Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thank you

And with that, we finish this year-long run. Thank you so much for reading, and check back time to time; I'll still be posting drabbles when I write them; just not every day.

Again, thanks!

Drabble: Such Sweet Sorrow

Such Sweet Sorrow...

“I’ve never been good with goodbyes.”

“You know, people always say that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, ‘I’m freaking fantastic at saying goodbye. I rip final partings a new one. I am the king of fare-thee-well.’ Why do you think that is?”


“I guess it’s one of those things we all think we should be better at, the things that seem like they should be part of the standard human skillset, but that nobody sane would actually seek out occasion to practice.”



“Important interpersonal moment time, here?”

“Oh, right. Where were we?”

Friday, January 30, 2009

Newspost: As things come full circle...

Well, tomorrow marks one full year of these daily drabbles. It's hard to imagine I've been doing it that long, but there it is. There've been highs, there've been lows, and I hope there have been a few entertaining stories for you all.

Which brings us to the point. This was never intended to be a permanent engagement. When I first started, I thought I'd do it for a month; at the end of the month, I decided maybe I'd do it a little longer, maybe even a whole year.

Well, it's been a year, and it's time to move on. I'm not saying this is the end of the drabbling, but after tomorrow's story, I will be putting aside the "daily" part in order to focus more closely on my longer writing. Thank you all for sticking with me through all of this.

Drabble: Trailing Edge

Trailing Edge

“We’re getting close to the end of the trail, aren’t we?”

“It does look that way.”

“Any idea what you’ll do next?”

“Hard to say. You spend so many years fighting absolute evil, it’s not like you make solid plans for the future. I always half assumed I’d fall in battle against Dr. Ultimax.”

“Certainly never imagined it’d be like this.”

“Indeed. You throw a man into the sun, and he makes it out alive, you wouldn’t it’d be cancer that gets him in the end.”

“I almost feel like we should go pay our respects. You know, for closure.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drabble: From His Fingertips

From His Fingertips

Then one day the river slowed to a trickle, then stopped entirely. The people living on its fertile banks asked the gods what they had done to deserve this. Pray as they may, there was no answer. Some stayed, counting on a change before famine set in, while others set out across the wastes, hoping it was better, maybe, somewhere. The former died off waiting, the latter died off walking. Salvation came too late...

- - -

“Quite playing in that muddy ditch and come inside!”
“Okay, Mom!” The child tore down the great dam, lingering to watch as the torrent flowed down.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Droubble: The Library

The Library

The library is relatively intact, though as devoid of human activity as anywhere. I start in the reference section, helping myself to relevant pages from a gazetteer, in case flight from the city should become a necessity. I consider looking for books on agriculture and animal husbandry, but decide to leave that for another day; the card catalogue was long ago replaced by computers, which are of little use now. Besides, until the canned goods at the QFC run out, where’s the real urgency? It’s not like I’m trying to rebuild civilization. Not much I can do if I’m the only survivor, and I still haven’t seen evidence of others.

I grab a few novels – plenty of time on my hands now, and not much to do but catch up on my reading – and head for the exit. I have my wallet out, looking for my card, and when I catch myself in the ridiculous act it’s all real again, and I’m on the floor, crying, shaking, throwing up my canned peaches.

I lift myself up, put my wallet away. Then, on second thought, I take it out again, discard it in a dark corner. Too late for that now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drabble: Enhanced


“Get up.”

I try to, but powerful waves of nausea force me back to the ground.

“I said, get up. Can you understand me?”

My head pounds with pain, and I struggle to form words. If I could, I’m not sure what I’d say, besides maybe to beg death.


“He lasted longer than anyone else.”

“I have to say, I don’t feel great about this.”

“All our volunteers knew what they were getting in to, and with the waterboarding fiasco, we dearly need new stress methods.”

“Still, three straight episodes of The Simple Life? How do we sleep at night?”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drabble: The Science of Sin

The Science of Sin

“Ma’am, what is your group protesting?”

“The, the immoral research taking place in this department!”

“Are you sure you have the right building? This is astrophysics, not biochemistry or medicine or anything like that.”

“This is where the offensive, reprehensible work is taking place, so this is where we will protest!”

“But I don’t get it. What could they possibly be working on in here that has you so upset?”

“Why, it was just published last month. Did you not hear? Researchers in this very building are debating the possibility of naked singularities? I mean, the immodesty of it all!”

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Drabble: African Grey

African Grey

The parrot started squacking.

“Will you shut that thing up? Giving me a headache.”

The apartment was pretty bare. It’d be a quick job, no piles of garbage at least.

“Who’s gonna take the bird?” asked Hanson.

“What do I care? I guess it’ll go to a shelter.”

“Who’d want an old bird like that? Probably pining for the old lady, too; my aunt used to keep one, they bond for life.”

“Well, you got some bright idea?”

“Nah, I just wondered.”

The bird seemed to stare at me.

“Get the thing out of here, it gives me the creeps.”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Drabble: Vanguard


The factory’s almost entirely automated. Our station represents the only direct human involvement in the whole process. What you do is, you stand right here, between these two belts, and you pick up a piece from one, and another from the other, and you screw them together.

Well, yeah, that could be done by a machine, easy as anything else here.

Why isn’t it? Well, there’s a certain element that still opposes a completely automated robot factory. In theory, if we stop work here, the whole process stops.

Of course it’s stupid, but hey, at least you’ve got a job.