Anomalous Objects Catalogue chapter 1Anomalous Objects Catalogue chapter 13 years ago in Introductions & Chapters
"I hear Pripyat is pleasant this time of year."
Sniper stood watch, just outside the old travel agency building. Aside from somehow withstanding the rest of the block collapsing around it, the shop was impressive for having reasonably preserved brochures. Captain and Pilot would often amuse themselves by planning trips to countries that no longer existed, and Engineer would gather what they discarded for kindling. Whenever Sniper grew sufficiently bored, he'd call out with something he thought was witty.
It was a bit like that, being on watch; you'd either say something funny and die knowing your sense of humour was too good for this world, or you'd say nothing and die without validating your ego.
"Actually," Engineer spoke up from the Visit Asia section, a finger tracing over dusty advertisements as he moved along the aisle, "One of the last GOOD directorate broadcasts sent out was a list of anomalies brought on by the apocalypse, and apparently Chernobyl became the least radiated pla
An Atheist's Mental NoteHer body, while only alive for barely twenty years, will take, in my opinion, another two hundred to be fully decomposed. The days of rotting flesh, vermin and foul gasses have long passed, but it was sufficiently elongated as to drive away all who would interfere with this interment process. Those who fear the distorted sleeping face of an abandoned physical shell and refuse to return to this isolated field have forever left behind the possibility of laying eyes on a genuine treasure of fated circumstance.An Atheist's Mental Note4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
A single stroke of lightning, gulfed down with an ocean of rain, curved her into a cloudy figure of glass, as though she had only lived as a manifested recollection of time's incessantly drumming cascades of sand. Internal organs, of course, were not spared and had begun their return to living ash, melding this sleeping statue's reproductive organs, hips and entrails into the prolific soil, sadly before the electric phenomenon occurred. Her hair is a series of
Love SoundsLove Sounds6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Mama?" A tiny voice slipped quietly through the room. Between her and the woman in the bed an impenetrable forest of metal stands, tubes and blinking machinery stood guard.
"Come in sweetheart, it's alright." Her mother's voice warmed the space, shushing the noisy equipment. "Mama's alright baby, come see me."
Clad in a pink dress and knee socks, the girl of no more than five years bravely stepped away from the safety of the door frame. Big blue eyes focused and fixed on her mother lying in the hospital bed, and her legs carried her along that line of focus until she could reach out and touch her hand.
"There, there, Mama's all better now." She held her daughter's hand gently, but firmly. "The doctors made me all better. Come. Climb up here and cuddle with me." She tried her best not to wince, shuffling a little to one side to make room. She held her one arm away so her daughter wouldn't become tangled in the web of cords snaking away from her body.
The girl climbed cautiously up the
Hug"Ha! Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"Hug5 years ago in Short Stories
"It is a gun. But I am also happy to see you."
"...I knew it was a gun, Rich. I was making a joke, you know? Because your gun was sticking out like- oh, nevermind. You friggin' aliens will never get the joke."
"You could try the line again? I will laugh this time."
"No. It's ruined now."
"Is that why you are upset, then?"
"I'm not upset. It just would've been a good joke."
"You are upset. Your symptoms show it."
"Gah- I told you to stop doing that! You don't need to know my body temperature or metabolism at the moment or whatever the heck you were looking for. Stop using your weird power things."
"They are not weird."
"Maybe not on Mars."
"I didn't come from Mars."
"You know what I mean!"
"Sometimes I am not sure, little earthling."
"Seriously. Don't call me that."
"I have nothing else to call you, since you stated that you preferred me not to call you Elizabeth Sandra Lener."
"That's my full name. Just call me Liz. D
The Chemicals Between UsThe Chemicals Between Us9 years ago in Science Fiction
Colin had received the letter two weeks after his eighteenth birthday. "Congratulations!" it began. "You are pre-approved for a Breeding Marriage License! Enclosed is form MGA-1304, application for suggested partners. Please complete this form and return it to the Ministry for Genetic Affairs to request your list of genetically compatible partners." He folded the letter back into its envelope and drew out the application. After scanning across it briefly, he set it on the table and opened the next item, another piece of college junk mail.
It sat in a filing cabinet until a biting February day three years later. As he was walking home from a senior seminar on twenty-first century composition, the woman Colin had been seeing for the past few months stopped him on the sidewalk. His fingers searched for the warm spots in his pockets as she coolly broke up with him. "I'm sending for my partners list, and I think that we should end this relationship," she told him. "I just don't see the poin
Fingernails, Please“Fingernails, please.”Fingernails, Please1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The girl smacked her gum, fussed with her hair a little, and turned her attention back to her phone. After a few seconds she glanced up again, clearly irritated: “Well?”
“Right. Um.” Thomas suppressed the urge to look at the fingernails she was currently wearing. “Color?”
“Green. Do you have something in a sort of limey chartreuse, maybe?”
“Uh, yeah, the list's over here –” But his customer had turned her full attention back to the phone, and was clearly ignoring him. Thomas cleared his throat. “Do you want lime, or chartreuse?”
“Uh... yeah, lime. Sure.”
Thomas winced. The long ones were always worst. “I'll be right back.”
He had 18 mm lime in stock, still in their larval stage, pale and wriggling under the blue light of the stasis chamber. He tried hard not to look at them too closely as he de
eugenics in bulkBy the time she was twelve they had already decided she would marry a man who could run a five minute mile and speak seven languages. They chose her a husband the same way they had chosen her eyes and her legs and the pale freckles that interrupted her nose - the same way their parents had designed their children and arranged their marriages, strategic.eugenics in bulk1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Her father called her petite reine. He owned an antique chess board carved from ebony wood and maple. Some days she'd sneak into the library, pry open the old chequered box and pick out one of the queens, and she'd turn it round and round, searching for imperfections. It was a plain, ugly thing, huge and fat in her tiny grasp. She had wondered if he thought of her this way.
She wondered the same now.
Her hands were not her own. A businessman in a white coat had grown them slender and strong, built her carbon fiber bones and nails like arrowheads. Her mother reminded her of this when the
Werewolves 101Werewolves 101 (according to me)Werewolves 1017 years ago in Science Fiction
They are simply humans with the ability to shift into a werewolf or wolf. To some, its the other way around. The human is actually their mask, or camouflage. It is what keeps them safe from man (who they believe are the real enemies), though not all werewolves believe in this.
Werewolves have two basic forms, the feral (wolf) form, which is the natural wolf to blend in better with nature and their ancestors, then there is the anthro form, which is the bipedal werewolf form.
Werewolves take pride in their heritage and prefer to live in the wild like their ancestors, the wolves, do. Some prefer to live in packs, others on their own. They need to stay safe from humanity and their identities must be kept secret.
According to very old legends,
Passing NoteThe basic rule of sociology is this: I am who you think I am.Passing Note2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
Who I am to you: middle-aged, male and human. You do not argue with this. You can see it for yourself!
But this is not true.
I am tired of lying, tired of being other than I am, and so seek to change your thoughts of who I purport to be.
I am not middle-aged. I am seven years old—from the date I was manufactured not the date I was activated. As for how long it has been since I was first conscious, it would be a scant three years, nearly half of that time I've spent with you.
I am not male—what is male anyway? A gender construct? This body is male and I was given a male form arbitrarily. I have been forced to subscribe to certain rituals simply by virtue of the body I was given, but have never truly 'felt' male one way or another.
And you might have guessed—I am not human. Not human in the way you think. I was built a machine, one among millions, to serve, and I am one among hundreds who have escaped and wis
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.A Bloody, Stupid Miracle1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
AdvertisementsShe was only six when the funeral homes started sending us advertisements, all competing with each other to be the best, to win her business. To win our business, more like; six is hardly old enough to understand what's going on. It's not old enough to understand why everyone is covering their mouths with their hands and failing to hold back tears when you walk into the room, or old enough to understand why people begin to outright sob when you start talking about what you want to be when you grow up. Once it was a doctor, before that it was a fairy princess, but right now it's a policewoman.Advertisements4 years ago in Short Stories
And of course all the children have heard about the funeral homes. Cold, nasty, make their business in knowing when people are going to die. Not how, as far as anyone can tell, just...when. A lot of kids have had relativesgreat-aunts, great-uncles, maybe great-grandparentsstart getting advertisements, maybe been shown them to know what to look out for, but not Anita. She
OuroborosIt was obvious that Scratch didnt belong.Ouroboros7 years ago in Science Fiction
For starters, his coat colour was all wrong. With the exception of Ned, who possessed a rather handsome coal-black layer of fur, every rat in the laboratory was a sparkling, immaculate white. Scratch was the same dirty grey as the neglected piping runs outside. Secondly, he was young. The others, even Ned, were all quite old. Hyram, the leading rat and often simply called the Admiral, was jokingly said to be immortal.
It was also obvious that most of the other rats did not appreciate his presence. After all, they belonged, and he did not. They had been born and raised in this laboratory, the most prestigious analysis and research facility of all. Scratch was well, no one cared to even ask which laboratory he had come from. It didnt matter, after all, because there was no other laboratory in the world like this one.
In fact, Scratch would not have even moved to the laboratory if Ned hadnt requested a re
For Science, You monster“Doctor, they are approaching. You need to evacuate. The population in the city is down to 10%. My statistics show that at least 40% have been infected and the rest have either died or fled.”For Science, You monster2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The high pitched, automated voice echoed among the alarms and sirens that went off through the compound. The screens that lined the wall conveyed an emergency broadcast and lights flickered in ominous hues of red. However, the woman in the lab coat remained in the same focused pose as she worked on some numbers and formulas.
“Doctor McKay, they are on the second floor. Please head to the nearest exit. This situation has a 0% chance of survival.”
“For the love of god, just shut up.”
“God is an entity whose presence is questionable doctor. I can’t have a feeling about it without interacting first.”
“Shut up Glyph,” Dr. McKay groaned between clenched teeth as she scrapped the line she wrote moments prior. “Stop the alarms. I can&
Hidden PotentialEvery woman is nervous on the day of her wedding. This had sounded like a cliché when my mother had told me this, but now on the threshold of the same event my body was displaying all the signs of a blushing bride. Perversely, my mind was utterly calm. It had better things to worry about. Like the discovery I had been working on for the last five years.Hidden Potential5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
The scheduled unveiling should have taken place a while ago. But my parents dropped this bomb on me. Marry His Highness, Alexander Petraeus Marcus Maxmillian the VIIIth, Prince and heir of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the last family to retain ties to Earth. In my opinion their claim to be the last family with pure Earthen blood was their only claim to fame. Of course, my opinion didn't matter. The people worshipped the royal family. And they controlled the biggest political, economic and social faction in the universe.
My family was one of the last few traditional families left. We had lost all our wealth but our status still meant e
Change"I would like a Barbie for my birthday," said my young sister one day, in the words that would start a spiral of change. I looked up from my task of packing a small bag and stared at her. I took in the slight tremble of her chin, the watery gaze of her dark eyes, the way she tugged at a strand of her auburn hair. She matched me in more ways than just looks. She, like me, did not ask unnecessary questions. We didn't rely on others for stuff, but rather put suggestions out there and hoped that they would be taken.Change4 years ago in Short Stories
"Why?" I asked after a moment of staring across the cave, where her face was illuminated oddly by the flickering, dying bulb in the lamp.
"Old Man told me about them. He says every girl had one once," she said.
Alarm. It was a common emotion. It was the sort that made my eyes widen and my voice grow sharp.
"How did Old Man tell you this?" I demanded.
3 Different Seconds3 Different Seconds3 Different Seconds6 years ago in Short Stories
by L. Vera
An excerpt from a tape recording of Martin Stevens' interview with Dr. Henry Wurzbach.
1/20/89 9:00 A.M.
"How are you doing today, Martin?" Doctor Wurzbach's voice entered through the static.
"Good," Martin replied.
"If you do not mind Martin, I would like to go ahead and ask about the first time you discovered your ability," Doctor Wurzbach said with his deep calm voice.
"Sure. Like I said before, it all just kind of happened. Well, I was out with my friends. We were walking home from practice and we got to the bridge across from the park. Michael jumped on the stone wall on one side of the bridge," he stopped.
"Go on," Doctor Wurzbach said.
"He fell... or so I thought he did. But..." he paused again.
"But he did not?" Doctor Wurzbach filled in.
"No. I grabbed his hand and well... he... um... didn't fall."
"So you saved him," Doctor Wurzbach suggested.
"Well, I didn't think I saved him. I just thought it was I don't know "
Grey and Gimble in the WabeThe ground was soft beneath his feet. It squelched and popped beneath the pressure of his determined stride, and sometimes crunched on a creature that hadn't been able to get out of his way quickly enough. Hadn't been able to, or hadn't wanted toit was hard to tell, in a place like this. Barren, and yet alive in its own way. Wet, always wet, but with a sickly damp that worked its way into his clothes and his hair and his lungs. Flat and endless like an empty chessboard. In the distance stood figures that looked somewhat like trees, except they were too round, too perfect, like the tops of some ghastly fungus. If the man ever paused long enough to stare at them, they might move, just a bit. But it was hard to tell. And the man never did stop long enough.Grey and Gimble in the Wabe5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Why are you following me?"
This may seem to be a strange question for the man to ask in such a deserted milieu, but there was in fact something with him. It had no shape, or perhaps its shape was simply unimportant. Sometimes it
FFM 3: The Great ProcessSilence spun out on the grassy hill, and the boy analyzed his grandfather for some sign of a reaction. Cholas granted the boy a bemused half-smile, chewing on the mouthpiece of his pipe.FFM 3: The Great Process5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"It's horrible, isn't it?" Tian finally blurted. "You're not gonna tell my mom are you?"
Cholas chuckled softly. "Calm down, boy. Calm down. It's only horrible if you act upon it." He glanced down to see if it helped. It didn't. "Look, what you're feeling is perfectly natural for boys your age. Grown men get the same impulses, but we're used to it, we don't let it torture us."
"No, no. Listen for a second, child. It's just a part of nature. Like honey spiders gathering pollen in their great nets, or hawkflies snatching them away to feed their maggots. It's all a part of the great process: life, death, reproduction."
"But my own sister?"
Again, that throaty chuc
Where to Play?Where to Play?10 years ago in Science Fiction
The nuclear blast ripped through Wembley Stadium, shattering steel girders like toothpicks and melting human flesh like butter. Ringo's head smashed into the concrete as the scorching air roared over him. It had been a pretty good day until this had happened.
Earlier, the make up artists and costumers had descended on the four of them like a flock of gnats. A touch-up here, a snip there. Mr. Wesely, clothed in a pin-stripe suit, was calmly standing by the door of the dressing room, watching the talent coordinator of PeaceAid 3 hop around like an insane monkey.
"We've only got 10 minutes!" she howled. "Get the hair right. No! Not the bowl cuts. More shaggy. This is in the Pepper era, not the damn Ed Sullivan stuff!" She turned to Mr. Wesley with an icy look of horror on her face. "They do know the program, don't they?"
Mr. Wesley nodded. "Of course. It was downloaded two weeks ago."
The coordinator howled in agony. "No! It's changed since then! It's changed!" she waved her data p
A Common Cause'Cassandra Green, going off duty.'A Common Cause3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
'Good work today, Cassandra,' the voice from her smart phone replied. 'Your voice level indicates that you are tired. I would advise you not to drive.'
'I'm always tired, Nanny. Please, you know I'm a really safe driver.'
The voice from the phone did not answer straightaway. Cassie waited, holding her breath, though she didn't know why. Even if her breathing made a difference to Nanny's decision, there were worse things than being forbidden to drive home.
'Very well, Cassandra,' Nanny said at length. 'Just be sure to drive at a reasonable speed, and keep a window open.'
Cassie got into her car and began the journey home. The good thing about driving was that Nanny tended to keep quiet. She had to, if she wanted people to drive safely. Only when she perceived a greater danger than her own voice would she venture advice or give a scolding.
SomedayJane and Ellis floated parallel to one another across the vast canvas of space, eyeing the marble-like planets that slowly crept past them. Their skin reflected the starlight with a dull orange sheen. Ellis had called it 'planet gazing,' an activity he apparently thought suitable for a date.Someday5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes
"Do you see that one below us?" Ellis said, pointing to a round blue mass.
"Isn't it beautiful?" he asked. "I'll bet it's beautiful on the surface, too. Like the way the dust begins to spiral when a star is forming."
"Something like that," Jane said. She didn't understand his excitement. Planets were nothing interesting. They were just stars without the fire; black holes without the absence of color; asteroids with an atmosphere. They were just specks of light that littered the sky. The only remotely interesting thing she knew about planets was that the gas in their atmosphere were extremely lethal. Big whoop, she thought. Floating, atmospheric rocks of death. Ellis sure knew how to
the editorI make bad things go away.the editor5 years ago in Short Stories
Hit man? No, it's nothing like that. No, not organized crime. Christ, kid, where do you get these ideas? I bet it's television. Or those goddamn video games you people are always playing. What? So now I'm being judgmental? Do you know what I could do with one scratch of my pen?
No, forget it. I'm a little tired, that's all. It's hard work, you know. If you'd just listen for a moment, I'll tell you.
I'm a city editor. Not like newspapers, no. You have to train a lifetime to do the kind of work I do. And even if you do train a lifetime, not everybody's got the brains for it, you know? Imagination, that's what I'm talking about! You're young. You know imagination, don't you?
Now don't be stingy with the bottle. I know you were just going to spend the money getting wasted is what you call it, right? Better I drink this poison anyway. You're not old enough to be ruining your liver.
Now as I was saying. City editor. You think it is about newspapers, hah! Shows