On the east coast of Slyrn, the rains began at three ticks past the seventh moon, while in the west the sky was wet with liquid amogene. The plague would spread in droplets, but the people of the M’rawn were not concerned. Though bulky and at times inconvenient, their prohibitive air suits kept them dry and clear. It was the Liddle’ Sk”ron birds who had the most to lose. These creatures, known for hopping from drop to drop, had shorn their metallic claws in healthier climes, and were no longer equipped to repel the insidious virus. It was up to Bin Ve’rinn, the infant prodigy from the Pilar Soult mines, to once again intervene with his magical science and evolve the birds beyond their next natural cycle. A.B.’s mission, then, was to awaken the child in time from his regular afternoon nap.
Flynn emerged from his shadow at six o’clock. The journey had taken longer than usual on account of the sunspot activity and, of course, mercury in retrograde. Being submerged in the shadow for so long took its toll. The bags under his eyes were almost purple, and the skin beneath his fingernails had begun to crease and fold. Shadow Hawk bundled him into the cab and tore off down the boulevard. Colonel Hacking was waiting at the barracks. Flynn couldn’t speak at first. His throat was too dry and his recall too hazy. The Colonel plied him with apple juice and a stale croissant. At length Flynn became more aware of his surroundings and nodded weakly. Colonel Hacking pressed the buzzer on his desk and moments later both Generals Bly and Conklin were in the room. The pulled chairs up in a semi-circle around the now fully conscious Flynn and waited eagerly for his report. Flynn cleared his throat, and then he frowned.
Rodney was fifth in line at the liquor store, and then he was tenth in line at Taco Bell. He was third in line at the ATM and second in line at Whole Foods. He was first in line at the newspaper kiosk, and twelfth in line at the ferry. That was Monday. Also on Monday he was third in line for the urinal at the ball game, and eighth in line for the urinal at the bar. He was third in line for the ferry on return. In the meantime he had been sixth in line for a hot dog, and tenth, eighth and fourth in line for beers. On average he was around 6th in line for the day, slightly better than his typical average for the month of September, when historically he’d been closer to seventh.
From the beginning Jake Choo was a good dog. He fetched, he sat, he stayed. He would have learned more commands but Little Buddy got bored and never taught him any more. Jake Choo was aware that he was being cheated. He saw his friends at the dog park doing all sorts of things. He would have done them too. He learned by watching but the commands never came from Little Buddy. Instead, Little Buddy just sat there chain smoking. Little Buddy was not a good master. He never should have had a dog. Things got better for Jake Choo later in life after Little Buddy’s suicide, and Jake Choo got a better master, and a better name too. Eventually he forgot all about being Jake Choo, and became the Rex he was always meant to be.
I remember it was raining. I was sitting in the lobby of a cheap motel, waiting for someone. She was supposed to meet me there at three and it was already five. You can imagine I was furious. The creepy guy behind the counter kept staring at my tits. I was sure he was going to say something gross any moment, but he only let out a little sigh every now and then. Every time he sighed I wondered if my fear was showing. I sat very severely, straight up like a woman of confidence. I had told my friend I would wait for her, no matter how long. She was always late, but never this late. This is one of those memories that could not happen any more. It was long before cell phones. I knew her phone number, but to call her I would have to go up to the counter and ask the creepy guy if I could use the phone and he would probably say no and direct me to the pay phone, which was just outside, in the rain, and anyway she shouldn’t be at that number. If she was then she’d be at home and not coming as she’d promised. Also I didn’t want to leave any traces of our business. She should have disposed of the body already.
A touch of murder
lets the hairspray dry
orange pretty flowers by the freeway
Everett left the poetry book on the bus, on purpose. It was spooky the way it was speaking to him. Yes, he was murder police and yes, he used hairspray in the morning, but he wouldn’t let that distract him from the case at hand. It was bad enough he’d had to take the bus in to work and he was already late. Not as late as the dead guy, he told himself. Murder can wait. It punches no clocks. This unlucky stiff was dredged up from the canal last night, all swelled up like a beach ball in the outfield. The facts were trickling in already. Name, address, occupation. Former, that is. If I were a carpenter, Everett murmured to himself. Rather, if I were that carpenter, you couldn’t marry me now. Apparently the man had enemies, but it only takes one. Much easier that way. Now he knew he’d have to drag himself around town interviewing all the folks who hated the guy and for what. He had it coming if anyone ever did, still somebody is supposed to pay. Standing at his desk now, fiddling with the file in front of him, it only took a glance up at Charlie to realize, with relief, that some cases, like this one, are better kept cold.
By following these simple steps, you can determine the future state of any object:
- Select the object whose future state you wish to determine.
- Using a language that you are familiar with, describe the object in your own words.
- Repeat this description to a local genie. If you do not have a local genie, consult a local genie finder app.
- Be sure to provide the genie with the following information:
- The future date you have in mind.
- Your recipe for bacon-wrapped fig delight.
- Currency in the form of a human soul. If you do not have a human soul, download one from the replication repo.
- Using the linear nature of time, wait until the future date arrives.
- Observe the selected object and again describe it in your own words.
- Donate to my Patreon or Kickstarter or just give me money somehow.