Brevity is the width of soul.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

You and Other Expenses

I hope you can hear me, that you're here still. Perhaps I'm imagining the little inconsistencies in what I see and remember that I hold to as proof of you. But I need to believe it's not so.

If you are here, if you stayed home and still can afford the perceptual tax for me, please believe that I'm sorry. I'm sorry I could no longer pay enough to keep you in my awareness. I'm sorry that I messed up so bad. And I'm sorry about what I'm going to do.

I remember telling you that I loved you, even if I don't remember your face. It was true, and it still is. But I haven't been able to make any new payments, and this morning they took away the sky. I know it's beautiful, and not always gray. I know there were things on it called Moon, Sun, stars. That much I remember. But not how they looked.

I'm sorry, my love. It's too much. I'm going to the memory pawnshop now, to trade the memory of you for the sky. Or maybe the memory of both for a bit of cash.

I can't tell if you are drying my tears or they are just dropping off my skin.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hell Week

Train like you fight, says the Army. I thought I understood what that meant, right until the Sargent blew my brains out.

I know I'll get back — my unit is the best, and the gates of Hell aren't far — but to what body? And in what war?

I don't know. But I trust the Sarge.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Love beyond death

He haunts me from the other side of death. His otherworldly obsession pays no heed to the sacred barrier between the dead and the alive, between the beating heart and the restless soul. I can feel his need for me every night as his eyes seek me through the shadows, desperately loathing and desperately attracted to the idea of bringing me to his side.

And might God forgive me, every time he holds a seance and tries to will me back to the living I fall a little more in love with him.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just another final battle

Time collapsed, and Excalibur fell from my suddenly old hands. The field was covered with the dying cries of unborn soldiers, as huge monsters teared apart my knights.

Dinosaurs, I recalled from Merlin's seemingly unending lessons. They had been extinct for eons, and hadn't been discovered yet, but Le Fey's spell, the ultimate weapon she had been so reluctant to use, had made that distinction irrelevant.

Le Fey's laughter rose over the carnage. "I win, Arthur! I win!"

I could hear under her voice an approaching rumble, and I smiled, still kneeling on the ground. I had been a good knight and bad husband, but excellent bait. I wondered what history would tell about me, if they would remember this at all.

Up in the sky, I could see now the Enola Gay.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Private Thoughts

JBS was a very discrete data courier. It was difficult to be one in a world of remote ultra-precise fMRI, but he had learned to do public key crypto on his head. The math had been challenging to learn, but the most difficult thing was getting used to not knowing what he was thinking about.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Steampunk Revolution

They laughed when we built the steam-powered computers, the pneumatic battlesuits, and the servomechanic blimps. They thought it was just another weird internet fad.

They didn't laugh after the EMPs shut everything else off.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Tree of Lives

Some other yous made different choices. Some of them better. Some of them much worse. They think about you every pain-filled second, they imagine you with hungry, resentful eyes, they claw with thin bloody fingers at the prison walls of "should have." Do you feel safe from the absoluteness of their will? Don't you hear their hate at night?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Moon Landing

1962: Informed about the likelihood of the Moon undergoing a sudden quantum wave collapse and disappearing -like Atlantis and Lemuria before- President Kennedy launches a crash program to put people on the Moon with hundreds of millions of people watching.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Memo to Writers

Call it Post Recovery Aggressivity Disorder. The word 'zombie' makes Alcor's lawyers draw blood.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Three of Four Moments

First, you realize that there won't be enough time in your life to do what you want.

Second, you understand that this has been, and will be, true all your life.

Third, and most unexpectedly, you realize that in fact you don't quite know what it is that you would want to do with the time you have left.

The fourth of your last four breaths slips away while you idly search for some way to pass away the time.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Occam's Brush

Unsinning, your soul withers. Restful, your frame decays. Pure of intent and clean of action, you dread the mirror without knowing why.

Do you ever suspect, at least a little, that 'picture' was a metaphor and out there is your Dorian Gray?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tools of War

We were worried about going to war; only humans had invented the concept of soldiers. But we shouldn't have worried --- they had also invented the idea of mercenaries.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to trap time travelers

Very publicly build a planet-destroying machine (by October, 2009 there were three would-be timeline saviors in the holding cells beneath the never intended to be used Large Hadron Collider).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Timing is Everything

Intrigue and slow-acting poisons were the specialties of the Docerno family. Ten minutes before his eighteenth birthday, Georgio Docerno gave his loyal son his well-earned antidote. Five minutes later the young Docerno was the oldest living Docerno male. Ten minutes after that he started to feel not quite well...