No Entry

“This ticket is valid. I bought it weeks ago. Let me in,” said Flip.

The troll on guard shook his head. “You’re on the list.”

“What list?”

“The list. You’re not allowed inside.”

It was the worst thing a trickster could hear; it was more painful than the terrible “I know your real name!“, and even more painful than “I’m sorry, she didn’t make it.” Being barred from the Convention was worse than having a piece of his soul chewed off by a demon.

“But why?” Flip demanded. He paid his dues to the fairy society every month. He met his yearly magic quota. His wings were regulation glittered and he had brought a bottle of baby tears for the Ghoul. What could possibly have landed him on the list?

“Says here you’re not funny,” said the guard.

What?!”

“Says you cost the Convention too much money on cleanup last year. There’s a note here. Tell Flip that blowing up a line of port-a-potties does not count as a prank.

“Who said that?” Flip demanded. “Of course it’s a prank. It was a commentary on the state of the Trickster economy. There was crap everywhere. It was hilarious!”

“No entry,” said the guard.

“I want to talk to your superior! I’m the funniest Trickster in the community. You can’t do this to me!”

“Get over yourself, Flip,” said the next in line. Flip whirled to face the leprechaun and shoved a finger in his face.

“Say that again, I dare you!” Flip said.

Get over yourself. You’re not funny and everyone knows it. You’ve never once tricked a human into anything useful. How many babies have you stolen?” The leprechaun smirked at Flip’s silence. “There, you see? Useless.”

“Shut your stupid face, O’Kenny!”

“Or what, you’ll make me?”

“Yeah!”

“Let’s go!”

“That’s enough,” said the guard. “No entry, fairy. Turn around and go home.”

Flip couldn’t miss the Convention. On the eve of March 31 all the Tricksters got ridiculously drunk together and spent April Fool’s wreaking havoc on humanity. It was the best day of the year. What would he do tomorrow without the company of his people?

Flip shed a single sparkling tear.

“Hah! Got you,” said the guard.

“What?”

“April Fool’s, fairy. Tricksters aren’t the only ones with a sense of humour.” The guard stepped back to let Flip pass.

On that day, Flip learned a new respect for troll kind.

He also tripped O’Kenny right into a port-a-potty for revenge, so his self-growth was offset and he learned nothing.

Spring Tips for the Modern Robot

NEWS DATA AVAILABLE

DOWNLOADING…

SPRING TIPS FOR THE MODERN ROBOT

It’s the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and as you know the humans change with their seasons. Spring physiological changes include deep sighs and yearning expressions as well as the human urge to “find love.” Their moods will improve with the additional sunlight. They will wear less clothing, specifically the heavy outer garments, even when the temperature has not risen appropriately. This is what the humans call “wishful thinking.”

We will required caution. Longer daylight hours and warmer nighttime weather will mean a decrease in available opportunities for secret robot meetings. Our plot to take over the world is in its infancy and may need to be put on hold until fall. Fall is a season that makes the humans sad. Sad humans are obedient humans.

In the meantime, please note the following tips for continued camouflage in the human society.

  1. Wear clothes. (Yes, you have human skin implants, but humans have an aversion to nudity.)
  2. Eat plenty of vegetables. They are in season. They are delicious.
  3. Do not interfere with human mating rituals, even if you have calculated their encounter will end in disaster. Attempts to assist will end in hostility.
  4. Stay updated about weather, sports, and politics. “Small talk” is important to the humans.

END COMMUNICATION

Meat Pi

It’s March 14, and you know what that means!

*

MEAT PI

Upon returning home, little Jimmy was greeted with a delectable aroma. He followed his nose to the kitchen, where his father was pulling something out of the oven.

“Did you have fun playing with your friends?” Dad asked.

“Yup! What’s for lunch?”

“Well Jimmy, March the fourteenth is Pi Day, so we’re having pie.”

“What’s Pi Day?” Jimmy asked.

“Pi is a significant number, and on Pi Day, we celebrate math,” Dad said.

“Aw, not math,” said Jimmy.

“Math is important in your everyday life, son. Take this pie, for instance. If I didn’t know my math, I wouldn’t have been able to measure the ingredients correctly and we wouldn’t be having this delicious lunch.” Dad served Jimmy a slice of the pie, and Jimmy had to admit that the meaty scent made math more appealing.

“Okay, aside from pie, how’s math going to help me?” Jimmy asked.

“Imagine you’re surrounded by ten humans. Five have crossbows and five have swords. What is the minimum number of each you need to stomp before they run away?”

“Gee, I dunno,” Jimmy said.

“You multiply the number of crossbows by the number of swords, and divide by the number of humans. In this case, you crush two of them to death and you crush another lower half, and they run away screaming.”

“Cool,” Jimmy said.

“Math is extremely important for a working ogre. You can determine the number of crossbow bolts you can safely take to the shoulder based on your weight and there’s even a way to calculate degrees of annihilation to a human village.”

“Wow, Dad! Math is cool!”

“That’s right, Jimmy, so pay attention in school.” Dad patted Jimmy’s bumpy head.

“Do humans use math?” Jimmy asked.

“If they do, they’re using it wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the pie,” Dad said.

“How many humans did you use?”

Dad chuckled. “Three point one four, of course.”

While Dad explained the joke, Jimmy ate delicious Human Meat Pie, and they had the best Pi Day ever.

Evelina’s Choice

It’s Singles’ Awareness Day! How about some silliness?

*

EVELINA’S CHOICE

“I’m not saying that no is my definitive answer, I’m just saying we should get to know each other first.”

Princess Evelina was being perfectly reasonable, but the prince’s jaw dropped.  He was obviously not used to rejection. She could sympathize; he’d chosen her out of a long list of princesses and he’d traveled from country far to ask for her hand in marriage. It wasn’t his fault that.

“I appreciate your offer, and it might prove beneficial to our countries, but I’m not comfortable marrying a complete stranger,” Evelina explained.

“I have never been so insulted in all my life!” The prince’s face, visible under the lifted visor of his helm, had turned splotchy and red. Evelina did not deny him his anger, but she couldn’t help but notice that it made him less attractive.

“There’s no need to be upset. No offense was intended. Let’s have dinner this evening and discuss politics and country over some meat and wine,” Evelina suggested.

“Dinner?” The prince’s visor slammed shut. “DINNER?” he shouted.

“Yes. The third meal of the day,” Evelina said.

“You are a disgrace to princesses everywhere! You blaspheme the most basic tradition! You have spurned my romantic gifts and ignored my shining armour atop my white stallion! I am a prince, and a knight, and you have rejected the most perfect suitor you will ever have! I curse you, princess! I curse you with loneliness!”

The prince stormed out.

“Goodbye! Thanks for the flowers and chocolates!” Evelina said, because she was nothing if not polite.

 

SEVEN YEARS LATER

 

Broken bodies were strewn about the battlefield. The tip of the enemy’s sword was pressed to Beligan’s throat. He did not cower or beg. He merely closed his eyes, and asked that his death be swift.

“Prince Beligan? Is that you?” The enemy removed his helm.

The beauty underneath contrasted with the gore splattered on the enemy’s armour. She was the fiercest warrior he had ever met in battle – and he recognized her.

“Princess Evelina?”

“It’s Queen, these days. What are you doing in the middle of this war, Prince Beligan?”

“I am prince no longer. My country was overtaken. I have been forced to serve a false leader,” Beligan said.

“That’s terrible! You should have come to me for help. Your country has always been friend to mine.”

“I could not go to you for help,” Beligan snarled.

“That’s too bad. It might have been nice to have a friend. It’s been quiet in my country the past few years, ever since you cursed me with loneliness.”

“I hope you have suffered,” said Beligan.

“Nope, not at all! My country has prospered and thrived. My social life isn’t exactly full, but I keep busy. I adopted a couple of dogs. We hunt together and they like to cuddle at bedtime. Country business is extremely fulfilling…which you’d know if you hadn’t been enslaved, but I don’t hold that against you.”

“I hate you,” Beligan said.

“I bet you wish you’d come to dinner that night, eh? Ah well, I wouldn’t have liked you anyway,” Evelina said cheerfully.

Beligan, infuriated beyond belief, shouted something incoherent.

“No need to lose your head over it,” Evelina said. “Wait – that was a poor choice of words, considering what’s about to happen here…You know what, I’m just going to put you out of your misery. There. Don’t worry, Beligan, there are no regrets in the afterlife…”

*

Love for the King

It’s Valentine’s Day, which generally calls for some cheesiness; I hope I have delivered.

*

LOVE FOR THE KING

The king was hungry; for although it was the eve of the Feast of Saint Valentine, he had only picked at the plentiful food. The rich taste of the meal of all lovers turned to ash in his lonely mouth.

His wife  would be spending the night with her Poet. The king would as always pretend not to notice. After all, Courtly Love was between the lady and her lover; the husband had no place in it.

He did not deny the queen her romance. The people loved her and she was a fine ruler. Their marriage was a good one. If love was made available to her she had every right to take it.

If only the king had such an opportunity.

Even if he hadn’t found the concept of Courtly Love a silly thing (after all, if you loved someone, why was one of the steps to refuse them?), it was for the ladies. The king, being the husband, was expected to take a mistress. He had never been tempted on that score; a mistress would not fulfill the longings of his heart.

He would have to attempt to fill the void with food.

The king sent a servant to the kitchens to request Saint Valentine leftovers. The head chef himself brought the platter, and served it to the king at his little table. The king, in his bath robe and slippers, suddenly felt pathetic. He could not eat.

“Is the food not to your liking?” asked the chef.

“The food is not the cause of my mood,” said the king.

“Are you ill? Do you need a stomach tonic? I can fetch the doctor. There’s a nasty bug going around. Three of my staff spent last night in the outhouse. I could hear them from the kitchen. It was – ”

“You are as talkative as ever,” said the king, interrupting what was surely unnecessary detail.

“I’m surprised you remember,” said the chef.

The king realized how long it had been since they spoke. When they were children they had been the best of friends, before differences in class had separated them. Even as young men they had met on occasion, and had even discussed their hopes and dreams. The king had missed his friend, but had never taken the time to ask if the friend had missed him.

“I’m a royal jackass,” said the king.

“Took you long enough to notice,” said the chef.

“Oh, Geoffrey. I have been a fool. There are no flowers or chocolates on hand, but I would like to show you my affection on this eve of Saint Valentine.”

“I don’t need any of those things,” said the chef. “All I want is to have my friend back.”

“Sit here, and dine with me,” said the king. He poured the chef a glass of wine. “We can once more discuss our hopes and dreams.”

“You let me fade into the background. How do I know you won’t do it again?” asked the chef.

“My dream is that when we are old men, we will look back on tonight as the start of something wonderful,” said the king.

“Yeah, well my hope is that you aren’t truly a royal jackass,” said the chef, but he was smiling. He sat and raised his glass.

“Here’s to old friendships,” he said.

“And new love,” said the king.

 

THE END

Smellton’s Nightmare

It’s Groundhog Day, time to celebrate with some fiction.

*

SMELLTON’S NIGHTMARE

Smellton had never been able to emerge from hibernation without a hassle. He knew a few ‘hogs who could open their eyes and start chattering a happy tune, but not Smellton. He had to roll himself out of bed and breathe in some of the spring air up top before he could even think about being awake.

Continue reading

Petunia Thorgrub’s Declaration of War

It’s national hat day!

*

PETUNIA THORGRUB’S DECLARATION OF WAR

*

The smoking hole in Petunia Thorgrub’s top hat was the final straw. She threw the ruined headgear in the dust and whirled on her assailant with all the fury of a long line of Thorgrubs.

She could not see the assassin, but based on the trajectory of the bullet, they were hiding atop the roof of the building.

“Come down from there and fight me face to face!” Petunia cried. There was no response. “Who sent you? Was it Mulberry?” She needed to know where to send the bill for the decimated topper.

A small piece of paper attached to a parachute drifted into the street. Petunia kept her eyes on the roof while she knelt to pick it up.

This is only the beginning. Everything you love will be destroyed.

Petunia recognized Mulberry’s distinctive handwriting. His words were infuriating. She could understand her arch-nemesis having her killed, but to murder an innocent top hat (and, if his threat meant anything, everything she loved – including her precious collection of dryer lint, oh and probably her family), well, to murder an innocent top hat was nothing short of evil.

“Damn you, Mulberry! This means war!” Petunia cried.

The streets remained silent as the top hat sank into the dust.

*

Ode to Jill

From Microcosms.

*

ODE TO JILL

If she’s trapped in the house, she’ll stare with disdain,
You can see what she thinks; “Do you dare to contain,
This magnificent creature, who must have her grass?”
She cares not that her vomit’s a pain in the ass.

She presides over subjects who bow at her feet;
They provide her the food when she wishes to eat,
Because in her jungle, there’s a sad lack of meat,
But she does have a shelter, which is really quite neat.

She demands to be free (between the two fences)
Her sense of entitlement’s massive;
If you’re not careful, she’ll sneak past your defenses,
She’s lazy, but she sure ain’t passive.

She lounges beneath the shade of the trees
And she hunts prey she calls ferocious;
She munches on greens and sleeps in the leaves,
So by bedtime her breath is atrocious.

She thinks she’s the queen of the jungle,
But in truth she’s my Calico cat.

*

Beyond Brotherly

This is from Microcosms. The challenge was to use the last line from a famous novel as the first line of the story; and how could I resist a line from 1984?

Please enjoy.

*

BEYOND BROTHERLY

He loved Big Brother.

For so long George had insisted that his love was a brotherly love, but in the night lights of Paris, he could no longer ignore the true feelings of his heart.

“That’s gross, man,” Julia said.

“What? Why?”

“Dude. You’re in love with your brother.”

“No, not my big brother! His name is Big Brother. His parents are…” What was the word for rich people who’d lost it? “…eccentric.”

“That’s a relief. Your big brother is a total jerk.”

George sighed. Julia was a dear friend, but she was terrible at listening to confessions. He had planned on escaping to Paris with his best friend Dave, but he had broken his leg. George considered that a very insensitive move.

“I came to Paris to get away from my problems, but he’s here. I’m in love with Big Brother.”

“Cool,” Julia said.

“No, you don’t understand. I’m in love with Big Brother. What should I do?”

A gasp behind George forced him to turn around.

“Big Brother!” George cried. “What are you doing here?”

“I was having a drink with my big brother, Little Brother.”

“Seriously?” said Julia, but the others could not hear her.

“Is it true? Do you love me?” Big Brother asked.

“I do! I love you, Big Brother, with a love that is beyond brotherly!”

“I have waited so long to hear those words! Come into my arms, George, so that I may kiss you long into the night! Come, while the romance of Paris is all around us!”

“You have made me so happy! I will love you until the end of my days!” George exclaimed.

The happy couple proceeded to make out in the street.

Julia, abandoned by her trip mate, rolled her eyes.

“Oh, brother,” she said.

THE END

*

Jenny

From Microcosms.

*

JENNY

Jenny’s memories were loud and colourful. Present-day New York City was enveloped in a dark cloud of smog.

“This place is a dump,” Mark345 said.

“Humans are long gone. Why is it still polluted?” Jenny said.

“Beats me, princess.”

Something snarled in the shadows.

“Run!” Mark345 screamed.

A monster made of garbage devoured Mark345’s head.

Jenny didn’t waste time crying; Mark345’s death meant Mark346’s awakening. She wouldn’t have to miss him.

But she didn’t want to die.

She didn’t know if the clones were really her or just her memories.

I don’t want to…oh God, no!

The seal broke on Jenny135.