Young Man Wants PensionNobody was much older than thirty when we got here. I was nineteen. I jumped out of the belly of an RM-390 atmosphere skimmer, you know, one of those hydrogen sweepers they turned into drop ships. It was fun during training, the drop. Knowing it was a combat jump, I soiled myself at the first sign of enemy movement on the surface. Those Guludeb—they're not ones for subtlety. They know that in a head-to-head fight they've got us whipped.Young Man Wants Pension by SgtPossum
But I made it. Most of us did, actually. We landed in the hills, the youngest of us eighteen and the oldest of us thirty-two. Another year and the youngest of us will be older than the second extreme. We knew that going in. We just had no idea what it really meant.
They say it takes twenty years to properly colonize a habitable planet. Twenty years to build the cities and the facilities and the economy. Murad had been fully colonized a century before the Guludeb showed up. I wonder what the founders of the colony would have done differently if the
Barber Shop BoogieA woman calling herself Jo Ann of Archer Street took over the barber shop a year ago today. I don't think she was really crazy. She was just frustrated. Or maybe she had a few too many cups of coffee.Barber Shop Boogie by SgtPossum
Anyway. She jumped through the storefront window with a pair of pearl-handled revolvers drawn, and told us we were all joining her on an expedition. She pointed them squarely at my eyes, one barrel per pupil, and demanded my compliance. I was in the middle of giving an old customer a quick trim, but I said what the hell, sure. You can't argue with that kind of panache.
Really I wish I'd got to go on the journey she was ranting and raving about. You should have heard her describe it. We were going to hijack a boat and sail to Greenland, where she would proclaim herself empress. She was so goddamn convinced, that Jo Ann, that we all believed she really could do it. We all forgot that we were in a barber shop, us barbers and those customers, and we started cheering her on and laughing at her
Vehicular DefenestrationI was driving down the interstate in a stolen SUV. The SUV said “Security Patrol” on one half of the rear hatch, and “Patrol Dog” on the other, in big red letters. I'd already taken care of the driver, the security guard. But the dog was still in the back, and my Christ was he pissed.Vehicular Defenestration by SgtPossum
There are times when I think I've taken the wrong path in life. Most people would say that's obvious; you're out stealing security guard cars, beating the drivers half to death for their keys and their suits so you can pull off liquor store heists. But for the most part I don't think that's really wrong. It's just the lot in life chosen for me by the powers-that-be. I've only ever killed one person, and it was an accident. A complete fluke, really. So am I a bad person? No.
Like I said, though, the wrong path in life. It doesn't make much money, to be honest. Every couple months I've gotta rob a jewelry store and fence it off through this guy I know, Rene, just to make fucking rent
An Encounter in the BadlandsFor most of the day they marched across salt flats, the land of obelisks at their backs shrinking until, when Samir last turned his head, the immense black stones were simply dark streaks shimmering in the sun's heat. As the flats gave way to gravel and crag, the prince decided it was tie for his expedition to rest. He ordered the archers to higher ground with small contingents of the Manakhan knights, and the rest of the soldiers arranged the usual circular camp. His tent sat in the center, his cavalry around it, the rest of the knights and all of the arquebusiers in the next ring, and finally the heavy and light infantries.An Encounter in the Badlands by SgtPossum
He lay on his little throne of cushions with Qashamvili's book of clairvoyance on his lap, but he did not open it. The sun was setting when Evom, leader of the infantry company from Jushadd, stepped into his tent. They had spoken little since leaving the safety of the coast, but it was impossible for Samir to forget a man like that.
He was short, old, and muscular
The Next StageDis Carson and Zriz dropped their guns and raised their hands—on in Zriz’s case, claws—into the air. Zriz spat at the feet of the Eubolan holding them at gunpoint. Dis shared the sentiment. Out of habit, he berated himself. He should have seen the signs of ambush before boarding the derelict and called in the authorities. As if the life of a search and rescue unit wasn’t dangerous enough, he’d had to go charging into the dead ship looking for survivors. Trying to be a hero.
Instead, it looked like he was going to be just another victim. A five-year veteran should have known better.
“Look, just take the rations and go,” Dis said. “Shit ain’t even expensive.”
“Do not tell me you are afraid of death, Carson,” said Zriz with that clicking noise he had for a laugh.
“Hell no,” he said. “But dying at the hands of a filthy pirate over a measly box of food rations isn’t what I want carved as an epita
sewing the seeds of change.Silhouetted against the artificial sun, a man spotted me from across the plain and waved unceremoniously before turning away; he was the first human being I’d seen in six months. I did what any person who’d been alone that long would have done. I threw down my hose (the wheat would survive a few minutes without my care) and ran after him.
He walked slowly underneath the watchful eye of the solar lamp, the only one of the three in the station that remained operational after the end, and I kept running until I could touch the back of his shoulder with my calloused hand. Managing corn stocks and digging up potatoes had worked my hands into rough mitts that scratched on anything like sandpaper on silk.
“Who are you?” I asked, but he did not turn around.
He was looking at something in the distance, where my pseudo-sun barely touched. That part of the plain had wilted away, and had become the spot where I fermented plants and waste into mulch. I still had to
she whispers sweet nothings, i scream profanities.I found Beattie within the confines of a ruined church, cowering underneath the front row of pews with her hands over the back of her neck. She was convinced that the whole place would come down on top of her, and she always had to be prepared to protect her spine. I couldn’t blame her for that, only because you couldn’t get far in a ravaged world if your legs and arms didn’t work. She’d been dressed in her Sunday best for six months, though one of her white shoes was missing a heel.
“You should probably go somewhere else,” I advised her, taking a seat in the pulpit to light a cigarette. I set my guns down first, knowing that a girl like Beattie wouldn’t try anything dumb with me. If she did, I knew that I could take her head-to-head. “The insane people always scope out churches, thinking that God will save them.”
“God will save us,” she whispered, voice as quiet as a mouse in a fitting location.
Winter and FrostWinter sat outside, staring in wonder at the dwindling snowflakes dancing from the sky around her. She loved winter. To her, it felt magical. Sure, summer was gorgeous and fall was wonderful with all the colors, but nothing could compare to the sparkling frozen beauty of winter. And here she sat, in the midst of that beauty.
She was in the middle of a field, way past dark. Heavy snow had fallen only a few hours before, now only a few snowflakes fell from the dark sky, and the smooth blanket of white was undisturbed by even the animals.
Winter didn't want to leave, but the numb cold state of her body forced her to stand up and trudge through the powdery snow back into the small town where she lived.
The collection of cottages and other small buildings looked like a shadowy mass in the low moonlight, individual houses only distinguishable by the few that had warm yellow lights glowing in their windows. The lights disappeared one by one as she got closer, the late hour driving people into
A drunk Albertan, I'm a writer. I write stuff, and shit, and other things. Feedback is always appreciated, positive or negative.|
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