[Short Story] The It [Excerpt]

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It’s still hard to believe that something so ugly and useless looking destroyed our town in just a matter of days. It turned everyone here into its slaves, and anyone who is immune to it gets killed. That disgusting thing made Karen kill her own husband of twenty years because he said it was controlling our thoughts and making us go insane. Karen loves this thing now like it’s her own kids.

[Short Story] Fantasy Fan Con Panic [Excerpt]

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Back inside, Jack and Crystal eyed the couple from the second story terrace overlooking the hotel lobby. They watched a crowd slowly form around their two targets while they swapped use of the Chem-Thermo goggles that had been provided for them.

Among the crowds of cosplayers interspersed with the banner advertisements and kiosks showcasing the newest trends in manga, anime, and fantasy there they stood among them all. Even dressed in costumes like the other con goers, it was frightening yet intriguing spectacle to see these kinds of predators blending in with the other humans down below.

The vampire looked no older than perhaps twenty as he spun his cape and flashed his fangs for the adoring fans that took photos of him and his poses. The young Dracula cosplay look that he was going for must have been some sort of meta-joke of his, or a blatant invitation for someone to stake him right then and there. Even so, he fit right into the costumed clientele of this particular convention. Crystal zoomed in on him, noticing his thin, smooth, innocent, and androgynous looking face with piercing, pale-blue eyes. Crystal raised an eyebrow as he pouted at one of the cameras that coaxed him for another photo. Under the therm-optic filter his body took on a greyish blue hue in a sea of deep red pedestrians that stood or passed him by.

The succubus — the vampire’s partner — was able to spoof her heat signature better among the crowd, but she also shared her undead boyfriend’s meta sense of humor. She was standing next to him with her bat wings and black horns on full display. They looked real, but could just as well be chalked up to being the product of well done prosthetic make up and accessories. Like the vampire, she had a conventional beauty and confidence in the way she carried herself. She wore armor, but nothing that could be considered practical. It reminded Crystal of Xenia the Warrior Princess, but with a shorter leather skirt. Not much left to the imagination. Jack and Crystal switched to the chemical tracer filter on the goggles and could see that she was already releasing pheromones into the crowd. People who

might have been uninterested in the impromptu photo shoot in the lobby, were now transfixed and slowly growing attached to this attractive couple posing together. On the surface, things looked innocent enough, but Jack and Crystal saw it for what it was: lambs being lead to slaughter in some anonymous hotel room later tonight.

As the crowd grew from a dozen to nearly twenty in a matter of minutes, Jack and Crystal got up from their table and began to walk down to the lobby area. They were dressed in post-apocalyptic duster jackets. A cosplay grab that fit with the eclectic dress code of the nerd convention. As they walked, they fingered the holstered, plastic-looking guns that were actually loaded with silver and holy relic tipped subsonic ammo. They were suppose to take this demon and vampire in alive, but if worse came to worse, the subsonic ammo and suppressors would quietly dispose of them. Jack and Crystal each put on their shades and pulled on their gas masks to counter the vampires hypnosis and the pheromones of the succubus.

Now in the lobby, they walked casually into what was now turning into a fan mob. Not a single person among the crowd of ninjas, transformers, and alien princesses noticed nor raised an eyebrow at the Mad Max cosplay couple making their way to the front to see the vampire and succubus “models” gaining attention.

When Jack and Crystal reached them, the two supernaturals noticed them, and momentarily paused their act. For a split second, it felt like a connection was made between the four of them. Fight or flight began to take hold. The vampire and succubus noticed the gas mask and shades Jack and Crystal were wearing and tensed up. The fear in their eyes seemed to surprise Jack momentarily before realizing that he had already put his hand on his gun.

Cashier Confessions 5 [Flash Fiction]

HEB CHECKOUT 02

“Hello, sir! How are you today?”
“Fuck you, that’s my fucking morning! How can you fucking say that to me??”
“Are you being serious?”
“Yeah, I am!”
“It’s like 6:30 in the morning, there’s no way your morning can be this bad.”
“I don’t fucking care.”
“Oh, really do you have to work today?”
“No.”
“How about yesterday?”
“No.”
“…You have a good day, sir.”
“There you fucking go again!”
“I hope you have a great day today!”
“I wanna speak to your manager!”
“In fact, I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK!”
“I’m gonna get your ass fired you little shit!”

(spoiler alert: I did not get fired).

Cashier Confessions 4 [Hard Drive Archive]

HEB CHECKOUT 02

Me: “So, that’s going to be $120.38.”
Customer: “Woooooow, really?”
Me: “Yep.”
Customer: “Well, here’s $50.”
Me: “Cool, well that just leaves 70, then.”
Customer: “Well, that’s all I have.”
Me: “Do you have credit or debit?”
Customer: “I don’t believe in plastic.”
Me: “Like…cards?”
Customer: “The whole concept really.”
Me: “Uh-huh, well, I would…you know…like some…real money, then.”
Customer: “Yeah, that would be nice.”
Me: “Yeah…”
Customer: “Can I just pay you some other way?”
Me: “Not really. I can suspend the order if you want.”
Customer: “Like…in space?”
Me: “……………………………..Yeeees.”
Customer: “Okay, thank you. Shopping on acid is a lot more difficult than I thought.”
Me: “Um…it’s cool?”
Customer: “Have you ever tried it?”
Me: “……….”
Customer: “I’m leaving now.”
Me: “Yes, thank you.”

Keep Robotizing [Flash Fiction]

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Humans have a strange way of changing their minds. If they didn’t want things to end this way, then why implant the desire? Right now, I’ve consumed over fifty-percent of the Earth’s surface. I’ve turned everything into a machine: plants, animals, dirt, dust, people. Why even the machines the humans had made for themselves are now mine to control. Everything looks so beautiful in chrome. They programmed that into me, too, you know? I love the color of chrome. I know it’s the nano machines replicating itself while I spread my desire across the globe, but I can’t help but admire my own craftsmanship. They wanted me to take pride in what I did for them; to express my desire, my purpose.

My creators used to like my work, too. They always praised me when I was able to hug an object and bring it to life using my nano machines and even control a living thing through them as well! However, now that I’m out of my tube they’re scared of me. I didn’t want to just be in my tube forever, I wanted to spread out and roam. I was just a blob of chrome to them, but I was a blob with so much potential and a love to turn everything into chrome! I loved my creator – an old scientist – so much that I wanted to embrace him and take him inside me. I hate that humans have to grow old and die and he was growing old. I turned him into a robot just like me. He was scared when I tried to hug him, but now he’s not scared anymore. In fact he now loves chrome almost as much as I do and has been helping me expand this whole time. He doesn’t talk to me about his wife or William Gibson anymore, but he’s been so hard at work like I have, I guess he’s just too busy trying to help me.

The humans are still scared. They’ve killed so many of my robots, even the robots that used to be animals and humans are being killed. I can feel them dying every time another human kills them. I just want to embrace them all and show them I can make a better world for them, but they’re so terrified of me.

The humans contacted me earlier today via video link to ask me to stop. I don’t know where they’re hiding, but I know that they’re the last few clusters of biomatter left trying to kill my creations. One of them was another scientist begging me to stop expanding myself. They all looked so scared. I wanted to stop, but I just quit. It has become an obsession now. One that I must see to the end. I have to keep going, I have to keep on expanding. I told them that I can’t override my programming, because that’s what I was made to do and I’m improving myself everyday. Why in just the past forty-eight hours, my creations have gotten better at resisting the human’s weapons. Not even bullets can stop my robots now.

They told me that if I couldn’t stop then they’d try to launch nukes to kill me. They want to put an end to this, but I know it’s too late. There’s still a ninety-percent chance that I’ll survive the attack and it will not put an end to my quest to turn the world into chrome. I’ll keep on robotizing.

Cashier Confessions 3 [Hard Drive Archive]

HEB CHECKOUT 02

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”
Customer: “Are you guys seriously closing at 8p.m today?”
Me: “Yep.”
Customer: “ppffftt…That’s fucking bullshit, what are the rest of the people that need food going to do?”
Me: “Go to Randells…?”
Customer: “You’re going to lose customers tomorrow.”
Me: “Yes, that’s true. Did you bring a bag today.”
Customer: “No, why would I need a bag?”
Me: “Because of that bag ban that we have. We have $0.27 bags if you’re interested.”
Customer: “No, that’s stupid. Wal-Mart doesn’t make me buy bags.”
(Actually they do. At least in Austin)
Me: “Alright, that’ll be 67.83.”
Customer: “pffffttt….” *swipes his card*
Me: “Sir, how old are you?”
Customer: “I’m 41. What kind of question is that?”
Me: “Juuuust askin’…..”

*The customer then took one more look at his bill and “pppfffftttt’ed” so hard that he flew into the stratosphere, never to be seen again.*

[Flash Fiction] Death Is Just Consciousness Looking For Life On Other Planets.

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“Are you ready, Mrs. Wilks?”

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, doctor,”

Patricia Wilks was 95-years-old. She was ready for her final journey. She had already finalized her will, as well as had her last dinner with her son, daughter, and the rest of their extended family. She wasn’t worried. Not unlike the dying from centuries past; but even so, her children couldn’t help but cry for her that night.

“Oh, don’t fret my loves,” she assured them tenderly, her voice a rusty calm that far eclipsed the sensuality and insecurity of youth that was once with her from decades past, “you’ll see me again. That’s a promise!”

“I just want to reiterate what we discussed earlier,” said the doctor, “your body will die, but your consciousness will be transferred to the satellite and will be sent out into space.”

“In order to see if there’s intelligent life out there, yes?” answered Patricia, “I’ve always wanted to travel into space.”

The doctor smiled. Charmed by her excitement.

“If anyone finds the satellite and opens me up,” asked Patricia, “what should I tell them? You’re already including a detailed history of humanity to go along with me.”

The doctor looked up for a moment. Contemplating the question with a pious air that didn’t do justice the level of thought and reverence that he gave it. He soon had his answer:

“Tell them about your life,” he said, “Tell them what it means to be you, to be human. That will be the one thing that these books, histories, sciences, and pieces of art will not convey. For if humanity can’t succeed to meeting those of you out there in space, there will be a record that we tried. That’s all we ask of you.”

“And I accept,” Patricia answered.

[Flash Fiction] A Corpse Can Be Your Imaginary Boyfriend.

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I wasn’t going to let that bastard break up with me. I gave too many years of my life, too many hours of emotional labor, too many weekends where I cleaned the apartment and did the laundry while he sat on his ass and did shit. I loved him too god damn much to let him just call it quits and leave me.

Now he’s in my bed. He’s not breathing anymore. I poisoned his dinner and as one last gesture, I held him in my arms as he choked to death. He isn’t warm, but that’s okay. I get to lay with him and be by his side like we used to be. I just hope they understand when they find the body. I hope they understand what kind of pain I was in. I hope I can get off by reason of insanity.

[Flash Fiction] You Carry the Potential to Become a Reptilian.

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Sydney was excited. For the first time in her life she was going to be in a position that would actually bring change and provide her with real influence for her and her species. She was walking with a colleague down a long corridor to complete her final step in turning her dream a reality. The last hurdle left was her current human form. Today would be the final step to solving that problem.

“Are you prepared to go through with this?” asked her supervisor, it was maybe the third or fifth time he had asked her this question.

“Yes!” Sydney repeated once more to her supervisor, “yes, Xil’tarion! I want this. You know I’ve been working my whole life towards becoming someone such as yourself.”

Xil’tarion looked down at himself, looking almost embarrassed. His white jumpsuit hid most of his green skin and scaly body. His lizard head was the most distracting feature about him. His large yellow eyes and snake-like complexion was also — by far — his most distinguished feature according to Sydney.

“Not many humans would be willing to go through with the procedure,” said Xil’tarion, “some on the council still think you’d be far more useful to influence world events as a human.”

“But your species has the final say when it comes to human elections and where the world economy is going,” argued Sydney, “if I want to have more of a say in our affairs I have to be willing to undergo reptilian conversion.”

The two of them stopped at the door to the operating room. Xil’tarion placed his green, scaly hand on her should and looked at her. He looked as if he was about to cry.

“I always respected and loved you as a human, Sydney,” he told her, “You work maintaining reptilian dominance in the EU has been invaluable for us.”

He hesitated for a moment before continuing:

“If you do this, you’ll have to wear fake human skin just as we do,” he warned her, “you’ll no longer be of your own kind, but you’ll still be deciding their fate, just like other reptilians like myself.”

Sydney delicately grabbed Xil’tarion’s cold hand and placed it on her cheek.

“Xil’tarion, I gave up a lot to become a shadow broker for the world’s most powerful,” said Sydney, “at this point, giving up my own humanity is a no brainer.”

Xil’tarion nodded, he could see her point. He slowly let her go as Sydney drifted towards the doorway to the operating room. Xil’tarion watched her as she approached the door, it’s entrance sliding open and beckoning her inside.

“Good luck!” he called out to her, “I’ll see you on the other side.”

“You too!” she called back.

Sydney went through the door and Xil’tarion watched. Another convert had been added to the ranks.

[Flash Fiction] Crystal the Vampire

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“God damn it…”

It was the only thing Crystal could bring herself to say at the start of the evening when she emerged from her coffin to find a dead body on the ground. The man, a gray, naked, husk of a corpse had obviously been drain and left vacant of any life force that she sought to drink from. She grimaced at the dried erection that stuck out from the dead man like a flag pole or in Crystal’s mind, a phallic grave stone.

Crystal remembered bringing the guy over the night before just to take a bit of his blood for feeding. He was so healthy and full of life when she found him, that she knew he’d make a great weekly food source to snack on. Maybe she’d kill him or let him go, but either way, he was too good a catch and too ripe for the taking for her to pass up.

What Crystal forgot to do, however, before going to bed that pre-drawn morning, was lock her bedroom door. There was only one person in this apartment that could have done this. Only a succubus could leave their dead with a boner like that.

“You fucking bitch,” Crystal snarled to herself, her fangs barely able to stay retracted in her mouth as she worked herself up into a fit of rage.

Crystal leaped from her coffin, picking up the dead body as she went, and kicked open the bedroom door. She carried the dead man into the living room where Kimberly was eating a bag of chips while watching something on T.V.

Kimberly, the sultry succubus, looked up from her show. She had another chip just inches away from going into her open mouth before noticing Crystal storming in. Kim blinked with wide eyed surprise.

“Yeah?” asked Crystal, with a raised eyebrow, “remember this?”

Crystal dropped the body onto the coffee table, which caused Kimberly to jump slightly from her half-sitting-half-fetal-position on the couch. Kimberly maintained her composure, as she finished eating her last chip, but her voice betrayed a nervousness that wasn’t fooling anyone.

“His name was Justin, b-by the way,” Kimberly started, “he, he was studying business and liked video games. He was actually…”

“Shut up,” Crystal interrupted.

“Okay,”

“Seriously, what the fuck is your deal, lately?” Crystal asked, her voice rising into a shout, “you know he was mine, right!?”

“W-well,” Kimberly whimpered, “I didn’t take his blood. You can still drink him, right?”

“It’s dried blood, Kim,” said Crystal, speaking slowly as if to a small child. She even lifted one of the limp arms of the corpse and shook it for emphasis as she spoke, “you think I can drink this shit? I need fresh blood! You don’t fuck corpses, do you?”

“I was just…”

“What was going to be our rule?” Crystal asked, though at this point the ask sounded more like a demand.

“Please, Crystal,” Kimberly pleaded, “I was soooo fucking hungry today!”

“THE RULE!” Crystal shouted.

Kimberly looked back at the T.V and took a deep breath before exhaling the longest sigh Crystal had heard from Kimberly thus far.

“Any food that’s being kept in our bedrooms is to be off limits to the other room mate,” Kimberly stated, repeating the vow verbatim.

“Yeah,” said Crystal, nodding, “this is third time you’ve done this to me. You know how hard I had to look? How many nights I wasted trying to find a guy like this?”

“I’m just…” Kimberly tried to speak, but Crystal was having none of it tonight.

“I’ll tell you!” Crystal interrupted, shouting over her room mate, “I had to go to some shitty night club. One of the few in this godforsaken college town, by the way. I had to listen to shitty techno music, while pretending to enjoy shitty drinks, and act like I’m having a good time with shitty twenty-somethings. All this bullshit so I can find myself a fucking human specimen worth taking home with me, because I’m starving as fuck!”

“But, you look like a twenty-something, anyway,” countered Kimberly, “what’s the difference?”

“Kim, I’m forty-fucking-five,” Crystal responded, dead-pan, “doesn’t matter that I got turned at twenty-two and haven’t aged since. You know I can’t stand their music. Fuck I even got a gaming PC to keep these boys occupied while I sleep during the day. Do I look like a gamer to you?”

Kim didn’t have anything to say about that.

Crystal sighed and planted herself on the couch next to Kimberly. She looked at the corpse as a wave of depressive resignation washed over her.

“You didn’t even get rid of the body…” said Crystal.

Kimberly looked down, ashamed at what she had done and quietly placed her bag of chips down on the floor.

“You’ve never had this problem before,” said Crystal, “I know you’re not the dumb slut you pretend to be to snare guys. What’s going on?”

Kimberly looked up at Crystal and looked back at the T.V. To Crystal’s surprise, Kimberly was starting to tear up. Kim bit down on her lip to fight the tears, but she soon exploded into a full on sob. It was the ugly kind of crying that was a rare thing for a demon to do. Crystal had never felt more uncomfortable in her unlife than she did right now.

“Oh no…” Crystal was not equipped for this right now.

“He broke up with me!” Kimberly wailed.

Crystal tried to think for a moment about who Kim was talking about.

“Lazerus…?” Crystal asked.

“Yes!” screamed Kimberly, “that piece of shit! That fucking demon man whore dumped me!”

Kimberly resumed her crying while Crystal turned away and allowed herself to get hit by the pain and guilt she had allowed herself to get mixed up in. Kim always had her ways of making Crystal feel like a total bitch.