Monday, June 27, 2016

Street Meat - @MicrocosmsFic

It's been a few weeks, but I've contributed to Microcosms this week. Yes, I included this in the Guns, Gods & Robots universe.

Street Meat

“Oi! Chicken.” Shruk!

“Oi! Lamb.” Shruk!

“Oi! Beef.” Shruk!

The line moved fast. Each customer queued up, shouted their order and slid their credit cards through the payment slot. Five minutes later the Tyson.2’s arm thrust out of the autocart service window with the kebobs ready for each patron. It was efficient, perfect and most importantly: cheap. All of the food carts had followed the restaurant automation trend that had in turn followed the robotics revolution over the last decade after Farage’s Folley.

The one piece that couldn’t be automated was trash. Legally.  Sanitation careers were one of the government’s preserved job types saved for people to make their career. Winston stood outside of the autocart waiting for customers to throw their skewers and napkins onto the ground. Even though the trash bin was five meters away, customers preferred to discard their debris on the pavement. The emergence of mass-sloth was another unexpected consequence of a fully automated society.

“Oi!, Chicken.” Shruk!

Winston twisted his spine. The vertebrae popped. His back ached every day from bending over for the trash. Despite the misery of his job, he kept at it. One day he would afford his own Tyson.2. Never on his trashman’s wage, but through a bigger plot he’d been hatching since he’d the Department of Livelihoods been assigned to serve the autocart.

“Oi! Lamb.” Shruk!

Like he had every day for the last month, Winston feigned dropping one of the skewers so it rolled under the cart. Once under, he’d stab the break line just once. At the end of his shift he’d lay down, out of sight of the driving system’s cameras, and hope for a mistake. Maybe today he’d have his legs run over. Maybe today he’d earn his workers comp and a better future.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Port of Call - @LadyHazmat

Writing military things, isn't quite my forte, but giving it a shot for this week's Angry Hourglass.

Port of Call

She wanted to enjoy her last chance for the fresh air in ten months, but Gena’s lungs refused to fill. She’d been short of breath for the last half hour as she hurriedly tried to find Derricks in the crowd of white Navy uniforms. She had to find him and come up with some kind of plan before they both embarked for the Arctic Circle on the USS John Warner. “Shit.” Her watch told her she only had eight more minute to board the nuclear submarine.

Derricks wouldn’t want to be seen with her, but this was an emergency. Even if Gena did find him, he wouldn’t care even though this was as much his fault as hers.

A smoldering stench caught her nose and she turned to see a clutch of men enjoying one final cigar before shipping out. She stepped toward them and they all stopped and saluted. She remembered to do the same then dismissed them, “At ease. Have you seen Petty Officer Derricks?”

“Lieutenant, he’s probably on board stashing that hoard of Danish snuff he picked up here,” P.O. Greer snorted from behind the wed stub of a cigar clenched in his teeth.

“Or giving whatever port lizard one last go round,” P.O. Yancy added. The men all laughed.

“Better hope Medical restocked the clap cream,” she added turning back toward the sub., maybe she could still find Derricks on the platform.

“Lieutenant, you know we got toothbrushes on board. Right?,” Yancy said, pointing to plastic device in her hand.

Gena snapped the plastic in half and threw it into the sea. She’d been clenching the pregnancy test since she’d taken it, wanting to show it to Derricks. Wanting to figure out what action to take since it’s been three months since their moment of indiscretion at the bottom of the ocean.

The two minute klaxon rang and all the remaining crew approached the boarding ramp. She’d have to figure this out later, with or without Derricks. Gena’s lungs found the will to fully take in one last measure of air before she boarded the submarine.

350 words

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Anti-Social - @200WordTuesdays

Trying out a new flash prompt site: 200 Word Tuesdays. This month's prompts are nostalgia and empty fields.


The lines were blurring. Save for a few naps, he’d been at the terminal for a week straight, hunched over and massaging the coding to make certain it was perfect. The last time Clip-12 hustled this hard was when he was working on mastering his debut album for StyleStrong records.

At the time they called it a hungry album; the work of a young man making a name for himself. The rumors of his debauched, party-addled hot tub lifestyle grew as large as his album sales. He loved it despite it mostly living in the imaginations of his fans.

Young artists, like his son, coming up today had to actually live legendary lifestyles on social media to even have enough street cred to sell albums. He surrounded his station with magazine cutouts of rappers, like his son, that had died chasing that same notoriety online. It kept him motivated.

In the void left by his son Clip-12 dedicated himself to learn coding. Matching his passion for that first album he’d devoted himself to writing an HTML string that would effectively command the internet to delete itself. It was time. He kissed the cross on his neck and tipped his ball cap to the faces on his wall before striking the enter key. The field, and eventually the whole screen emptied.