Wilbur was heading down Main street until he saw Mrs Asher poke her head out of the grocery store. It was late enough for the sun to have already set, but not so late that the moon had risen. Wilbur pressed himself into the shallow alcove of the post office, a mere fifty paces from where Mrs Asher now stood.
Seeing a deserted street, she opened the doors proper, carefully ensuring that the door wouldn’t squeak. The only thing that Wilbur knew about Jody Asher was this: she was the wife of John Asher, the owner of the grocery store, and she was much younger than her husband. Everyone had done the math; she was the same age as his eldest daughter from his first marriage.
From the reflection of the glass opposite, Wilbur could see a teenage boy casually follow her through the doors. He fussed with the zipper on his jeans and, from the way he ignored Mrs Asher’s frantic hand-waving, not in any hurry. Fifteen years before, Jody Frank, who worked at the checkout counter for seven dollars fifteen an hour, graduated high-school on a Friday and married the following day. Wilbur was a year old when this happened, but it had passed into the living memory of town folk law. Fifteen years of hushed whispers and rumours, one of which appeared to be true. Continue reading “Strange Gods”→
Willow swished her stick through the campfire flames. Her marshmallow — the blackened, goopy mess impaled at the end of her stick — represented all her hopes and dreams for this evening. Campfire, outdoors, marshmallows, and horror stories.
Billy was a self-professed master story teller hellbent on telling a story which lurched from cliche to potboiler. As far as Willow could understand, his saga started with ghosts and space-alien zebras. It was every terrible story mashed together in a blender. Continue reading “Water”→
People would have called it The One Day War, had there been anyone left. Conflicts and wars peppered the history books but then, without anyone knowing why, people stopped killing each other. That time didn’t have a name, but it should have. Humanity turned its attention to solving all the other impossible problems: ending hunger, comfort and safety for all. People were happy for a time, and then the world went back to normal. Maybe the ending was always fated, maybe not. With humanity’s needs met, people turned inwards. They dug right down into the depths of their collective soul and uncovered a button long since buried. Some human quirk. A button marked destruction.
On the day of the One Day War, bombs fell in their tens of thousands as military trumpets blared in time to gunshots. It began at dawn and lasted until the last human died, a short fifteen hours later. An Angel and Demon came to Earth the following day.
People were surprised when it happened, so they said, even though nothing people said mattered anymore. What was the point? Did it really matter who knew what or when they knew it? A guy, a short thin vegetarian with skin the colour of white paint, went around the concentration farms claiming that he always knew. He had a feeling, some deep knowledge that came from a place that never saw daylight. He ended up carving an apology into his skin then bleeding to death when he nicked something.
What nobody understood then was that actions have consequences.
BLT: There is no secret to a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Often referred to as the every man’s food, it can be served both as a snack and a meal. Ensure the bacon is cut at an appropriate thickness to ensure maximum flavour. Add a small teaspoon of mayonnaise and mustard for a delightfully tangy taste.Continue reading “The Crackling”→
TODAY it’s raining shirts and Italian loafers. The forecast said light breezes with a chance of showers but a suitcase just fell from the sky. Looks expensive. Hits a car, explodes on impact, a Porsche, looks expensive.
A man on the street shakes his fist at his wife. She’s throwing his stuff off a apartment balcony. Some rain down like tiny meteors, others drop like stones from the sky.
She’s pregnant, big belly, swollen like a dinosaur. Tiny arms, slender but short. She’s not a real dinosaur. That would be ridiculous. Fun but ridiculous. How could a man get a dinosaur pregnant?
The man picks up an album. Cracked spine, photos are loose. One flaps in the wind. The forecast said light breezes and a chance of showers but didn’t mention suitcases or dinosaurs.
Somewhere in the depths of cold space, more or less at the centre of the Solar System, the Sun went about its thankless task of shredding hydrogen into oblivion. Unaware of the bipedal species only eight minutes away, the Sun went about ripping particles of hydrogen apart, exploding visible light in all directions.
Newly born sun beams, radiating outwards at the speed of light, started their trek across the darkness of space. Some hit strange alien planets in faraway galaxies. A few met their fate being swallowed by black holes. Fewer still made the long journey across the entirety of existence, only to bounce off the edge of space to then make the long journey back.
One ray of light hurtled itself towards Earth, avoided the inward planets, dodged an errant comet, pierced the vale of the outer atmosphere, passed through moody clouds, avoided an impressive set of impenetrable stone walls to land only to land on coffin at the far end of the church. Continue reading “Countdown”→
Everybody was surprised, of course, even though they claimed otherwise. When it became obvious, long after the event, everybody said they knew. It was the way he talked, they said. No, it was the way he thought. He was different but in that special way, you know? Everyone claimed a variation of the same thing: Baxter was the quiet shy kid that was always destined for great things.
Baxter never dispelled the myth. In those rare interviews he would speak of his childhood reluctantly. It was humble, he would say, and then he would earn yet another billion dollars.
The television cameras never found Thomas. He had long since disappeared into the endless sea of anonymity. Andrea died, officially of cancer. And Oliver never spoke of it. Not even once. Continue reading “Wishing Well”→