May 10 2019

Fictionlet

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“Yo, Greg,” said Brigid, wandering into the kitchen.

“Hello, hello!” he replied, sipping at a coffee and tapping away at the laptop.

She raised an eyebrow, but shrugged and started rooting through a cabinet for the english muffins. “Soooo…?” she said.

“Hmm?” replied Greg, still tapping away.

“Go on,” she said.

“Go on about what?” She just looked over at him; his expression was befuddled. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Really,” she said.

“Yes, really,” he replied.

“Okay,” she said, turning to her breakfast. A moment of quiet followed.

“You know,” he added, “the Hogan’s Heroes theme song is actually an incredibly dense and layered composition. It’s a masterclass in themes and sub-themes!”

“There it is,” said Brigid.

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Feb 06 2019

Shady and the Wizard

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A story fragment that popped into my head last night, starring my tabaxi rogue. Enjoy!

Shade-of-the-Candle slid the final stretch of the ramp in a low crouch, dropping forward onto one hand from her momentum when she hit the bottom. The torch she’d been carrying clattered across the floor, extinguished, but to her surprise, she didn’t need it.

She’d been deposited into a large, round chamber with concentric pillars that were covered with writhing hieroglyphs. The middle of the ceiling was dominated by a cluster of dimly-luminous indigo crystals; sitting cross-legged on a dais under the crystals, was the robed figure of a man.

Or… not? There were too many arms, for starters, and the skin visible on the man’s forearms and hands was a dusky blue-gray, but that may have been a trick of the light. The fact that each of the four hands had two thumbs, one on either side, also did not inspire confidence. The man’s face, if indeed he had one, was completely obscured by his cowl, but Shady had no doubt that he was aware of her.

Shady blinked at him. He didn’t move. The tomb was supposed to have been lost. It was definitely trapped. She’d had a tough scrabble to get this far, only to find this oddity sitting in what she had expected to be the treasure chamber. Either way, she wasn’t about to go home empty-handed now. Her tail flicked back and forth involuntarily, as she rose to a standing position and slowly drew her cutlasses.

The hood dipped slightly. A deep bass rumble assaulted Shady’s ears and crushed her skull, nearly knocking her back off her feet, but then it passed as quickly as it had come. Across from her, the figure gave a quiet and dismissive snort.

Shady blinked at it. “What kind of hellspawn are you?” she asked.

“I am no kind of hellspawn, you superstitious creature,” the figure replied. The voice was male, more of a deep buzzing than anything else, and spoke in the clipped tones of a noble.

“Then what are–“

“There’s no point in telling you what I am,” he said. “It wouldn’t mean anything to you. And even if I could explain it, it would just blast your already dangerously-limited mind into even smaller fragments.”

The corner of Shady’s mouth rose in a smirk. “So you’re a wizard,” she said, moving slowly into the ring of pillars.

“Fine. Yes. I’m a wizard. It’s less wrong than anything else you might come up with.”

“You’re pretty rude,” said Shady.

“I am intensely rude,” said the wizard. “And I intend to remain that way. What will you do, now that you’ve come to that brilliant conclusion?”

Shady stepped forward again, pointing at his cowl with the tip of one of her swords. “I’ve heard it said, that the best thing to do when you come upon a wizard, is to kill it.”

The creature didn’t move. “So why don’t you, then?”

She gave him a long, appraising look. “Because…” she finally said, “you don’t seem particularly afraid that I might.”

Two of the wizard’s four arms retreated under robes. He used the other two to shift into a more attentive position. “The creature has some sense after all!” he said. “This may turn out to be interesting.”

“What are you doing, squatting in an ancient tomb?”

“What are you doing, crawling around in it?”

“I’m a thief,” said Shady.

“Of course you are.”

“But you didn’t answer my question. The tomb was sealed. What are you doing here?”

“I am playing a game of strategy,” said the wizard. “A game that spans eons, made up of the most infinitesimally small moves imaginable.”

“A game?” said Shady. “There’s no board. There are no pieces.”

“I’m looking at one right now,” said the wizard.

Shady rolled her eyes. “Okay, this conversation is pointless,” she said. “Where’s the Red King’s treasure chamber? Where’s the Red King’s treasure?”

“Oh, it’s here,” said the wizard. “Right where he buried it. Every few hundred years another would-be robber comes blundering in, and not one has managed to take it way yet. One or two did manage to get away richer than they came, of course. You may be one of the lucky ones.”

“Any objections if I try my luck?” said Shady, gesturing with her sword again.

“None whatsoever,” said the wizard. “I have no interest in baubles. There’s another passage, behind me. You may find what you’re looking for that way.”

“Fine,” said Shady, sheathing her swords. “Go back to your game then, wizard, and stay out of my way.” She collected the torch from where she’d dropped it and reignited it.

“Another pawn moves into play,” said the wizard. Shady glared at the back of his cowl, and plunged down the passage.

Oct 22 2018

Fictionlet

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Greg sat at the dining room table, tapping away on the lappie as Alex lounged on the couch messing with his phone. Quietly, and without fuss, Ozymandias hopped up onto the table, regarded Greg’s Moleskine with a vague air of contempt, and knocked it off the table before settling down into a loaf.

Greg paused, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Cats are nature’s perfect entropic engine.” He then continued typing.

Alex crinkled up his forehead. “Man, you are like peak 2007,” he said.

-The Gneech

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Oct 17 2018

Fictionlet

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“Due to the peculiar placement of a seam,” Greg said, “my waistband reads ‘Fruit of the Lruit.”

“What in the entire realm of all human experience might make you want to think I wanted to know that?” asked Brigid.

“What in the entire realm of all human experience might make you think that whether or not you want to know something is relevant to whether I will say it?” Greg replied.

“Have you considered the fact that if you were to die suddenly, it would take weeks before even your closest friends might notice if I were clever in hiding my tracks?” said Brigid.

“Point,” said Greg.

-The Gneech

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Mar 26 2018

Fictionlet

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“So a genie grants you a wish,” said Greg. “What do you wish for?”

Alex looked up from his taco. “Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “Unlimited, inexhaustible health and prosperity.”

“Yeah, okay, that’s pretty good,” said Greg.

Brigid shook her head. “Every movie ever made, retroactively to the beginning of time, and going on forever, no matter how good or how bad, has the same production values, the same script, the same special effects and soundtrack etcetera, but an all-woman cast and production crew. Citizen Kane? Women. Casablanca? Women. Star Wars, The Goonies, Logan’s Run. Not a man to be found. No other changes.”

Greg pondered this, then slowly nodded. “Okay,” he said.

“I want to change my wish,” said Alex.

-The Gneech

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PS: Bonus Fictionlet from Twitter!

Me: A joke about Black Panther and Toto. Go!
Brigid: “Watson, I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more!”
Greg: “I bless the reigns down in Africa!”
Brigid: Fuck.
#fictionlet

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Mar 01 2017

Fictionlet

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Brigid poked about at her cereal, as if she were trying to figure out what it was. “I had the weirdest experience this morning,” she said.

“Did it involve penguins?” said Greg. “Because if it didn’t involve penguins, I’m pretty sure it couldn’t have been the weirdest experience.”

“I was drifting in and out of consciousness,” she continued, completely disregarding his comment as was appropriate. “Every time I woke up, I felt like I was just this close to grasping something. Something important, you know? Something big. About myself, or the nature of the universe, something. But every time I started to really get it… I fell back asleep, and had to start all over again.”

“Vishnu had the same problem, if I remember correctly,” said Greg.

“What?” said Brigid.

“Huh?” said Greg.

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