Fuzzy Instruction

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

Why am I in here? Because my wife ain’t no good at instructions.

Been married a couple of years when she gets broody. We do what you do, but it ain’t working. Which puts a fold in the duvet.

So, I gets her a girl kitten—as a surprise like.

She loves it. Short story shorter: no stress, yes baby.

Ten months later, wheezing daughter. Doc says chronic allergies.

Wife’s in tears. Tells me I’ll have to get rid of her, and rushes straight to her mother’s.

Weren’t till I got home I realised she didn’t say which one she meant.

A Mighty Tale

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

Jaspar Fuzzy-Breeks eased himself along the tunnel. Framed in the entrance, Lágr Rope-Bearer sat oblivious. The ground schuffed beneath Jasper’s feet, but Lágr seemed not to hear.

Almost at the tunnel’s mouth, Jaspar paused. Everything was still.

He eased his haunches and leapt.

His paws wrapped around Lágr’s throat. They rolled, each on top then underneath. Jaspar drove his back paws over and over into Lágr’s stomach.

Suddenly, Lágr shot free, his head slipping from Jaspar’s grip.

A rope-muffled shout echoed as Una the Deep Miaowing leapt away, Lágr dangling from her by the rope.

Jaspar leapt.

Then strolled away.

Fear of the Spork

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

“My theory? These are what kept humans from dying out like the Torgal.” Ambassador Zarlec pointed a spindly finger at a cabinet.

“Spoons?”

“Not just spoons. Horn spoons. Wooden spoons.”

“And…?”

The ambassador’s eyes flickered grey with embarrassment. “If you focus the emitter from a portable scanner just right, you can make metal twist. When you’re young… you know how trends happen… cutlery bending just took off.”

“That was your people playing a prank?”

“The Torgal discovered metal early. Their brains were still evolving; I think they became too terrified of cutlery to eat.”

Test of Science

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

Science claims it’s more likely we’re a simulation than that this is reality. You can look the details up online.

Or you can join me in proving it’s wrong. One suicide, hundreds even, won’t achieve anything. But if enough of us do, that makes the simulation worthless; and the “scientists” running it will react. Whoever’s left will notice sudden inexplicable changes, proving it’s a simulation.

Except it isn’t a simulation, so whoever joins me will sacrifice themselves for the good of others, and thus guarantee a place in paradise.

*/Remember: set Miracle to False before deploying text to seed personality/*

Getting Warmer

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

James wound the recording back a few seconds.

“—llo, I’m calling fro—”

This time the ‘c’ felt slightly lighter. Was she emphasising ‘call’ or ‘all’? Mustn’t judge. Let the message create itself. Unless… what if cabal agents somehow heard both words at the same time.

He typed both into the database. Work out a proper format for overlap later. He shouldn’t interpret until he’d analysed the whole call, but it might explain why the double-glazing adverts were so hard to decode.

If he could crack the double-glazing, Sara would have to agree there were hidden messages in cold calls.

Among Decent Folk

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

*Gling*

Jake turned, shoulders tense.

“Morning, Jacob.” Sheriff Marcus strode into the shop, fragments of eggshell crunching beneath his boots.

“Thank God you’re here. We’ve been…” Jake waved an arm at ‘Blasphemer’ scrawled across the window.

Marcus sighed, then held out a letter. “Council’s withdrawn your business license.”

“What! But I’m the—”

“Listen. Maybe it’s fine on the Coast. But, round here, you need to be discrete, not flaunt your habits in a public park. Jupiter’s sake. There were children watching! You can’t walk around with the symbol of some ancient Jewish terrorist on your jacket.”

Before the Harvest

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

It’s dark when I slip out, yet neighbours already fill the streets. Letting myself awaken naturally was always a risk: but someone hearing my alarm and realising I meant to run seemed worse.

Only fields lie between me and the forest. If I sprint, they might hear me, but I’ll make it before sunrise.

Moments later, I hear pounding boots. Stones bite my feet, but I race on.

I leap the barrier around the Mother Tree, then turn.

Elders House and Hill stand at the barrier, rocks ready.

My fitness and willingness proven, I offer myself for a good crop.

The Cost of Truth

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

Following Jeremy Corbyn’s reinvigoration of the Labour Party (a failed party similar to the anti-truth Equal Rights Cabal) in the early 2000’s, the Conservative Party (a failed party similar to the anti-truth Moral Choice Alliance) adopted New Austerity. Their headline policy was a requirement that all public services were either profitable or revenue neutral.

This human-positive step resulting in libraries being improved with payment options and the removal of non-profit activities such as lending anti-truth books. Anti-truth publishing collapsed.

The last anti-truth book released was George R.—

CREDIT EXHAUSTED. PLEASE DEPOSIT A MINIMUM OF 1000 NEW YUAN TO CONTINUE PLAYBACK

You Probably Die Twice

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

Basildon Watt glanced down. Brass jaws snapped shut inches below as the clockwork alligators strained for his feet. Maybe not the best day to show off his new hand-stitched brogues after all.

Not that he’d notice their demise. The scrolling laser would reach him well before one of the mechanical lizards got around to standing on it’s fellows.

“The orbital mining was obviously for the engagement ring, Don Pagliacci. But, why kidnap the world’s leading experts on Mustelidae?”

Pagliacci waved his cigar dramatically. “Isn’t it obvious, Mr Watt? I’m going to make the world an otter it can’t defuse!”

Life Outside the Tank

You say we don’t understand your experience.
So we ask.
And you say that it ain’t your job to educate us.
Which is true, but doesn’t help solve the issue.
And solving the issue’s not your job either,
But that don’t mean you aren’t allowed to try if you want.

Which is why there are your stories out there.
Stories we get to read if we find them.
But they aren’t everywhere.
They aren’t common enough that we see the nuance just by breathing.
Because it’s not your job to educate or to fix.
And because of the cheap-shooting, foul-mouthed,
Logical-only-when-it-suits minority.
Those unhappy few who spew hate at anyone who dares to
Not be a bitter little pill
And who deserve

To be treated like human beings.
Because that’s how it works.
If humanity, decency, and virtue are about more than my tribe’s gonna kill yours,
Then that’s how it works.
They don’t have a right to come to your forum and talk shit about your faith.
The don’t have a right to come to your post and make jokes about your mother.
But they do have the right to be treated like a human being.

Because Kant’s idea that we make the rules
So we treat you the way we want to treated
Has problems.
But if you turn it round:
Create some rule about treating others the way you don’t want to be treated?
The clue’s in the name: Tnak.
Because, that’s not just an idea that will tank society;
It’s muddled thinking too.

Because we all share one experience:
Someone smacks you round the head, you want to smack them back.