Operation Loch Ness by C.R. Berry

August 14th 2164

No, please no.

The synthesiser toppled over the edge of the refreshment trolley. The secretary lunged to catch it, but gravity beat him and the machine met the floor with a crack.

Mark two synthesisers were known for being temperamental (and cheap), so he suspected he’d broken it. Picking it up, he placed a cup in the dispenser to test it: “Coffee, white.”

The synthesiser acknowledged his request with a beep and liquid flowed into the cup. He removed it, looked at the contents, smelled it. “Fan-bloody-tastic.” The device had given him hot cherryade—the coffee files were corrupted. Continue reading “Operation Loch Ness by C.R. Berry”

Mates Don’t Grass by Matt Hornsby

The office tea-point was a miserable space; a battered sink, whose hole emitted a cloacal smell, and a kettle thick with scale. A window looked out onto the building’s cavernous atrium. Tom gently swung it open and peered out. His gut untightened. Karen was still out there, thank God – talking to some clients in leather chairs, waving her hands around in histrionic gestures. Dampened by the acoustics of the hall, a few words and phrases echoed up; ‘New standards in lean product design’, ‘restructuring the client-customer interface’. The clients nodded sagely.

He could still feel the email, framed ominously in his ‘sent mail’ box: Continue reading “Mates Don’t Grass by Matt Hornsby”

Nobody’s Girl by Jennifer Howard

Hello from the coast, where we’ve settled into the prettiest little seaside inn. From our window you can see forever across the ocean, not a cloud in sight. It’s blue skies every day here, Daddy. Only the seagulls cry.

C., charming as always, sends his regards. He is the perfect gentleman. I don’t know what I did to deserve him. He’s out riding this morning – I told him last night I think he loves that horse more than he loves me – I’ve been idle here, watching the waves swell and the hummingbirds dart.

I’m a lady of leisure now. It takes some getting used to after all those years of staying busy. Continue reading “Nobody’s Girl by Jennifer Howard”