Missing things

February 21, 2010

Things had been going missing for a while now. Not big things; little things like Stephen’s belt, or his pills, or the bloody keys to the garage. Nobody else would want these things. They had no real value. Where the hell did they go? It was infuriating and it drove him wild.

But one Monday morning when rushing to get ready for work, Stephen finally discovered the culprit. In the mirror, out of the corner of his eye, he saw himself casually drop the remote control down behind the radiator.

The fucking bastard.

In the mirror Stephen winked at himself.


Solitude

February 14, 2010

Nobody knew the name of the hermit who lived on the golf course, or whether he was a mystic or simply misanthropic. A suburban Crusoe, he practiced weird self-sufficiency barbecuing squirrels over a smoky campfire.

Eschewing all human contact; the hermit refused to acknowledge those errant golfers who, in search of missing balls, strayed close to his hovel behind a bunker on the seventeenth.

He was a disconcerting presence as he strode wild eyed down the fairway, or chanted beside the driving range. Thankfully, each winter he would vanish to spend the season skulking by the slopes of Val d’Isere.


The Train

February 13, 2010

The train rattles across the grey countryside in the sour light of dawn. Inside the carriage ashen faced passengers sit sullen; dressed in suits, ties and thick winter coats. Through the window soggy fields and deserted industrial estates flash by unremarked.

Each shuddering second takes them ever closer to The City.

Some passengers pretend to be occupied by a newspaper or scratching at a laptop. Others simply stare pensively into the middle distance. In truth everybody is listening.

As they approach their destination the voice of The City grows still louder.

“I’m going to eat you. Om nom nom nom.”

[First posted Thu Feb 04, 2010]


The Math Problem

February 13, 2010

It was late at the Institute for Speculative Mathematics. Most of the researchers had long since left to drink beer and go body-popping, but Kenji remained amid the ruins of his academic career. Any hope of completing his doctorate now gone as he desperately tried to re-derive the equations by hand.

Kenji slumped in his chair. He should have gone into climate modelling instead.

“Damn,” he cursed “whatever I do everything always reduces to zero. I might as well disappear up my own…”

With a groan the universe folded in on itself and Kenji vanished in a puff of algebra.

[First posted Tue Jan 26, 2010]


Homeostasis

February 13, 2010

Michael woke late to the sound of silence. All of the noises of the city that had recently disturbed his sleep were absent. Light poured into the bedroom through gaps in the curtains. Peering bleary-eyed out of the window Michael was greeted by a dazzling vista of white.

Thick fresh snow blanketed the street outside; smothering trees, rooftops and burnt out cars. Amid the carpet of white the zombie horde was motionless, frozen like grotesque street furniture. Their hideous rampage halted overnight by a freezing easterly wind.

Reaching for his trusty cricket bat Micheal cautiously started to climb the barricade.

[First posted Sun Jan 10, 2010]


Mission Statement

February 13, 2010

The mission statement should have warned us. The corporate prospectus for Cerberus Integrated Technologies bore the motto; “To subjugate mankind”.

However this kind of ambition, and aggression, was music to the ears of a recession weary Wall Street. Investors flocked to the company hailed as the renaissance of American manufacturing. The IPO in late 2010 raised $1.2 billion of capital which, as promised, was ploughed back into R&D.

Three years later I am cowering in a storm drain. Outside Cerberus MegaCorp killbots strut through the snowy streets of Houston hunting uncollared humans.

There are not many of us left now.

[First posted Mon Jan 04, 2010]


A Christmassy drabble

February 13, 2010

Stefan stalked the overheated, overcrowded, department store. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” played on loop over tinny speakers, and a palpable sense of desperation hung in the air.

Furtively glancing about Stefan stepped behind a toy display and began to stuff dolls and Transformers inside his coat. Certain that he could carry no more he turned to see a store detective approaching. Stefan scampered in the opposite direction.

Outside he located the side street in which the sleigh was parked. He climbed in, breathing heavily, and turned to the fat man behind the wheel.

“Nick, I don’t know why we bother.”

[First posted Thu Dec 17, 2009]