“Its been a very long time since we had any visitors.”
A palpable silence drifted in the open door, riding on the winter wind, and lingered between the two men. Behind the young one were the unsalted deck and a vast, expansive whiteness. The hills of the badlands lost definition when the snows came. Behind the old one was a well furnished, rustic farmhouse interior. True inspection of the decor dated it, and a fine layer of dust covered every unused inch of the space.
Officers Parker and Bishop shuffled down the steep scree field, sending smaller rocks racing out under their heavy feet to the bottom of the coulee. They had parked behind the ambulance, which itself had been parked behind the fire chief’s rig, which was further parked behind the logging truck that had first stopped and called in the crash. The guardrail was severely mangled, like a great beast had come along and shredded its rusty contours with razor-sharp claws. It was that time of day where the sun had just begun its travels off to other parts of the world, and the mountains and trees were casting jagged shadows that danced as the emergency service lights all spun around at different speeds. The bottom of the ravine was home to numerous small shrubs and a creek that gurgled by gaily with little to no regard to the horrendous addition the mangled truck had made.
Both deputies had heard over the radio who exactly it was that had been ejected from the driver’s seat. Both couldn’t help but think it was related to the Nice case, yet both were determined to not let the paperwork from this incident join that growing pile of shit.
Various electronics partially illuminated Jackson’s basement room. He felt that his bed was as comfortable as usual, but he found the warm folds of his sheets and the soft give of his mattress and pillows to be borderline inhospitable. He tried laying on his back, then his side, then his stomach, then his back once again.
The image of Big Mac leaving Reggie’s garage played out in his mind over and over again: “Whatever. This is all bullshit.” Jackson had barely had time to process that moment, let alone finding out that Big Mac was cheating on Ann Marie and Ann Marie storming out herself moments later. Everything had happened so quickly, and now Big Mac was dead, just like that. Continue reading
The Teacher watched the bubbles race each other to the surface of his drink. It was a bastard drink, 7-Up and Knob Creek Whiskey on ice. It was the yellow of an ale and had almost no bite. He could have sworn he put in several fingers of the whiskey, but the soda held all the bite at bay. It was good and sweet in the late afternoon. It made his mind at ease at first swig.
Hey AT & RH,
Loving the copies we have seen so far. You two have a real knack for filling in the blanks of what happened in those bumpkin towns. Two reasons I’m contacting you today, and frankly, it’s not all peachy. (see what I did there?) The first item, sales from the last book are down. This was to be expected going into this quarter but still thought you two should know. I guess people are done hearing about the incident in Phoenix, with the final finding being inconclusive and all. There is a palpable energy here in the office though; we are really excited about this Deercliff work. Which leads to my second reason for emailing. WTF is up with the delays? That sheriff got her memoir out within months of the events up there, and she is on fucking Ellen. We don’t know how much longer we can cover your expenses without seeing some tangible results from our investment. Need to see the next entry of the work sooner rather than later. If you two are burnt out or something, then just say so, but we need to have something ready to publish in the next few months (even if it’s unfinished) to keep up our contract with you.
Sorry for the pressure, like I said, we really like what you have sent our way. just really really need you guys to wrap up your work in Deercliff and come on home.
This is a
long short sci-fi story about space and goo and loneliness and love and fathers and stuff. It has been taking up most of my writing time lately, and I’m just happy to have this first draft done. Definitely a work in progress. Enjoy and feel free to provide feedback in the comments , pretty please. – OG Soggy Boi
By AJ Tompkins
Audio log – Hospital Corpsman Antony
Assigned: UENC Giles
Joint UEN/Herrmannian Empire Expedition
Mission Statement: Rendezvous with Exploratory Drones in Asteroid Belt Z-378 for Frozen Water Stores
Entry Number: 1,031
I am recording this entry with the purpose of submitting it as an official record and as part of my case against UENC Commander Charon, CO of the UENC Giles. I will attempt to leave out no detail, and cover all the bases for this complaint.
The emergency broadcast ran on this sort of constant loop, filling all corners of the room with the radio quality voice of Mr. Shuja Willow. I had tried to shut it off, but none of the buttons, remote or console, had worked. I basically had the whole dialog memorized by this point and had started adding appropriate chuckles and snorts when Shuja said something particularly cliché or blatantly false.
Attention all citizens of this great republic, I come to you today in what appears to be our final hour. After extensive analysis of reports from both the Apple Luna and Bezos Martian colonies, we here at MSNBC/Fox can confirm the presence of a large celestial body approaching on a collision course with both the Moon and Earth. The estimated time of arrival for this object is within [Two Hours, Thirty-four minutes, fifteen seconds] and current trajectory shows it colliding with the Western third of this great nation and vast parts of the Pacific ocean, potentially also hitting Eastern sections of the United Chinese Nations. The outcome of this event is… incomprehensible… yet hope cannot be lost. Congress and Commander Kennedy have begun scouring the dusty tomes of the obsolete NASA program for all records of deep space objects of this size and their last known position as well as opening up communications with all other major powers on the planet. Google and Musk Robotiks have dedicated all their AI bases towards calculating the impact and potential survival rate of such an impact. All areas not highlighted on our MacDonald’s Meteorology Maptm should be aware that while they won’t face this challenge to humanity directly, smaller meteors WILL break off from the main leviathan and ecological extremities will scour the land. Citizens are advised to do everything in their power to get emergency supplies, and, if you would, brace for impact. The only remaining option we have as a species is a swift response from the world, our leaders, and most importantly, our technology that has so long saved us from the attempts of Mother Nature to eradicate us. All YOU, the beloved citizen, can do is hope with all your might for your loved ones. Technicians save us all…
Author’s Note: Blame Persona 5 for the delay in my publishing this. (God, but that is a very long and very awesome game.) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Austin and me! 🙂 ❤
The slamming of the door served as an exclamation point on Big Mac’s dramatic exit from Reggie’s garage. Jackson’s whole body shook as he absentmindedly rubbed his hands together. He turned to face Ann Marie and found that although there was evidence that tears had been running down her cheeks moments ago, it appeared that they had now ceased. In fact, Jackson was surprised to find Ann Marie more or less collected. No running to the door in regret, no uncontrollable shaking; Jackson would have thought her to be in shock if she didn’t turn away from his gaze to begin removing the gym bag from Todd’s head.
When it was off, Ann Marie put her hands on Todd’s shoulders and bent slightly to make eye contact with him. “Are you all right?” she said. Continue reading
(Author’s Note: Sorry this took forever. I found myself drinking a lot in September, got some ants in my pants, and then recorded an album. I’ll post that later on. Hope you guys are enjoying the story.) Continue reading
A Short Story By AJ Tompkins
The Claye Family had arrived in the new world in 1704, stumbling into a large chunk of property near Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The third son of a baron, Oceanus Claye had departed England with the intent of winning his father’s favor (and perhaps a higher stake in his will) by proving himself an astute businessman. He made the move with his wife, Priscilla, and their two young daughters, Humility and Sarah.
Having won the Aspway Plantation during a gambling spree in London, the move promised to be a new start for the newlyweds and their children. Oceanus promised to forgo the gambling and drink, and Priscilla was forced to cut off her relations with the rakish Myles Johnson of Birmingham. The house and property were large, some of the largest in the area, and had already shown a habit of turning a profit in the rice trade. Much of the labor was done by a mixed crew of indentured servants and African slaves, who had endured much cruelty under the Aspway command. Oceanus, despite his flaws, had never had the stomach for cruelty, and he essentially retired the whip during his lifetime. Most of those in indentured servitude were released from their bonds, and Claye honored their deals, carving out small parcels of his own land for them to farm. Most sold it back to the plantation at respectable prices, seeking to move farther north.