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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…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…