I used to be vast, but time and disuse have worn me down. It’s this modern age of quiet people and conflict resolution. I need to be summoned, hot fury tied to human hatred, so that death and destruction fills me out. No-one does that any more, but I keep wishing for someone to inscribe the calling on a tablet of soft clay…

Be careful what you wish for. I wished and wished that someone would summon me, and they did. Or rather, she did, in Latin which is good enough. I am flexible — it doesn’t have to be…

I got a rash on my nose. I thought it was sunburn at first, but it’s not easy to tell — I’m still getting used to my new skin tone. When they said brown, I thought that would be great, a real improvement over the volunteers on the early trial with the green tint. It’s just… I’m pleased with the deep mahogany effect from the melanin-chlorophyll hybrid, but it’s so rich that I struggled to make out the detail of the faint red speckling on my nose. …

A short sequel to ‘Audience Participation’

Image credit: Comfreak via Pixabay

To: Acting-Mayor Helen Cook
Barrowhurst Town Hall
Middle England

Dear Mrs Cook,

We spoke briefly at the late Mayor Cornflower’s funeral regarding votes for demons — here are my thoughts:

To be fair, I think the question caught Seb Cornflower by surprise. His answer was technically correct, and I must admit I was surprised by the way the demon activist over-reacted. Not as surprised as Seb, of course. …

Image credit: natureworks via Pixabay

To: Mayor S. Cornflower
Barrowhurst Town Hall
Middle England

Dear Seb,

Our phone conversation got cut short for some reason — I hope you are well, but I thought I heard a scream of pain before the line went dead. Anyway, here’s a summary of what I said.

Yes, demons are a nuisance, and yes they will keep coming out to play after dark, during the helltide. And no, I don’t think the helltide will go away any time soon, nor do I have any information on the exact times of day for low- and high-helltide.

I agree that…

Image from Pixabay.com

Mechanisation is the key, so they said. Climate change, wars and crop failure have made food so scarce that the adverts really made sense to me. Mechanise. It’s the only way.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes — I love that ad. The jolly jingle just hits the spot. I know it’s all about hearts and minds, persuading people to make uncomfortable choices in their own best interest, but I really like it.

So I did my feet. A perfectly serviceable, low-end pair of mechanical feet.

I didn’t just jump into anything without thinking. I went on ChopChat…

Image credit: mozlase via Pixabay

Mr R Burns
Clerk to the Council
Barrowhurst Town Hall

Re: Lack of planning consent to install new mountains; keeping dragons in contravention of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976; other issues

Dear Mr Burns,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding my new mountains, and the threat of enforcement action by the council to remove them. As you may be aware, my garden has stretched extensively of late due to malicious magical interference. …

image: TheDigitalArtist pixabay

Speed and judgement are key, but guile is the clincher in the Light-Speed Tourney. And courage, the belief in self and right. Oh, and trusting your carrier for optimum delivery, dropping the steed on trajectory, on time, in place. That’s how to win the twenty-first Light-Speed Tourney. No illegal tweaks on the carrier, no sneaky automation on the steed, no stewards’ enquiry or medals stripped. Just the steed, the pilot and the clash at the speed of light.

When I win, I win clean. When I win my third championship it will be all me.

And my team, of course…

Image credit: WikiImages via Pixabay

I blame the tourists — that’s what they always say. Personally, I blame the postal service, but Mary Reynolds blames her cousin. Forget the damned tourists. They’re vaccinated for everything. The real killers now are industrial spills and incurable human stupidity — Mary’s cousin has that in full measure.

Are they going to be OK? Mary asks that a lot, and currently she is my only source of information. Her husband, his brother, and their son are all comatose — patients zero, one and two, victims of our nastiest outbreak of obesity-related lipofungus.

I know everyone gets a dose now…

Image credit: GDJ via Pixabay

We buried Dad today. New Dad, that is, not Old Dad. It was supposed to be last year, but then all those arguments — who to invite, who to include, who would be responsible for the final service. Dad was a complete pain about that. He’s been using the same company for years, but he blames them for the mess over his last upgrade. Then he got all hot and cranky about taking another snapshot, but with those memory glitches he forgot to pay the cryo company.

That’s the trouble with cheap nano-circuits, but what can you do?

It’s an…

Image credit: DoodlerzDrawings via Instagram

Day one of a new life, pilot for a combat bot. That’s not on most people’s wish list — certainly not on mine. But we’re at war, the law is what it is, and there’s no budget for my ongoing medical care. Die or ride the hardware, so I chose to join the military, a Living Guidance Package, Private eleven-twenty-seven…. A guppy. Canned meat.

Online, awake — call it what you like — and a guppy plugged into a combat bot. It was nothing new after months of training, but this was the first time I was live. OK, second…

Mark Huntley-James

Cat-whisperer and writer of SciFi and fantasy. "Hell Of A Deal" http://relinks.me/B01N94VXBC and "Road To Hell" http://relinks.me/B07BJLKFSS

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