COPS: Third Dimension


It’s not easy cornering a timefugitive, so when you shout “We have you surrounded” you’d better block them in all directions as well as in the past and the future.
Also, pandimensional hyperbeings may not understand “Come out with your hands up.” Not only are you assuming they have hands, but in higher dimensions “up” is not always “un-down” and “out” may involve going further in and then wormholing back around.
Finally, “This is your last warning” is actually the first warning for retrotemporal outlaws. Those are the worst, since from their perspective they’ve only just gotten out of prison.

The Season of Death


Up here, they call we repair guys a “Scotty.”
I have no idea why.
Sometimes, the motors and gyros on a solar array get jammed, and I have to suit up and go out to smack it with a hammer for a while.
We’re supposed to use remote-robots to do this, but a good Scotty wants to smack the machinery with his own hand, not through some joystick or virtual glove.
Until the seals break, that is.
From a dry spring day in your suit to colder than the coldest winter in less than a second.
I call it Death.

Ancient Indian Burial Ground Corners


So, how did this place get the name “Ancient Indian Burial Ground Corners?”
Because it’s built on an ancient Indian burial ground.
When it rains, skeletons pop out of the weak points in the ground. Arrowheads lodge themselves in tires all the time. And cable reception’s spotty when spirits gather to unleash spectral fury upon the defilers of their graves.
Not all is gloom and doom, though. The Little League team always wins because visiting teams have the piss scared out of them when they come here.
So, do you want a brochure, or are you ready to buy now?



It’s a long fly ball.
I’m in the bleachers, and it takes me a second or so to realize the ball is headed straight towards me.
My hands are full, and I’ve got a choice: drop the beer and catch the ball or protect the beer and get hit with the ball.
I choose a third option: putting the beer down and trying for the ball.
I bend over, and I feel a thud on my back.
I drop the beer, and it spills as it rolls into the row below.
I guess there is crying in baseball, after all.

The White Flag


Alexandre’s unit was surrounded and running out of ammunition. The enemy was closing in and the situation looked bleak.
“Options?” he asked the men.
Nobody wanted to be the first to say surrender.
A mortar whistled overhead, and everyone ducked.
“We’ll surrender,” said Alexandre. “Time for the white flag.”
Alexandre looked around, but all of the bandages were soaked bloody red.
He broke open a laundry parcel, but someone had washed the sheets with something red and they’d been stained pink. “Will pink work?” he asked the men.
He tried it, and it sure gave the enemy a good laugh.

A is for Asteroid


One of the more peculiar phenomena in our universe is the bizarre asteroid belt surrounding Cygnus 7B.
Every asteroid appears to be shaped like a letter of the alphabet.
The upper-case block letters tumble and roll in a massive cloud. Sometimes they collide, pulverizing each other completely.
Scientists are baffled by this curious sight and have yet to offer any meaningful explanation for it.
Industry has shown no interest beyond tourism, since the asteroids contain no useful materials beyond compounds that are common planetside.
Military uses are frequent. Just aim, accelerate, and laugh.
“X marks the spot,” you could say.

Hood Ornament


Luis laughed as he tossed a rock over the railing down on to the busy freeway below.
“Missed,” said Jesus. “My turn.”
Jesus pulled a chunk of concrete from the crumbling curb and banged it against the road to break off the rough spots.
“This is for the win,” said Jesus.
Neither Luis nor Jesus heard the engine of the car that rammed them into the railing. Jesus died instantly while Luis coughed blood on the hood.
Luis looked through the cracked windscreen at the driver’s face.
“Game over, asshole,” is what he thought the driver said.
And then, nothing.

Rosetta Stone


Don’t assume by Galactic Standard that writing systems are all right-to-left. Even some of that language’s progenitor scripts went left-to-right and top-to-bottom.
Plask is the best example of a back-to-front script, and the intricate concentric design on my wall is actually an inside-out Helian manuscript. Toova is read like raindrops, scattered in a seemingly incomprehensible pattern only understood to their way of perception.
I’m fond of the scent-communications of Frond myself. The order you experience the various rich smells and tastes they emit determines the conceptual order.
Of course, all it took was one horrid fart to start a genocide.

Three Mighty Pirates


The mighty pirate gang sailed the ocean blue for treasure and glory.
“Yar!” shouted Smitty.
“Yar!” shouted Pegleg.
“Yar!” shouted Captain Blood.
Many galleons did they board, plunder, and send to Davey Jones’ Locker.
“Yar!” shouted Smitty.
“Yar!” shouted Pegleg.
“Yar!” shouted Captain Blood.
No crew was deadlier with a score of cannon than they.
“Yar!” shouted Smitty.
“Yar!” shouted Pegleg.
“Yar!” shouted Captain Blood.
And they were the most fearsome scurvy dogs on Brussels Sprouts and Onions Night.
“Light a match!” shouted Smitty.
“Open a porthole!” shouted Pegleg.
“No wonder why they call it a poopdeck!” shouted Captain Blood.



First, they wanted me to work a double shift. Lots of drivers are sick and it’s a busy weekend.
More got sick, so after I got back to the garage, they offered a triple. I’d even get to take out one of the new cars if I worked it.
Hush hush.
I took the keys, slid into the most comfortable car seat of my life, and fired up the engine.
I don’t think I’ve gotten so many fares in my life. And the tips have been extraordinary.
They’ll help pay for this car when they pry me out of it.