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Pandora’s Pillbox

Gerrie Shamba, Keeper of The Pandora Pillbox, shimmered into Siberia on June 29th, 1908. She removed the time-traveling hat from her head, reached into it and withdrew a handful of infected ticks. She sprinkled them onto the ground before returning the hat to her head. In twelve hours, an asteroid would explode over the region…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

AFTER THE LONG, HARD WINTER (PART EIGHT)

This tale began seven imaginative writers ago. I added my bit to extend it. Part One (Teresa): Winter had been hard. Harder than anyone in Goosedown had expected. It was six weeks into spring and Emily never felt better. She was finally able to get out into her garden. The spring flowers had fully said…

Awesome Business Opportunity

So, I decided to go to Yet Another Ground Floor Once-in-a-Lifetime Make Money Fast Pyramid Scheme. As I walked into the auditorium, I took note of several things. First, the greeters outnumbered the guests two to one, and they appeared to be swarming, hovering and buzzing around the hapless visitors. Second, a befuddled young man…