My future self

My future self sits across from me, in the restaurant booth we agreed to meet in.
He had a gun, and I had a gun.
I had paradox on my side. If he shot me, he’d be shooting himself.
But if I shot him, I never would allow myself to accept this meeting, and another paradox would occur.
So, the guns remain undrawn.
He told me what I needed to know, and left.
His suit looked nice. And the looked good for his age.
I looked at the list of investments, called up my stock app, and began to buy.

Chasing a ghost

It has been five months.
I am haunted. I cannot let go.
When I walk outside, I look for you.
Around corners. Under bushes. Along the fence.
You’re not there. You’re never there.
I search the pet rescue sites, chasing your ghost.
Every black cat, young or old. It doesn’t matter.
No, this one is a kitten.
No, this one has green eyes.
No.
I will never find you, because you’re not out there.
Gone is gone. And nothing will change that.
But I will keep looking.
And I will keep searching.
Because I am haunted, and cannot let go.

Succubus Club

Victorian London.
Carriages, top hats, gaslamps, and cobblestone streets.
Every Saturday, The Succubus Club gathers together.
The valet takes their canes and topcoats, and guides them…
To the study.
To the staircase.
To the cellar.
She is waiting there.
Over the centuries, she has survived.
She is the last of her kind.
Her sisters, loving one after another.
Leaving a trail to follow.
Discovered, hunted down, burned.
Unlike them, she loves many.
And they all love her. And protect her. And hide her.
The mayor arrives. The chief of police.
Captains of industry.
And they are so very happy together.

Run on time

They say that Mussolini made the trains run on time.
Yes, it’s true. But not in the way you think.
Because coal, diesel, and wood were needed for the war effort, Mussolini hired physicist Enrico Fermi to build a train with an engine fueled by time.
Fermi worked day and night on the project until it was ready.
Mussolini was delighted… until he learned that Fermi’s wife was a Jew.
The Fermis fled Rome on the train, arriving in America.
Enrico worked on the Manhattan Project, thinking he was building another train.
He was just as surprised as the Japanese.

The unholy disease

An earthquake hit Nepal.
Over two thousand people died.
Two dozen of them were Israeli tourists.
Muslim preachers celebrated their deaths, calling it a sign of Allah’s will.
Nobody condemned them for it. Or asked them if Allah wanted dead Jews, he would have sent the earthquake to Israel.
Or, for that matter, just caused each and every Jew to drop dead where they stood.
While Israelis sent aid to the victims of the earthquake.
The preachers collected money for weapons to fight “The resistance.”
When your religion promotes death, it ceases to be a religion.
It becomes a disease.

Round up

Ned was obsessive with round numbers. He hated anything that didn’t end in a zero.
So, his wife Molly set up ten savings accounts.
Each earned a pittance in interest, but the balances weren’t round. That drove Ned bonkers.
So, he added money to each until they had nice round numbers again.
Every month, the interest messed up the balances, and Ned kept adding more.
For years, he did this, until the day he died.
Ned’s funeral ate up all of the savings.
Which left Molly with the life insurance.
She ran off with a young stud.
Who hated math.

Nothing lasts

Nothing we write will last.
Even if we etch our words in stone, stone wears down in time.
We may as well scratch our words into our skin.
And show off scars.
Language changes over the centuries.
Sometimes, overnight.
New words appear, and others fade from use.
Stars themselves burn out.
And nothing remains in the ever-expanding universe but heat.
With nothing to experience the words, and nothing to remember them, why worry at all?
Let your words be like the candle’s flame.
Rising up into the air, a trail of smoke, and then it vanishes.
Briefly illuminating the darkness.