This was a prompt posted by Wiwaxia Silver: “May I request for a vial of your insanity?”
I put a blackberry in her hand.
“I don’t understand. I was told that a vial–“
I took my spoon out of my teacup and tapped her nose with it, the metal still warm. “You don’t ask for insanity and understanding. One destroys the other.”
Continue reading “The Warmth of a Gentle Fire”
Explore a character’s moral dilemma – either he gets a million dollars, and someone he doesn’t know dies, or someone else gets a million dollars, and he dies.
“A million dollars?”
“Very well. It’s mundane, so I’ll grant it. But . . . let’s make it interesting. I’ll also kill someone.” The genie that had sprung from the antique lamp pointed out my window, and in the window across the way a woman was dusting; she looked like a cleaning lady. “Her. I’ll kill her.”
“What!? No! That is nowhere in the wish I made! I didn’t ask for anything like that!”
To be fair, I had kind of been surprised when a human form billowed out of the lamp. It was like a silly fairy tale. But after I spent half an hour crawling around my kitchen counter as a cockroach, I was ready to believe. It was either that, or risk some new torment.
“Who cares? The terms of your wish are fulfilled.” Continue reading “Deadly Wish”
You’re driving home from work late at night when you begin to suspect the car behind you might be following you. You take every right turn until you have made a full circle. The car is still behind you…
Scene from Courtlyn Siepert: You’re driving home from work late at night when you begin to suspect the car behind you might be following you. You take every right turn until you have made a full circle. The car is still behind you…
Why are you so paranoid, and why are they after you?
I had been beaten. Again. This time I had the advantage though; I was intimately familiar with this neighborhood. I glanced in the rearview and made the turn, heading to the hillside that the latest clue had to represent. It would take anybody from outside the region days to do the research needed—
That’s when I noticed headlights in my rearview, making the same turn I had. My instincts twitched. Continue reading “Geo Rivals”
You live in a world where you have three names printed on your wrist – your one true friend, one true love, and one true enemy. But only one name is printed on your wrist.
“Tess? Tess, if you’re in here, let me know you’re okay.”
I looked around, cautious, each step setting me drifting a good foot in the light gravity. Someone had fired a set of boosters to slow the station’s rotation; the final firing sequence had begun, and I couldn’t afford any loose ends at this point. I moved through the station compartment by compartment, always leading with my taser. The little weapon was dialed up to quite a lethal voltage but would be safe to fire on the station.
“Malcolm. I’m in here.”
I lowered the taser and moved into the compartment. “Thank god. Tess, are you okay? Did you see anybody?”
The kick hit me square in the chest, and in the low gravity, I tumbled straight through the inner door of the airlock. Tess flew backward against a wall, then leaped off the wall back toward the airlock controls. I scrambled forward, but I wasn’t fast enough. The door was built to cut off explosive decompression, and it slammed shut before I’d gotten an inch.
Rise! Rise from the earth, I command thee!
The red mountains by Seven-teenth
I came to the overlook and staggered to a halt, looking over the plains. Green and verdant, the grasses flowed and rippled in the wind. It was beautiful, so beautiful. A fitting sacrifice for mankind to fulfill its destiny.
I pulled my hand from my side, where I’d been stabbed. A knight in shining armor, saving the world. Well, his armor wasn’t so shiny now, but he’d done his damage before he died. I couldn’t blame him, though. If I succeeded, the air would be too foul to breathe within a few years. The world would die.
Continue reading “Blood Hack”
A psychopathic serial killer falls in love with a beautiful, sexy mind reader
Soon I would have to struggle home from work. It was the hardest part, the walk home. My job kept me alone in front of a dozen monitors, watching empty halls at night. It was a lonely job, but it kept me safe, insulated from the abrasive buzzing of humanity.
There were my coworkers, of course. My relief would arrive soon. Funny word, that. ‘Relief’. Those hours alone, they were the purest, most relaxing hours of my day. Then Josh showed up. His mind was full of whatever woman he was wooing at the time. Lust whined constantly, and his pride was like the squeak of a thumb on a clean plate, never ending. He’d made progress with someone if it was this loud.
He’d never actually told me of his conquests. He was actually something of a gentleman in that regard. It should seem odd that someone so consumed with sex and the pursuit of sex should be a gentleman in any way, but I knew human nature too intimately to be surprised. When you understood people well enough, you came to realize that the contradictions within a human are what made them…human.
Continue reading “Deadly Lens”
The love of your life has just died in your arms.
I strode across the battlefield, picking my way over the bodies to where she lay. The sun beat down on my face, beads of sweat mixing with blood, red droplets catching in my lashes. At least it wasn’t mine.
I knelt at her side, brushing her hair back. “Anya.” Her breath was fast and shallow, her eyes unfocused.
“Anya. Does it hurt?” She shifted and whimpered. Someone else shifted too, and I put my sword into his chest, letting it stay there for the moment.
“It hurts less,” she said. “But it’s so cold. Chris . . . I think this is it.”
Continue reading “A Soldier’s Mercy”
A bank robber takes off his ski mask and hails a cab, stowing his pistol in his back pocket. Suddenly, lights begin to flash around him. “Welcome to the Cash Cab!…”
I stepped out of the lights and music of the Cash Cab, four hundred dollars richer. The frigid rain spat down at me, and the wind tried to throw my hair into my face. Shame and self-loathing were furrowing my brow and tying a knot in my stomach. I felt like I was going to be physically sick. I had never been so ashamed of myself.
Continue reading “Believe in Me”