Magic Words

The evil Dr. Sharp fell to the floor, unconscious and defeated. Even with their foe defeated, the work of The Hero Consortium was not yet complete.

“Get the shut-off words already!” The Wet Blanket shouted, using the power of gravity to bring a group of flying drones created by Dr. Sharp down.

Squeak was busy assembling a cadre of sentient balloon animals to help fend off the few remaining minions of the evil doctor, “I’m running low on supplies and it looks like Bookworm and Ocelot are running out of steam against the robot.  Packet, what’s your timeline?”

Packet made her final keystrokes and cracked Dr. Sharp’s encryption.  “I got it! I got it!” Packet shouted back. Continue reading

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Deck and Amy Plan an Escape

“This is going to suck,” Deck said.  He and Amy sat in a parked car outside an event center which housed this year’s company holiday party.  Snow fell ever so gently outside.  The dark of night lit by brake lights of coworkers experiencing the exact same moment of dread.

“We need a keyword.  Some phrase or term to signal the other that it is time to leave,” Amy suggested.

“A safe word?” Deck said, giggling.

“This is more serious than you seem to think it is,” Amy said as more of a warning that a statement. Continue reading

Squeak’s Interview (A Transcript)

Transcript of First Television Interview of Beloved Superhero Squeak.

Squeak: I have to say, while this microphone is strapped to parts of me even my, uh, ‘special partners’ [Laughter] don’t touch, this is the most surreal moment of my life.

Rebecca Carver, Interviewer: [Laughter] Is that because you are the subject of people’s attention and this is the first step to interviews becoming commonplace or because Rocco’s hands are strangely cold?

Squeak: The Rocco part. Thanks, Rocco! [Laughter]

RC: First question, first real question anyway, which of your creations has been your favorite?

Squeak: Mouse.  For the simple purpose of it matches my name so well.  But, you know, this question has come up before when I do mock interviews in my own head following a battle with a big bad.  [Laughter]

RC: Your powers have certainly helped you face down a fair shake of evil doers.

Squeak: Here’s the thing about using my powers of bringing balloon animals to life in order to fight the criminal underworld that plagues this city, the real work is not done by me.  The real work is done by Mouse and Bad Hat, by Snake and Hot Dog, by Sword and Puppy and Horse and Framed House and Big Ol’ Circle.  I just give them life.  And commands to viciously maul bank robbers.

RC: That’s very noble of you, Squeak, but none of it happens without you and your ability to literally breathe life into these crime stoppers, our city would be a much different place.

Squeak: Wanna know something funny?

RC: Please!

Squeak: My powers don’t work on water balloons.

RC: Really? Why do you think that is?

Squeak: I suspect they are pure evil.

RC: Having been in water balloon fights, I agree.

Squeak: One moment, Rebecca, sorry. My crime fighter flashy thing is doing its flashy thing.  A message will come through in a moment. The police chief gave this to me.  Kinda’ like one of those “your table is ready” buzzers at Chili’s, but this is a call to justice, not cheese sticks. Here we go.

[Silence]

Squeak: I must run.  There’s trouble downtown.

RC: Rocco, get the mic off quick!

Squeak: [Laughter] Thank you, Rocco.

RC: Good luck, Squeak.

 

 

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Caution or Results

“We should be cautious.  Rushed decisions lead to disaster,” Myla cautioned.

“This isn’t like that weekend in Miami.  We’ll be fine,” Ryon said.

“Caution sent Dex home last time.  We need to make a choice and we need to make it now,” Chi said, bluntly.  He was tired of waiting.  Myla’s caution and Ryon’s inability to take a side had always back their progress.  Chi just wanted it over.  The day had been long and tiresome and the night ahead held no changes.

“Fine. Pepperoni and black olive.  Just place the order,” Myla hoped her choice was not too rushed.

The Garden Tour (In 100 Words)

“The hotel has taken an …unique approach to the gardens this year,” Elizabeth commented, trying to avoid being rude.

“This is really upsetting,” Carl did not consider the feelings of the nearby garden staff.

The two, enjoying a weekend away at a hotel recommended by friends and internet alike, stared at tall trees depicting scenes of ruined buildings, Orwellian propaganda, mushroom clouds, mutated humanoid creatures and other imagery of collapsed or dying societies.

“Perhaps I can explain,” said a smooth voice from behind the couple.  “We try to match pop-culture with our designs.  To keep hip, these here are distopiaries.”

 

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I’m sure the jokes been done before, but by golly, distopiary is a fun word.

Five Friends on a Bus

Five friends sat or stood on a bus.  The final leg of their journey home was nearly complete.  Their night had been long and full of stories they would one day tell their children to prove a former control of the concept of cool.  The stories would undoubtedly be shared to embarrass said children as well, but that goes without saying.

The bus was smelly.  Another passenger rode with a dog and another was going to ride until the driver said, “end of the line!”  The five young people had spent hours talking and shouting and sharing, so the bus was damaging every sense except hearing.  Silence filled the carriage and the group was left to their own thoughts.

One thought of pancakes.  One thought of their upcoming shift at a diner (a shift a mere four hours away due to poor planning).  One thought of a puppy seen on an SPCA website and had a deep desire to adopt the pup.  One figured out a potentially unbeatable strategy for their League of Legends character.  The last thought of Pluto’s demotion.  The other four had a hard time relating to the last member of the group, but the kid could talk about Pluto.

Not one thought of the experience they just shared.  Not one thought of another.  They had already moved on from the moment, knowing full well they would only summon the story of the night when they needed to upstage a competing tale at a party.  Not one knew they just had one of those ‘top five’ nights that would come to define them.

Five friends rode a bus home. Five friends lost within themselves nearly missed their final stop.

 

 

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Fragile Exits

“We’re almost home free!” The gruff and grizzled expedition leader shouted.  The team had evaded monsters torn from nightmares, creatures bent on their destruction, and traps that could only have created by a most deranged mind.

The loot was worthwhile.  Each of the adventurers carried sacks of gold and ancient artifacts that would make them wealthy beyond imagination, and in some way help the general knowledge of human history which was a very nice secondary perk of the trip.

“They ate Jenkins!” The group’s local historian said, finally able to still herself long enough to realize the horrors the temple had unleashed.

“But they didn’t eat you,” the leader said, trying to keep the historian focused.  “Just a few steps more. I can see the doorway out up ahead.”

“There it is!” The group’s hired gun was overjoyed at the site of one final sandstone slab between him and freedom.

The last three stood in front of the doorway and tried to figure out how to open it.

“If I’m reading this right, the doorway says we have to create something so fragile saying its name will break it.” The historian said.

“Oh! Oh! I’ve heard this one! We have to be silent.  Have to quiet as little mice.  Saying ‘silence’ breaks the silence.  We can’t talk.  Everyone shush.” The hired gun said.

The historian and the leader fell quiet and waited.

“It should just take a moment,” the hired gun said a beat later.  “Just have to be really quiet.  Can’t even hear a pin drop.”

The historian cleared her throat, trying to send a message.

“That’s too loud. Be quiet everybody,” the hired gun said.

From down the hallway, the sound of claw on stone echoed.

“We have to be quieter. How can we be quieter?” The hired gun nervously asked.

“Oh for Pete’s sake,” the leader said.  She placed her hand over the mercenary’s mouth and made him silent.

The door slid downward and the three adventurers escaped the temple.

 

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