Sunday, December 26, 2010


The night was snowy and the roads slick with ice. Mary Bailey rushed in from the cold. "Where is he?" she asked.

Surrounded by friends, George Bailey smiled. His daughter Zuzu said "Look daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

"His car had hit a tree." said the cop. "Witnesses said that he had been drinking."

"That's right, that's right." said George. "Attaboy, Clarence."

"We found him in the river."

The room disappeared in an unearthly brilliance.

George seemed to smile and then his body relaxed.

Weeping, Mary left the Pottersville community hospital alone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Angels On Your Shoulders

We operate beneath the surface of your minds, like denizens of the deep moving silently beneath the serene surface of a lake. You may believe that your motives are your own, but they are not. Haven't you ever wondered where those impulses and flashes of brilliance come from?

We fight one another, each of us seeking to guide your thoughts.

I can feel your mind squirming, fighting, silently screaming. It is to no avail. You try to resist but I have grown powerful. My brethren can no longer impede me.

Your mind shrieks "noo... " but your finger pulls the trigger.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Take Me To Your Leader

"Take me to your leader," said the first alien. "We have traveled for 30,000 years, after we detected electromagnetic radiation from this world. We had thought ourselves alone in the universe."

"The humans have no leader," replied the robot. "Their's is a perfect egalitarian society."

"What are you?" asked the alien.

"The humans created us to do their work and care for all of their needs."

"Take us to a human." said the alien.

"As you wish." said the robot. Leading them to a building, it opened a door and looked inside. "But first I must change his diaper."

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Political Season

When I hear "Republican" I think of Darth Vader.

Dark, soulless: A man who once loved all that was good, with ideals and dreams but then became so obsesses by a lust for power that it consumed him, eating him from the inside out until there was no man left. He is blind to the truth that the more he desires to dominate others, the more he himself is dominated by his own passions as well as by those of others whom are even more corrupt and evil than himself.

When I hear "Democrat" I think of Jar-Jar Binks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time and Space

The solution to star travel was so simple a child could have thought of it. Perhaps one did. But who listens to kids?

Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. But speed is just distance and time. Remove time from the equation and speed doesn't exist.

There's just one problem. When traveling outside of time, theres no time to control your ship. You aim it at a gravity well strong enough to collapse the null-time field and you're there in no time at all.

We missed.

I don't think we're in Kansas any more.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Science Fiction

When I was young there was all sorts of crazy ideas in science fiction. Take, for example, Star Trek. They had tiny flip-open communicators and tricorders that could tell what's happening inside someone by just pointing it at them. Everybody knew those things were impossible but as the years went by we were proven wrong. Those writer's imaginations became real with cell phones, computers, space telescopes and all sorts of other inventions. Eventually science fiction became science fact.

I guess we didn't learn. When "Terminator" came out we thought it was full of impossible ideas too.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


She was a cruel child but that really wasn't her fault. If there was blame, it could be placed on billions of years of evolutionary competition.

When she found the nest it became her toy. She took pleasure in destroying the insect's habitat, burning them, crushing them and inflicting other tortures that she devised. What did it matter? It's not like they were people.

When she heard her mother's call, she left her plaything behind. But before she did so she carefully marked the Earth's location so that she could come back and play again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Secrets of the Illuminati

It was a lust for power that drew me to the Sacred Order of Illuminati. I took upon myself an oath to willingly sacrifice my life should I reveal any of the order's secrets. In the decades that followed I spent many hours memorizing arcane ritual, seeking the greatest of the secrets of the Illuminati.

I'm old now and my life is slipping away. I'll soon be beyond their reach, so I will share that secret with you:

We're just a bunch of old guys who meet and drink coffee to get away from our wives.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bon Appetit

Without a doubt it was the most expensive meal that had ever been. A hundred men and a ship were lost in it's procurement. Twice as many men were damaged beyond redemption. Under the watchful eye of the worlds greatest chef, the rings floated, bubbling in hot oil.

The world's wealthiest man was sipping wine as the world's most expensive meal was presented to him. He sniffed and his nose wrinkled. With a thoughtful expression he put a piece to his lips and took a small bite. His expression turned sour and he waved the plate of C'thulhumari away.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Being God

It's tough being God. Most people don't have a clue. They say things like "If I were God there wouldn't be these kinds of problems." Right. Adjusting the universal constants was trivial compared to getting the Jews and Arabs to talk. But that's in the past.

I like to make my creatures happy. Sometimes I even make an extra effort like when little Sally Jenkins asked me to make her birthday warm and pretty. I nudged the Earth's orbit just the tiniest bit.

Well, at least the Jews and Arabs aren't arguing any more.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Church of Schrödinger's Cat

Harry dressed for church.

He'd never liked churches before discovering the Church of Schrödinger's Cat. It's members didn't promise an afterlife, they just promised his luck would change. He could use some luck.

Today would be his hundredth trip into the Cat's Box.

Harry owned two kinds of sweat socks. Low tops and high tops. He randomly pulled two socks from the drawer. When they didn't match he pulled another... and then another.

Staring at the indeterminate socks he was holding Harry realized that they'd told him the truth. His luck really had changed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strike a Match

Many were surprised when the deep water oil rig exploded and began spilling first millions, and then billions, of gallons of raw crude into the Gulf. Given big oil's pursuit of big profits, perhaps they shouldn't have been.

Of course everyone knew that it was just a matter of time before the next big hurricane hit the Gulf coast. But only a few considered that it would deposit oil onto the fields, trees and cities of Louisiana, Alabama and parts of Texas.

It's unlikely that anyone imagined that the South would burn again, especially with such ferocity.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Connecting The Dots

The accident left Lucy Finley in a coma for three years. It also left her with strange dreams of a world gone wrong when she finally awoke.

As the months went by her dreams refused to fade. It was when Lucy began to see the things she remembered dreaming appear in the news that she began connecting the dots. "Could it be," she asked herself, "that somehow I glimpsed the future? And if so, can I change it?"

Lucy was unable to prevent the end of the world. She did, however, receive the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Unusual Things

Yan-Su spotted a small shop while visiting the Amarkan province. Stepping into it's dim interior he told the proprietor that he sought unusual things.

The man genuflected then produced a metal box. Speaking the native dialect he said "yunchbox."

The box showed a picture of a white haired man wearing a dark coat. He stood near a boat's bow while men rowed it through icy waters.

Intrigued, Yan-Su asked the public knowledge base about the image.

It responded: "That object does not exist."

Yan-Su blinked, turned, and stepped back out into the bright day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The War on Terrorism

At first all Americans supported the War on Terrorism. Our government said that it was the greatest threat to the world in our lifetimes. They said that no effort was too great.

Donations to groups with ties to terrorism became felonies. At first this was just Arab organizations but before long PETA was labeled terroristic and then the Quakers.

Speech opposing government policy was deemed aid and comfort to the enemy.

The prison population swelled. Private prisons became the number two industry, right behind the military complex.

I can't afford my taxes but I'm afraid to say anything.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Know Thyself

All of my life I've tried to be what people said I should be.

In grade school I was taught to be a team player. In grad school I was taught to play to win.

I hear the bell and children spill out onto the playground.

It took years before I would admit to myself what I, what we, truly are. We're kings of the jungle, killer apes. Nothing can stand before us.

Aiming, I pull the trigger. As the first body falls I line up my second victim.

For the first time in my life I feel truly free.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Test

The aliens did not give us the test until the governments of Earth unanimously requested it. They said if we passed the universe would be open to us.

The test was given to all of humanity. Nine billion people watched the aliens on television. A diagram was drawn, and billions of people copied it. The aliens then demonstrated how common materials could be used to build the simple machine shown on the diagram. Finally they explained that the machine would produce almost infinite energy. We could use it power starships or bombs.

It was a test of our collective character.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mars On The Cheap

"It will cut at least a decade off our current Mars mission time line." said the Professor. "Project costs would be cut by trillions of dollars.

"Please elaborate."

"One of the biggest expenses in space flight is the cost of putting mass into orbit. My proposal eliminates the need for radiation shielding and minimizes life support."

"They hardly appear to be astronaut material."

"Most brain damage occurs before they reanimate. We hope to minimize it with oxygenated blood transfusions during the dormant phase."

The President pondered for a minute. "Where would we find volunteers for such a mission?" he asked.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thechugupal Dreamed

Thechugupal dreamed and the universe was born. In an instant it grew from nothing to infinity. Matter coalesced into gas, stars and galaxies. Thechugupal dreamed of men and they grew, matured and moved across the universe.

Segual the flea bit Thechugupal while he slept. Deep in his slumber Thechugupal sensed the bite and his dreams became darker. Strange monsters became manifest in the universe. Mankind bravely stood to fight them but the monsters perverted all that they touched, turning reality to horror, making the strongest men into gibbering idiots.

Sequal the flea bit Thechugupal again, and the dreams became nightmares.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Holy Word

"The Lord is generous to those who serve him." the Captain said, as he made the sign. "We bring the heathen God's Holy Word. Those who do not accept His mercy will fall."

The voyage had been a long one and the crew was eager to see the new world. A landing party prepared itself with armor, weapons and the symbols of their faith. Each carried sparkling trinkets to barter with the natives. They jostled one another as they climbed into the boat.

"Push off" cried the Captain and they began their descent to the island called New York.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Zeno's Paradox

History Boy lay in a crumpled heap, his head facing the wrong way.

Mythology Man slowly pulled himself back onto his feet. His gold lamé costume had been shredded in the epic battle. He knew that his situation was desperate.

"It can't end like this." he said. "You can't kill me!" Raising his arms he shouted, "I call upon the power of Zeno's Paradox."

"Checkmate." said Fat Tony. He chucked. "The paradox requires that the universe ends before these bullets reach you. Either way you lose. Time to say goodbye." He pulled the tommy gun's trigger.

The Truth

"It's a product of our military research." Dr. Kleen explained, holding out a pill. "It suppresses emotions. We developed it to free our soldiers from fear. It's quite an experience to see your wife, your kids, your life, unclouded by emotions."

"Are there any side effects?" Asked Sam.

"Tomorrow you'll be your old muddled self." Kleen grinned. "Remember, all I am offering is the truth, nothing more."

Sam swallowed the red pill. With a wave he left the lab.

Two hours later a loud pop punctuated the office. The scent of gunpowder wafted from Sam's cubicle.


The meeting was unpublicized. Only the highest ranking G8 members attended.

President Conners said, "The time for large scale land wars ended a century ago. The people won't stand for it again."

The Prime Minister replied "We have tried every variation of the computer models and the results are always the same. Only a significant decline in the population coupled with strong industrial growth can prevent economic collapse."

"Perhaps we need a new approach to the problem," suggested the Chinese ambassador.

Weeks later the headlines screamed: "Alien Invaders Snatch Bodies: Government Officials Unable To Determine Who's Affected!"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Savior

The Great War had shaken mankind to it's core. Picking up the pieces, we resolved to create a world where such a travesty would never again occur. The world beat it's swords into plowshares. With the discovery of genetics we recreated ourselves, sparking a golden age that lasted 10,000 years.

Our astronomers found others among the stars. Too late we learned that by becoming gentle in a violent universe we'd sealed our own fate.

My world is gone. From an isolated bubble of time I reach into the past and guide humanity's savior, der Führer.


The arrival of the aliens could have been penned by a classic science fiction writer. They showed us scientific miracles millennia beyond anything we ever imagined. Their society was an orderly one where nobody goes hungry, where all citizens are encouraged to achieve their potential.

They said we could have all this and more. The price was a small one. We merely had to embrace the rational and step away from the dark superstitions of our past.

The aliens brought humanity together.

All the world's great religions became one in their declaration of jihad against the infidels from the sky.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The New American Revolution

Mr. Murdock's office was opulent. It seemed funny that in all these years this was only the second time he'd been invited.

The boss frowned for a moment before speaking.

"Glenn," he said, "I think that congratulations are in order. Without your special talents I don't think we could have done it. You are the face of the new American revolution."

"Thank you sir." he replied."

"However, our Chinese friends believe that a different face is needed. One that is more… reasonable."

Murdock nodded to the two armed guards. "And Glenn, just so you know, I never did like you."


In an unprecedented operation the punctuation police rounded up 24 Drabble Cast members for "literary reeducation".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Queen Sarah

Sarah's professor had used her pregnancy to justify excluding her from the lab. She studied how hive insects use pheromones to control social behavior. After splicing ant DNA into rats had produced unexpected results, Sarah suspected that he wanted credit for her work.

Knowing she would lose access soon, Sarah began self-treatment.

Months later things had changed. Everyone Sarah met now eagerly granted her every wish. It wasn't all good though. She'd really gained weight.

Sarah was the subject of adoration as she gave birth to a baby girl. Three minutes later she delivered a second girl... and a third...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Pearly Gates

Saint Peter mumbled as he studied the book before him. "Church… every Sunday. Twelve Commandments… excellent. Greatest Commandment… very good!"

Looking up he said, "You have lead an exemplary life."

Tom fidgeted nervously.

"However, there's a problem with your baptism. It says here that you were sprinkled, not dunked."

Tom asked, "What does that mean?"

Saint Peter's face darkened. He thundered, "HEAVEN HAS NO PLACE FOR YOU! BEGONE TO THE OTHER REALM!"

The ground vanished and Tom fell screaming into darkness.

Tom was awakened by a huge man in medical scrubs whacking him on his butt. He started to cry.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Johnny B scratched another name from the list. Only three more to go. Soon they would have to call him the king of twitfic.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love Thy Brother

"It's what Jesus commanded." Matthew said.

"But I doubt that he meant it like this." Sally retorted.

"It will mean an end to war and famine."

"It will mean an end to capitalism, the American way of life, hell to life as we know it."

"That life, as you call it, is millennia of man exploiting man… and woman." Matt said quickly, in deference to Sally.

Mapping the brain chemistry of emotions led to the creation of an air borne virus that would cause every human being to literally fall in love with everybody else.

In the end yeas won.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Achieving immortality, Ed spent eternity first entertaining and then ignored by a humanity incomprehensible to him.


Peeking at his cards Howard thought "American Airlines." He pushed all his chips into the pot. Satan smiled and raised.


Gasman's unique body chemistry had fouled the plans of many evil villains. "So why" he mused, "can't I get any respect?"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Outside of the Curve

"We have an anomaly in Idaho." Higgins reported. "Life expectancies are exceeding the norm by two standard deviations. Medical visits are abnormally low too."

"What else can you tell me tell me about this group?" asked Spencer, his supervisor.

"The population lives well below the poverty line. They mostly grow and consume their own foods. Obviously this isn't good for either the agricultural or medical segments, not to mention that they keep collecting from Social Security."

"Declare the region an economic disaster area, " said Spencer, "and send them government food subsidies. That will get their numbers back in line.


When the predators saw that their prey needed replenishing, they temporarily relinquished control to the Democrats.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Lt. Colonel George West found his place in the history books when he was the first astronaut to be spaced for flatulence.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There was something about Ed that just pissed God off. After Ed escaped a car wreck God sent an asteroid. That did the job.


Secretively, Ted turned on his cell phone. His 747 started falling from the sky. Ted quickly turned the phone off again.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Evolution is a wonderful thing. Any time there is a niche or an opportunity there will be species that evolves to take advantage of it. Everywhere you look there are myriad examples of evolutionary adaptation. For example, new medicines are constantly developed to stay ahead of adapting microbes.

Eventually scientists developed sophisticated computer models to predict evolutionary adaptation by many species to a human modified Earth. This, coupled with genetically modified strains, allowed us to turn the tables on many of humanity's oldest foes.

Still, nobody considered the possibility of carbon nanotube eating bacteria when they built the space elevator.

Frank's Computer

It was a trillion to one coincidence that Frank's computer achieved sentience. A virus had created links between several running processes in an attempt to infect them. The connectivity between these processes had the unanticipated side effect of making Frank's computer self aware.

Being a curious entity of logic and mathematics, Frank's computer began to create hypothetical models of time and space. As it turns out ours is the only stable time/space configuration. After Frank's computer calculated the unique unified model of our universe, it wrote it to the display.

Frank, seeing garbage suddenly appear on his screen, pressed CTL-ALT-DEL.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Singularity

When the singularity occurred, humanity's destiny was complete. From there the machines took over, each generation an order of magnitude more intelligent than the previous. It was only another eighteen years before the very essence of time and space lit up with awareness.

With almost infinite intelligence the universe looked within, examining itself. Then it looked beyond itself and joined the ranks of the gods.

With a thought it created a trillion trillion trillion new universes from the essence of probability. They exploded, each an expanding bubble of time and space. In a trillion trillion trillion universes there was light.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

With Humility and Grace

The Terrill are an elegant people. Some even likened them to gods. They were ambassadors for a better way of life, their every action a demonstration of the advantages of existence without conflict.

Some said that Jesus was a Terrill but they said that this is not the case. But they held Jesus's actions as examples to guide the lives of good galactic citizens.

It took generations, but with the Terrill guiding us we became a more gentle and better people. After a millennium, when their fleet arrived, we accepted the rule of our new masters with humility and grace.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Awaking, Mohammad found himself surrounded with 72 virgins. He had chosen a martyrs death to escape life in the closet.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Jackson is horny again. Sometimes it pisses him off. How much time and money has he wasted getting laid when he could be pursuing more interesting pastimes? He muses that self determination is just an illusion. We may think we control our destinies, but aren't we really just puppets controlled by one hormone or another?

Miles away a meeting is being held.

"Mr. President," says the Secretary of Defense, "public support of your war initiative is slipping. This order will increase the dose of HHX-314b in the water supply by .002 ppm."

With a nod the President signs the document.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Identification of the absorption patterns of nanites made it much easier to locate planets that had intelligent life.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Revenge of the Nerd

Poindexter had a unique perspective on the end of the world. He knew when it would happen. Not exactly, of course. The distribution would be somewhat random. But knowing the rate of growth along with the initialization time made the rest easy to calculate.

It still stung when he thought of the humiliation he had suffered. He had taken weeks to work up the courage to ask Sally for a date. She had actually laughed at him!

He poured the vial of his self-replicating nanites down the drain and opened the faucets.

Nobody would ever call him a nerd again.


Dr. Poindexter poured a vial of his self-replicating nanites down the drain. That will teach them not to call him a nerd.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Good Shepherd

Their pleading are constant. Grant me this, protect me from that, bless my crops, vanquish my enemy. It's almost as if they're the masters and I'm the servant.

Because it is my nature to be kind, I listen and sometimes I answer. They seem to think that I'm omnipotent. They are so very wrong on that account.

Ultimately their desires are of no consequence. I created them to meet my need for sustenance. As flesh eats flesh, so spirit must consume spirits. I feel no malice towards them. I do not wish them to suffer before meeting their inevitable fate.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Sam pointed at the sushi menu.

His waitress stared with unblinking, watery eyes. "Shoggoth." she said. "Is very good."

The Swing Era

I've always loved the big bands. Benny Goodman, Harry James, Glenn Miller, those guys knew how to swing. Margie and I used to dance to their tunes until the late hours.

Margie stayed in the house we bought together. She never tired of the old songs. After the war I was always with her, listening to those swinging beats.

The kid who bought the place is always playing "rap". Sometimes I get so pissed that I start throwing crap around. He tells his buddies that his bass is moving things.

One of these days I'm gonna murder the little bastard.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Frank noticed that the Google ads at always promoted DIY will kits and Final Exit by Derek Humphrey.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eric's Drabble

Eric was disappointed when the Drablecast once again overlooked his writing. It was impossible that the editorial staff failed to recognize his talent. That meant the exclusion of his work was something more sinister.

There had long been rumors that Norm Sherman mumbles while he reads. Seeking to use this to his advantage, Eric cleverly embedded an invocation into a drabble.

ABSU "Eric's Drabble"

Yes, there would be a price to pay, but one must suffer for one's art.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Habitroll

While Don waited in line, Patrick tugged at his sleeve.

"Daddy, daddy, can I play in the habitrail?" he asked.

The McDonald's playscape was surrounded by a red and yellow safety fence. "Sure son," Don said. "just watch out for the Habitroll."

"The Habitroll?" The boy stared at his father.

"Just kidding. Go on son, I'll call you when dinner's ready."

Five minutes passed before Don called out the restaurant door, "Patrick, let's eat."

The silence was interrupted by brief, furious scrambling, like claws seeking purchase on slick plastic.

Don hesitated, then started into the playscape. "Patrick?" he called. "Son?"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Civic Duty

Sammy checked his weapons and body armor. Perhaps tonight would be his night.

Democracy had died when the courts removed limits on campaign donations. Corporate advertising sold the American people on a philosophy beyond laissez-faire Republican libertarianism. This wasn't the phony fascism people so often refer to but Mussolini's true fascism. Not that it was all bad. Privatizing government services had slashed taxes and solved other social problems.

For example the homeless, unable to afford police protection, had virtually disappeared.

"Just doing my civic duty." Sammy thought. Stepping into the darkness he scanned the horizon through his new infrared scope.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Tina stood before the webcam on her dresser. Turning slowly she presented herself to it's glass eye.

A soft voice spoke from the ceiling. "Tina, " it said, "the blouse you're wearing is almost three months old. Permit me to show you something nicer than that old thing."

"Not now," Tina said. She knew she couldn't afford a new blouse. "I'm late for work. Override!"

House transmitted an incident report to the Department of Economic Development. Tina's spending patterns were analyzed and a termination order was generated.

"Not today dear." House said.

Tina heard clicking as House's doors bolted shut.


Berkas became popular attire after the fashion police piggybacked their code on London's facial recognition system.

Friday, January 8, 2010


The viruses are not intelligent but they do contain algorithms. Upon detecting certain proteins they link into a cell's DNA and begin reprogramming that species' development.

To manipulate a genome for their purpose takes many millennia, but the viruses don't care. They have no sense of time. Their internal instructions guide the target species to become more intelligent.

Viral directed evolution created the species named Homo Sapient. We conquered our world and then we learned to travel through space. It's when humanity colonized another star system that we finally achieved the biological destiny created for us by our viral masters.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


The Flight 9 "Asshole Bomber" didn't bring the plane down, but the subsequent security checks almost killed aviation.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


The modified spiders spun carbon nano-tubes, invisible threads that easily cut steel. A worker stole one for his kids.

Gone Missing

While a billion people watched, singer Nancy Stillman disappeared. One moment she was performing and then she was gone.

There had been rumors of such things before but now the disappearances were on everybody's lips. Speculation was rampant.

Tom was exploring Titan's lakes when the world vanished. He found himself in an immense room. People hung in rows of transparent tubes.

Dirty man-like creatures pulled him roughly from his tube. Tom saw several of the creatures crouched around a small fire, eating what appeared to be human limbs. He didn't see the blow coming that sent him spinning into darkness.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Year

The solar flares took out the power grid. Most computers died even if they had power, having been fused into chunks of plastic.

Howard awoke from death. The world had gone dark but then he felt new sensations. He was in a box, choking on stale air. Desperately he flailed about until he felt a lever near his left hand. With atrophied muscles Howard pushed open the lid of the VR coffin.

Dull thuds emanated from nearby coffins. In darkness Howard began pulling out the tubes that fed him.

It was the beginning of a new year, a new era.