Showing posts from May, 2022

Eraser - A short story

Eraser     “Ten thousand cads.” A weathered hand reached across the desk. The skin resembled crumpled up tissue paper. The rap sheet planted on the table read like an old Russian novel. The warm steam of the lit cigar wafted through an office congested with rusted filing cabinets and discarded husks of computer towers. “And you want this gone-”  “By sunset, yes.” The rotund geezer sat back in what he assumed to be an upholstered velvet chair. I sat back and pretended to contemplate the offer, knowing damn well I was going to take the job. I needed it. The heart medicine’s price had skyrocketed. I had to start halving pills to keep up with the work.  I didn’t tell him any of that. Pretending was very important in my line of work. There was a thin dotted line between professionalism and bullshit and I had bullshitted my way to being the best professional freelance code cracker the city had ever seen.  “Alright, let’s begin.” I hunkered down in front of the old terminal and re-calibrated

Black Line - A Short Story

  It was ticking. Countless miles of endless space surrounded the dusty shell of my chrome sling ship and the damned box was ticking. For a moment I sat there, dumbfounded, as the toasted console restarted. I ‘d over clocked the engine to shave a few hours off the delivery time but in my hubris, I hadn’t notice that the radiator had popped. The package was in some kind of icebox and the only instructions that came with it were to keep it under zero degrees Celsius. I took a quick glance at the embedded thermometer. One degree Celsius and rising. I’d run the Black Line for a couple of years now, a runner’s term for the illegal warp routes through cosmic gateways abandoned due to bureaucratic red tape and infrastructural decay. The unregulated slipshod relay system came with an endless laundry list of dangers, but there was no comparison to the speed when piloted by elite couriers. Most corporations stuck to the sanctioned lines, well-trodden mass transit routes like the B

Ports — A Short Story

  “No one is going to remember us, you know.” She sat on the railing and kicked her legs in free space. A thin steel multi-alloy anti-radiation wall stood between us and the infinite space of countless stars. I said nothing and sipped a canned cider I’d purchased from duty-free. It was bitter and disappointing, yet filled the empty hole all the same. The collectors weren’t out tonight. You could tell when they were out by the faint blue-orange tinges over the iridescent sheen of the terra-formed bio-dome. “Do you think it’s true?” She paused and pursed her synthetic micro-filament lips. I feigned ignorance as to what she meant. We both saw the rolling cosmic explosion over the horizon. Supernova. The word had meant little to me twenty-five years ago; a buzz-word in an educational neural implant data stream. I was never a good student. My talents were in number crunching and box ticking, the kind of menial work that should’ve been automated a thousand years ago. “Slyphs

Flaming Hot Mountain Dew Turned Me Into a Paladin - A Review

  I consider myself to be an adventurous drinker. My taste-buds are in an endless pursuit of new and exotic flavor profiles that grow more manic as I grow older. Being quite the aficionado of spice and soda, I heard mention of a certain beverage making its rounds across social media. The concept of making a spicy drink has been around for ages. Ghost pepper vodka, for example, is a beverage enjoyed in certain godless cabals of the Northeast. The unique experience of flaying your taste-buds while pouring capsaicin into the open wounds is a harrowing foray into the world of extreme cocktails. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Today we talk about a marriage made in hell, an uncivil union of a 406 billion dollar industry and the Redditor shitposters that revel in it. Today we gather to tie the binds of carbonated soft drinks and gamer memes in unholy matrimony. Speak now and you may forever hold your peace. I encountered mentions of this abomination on Twitter,

Articles and things

A couple of weeks ago, I posed a challenge to myself:  create a short story every week and publish it on the internet.  Initially, I chose a platform called Medium to do this, but this comes with some pitfalls: 1. Medium allows a limited amount of views for free accounts.  This means that the eyes on this platform are quite limited.  2. The website's algorithm seems to favor self-help articles far more than any other topic.     After some experimentation and research, I've decided that I'm going to mirror the content here in this blog.  Of course, any suggestions for a proper hosting platform are welcome. That being said, how's it going?  Sorry for being away for a bit.  I'm trying to be more visible on the internet and have been tweeting a lot more (Twitter @MadZoob).  New posts will be up shortly.  The swamp grows.