Monthly Archives: April 2014

No. 556

Kevin’s clone was unaware that he was a clone, and tried to take over Kevin’s life.

Unfortunately, although physically identical to Kevin in every way, Kevin’s clone had been raised in a vat and knew nothing that Kevin knew.

It was very easy for Kevin’s friends to spot the difference.


Kevin was eventually rescued from the basement cell that he’d been confined in.

Kevin’s clone, inexperienced as he was, managed to escape.

No. 555

Back in the old days, the only thing you’d have to worry about, curse-wise, was angering creepy old ladies who were wandering around in the forest. They’d turn you into a newt, but there was probably a decent chance that you deserved it.

That was that.

Now we have the internet, and any little comment can get you in trouble. You have no idea who’s out there. Apparently, I ticked somebody off, and suddenly anybody can just edit my life like a Wikipedia page.

The newts had no idea how lucky they were.

No. 554

Jane opened the washing machine and stars fell out.

She picked up one of the plastic, glow-in-the-dark, formerly-sticky stickers. She couldn’t figure out how an entire pack could have gotten into the laundry. She certainly hadn’t put it in.

Several hours later, after she’d almost forgotten about them, she realized that she’d missed the most obvious answer. “Trevor, why did you put glow-stars in with the dirty clothes?” she asked her little brother.

“I wanted to see them spin,” was his simple explanation.

No. 553

I was seventeen when everybody went to sleep.

I’m home, now, after five years on the road looking for others.

It was the same, everywhere I went, thousands and thousands of people, lying still in their beds.

I didn’t see any reason to continue searching. I think I’m the only one awake.

No. 552

Taylor Adams was visiting the zoo with the rest of her eighth-grade class. They were stopped in front of the fossa cage.

“Fossas are small, weasel-like predators that come from Madagascar,” said the zoo guide who was leading the tour. “You might not see them in their enclosure today, though, because they are nocturnal.”

Taylor raised her hand. “That’s what you said about the zebras, and also the snakes.”

Billy Jansen spoke up. “And the crocodiles, and the tigers.”

“We’ve only seen squirrels and pigeons,” Taylor complained.

The guide handled the questions nervously. “Well, you see, children, many animals sleep in the daytime, and we don’t like to bother them. It sometimes makes them sick.”


At the other end of the zoo, in the main office, the director and his assistant watched the exchange on security cameras.

“We can’t keep this up forever,” said the assistant. “We need to actually get some of the animals we say we’ve got.”

“That’s expensive,” said the director. “This will work, so long as we don’t open nights.”

No. 551

Abby Johnson was driving the only car on the wide-open road. Soon, she would be home, and the long trip would be over. She struggled to stay awake in the dark, as familiar songs played on the radio.

She saw flashes in the sky ahead, outlining the hills the surrounded her town. She smiled to herself. There must be a summer storm rolling through. She counted herself lucky to have had dry weather for her ride.

Unconsciously, she pressed the gas pedal slightly harder. She was close, now. A warm shower would be a good way to unwind.

The flashes began to increase in number. The sky was very bright.

Abby drove over the top of the last hill between her and home.

The car drifted to a stop in the middle of the highway as Abby began to comprehend the scene before her.

The town was a smoking ruin. The flashes continued. They were from explosions, as everything was systematically destroyed.

Abby couldn’t tell where they were coming from.

She did the only thing she could think to do. Acting almost automatically, she hauled the steering wheel to the left, turned around, and drove back into the darkness.

No. 550

The eventual destruction of Orcus was revealed six months ago. By that time, many of the planet’s leaders had already made plans to leave. Most of us were left to work out on our own how we were going to save ourselves.

Even when other systems sent ships to help, it was never going to be enough. Apologies were offered, but those are not worth a lot when they cover being boiling alive.

But there is a small window of opportunity in the lack of space on the ships. Those who left were not able to take their goods with them. Precious metals, jewels, and priceless artworks were left behind. Only electronic wealth was evacuated.

Of course, I can’t expect to take the same physical goods with me when I made my escape, but I’m positive that there’s one or two corrupt crew members on board who would overlook a stowaway if that stowaway was able to hand over a bribe worth more than most have ever seen.