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Xenia Gets Got

Tonight, Xenia intended to enchant her ugly-ass boyfriend, Harold. She only put up with his broomstick-thin, Jack-o-lantern gapped-tooth goofiness because his bank account balance had an alarming number of zeroes on it. Plus, in five weeks, they would be husband and wife, at which point, she would finally move into his spooky old mansion and…

A Plague Upon Both Spouses

Petri made a major discovery when he sneezed into his dish of jellied onion. He yelled for his wife, who came dashing in from their squash court, fearful that she were to be accused of some imagined wrong. “Marta! Come see!” She dug her fingernails into her palms, perhaps to counter the verbal onslaught Petri…

My Etch a Sketch Kvetch

Terraformer 2000 came with a microphone, but no manual. It was the latest software from Landforms, LLC., a virtual replicator for the hologram television entertainment platform. Landforms specialized in virtual landscapes for Massive Arco Multiplayer Universes (MAMUs.) I put away my Cheerios, sat back and flicked on the mic. The mic searched for and found…

Galactic Chess Champion Slain

The checkmate was flawless. The bloody aftermath was more of a mess. Raven Spassky’s body lay in a puddle of its own fluids, most of which had leaked from multiple holes in her flimsy aluminum armor. Whoever had said plasma was a source of clean energy had never fired a shot in anger. I’m glad…

In the Immortal Words of Muriel Humphrey

Ancestral burial rites foreshadowed the vanguard of human recycling. From the elaborate funerary practices of ancient Egyptians, to the Terracotta Army of the first Emperor of China, humans have decreed that destinies were not subject to disposability. Immortality appealed to humble and snobbish, alike. Fortunately, by 2217 A.D., transmigration had been elevated to the ranks…

Ancient Sunday

The exploit was crude, but effective. Molten Hail—aptly named—melted through firewalls before freezing servers. The only survivors were hardened servers specifically designed to test every byte passing through their ports. It was one of these computers that Jeremy was analyzing when Bertha walked into the lab. “Hi, Jer. What do we have?” “Hell if I…

Awesome Business Opportunity

So, I decided to go to Yet Another Ground Floor Once-in-a-Lifetime Make Money Fast Pyramid Scheme. As I walked into the auditorium, I took note of several things. First, the greeters outnumbered the guests two to one, and they appeared to be swarming, hovering and buzzing around the hapless visitors. Second, a befuddled young man…

Alienation

Martians had no concept of prejudice. Their brains were wired like lobotomized slugs: each experience was new. Yet, their transcendent race had accumulated the wisdom to recognize xenophobia as it applied to them. I blanched at the unusual combination of smell and terror-inducing hisses emanating from my tour guide. “Plack manu frobbish, Gia?” What are…

Monkeyshines

The gods were angry. They had been told that they were as no more than a grain of sand in their sad little realm. This blasphemous eructation, spewed from the mouth of a leprous monkey, was overheard by Iris, the rainbow messenger handmaiden of Hera. It was she who used the power of gossip to…

Social Touchstone

Petri was giving a lecture at a university somewhere in the future: “Good morning, class. Today, I am going to teach you about the interconnectedness of all things. In the space of thirty seconds, one person can reach into the Resplendent Receptacle of the Universe, touch 100,000 other people, and leave an unremarkable stamp on…