Saturday, June 30, 2012

510. Crows counted

The college pub was in the basement, which always made it feel underground.
The room was thick with smoke and sweat as undergrads tried to make it with one another.
Everyone was dancing to Counting Crows.
This was ten years ago, or so.

Friday, June 29, 2012

509. Personal vanities

Her life was a matter of check boxes: approved or not approved.
She was the final arbiter of license plates for the state's department of transportation.
It was she who decided if an oblique reference to a woman's chest was suitable for state motorists.
She was not amused.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

508. Hidden agendas

There were two rooms in the house no one ever saw.
The first was a storeroom stocked to the brim with canned foods.
The second was a high-tech electronics lab.
On December 20, 2012 - Mayan predictions or no Mayan predictions - they'd be ready.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

507. Alien abduction

In a flash of light, he was gone.
A burnt patch of grass was all that remained.
He was aboard an alien vessel of some kind, hidden behind the dark side of the moon.
They were testing us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

506. Drums

He heard drums in the park that evening.
They sounded ancient and earthy.
He closed his eyes and imagined the adventure stories of his youth.
When he opened them again, he found himself somewhere entirely different and unexpected.

Monday, June 25, 2012

505. Your ad here

Your ad here?
Your ad here.
He'd been stuck behind this bus for ninety minutes.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

504. Electric toothbrush days

It was a day like any other.
She stood looking at herself in the mirror.
Her electric toothbrush sprang to life with the touch of a finger.
She stood there letting it run and run.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

503. Rookies

The wedding had been perfect.
The union had been blessed according to their traditions.
Now it was just the two of them.
She shut off the light and they both hoped for the best.

Friday, June 22, 2012

502. Controlled laboratory conditions

Two scientists sat across the table from one another.
Neither said a word.
"Spaghetti squash," said the first, finally.
Experiment 437 in ESP development had failed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

501. Key party

They glistened in the bowl, nine sets of keys.
Expectant faces glanced around trying to guess their match.
When his turn came, he reached in and pulled out a familiar set - his own.
He lingered in the living room for twenty minutes or so and then went home.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

500. The next morning

After the rain, the air was cool and crisp.
The view from the kitchen window was something miraculous.
The cracked, dry Earth had been replaced by tiny shoots of green.
Everything was new again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

499. Should have been Swiss

Black spots swam in front of his eyes.
When he could get a breath in, it was wheezy.
He felt a a pair of hands wrap around his waist and squeeze.
In his addled state, he watched in slow motion as a hunk of cheese flew out of his mouth and through the air.

Monday, June 18, 2012

498. Family heirlooms

'That stain on the table, what do you think it's from?' she asked.
The table had, up until today, belonged to her grandmother.
She was inventorying the estate, dividing it up between her cousins.
She had no idea that the stain was part of a dark secret that lurked in the attic of her grandmother's manor.

497. Little boys and tiny airplanes

There was no airport nearby.
The particular physics of the area made flightpaths untenable.
That made the hundred or so tiny planes something of a miracle.
The little boy watched out the back window of the truck as his father drove past the hobby plane festival.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

496. Alternate Earths

They didn't, so he didn't and we didn't, but he did.*
Washington, Boston, New York: all captured.
Now the forces of the United States were making a last stand at Raleigh.
General Kennedy moved his troops into position.

Friday, June 15, 2012

495. Career planning for sidekicks

Her partner was the hero's hero.
He inspired fear in the hearts of evildoers.
Now he was gone.
She pulled the ill-fitting mask over her face and turned to face the city.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

494. The man of science VS the airborne nuisance

Every morning, chatter erupted from the tree next to the house.
The scientist had finally had enough.
He spent weeks in his lab, tinkering and testing.
The next morning, the air was filled with laser beams and clouds of feathers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

493. Tempo

The sounds of a march filled the neighbourhood.
The brisk melody echoed off the houses and filled up the empty lots.
The source of the music was the house on the corner, where its occupant was pruning her rose bushes.
She wandered through the garden waving her shears like a ceremonial baton.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

492. A name

Beneath the dust jacket was a hundred dollar bill and a name written in pencil.
As the days went by, he became obsessed with it - too obsessed even to read the book itself.
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.
He took out his phone book and began flipping.

Monday, June 11, 2012

491. These are a few of my favourite things

"But it's your most favourite thing in the world, " she said.
Her tone was something between frustration and sarcasm.
She stood in the doorway with one hand on the frame and the other holding a cigarette that lazily sputtered smoke toward the ceiling.
He picked up the offending item and threw it against the wall as hard as he could, dashing it into a hundred pieces.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

490. Theme music

It came out of nowhere.
First it was drums, then the horns.
He stood a little straighter, walked a little taller.
Completely without explanation, he had theme music.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

489. What happens to all the old churches?

Light still shone through the stained glass windows.
The pews had been ripped out and sold to antique markets throughout the county.
The bell had disappeared some years ago, but they liked it better that way.
The chancel had been replaced by a galley kitchen with marble countertops.

Friday, June 8, 2012

488. Practical considerations for having sex in space.

Everything is more difficult in space.
It's tough to say why.
Maybe it's the lack of gravity or the disorientation of not knowing up from down or the detachment from Planet Earth.
As he clung against his ship, hurtling through the cosmos, he tried to ignore all that and focus on replacing the tiny screw.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

487. The Death of Superman

With a single motion, Darth Vader ignited his lightsaber and pointed it at the prone Man of Steel.
The glowing red beam sliced through the air and stopped inches from Superman's face, blocked by the sword of He-Man.
Vader used his command of the dark side to stop the Eternian dead in his tracks and toss him aside like a rag doll.
His chance to destroy both heroes was lost when Tommy dropped all three action figures on the patio and went indoors to play Duck Hunt.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

486. The most dangerous danger of all

The sign said, "Danger due to ________".
Due to what, she wondered.
Was it construction or lightning or maybe wombats?
She spiraled quickly into a panic.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

485. The downside of an army filled with rabbits

They reached the fence at record pace.
At six feet high, they couldn't go over it.
The concrete made it impossible to go underneath.
Their prey paced back and forth on the other side.

Monday, June 4, 2012

484. A television belonging to no one in particular

A television sat on the side of the road, abandoned.
It sat there all day and through the evening.
It sat through a brief thunder storm.
At quarter past two, the television sputtered to life with an episode of Bewitched.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

483. The tree in the glade

In a glade in the forest there is a tree with a giant trunk.
They say when the army invaded a monk came to this glade and refused to leave.
For years, he tended a tiny sapling until it grew up around him.
That's what they say.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

482. Business uniform

Three piece suits are not uncommon in the financial district.
They are a nostalgic badge of success.
This one was worn by a caveman - a Cro-Magnon to be precise.
He also carried a leather briefcase.