Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Chamber of Secrets

I worked my way through the tall grass surrounding the house. I was feeling lucky - decorative hedges and stone walls hid my approach. Still though, I inched my way forward, hoping to stay hidden from my target and her guards.
Art by BH

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Midnight in Seedy Philadelphia

A train screaked its way across the Ben Franklin Bridge, throwing sparks that acted as fireworks behind a cabaret performance in a converted warehouse. The band alternated between an ambient aesthetic and covers as the cast worked their way through a murder mystery, film noir style.

It's the fifties in 2016 Philadelphia as we witness the events of the Los Angeles staple "the Sugar Cube" – suits and bangs and pill-box hats complete the fare.

A shot rang out and the crowd jumped, looking to see which of the cast was the shooter and which was the victim. Unusually, the cast did the same.

A beat. Two beats. A woman's scream pierced the confusion, escalating it to a panic. Without even looking, I knew – the body of Jack Penn lay on the floor, meaning two months of my life spent tracking him down was for naught.

That seemed to be the pattern now – I got close to closing a case and my best lead bit it. I was used to the plausible overdose or the unusual accident, but this was new. I surveyed the venue for the person who had reacted least to this burst of excitement.

I was out of luck however – it seemed that the world had it out for me. I ordered a double amidst the chaos, downed it, and made my way to the Delaware. Watching the boats and looking toward Camden, I renewed my vow to get to the bottom of all of this.

A train screaked by, apathetic.

[written November 2016]

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Open House

"Welcome to today's community meeting. We'll be hosting this open-house style, so please make your way around to the stations as you will."

I stared at the metallic man for a moment, then abruptly turned my head to look inside. Sure enough, the room beyond was populated by poster board, tables, and welcoming robots. While there was a person or two milling about, I was astounded by the amount of shiners inside.
Art by Abe P.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Traffic Jam / Big View Count!

I woke up a few minutes ago and, unable to get back to sleep, decided to add one more story to the scheduled pile of posts I've got coming up (details below). I saw a giant spike in views and got super happy to have a bit of attention! Who could it be? Who actually reads this blog?

Of course, the views were all my own from earlier today as I added stories to be published over the coming months and subsequently bumped around reading my older work.

To wit:

  • "A Porcine Problem" was antedated to Nov 16.
  • "The Open House" is coming Nov 30th. (Art by Abe)
  • "Midnight in Seedy Philadelphia" is coming Dec 6th.
  • "A Chamber of Secrets" is due on Dec 22nd. (Art by BH)
  • "Ben's House" is up to bat on Jan 15th. (Art by DH)
  • "Costis' Room" is coming Feb 14th. (Art by DH)
  • "Entropy" is the last of today's (well yesterday's) additions and is arriving on Mar 17th.
Also, I went back and added the tag "Fan Fave" to the stories folks seem to enjoy the most (and this post), so click that if you don't feel like wading through my posts of varying quality.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Porcine Problem

"Honey, promise me you won't get mad."

"I can't make that promise, especially since you just asked me to."

"I just need you to promise."

"In that case, you have to promise not to be mad if I break my promise."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Backup Dick

[written March 2018, but buried here]

I got cocky (excuse the pun). After more than a year as someone's first choice, I was stupid to forget that I am, and forever will be, "backup dick" for everyone I fall for.

I suspect there are several reasons for this. First and foremost, I tend to give freely of my attention. That is to say I let others - specifically those who I want to date - know that I'm interested in being with them. I feel this attenuates any desire on their part to pursue me and rather encourages women to seek someone they have (or are perceived to have) a harder time securing attention (and affection) from. This puts me in a difficult situation, however, as I'm not attractive enough to cause women I'm attracted to to seek me out of their own accord.

Second, but close behind, is my appearance. Probably also my demeanor. I can't pretend I've taken care of my body. I'd also admit I'm moody and demanding. Hell, my father called me "fat, lazy, and whiny" to my face in the house I bought.

With these (and other factors, surely) combined, I am someone women seek out for attention (and therefore lead me on to lesser and greater extents) until they find someone who has a better balance of attractive to attention, at which point I'm given the boot.

Knowing all this, and knowing nearly a decade's worth of this pattern, I should be more numb to the most recent demonstrations of proof that I am, and will forever be,

Backup Dick.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Trashy Attitude

They came at me, glowing eyes, knives out. I felt the brick bite into my jacket as I pressed up against the wall. I don't know how I'd managed to anger the robots, but I certainly had. Who knew trash-bots had feelings?

"This sentence is a lie" I half-stated, half whimpered.


"So much for that, I suppose."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Claude's Fight

Claude swung his ax with all his might. It sliced through a moment of flesh, then embedded in the railing with a crack! He swivelled to pull it out, but the weapon was stuck fast. A tentacle smacked across his back in that instant and surely would have thrown him into the sea had his grip been any weaker. The stout man was merely winded and thrown to the deck, still grasping the ax.

"Fuuuck," he wheezed, half in pain, half in realization of his ship's situation. The creature had knocked half the crew into the sea and was in the process of pulling the smoke stack in on top of them. Tentacles swung wildly about, causing havoc and destroying whatever they came into contact with. The ship was moments away from heading straight to the bottom.

Monday, May 16, 2016

One Answer to the Fermi paradox

Jim didn't know this symbol. This was not a good sign, as the beeping became more and more urgent.

He wiped his brow.

He thought about all those TV shows he grew up with - if only he was Captain Kirk! He'd enrolled in the first program available for interstellar travel in the hopes to emulate his icon. He knew it was dumb, but greater achievements have come from smaller things - like the guy who discovered a whole spy ring trying to get to the bottom of a $0.75 accounting mismatch.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Amulet

The amulet seemed to float at the base of her neck, the ebony on her pale white skin a centerpoint between pink lips and nipples.

"Relax," she cooed, letting the last of the sheer black fabric drop to the floor. "I'm certainly not here to harm you."

Chuck was putty. Sure he'd been with 'escorts' before, but this was... different. This was fantasy. This was a grand tale of two bodies coming together in bliss. He almost melted as her hand lifted his chin.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Originally, it was just an Eagle on a Cactus

"Snakey Stinks."

I let out a long sigh.

"Honey, don't say that. Your father bought it just for you when he was in Mexico. Apparently Snakey helped found Mexico!"


My sanity was slipping. We'd been though this exact conversation a dozen times over the past two weeks, but Juliet refused to move on. Was it worth it to walk this path again? Was it worth the tears and the wailing to stand firm? Was telling the truth worth the pain?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fowl Mouth

"Blow me."

I near-about snapped my head right off my neck with the velocity of my double-take. Wingo Starr stared daggers at me.

"I... I'm sorry? What?" I sputtered.

"You heard me," replied the diminutive figure. "Blow me."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Barber's Tale

"This is ridiculous!" I said, peering down at the mess in front of me.

"I'd help it if I could - I'm very sorry."

"It's no matter - it's why I'm here. Just a bit overwhelmed."

I thought about my early days. I didn't lead an exciting life generally. My village took care of me and I took care of the village. Like most artisans, I had a small garden and a few chickens and goats, but for the most part I plied my skill for food. My scissors were always sharp, my knives at the ready. I usually had a couple leeches on hand for good measure.

As with any story, this all changed.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Man at the Podium

Sherry was visibly shaking. She was sweating too, but that was understandable amidst the throng of people who'd come to see Him speak. A man next to her in cargo shorts and a faded silk-screened shirt tried to push past the crowd for a closer vantage. Sherry took the opportunity to follow close behind - well timed apologies and embarrassed looks made it seem like she was just keeping up with a friend or significant other. Not that she needed the sympathy - she was just raised to do such things.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lurking Evil

"It kinda makes you wonder. Maybe we're missing something."

The dirty blond boy leaned back a bit on his perch, processing his friend's statement. While not overburdened with intellect, he did deduce correctly that htis was merely a prompt. He mustered his synapses for a forthright inquiry.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Cold Blooded Love

"Sheik, have you been naughty again?"

The snake looked at her and flicked its tongue. Yasmin let out an exasperated sigh as she scooped the small creature up and pointed an admonishing finger.

"I don't know how you keep doing it, but you must stop bringing humans here! They always get scared off by the tail and you know how that makes me feel."

H. Wise 9-9-15

Friday, January 1, 2016

It was a day of eyes and ears

It was a day of eyes and ears; upon leaving my hibernation, the world exploded. I soaked up the afternoon light - something I oft forget to enjoy - as I made my way to the El.

The usual assortment of stories were along for the ride, including a beggar just beginning his routine. I closed my eyes and shook my head when he turned to me. He nodded his defeat. I watched a man eat Burger King, his one eye affixed to the door while the other focused on the meal.