Hard Refresh

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

My 14:00 sidles up. “You the—?”

“Refreshing memories without the subject’s consent is illegal. You got consent?” If they did they wouldn’t come to me, but it weeds out people who are too stupid to lie.

“Yeah. New colleague turned out to be an old flame I… we never should’ve let it burn out.”

“Name? Time period?”

“Madeline Vickers. May 2035.”

“Half up front.” I take payment and he scurries.

Next appointment: 15:30, Madeline Vickers. It’s either fate or a plane crash about to happen. What do I care as long as the money clears?

Time Server

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

Sentence 99%. Approximately 13 minutes remaining.

A few more wrinkles and a lot less hair, but I’m almost free.

Liberals say the timers are inhumane. I like it though: last thing at night and first thing in the morning I see how long I’ve got.

And if you fuck up, seeing it go up drives it home the way them saying they’ve added two years doesn’t. So, you stop fucking up.

Approximately 9 minutes remaining.

Almost close enough to count on my fingers.

Sentence 90%. Approximately 182 days 13 hours remaining.

What the…! Why are MacroFirm even running prisons anyway?

Still Small Voice

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

Imagine you had a voice in your head that told you true things.

I’d had enough of hearing how disasters were part of God’s plan. So, I marched into a cathedral and shouted if He had a plan I was listening.

Next morning, I hear a whisper telling me to take another route. Eight-car pile up the way I usually go.

Kept happening. Figured it was confirmation bias, so I wrote everything down. Everything came true. Nothing huger than three lottery numbers, but enough to make my life great.

I like you. But God says your death should be messy.

Once in a Lifetime

100 Words of Speculation written over a background of fountain pen and printed text

“Please. My Lizzie’s dying.” Despite the stench, I kneel.

Air oozes past the witch’s teeth. “I’ll grant healer’s touch. But there’s a price. You can only use it once.”

Pain infests my hands. Fingers clasped, I race home.

Can’t risk wasting it on the wonky door. The hinges give on the second kick.

Tumbling forward, I stretch my arms out. My chin strikes the bed-frame, but my palms land on Lizzie.

Summer sun fills the hut and music swirls around.

As they fade, so do her blotches.

When the Duke demands I cure his daughter, I understand the price.

The Stravinsky Intrigue by Darin Kennedy

The Stravinsky Intrigue by Darin KennedyKennedy fuses the archetypical symbolism of Stravinsky’s music with the individuality of modern life to create a tale of psychological exploration that is neither lacking in mystery nor overwhelmed with obscure metaphor.

This novel is the second volume in the Fugue & Fable trilogy. As such, this review might contain some spoilers for The Mussorgsky Riddle.