Category Archives: Prose

Old Fights

The Fungimentalist spawn had failed, for now. The culture above was simply too unruly for them to be more than a minor consideration. Whilst our Bryophytist ways meant that we had little hope in the Euground, we had been able to lodge ourselves in the little niches up Auvreground and expand from there.

It had been a vicious war spanning many decades. Previously, we had lived in relative peace, sticking to our own turf as it were. Then, for unknown reasons the Funguys assaulted the Dæmbildres, attacking their very way of living. The latter were only able to hang on so long, but in the resulting chaos we did manage to sneak in and strengthen the wall holding back the flood.

To our disgust and horror, the Funguys eventually slayed then consumed the Dæmbildres down to the bone. It was not a gorging upon flesh, but a steady, repulsively delicate, hyphaetic consummation.

During this ghastly feast it dawned upon us that the wall had in fact been of more benefit to the Funguys than to ourselves. We knew that the wall was now little more than a spiritual morgue for the Dæmbildres, so after the long winter we took the difficult decision to allow the wall to break, battering and dismembering our brave souls holding it together.

The flood came with a dreadful inevitability, but enough of us hung on to survive and rebuild. Now we flourish, so to speak. Even amongst ourselves it is something of an uneasy peace, but we survive, and many millennia longer do we hope to continue.

Beware The Trees

The trees are plotting. They’re plotting to overwhelm us with LOVE and HARMONIOUS ETHEROUS CHEMICALS. I can SEE it. I’m at my balcony in the French Vosges and I can SEE the GREAT CLOUDS of CHEMICALS they’re sending up and down the valley to COMMUNICATE with each other.

I SWEAR I can TASTE the air when they do this. It’s a terrible, sickly SWEET, like they’re expelling a fog of SEMEN tainted with SYRUP.


Oh god, it tastes DELICIOUS. I must have MORE HORROR HORROR HORROR

I may BE a while.

Over A Bottle

He pours a generous glass for me and passes it over the table. Noting the label, I search for all there is to find on the wine; its locale, recent genetic history of the vine, soil composition, the weather over the year the grapes were grown, that sort of thing. It tells me so much, yet I could never tell the difference between one bottle and the next. He tells me how good the wine is – very, though not the best – but I have to take his word for it.

I pour him a generous glass of my beer. He’s not much of a beer drinker, only drinks common lagers. He takes a sip and tells me he can see my soul in it. He describes my soul, and his words warm it further. We continue our discussion in the bedroom.

Twentieth Century Sci-Fi Hero

I could sense him considering me with his lingering eyes. He appeared more than confident in his physical attributes, and was in the process of weighing up his social approaches to me.

I went back to my drink, accepting its invitation towards stupor and bliss. At the Navy Clam they knew how to serve a good mixer; chilled enough to soften the burn, but not so much as to inhibit the flavour. They’ve also come into possession of an excellent emulsifier which has allowed them to create my current favourite, a double of light rum with coconut and a perfectly cutting measure of lime juice.

My thoughts are vaguely meandering around ants and learning algorithms when the cock-sure comes sidling up to me.

“You have some information I need,” he tells me, obviously expecting either a teasing conversation ending with him pummelling my purse with abandon, or myself to figuratively jump on his prick with nary a care in the world.

I give him neither. “Fuck off; you’re interrupting my drink.”

To my dismay he takes this as a hint towards the former. “You do know who I’m looking for, don’t you? I can see it in they way your legs shifted.”

Indeed I did shift, but only because his ridiculous erection was at risk of embarrassing itself on my leg. He really was the worst sort of PI; dark haired, dark eyed, heavy browed, barely shaven, obsessively muscled, and with eyes eternally darting everywhere and never focusing. He could hardly have been better described than a late 20th century, futurist author.

“Look pal, I’ve been working all day and don’t have time for your petty familial intrigue or whatever shit it is you’ve gotten yourself into. Just … piss off.” Not particularly eloquent, but surely the message is clear enough.

“I see you’re playing hard to get. Now how abou-” As he edges closer, the bulge in his trousers brushes against my leg, sufficient cause for me to tase him. He drops, pissing himself, and I wave to my friend behind the bar. The soak is dragged out and thrown into a cab to be taken to the sobering cells. I return to my glass and my thoughts.

Thursday Night Paddle

Deftly climbing into the cockpit, I pushed my soles against the footplates and jammed my knees into their braces. With my paddle in both hands I pushed off, fitting the spraydeck into place once some space was between myself and the shore. I made a couple of figure-eights to warm up before finally putting Rosemarkie beach behind me and crossing the firth to Fort George. The evening was perfect for a wee jaunt; clear skies with a dipping sun, the start of the tides turning, and enough of a breeze to whip up the sea to a brisk dance.

My boat’s firm, plastic body encouraged my hips to swing with some energy, to which I obliged. A clear channel meant that the sea ahead would be free of traffic for my return crossing. The occasional spray as I smacked a trough between waves kept me from falling into too hypnotic a pattern.

Off to my right was a gaggle of tourists gawking at the dolphins off Chanonry. I could have gone over to say hello, but I doubt they’d have appreciated it. They were probably engrossed in their dinners and not in the mood for small talk. The rest of the trip there was uneventful. The winds were steady so there were few course corrections to make.

As I approached the other side I saw a small dark head bobbing above the surface. After calling out a quick hello I slowed down and aimed a little closer towards the seal. He dipped beneath the surface then a few seconds later appeared again a few metres behind me. I looked around then back at him and we exchanged a glance. He went below again and I put my hand beneath the surface. I felt a small, soft package being pressed into my hand by a cool flipper. It felt approximately the right size, so I reached into my pack and tossed a few handfuls of lobster meat into the sea. A brief wave of the tail demonstrated his appreciation.

Once I had rolled a wee spliff I lit it up and took a couple of deep draws. It tasted sweet and smooth, and wrapped me in a comfortable haze. I held it just above the water’s surface for him to take a couple of draws. He took them followed by a spell of hacking coughs before heading off home again. I sighed a happy sigh, finished the spliff then headed away home again, stopping by Chanonry to pick up some acid from the dolphins.

You Are Worth …

“[Wh]at [w]ould [y]ou [l]ike to do to-day, Ik-Ard?”

Its halting, awkward voice startled me from my melancholic introspection, and I had little to respond with. The past few days had been bearable due to the carnival atmosphere, but now the holiday was over I had only my thoughts to keep me company.

“I’ll continue tending to my garden Etakekokor.”

“[As y]ou [w]ish, Ik-Ard.”

They had allotted me a good hectare of land to maintain for myself. Whilst I could technically subsist on the foods they provided, it was bitter and left me feeling worse than usual. With my own space I was kept busy, out of the way, and able to produce a slightly more palatable diet.

“The plums are ripe now, if you want one.”

“[Th]ey [m]ake [m]e [s]ick, Ik-Ard. Too [m]uch sugar, Ik-Ard.”

It left. Of course, its lack of a hinged jaw would have made the whole process of consuming a plum ridiculous.

I turned back to my cabbage patch and started to dig.

Care Never Changes


With unfamiliar ease I held her under her arms and straightened my legs, lifting her gently out of her chair. Taking a few short, steady paces back we manoeuvred ourselves such that my colleague could wheel a chair in behind her and I let her down again softly. She was then escorted through to dinner whilst I walked over to the next resident.

Little had changed in the techniques and positions we used these days, but because there was a hissing metal skeleton strapped to my back they were now termed “safe”. Of course, they were always “safe” but gadgetry is more reliable than stressed workers’ appraisals of their own bodies.

We used to need twice as many people to help all our residents through to dinner, but now we are more efficient and only need the three.

I come to the last person, and as I stoop down again I hear my back squeak. Of course, it’s not my back but the pneumatic one strapped to it. Because we are held to the same deadlines there has been no time to charge it; the squeak is the alarm for a low battery. As always I ignore it. As I stand back up again, the skeleton stops. I lose my balance and both of us fall – myself on top of him.

He breaks his hip and suffers lacerated skin and deep bruises. I take the blame, lose my job, and have to pay to repair the skeleton.



“Alright bud?”
“Aye pal.”
“What you watching the now?”
“Nowt much pal. Just these lazy feckers in sector 7294.”
“Not up to much then, aye? Dunno why you keep doing this shite like. Feck all happens these days. ”
“Nah man, see that biggish bugger there? I mean, he disnae do much other than spin real fecking fast, but he’s well beasting it like.”
“That one there? Looks like it ain’t doing nae good for his skin. That spot’s fecking massive!”
“Aye, well you cannae have it all like. And you see that wee wet looking one, right next to the real hot looking bird? Aye, that one. Well mind Alfie like? He went and started on it a while back. He got well smashed up like, but gave the fecker a right sore heid.”
“You sure ’bout that bud? He looks well sick like, but no like he’s been busted up or nothing.”
“It were a fair while back mind. Feck’ s sake man, though you’ve got tae give him credit fae not marking up too bad.”
“Fair enough, like. Oi, you see that? He just flashed us like!”
“Oh aye? Aye, I see it. Here, he did it again the dirty bastard!”
“I reckon you ought tae give him another lesson. See that, he’s still doing it like.”
“Too right pal. You dinnae need to push me out of me orbit like! Feck’s sake, I’m going you wanker.”
“Right behind you bud, don’t you worry yourself.”