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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…

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…

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…

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…

Dinner Party Line of Sight

Hats, Scarves and Handshakes Mitchell Allen: When I saw “Whip it”, I thought about the scene where the pageant contestants were telling the audience about who they would like to have dinner with. Later that day, my wife shows me your YouTube clip of Willow Smith performing Whip My Hair . So, I thought I’d…

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…

Swampland

Swan Vee considered her options. The ink was barely dry on the sheepskin before her mentor banished her from Swamp Logos. Her home since birth, the swamp represented the womb of familiarity, the hearth of confidence and the shield against the unknown. Now she was ready to deal with the landscape beyond the Perimeter. She…

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…

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…

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…