Earth Moves

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

John wheeled himself closer to the edge. The windows’d gone in the last quake. People were always on about being careful, but what did it matter now? The world was literally falling apart. Might as well have a good view.

Grit crunched behind him.

He spun. Sarah Jenks, the fittest bird in the block. “What are you—?”

“Always envied how alive you were.” She stepped closer. “I never had the guts. Doesn’t seem much point in being careful any more. And didn’t want to die without telling you you’ve got a sexy laugh.”

They didn’t feel the earth move.

Destined to Fail

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

You hear the jokes about spam email every day. Double-glaze your manhood. Gain longer Nigerian Prince.

And the worst are about psychic readings. Writes itself really.

I’ll let you into a secret. Psychics invented spam.

Think about it: it’s illegal in the UK and many other countries to sell genuine mediumship or other magical powers unless you can prove it works (at which point you might as well drive yourself to the nearest government blacksite).

Think about it: communication with a one-in-ten-million success rate. Who’s going to look for the real thing in there if they aren’t destined to look?

Feud

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

Una the Deep Miaowing sat upon the highest of high spots in Ut-Garden. Fugl Bloody-Shirt’s raids became more common by the day. She must prepare herself.

Legs drawn up, she wrapped herself in her tail. She had lain in wait. She had left and then returned hoping to catch him glutted with spoils. Yet each time, he had slipped away as if he knew she was close.

There must be an answer. Strength of self filled her, but inspiration did not.

Standing silently below, Jaspar Fuzzy-Breeks marvelled at the brilliance of her strategies, but wondered why she spoke them aloud.

Oranges to Applications

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

What was it like during the Transition?

When the Sorn told us we belonged to their Empire, we fought back.

Throw that orange at the wall as hard as you can.

Imagine the wall’s a Sorn Integrator and the orange is our best weapon.

Now imagine the wall sucks up that mess and spits out a clean power source while explaining our customs can be maintained.

The Sorn gave each nation 3 months to surrender. Most did.

Don’t know if America intended to defy them; but turned out the Sorn didn’t understand localisation so the US disappeared on day 37.

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.

A Bitter-Sweet Disagreement

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

Our tale begins in fair Verona. Where two families, Costi and Moretta, equal in iniquity, unite in discord. From ancient grounds froth new dispute, and uncivil words make civil hands unclean.

From two foes sprang forth our lovers, Julia and Romolo, fair of form and well-composed. For was ever thus that fine similarity does lead more to foul difference.

But they end not their lives with the feud. For youth heeds not parents’ consent and flights are cheap. And so our end is distant Winchester where our lovers dwell, uncaring whether coffee is served with biscotti or biscotti with coffee.

Game of Bones

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

“Preston Williams, your life is spent.”

That’s one realistic mask. Obviously, some new road safety campaign. “That’s not cool! Last thing I need is like a heart attack.”

Bony as fuck. Let’s see how committed they are. “If you’re Death, then you’ve got to let me play a game. Not chess. We’ll play Hide and Seek. You hide. If I find you, I win.”

“On one condition. My scythe is obvious enough you would find me easily; yet it cannot be left unattended.”

I take it and close my eyes.

When I open them, I know my duty.