuss, finished his second fig tree and calmly moved on to the third. (That’s old Brick for you!)


The head paleontologist had the work crew haul the brontosaurus into one of the back rooms.  “Thanks guys.  Can you give us a few minutes here?”

As the crew filed out the dinosaur waited, and watched the scientist.  Once they were alone she asked, “What’s going on, Doc?”

He cleared his throat. “I don’t know how to say this…you are a mistake.  We classified you incorrectly, and made some wrong guesses about your skull.  New research shows that you didn’t really exist.”  He looked away, embarrassed.  “I’m sorry.”

The brontosaurus told herself to be cool.  Be cool.  She tried to take a deep breath, but that doesn’t work when you’re just a collection of fossilized bones and a few bits of wire.  No lungs.

“So, Doc, that just means you’ll revise me, make a few tweaks based on the new findings, right?” Be cool.

He sighed and took off his glasses.  “I’m afraid that this is bigger than that.  Brontosaurus is being written out of the books.  You’re all really just Apatosauruses.  It’s not just a simple adjustment.”

“Doc, I’m not just a dinosaur!  I’m THE dinosaur!  I represent the whole superorder in the public mind!” Her voice was beginning to sound frantic.

He smiled sadly.  “Well, actually, I think that Tyrannosaurus Rex is what…”

“No! When people see a T-rex they say ‘Ooo, a T-rex’.  Same thing for Stegosaurus.”  She was panicking now.  “But when people see me they say, ‘Ooo, a dinosaur!’.  When kids draw a dinosaur, they draw me!  When…”

He interrupted her, “I’m sorry.  It’s out of my hands.”  The work crew started coming back into the room.  “There won’t be any pain.  Goodbye.”  He turned and left.

He was wrong.  There was pain, but thankfully it was brief.

Oblivion doesn’t hurt.