Photo by Luan Oosthuizen from Pexels

The office was on the ground floor, and the morning sun was bright in the big windows that looked out into the carpark. There were six tables in the office, each with two chairs on the same side. The chairs all faced the projector screen that hung on the wall. And at the back, there was a table with a notebook and a list of names, and next to that, a kettle and all the makings of tea and coffee and milk and biscuits and sugar. The men walked into the office one at a time. They were a rough…


Credit: Ian Panelo. pexels.

The light of the early morning spilled orange and yellow into a deep, purple sky. It had rained in the night and water was on the ground and the leaves of the gumtrees made little sound in the breeze, for they were tired and heavy with the fat raindrops that hung around their edges. Sitting in the tree, a bird with brown feathers, crouched and puffed up against the cold; the long, dagger beak tucked in the feathers. A grey, wrinkled eyelid slightly parted. A rueful, staring eye squeezed shut. A flutter, and the water drops leaped off like fireworks…


The Door-fitter was quite tall, I remember thinking — some practical luck for a man that fits doors all day — and when he walked through a door, he stooped to get through it, the shoulders sagged, the neck came down like a lever and the chin stuck out. The pose made his arms look longer than they should be, like his knuckles might drag on the ground, and the long arms hung back as he walked, swept by the breeziness of his stride. And the arms were almost as hairy as his head. He had curly black hair on…


Update his learning algorithm

Image public domain, modified from original.

I carried the bag last time,” said Brad.

Jack winced. The sound of Brad whining set his teeth on edge. “Yes,” he said. “And you dropped it last time.”

“So?”

“So — you can carry it this time. If you drop it again, you can carry it next time too!”

“That isn’t fair,” said Brad. “How come Mani doesn’t carry the Bag?”

“Yes! I am coming!” said Mani.

“Because Mani didn't drop it,” said Jack. Then he turned and looked back at Mani. “Besides,” he said. “I think there might be something wrong with Mani. …


Some believed that the tubes were deleting people from the universe

Image public domain, courtesy of digitalcomicmuseum.com, modified from original.

Adrian Peterson invented the teleportation tube by accident one day while he was eating his lunch. The electromagnetic launcher was the size of a trash can and had been originally designed to launch garbage into outer space. It stood upright on the ground before him and hummed, and a glowing blue light emanated from its center.

Adrian took a bite of his sandwich and a piece of chicken fell out and dropped into the tube and disappeared utterly from existence. He leaned over and looked into the tube with wide eyes, and another piece of chicken bounced off the back…


At least someone would miss him

Image public domain, courtesy of digitalcomicmuseum.com, modified from original.

Gary pushed back from the desk and his chair rolled across the concrete. He was thinking. On the wall, the screens showed the inner workings of Asteroid-558's inter-galactic integrated-species maximum-security prison.

Gary’s chair bumped into another, and a man looked around, bored.

“Keith,” said Gary.

“Yes,” said Keith.

“Have you ever thought of something funny — and decided not to say it?”

Keith blinked.

“You know,” said Gary, “like — have you ever thought of a funny joke, and then stopped yourself from telling it?”

Keith looked to one side, thoughtfully, for a moment. Behind Gary, on one of the…


Photo by Philippe Donn from Pexels

A hush swept the bar, and all eyes were on the windows that spanned the long curving length of the room, and gave panoramic views of the cargo port outside and beyond into the endless immensity of space. The port had cleared for the Borste and the gangways had been withdrawn but for one gangway jutting crookedly into space. A tiny service ship buzzed past. There was a crowd in the port bar, and a fever in the air. The noise grew with excitement, and their eyes were wide and bright. Now the hull of the Borste drifted upward into…


An unexpected meal

Image public domain, courtesy of comicbookplus.com, modified from original.

A tendril of smoke rose from the small blackened hole in the wall, a little flame burned and went out.

Mike sat still on the bed. He was in his red sleeping shorts; he had no shirt on. His feet pressed flat on the floor, and his hands were on the bedspread. The tall man across the room had undeniably captured his attention, but Mike’s wide eyes had moved to one side, and he was staring at the small smouldering hole that had just appeared in his bedroom wall.

“I see,” said Mike, and his eyes went slowly back to…


Photo by Yang Shuo on Unsplash

The wind was hot and dry, and it blew stinging red dust in flurries along the street. On a canteen stool, a figure sat hunched. He leaned heavily over a menu on the table, and his thick black coat made the sound of desert rain as the needling dust pelted against it. The collar shielded his face from the dust, but in his thick black hair it pooled and ran like broad drifts in an hourglass.

Goop. Food of the ages. He squinted hard at the menu. Was there any discernible difference from one picture to the next? Try something…

JW

Any sarcasm contained herein is entirely accidental and unintentional.

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