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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…

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…

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…

A Morning with Abner #HuntForAFreshPerspective

Abner woke to the harsh reality of his smelly pillow. It and the newspapers were the only things between him and the cold, hard cement. The pre-dawn chill was actually warmer. Abner unfolded himself from the fetal curl, stretched lazily and pulled up on his trusty shopping cart until he could feel the blood trickling…

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

“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…

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…

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.…

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…