It happened this way. I’m a criminologist with research interests in white-collar crime and for the last few months I’ve been working on a new project – internet fraud. You know the sort of thing: you get an email from an Arnaud Sansculottes, ex-financial advisor to the ex-President of Haiti, soliciting your good offices in moving a $9.5 million secret fund from Port-au-Prince to your bank in Dunblane. You delete it with a sigh. Secretly, you’d love to correspond with Arnaud: you picture him with a pencil moustache, a double-breasted suit with padded shoulders, shiny two-tone shoes and a fat cigar; he has a lady-friend called Angelique, to whom he is devoted, and a large dog called Chichi; he is very knowledgeable – and opinionated – about air-conditioning. Well, I get to correspond with Arnaud. Not bad eh? Continue reading “An Email from Tommy Cooper by Michael Bloor”
My doctor speaks. I hear garbled vowels and consonants chewed into small bits and pushed around his mouth like smashed pieces of marbles.
He stutters then vomits. Words tumble from his lips, broken thoughts which should have been left unsaid. I close my eyes, afraid of seeing more, fearful of taking in too deep a breath. Continue reading “On a Visit to the Doctor by Arlene Antoinette”
Subject Theta had died for 197 seconds. I sat back and quickly confirmed the ECG readings and then looked over his blood works. O2 was obviously low, CO2 higher than the norm. A slight imbalance of electrolytes as the body fought against cellular death. The insignificant chemical trace of the potassium used to stop his heart. Nothing vastly dissimilar from the other twenty seven staged ‘deaths’ we’ve run through here.
I checked his viral load. No sign of the HR2ZV activating at all. Considering the horrific effects this retro virus has wrought on mankind its bloody hard to motivate it into working. I checked Subject Theta’s timeline. The cocktail of drugs were administered at 10:45am. His controlled descent into death came at 10:51. Defibrillation was commenced at 10:54 or 180 seconds after time of death. One shot, 75 joules and the subjects heart restarted as planned. Just like clockwork; but the damned Human Romero Type 2 Zombie Retro Virus did not activate. Continue reading “Zed by Ste Whitehouse”
He was a black hole in a suit. An abyss in a necktie. And he sat down next to her on the train.
Her eyes were on her phone, but it would do no good. She was too distracted to feel his attention like a pulse against her skin, ticking, ticking, the toothed stare testing her for soft spots. She had many. Continue reading “Compeyson by Valentina Cano”
I learnt to walk within minutes of birth. Surely, I can manage this. Can’t I?
In front of me the long, shifting puzzle piece of rain macs and damp heads stirs. The afternoon fog is forked by the faintest glitter of lightning. Finally, after so long standing still, we all move along three paces. A light rain has wetted my muzzle. I keep shaking back locks of coarse white-tipped hair which have escaped in front of my eyes. No matter how delicately I try to tread, my steps always sound louder than everyone else’s. Continue reading “The Wildebeest Soul Star by Annie Rose”
I was actually kind of under the impression that I wasn’t living a game. And I knew that I’d been living a life. It was very serious. Very serious repercussions for everything. There is no questioning that. What I was questioning with my own sanity. Which is perfectly understandable under the circumstances. I first spot at the kiosk on my way into work. It was nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve seen that type of thing pop up here in there every now and then. There would be some sort of an art installation and some public square. Occasionally signs were posted for various events various public works projects. Art projects things of that nature. Things that certain people who are somehow attached to the city decided to put up various places in an effort to make it more friendly to the residence and to harness the power of creativity or whatever. That’s all I assumed it was. I wasn’t even really looking at it very closely when I passed by on my way to work. Maybe I might’ve detected something strange about it and some cents. But I don’t know. Continue reading “The Kiosk by Russ Bickerstaff”
Decree 53 required all civilisations in the known universe to be prepared for Phase 5. Thus, when Thelma Yttkyd, MD, woke up and smelled smoke, she knew exactly what was expected of her. The previous year, when she lost two sisters and both her parents to the fires in the North, her rage swelled like a super nova, and she realised she had to speak up. She was rewarded with a prompt demotion from her position as Head of the Burns Unit and further humiliated when assigned to be a mop-up team leader.
Her nostrils told her the inferno had finally reached the East, the last un-scorched corner of Jordgubba’s only continent. No fear touched her heart, however, because she believed her own forecast, and knew her plan was almost foolproof. Continue reading “The Law of Inevitability by Peter Ninnes”