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About Literature / Professional Julian M. Miles - a.k.a. JaeMale/United Kingdom Recent Activity
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Literature
On the Way Home
The cube of recycled plastic is labelled ‘Egg Mayonnaise’ and filled with a yellow paste. I don’t know what ‘Mayonnaise’ is, but egg’s one of the healthy stuffs listed on the Daily Reader’s ‘Top 20 Stuffs to Eat’.
Always liked the Reader; it doesn’t use long words and the articles always carry the Ministry of Information’s ‘Short is Good’ mark.
I try a bit while I wait. Sort of fizzy and sweet but a little bit gritty to stop it being boring. Good stuff, just like the Reader says.
I check the instruction label. Drat. Says you can’t dollop it into your mug-of-hot. It’s a red circle warn-off, too. This is the real deal. Mix it with hot stuffs and it could kill you.
“You want Cee or Tea?”
Her skin shines and her hair’s wet. Running a vending machine is hot work. But, it’s good money, and you’re paid to exercise. The treadmill she’s on keeps the machine eco-friendly
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Literature
Toy Soldiers
The wind up here is gentle, bringing the smell of summer fields from the uplands. Below my bloodied feet the valley stretches from side to side as far as I can see, so wide I can only just make out the verdant walls that line the far side.
This precipice, I’ve always loved it. From standing with my face defiantly turned into the winter wind, to lying beside my first love with the stars of a spring night scattered above, I’ve always come up here when emotions exceed words.
The fires in the valley are dying. By tomorrow morning, they’ll be able walk in numbed awe between the wrecks, looking for relatives and seeking to rescue or to grant mercy. It’s been a bitter eight days and the crimes committed have no witnesses left to raise challenge totems in search of justice.
Justice. Both sides claimed to possess it. If actions speak louder than words, then what I’ve just walked from proves neither side cares about justice or even decency. We went in like berserker
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Literature
Some Questions
The laboratory is quiet at last. Carrie crouches down to retrieve a champagne bottle. As it’s not quite empty, she drinks the rest and stands up, pausing to let a lightheaded moment pass. Dropping the bottle into the bin, she turns and utters a little scream on finding a grey-suited woman standing there.
“Who are you? What are you doing? Where’s your ID?”
The woman smiles.
“I’m Linda. I’m here to talk about the necrophone. I don’t need one, I’m not with the faculty.”
“Oh, alright. You should really be talking to Professor Dangmar, he invented it.”
Linda plucks a half-empty bottle of whisky from a table, wipes the neck with a corner of her jacket, and takes a swig before offering it.
Carrie grins and takes it. Resting her butt against a desk, she takes a swig and, coughing, passes it back.
“Whoa.” She gasps.
Linda nods and settles next to Carrie.
“Tennessee fine. Never a dull mouthful. So, before I
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Literature
Trojan
The bulb swings in lazy figure eights on its long cable. Somewhere in the darkness above, there must be a breeze. The shifting light is doing more to soften me up than the ministrations of the knuckledragger dancing round my chair like he’s fighting with someone who’s not tied to one.
“Talk!”
I smile carefully because my face already resembles mushy steak: “Pick a topic.”
He hits me again: “What I asked!”
I straighten up: “Must’ve slipped my mind.”
He hits me again.
“Oh, that.”
And again.
“I came to kill your boss like I killed Wallace, Kitson, and Gadro.”
Again.
“If you hit me whether I talk or not, I may as well not.”
Once again.
“No more lies! They took their enemies with them in a blaze of glory!”
I look up at him: “No need to shout.”
And again.
Every time, a gut shot followed by a cross. It may be cliché, but it gets the job done. I’m going to be
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Literature
Growing Back
The snow is so fine it sometimes drifts about for hours before finally settling. The result is a mist that makes everything vague before fallen snow obscures it completely. This being acid snow, obscuring may become erasure when thawing drenches everything in acid.
On organics, the snow is quicker to harm. Every member of our group has snowburn – blotches where snow melted on contact and scarred the skin. You’ve got to be well covered to survive out there. Even the toughest organics have a lifespan measured in days, which drops to hours if any snow is allowed to melt on whatever it is.
Every lair has a sluice, where those coming in are rinsed thoroughly as soon after entry as sensible. Filtering the water used is a continuing nightmare, as we can’t let it contaminate our potable supplies and even the vapours are noxious to varying degrees.
“Rack and ruin, rain and burn, will we see another turn?”
It’s a well-known rhyme, used to keep those who pedal
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Literature
Ashes and Dirt
I see her shoulders tense, then one hand releases as the other arm swings out and round. Ashes form a plume on the wind.
“He’s gone, Darion. Free at last.” Essa blinks back tears as she smiles at me. There’s a release in her eyes, a relief and a parting. The peace she so desperately sought has finally found her.
She watches as I think, my reply lost in the churn of memories. The man she mourns had my back across thirty worlds and ninety campaigns. We held the line at Rokuna and were part of the rearguard at the retreat from Sebastien. I held him up after he lost a leg to Blemenase Marauders off Shiristan, forming a three-legged fire team those brutal, poetic bastards still sing myth-songs about. Barely a year later he carried me from the ruins of Depnu, leaving my arms behind.
Powered prosthetics with shield generators became our trademark. On Talkinur we went from military service to mercenary elite without a blink. That’s where we were when an air condit
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Literature
Get Your Man
The truck crests the ridge with a loud whine from the drive servos momentarily rising above the sound of tyres on rough ground.
“There!”
A slim figure leans against a rocky outcrop: shirtless, barefoot, a cigarette hanging from her mouth.
Sheriff Ron Cheadle slaps Deputy Cal Danvers: “We got her. Grab your gun and let’s finish this.” He grabs Cal’s shoulder: “And no staring. Y’hear me?”
Cal nods. His fear has already overridden his usual interest in a lady wearing only briefs. He exits the vehicle and brings his pistol to bear: “Brigitte Noma, place your hands behind your head and kneel on the ground.”
She holds up her cigarette: “Couple of minutes.”
Ron’s not having any of it, leveling a shotgun: “Now.”
She shrugs and flicks the half-finished smoke toward them. Moving slowly, she complies with the instructions.
“Happy?”
Ron nods his head toward her.
Cal steps wide, then approach
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Literature
Monstrous
“‘The shell is the key’? He said that?”
“Yes. The carapace is the most remarkable aspect of this truly unusual species. In layman’s terms, it’s a pico-honeycomb that has all the useful properties of a hybrid of Kevlar and graphene. Add the light-diffusing filaments that cover it and it’s a perfect natural armour against our weaponry.”
“I always thought the ability to resist our weaponry was a bit too convenient.”
“The ‘tailored genocide’ and ‘monsters under control’ rumours? Scientist-Commander Greven says they’re nothing but conspiracy theories. Even with humanity on the brink, civilisation still needs urban legends.”
“So what has he come up with?”
“It’s an ultra-low frequency sound weapon, derived from some obscure Third Reich research.”
“Good grief, he went a long way back.”
“That’s why Scientist-Commander Greven leads us.
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Literature
Depths
I’ve travelled distances that make oceans seem like ponds. I’ve dealt with solar flares and meteor storms, flown half-blind and bleeding from situations that would make a sane man scream for his mother.
As I look up at the snow-white spume that tops this towering wall of grey water, I realise I am a tiny being and for all that I’ve endured, the depths of my terror had not been plumbed until this moment.
“Ketse! Stop staring! Get your sodden butt in here so we can close up!”
Christa, captain of this tub, grabs my belt and hauls hard. Once she gets me moving, the spell is broken. I don’t want to stare into the abyss anymore. I nearly knock her down as I scramble inside and throw myself into my couch. With a rapid series of hisses and clicks, the harness engages.
She slams the hatch and slaps the locking lever down under its restraint. Throwing herself into her own couch, she shouts over the mounting noise.
“This one’s going to be bad. Brace
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Literature
Lay Me Down
Vapour coils along the bough, drifting away in little skeins of dissipating light. Tobias grins. Luminous breath: sure sign of irrevocable infection.
“How do you feel, my son?”
He looks up at the white rectangle glowing at the throat of the padre’s power armour.
“I’m fine, father. Some kind of feel-good side effect, I guess. Never felt better, to be honest.”
Spinal segments click as the helmed head nods.
“You’ve indicated you’ll not be wanting last rites?”
He waves his hand at the swamp about them: “Seems pointless, father. This far from Bethlehem, feeling this good, I’ve got to be closer to rapture than any man has ever been.” He grins as he finishes, taking the blasphemous sting from the words.
“You’ve been a righteous sinner, that much I’ll grant you, Tobias Ghent. Had more than an even share of prayers offered for your deeds.”
Tobias sits up, trailing luminous exhalations from both
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Literature
Trick of the Light
He gently places a finger on her hand.
“Now try. Over there. No, don’t look back, you won’t see him. Look in the window. He’s just to the left of Mrs. Bakker, kissing her shoulder.”
Krista stares around the room, at Connor, then at the window. There’s her, there’s an empty chair where Connor should be, there’s Amanda Bakker, and there-
She stares at Connor: “He’s in your shipsuit!”
Connor nods: “Seems he doesn’t have access to a wardrobe in reflection world. Just glad I had a shower before we made that run.”
She can’t help it and looks back. He watches her head tilt and a smile form: “Widow Bakker seems to be enjoying life on the other side.”
He nods: “I’ve seen her with him in the reflections in my room, and in my shower. A couple of the reasons why I’ve painted out every reflective surface at my place.”
The celebrity dinner swirls and shimmers about them, seem
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Literature
Home Ground
Sweating people are moving quickly down the High Street, frantically making angular edifices with cardboard boxes and spray paint. I’m working with Heather, rigging cat’s cradles of fishing line between the trees and bushes in the little park off Wendlesham Close. Jethro’s zig-zagging down Keynsham Road, spraying glow-in-the-dark crazy string under the cars and occasionally right across the road.
“Johnny Reed! What’re you doing?”
The towheaded kid stops, arms full of looted chocolate.
“If you go around and give that out, I won’t tell your dad.”
He nods and runs off.
Over on Queen’s Way Estate, they’re charging back and forth across the paths with fence panels and nail guns, changing the layout of back alleys. Up in Victory Gardens, they’re painting out the charge points and putting plastiboard over door and window recesses, which Malcolm’s team are then matching to the walls using plaster sprayers.
Ninety min
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Literature
A Light in the Black
There’s a dark atmosphere here on the hill, which is a sad achievement: with modern lighting and the city sparkling below, the Governor’s place is usually the brightest spot.
Until Maleshi brought the ruckus to the docks and Grunhilde took it personally. The mother of thieves versus the smuggler lord.
“Denton, you making up articles again?”
I turn and smile: “It’s my living, Governor. I’m always thinking about making articles.”
“Well, this won’t be one.” He seems dead serious.
Which means there’s a better tale to be had: “Then give me a story that makes it worth my while not to tell the galaxy about how a corrupt police chief suborned a planetary council to allow the criminal he obeyed to run our spaceports for personal gain.”
William appears too genteel to be a Governor. He should be cultivating roses or teaching history to scions of nobility.
“I know that look. You’ve told me the story beh
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Literature
Look into the Screen
“That’s it. Let the colours soothe you. So easy. Relax. It’s all here.
Anything you should be concerned over, everything you must have. There’s nothing you need to fear because we’ll tell you if there is.
No, don’t worry. You’re not missing a thing. Just go about your work and play without a care, because we’re on your side. That’s right, we’re your safety web. If you don’t connect to any sites on the wild side, you and your children can’t be in danger.
After all, we have teams of specialists combing the wild every day to bring you the best bits from all over the world. There’s really no need to concern yourself with the complicated stuff around securing your browsing. We’ll take the risks for you. After all, we care.
There’s no need for a book or some old-fashioned text-based website. Quite honestly, if it’s more than three hundred characters, it’s not worth it. We’ll read you a
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Literature
The Courtesy
We’re glaring at each other across a gap that is – as we have repeatedly tested – exactly nine metres wider than either of our best reaches. The ground for kilometres around us is nothing but churned mud and scoured rock. Not a leaf, not a lifeform.
“Hawk Four, what is your status?”
“Central, I’ve got one extant bogey, range zero, in a Limuform Eighteen.”
“Hawk Four, why is the bogey extant if within range?”
“Central, I’m out of everything, including legs. Before you ask, I only have one arm left and it’s a manipulator, not an aggressor.”
“Hawk Four, why have you not been terminated?”
“I took it’s chargebank and tracks with a pulse from my Gadden. Its response was to blow my last combat arm – plus Gadden – off before it toppled onto the launcher it was relying on. So, after we worked out we couldn’t reach with anything, we threw things for a while.”
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My third DD!

Thank you.

I shall continue to put words into stories and stories into books.

You folk who comment, favourite, and communicate are why I do this...

And the fact it's way too late to turn it off - even if I wanted to.

Thank you.

PS: 'The Courtesy' will be in this year's anthology, 'Never a Sky We Know', which will be published before the end of the year - sorry to be vague; I'm completing a novel (and monthly flash fiction submissions, and the short fiction that pops into my head) and only have one set of paws to type with, so scheduling is my usual 'when I finish this, and that - oh, and that one over there, I'll do it' variety.

My main site is www.lizardsofthehost.co.uk - why not click over and have a browse? I've lots of stuff online.

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Rafellin's Profile Picture
Rafellin
Julian M. Miles - a.k.a. Jae
Artist | Professional | Literature
United Kingdom
Author, publisher, poet, storyteller, project manager, game designer, pagan, and part-time gentleman.

(Profile photo by Maricel Dragan, slitsight.com)
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:iconkittysib:
KittySib Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Kitty kitty - RaveThank you for the llama and have a good day!Kitty kitty - Dont care   
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:iconiantp:
IanTP Featured By Owner May 18, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday dude, hope you had a good one :) x
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:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner May 18, 2018  Professional Writer
Ta.
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:iconlady-pilot:
Lady-Pilot Featured By Owner May 18, 2018
Happy birthday and best wishes!
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:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner May 18, 2018  Professional Writer
Thankee.
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:iconsimonjm:
SimonJM Featured By Owner May 17, 2018
Happy Birthday!  For Rafellin 2018 by SimonJM
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:iconfrankt:
FrankT Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Tyvm for the Llama :)
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:iconakrasiel:
akrasiel Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2017  Professional Writer
:noes: Another Jae!
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:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Professional Writer
Yup. 'Tis only a nickname, though. The name on my books is Julian M. Miles.

Pleased to make your acquaintance, miss.
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:iconakrasiel:
akrasiel Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2017  Professional Writer
Only a nickname for me too, even though that's what's going on my books. :giggle:
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