Meatless"It's not meat you know."Meatless1 month ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He'd slipped up silently beside me at the meat counter and was pointing to the shrink-wrapped flat of striploin I was holding.
"They print those, from meat flavoured engineered inks, but they're not meat."
As I turned to look at him, he withdrew slightly and glanced furtively around, shrinking into the hooded sweater he was wearing.
"LeGrange and Baxter, those are real meat. Grown in a field, real. Not those ones though, they're all printed."
I put the steak down and looked further down the coolers at the LeGrange display.
"Your jeans too, not cotton. They sell them as cotton, but it's not organically grown cotton, it's engineered. Ever wonder why it itches? You should stick to Levi Strauss and Company, quality clothing for over one hundred and sixty years."
It took a moment to process that the man was just talking about Levi's. I stopped and took a look around. This was the strangest man I'd bumped into at the grocery store in recent memory.
"You're a jean sn
SW: New LifeAira-ty cried out in pain, clutching at the bedsheets and Triage's arm as her knuckles turned white. The medical droid gave what almost sounded like a sigh as he turned on her.SW: New Life3 weeks ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Oh stop complaining, I'm the one who has to watch this disturbing display, all you have to do is push!"
Aira-ty's teeth formed a feral snarl as she shot daggers at the droid.
"I will kriffing scrap you! Do you hear me!? I WILL AAAAAH!"
Her words were cut off by another scream as her body again convulsed.
Kahan, her mind murmured. Please don't let me do this alone.
Through her gasps and cries, Aira-ty felt a reply.
Landing now. came her husband's voice, it wasn't the calm reassurance that she was used to, there was panic and uncertainty.
It wasn't what she wanted to feel, but knowing that he was within range of her thoughts reassured Aira-ty even as the latest convulsion rocked her body. She'd been so afraid that she'd deliver before Kahan could return, she'd struggled to hold on, being careful not to over-exert
Grommets for HangingThe buildings so tightly packed that the roofs became a city unto themselves, new roofs erected from detritus hauled up from the streets below, built by human versions of same. Old rooftop was floor space now, shingled and tar-papered carpet subfloor under layers of cardboard bedding and lean-tos and currogated shacks thrown up against exhaust vents. The sun was blocked by endless tarpaulin of vinyl sheeting stitched with baling wire and shoestring and power cables from obsolete machines, held aloft by whatever the roof dwellers could prop up.Grommets for Hanging5 days ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Cymbal was picking mushrooms under the blue light cast from noon sun filtered through the vinyl overhead. It had once hung on a commercial blimp advertising perfume, clear blue water in a crystal vial fashioned to look like intertwined lovers. Now the blue lovers were mildewed. Cymbal wiped dung from her gloves and hoisted her bag of harvest. It was lighter than she'd like.
She felt a furry brush at her ankle, and an impatient mreaow. Pud
Wanting MemoriesHe’d been found wearing a new dark-eyed mask and with a co-worker drinking absinthe, the two of them trying to find something more in the afternoon sunset. Another day had gone stale, shriveling and imploding like aged cheese burning in the summer, left to rot and mold like a corpse. And it didn’t help that the day had been served with a typewriter malfunction with a side of physically painful confrontations with his colleague. His sleeves more closely resembled the pelt of an exotic house pet imported from the Fields than the uniform of a dutiful employee. No article of clothing should clash with the almost twice reborn decadence of the city, where skyscrapers were interlocked with bridges melded from glass that appeared as if it had been torn from the sky like silk. The birds that alighted atop their spires looked as if they were thorns to an onyx crown that the city had adorned itself with. But, it couldn’t be helped. His colleague hadn’t let him go home to wWanting Memories1 month ago in Short Stories More Like This
Bits and Pieces - Day 66Suddenly, I awoke.Bits and Pieces - Day 663 weeks ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I felt pins and needles, corners and edges digging into me. I tasted metal. I could smell rust and oil, all mixed together with the rotten smell of car fumes. I heard steel clashing against steel, metal on metal, almost like a one-sided combat. I opened my eyes, and I saw darkness.
I rose, and thrust my hands forth to pull myself up. I was buried in a pile of scrap-metal. Bits and pieces of broken machines and mechanisms that were past their days. I looked around. I was in some sort of scrapyard. I looked round and saw a giant claw dragging the guts of some long dead truck or car being pulled into the sky.
I looked down at myself, not sure what to expect. I was made of metal, rusted and aged. My hands were massive, tipped with silver talons. My right hand was missing a thumb. I felt my head, and felt two pieces of corroded steel sticking out of it. They twitched. The right one was also broken.
I didn't know what I was. Was I alive? I couldn't tell. Living things aren
Consequences“You’ve been using magic for lustful gains, haven’t you?”Consequences3 weeks ago in Short Stories More Like This
Breanna flinched at her younger sister’s voice, turning with wide eyes to look at the girl. “What are you talking about, dummy?”
“Sex with animals, duh.” Missy rolled her dark eyes, flipping some of her hair over her shoulder. “Well, not really ‘animals’, since they used to be people and all, but… You get the idea.” She looked back to her sister with a wicked grin.
“Yeah, right.” Breanna’s heart hammered in her chest, but she kept a straight face through a supreme force of will. Sure, Missy was dead-on correct about that, but she had no proof.
The girl had just turned her attention back to her computer screen when Missy spoke again.
“I’ve got pictures.”
Breanna’s blood ran cold, and she spun. “Bet you don’t.” It was the only thing she could think to say, her mind temporarily going blank
As Above, So BelowAs Above, So Below2 weeks ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Dan slapped Laurie's mantle affectionately as she fluttered her wings in delight. He ignored the brief look of distaste crossing the representative's face and leaned forward to kiss the dorsal ridge just ahead of her blowhole, sending little shivers of pleasure rippling across her hide. "I missed you," he whispered. Her tentacles wrapped around his hand, pronated it, and began delicately stroking his inner wrist. "Babe," he warned, with a shaky laugh. She smacked him playfully on the arm and withdrew her tentacles.
He straightened and tried to smile at the agent. "Okay, so are we ready to begin?"
"As soon as your...wife...is ready to join us, in, ah, avatar form," the man answered, clearly uncomfortable with the display of affection.
Dan turned to Laurie and shrugged. "See you soon, honey." She waggled tentacle tips and bubbled a kiss, sinking beneath the water's surface. He grinned and waved bye-bye as she disappeared from sight to
Starcrossed || NineA pair of white latex gloves were slipped onto slender, almost equally pale hands, snapped into place at the wrists. Ambron swept her white hair out of her face with a flick of the head, stepping through a metal detector with her head held high. An artificial intelligence officer at the door welcomed her by name, harking the steel door sliding open for her. Beyond the door was two stories of activity: men and women in slim-fitted sanitary jumpsuits bustled this way and that, each with a job to perform. Ambron marched right over to a station on the right. The workstation was well-lit, with a plethora of assistants taking notes on their transparent tablets. They parted ways when they saw her coming, letting her into the inner circle of scientists.Starcrossed || Nine1 month ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Elise's ship lay dissected on a table, the various parts sectioned off and labeled. Two scientists wearing magnifying goggles were practically sitting on top of each other as they adjusted a wire they had tapped into her ship's computer, watchi
Into Another World PrologueIlsa Hauppman sat at her desk, contemplating the data before her. Recently, she had engaged in a risky plan to gain resources in the ongoing battles against the multitude of her enemies. She had rebuilt the device which had brought her to this world so she could return to her home dimension and salvage everything useful from her old base. However, it didn’t work out the way she expected. The portal opened to a different dimension than hers. And yet it wasn’t a loss. There was a ruined enclave at the location where her soldiers arrived, one that had been founded under circumstances Ilsa was familiar with. It had been created by those who had fled Germany in 1945 to avoid prosecution and sympathizers who lived in the land. Her soldiers had gathered as much as they could in the time they had, as it took a massive amount of energy to power the portal, and returned.Into Another World Prologue1 month ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The data that had been recovered intrigued her. The scientists there had been working on various projects to aveng
My Alien Girlfriend (Chapter 11)My Alien Girlfriend (Chapter 11)2 weeks ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“Dude I just…”
“I know man, don’t say it.” I grumbled. I was sitting on the porch with Calvin. Yumi was inside, sleeping in my bed. After the conversation, she had a meltdown and started crying. I stayed with her until she calmed down and took her to bed, assuring her I’d talk to her in the morning about everything. The sun had set and the moon was out now. I found myself staring up at the stars, wondering which one of them was close to Yumi’s home.
“Well I feel like I need to say it, because it’s clear that you don’t get it.” Calvin snapped. “You’re up to your knees in shit.”
“I know, Calvin.”
“What’re you going to do about this, Adam?” Calvin asked. I shrugged my shoulders and just kept my head down.
“I don’t even know where to start.” I admitted.
“Well then let’s start at step one: What are we going to do with that pet of yours?”
AwakenessDavid liked driving forklifts. He was the best forklift driver Constructech had. He never missed a pallet, and things alway got where they needed to go, in one piece. Working on the new SuperEnergy plant had been a particular treat for him. So many important and delicate pieces of equipment needed to be brought in, and David took care of them all. Not one one load was dropped, misplaced, or forgotten.Awakeness5 days ago in Short Stories More Like This
It was this fact, above all else, that had allowed David to keep his job after the new Awakeness tests came out. IQ was a thing of the past. Awakeness tested for a person’s awareness of themselves, and their surroundings. Construction companies now wouldn’t take anyone with an Awakeness lower than 85 points. Workplace accidents had dropped significantly.
As David lined up another pallet for pickup, George the foreman sauntered over to him. Ever since receiving his score of 107, George sauntered everywhere.
“Watching the plant activation tonight?” George asked, lean
The Squirrelly Sibling (TransFun)Debby frowned, hearing her mother’s discontented sigh even from the family room. Dad couldn’t have made it home from work, having been caught up in a ‘networking party’.The Squirrelly Sibling (TransFun)1 month ago in Short Stories More Like This
On the bright side, this wasn’t a holiday like Christmas, so it wasn’t too devastating. Then again, the fourth of July was still an intimate enough holiday to merit sadness. Not to mention that it meant that it was her mom’s favorite holiday.
This had all led up to now: Debby sitting her room before her webcam, a TransFun serum in her hand. She looked at the blinking light with a small smile, recording the video for future posterity. Her eighteen-year-old self smiled back in the little recording icon, her dirty blonde hair looking gorgeous against the azure walls to her room.
“Hi Youtube, I’m DebbyDares12, and today I’ll be transforming into a pet for my mom.” She grinned a little shyly. This would be popping her TransFun cherry, and if anyone would love
The ArrivalThe Arrival2 weeks ago in Short Stories More Like This
* now available on audio here: https://soundcloud.com/tom-woodliff/the-arrival
"The divorce just about killed me. Eleven years of what I believed to be wedded bliss and then she takes off with some schlep she met at the godforsaken post office of all places. Somehow she still managed to get everything - the house, the Benz, even the dog. So I quit my job and moved out here to live in the Smokies. Just me and my tent and the squirrels. Sir, what I'm about to tell you now is gonna blow your mind.
Every October I start preparing for winter. I visit the nearby town and scrounge for blankets, clothes and whatever else I need to keep warm. Cut some extra wood, bury jars of berries I picked over the summer and so on. I can still remember that fateful day as clearly as if it was yesterday. October 21st, 1999. At exactly 2:03 pm (yes, I managed to salvage my watch from the divorce) as I was chopping my last bit of wood, I heard
Allaying Alideya (9)Doctor Jin was the first man I ever killed. I wanted to feel remorse for it, but I couldn’t. I knew that he had invented the horrible torture solution and I could imagine him and Brelnin together, their grotesque, sick laughs ringing down the hallways. The moment he killed my mother flashed in my mind. It seemed liked forever as I stood over his body, alarms singing of my escape and his death. Blood pooled around me, but I couldn’t will myself to move, one death wasn’t sufficient for what he had done.Allaying Alideya (9)3 weeks ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Cal’s voice broke through my trance and I saw him and Kayle bound towards me.
“Come on we have to get—“
I began to cry as Cal noticed our mother and the body of Doctor Jin, “He killed her.”
He began to say something to me, but Kayle interrupted.
“No time for that, we have to get out of here now.”
Grabbing my blood stained hand, Cal tore me away from where I stood.
“What about dad?” I asked
Goodbye Cywren Sitting atop the Novac hotel roof, a red headed girl stared into the blue sky. Cywren had been sitting there for an hour, still thinking about the voice in her head. The voice that had been with her from the start. From being a 1 year old, to being a twenty two year old now - Jordan's voice had always been there. He was the motivation, the life of the party, as well as being the party pooper at times. She could easily say that her best friend was in her mind. Cywren didn't care if people called her crazy for that, she just enjoyed someone being there for her when no one wasn't. Leaving the vault, she was glad she had someone there to guide her; now, she didn't need him anymore. He left, knowing that what he created could take care of herself.Goodbye Cywren3 days ago in Short Stories More Like This
Cywren heard footsteps behind her, coming to sit beside her. Then there was the small padding of four paws coming towards her. Quasar gave a bark and a lick to her cheek, then resting his head in her lap. "I can't believe you, Cywren
A Shaggy NightChloe knocked on the door to Sally's house, an uncharacteristic frown on her face. Her best friend had called her up a little bit ago, and she sounded legitimately afraid. That alone would have been cause for Chloe to rush over, but the fact that Sally added “Come as quickly as you can” had left her running at a dead sprint.A Shaggy Night1 month ago in Short Stories More Like This
Thankfully, the raven-haired girl had been a part of her high school's track team, which meant she wasn't too winded by the run. Even though she was tired, it wouldn't leave her gasping for breath.
Even in emergencies like this, Chloe kept her appearance in mind. The only implication that she wasn't a model woman was the pink dog collar she wore, a joke from her ex that she hadn't quite been able to put away after their break-up. It helped her feel calmer, and right now she needed to be calm to best help Sally out.
The door opened a moment later, the girl in question holding it for Chloe. “Thank God you're okay!” Sally squeaked, her blue eye
Mahou Galaxy: Chapter 13"I am the ship.Mahou Galaxy: Chapter 131 month ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Its shields are my willpower.
Its lasers are my white-hot fury.
Its engine is my yearning for freedom.
When I am at my station, its metal and my flesh are one and the same."
Keith read over the old Golden Alliance BioWarp Mage cadence again for the fifth time in as many days. As the introductory passage to the BioWarp Mage article, it clearly had relevance to others who performed the same duty, both in the past and present, but she wondered how many of them had managed to learn how to channel energy in the same sort of situation as her. The rest of the article was interesting, of course, and she pored over it, absorbing the most interesting facts. The first BioWarp mages were Mytharian High Elves who had descended from great wizards but were unable to grasp the intricacies of casting spells. Galactic ANarchist BioWarp Mages can use their teleportation ability to temporarily utilize their abilities with remote-piloted drones. Dryads are ofte
Going With the Flow“So… What are these, again?” Ash looked into the box, a nervous laugh escaping the trainer from Pallet Town’s throat. He looked up again, arching an eyebrow at his friend, Misty.Going With the Flow3 weeks ago in Short Stories More Like This
Usually she was the one for more down-to-earth ideas, but this time it seemed like the orange-haired beauty had settled on something outrageous. A new trend was sweeping Kanto: costumes that were capable of transforming people into Pokémon. Ash hadn’t thought too much of it until Misty had ordered them a pair, insisting they try them on in her gym.
Now, surrounded by the waters of Cerulean City’s finest pool, the two were down to their bathing suits, looking at the crystal clear surface. Or, rather, Misty was the one staring at the water. Ash kept his nervous glances fixated on the box with two costumes in front of him.
Misty finally noticed her friend’s unease, and she turned to him with a smile. “Something wrong? You know, you do still owe me for that bike
STC: Federation Graffiti: Chapter 3STC: Federation Graffiti: Chapter 31 month ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Taurus Reach, S.S. Calypso
November 6, 2269
When Cera emerged from the turbolift and stepped onto the bridge, Kona was sitting at the helm station looking relaxed. T’Prin was at the comm station and she had Sajeen with her. One of the panels beneath the main board had been removed and put aside, and the Vulcan was instructing her Orion shipmate on the inner workings of the communications array. They were sitting on the floor with a small toolbox beside them.
The easy-going Hawaiian gave Cera a friendly smile and a nod as she sat down in the command chair, and she gave Kona the same in return.
“Status?” Cera inquired.
“Smooth and steady,” Kona replied. “All systems are functioning normally.”
“How much longer until we reach Pacifica?”
“About another month,” he told her with a slightly wistful sigh. “I can hardly wait till we get the
Starcrossed || Eleven"Not all of us are monsters." He answered. As she cradled his index finger to her face, his thumb naturally crept to her shoulder, brushing the delicate curves that her space suit had concealed.Starcrossed || Eleven3 weeks ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The rain sizzled as it hit the pavement in a constant deluge. At first he could hardly hear anything but his own breathing, so entranced by the new sensation built between them. But suddenly, he heard everything: the rain, the water dripping from the sink, the air circulating from the vent overhead, Elise's breathing hitching as his other fingers unfurled...
Jared gently pulled his hand out of her grip, forcing himself to come back to reality. She was an alien, and besides that she was never coming back after he got her away. The bed creaked slightly as he stood up, pacing over to the stocked fridge. He usually never bought food at a hotel, but nothing about the last 12 hours had been usual for him. Might as well.
"We're stuck inside until the rain stops. Hungry?" Glass clinked as he pulled out
Starcrossed || ThirteenIt was funny. The entire walk to the satellite building, Jared was practically reduced to jelly-legs out of anxiety. Every sidelong look cast to him by a stranger was like a direct whisper to the authorities... Like they could see straight through his jacket, see his forbidden passenger. It was hard to convince himself that it was only paranoia unfurling his train of thought.Starcrossed || Thirteen2 weeks ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
But the moment he stepped into the cool tiled, overly air-conditioned lobby, a strange new clarity settled over him. He walked with a new confidence, suddenly sealed into the permanence of his decision. This was it. Either he succeeded or failed. No in-between.
"Emergency code six, Elise. Say it exactly like that. I'll come back for you as soon as I can." Jared said cryptically during the elevator ride up.
To his surprise there was very little security up until the second floor. From the moment he stepped out of the lift he caught the glare of three security camera angled to capture every point of the lobby. A you
Neko Mother - Chapter 12 - TG, TF (Unedited)Chapter 12Neko Mother - Chapter 12 - TG, TF (Unedited)2 weeks ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I screamed, thrashing against the straps that bound me to the table. I could feel her. She was dear to me. I knew that she had been before, when he was the one I loved, but now I could feel her very being inside. I couldn't even grasp just what it meant but I knew we were connected.
And I knew she was in pain.
They had taken her from me and now where doing indescribable things to her. I could feel it as if the pain were mine but separate. Every prod or cut, I could feel.
I screamed again, desperate to get to her, to protect her from her assailants. I just had to get free.
Pain shot through my arm, this time closer then the phantom pains. Looking down I saw a figure in full has-mat standing over me with an empty syringe, it former contents now flowing through my veins. My struggling becoming weaker as the first effects of the drug took hold. I struggled to stay awake but it was ultimately futile. As the edges of my vision went black I could still feel the pain coming f
Starcrossed || TenBy the time they reached Sarnic later that afternoon, Jared looked like a miserable mess. His clothes and pack were reasonably filthy, and still bore a trace of dampness from the lake submersion- not to mention the torn pant leg that fluttered pathetically as he walked. He bore a thin sheen of sweat and a scattering of dirt on his face that he had neglected to wipe off.Starcrossed || Ten1 month ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It was no wonder he was getting so many curious looks, even with the human woman tucked out of sight in his jacket again.
He stepped onto a moving walkway that went under a glass overhang. Thunder rolled gently overhead, snapping several gazes up at the grey sky fearfully. Instead of going along at the meandering speed of the walkway, Jared picked up pace and paved his own way through the crowd of people. They had less time than he anticipated.
Leaves trickled down from behemoth, moss-ridden trees planted in key points throughout the glass and metal buildings. The buildings welcomed the trees, proving customized gaps an