The Woman in the Rain

“You’re late, Hansa,” called out one of the wags as I shrugged my way out of my coat. I glared over at him as I dropped the heavy, rain-sodden cover down on my chair, but he just shrugged.

“No respect,” I sighed, as the bartender brought my usual poison over to my spot on the bar. I scooped up the heavy tumbler of amber liquid. “And here I am, drinking. You know what I hate, Edo?”

Edo paused in his actions, left hand tucked inside a grimy cloth, formerly clean glass in his right. “What’s that, Hansa?”

“Liquid.” I pulled my lips back, looking down at my glass. “Fuckin’ liquid, everywhere. Rain outside, never stops. How long’s it been since we last had a sunny day? Eh? It’s permanent, now. Trying to wash us away.” Continue reading

First Contact in Manhattan

Staring up at the smooth, featureless, curved gray surface, I couldn’t help but marvel at the plasticity of the human race. Show us the greatest miracle to ever come to Earth, and we treated it as a sideshow attraction, grew bored of it in a week.

Actually, that would make a good opening line for my next article. I pulled out my iPhone, turned on the dictation app, recited these words carefully into its speaker.

Sentence recorded, I put my phone away with a sigh, looking back up at the huge object in front of me. Off to the left, a couple dozen feet away, two guys in plush, fluorescent green alien costumes were posing with the eager beaver little families from Iowa that still flocked here.

“Damn thing’s a tourist attraction, now,” I sighed, settling back on the bench that I’d claimed as my territory. “Hey, honey, let’s grab the kids for Easter break and fly them out to New York, see that big ol’ alien spaceship that landed there! Won’t that be a treat for them?” Continue reading

The Wizard’s Conundrum

“I’m not sure I see the problem.”

I sighed, wishing that I hadn’t heard the question posed to me through a full mouth. Without turning around, I knew what filled that mouth, what gave the words their slightly sticky quality.

“The problem,” I sighed, hating that I had to explain this yet again, “is that it defies the laws of conservation of matter and energy. They shouldn’t be appearing, and the material can’t just come from nowhere.”

“They’re not bad though. Good flavor. Maybe could be heated up a little, and they’d really hit the spot.” Continue reading

The Three at the Edge of the Universe

The three figures stared at the crackling little fire, watching as a log occasionally split and sent a shower of sparks flying upward into the sky.

“Getting low on wood,” one of the three finally spoke up.

The other two didn’t move. They didn’t even look around, didn’t take their eyes off of the flickering flames. They especially didn’t look up at the rather strange architectural geometry of the sky above them, how the pinpricks of starlight in the night sky seemed to warp, as if they viewed the world through a fisheye lens.

The first figure waited another minute, tapping his fingers on the side of the log he’d drawn up as a makeshift seat. “I guess I’ll go get some more, shall I? Again,” he added pointedly. Continue reading


They drive me mad, I think. Even at night, laying awake in my bed and staring up at the oppressive ceiling, I hear them turning, feel them grinding down my body.

The engineers claim that it’s free energy, the next step in our world’s evolution. It’s what the world needs, and everyone wants more. The production lines are running full steam, building them bigger and bigger.

The fools. None of them see our approaching doom, drawn closer by each turn of their infernal wheels. Continue reading

Go West

He started at the sight of her, leaning casually back against the wall of the station platform. He recovered, but his foot missed a step, catching against the rough wooden boards of the station’s floor, and he had to move quickly to turn his stumble into a quick two-step.

When he looked back up, he saw her smirking. “Startled?” she asked, her voice slightly raspy.

He shrugged. “Wasn’t expecting anyone else. This train’s usually all but deserted.” Continue reading

666 summons Satan. 6666 summons Hypersatan.

Author’s note: God, this dialogue was hard to write.

I stared in horror at the massive, writhing mass of tentacles and eyeballs that seemed to twist and writhe through space, somehow passing through itself in ways that didn’t seem possible when considering the laws of physics. Dozens of eyes blinked at me, reddened pupils boring into me with a disconcerting gaze.

“WhO dArEs To SuMmOn Me?!?” roared out the monster, speaking from hidden mouths in a cacophony of voices that grated at my ears like heavily distorted death metal. “WhO dArEs To SuMmOn HyPeRsAtAn!?”

Finally, I found my voice. “Wait, what?” I exclaimed. “Hypersatan? I didn’t summon you!”

“YoU dId!” Several of the tentacles lashed out at me, turned back at the last second by the confines of the summoning circle. “I hAvE bEeN sUmMoNeD bY tHe RuNe, 6666!” Continue reading

Sympathetic Visions of your food’s final moments…

“You’re kidding me.” Muller looked into the interrogation room with her arms crossed tightly in front of her, the glass window reflecting back her disbelieving frown. “You’re really desperate enough to believe in this nonsense?”

“Muller, it’s not nonsense,” Sully insisted, leaning forward slightly as he watched the man on the other side of the one-way mirror fidgeting uncomfortably. “Sympathetic visions are a real thing, and this could be our best lead on catching the Slaughterhouse Killer-”

“It’s disgusting and wrong, that’s what it is,” Muller insisted. She turned and looked past Sully, at the other man in the room. “Senior Agent Hitchens, surely you can’t be on board with this?” Continue reading

Beyond Lonely

Sometimes, at the heart of night while the rest of the world slumbered, Ada stepped out of her house to listen to the emptiness.

The adults thought that she didn’t notice, didn’t pay attention to their hushed talk when they met for coffee or wine. She’d play in the living room as they gathered around the kitchen table, using foreboding tones to make predictions about how the world would look if the exodus continued, whether they were making the right choice for raising their kid. And indeed, most of the time, Ada kept her eyes on her dolls, not looking up or paying much attention.

But children are sponges, and Ada absorbed, if not the exact words spoken by her parents and the other adults of the neighborhood, their general gist. She felt that vague sense of foreboding, settling in at the back of her mind and making itself at home.

And it was that sense of foreboding that drove her, some nights, to step out of the house and climb to the top of the hill in the middle of their street, up to stand in the center of the road and gaze out at the world beyond their neighborhood. Continue reading