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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Farting Around with Zombies

“Daddy?” Mike licked his fingers before grabbing his big boy spoon. “What’s a vegetarian?” Abner chuckled, “A starving zombie.” “Dad!” Abner looked at his son’s serious face. When did his little monkey change into this studious inquisitor? He stopped laughing and gave his son an answer suitable for a six year-old. “Oh. Suzie told us…

Trick or Treat

The calculator was upside down. No other error in history–recorded or lost to antiquity–could match Bob’s horrendous faux pas for its effect on the human race. Perhaps one could blame Hewlett-Electric for designing a perfectly square device with all buttons simulated beneath a touch-screen. Whatever the case, Bob told Irma the the required concentration was…

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…

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…

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