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Ghosts in the Memories

It was a bright and mild morning. A few billowing white clouds drifted lazily across the ocean blue sky, the gentle sun reflected off the dew coated grass and flowers, giving the world a shimmer. A human stream filled the streets and sidewalks as the city rose to life.
One lonely widower had a different reaction to the beautifully emerging day.
Hibiki closed the shutters on his windows, locked the door, and sat his tired old body into a reclining chair in front of a blaring tv. To Hibiki, the day’s crystal sky was a dark omen and a visceral reminder of that horrific moment all those decades ago when a flash of light took away 100,000 people.
Hibiki had been there when it happened. He was a doctor at the time, and while the bomb canceled the workday for most everyone else for people in Hibiki’s line of work, there was an additional layer of hell to endure.
“Please...Please..help my daughter!” Hibiki could hear a woman pleading from the street below. With a trembling hand, he picked up …
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On the Eve of Extinction

The river was like a massive indigo snake coiling in the shadow of the canyons its eternal flow cut out of the very earth. Somewhere along the watery corridor, settled human life grew out of the muddy banks. The tribe sustained itself on the arterial river, steadily expanding and contracting with the rhythm of its flow like a beating heart.
As far as anyone in the tribe knew no other arrangement had ever existed. The river had birthed them, molding sand and clay into flesh, and infusing the husks with its life-giving waters.
Life under the desert’s smooth turquoise sky seemed safely stagnant. There was no inkling, no deciphered omens, absolutely no hunch of the approaching cataclysm lurking just out of sight obscured by the landscape’s jagged ridges.
Not far from the isolated patchwork of green and brown earth settled by this tribe, the scion of ancient god well into his twilight years was on the cusp of fulfilling his divine purpose.
Harmakar was sitting in the dust staring into the …

Remember When

When Jack arrived at the nursing home with his family, the director quickly and quietly took him aside and explained to him today's visit might be "difficult."
Jack, his wife Anne and their twin daughters now both 10 followed an orderly through a windowless hallway paved with blue carpet that promoted one of the girls to ask if grandma "lives in a hotel?"
Her room was on the far end of the hallway. For Jack, the walk always felt a little bit longer. When they stopped at her door, the growing sense of dread had turned to nausea. Every time he saw her, she seemed further away, and not just mentally. Her thinning hair would be whiter her flesh more shriveled.
Her decaying mind kept her obscured behind a veil of memories. The past was more real to her than the present.
 When the orderly opened the door, Jack saw his mom sitting up in her bed wearing a VR helmet with a rare but pleasant smile on her face.
"I have to warn you she can get pretty mad when we take…

Could be

When we couldn’t hear the helicopters anymore, we knew they’d abandoned us. Though from their point of view we’d be MIA. At least until they saw our dismembered corpses being paraded through the street.
There were just three of us. A Seargent, a PFC, ad myself. We had no way out. Certain death was on the other side of the door. All we could do was wait. Crouching in the dark, watching the door counting our last breaths, thinking our final thoughts.
The walls were paper thin. We could already hear them searching apartments just down the hall. Screams were answered by bursts of machine gunfire.
It was too dark to see all the rats, but we could hear their claws tapping on the floor. They were coming to scavenge the softening flesh of the bodies piled on the bed. A fat one brushed up against my foot, and I kicked the back end of its plump body as it scurried away.
A few units over someone squeezed the trigger and bullet snapped in my ear. There was a flash of pain and the warmth of spilli…

My Dream

From the deepest sleep, at a moment when my mind and spirit had wholly unbound themselves from this mortal coil, I found myself among the clouds. High enough to look down upon the entirety of my family’s capital with the same view as God himself.
It all lay beneath me.
The bustling plazas built in the shadows of the majestic peaks of our ancient cathedrals in the heart of the old city. A center connected by webs of smooth lantern-lit roads and thoroughfares to the steadily encroaching smog shrouded industrial districts built along the banks of the winding river that bisected the city.
I took this omnipotence for granted for at that moment it was what had always been. Yet, I was keenly aware that this was the first time I had noticed the startling dimensions of the faceless steel buildings. The towering smokestacks cast shadows longer than any castles spire and with a far greater reach than the crowning cross of any cathedral.
Somewhere a steam whistle screamed loud enough for the enti…

Morbid Curiosity

Emporer Menelik stared into the gleaming glass eyes of the two faced-wolf. The taxidermied beast stood on an altar. At nearly eye level with the mighty warlord, the lifeless animal’s dual faces were locked in a perpetual and silent scowl that gleamed an impossible cluster of cerated teeth. Its dual faces locked in a perpetual snarl gleaming rows of serrated teeth. Menelik’s heart froze in his chest.
Did it just growl?
Menelik was shaken from his trance by the arrival of his high priest.
“All is ready my Emporer,” the silk draped religious functionary informed him.
Menelik took a breath and nodded his head. “I am ready,” he said with unmistakable confidence
During his reign, Menelik had acquired a vast collection of foreign curiosities. They varied wildly in origin, but what they all had in common was they defied the warlord’s understanding of the world. He kept a menagerie of bizarre creatures. Some were of truly dazzling designs painted in colors and patterns well beyond anything on …

Jung-Bot

"Alright, allow the Jung-Unit 2-6 hours to fully integrate itself with your neurobiology. If you start experiencing headache, insomnia, nausea, seizures, or hallucinations, please call user support." This friendly warning was the last thing the sales girl named Alex told Josh about his new purchase just before he walked out of the glass pyramid that wasn't a store but a "gateway," and only after friendly technicians had injected a microscopic brain-altering machine into his blood.  Alex didn't seem particularly worried about these potentially lethal side effects, so neither was Josh. It was with the deepest conviction Josh believed the power of information technology made humanity the master of its own evolutionary path and while Josh was walking to the bus stop a machine a fraction the size of a grain of sand was busy weaving itself into his nervous system. When it finished, Josh's physical brain would be powered by the latest in 6G network technology. He…

Volume 2 now on sale!

I'm happy to announce I've put out a second volume of previously published short stories. If you're into diabetic vampires, terrorists with borderline personality disorder, murderous yuppies, and embarrassing moments in the afterlife then you'll wanna check it out! 

Click here to purchase the Kindle edition



Eternity's Waiting Room

John wasn't sure how long it had been since he died. Nothing ever changed on the seemingly infinite plane of nothingness. He hadn't aged, he and everyone else there looked exactly the same as the first day he arrived. The force of time had no meaning in the vast emptiness. He was moving slowly up in a line where he could see no end and no beginning. He held what looked like a massive deli ticket that had the number 8,456,435,434 printed on it. The line contained people from all walks of life who had died in a variety of different ways. Geography often played a rather large role in this. Of course, there were people who had simply made it to a ripe old age and had gently drifted off into death, but there seemed to be fewer and fewer of those arriving. Far more often John was meeting victims of war, famine, disease. There were also plenty of people who had decided to expedite their addition to the line. John had met some them, too many to count. In fact, just in front of him,…

It was, now it Isn't

Existence is far too transitory a state to get comfortable inhabiting. Everything is, for a while, until it isn’t. What fundamental aspects of you or your world currently are but are soon not about to be? Are you dreaming? In a simulation? Is everything just as it seems, but in just a few seconds someone is going to kick open your door and blow you away with a shotgun? If so at one point in the past, do you suspect you and this other individual were set on this collision course?  Was it some point in the last few years or was this event set in motion long before your existence by forces of such a macro nature they are imperceptible to us? Can this be considered fate or is fate just a euphemism for chaos? The twin nuclear reactions that slaughtered hundreds of thousands in a flash of light hotter than the sun each occurred in 1/1 millionth of a second. There were cities, and there were people until..there weren’t