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.
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.
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.
The Sniffer – a Russian/Netflix show – is Sherlock Holmes as a dour fellow with a ridiculously acute sense of smell. He can even time travel with the thing. It just gets me to thinking of all the Sherlock variations there have been, and all that are yet to be. We already have Sherlock, but female. Sherlock, but old. Sherlock, but young, but what about Sherlock, but Icelandic, Sherlock, but every other nationality in the world, Sherlock, but gay (well …) Sherlock, but addicted to orange juice, Sherlock, but a cross-dresser, Sherlock, but fat, Sherlock, but short, Sherlock, but a capybara, Sherlock, but a shrub, Sherlock, but immortal, Sherlock, but asleep, Sherlock, with dreadlocks, Sherlock, from Mars, Sherlock, but quantum, Sherlock, but e-z-peel, Sherlock, for a dollar, Sherlock, but deaf, Sherlock, in hell, Sherlock, but pre-historic, Sherlock, but can fly, Sherlock, for president, Sherlock, in pre-school, Sherlock, for bananas, Sherlock, down a well, Sherlock, in pajamas, Sherlock, with a cold, Sherlock, but a vampire, Sherlock, up a tree, Sherlock, grocery bagger, Sherlock, truck stop hoe.
Any one of these could be on the case, and as long as there are characters with back stories that you care about, something critical at stake, secrets someone doesn’t know but absolutely needs to right at the moment and a suitably exciting climax, I’d give it four stars. I mean, come on, it’s Sherlock.
Please take a moment and vote for the Sherlock of your choice.
Somebody had to make the first circle. That guy was probably named Boris. He made the circle because he was tired of all the other shapes. Almost everything back then was squares and Boris wanted to be cool. He wanted to make something a square couldn’t fit into because its stupid corners would get in the way. It’s not like he just came up with the the circle all at once. He wasn’t particularly inspired, didn’t have a so-called muse, and wasn’t talking to some god. No, it was just hard work. Patience, practice and plain old elbow grease. He went through a lot of broken sticks in the dirt but he didn’t give up. He kept at that thing for a lot longer than you might think. In those days nothing came easy. It’s not like he had a reference library or somewhere he could go or someone he could talk to who had been through the design wars and knew all the tricks of the trade. Writing came later. Before writing, everything was hard. Since writing, it all gets easier all the time because we have all this accumulated experience to build on. It’s not that people are any smarter now than Boris. He was fairly smart and he stuck to it. When he finally did come up with the first circle, it didn’t do him or anybody else any good, because there wasn’t any writing yet. Some of his people saw the thing, but it was just a sketch in the dirt. It was perfect, yes, but not so perfect that the next rainstorm didn’t wipe it away. He made more circles but never out of any more substantial material, and his knowledge was pretty much lost. A lot of knowledge got lost along the way. It’s ridiculous how much everything had to be re-invented all the time, before writing. Word of mouth was okay, and it certainly helped but it tended to get things lost in translation. You know how that goes. Word of his circle did make its way across the steppes but by the time it reached the barbarian hordes it was more like a rumor of an egg and Boris didn’t get any credit. He never even heard about that. He just took some squares and laughed when they didn’t quite fit in his circle. That showed them. Stupid squares.