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Une Perdrix?

The bough broke. Down came the partridge: scarf, cap and all. Jamie swore. “Dammit, Kirsten, I told you to get a fir tree.” “Don’t swear on the eve of our Lord’s birth. I thought you said ‘pear’ tree and this was the closest thing I could find.” “Why would you think … ? Oh, that…

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…

Proxy Apocalypse – Molten Hail Reborn

“Let’s invent a new game.” Phineas stretched his mouth into an it’s-a-beautiful-morning wake-up yawn. “Sure.” Ferb, man of few words, scratched himself in pleasurable agreement. “I’m looking for inspiration. Say! This ancient desktop computer gives me an idea ….” Phineas opened the rusty metal casing to reveal dust balls and wires. “Eh, never mind.” As…

The Zombie-maker

“Come on, angel, don’t make me bust your gourd open. I just want your purse!” The green, slimy, shuffling assailant had a death-grip on an elderly woman’s handbag. “Go to hell, you vile old bastard!” The silver-haired granny had an equally tight grip on her Louis Vuitton. “Been there, done that. And I ain’t so…

Swampland

“Class, today is set aside for our recent graduates. Before embarking on his or her individual quest, each of them must complete the Sophist’s Emancipation Course. “Successful completion of the SEC requires a demonstration of virtue, vigilance and vigor. Intelligence without purposeful action is as wasteful as an upended jug of water. Our graduates will…

Grave Error

She couldn’t place the accent; it was thick, yet, undefined. Tasting the noxious brew again, Tilde Tittle decided the tonic had all the flavor of an undercooked umlaut and realized that she could never present such an inferior libation to her cavillous husband, Mark. Perhaps the shaken concoction of raspberry vodka, Sprite soda and DeKupyer…

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…

Bandicoot Terror

Spoiled by the erstwhile sublime environment of the New Guinean rain forest from whence they were “harvested”, the half-dozen bandicoots huddled miserably in a filthy cage. Their captor, himself a ratty-looking specimen of a human, arranged for the illicit transport of the marsupials to the Mercer Laboratory in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. His part in this…

Three Drunks and a Funeral

A farce in one act A judge, a baker and an anthropologist are sitting in a jazz lounge. The unlikely trio are old college mates, gathered for the sad occasion of their professor’s passing. The funeral had been held the day before, at St. Thomas Episcopal. The men are sipping drinks, languidly discussing the incongruities…

Bad Poetry

“The assignment, class, is to deconstruct this computer-generated poem.” Moans greeted this announcement, of course, because Lytton 3000 was as horrible at sonnets as its namesake was at prose. Still, Professor Fenwick could find nothing better to challenge his genetically enhanced students. With all the theatrical flair of Quentin Tarrantino, the Professor lowered the lights…