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Another Really Short Story

"You are a beautiful, beautiful monkey," said the other monkey.

It's the Best Time of the Year

It was dark and it was raining, but J. Howard Chiles was feeling fine. He was traveling by car to the family retreat in the country. Three hours into the trip, and three still to go, J. Howard was struck with an idea he simply had to share. He touched the intercom. "Jonathon."

"Yes, sir?"

"Christmas is a grand time to acknowledge what is really important to us. To be," J. Howard swept his arm across himself, "with family."

"Yes, sir. We all should be with our families." J. Howard was not the type to invest himself in the subtleties of speech (indeed, the help counted on it), so he flipped off the intercom, sat back with a sigh, and smiled to himself.

World's Shortest Story About George Clooney

He had a pig and it died.

What Are You Thinking

"What are you thinking?" The soldiers' two mouths are close enough to kiss, except for the face-plates.

"Nothing," she replies.

"Come on. Talk to me."

"I said nothing. God." The two soldiers are splayed on the ground like pinwheels; their heads flopped over to face each other.

"Why do you always have to be like that?"

"I'm not being like anything."

They are lying on an upturned hill. Their FULTAC suits are covered by dozens of TSARs, the enemy's tiny combat robots, who have taken the pair prisoner.

"I think I deserve your attention."

"Shut up, OK? I'm tired of you begging me for attention."

A flash snaps a silhouette of dark clouds overhead. Several of the older model TSARs go limp. The sky concusses with the force of an EM pulse, overwhelming the other sporadic sounds of impact and destruction. The dead robots are succeeded by newer, more robust brethren.

"Did you see that?" he asks.

"Of course I saw that. I'm not blind."

"I'm not either!"


"You didn't answer my question."

"Because I don't want to talk," she reminds him.

A sound like a phalanx of leaking tires approaches. Some of the TSARs move out to investigate, and if necessary, to defend their territory.

"That's not good enough this time."
"Who says, you?"

"I deserve better than this," he complains under his breath.

"If you say so."

"God you're so self-absorbed."

Out of their view, the robots fight like a trashcan of knives poured over a running helicopter.

"Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall."

"Yeah, that's just beautiful."

High overhead, beyond their sight, two orbiting platforms fire menacing and kinetic objects at each other. Dim orange tracers slash across the sky as bits of the platforms are torn off and succumb to the pressure of gravity. A second EM pulse stabs at the night.

"Just so you know, I saw that too."

"Why do I have to do all the work in this relationship," he tells her.

"Because you're better than me I guess."

A concussion echoes across the battlefield.

"I asked you four times if you packed the jump batteries." A trickle of blood rolls across his cheek and reaches the corner of his mouth. He stabs at it with his tongue.

"Uh-huh, four times. That's showing real trust, isn't it?"

"But you didn't pack them, did you?"

"I didn't pack the batteries because you kept whining about them. Get it?"

The TSARs retreat off the soldiers. Friendly ACERs are retaking the hill. The two colonies of robots tear and fire at each other mercilessly. Bits of shrapnel fly in every direction.

"Why do you have to be so cruel?"

"I'm not cruel, I'm honest." She opens her eyes widely. "And I don't want to see you anymore." As she shuts her eyes, a spinning piece of ACER arcs over the soldiers' heads.

"Oh that's really mature. How long do you think you can keep that up? You're going to have to face me sometime."

The TSARs have been routed. ACERs scamper about in victory. O-H artillery shakes the very earth. As the ACERs reorganize and give chase, two MACET drones move up to inspect the soldiers.

"I can still see you, you know."

"This is the last thing I'm going to say to you," she pronounces with her eyes crushed down into tiny wrinkles.

The MACETs work their way under each soldier. They press their flat tops against the backs of the soldiers and lock into their suits.

"If you think you can blot out the past, you're wrong."

The MACETs lumber back toward medical-evac with their passenger loads. They report two soldiers incoming. Multiple wounds, significant blood loss, low blood pressure, but the auto-injectors of their battle suits have administered pain suppressors and mood enhancers, including an experimental drug designed to stave off shock by blocking the brain's ability to perceive urgency. The soldiers, therefore, are presumed to be in good spirits.

"I'm not blotting out the past. I'm blotting out you."

"Ha! See? You're already talking to me again. I win!"

The two soldiers ride back down the hill, their boots dragging furrows in the mud behind them.

"Is there no end to it?"

New Dictionary Entries

Cheney [sha-nay'] adj. disguising cowardice and sexual dysfunction with great wealth and/or political power. "That Lamborgini looks a little cheney to me." Var. cheneyer, cheneyest

Gitmo [git'-moe] vt. to inflict suffering for an indeterminate period. "If you don't go to bed right now, I'll gitmo your ass with the belt."

Empiracy [ehm-pie'-re-see] n. actions which resemble those of an empirate. "With the suspension of elections in 2004, the administration was free to gitmo the country with its empiracy."

Empirate [ehm-pie'-ret] n. one who advocates then hijacks an establishment or expansion of empire, esp. with the intent of either personal enrichment or advancement of fundamentalist philosophies. A pirate of empire. "The empirates are coming! The empirates are coming!"

Note: for the sake of the author's conditional liberty, please do not assume that the preceding definition refers to either Dick Cheney or Paul Wolfowitz. The two are more accurately described as assholes.

Hitler's Tumor

Gruff but lovable Hitler strides down the street in only temporary anonymity. Soon enough, someone will notice him. He has a tumor on his forehead the size of a pumpkin, and not one of those cute little pumpkins that apartment dwellers buy on Halloween. The size of Hitler's tumor's pumpkin is significant. One might even say that the tumor on Hitler's forehead is large enough to "stop traffic," in the parlance of the day. For now, though, there is a gap in the traffic and Hitler ambles along by himself, except for the companionship of his tumor.

Future Cat: A Love Story

He stroked his cat Cici lovingly. It's just the thing to do after a hard day's work.

"You're so pretty," he cooed. Cici purred and rubbed her head against his chest. She writhed around in ecstasy as he lightly scratched her face.

"Do you love me, hmm?"


"Yes you do. Yes you do." He started to get sleepy. He hadn't eaten dinner yet, but food seemed unimportant at the moment, so he just laid back on the bed.

"And I love you. More than anything." Cici rolled over and flopped between his torso and left arm, purring the whole time.

"You're a good Kitty," he concluded as he dosed off. Cici made gentle fists into his side.

Twenty minutes later, when she was sure he was asleep, Cici got up, hopped off the bed, and made her way to an unobtrusive outlet under the bedside table. She curled up on the floor and, still purring, her tail found its way into the socket for recharging.

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