Sunday, January 26, 2014

Burt Never Returned the Leaf-Blower He'd Borrowed Last Fall

- Morning, Burt.

Morning, Dave.

- You know your cat, Burt?

My cat's name isn't Burt, Dave.

- 'Course not, Burt.  But he is your cat.


- You know how you said yesterday that his tongue was like sandpaper?

Did I say that?

- I believe you did, Burt.

Well, and it's true, now I come to think of it.

- It might well be, but as it happens, your cat was behind you at the time.  I could see him because I was standing facing you, like I am now.  He seemed... interested.

Interested how, Dave?

- Well, to be blunt, Burt, my belt sander is missing.

Changing the topic, Dave?

- Not at all, Burt.  And it seems someone was trying some amateur carpentry in your backyard.  Looked like a rough ladder to the bird feeder.  Or half of one.  Not coincidentally, your cat is behind you again today.  I'm sure you can hear the belt sander warming up.

The cat's belt sander?

- My belt sander, Burt.  Let's be clear.  To return to the topic: your cat.

What about him?

- He looks angry, Burt.  Mighty angry.  You might want to skedaddle.

I don't follow, Dave.

- I'm saying, Burt, that he looks about as angry as a cat with splinters in his tongue.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Enginesong" Podcast on BCS

Enginesong is officially in the Beneath Ceaseless Skies podcast.  They do very solid work there; go check it out! 

What You Make of It

"I do not understand aesthetic concerns about disfigurement," said Hawkins, sawing diligently.  Flecks of red spattered his chin.  "By definition, scars are something imposed upon you, something you had no control over.  Why be ashamed of them?"

"Yet is it not so," the demon answered from its perch on the Tivo box, "that one's will exerts influence upon the universe, and so anything you receive is your responsibility in the end, regardless of its source?"

"That's true."  Hawkins set down the saw and leaned forward.  His new knees bent the wrong way.  He dropped to all fours, smiling.  "That's very true."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fame and Fortune

"Just one picture, Mr. Woodson!"

Bobby ignored the paparazzi and pulled his ratty blue bathrobe closed.  His mismatched slippers flapped on the sidewalk.  Flashbulbs went off with a machine-gun chatter.  Bobby opened his mailbox and dumped the fan letters onto the pile of overflow.  He retrieved his Lego collector's catalog and turned back to the house.

"Mr. Woodson!  Please!"  The cries were growing frantic as they began to realize he wouldn't speak today.  Bobby slammed the door behind him.

The genie was hovering over the kitchen table with a smug expression.  Bobby narrowed his eyes.  "Don't even start," he warned.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


They pass the dead forward.  He slathers mortar down and adds them to the wall.

He doesn't mind the work.  He knows it is necessary.  Dimly, through the cracks, he can see another walled city scudding on the cold winds.  But today it does not draw near to smash and crash, breaking the dead of both away to oblivion.  Such things happen, too regularly to be only chance.

There are always more of the dead.  Sometimes the wind blows hard or fester-demons come to pound on the shell and the walls grow thin.  Other times he must push the wall out himself and listen to the dead outside fall away, their sacrifice wasted.

Somewhere far away, somewhere so distant that it might as well be a different country, his cousins and fellow citizens work to keep the city alive, work to build the ships that will carry the exploratory teams outward, perhaps to found new cities where they land.

He smears another layer of mortar.  His joints creak.  Soon he will climb up and sink into the mortar, join his wall and protect the city himself.  But not today.

Today, they pass the dead forward, and he adds them to the wall.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Epic Eats, Where Every Meal is an Adventure

Welcome to Epic Eats!  Today's special is glazed salmon, and I particularly recommend the chicken cordon-bleu..."

Well, yes, that part of the menu is... unique to Epic Eats.  But the chicken is excellent today, I assure you.  It's the chef's specialty-

All right.  One dragon's-egg omelet.  I'll just go... put the order in.

*      *       *

Here... we are... Sorry... for the delay.

No, no, I'll... put those out... on my way back to the kitchen. 

Oh, I'll be... fine.  Don't worry... about me.

*      *     *

Welcome to Epic Eats!  Can I interest you in the chick-  You already know what you want?  Ah.  M...manticore stew? 

Yes, ma'am.  Right away...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Whatever it Takes

He kept an eye on the speedometer, but it was holding steady at 100 kph.  It didn't take much to keep up speed out here, anyway, but the air conditioner had to run full blast, and that was sure to impact his mileage.  he had protein bars and bottled water filling the backseat, and a spare gas can.

Outside the windows, the stars were coming more clearly into view as the overwhelming glow of Earth slowly faded behind him.  Let them have it.  he was done with all of it.  He was on his way.

Six months to the moon.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Enginesong" at BCS and a belated "The Alchemist's Children" at Cast of Wonders

Enginesong is available for viewing at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.  Remember: Trains ain't got legs.

And if you need something a little more light-hearted after that, The Alchemist's Children is available at Cast of Wonders.  Featuring common-sense solutions for common problems such as werewolfism and draconic tendencies.  D3STROY ALL HUM4NS!