A World Spinning Out of Control

There were too many times now to dismiss them to all as accident or coincidence. Gina was getting increasingly nervous, unsure if her day would be normal, or if it would be One of those Days. There were people for whom one of those days was little more than a string of petty inconveniences, but all too often now, Gina had One of those Days. She always saw the phrase in her mind in italics. It deserved the capital letters and the extra emphasis too. If it kept on happening, and happening with this increasing frequency, she could see it…

Stories of Beginnings and Endings

There were stories we told each other. We spoke of beginnings, of middles and muddles and of the endings that came before we knew each other. They were tentative at first, half-told tales that petered out into hesitant looks and small nervous smiles. It takes time to know someone, at least to a point where that knowledge takes on significance. We both knew that it was turning into something longer and deeper than any casual friendship. There was something there between us that grew stronger as our knowledge of each other grew deeper. Carol was ten years older than me.…

The Naming of Things

So, this. It needs a name. We give names to places. We give them an identity. Even though this is all there is and she knows of no other place, or even of the possibility that there could be anything beyond the here, she still feels that it needs a name. How can anyone be here, if we do not know where here is, and what name it has? Here could be anywhere until it has a name. Not only that, the woman too needs a name. She knows she is a person who is separate, different to the nameless…

When Wizarding Goes Wrong

It was another day… probably. Helbert opened his other eye as much as he could. The other eye confirmed it was morning. He’d survived the night, which was something of a relief. Unless this was the afterlife. Helbert lifted his head further from the pillow. Once his eyes got the hang of focussing properly again, he looked around. Unless the afterlife was a perfect simulacrum of his mortal existence then yes, he was still alive. Not that the theory meant much. Helbert had slept though most of his theology lectures at the University, but he wouldn’t put it past the…

The Survivor

There are places that keep our secrets to themselves. Helva would go back to the clearing deep in the woods every now and then, just to sit and remember. She was still young, but she felt so old now that she had lost so much. Helva had nearly died during the winter, alone in the forest. She knew it so well, but she knew it was not a place for a lone human to survive, not easily. Some nights she was tempted to return to the village, or what was once her village before the Northmen came. At least there,…

There is Always Time

There is always time. It never waits for us, but it is always there, taking each moment that passes and hoarding it to itself. Time is the great miser. The dragon that sleeps upon its horde of moments, preventing any one of us from stealing some time back, or going back and changing the said to the unsaid, the undone to the done. Marie grew angrier with time, the older she got. She never forgave time for stealing her grandfather from her. Growing up, he was her best friend, the intermediary who stood between Marie and a world she did…

The Man in Black

‘Morning.’ ‘Morning.’ ‘Are you ready?’ ‘Ready? The man in black looked around. ‘I know I’m a bit early, but I thought the sooner we get started and all that?’ ‘Started?’ ‘The man in black frowned. ‘This is your story, isn’t it?’ ‘I think so.’ He paused for a moment, as he became Steve. ‘Only I didn’t even have a name until that last sentence.’ The man in black nodded once. He took off his black cowboy hat and wiped around the inside of it with one black-gloved hand before putting it back on. He checked his surroundings again, seemingly unimpressed.…

An Actor in Someone Else’s Film

All of us believe that our lives are a film and we are the star. So it must come as something of a shock in that final moment when you look down the barrel of the gun and realise that you are not the star of your own film but only a bit player in someone else’s. Albertson stood watching the technicians in their white disposable suits working their way around the crime scene. They would find evidence. It was hard these days not to. There was so much forensic technology now. Some of it came up empty with no…

The Best Part of the Day

Mornings. Blenk was surprised that he quite liked them. At least the part of them that happened before other people woke up and spoilt them. There was something peaceful about the early morning streets, empty and quiet. Doing the job he did, Blenk spent quite a few early mornings walking back to his residence down those empty quiet streets. Not that he ever really had time off, people in his line of work could never relax, but those quiet early mornings were the closest he ever got to peace and tranquillity. It was those quiet early mornings now that he…

The Theoretical Nature of Theories of Nature

These days, Rectangle Spiralstaircase is best remembered as the instigator of what later became known as Theory Theory. For a long time in the past people had noticed things, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era when natural philosophers became gentlemen scientists that it became fashionable, especially in polite circles to have a theory of one’s own. The most well-known case of this today is of course Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Once Darwin’s – and other theories – became fashionable, the gentlemen saw how it impressed the ladies. So, every gentleman wanted their own theory. Soon there were theories about…