Category Archives: Phabulous Phiction

All things fantastic, surreal, and sublime.

Scarlet Teacup

The fossil somehow managed to dodder his way into a booth. Margot’s approach confirmed her suspicion that the fetid stench arose from the cheek-sucking old invalid.

“What can I get you, hon?”

“Tea.” His palsied hands trembled as he placed a large copper coin on the table. “Please.”

“Buddy, do you need a doctor?”

He met her gaze directly for the first time. “I am furious, not ill. I would have you pilloried for such scandalous attire, exposing so much…” He indicated her skirted server uniform with a gesture, “Limb.”

“Just what century do you think this is, Bub?”

He paled. “That might be the fundamental question, I fear.”

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110 words, for this week’s Microcosms (Judge/Truch Stop/Sci-Fi).

No Fury

They say Widow Walker stormed down to drag her husband back from the riverboat dock where the gambling and carousing went on every Friday night. She pushed grown dockhands clear off the pier into the river, the silly ones that tried to stop her, the Pinkertons and roustabouts. Then she stared down the bullyboys guarding the entrance to the Golden Nugget riverboat, and them hardened hombres backed down whining like whipped dogs. The real trouble started when Widow Walker found her husband drinking with a different painted floozy on each knee. That’s the night Haunted Pier burned to the waterline.

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Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

Live

Abomination is now live on Amazon. That’s about half the job (the easiest half). I need to get things going on Lulu (generally painless) and Smashwords (often a pain).

And then sit back and collect the piles cash!

Or not. Usually not.

RecDave Seal

Publication pending on Lulu, Kobo, Smashwords (and all of the sub-distributors they cover).

The Odd Duck

Sally’s long lashes flickered at Jimmy. She had such beautiful fur, deep and luxuriant, and Jimmy often leaned against her stomach listening to the soft rumble of her breathing while he composed. Poetry, of course, love sonnets and deeply purple prose describing her lovely mouth, gorgeous tail, and luxuriant paws.

Of course, Momma duck would not approve. Jimmy didn’t care. Sally was his muse, his daydream, the reason for his writing.

One day, while waddling down to the pond for his morning swim, Jimmy discovered a scene of carnage. Crushed cattails and prints in the shore side mud, both webbed and clawed. Bloody gobbets of flesh and drifting white feathers were all that remained of Momma duck and Jimmy’s duckling siblings.

A pair of feral red eyes started intently at Jimmy. Her beautiful needle teeth, dripping blood down the slick fur of her perfect chin.

“Time to choose, Jimmy,” purred the enchanting weasel.

Jimmy leapt astride his vintage motorcycle, flicked a cigarette butt into the pond, and offered Sally a lift.

“I’m perfectly willing to think outside the flockses.¹”

¹ Spelling intentional, Jimmy’s response to pedants: “[Expletive deleted].²”
² (Which the editor translates with some liberty: “Up yours.”)

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198 words, inspired by the week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

Rods from God

At 02:47 fireballs erupted into the sky from central London. Eighty sequential sonic booms, less than three seconds apart, shattered glass from Guy’s Hospital to City Hall. Enormous balls of flame leapt from the top of the Shard into the sky at a nearly vertical seventy-five degree angle.

The phenomenon resulted only in noise and broken glass, no injuries. The military rushed around in jeeps and the media (naturally) posited terrorism. Yet several days passed without any definitive explanation.

Answers came at last in the form of a weak repeating FM radio broadcast, of all things.

“Hello, citizens of Great Britain. This is Commodore Schmidlap of the Sealand Royal Navy, broadcasting from twelve kilometers off the coast of Suffolk.

Several nights ago, Sealand launched a series of projectiles at Mach 30 into low Earth orbit, using the structural girders of the Shard as railguns.

Sealand is now capable of rapid orbital kinetic bombardment anywhere in the world.

For years, Great Britain has laughed at HRH Prince Michael and Sealand’s sovereignty. Consult your records on Project Thor if you have any doubts about our new, one hundred percent legal kinetic defensive capability.

Stay away from our micronation. You have been warned.”

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200 words. For this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

[Don’t worry, no one can yet reach LEO with a railgun…you need about 10km/sec of delta v, roughly Mach 30. Current rail guns can get to Mach 7 (plus or minus).

Now the SpaceX guys could probably put a Thor system up…legally. Hmmmm.]

Trumped

“Captain, we’ve got a real problem.”

“What problem?”

“They’re trying to cross the border again, thousands of them. Fleeing oppression, asking for sanctuary, lined up for miles on the Interstate. But shall we close the border?”

The captain climbed the observation tower and scanned the horizon. He gasped at the sheer mass of SUVs headed south. “Do we have any idea what they’re fleeing from, Corporal?”

“Best guess is the election, sir. You know how ridiculous the rhetoric became, near the end—really scary shit—intolerant, xenophobic, bigoted, and hateful.”

“So what happened?”

“According to the polls, he’s actually winning.”

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100 words. Inspired by this week’s 100WGCU prompt.

See also: Trumped Again.

 

 

The Python Project

One of the things I’m toying with is getting back into coding on a more serious basis. It’s been at least 15 years since I last earned a living slinging code (did earn some beer-and-pretzels money more recently that that), and that was in a language that’s now pretty much extinct (that’s a blog-story for a rainy day, maybe).

Anyway,  have just begun tinkering with Python (3.4.2), which means I’m fighting with syntax differences, how do I tell this interpreter/compiler I want to do that (function I’ve coded before)?

Just baby-steps so far, but it does look like a satisfyingly powerful tool (an a modern one!). Should get easier with practice.

Will I get any practice? Several other new balls I’ve tossed up in the air to juggle recently, and each makes a good excuse to not-do the others. We’ll have to see.

“Every year is getting shorter,
Never seem to find the time.”

(To explore: does WP grok em-spaces? en-dashes?)