Author: Idle Ink

Gamboge by DS Levy

“… the lucky ones will be those who die more quickly.” — Noam Chomsky

She’s driving away, one of the unlucky ones. The sky, brown-gold. She’s never seen it look that way—colorized, like a movie from the Forties. The Martians Return. That kind of color.

Then the sky’s dark, umbral. They drive with their lights on. An artist and writer, she thinks of ways to describe the color: Postal orange, dark tangerine, Indian yellow, gamboge, cadmium orange.

Cherry Pie by Rina Song

Richard cursed softly at the state of the parking lot. Piles of rubble and broken bottles covered the asphalt. Shards of glass glittered menacingly, concealing the lot striping. In no mood for punctured tires, he inched his beaten gray SUV around the edge of the lot. By some miracle, a bare spot remained near the curb. He stepped out, massaging his cramped legs, and didn’t bother to glance at the object that loomed overhead.

The dollar store’s windows had been smashed, leaving holes big enough to step through. Richard, eyeing the jagged edges, went for the door. His shoulders slumped with relief as he looked upon racks of laundry detergent, party hats, and off-brand mustard. Perhaps the vandals hadn’t found much worth taking. In any case, it was best not to linger. He hurried down the aisles.

Voyager 1 Redux by Michael Ellman

As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, an organization of 147 member States who represent almost all of the human inhabitants of the planet Earth, I send greetings on behalf of the people of our planet.

Kurt Waldheim, as transcribed in the Voyager’s Golden Record

VOYAGER 1 REDUX

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is in holiday mode. Christmas is around the corner and I’m the evening monitor of the Voyager’s transmissions. Fifteen billion miles and 44 years from Earth, the Voyager 1 is past the heliosphere and magically able to sing to the JPL despite digital power that is 20 billion times weaker than my cell phone.

Dish of the Day by Steven French

So. This is how the story was told to me by my sister-in-law who was friends with the daughter of Mrs O. Who together with her husband ran a Turkish restaurant just off Green Lanes. Well, they were Kurdish really, which matters a lot in some contexts but not so much in this one. Anyway, Mr O was in charge of the chefs’ station, while Mrs O supervised the service and also handled the accounts. Even though Mr O was referred to by all as ‘boss’, no one wanted to look Mrs O in the eye when she passed on a customer’s complaint or, heaven forbid, returned a plate of food. Not even Mr O. 

Idle Hands by Molly Andrea-Ryan

“This is not acceptable behavior,” she said as the cat pawed at the carefully painted skeleton. “That isn’t yours,” she said as the cat knocked the skeleton from the shelf, sending it skittering across the floor. She picked it up and put it back, shooing the cat away, knowing it was a game, knowing that playing the game once meant playing the game again.

His miniatures were part of a game he never played. Skeletons, goblins, witches, sirens, dragons. He bought the kits, built the models, painted them. He placed them on a crowded shelf, organized and reorganized by size, color, and assigned skill. “I’m sure the game is fun,” he said, “but it isn’t what interests me.”