This was where he sat, where he had sat every day since the nursing home had banned smoking first indoors, and then on the grounds. At one time in his life he might have railed against such an edict, the medals on his chest bore testament to the fact that he was not a quitter, but now, mellowed or cynically resigned by age, he took a chair from the lobby and walked out along the drive, a newspaper under his arm, dragging the chair slowly behind him, its feet leaving a wake of parallel grooves in the gravel. Once outside the gates he placed the chair to one side of the driveway, seated himself upon it, took a single cigar from his pocket and lit it. Here he would remain, regardless of weather, until the paper was read and the cigar reduced to nothing but ash, scattered to the wind.
This was where he watched the world go by. Beyond the pages of his newspaper he caught snapshots of a world no longer his own, a world that seemed somehow reduced by the passage of time. Beneath hooded lids his rheumy eyes took in low slung jeans, pierced belly buttons and Ugg boots. People groped each other on street corners with a relaxed carnality and swore as a matter of course. No one raised their hat. Half of those who passed seemed to have at best a rudimentary command of the English language, some foreigners, others just ignorant. His world was slowly burning away; ash in the wind. Continue Reading
Tony Caption sat at the folding desk, watching his contact saunter closer.
Idiot boy, he thought.
The man gripped the briefcase with manicured hands. The teenager cradled a heart-shaped box in one arm, swiveling his wire-topped head to take in the graffiti on the walls of the parking garage; he smiled at a particularly perverse piece of art. The only light was streaming from the man’s truck; the only sound that of prayer, filtering down through the overhead duct work.
“You have the box,” said Tony. Continue Reading
I dropped the crumpled silver sphere onto the reporter’s immaculate desk. He touched it with the tip of his pen, poking at it as if it was some kind of exotic insect replete with a multitude of furry legs, compound eyes, and venom-dipped fangs.
“What is it you said happened?” The man grabbed a pile of torn paper that appeared to have been doodled on and pushed it into the Eliminator, watching with a contented smile as the scrap vanished. In the eight years since the invention of the Eliminator, a device that made just about anything go who knows where, people had gotten fastidious, even compulsive, about disposing of items they considered clutter. I found myself doing it as well, actually looking for things to purge from my crowded life.
“This appeared out of nowhere while I was driving to work yesterday,” I said. Continue Reading
In The Beginning.
Blood and hay and a baby. The blackest membrane of night gored on the death thrusts of a slit-throat gold calf; a torn hole of light above the sleeping town. Hail the king. Praise our saviour.
They appeared. Infidels, invaders; leaving our cities slumped in their post-rut radioactive sweat; bruised and broken-backed and barren. Filthy-fingered foreigners, slouching through our streets of splintered glass like they owned them; indecorous, atavistic, inimical to reason, culture; fumbling at the fastenings of our heritage; pressed up against the fine portraiture of our country, panting, their breath making the landscape crack and bubble. Animals. After one thing only: our women. Continue Reading