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Mock Buster

Keith stared into the coloured plastic of the mask’s eyes and wondered – not for the first time – just how everything had so badly wrong. The mask bore more than a passing resemblance to a main character from a forthcoming sci fi blockbuster, however while that production had utilised it’s massive budget to render the character in state-of-the-art CGI, Keith’s equivalent was fashioned from considerably cheaper expanded foam and latex.

RADA. Acting lessons. Theatre Residencies. All waypoints on the tangled road that had led Keith to a draughty warehouse on the outskirts of Basildon and a hastily constructed, highly derivative film set.

‘Whenever you’re ready. Keith,’ shouted a bored looking stagehand. Keith sighed and pulled the sweat-slicked mask into place, ready to create art.

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Psiclone

Kennedy made sure he could hear the reassuring hum of the zeta-wave dampening Zelenoff Field before stepping into Cell Block X, home to Area Omega’s most dangerous psionic criminals.

‘Cell 001’ announced Kennedy’s guide.  ‘Arthur Thompson, AKA Brainsaw. His psychic blasts can cause fatal cerebral injury from up to 150 yards away.’

The two men continued down the corridor.

‘Cell 002,’ continued the guide. Jenny Blaine, AKA Think-Tank. She generates a psionic force fields that grants her massively increased strength and invulnerability to most conventional weapons.’

Kennedy tried to discretely mop the sweat from his brow to hide his anxiety as the guide moved on to the next cell.

‘Cell 003, Hector Golightly, AKA Psiclone. He can create identical duplicates of himself fashioned from zeta wave energy, and if he makes enough they generate a kind of psychic whirlwind that can reach up to gale force nine.’

Kennedy stopped walking.

‘That’s a pretty odd psychic power,’ he said. The guide shrugged.

‘Hector’s pretty new,’ he said. ‘When all the good names have been taken you’ve Just got to work with whatever’s left.’

Drabbles 3 – The Final Chapter

So, after two enjoyable bouts of knocking out short bursts of fiction (of rather variable quality) based on two word prompts provided by my friends via Facebook I’ve decided to give it one more go. This is mainly because I now have thirty six of them, which is a distinctly unsatisfying number, so I’m going to try and knock off a few more to get to a nice, fat, round 50.  Problem is all the low hanging fruit has been thoroughly plucked, so my last round is going to be working with a right motley crew, to wit:

  1. Squid Boy
  2. Jill Boot
  3. Boxing Tales
  4. Tiny Hands
  5. Mock Buster
  6. Chair Match
  7. Humorous Apron
  8. Swanee Tank
  9. Psi Clone
  10. Fowl Foul
  11. Lead Lead
  12. No Regrets
  13. Broken Down
  14. Blue Monkey

 

This could be a bit trickier than previous lists, but hey ho. It’s not like I’ve got anything better to do.

 

Parma Violets

Small, unwanted, and overlooked. Carole was surprised at how much she had in common with the pale purple, overly perfumed sweets that sat in two piles on the counter front of her. Like them, she was nobody’s first or even second choice. She just wasn’t to people’s taste. Unfashionable. Unloved. The only people that bothered with her only did so because of some feeling of obligation caused by a slightly rose-tinted view of the relationship they had when younger. The similarities were uncanny.

‘Twelve,’ said Carole as she moved one tiny candy from the left pile to the right as if counting on an abacus. Then she promptly shot yet another one of the hostages that huddled in terror on the floor of the department store.  Ignoring the screams and cries for mercy, Carole cocked the pistol and began to move another sweet.

‘Thirteen.’

Sonic Sword

‘Seriously?’ said Agent Cooper.

‘I’m telling you, man,’ replied Agent Hart. ‘It’s the number one threat to our operations in Cuba.’

‘The Sonic Sword? Seriously?’ repeated Cooper, even more incredulously.

‘Totally. And that name was my idea, cool huh? God knows where Castro got the tech from. Probably from the Russians or aliens or some shit. But the threat’s real, man. It starts off as a noise just on the edge of hearing, but it builds and builds and before you know it your brain’s leaking out of your ears. Embassy staff, agents, marines… they’ve all been dropped by the Sonic Sword. There’s only one way to be safe.’ Hart tapped the buds nestled in his ears.

‘What’re they supposed to do?’ Asked Cooper.

‘Metallica on standby, dude,’ said Hart, throwing up the sign of the horns.  ‘Ain’t no sonic sword getting through my sonic armour.’

 

 

Good Old Mr Clock

In a break from your regular scheduled drabbling, I’d like to present a short piece that I wrote for a company called Dagda Publishing a few years back. The company is now defunct unfortunately, and since I always had a soft spot for this story I thought I’d stick it on here. 

***

Tick

Tock

Says good old Mr Clock.

I’m so glad he’s here.  In the last few days he’s been the best friend a man could ask for.  I used to have a lot more friends, of course, but I don’t think I do any more.  Not since the other night.  Not since the stars were Wrong and a lot of Things happened.  What I saw – before I decided to hide in my bedroom and never look out of the window again – was certainly enough to drive a man insane; thankfully I could talk things through with Mr Clock.  He really helped me keep it together, even when everything else what falling apart.

Tick

Tock

Says good old Mr Clock.

And he’s right, you know.  I should just listen to his soothing words and try and ignore any other distractions.  His voice doesn’t drown out the screams per se, but it does give me something else to focus on.  Actually I think I’m getting used to the screams and the other Human noises now.  I suppose I would have gone mad by now if I hadn’t learned to cope with them.  At least the screams drown out the sound that They make, which is far worse than any of the screaming or popping or crunching in my opinion.  What do you think, Mr Clock?  Would you say the screams are better than the noise They make?  I’m so glad you’re here, Mr Clock.  With what I’ve seen I’d have lost my mind without someone to talk to.  But I can talk to you about anything, can’t I Mr Clock?  Even about Them. 

Tick

Tock

Says good old Mr Clock.

What do you mean, who, Mr Clock?  You know as well as I do Who I’m referring to.  Even if we don’t know What or How they are, you must know Who they are.  The ones that lurk outside.  The ones that can’t decide What they should look like.  The ones that remind you of crustaceans and of cephalopods and of arachnids and of nightmares and of nothing all at the same time.  The ones who make that noise when they move that sounds like metal grinding against metal in an echo chamber, the noise that you don’t so much Hear, but you Think it somehow.  The ones that the people tried to run away from but didn’t manage to run away from.  The ones that came to pave the way for It, the other thing we saw when the stars were Wrong, lazily descending from the heavens like a moon slowly drifting out of it’s orbit.  They are still out there.  Still looking for me, I imagine.  Maybe They are outside the window right now.  Maybe They are downstairs. In my more wishful moments when I can’t hear Their noise I think maybe They have gone, but I seriously doubt that .  And even if they had, I can still tell beyond any doubt that It is still out there.

Tick

Tock

Says Mr Clock.

He’s starting to annoy me now, pretending not to know about It.  He must know about It. Everyone could see It. Even if you couldn’t see It you could feel It, drifting towards our world from the blackness of space.  You can tell It’s watching us, even without eyes.  I even felt like It was looking for me personally, which is absurd… but then I suppose It’s looking for Everyone, and Everyone includes me.  It’s hard to judge how large It is… It was still behind the moon last night but it still dwarfed that insignificant satellite. I don’t know how many millions of miles It has travelled or how many thousands It has to go before it arrives, but It’s coming.  Mr Clock can try and deny that as much as he likes, but he’s just deluded. Avoiding the truth.  Hiding in a world of make believe.  It is coming, and all every time I consider that indisputable certainty I find myself thinking that after travelling all those countless light years across the utter void of space… It’s probably hungry.

Tick

Tock

Says fucking Mr Clock.

I wish he wouldn’t.  I wish he’d just shut up, but he keeps on talking.  It’s like he’s just babbling now, releasing a stream of consciousness chatter to try and avoid dealing with what’s going on around him.  I think he’s lost it, and he’s going to give us away. I think They can hear him.  My room seems different.  It’s the angles.  Some of the angles, like how the door frame is in relation to the wall or how the desk should be in line with the floor… some of them are Wrong. I can’t tell you how they are Wrong, but I know that they are.  Are the walls farther away than they used to be?  Or are they closer? I can’t tell any more.  And I think that’s because I can hear Them, even over the screaming or popping or crunching.  They must be close.  Mr Clock just couldn’t keep his fucking mouth shut, could he?  He just had to keep rabbiting on.  They heard him.  Now They have found me.  Some fucking friend Mr bastard Clock turned out to be.  I trusted him and he let me down.

Thankfully I have one other friend that can help me.  A friend who I can rely on, a friend who’ll never ruin things like that fucking Clock.  This friend doesn’t say as much as Mr Clock, but what he does say really Counts.  He’s a friend who will kiss my lips and then comfort me in a way Mr Clock never could.  He’ll do more than talk to me in pointless attempt to keep me calm.  He’ll make everything better, Forever.

Click

Says good old Mr Pistol.

He’s always been a bit taciturn, has Mr Pistol.  When he has nothing to say, his lips are sealed. He doesn’t use a dozen words when one will do.  But now he’s ready to speak, and the next thing that he’s going to say is something very important indeed.  Because when he says it he’ll solve all my problems with that one little word.

I’m glad your here, Mr Pistol.  I’m so lucky to have friends like you.

Bowie Knife

Jansen absent-mindedly dragged the clip point of his large knife across the floorboards, tracing swirling lines and small, complicated symbols into the gnarled wood.

‘It whispers to men, you see,’ he said to the priest. ‘Gives them little glimpses, little insights that folks might misunderstand and so most of what they believe is ass-backwards, but there’s usually a little kernel of truth like shit in sweetcorn. The Morning Star, Nibiru, Heroclobus… all ideas grown from the planet’s whispering. And then your Joseph Smith starts talkin’ about Kolob.  We can’t have that. I’ve heard the music, father. The flutes that keep it asleep. And I’ve seen visions of the horror that would follow it’s waking.  We can’t have men getting even close to the truth in case it starts to take notice.’

The Priest did not respond. He simply stared at Jansen with glassy, dead eyes. Jansen wiped the blood from his blade it returned it to the sheath on his hip.

‘Nothing personal, father,’ he said as he strolled out of the temple.

Unwound Bandage

After many hours of carefully unravelling layer after layer of ancient, delicate linen, Benson and Wright had finally uncovered the last portion of the three-thousand-year-old mummy. Now their task was complete, neither new exactly what to say. After a good five minutes of awkward silence it was Wright that eventually spoke first.

‘Well, I think it’s fair to say neither of us were expecting that,’ he said. Benson could only nod in mute agreement.

‘I mean, we were both pretty convinced that it was some kind of ornamental facemask, right?’ continued Wright. ‘But this… this is… well, it’s certainly a turn up for the books, isn’t it?’ Benson nodded again, his eyes still fixed on the face of the desiccated corpse laying on their laboratory table. What the two Egyptologists had assumed to be a mask beneath the mummy’s wrappings was in fact a very real and organic aquiline beak where the long-dead Pharaoh’s mouth and nose should have been.

‘I think we’ve got a pretty good chance of getting that research grant now,’ whispered Benson.

Family Man

Dr Bufo wiped his hands on his shirt, leaving wet streaks of toxic slime across the grimy material. Driven by paternal fervour, the genetically modified glands in his palms had secreted more than enough venom to send all six of the men that had attacked him into delirium then death, and yet the milky white fluid still dripped from his webbed fingers.

Only when he was satisfied that his hands were suitably dry did Dr Bufo dare to retrieve the large glass jar from it’s hiding place. He had stowed the precious item in a handy dustbin as Gammatech’s goons had closed in on him, and each moment he had been parted from it had pained him greatly. Inside the jar countless tiny tadpoles wriggled and squirmed in their watery nursery.

‘Don’t worry, my children,’ he croaked. ‘No-one’s going to hurt you while Daddy’s here, I promise.’

Cradling the jar lovingly, Bufo hopped off into the night in search of a new life for his beloved family.

Two Fists

David raised his gnarled and calloused hands. The skin of the knuckles had been scraped away countless times due to being driven against metal, stone or teeth during twenty years of adventure and violence. The fingers had each broken on numerous occasions but still possessed just enough flex to form two bony, blood-slicked clubs, ready to be pressed into service yet again.

David raised his two fists to protect his bruised face as the last four thugs stalked towards him.  Whatever numbers he faced, he always knew the odds were in his favour when he was armed with his two favourite weapons.