Monthly Archives: March 2016

Drabble: Escape – by Devin Miller

by specklit

The empty escape pod seat spoke volumes.

“She’s scuttled, David,” Arnold said. “There’s no turning back.”

“You don’t know if you’ll hit the planet,” David said, but Arnold’s math was always superb.

He looked at David now, pitying. “This is why you weren’t captain,” he said, buckling his harness. “You lack boldness.”

“It’s why you were never good at it,” David said. “Too flighty.”

A career’s worth of animosity, long suppressed by success, passed between them. Their trusty spaceship soared on in its death throes.

The hatch hissed shut; the pod ejected. Unimpeded, David sat alone in the captain’s chair.

Author’s Note: This is a snapshot of a relationship between two men with opposing core beliefs forced to work together. Whether it’s for better or worse is up to them, I think.

Drabble: Prenatal Results – by Wendy Nikel

by specklit

“The prenatal results are in. I’m sorry. There’s a defect.”

Mascara-stained tears smeared Lily’s cheeks. “What kind?”

“This pamphlet outlines the condition.”

“Is there a cure?”

“There are specialists who can help, but she’d have artificial correctives her entire life. I think you know what’s best.”

An hour later, she left the office, clinging to Kleenexes as mementos.

“You did the right thing,” Jack said at home. “Think of her quality of life. And with the extra expenses… we couldn’t have done it.”

Lily nodded but couldn’t look away from the brochure’s image of the sad-faced girl wearing thick-rimmed glasses.

Author’s Note: With modern technology and advances in genetic research, it begs the question: who decides what’s a “defect”?

Drabble: Too Many Wines – by Tony Steven Williams

by specklit

Merlino snapped his fingers. Whhhhoooffff! The cake blazed in Technicolor, yet the ten candles remained unlit. Damn, he thought, but raised a theatrical eyebrow. Little Trixie bounced in her pink frock.

“This time,” intoned Merlino. Blinding lightning jagged across the room. Zzzzishhhh! The icing heaved green sea and the ten candles were flashing lighthouses (which promptly failed). Kzzzzammmm! The family gasped at the can-can dancers (but the ten floodlights died). Double-damn.

Merlino threw a monstrous fireball. Shhhzzzpahhh-splutttt! The ten candles stood proudly dormant on the black ruined cake.

Merlino sighed and reached for the matches. “Happy birthday, Trixie,” he laughed.

Author’s Note: Merlino is a retired wizard who is actually very powerful, but let’s say rather rough in application. One drink too many doesn’t help either.

Drabble: The Automaton and Amelia – by Anna Salonen

by specklit

Amelia’s airship crashed on the deserted island, almost on top of the automaton. She wound up his clockwork springs, and he stuttered to life.

“Will you help fix my ship?” Amelia asked.

The automaton nodded. His heart beat only for her.

He handed her strange instruments as she worked.

He wrestled a shark for her spyglass.

He retrieved the broken rudder from the Roc-bird’s nest.

The ship was almost ready.

“We need something to power the engine,” Amelia said.

The automaton screwed open his chestplate.

An oily tear rolled down his brass cheek as Amelia flew off with his heart.

Author’s Note: Love at first sight is a dangerous thing.

Drabble: Sibling Rivalry – by Mark Pryshlak

by specklit

Jake pulled the bridge of his nose, annoyed.

“I always tell the truth and the other lies,” said the portly troll. His partner echoed the statement.

Jake hated riddle trolls.

“Is my hair purple?” he asked.


“Liar,” he labeled that one. “Did a red-haired girl let you in my room?” he asked the other.


Anna awoke to the sound of air being let out of a balloon. She sat up choking on a vile smell. She flipped on the lights and found a smiling troll at the foot of her bed.

A farting troll? How crass little brother.

Author’s Note: As a river guide I know a lot of riddles. I just took the trolls away from their gates and put them in a child’s bedroom. The situation is no longer dire, simply annoying.

Drabble: Truth in Advertising – by Maxine Kollar

by specklit

Juan Hoo – A Tax Man opened his office at the edge of town.

He was far from home but he heard folks round here were ripe for the picking.

Arlis never procrastinated. As soon as all his W-2 came in he was at the office.

He asked Juan a few questions about his IRA while Juan just sat there sharpening his claws.

“I’m sorry, I’m no good at that stuff.”

“Then why open a tax office!”

Tax, no. it should read ‘One Who Attacks Man’

“Gotta check the universal translator,” he mumbles, picking Arlis out of his teeth.

Author’s Note: Sometimes the truth just gets lost in translantion.

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