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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…

Bee Cause Célèbre

“Catastrophic Colony Collapse Threatens America’s Economy” was the screaming headline that greeted the early morning readers taking tea and scones at Boulangerie on the Boulevard. Ignored by the bourgeoisie and misunderstood by the proletariat, the Wall Street Journal’s front page story nevertheless signaled a shrugging of Atlas unlike anything foreseen by Ayn Rand and her…

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…

The Cracked Mirror

Detective Ragbone shook a small amount of graphite onto the frame, while marveling at the unnaturally uniform craquelure of the forged Venus in the Mirror. Having momentarily forgotten the gravity of the current scene, he quipped, “Even Rubens knew better than to daub a perfect crack.” “Ragbone! Decorum, please.” Inspector Wiggins coughed into his hand.…

The Wizard’s Daughter

Tomorrow’s execution would be delayed no longer. All appeals had been exhausted; the wizard’s daughter refused to repent and the bishop had no choice but to make an example of her. To do anything less would only fuel the burgeoning unrest among the peasants. This close to the harvest, the king and his advisors were…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…