Sunday, June 28, 2015


The sun is setting as I make my way along the beach. There are no more people in the ocean, but I still see them on the beach. I see them laughing, kicking up sand as they play volleyball, even though it’s getting harder and harder to see the ball. Another group is starting a bonfire. I zip up my hoodie as I feel a chill run down my back and get back to my task. I lean down and pick up rocks. That’s what I do every day. It may seem mundane, but I have my ways of keeping it interesting. Today, I’m only picking black rocks. You’d be surprised at how different the rocks can be from day to day. Yesterday I managed to pick up about fifty rust-colored ones, while Wednesday I gathered a whole bunch of smooth ones. Now there are a whole lot more reddish ones than yesterday, but I’m still not complaining, since I already have plenty of black ones.

The sun plunges into the sea in one, final, swift motion. The lanterns on the promenade light up. I listen to the songs coming from the group at the bonfire. Summer is here. Finally.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Orpheus 17, Captain's Log

March 24th

Drifting in this void is beginning to get to my head. It’s been three months since we lost transmission with Earth. I find myself visiting the rec room more and more often. For some reason, I don’t really feel like spending time with the others. Our ship is making plenty of noise, but we still haven’t picked up any signal. It’s a bizarre feeling, being so far away from home not even the stars look familiar. I just hope whatever civilization we find has more soup.

March 27th

Doyle has been acting strange lately. He’s complaining about a scratching noise in his room which no one else can hear. I tried to comfort him by challenging him to a friendly game of snooker, but he was paranoid throughout. I promised to switch beds with him. We’ll see if I can hear that pesky rat alien or whatever it is.

March 28th

No scratching reported, but now Doyle’s missing.

March 29th

Found Doyle outside in a spacesuit. He’s feeling well. But how did he get out there?

April 1st

We found the body of another Doyle outside. The “Doyle” inside is something else. If you find this message – RUN!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Great

We used to have this Great Dane. His name was Abaddon. He didn’t live for very long, but he was a sweet dog. Great with kids, got along really well with the cat. He was really attached to me. Whenever there was a thunderstorm he would come to me and hide his head under my shoulder or between my legs. For all intents and purposes, he stayed puppy. He would always try to lie in his old bed less than half his size. Confused, he would spin around in it, trying to fix it until it was comfy enough, and then he just lied down and went to sleep with his butt sticking out.

Maybe he wasn’t the smartest dog, but that didn’t matter. Many dog owners claim that their dog’s the best in the world, and I’m no different. But there’s more to it. If it weren’t for Abaddon, I wouldn’t be here today. The big puppy found it in him to grow up at just the right moment. He heard that explosion long before me. And instead of hiding between my legs, he guided me to safety. I’m glad he managed to give his life meaning before dying. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Dungeon Master

“You feel an overwhelming heat as you enter the den. The dragon sits on its mountains of treasure. Its crimson scales shimmer, and so does the gold and jewels, in the dim torchlight. You hear a deep growl as the beast bares its imposing fangs. You realize it’s laughing, mocking you. ‘Another group of fearless adventurers willing to slay me for my gold, is it?’” I can feel the sweat run down my forehead. I really wish someone opened the window.

“’We didn’t come here for the gold,’ I say to the beast as I draw my trusty hammer, the Onyx. ‘We have come to put an end to your reign of terror!’” Akiva shouts. He can really ham it up sometimes.

“’Speak for yourself, you goody two-shoes cleric,’ I say as I draw my staff,” says Phoebe. Her deliberately flat delivery always gets me. “’If you don’t want the gold, then I guess there’s at least more for me.’”

“’Now, now, kids,’ I say pushing Giselle back so that she doesn’t trip over her stick and accidentally lose half her HP again,” says Gil in his usual condescending tone.

“Oh, come on. That was one time.”

“Shush, now. ‘We shall put an end to your reign of terror-‘”

“That’s what I said,” Akiva grumbles.

“’-and divide your treasures as we see fit. I swear on my blade, blessed by the god Helm-‘”

“Um, no it isn’t,” I interject.

“Oh, shush, shush! ‘Tonight you die, foul beast!’”

“The dragon laughs, sending chills down your spines. ‘Foolish mortals! We shall see if you can deliver on what you promise!’ Roll for initiative.”

Akiva picks up the 20-sided dice and throws it on the table with such force that it almost falls off.

“Reroll,” he says quickly.

“What? Why?” I try to find the dice, but it’s hidden from view somewhere.

“Because it landed partly on your handbook. You can’t really tell the number.”

I look around the handbook and, lo and behold, there’s the dice. But something doesn’t add up.

“Akiva, this is clearly a one.”

“No it isn’t.”

“Guys, care to take a look?”

“Yeah, that is definitely a one,” Phoebe says in her flat tone.

“Yup, clear as day,” Gil adds.

“You can’t be serious, bro,” Akiva stares daggers at me.

“I’m sorry, man. A one’s a one. That’s always a critical miss. So, as you try and reach-“

“The fuck!” Akiva shouts as he stands up. “I’m not playing like this!”

And with that, he leaves the room, leaving the rest of us sitting there in silence.

“So, uh… Does that mean his character died, or…?” Gil whispers.

“I think I need a drink,” I say as I take a sip of my beer. It’s nice and cold – perfect for this temperature.