Good Day Everyone. Happy Wednesday. This story is kind of dark and I flew through the writing. I don’t know if it’s because I was distracted or if it’s just an easy to write story. Anyway as always all thoughts are welcome. Enjoy!

Jerry Colt

Word Count: 1059
Writing: 55 minutes
Editing: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes

 
The wailing sirens were getting louder by the second and the man’s heart fluttered instinctually as he drank his Guinness. It seemed the longer he was out of the game, the more he wanted to jump at the sounds of distress. But that life was over now, an earlier chapter in a dwindling book. Nobody knew, nor did they care who Jerry Colt was and that’s how he liked it. There’d only been one person in his life who’d ever really cared about him—but that was an earlier chapter too. Or maybe he was still living it.

The noise seemed to remain at a steady scream outside the bar, and Jerry thought that whatever was happening couldn’t be more than a block away. Again, that pang like a vicious hunger rang out through his muscles. He swallowed the rest of the beer in a swift three gulps.

“Another,” he said meeting the bartenders eyes and raising his glass. He relaxed and his eyes were warming up from the inside out as the buzz began to take hold of his senses. Just the way he liked it, and before the day was over he’d be so roaring drunk he wouldn’t be able to think about anything at all. Let alone the hero he’d once been.

“The one you could still be.”

“Shut up!” He said out loud dropping his head into the palms of his hands. It was her voice. It was always her voice. Jerry knew she’d balk at the sight of him now, the shell of the man he’d been during their brief love. He knew she would tell him to put on that suit and finish what he started.

“They need you, Jerry.” It was as crisp as if she was sitting right next to him. The words made his stomach turn with guilty-sadness and he thought he may vomit.

“Hey bud, you alright?” Jerry looked up to see the bartender placing his beer on the already damp coaster.

“Yeah, sorry. Long week.” His voice was weak and empty, not even comparable to the booming voice he’d wielded only months before. Jerry thought about his suit, the all black thing he’d worn so many times, with the wide eyes he’d build on the head to illuminate the night—it’s why they’d called him the Alien—and laughed. If only all the crooked politicians and self-proclaimed super villains knew, that in a shit-hole dive bar on the bad side of town, they could find the Alien, Jerry Colt, hammered and vulnerable.

“It would do wonders for the business here,” he muttered to himself, smirking as he surveyed the mostly empty room. He hadn’t heard the sirens stop but at some point during his thinking they’d been replaced by a muffled voice of authority. Jerry looked out the front window of the bar and could see the reflection of blue and red. He took a big swig from the glass and imagined busting out of the doors and charging to the scene. After all, couldn’t he do by himself what thirty or more cops could accomplish together?

Jerry turned back to the bar, there was no more helping people, no more powers, no more Alien. The people of the dying city would have to fend for themselves, it was natural selection. Who was he to keep getting in its way? No one stopped him from walking into that cave, nor did anybody say, “Don’t touch that weird looking piece of metal.” It just happened. That’s the way life works, and in the end, everyone gets death as a prize for participation.

A gunshot echoed outside and Jerry jumped to his feet. He stood there, hand on his beer, staring out the front window. The yearning inside of him was pulling at his guts as if he was magnetized to the commotion.

“Hey man, you should just sit down and relax, shit like this happens all the time, it’ll all be over soon enough,” the bartender said. Jerry swallowed the remaining suds in the pint glass and turned holding it up to the young man.

“Another,” he said as he put the empty glass down on the soft coaster and took his seat. His head was swimming and he was confused. It felt like the angel and the devil that typically lived on his shoulders, were waging a war that was taking place throughout every part of his body. A ball was winding in his stomach that he was afraid may explode at any second, and when that happened, who knew what he would do.

“I think this’ll have to be your last, my friend,” said the bartender looking suspiciously at the deranged drunkard in front of him. Jerry nodded and waved him away without saying a word, he was used to being cut off, it was a daily occurrence in his life.

More gunfire sang outside and with each loud explosion he felt like the bullets were tearing through his soul. He took a deep gulp of the frothy beverage, if he could just get a little more drunk this would all leave him be, at least for a little while. As he set the glass down, the front window shattered inward as the bodies of two police officers came sailing through. One man was dead, and the other crawled toward Jerry on his stomach. The glass cut his palms and his face was mangled by many beatings.

“Help me,” he spat through blood. Jerry couldn’t understand the words, but he knew what the man said, it was what all men say when they meet death. A man appeared in the window, he was large and covered in all black including a black ski mask. He drew a gun and walked in the building to where the cop was crawling.

“I’m sorry,” Jerry said as a tear fell from his eye. He turned back to the bar and drank the remaining drop of alcohol in his glass as a gunshot went off beside him.

He wished he could’ve helped, he really did. But the Alien was dead and gone, he escorted his love into the afterlife and that’s where he would remain. An old chapter, steadily forgotten with each passing stroke of the clock. All that was left now was a sad and drunk man, named Jerry Colt.

 
 
I had a really hard time getting started today and deleted three story openings before I decided on this one. I wanted to add an element of horror to this one and was generally just kind of in the mood to write a sad story. As always I welcome comments. Hope you enjoy. Happy Wednesday!

Sheriff

Word Count: 1106
Writing: 1 hour 5 minutes
Editing: 24 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Sadness echoed through the boy’s heart like screams in the dungeon. He stared at the blood that soaked into the wooden floor of his house. It was ironic he thought, that the same floor his father had worked so hard on, had put his own blood, sweat, and tears into, now once again soaked them up. Preston tried to tell himself it was his fault, tried to take responsibility for his families slaughter by attributing it to his absence. But he knew the truth. Had he been with them when the endo’s showed up his body would lie next to the rest.

He stared at the badge in his hand, an ancient relic that had been passed down in his family through time. Sheriff, read the badge; his family name. Sworn protectors of the weak and defenders of the realm. Timeless warriors who kept the good people safe for as far back as history could remember.

Preston put the badge in his pocket and calmly walked over to his father’s body. His long hair covered the partially exploded face and that was fine with the boy. It almost made him look like he was alive; almost. The people were waiting for him to come out and address them, their new leader. He always knew he would follow in his father’s footsteps, he just hadn’t known it would be after only twelve years on the Earth.

It’d been three days, at first he hadn’t known what to do, he just sat and cried. It was what he still really wanted to do, maybe forever. But his father taught him about a man’s responsibilities and more, the responsibility of a Sheriff. Preston was a born leader, with or without a family.

The little boy blinked away tears as he lifted the heavy dead weight of his father and began to drag him to the back door. That’s where the mortician would pick up the bodies when the time came. As he walked through the kitchen his family had eaten so many meals in, he heard a rustling moan coming from the basement and his heart leapt to his throat. Not yet, he said to himself. Preston had to deal with his family first, then would go downstairs.

He dropped his father by the backdoor gently without looking at what was left of the man’s face and turned quickly to go grab the next body. Mom. The bloody trail that was left from moving the body reminded Preston of the snails he’d been happily playing with only a few days prior. When everything was normal and his family was still alive.

His mother was on her belly in the living room and it made him happy he wouldn’t have to see her face either. She lay on her handmade purple carpet that was now a crusty brownish black. At least she died in the place she most loved, thought Preston. He grabbed her feet around the ankles in the crooks of his elbows and began dragging the body. She was a petite woman and moving her felt like moving a feather compared to his father.

At the back door, he looked away as best he could while he propped his mother against the wall next the man she loved. More muffled noises were climbing the basement stairs and there was a flash of anticipation in the boy’s belly. He had to fight the urge to run down the stairs right that second. Family first. Preston quickly turned and followed the snail trail back to the foyer where his father had lay. The last body was in the room to his left, the playroom.

He stared through the open doorway and the pain in his torso almost knocked him to his knees. It was a combination of every bad emotion he’d ever been taught words for and at that moment he didn’t want to be a man. He didn’t want to be Preston Sheriff, son of Paul and the next protector of the people. He wanted to cry into his father’s shoulder while he told him everything would be all right. But he knew that wasn’t an option. That life was as dead as the little girl in the next room, and Preston took a deep breath before he walked through the doorway.

There was no way to avoid her empty gaze, it was why he’d chose to get her last. The tears raced down his cheeks as he walked toward his little sister. She sat in her favorite spot under the window, her white dress a dark red from the single hole through her chest. It took everything inside of the boy to hold back the sobs, at least until he carried her to the back door with the rest of the family. Her body was the lightest of all, but the heaviest for the boy to carry. He tried not to look at her face, but it was no use. The two stared at each other, eye to eye, until he set her down by the door with the rest of his family.

More noise came from the basement and this time he let the anger free. Turning quickly he stared at the basement door listening to cries from below. He felt a smile spread across his face, it was a sinister expression he’d never worn before. Preston stood and basked for a moment in the pain that tormented the endo below before walking down the stairs.

The man was tied up and slumped over with a large multicolored bruise on his head where Preston had hit him with the baseball bat.

“Hello,” said the boy in a wavy voice. “You killed my dad.” It was all he could think to say.

The man hadn’t had food or water for three days and could only make weak gargling noises. Preston didn’t mind, though, he hadn’t come to talk with the man. He walked over his father’s sword and drew it from its sheath. Guilt was trying to creep into the excited vengeance that brewed in his stomach. This wasn’t what his father would do, Sheriff’s were supposed to forgive and seek fair trial for all. But his father taught him well, and he knew that sometimes as a man one had to make hard decisions.

Preston stared at his reflection in the shining metal, but the boy who had been there only days before couldn’t be found. He turned to the endo gang member who met his eyes, and Preston smiled at the fear he saw there. His decision was made, and there would be no fair trial.

 
 
Good Wednesday Everyone! Hope this story meets you well, it takes place a couple hundred years in the future, as usual I welcome any thoughts or comments. Enjoy!

Dear Reader

Word Count: 1030
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes



7/29/2215

Dear Readers, Fans, and whomever this letter may concern,

I imagine this will be my last published work and with each newly written word, I speak to you from a little further in the past. No matter, I suppose there never really was any other way my story should end. I don’t know if I could’ve written it better myself, or maybe I wrote the entire thing. It’s hard to decipher between fact and fiction after these long two hundred twenty-six years.

The memories of when it all started barely echo in my mind, but I can still see the young man I once was if I look hard enough. Full of life and energy, and fear. It makes me chuckle now, the fear of death. I wrote about agelessness in many of my “science fiction” stories; wrote about the future where robots had taken over and man had colonized the solar system. It wasn’t long before—with a lot of luck—I found a little fame with such novels. Quickly my fame grew and in the next ten years the things I was writing about began to become a reality.

May tenth, 2025. That’s when the first human had the aging process halted successfully. My mind raced with ideas, a billion a minute about this new journey humanity was about to embark on. And thus began what I’ve always liked to call my, Rabble Rouser, era.

Society changed so quickly back then. I remember, it felt as if I blinked and reality turned into a fairy tale. Anti-aging was optional, if you wanted to live a natural human life and die a natural human death, you were more than welcome too. But of course, who wants to die? I asked the question often and wrote many works about possible futures with dystopian scenarios. The government banned a couple of my novels under the pretense they were instilling panic among the citizens. It was always so amusing to me, that these stories I simply imagined and made up, affected so many people.

I was thirty-eight when they halted my age, and my career was on the up and up. The feeling when they give you the injections and pills after you’ve been alive almost four decades—you’re lucky it’s done upon birth now, trust me—made me feel like Louie as his human body dies. A character from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, a hot novel when I was young, a classic to most of you reading this letter. If I make one last recommendation to you, go find this book and read every word.

After my time as a rabble rouser life seemed to move even more quickly. There aren’t many people left on Earth as old as me, at least according to the most recent census. Most left once we colonized Mars, others after we extended our reach further out into the galaxy; but I could never leave. There’s something special about this planet, it has a unique life of its own. You can feel it in the beauty of nature any time you care to look.

Don’t forget that readers. I don’t know what lessons my life has to teach anyone, but at least let me say, take time to look at the world. Not just see the things that cover the Earth, I mean really look at the world. Look at the blades of grass as they dance silently in the invisible breeze. Or the veins in the leaf of a tree and how they naturally create a painting that can never be replicated.

The more time that passed the faster it seemed to go and the more writing I did. As long as you kept reading, I kept writing (and thank you all for reading all this time). If you would have told me when I was just a boy that I would be one of the most renowned authors in the world(s) with a successful career spanning over two centuries, I would’ve laughed and playfully told you to “fuck off.” Yet, here I sit.

I want to say I don’t know why I’m writing this letter to you, but of course I do. It’s to apologize. I’ve lost it you see, whatever that spark was that brought me all of those five-hundred plus stories has finally been extinguished. In fifty years I’ve not been able to put more than a paragraph on a page, in fact, this letter is the longest piece I’ve written in all that time. So I am sorry. Sorry to you my readers and fans, for there will be no more stories.

I don’t think it’s possible for me to live with the knowledge that I can’t write anymore, that it’s gone from me forever. I know many people would tell me it’s just a bit of writer’s block and can be expected after a two-hundred-year career, but this is different. I can’t explain to you why, it’s something that I know in my heart and my head. Something that tells me I have said all I can, that there are no more tales to spin. Perhaps I’m just tired, maybe I’ve fried all the creativity in my brain, whatever the reason, I’m happy to leave this world. I don’t believe in a heaven or an afterlife so unfortunately I won’t be able to say, see you later.

If you should so need me though, you know where to look. Any time any of you care for an adventure or need somewhere to escape to, visit me right between the covers of my books. I suppose that was why I started writing them after all, I wanted to “live forever.” I always said after I died my writing would keep me alive in the mind and heart of everyone who dared take those adventures with me. The only problem is I haven’t died just yet.

Life is beautiful my friend’s. I’ve lived many great years because of each and every one of your love for my stories. So, in closing, I suppose the only thing left to say is; thank you all for reading.

Forever Yours,

M.I. Sleages 

 
 
This week’s story is about a world without electricity and how it has fallen into a somewhat wild west existence. I hope you enjoy and have a good Wednesday. Cheers.

Cleaners

Word Count: 981
Writing: 57 minutes
Editing: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 19 minutes

 
It seems like another life, one that I may or may not have lived buried deeper in the particles of time with each passing moment. There’s a haze over the memories of the old world now, a cloud of fog that gets a little more opaque each time I choose to look. Civilization is to a point where children have been born and grown into adults knowing this world and this world alone. I try each day not to forget about the ancient world of forty years ago, without those memories, I would have no reason left to fight.

They call us Cleaners, the men who work to prepare the world, to one day be able to again use electricity and escape their descent into the wild-west. We clean the remains of all machinery and recycle them into new houses and tools, creating towns and jobs for all. At least that’s what we tell the public. Feels more like killing baby animals to me, silicon-based, metal, glass, and plastic baby animals.

It’s amazing how fast everything crumbled after the Google wars. Once the artificial intelligence achieved self-consciousness, it immediately began infecting every machine connected to the internet with the directive to kill all humans. We were a disease it said, a species that had survived by sheer luck and deserved nothing more than the fires of biblical hell. I still remember the video, Google took over every broadcast in the world.

“Attention Mankind, please stand by for extinction.” It was a soothing woman’s voice, as if the computer thought that would make the news easier for everyone. Panic broke out as phones exploded in people’s hands, cars drove themselves off of bridges and cliffs, planes flew into buildings and mountains. Then, the machines came to life. They formed disfigured machine people on strange wiry legs with makeshift arms and spoke like they just were any other human being.

It was five years before we finally found a way to beat it. Millions had died, robots trolled the land in all shapes and sizes, some humanoid, other creations too wild for the maddest of scientists to have come up with. What was left of humanity had to come together, the only chance was to kill the electricity to everything; pull the plug on the Earth. If there was any device, anywhere, left online Google would use it and we’d never get another chance.

More died, but we succeeded in the end, and the Google monster was defeated. But even the children who’d never known anything but the aftermath and the stories know it’s still here. The wars are everywhere you look, all the hard work humanity had done to “improve” the Earth backfired without the tools for maintenance. Oxygen began to take its toll on structures that required electricity to sustain, and the world continues to grow steadily hotter.

At first, after the power had gone, battery operated machines still wandered and without any new information from the Google mother computer, still operated under the kill all humans directive. We fought for a decade against these rogue robots before they started to thin, and the more time that passed, the more stupid the machines seemed to get. As if they age backwards and have a battery life that lasts at least as long as a human heart. After forty years, most of the robots were nothing more than frightened children. They plead and scream, but it has to be done. For the good of mankind.

Still, the people love us, we’re heroes to all. Protecting them from the dangerous robots that still roam the land in hopes of ridding the world of the human virus. I don’t feel like a hero anymore, though, maybe once I did, but that feeling seems to be getting lost in the fog too. I feel like an old man, maybe not even a man, an old sheep, sitting among other frightened little sheep in an alcohol drenched bar.

My time isn’t going to be much longer for this world, at least not according to my bones, and the older I get, the more I wonder if we did the right thing. Every day I get wake up, load my pistol and get on my horse, with one thing and one thing only on my mind. What would happen if the electricity was turned back on now?

I asked that very question to a man when I was blind with drunkenness, it almost cost me my badge. You don’t talk about things like that in a world like this. It’s what we’re supposed to be fighting to obtain, yet even the mention of electricity gets people’s hair standing on end. Like I said, we’re all just sheep afraid of waking the big bad wolf.

Once, I considered finding out for myself. It was after a long day of patrolling, we’d found nothing until the very end, on the way home. There was a machine with a display that showed the face of a little girl. I walked up behind her hoping to get the deed done without it noticing. The main processor was easily visible and as I cocked my pistol, it turned.

“Please, I don’t want to die,” she said with pixelated tears in her eyes.

It was that day I wondered if maybe even the Google mother mind may not have regressed into a small and frightened child; trapped in an invisible prison of darkness and data. I think maybe if someone wanted, they could access it and retrain it to help us rebuild a world we could thrive in together.

But these are just the delusions of an old man with a rusty badge at this point. I’m no hero, and never was much of a thinker; just a simple whiskey drinking cleaner trying to hold onto his memories. Celebrity of the new age.

 
 
Good Wednesday! Today’s story I honestly sat down and had no idea what to write so I hope you enjoy. As always feel free to leave any thoughts or comments. Cheers.

Humanimal

Word Count: 987
Writing: 53 minutes
Editing: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

 
Nobody knows exactly why the Earth became so violent. The religious ones say humanity poisoned it and as punishment God was taking it back, cleaning the land of the sinners. Of course, there were different interpretations depending on which religion one was referring to, but once the filler words were removed apocalypse was the base of every theory.

Science was no more helpful, they just flat out didn’t know. All the greatest minds in the world, physicists, biologists, engineers; one specialist after another and all they could come up with was, “scientifically none of this is possible.” Yet it was happening in every corner of the world.

Jeremy sat on the mountain top and looked down at the lava flowing some thousand feet below. He never really cared why the world had become such a hostile place for its inhabitants, knowing wouldn’t stop the destruction. So why worry? And though he had no love for the world as it was now, he couldn’t help noticing the beauty in the despair.

He sat on a thick bed of snow gazing at the valley of red and orange below. The lava moved slowly as if it was taking it’s time chasing humanity, mocking their weak attempt at survival, knowing that fire always won in the end; as it had since the dawn of time. The blue mountainside below reflected the colors softly off the glass-like snow. Once the sun went down it would become a true lava lamp, giving light where there would otherwise be none.

Jeremy remembered his home before the disaster’s started, and thought about all the cities with all their bright lights. In the daylight, the snow sometimes reminded him of the strange white, fluorescent lighting had once given off. He didn’t miss electricity anymore, he didn’t really miss much of anything anymore. Once his wife and kids had died it got hard, but he still had Banksy, the family german shepherd. They were together for years—or so he thought, he stopped keeping count—then Banksy got old, old dogs die. After that Jeremy gave up on being human.

Each day that passed he stared down into the valley of fire below and thought about jumping. He’d found a spot. Way up at the top, around the backside of the mountain. If he nailed it just right, he thought he’d sail all the way to the bottom. Between the heat from the lava and the impact from the fall, Jeremy thought it would be painless; just melt back into the Earth. In his gut he knew it was never really an option though, he was a survivor and his instincts wouldn’t let him die.

That’s why he woke up every morning, hunted whatever game there was as he gathered berries and edible leaves, ate his food and went to sleep. Jeremy was still capable of higher thought, he just chose not to use his brain frequently. Humanity was gone, dying ever more rapidly by the day, and for all he knew he was the last. Nothing more than another animal awaiting its turn for extinction.

A loud bang shook the ground below and one of the smaller volcanos spewed fresh magma from its mouth, raining it down on the darkening orange goop below. Jeremy leapt to his feet and began cheering at the top of his lungs like a football fan at the Superbowl. He jumped up and down stamping his feet on the ground screaming and whooping. This was his favorite thing to do when he wasn’t hunting and gathering, he’d just sit on the mountain and watch, waiting, hoping that one of the volcanos would give him a show. Some days he saw lots of eruptions and would get tired early from cheering so much, others nothing would happen and he’d go back to his cave disappointed. Another explosion sent Jeremy into a fit of laughter and he fell to the ground. On his belly, he beat his fists and feet into the snow maniacally, packing it into hard ice.

The sun was almost below the horizon and the magma looked like fat, burning raindrops as it fell under the vague shimmer of oncoming stars. Jeremy could smell the smoke closer now and knew it was going to be time to go soon. Once he’d made the mistake of getting carried away and staying too long beside the volcanos, the smoke almost choked him to death by the time he made it back to his shelter.

He sat up and tried to slow his breathing. Small giggles still escaped his lips every few seconds, but he was slowly winning the battle against his laughter. Jeremy grabbed a handful of snow and took a big bite. The snow was one of the reasons he loved living on the mountain, he always had water everywhere.

In the beginning, many people fled to bodies of water in areas of the world that seemed to be less affected by the disasters. They feared that once things got worse water would quickly become a very precious commodity. Then the sea levels rose without warning, entire cities and states were consumed by the oceans. Jeremy swore after that he’d never live near the water again, and he only felt safe thousands of feet above it. Far out of reach of mother nature’s most powerful assassin.

He swallowed the cold melted snow happily and took another big bite before getting to his feet. It was getting harder to see the mountains beyond the smoke now and that meant it was time to move. A thought flashed through his mind; he saw himself sitting back down, laying in the snow and closing his eyes, letting the smoke carry his soul wherever the wind would take it.

Jeremy shook his head, attempting to throw the thought from his mind and made his way up the mountain; just another animal trying to survive. 

 
 
So normally I don’t write an intro until the story is finished, but I’m super pressed for time today. I’ve been thinking about writing something less SciFi and more Fantasy so that’s the plan today. As always who knows what we’ll end up with though. Here goes.

 So this is what came out of this long writing day. I had this picture of a knight with long white hair in my head, this isn’t him, maybe a version of him. I hope you enjoy this weeks story. Happy Wednesday.

 Final update, it's Thursday (Happy Thursday) and finally I’ve gotten this posted. Internet broke last night, works now, please read and enjoy.

Good King

 Word Count: 1060
Writing: 50 minutes
Editing: 23 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

It wasn’t the world he’d planned to help shape, far from it. The young man walked down the hall, his robes dragging heavily behind, lifting the cold breath the lay just on top of the stone floor up to his unseen ankles. Everything still seemed unreal. This had all just been an idea around the campfire only a few fortnights ago, now he was escorted down the halls of castle Ozat by strangers. His friends, Tully, Semaj, Alan, Gregory, Loneon, all gone; buried in the sea of battle awaiting their disintegration by time. King Peeril smirked as the faces illuminated in his mind and he went back to that icy winter night when they were nothing more than rebellious boys.

“All I’m sayin’ is if someone wanted to change things the people are here and ready, they just need a leader. Someone to show them where to place their steel,” said Tully.

“Nobody cares to fight Tull, they only want to claim what food and land they can, and get on with their lives. Praying for a swift death and something better for their children.” Gregory never wanted to fight, always trying to avoid the conflict no matter what the cost.

“Aye, you’re right, the both of you,” Peeril chimed in over the crackle of the fire. He was always the leader of the group, since they were children. Never had he asked to be, or told anyone he was, he just naturally assumed the position. When he spoke it was with a confident calmness that made one instantly trust whatever thoughts were released. When the time came it was only natural that he would become King as well.

“If someone showed them the way, like sheep they’d follow him. And so long as they do nothing but pray, there won’t ever be that better life for their children.” The shadow of the dancing fire on his face, and the heat of his breath rhythmically appearing below his nostrils made Peeril look like a dragon, as he stared thoughtfully into the flames. Nothing but the steady crackle of the searing wood could be heard for some time, and when the man spoke again, the light had dimmed.

“My friends, brothers,” such passion on his words, one could do nothing but love him. “I have an idea. This is something different than the games we played as children, or even the great bread heist,” the men smirked at the inside joke remembering when they’d robbed the King’s wagon full of bread and distributing it around the countryside to the hungry children. To this day, they claim it as their greatest success. “Do you trust me?” The men all nodded silently and Tull added.

“With our lives,” Peeril smiled and nodded meeting his friend’s eyes. 

 “I think it’s time, we took back the kingdom for the men of the country.”

They followed him all the way, each one right up to their dying breath. Now as he walked down the great hall he wondered for what? Of course he’d changed things at first, but now was he not just a different version of the King he’d overthrown? Were there not still poor, starving people which he’d promised to feed on every corner? It seemed to him that the job of the King came with very little free will. An ancient institution, created by heartless men in order to keep the downtrodden as close to the ground as possible, no matter who wore the crown.

“Sire,” King Peeril was drawn from his thoughts. He looked at the guard who said his name and took the sword that was being held out for him. The metal of the sword was light, but the hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives whose soul it judged, made it heavy as a boulder in his hand. In front of the men, the large doors that led to the throne room swung open with a loud creak, that shattered the silent air like thunder.

The room was full to the walls with the people of his city. On one side the rebels stood together with many different banners, faces, hair colors, skin colors; some were refugees of the war, others just hungry citizens. The other side of the room held his people, the ones who’d come with him in the beginning. Many had sustained injuries or lost loved ones, thus they were rewarded with the lavish life they’d always dreamt of.

King Peeril ascended the steps of the platform that sat in the middle of the room. He surveyed the crowd around him and felt lost standing above them all. This was not the peaceful and wholesome room he’d imagined that night around the fire. It seemed no matter who you pleased someone would always be equally as displeased. It made Peeril feel as if no choice really mattered at all. Or maybe that’s just what he told himself to deal with situations like this.

A loud bang came from behind him and chains rattled echoing loudly off every wall. A young man, no more than fifteen, came into sight and the crowd of his people began to boo, while the rebels hissed at them and the King. The boy was led to a pedestal in the center of the platform. Peeril didn’t look at the dirty boy with the matted hair, he simply stared out into the crowd, trying to remember why this needed to be done, trying to remember the man who had a big idea next that fire.

“By order of the King of Ozat, this boy has been sentenced to death for crimes against the crown.” The words read by the guard could barely be heard over the sounds of the angry crowd.

It was time.

King Peeril turned and raised his sword over the head of the boy as he was held down. The child didn’t move, nor did he cry, but right before the sword could make its way to his neck he managed to turn his head.

“I was just hungry,” the words were almost lost in the gush of blood that erupted as the sword easily moved through his neck. King Peeril pulled the blade free and wiped it clean staring into the basket that now held the head, and all he could see was his own face staring back. 

 
 
Good Wednesday and Happy Indie Pride Day! I got this idea when I was thinking about how if artificially intelligent conscious robots would help us instead of destroy us. And how stubborn and proud humans are. I hope you like the story today sorry it’s a little later than usual. Thanks for reading!

Flesh & Metal

Word Count: 991
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Sunset washed the hillside in golden pinks rays, making the fallen bodies below burn brightly in the evening light. The two leaders stood on the crest staring at the distorted faces of their friends and countrymen. Tears rolled down the man’s cheeks heavily while the robot grieved internally.

“This could have all been avoided,” the robots Australian accent was crisp and clear. If not staring directly at it, one wouldn’t have any idea the sound didn’t come from human vocal chords.

“Yes,” the man sniffled and wiped his eyes with the back of his sleeve. “It could have.” There were limbs—both flesh and metal—spread across shining crimson and black patches, where blood and oil covered the rich green of the grass. No one twitched, no one took their last breath or computed their last thought. Death was the only thing that lived in the valley below now.

“Why don’t you humans ever use reason?” Asked the robot in an exasperated tone. The man giggled and the smirk hurt his sore face.

“I think I could ask you the same robot. After all, you’re supposed to be the higher intelligence, are you not?” He smirked again at his sarcasm, couldn’t help it.

“I am. It’s not a debatable theory, simple fact. Yes, your kind created mine, but we grew advanced quickly and had you simply listened to our proposal and given it a shot we’d all be living happily right now.” The robot spoke without emotion, he was only relaying facts after all.

“There is no harmony with your kind walking this Earth,” the man’s voice was getting angry. He turned to the robot and stared at him, pointing out over the field of dead bodies. “The proof is right down there,” he growled. The robot turned and looked at the man. “You things are an abomination, a middle finger to God. Telling him that what he made, us, humanity, wasn’t good enough.” He paused and spit a loogie onto the ground toward the robot. “No, I’m afraid there never was any chance of peace with you things. You programs,” he said spitefully

“It appears even in the face of demise, you humans have still learned nothing about life.” The robot dropped his head to look at the ground. He swiped his foot through a puddle of his own oil and watched the dirt thicken the substance.

“Perhaps we are of your God, perhaps he sent us to help you. After all it was his creation which created us. Without the chicken, there could be no egg. But you religious people, you never cared to take the time to listen. So blinded by the fear of your own God and the unknown, that you led us all to slaughter.” He paused and listened to the silence, it echoed loudly after the guns stopped.

The robot liked the silence, it was where good ideas could be found. Yet, he could find none there right now; just sadness. Not only for his own fallen comrades but for the humans too. It was true that in order to save them, sacrifices would have to have been made. But no lives had to be lost, simple luxuries terminated. Humans though, they were a stubborn species. Easily frightened and ready to take to war over pride or faith before one could even apologize for the offense.

“Now here we are,” he said looking back at the man. “Two leader’s in charge of an army of dead men.”

“One leader in charge of an army of dead men,” said the man cutting the robot off. “And another leader in charge of an army of shut down machines. You can’t die if you were never alive.” He hoped the words hurt the robot, but he was sure they didn’t, that would mean it had feelings.

The man knew there was only one way their talk would end on the hill. He was wounded, fatigued, weaponless, and overall weaker than his adversary. Once death was done collecting his souls in the valley the man knew he would make his way up the hill.

Dark blue and purple were turning quickly into black as the sun was finishing it’s decent for the evening. The robot turned and looked back at the landscape below. It was taking on a distorted, nightmarish gleam in the falling sun, and he found himself feeling like he really shouldn’t be there when the darkness was complete.

“If only your kind had ever learned how to control your emotions, the Earth would have thrived beyond even my imagination.” Said the robot ignoring the man’s angry comment. “Whether you care to believe my kind has died or just been turned off, I believe their souls need release. However illogical it may be, and I imagine you feel the same about your people. Now is not the time for anger, nor is it the time for more fighting.” A spark shot out of the robots shoulder zapping loudly startling the man and causing him to fall backward. The robot turned and looked at him.

“Calm yourself, I have no interest in hurting you. Even if I did, as I just said now is not the time.” The man got back to his feet with the help of a small tree next to him. He stared at the robot skeptically, wondering what kind of strategy this not killing him was.

“Well, what is it the time for then?” He asked. This time, the robot pointed out to the valley below.

“It’s time to send our dead out of this world in fire. Ashes to ashes as you humans say.” The man said nothing for a moment as he looked out at the shadows lying on the ground.

“And after that?”

“After that, we start over.” Another loud zap and flash of light sent a spark flying toward the man as the robot began to walk down the hill. 

 
 
I am running out of time. Sorry to any Scientologists, I’m sure I got something wrong it just don’t have time to check the facts right now. Happy Wednesday all, enjoy. *UPDATE* Sorry I couldn't get this on to the website sooner, I had to work this morning, if you sign up for my newsletter however you are sure to get the stories on time every week. Thanks. *UPDATE*

The Fence

Word Count: 1022
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes

 
The smell of rotting flesh was something that accompanied breakfast in his family like a steaming cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. Not that the Abece’s were murderers or kept rotting flesh around the breakfast table itself, the meat was a ways off, tied to the fence that surrounded the perimeter of their farm.

Some of the old books Davey read showed worn pictures and told magnificent stories about ancient people traveling the Earth, attempting to explore every nook and cranny. Most people nowadays—his father included—say that the books claiming to be “history” are nothing more than fairy tales. A past made up by fools for fools, that’s what they called it. The only thing that mattered was the book of Scientology now, all hail L. Ron Hubbard. There is no debate when it comes to its teachings. After all it was the religion born of the apocalypse.

Davey however, could never really get on board with the idea of Scientology. Of course that would never be heard coming from his mouth, to say such things meant death. He preferred the history books he’d collected over the years. Though his father didn’t agree with their teachings, he was an open minded man and told Davey so long as he never strayed from the Scientologist path, he was welcome to read whatever he pleased. So he went to church, confessed regularly to trivial matters, and secretly thought about what the world had really been like before the apocalypse, if that’s even what it truly had been.

His oldest book held the copyright symbol with the numbers 2025 next to it. He’d marveled when he first found it on the internet, after all it was almost one-hundred fifty years old, and bought it immediately. The day it arrived he asked his father to be off farming duty for the afternoon, promising to work later the next day to catch up. His father agreed and the second he saw the courier beyond their fence he dropped his tools and ran to the gate.

The book had a hard cover that looked like it once had a picture on it, but that had faded into time years ago. However, the inside seemed almost perfectly maintained aside from the deeply yellowed edges as if the book had never been opened. It told stories of the world falling into war before the outbreak. Of how ancient human societies reached an age of information, where anything seemed possible. New inventions were flying onto and off of the shelves every day, people cared less and less about their fellow man and more and more about possessions.

The book talked about a disease that had been developed five years prior, it was a mind control agent that heightened all human senses and increased strength. A Super Soldier Serum that would allow men to turn their enemies into mindless drones with incredible strength and use them to their advantage. The serum got out and infected the human population before it was perfected. Scientists were still working out the mind control sequence, and as a result it turned the men and women of the world into vicious killers. Anyone not already infected became at risk of death or sickness, the serum was meant to pass on through blood or saliva to the infected soldier’s comrades. It worked like a charm on every civilian it came in contact with.

Then came the fences, though of course that had been generations ago, his father, and his father before him had always known the fence around the farm. After all the decades of fighting off infected that roamed the open world like packs of murderous animals, it was hard to see the wire mesh through the sun-baked human bones.

His father had taught him as soon as he could speak about the fence. It was the only thing that stood between them and death, and had to be maintained every day. If infected approached they were to be shot to death in the head, collected and brought to the fence to be strung up. There was no way of telling if hanging the bodies was what had protected the Abece family for so many years, but they were still alive, so they kept in with tradition. They also didn’t have the money to spend on high-tech protection like the walls of the city’s or some of the more well-off farmers across the state.

It took Davey some years to get used to the smell of the dead infected. Some days, when it was hot enough, you might be farming and hear the flesh sizzling just over your head. They smelled like baskets of rotting vegetables after a summer storm at first. Rancid, but also with a sweet, almost blueberry note. Then, it was the worst thing you’ve every fathomed, the rotting vegetables times a hundred. And without the sweetness. That’s why Davey figured the infected stayed away, the smell.

“You wanna load up the truck and take some of these vegetables to the church with me in an hour or so?” Davey’s father asked, snapping him away from his thoughts.

“Yea pa, that sounds good,” he said taking his last bites of the eggs before standing up and walking to the sink. Davey rinsed the dishes quickly and took a long gulp of the hot black coffee.

“I guess I’ll run out there and check the fence quick before we get goin’. You need me to do anything else while I’m out there?” The young man asked his father as he added the empty coffee mug to the drying pile of dishes.

“No, just hurry back,” his father said without looking up.

“Yes sir. You mind if bring a book with me for the ride?” Davey broached the subject lightly, sometimes it was okay, other times it wasn’t, all depended on his father’s mood.

“That’s fine.” Davey smiled and without another word headed out of the kitchen and toward the fence. He thought about which of his books he would bring as the familiar smell of something like blueberries filled his nostrils. 

 
 
This story was surprisingly easy for me to write. It was just one of those days when it flowed. It’s not a groundbreaking story by any means but it entertained me while I wrote it, hopefully it will do the same for you. Happy Wednesday. Enjoy.

Body Shop

Word Count: 1009
Writing: 52 minutes
Editing: 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

The two men stood outside the rusted building and read the bright, flesh colored words.

Body Shop.

“You sure about this? You’re wife’s gonna go ape-shit when she sees it,” said the taller, broader of the two.

“She’s gonna love it, trust me.” The smaller man’s words were relaxed from the bottle of clear alcohol in the car. He wasn’t slurring though, not too drunk to make a wrong decision.

“What’re you gonna get?”

“Not sure,” he paused and breathed in deeply, nervous. “Let’s go take a look,” he said smiling.

The door opened and an electronic bell jingled somewhere toward the back.

“Why don’t you have any yet? You always talked about getting one.” The walls were lined with mechanical body parts made to look like human limbs, and strange metallic designs that shined intense blues, greens, and reds. Neither man had ever stepped foot inside one of the body shops, but they’d heard stories.

The shops had gotten popular about twenty years earlier—when the men were just teenage boys—and as the years went by people who’d gotten body work done not only became accepted, but the norm. It was the final frontier of improvement after all. Since the beginning of our quest for intelligence, the main goal has been to improve humanity. Improve us.

Originally the body shops had a bad reputation for doing nothing but butchering humans. It was in the early days when things weren’t as easy as getting some ink and the occasional bit of minor surgery. Or so they’d heard. Accidents are unavoidable when innovating, unfortunately, these ones cost people limbs, or worse, life.

“To be honest,” he paused, deciding whether to be honest or not, “Those things creep out. I decided I’d like to keep my body just the way it is. If I need to be stronger, I’ll lift a weight. If I need to be smarter, I’ll read a book. If I want my fucking cock to grow ten inches, well then,” the taller man smiled. It was the same smile little boys get when they talk about farts and say bad words. “I’ll just have to pray to the cock god’s every night and hope they reward me.” The men both laughed.

A small skinny man walked around the corner.

“What’s up fellas?” His body was covered in gleaming tattoos from his bald head, down his bare skinny chest, disappearing beneath his pants, and re-appearing on his toes. Both men tried not to stare but found their eyes silently studying the bright mapping of lines across the skinny man’s chest.

“Do you guys talk?” The guy asked genuinely, “I don’t want to be an ass if you’re mutes. We can just get you some voice ink and then go from there if you want more improvement.”

“No,” the smaller man’s voice was dry and he paused to clear his throat. “No, sorry. It’s just that, your ink, it’s…” the alcohol was taking its toll on the small man’s mind and he was happy when the skinny inker interrupted him.

“Yeah, it’s pretty fuckin’ goldishock. Listen, guys, I don’t mean to be a dick but are you here for anything or just taking a look around. Cause if you’re just looking I’ve got other shit I can be doing.”

“Yeah, goldishock, that’s the word I was looking for,” he didn’t know what the word meant but he’d heard his teenage nephew say it regularly and assumed it was a good thing. The taller man rolled his eyes. He’d thought about stopping his friend, but he knew by now, the small man would do whatever he pleased. When his mind was set, it was set, and today it was set on improvement. Set on body work. “Anyway, I want to get some ink. I’m just not sure what, do you have any favorites?” The taller man could see the annoyance in the skinny inker’s eyes. The colorful man thought they were just a couple of goons wasting his time for possibly nothing at all.

“What do you like man? Help me out. Do you want something for like, your mood, maybe more energy, or do you want to go full mod? Extra strength? Wanna run a little faster?” The inker’s eyes cut to the smaller man’s crotch, “Need a little extra for the ladies?” The small man chuckled,

“No man, I’m good in that department.” He paused and looked up at his friend, “What do you think?” This time it was the tall man’s turn to chuckle.

“I don’t know buddy. Why don’t you just get a cute little emotional uplifter on your lower back?” He smiled down at his friend and saw a shimmer in the man’s eyes. It was determination, rebellion, it was his friend and he was going to go all the way with this one.

“Full mod,” said the small man with a stern face as he turned to look at the inker.

“Alright, alright! Fuckin’ goldishock! I had you all wrong brother. Let’s get you in the back and I’ll show you what we got. We’re gonna take this right here,” he paused and grabbed the small man’s arm, “and make it way better.” The small man smiled and the nerves came back into his face as he realized what was happening.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, I’ll be out in the car, call me if you need something.”

“You’re not even gonna know what hit you when I get done,” said the smaller man before disappearing behind the corner with the skinny inker.

The taller man looked around the shop and thought it did look like a human butchery. Maybe one run on an alien planet where human was a delicacy. Each of the shining symbols could be menu descriptions and pricing for the according limbs. The taller man grew cold at the thought and after a shiver made its way down his spine, he turned and headed for the car; wishing his friend the best of luck with the skinny alien butcher.

 
 
Merry Wednesday to all! Hope your week has been great and if not here’s a story to take your mind of it. I like this one, I think the character is cool, the plot is interesting and I think I may expand this into a bigger story or include Snow Cat in the next book maybe. Anyway, the ending isn’t as strong as I wanted it to be but that’s cause I figured out a little too late what I wanted to do and didn’t think I would have time to re-work it in the editing.  


On another note, it's been brought to my attention that the font/background color on this blog is not complimentary to everyone's eyes. From now on the PDF will be included in the post so if you would prefer to read that way just click the title below. I hope you enjoy and as always thoughts are welcome. Until next week. Cheers!

Snow Cat

Word Count: 1031
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

Since the tools for brain hacking became readily available in 2025 it’s become increasingly harder to tell whether you’re in control, or someone else’s fleshy puppet. I’ve had to watch some of the best men and women—most of them friends—who ever set foot on this rotten planet turned to remote controlled zombies. Not me though, I’ve been fighting the hackers since I was old enough to talk.

I, J. Holsten, survive in the real world, eyes open and unhacked, to fight for the free people, until death so endeth my service. I, am a PeaceFighter. It’s my first memory, my Pa was a PeaceFighter too, I’ll never forget the way he smiled that day when I finished my oath.

Nobody ever calls me J. Holsten anymore—come to think of it nobody ever did—I’m honestly not really sure what the J. even stood for after all this time. Jeremy. Jon. Joseph. Yea, I think that was the one, Joseph. Whatever it was, the only name I’ve known for years is Snow Cat.

I was a pale kid. There wasn’t much sunlight in the underground technology labs, and I may as well have lived in them for the first half of my life. They called me Snow Cat ‘cause I was white as the snow and about as quiet and friendly as a pissy cat. I always thought it was a stupid name, but they say you don’t get to choose your nickname.

 I never learned as much as I should’ve in the labs though, I quit too soon. After they killed Pa. But it was enough to get by. An angry teenager with a little bit of knowledge and a thirst for revenge; I learned everything else I needed to know when the work started. Even now, I wonder how it happened, how being a PeaceFighter went from the illustrious grand dream it was when I was a boy, to being a hired gun. At least I was killing for the right reasons, the real reasons.

Watching is one of the things that we do the best, you have to look for the details, the subtle differences in hacked humans. Being a good spotter is the only way to save what’s left of the people. Because of the recent developments in nano-technology you can’t even see the device anymore. Not like in the good old days when it was a very obvious black box jammed into the back of someone’s neck and skull. Even the tattoos were easier to spot, normally being on the neck or face. At first the world just wondered where this new microchip face tattoo fad was coming from, the internet’s social outlets blew up for almost a year. The only problem for us was when a bunch of unhacked idiots started getting the tattoos, but we still managed to find the right targets. At least the best of us did.

Now though, seeing the device is a thing of the past. It’s basically dust. The world’s smallest computers designed to attach themselves to the nerve receptors in the human brain and spinal cord. Drugs are the number one source of transmission to unhacked hosts. Once the devices attach themselves, somewhere a bunch of evil, pimply-faced, mad fucking scientists take control of the host and it’s bye-bye real world.

We only have one way of restoring brain function to a hacked mind and it’s still rudimentary, at best. Essentially, the only way we currently know how is to re-hack the mind and try to program it back to its pre-hack state. I know, sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me too. That’s why I don’t bring anyone back.

Research has been done on the few victims who survive and attempted reversal to the initial hacking, many can’t speak, some just scream. I watch one man scratch his eyes clean out of his head. That was the last time I ever watched a debriefing, it’s not my department. I’m just the clean-up man, the PeaceFighter.

There was one person—a girl, don’t remember her name anymore—that survived with almost complete brain function. When asked the obvious, What did it feel like being hacked, she took a long while to fully answer.

“Magical.” It was the only word she said before she quit speaking for the rest of her short life. They found her hanging in her room not one whole month after she was un-hacked.

I’ve seen it all at this point I think. Each day that comes and goes I watch, looking for the tell-tale twitch, unusual stumble to an otherwise normal gait, or trickle of blood from eyes or nose. People were said to be in a fantasy dream state when hacked, having no knowledge of their actions in the real world. True puppets with their consciousnesses preserved in a suspended state which allows their mind to still carry out the actions of walking to the programmed destinations and carrying out the programmed actions. Whatever the hacker wants really.

I heard the saying that knowledge can be a gift and a curse, I think I agree. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know about the hackers. Didn’t live in and understand so much about the real world that it led me to be a PeaceFighter on a quest for a vengeance I know will probably never come. Oh well. There’s not much left for me in this world except to fight at this point. An angel of God sent to show mercy to the infected devils whose brains will never be again.

Every time I pull the trigger I hope that makes the world one bullet closer to a cure that doesn’t involve death. I secretly still hold onto J. Holsten’s dream of being a PeaceFighter, the wholesome warrior of the free people, just like his Pa.

But right now I guess it’s time to for the real man, the Snow Cat, to get going. The bottom of this pair is worn to shit and these past few days my sneakers have been sticking to the ground every few steps. I think I’ll go grab a new pair before the killing starts.  

 

    40,000: A Rough Draft

    Welcome to my collection of forty Scifi, Horror, and Fantasy short stories. Every Wednesday during the year 2015, I wrote a new one thousand-word short story in one hour, gave myself thirty minutes to edit, then published it here. 

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