The bees were getting restless. They had been waiting for over an hour for the humans to arrive, and they began eyeing the pretty yellow meadow flowers.
“Couldn’t we …” began Fluzz, “… I mean it seems stupid to sit around doing nothing … couldn’t we collect some nectar while we wait?”
Guzz had been pacing but stopped to consider. After a moment she shook her antennae from side to side. “No no no … please don’t. Then you’ll want to return to the hive and that’s when they’ll come.” Continue reading A Fresh Start
The sideshow acts had been run-of-the-mill. I saw a bearded lady and a man who ate glass. At the end of a line of tents sat one with no sign. The barker invited me in and I asked what I would see.
“Something that must be seen to be believed.” Continue reading Dixie
A man eating a slice of pepperoni pizza looked closely at one of the disks of pepperoni and was surprised to see that what had at first looked like a fleck of oregano was actually a very tiny man, also eating a slice of pepperoni pizza. Continue reading By the Slice
“But does it work?”
Dr. Seaver leaned back in his chair and blew on his mug of instant soup. The steam fogged his glasses. “Of course not. It’s just a thought experiment.”
“Oh,” I said, picking up a doohickey on the professor’s desk. “Of course.” The doohickey, or maybe gizmo is a better word, had protruding wires and springs and blinking lights that changed pattern as I turned the thing over in my hands. Dr. Seaver watched me indulgently.
“It’s based,” he continued, “on a faulty premise: the idea of the circular spectrum.”
“The what now?” I returned the gizmo to its spot.
Read the rest at Gravel
The rumbling started yesterday afternoon, just a little while after I arrived. Within the space of a few minutes the house got dark, but Grandma didn’t seem to notice anything until she saw the clouds in my eyes. Continue reading Thunder in the Distance
Every day Jerry started writing a new novel in the hope that the next day he would find his efforts worthy enough to continue. This never happened. Yesterday’s writing was always Yesterday’s Writing, old and dull and foreign from the new day’s line of thinking. He had been a salesman for thirty-five years, and he knew from experience that when one prospect appeared the least bit flat it was better to look in a new direction than try to import a mountain. So every day Jerry turned and indeed didn’t have to look far before he found something new to get his typing fingers moving. Writing was easy.
After a few months, however, it struck him that he had so many beginnings of novels collected in a stack by the side of his typewriter that he may as well explore the market for beginnings. Why not? Perhaps someone had assembled a similar collection of endings, or a whole lot of middles, and were actually in need of beginnings. Granted, his beginnings were not first-rate, but they were in sufficient quantity to give a prospective client an appetizing variety to choose from. So attractive was this marketing idea, and so tired was he of writing beginnings, and so in the mood was he for frivolous travel, that he straight-away packed up his beginnings in a black leather briefcase and went out to put them before the public eye. Continue reading The Briefcase
Chapter 1: In which the Vampire introduces himself and attempts to give an idea of the nature of his obsessions.
I moved to the city so that I could be around people. There is nothing I like better than being in the midst of a great throng of strangers, being able to inspect their manners of walking and talking and the ways in which they survey their surroundings. I’m not an outgoing man, so I rarely engage any of these strangers in conversation, unless they are a clerk behind a counter and I am in the process of purchasing something or, as often happens, somebody stops me to ask for directions. Although I am new to the city, I think that I exude a certain level of comfort which persuades people to ask me for help. My level of comfort comes not from any particular knowledge of the city, but only from the fact that there is nowhere I’d rather be than within that throng of strangers. Continue reading Confessions of a Squeamish Vampire
Hi, guys. It’s me, God. I created your universe. That is, Julie and I created it. I’m wondering: with all of the religions you guys have created, have you ever come up with a version with exactly two creators, tandem deities working side by side, painstakingly crafting the parameters of the universe to allow for your existence? When you get down on your knees tonight, I demand that you offer up a prayer to Jon and Julie, your almighty creators! Continue reading Revelations
My daughter Kathryn sat on the toilet, her face red with frustration. She had been yelling “Mama” at the top of her lungs, but Mama hadn’t come. Papa had come instead, and this wasn’t acceptable to her 3-year-old mind. She tottered on the edge of the toilet, her pink cotton dress pulled up, her short hair encircling her miserable face. I knew I would get nowhere with her–she is not to be reasoned with in such a mood–and I left to get her mother. Continue reading Oweanka
They were back in the generously air-conditioned boardroom. It was a warm, sunny day outside, but all of the curtains were shut tight. She thought about the layer of air between the curtains and the windows. When there was a break she would go to the crack in the curtains, open it up and bask in the accumulated warmth. Continue reading The Interpreter