Recent stories

  • Expert System

    "Is it correct that those present are only: Lieutenant Georgia Whitmore and Chief Petty Officer Boris Nenashev?"

    I tapped "yes" on the onscreen prompt.

    A synthetic voice began reading along as further text appeared.

    "Voice interface authorized. Lt. Whi…

    Posted 8 hours ago
  • The Case

    Back at my desk, things only got more bizarre.

    "I've retrieved the plan files, sir."

    "Good. Open them, and follow instructions. Thank you for your service, Lieutenant."

    The SecDef hung up. Not even annoyed at the wait?

    I stared down at the file case…

    Posted 31 hours ago
  • Shh, part 14

    Lenn hated the way her spasms, electrified her face in pain. “Oh my God, Liv.”

    “It sounds worse than it is.” Liv said with a wan smile. Lovingly she scritched his thigh.

    “I hope so.” Lenn unzipped the mouth of his backpack and fished out one of the ther…

    Posted 32 hours ago
  • Shh, part 13

    The hallway wasn't long enough to break into a full run and Lenn barely registered the pictures of strangers that lined both walls as he went by. Guided by the only light coming out of one of the three doorways at the end of the hall, he felt like the cap…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Electric Raven

    Inside the safe was a rack of thin metallic briefcases, bearing coded nameplates.

    Badger, Dragon, Efreet… Raven.

    I tugged on the case, but it wouldn't come free. Then I noticed the warning placard inside the door of the safe.

    "NOTICE: Secure Files wi…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Strategic Assets

    The Office of Strategic Assets was responsible for a number of things: planetary deuterium stockpiles, mothballed military bases, and reserve nuclear weapons.

    We'd all been shocked three years ago when the order came down to unseal one of the black sites…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • On Hold

    I tapped the mute key on my terminal.

    "Boris! Where's the QS-19 document safe?"

    The sleepy NCO looked up from his morning tea. All our shifts had been rearranged by the crisis.

    "Nineteen? Sub-basement. In the vault."

    "Seriously? Okay…" I unmuted the m…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • We Weren't Ready

    We weren't ready for the aliens, but should have been.

    They first got our attention with a series of six X-ray bursts out beyond the orbit of Neptune, one for each of their massive ships. Each was so bright, it took hours to tell that this wasn't a comet…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Shh, part 12

    Together they walked into the softly lit apartment. A half of dozen candles offered warm light and Lenn could feel some heaviness lift off his shoulders. After a moment the front door closed behind them and Ruger's footsteps followed them.

    “You'll have t…

    Posted 3 days ago
  • A Horse - and a Gun

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 4 days ago
  • Shh, part 11

    “Come on, man. Just move. I'm not leaving the cat out here in the storm.” Lenn said. “There's no food, it's wet, and it has nowhere else to go.”

    Ruger hunched down. “I told you, I'm not letting you bring your damned cat inside.”

    Lenn didn't move any clo…

    Posted 7 days ago
  • Frenchman Flat

    Beckton felt Newkirk slip a handful of bullets for the Springfield into his pocket.

    "Were you expecting this, Beckton? They have two heavy hitters."

    "We knew they had an interest in you, but we didn't think they'd move like this."

    "I can't take them. I…

    Posted 7 days ago
  • Well, where are they?

    "Where are the time travelers?"

    Excuse me?

    "Where are they? Shouldn't they be crawling all over us?"

    Oh, you're worried about the Temporal Fermi Paradox?

    "Like, 'where are the aliens' but for time travelers? Yeah."

    The same things apply, but it's wor…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Shh, part 10

    “My names Lennart Larsson. I'm looking for the occupant of 163 C.”

    “Goddamnit, Lenny.” A disgusted voice said.

    Lenn's gut twisted. The voice belonged to Liv's brother, Ruger. What was he doing here? He didn't even live in Japan. Still, he rallied gamely…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Old Ways Are the Right Ways

    "Sensei," I knelt and bowed low, forehead touching the mat before the master. I sat up and he regarded my face and my demeanor.

    "What troubles you, child?"

    "I keep trying and failing to execute my new move."

    "What makes it new?"

    "I've been adding an e…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • X-Ray

    An explosion echoed outside. The pair, seasoned veterans both, were in motion without a word. Beckton drew his pistol and ducked behind a workbench. Newkirk joined him a moment later, handing him a Springfield rifle which he took gladly. Both men watched …

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Bringers of the Final Weeks of Life

    There is no Christmas morning planned this year.

    We might not even see a Halloween.

    The doom-predictions' date will soon be here,

    And our defenseless bones will be picked clean.

    .

    We can see the waters rising, see the waves;.

    They claw and grope and maul …

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Helen of Bikini

    Beckton smoked a cigarette himself while Newkirk scribbled down a long note for his factory chief.

    "It is a shame. I was almost finished with this. We put Fireball in a Bofors cannon - quite a lot better than Firebolts coming out of a Browning machine g…

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Shh, part 9

    Three-hundred twenty-three mind-numbing steps later, he had crossed the second street, and followed the labyrinthine path through the body of Liv's apartment complex. There must have been stoppages here because the water flowed slower and he didn't have t…

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Three Word Prompt: A Search for Meaning

    I will figure it out. I'm applying my best thoughts to it every day.

    It happened three days ago. By the end of the week, I'll have it.

    I need to take this opportunity to set my thoughts down now, while the house is quiet and the cicadas are thrumming th…

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Disengaging

    Hi, Skylar! There's something I've always wanted to ask you, ever since I was a guppy. Is it really nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of life than to teach a horse how to water? Your opinion matters so much to me!

    Also, do you like hugs? I'll send y…

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Three Word Prompt: Dancing Through my Lonely Dreams

    The art of dance is the art of the fall.

    It's the trace of your face as you race down the hall

    In grace you may trip, you may flip, dancers all

    Though I never shall reach you, I'll turn when you call

    .

    Locomotion may carry you down the canal

    Past esop…

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Hearts' Mending (6)

    Well, life proceeded, in the standard way--

    I lived the dream I thought that I should dream.

    But little else occurred from day to day;

    New friends weren't made. I just ran out of steam.

    -

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Shh, part 8

    Lenn struggled against currents of howling wind and driving rain so strong they felt like the spirits of speeding buses. Keeping the cat protected was almost too much for him. He tucked the arm cradling the cat further back like an American football playe…

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Trinity

    The professor drew deeply on his cigarette, the end burning brightly in the semi-darkness. He was lost in thought for a long while, then exhaled a cloud of smoke.

    "I hoped to spare the world further horror, Beckton. Or at least my own conscience."

    "You …

    Posted 10 days ago