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.”

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!”

Hunters of the Free Tsar

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

T’kjun pressed his flippers to the ice, shooting forward to the base of the berg. Harpoon cinched tight, he clambered up. The five heads that had shattered the ice had gone—for now. The tribe relied on him to find the bounty exposed by the breaking and to give warning if the five heads returned. He would not fail them.

Beak jutting, he crested the ridge and stopped in awe. Aqua green skin with markings of brown and beige. A mighty Vy’un Etta, flanks barely dusted with frost.

Raising his harpoon above his head, he signalled the mammoth handlers to advance.

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?

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.

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.