All posts tagged: Short Fiction

In The Wink Of An Eye

IT HADN’T WORKED. Tens of thousands of man-hours, billions of dollars and trillions of computations all culminating in a big, fat nothing. Professor Palmer’s senses returned to her slowly, almost reluctantly. For what felt like a long time her entire awareness had been filled with one overriding thought – the project was over. She was uncomfortable, lying amongst broken glass and twisted debris, and as this discomfort began to register she tried to rouse herself. A klaxon was howling and she grimaced at its closeness as she struggled into a sitting position. The lights were out and the lab, or what was left of it, shimmered behind a thick veil of acrid, grey smoke. Coughing and gasping for breath, Palmer reached out for a shattered computer housing and used it to pull herself to her feet. There was a deep gash on her forehead and something sharp was embedded in her left shoulder, but apart from that and the headache she was fine. An involuntary laugh sprang to her throat, where it caught and mutated …

The Impossible Girl

THE LEAN AND LANKY RYAN CONNOR jumped out the back of the 4-ton truck and landed in the wet mud with a soft thud. It sucked at his wellies as he moved off toward a large pit, and the reason they were all there. He turned just in time to see his Corporal, Jack Blase, a man in his late 20s, man-handle himself out of the truck like a 60 year-old. Working bomb disposal did that to a person. “Come on, Old Man, you’ll be late for the party.” Jack flashed him a look that said, ‘don’t mess with me.’ Ryan cocked his head to one side, fixed his Service-issue woollen hat further back on his head at a jaunty angle, and grinned. He waited for Jack, William ‘The Bagman’ Herschel and their lieutenant, Sandy ‘Shingle’ House, to catch up with him. He turned back toward the gapping maw of the pit. Workers had been hand digging the area up until yesterday when, as happened all to often in this area of Hanover, a perfectly …

Snailam’s Watch

SUMMER’S FACE WAS STILL SMILING on the English countryside as I stepped off the train at Witham Friary one September afternoon in 1918. An old man in a threadbare tweed suit held my kit bag for me and then nodded self-consciously when I finally took it from him. Shouldering the heavy bag, I thanked him before walking away from the carriage and down the platform. I tried not to walk too quickly, but in truth I felt like running and leaving the pitying and overtly helpful passengers far behind me. The Matron at the hospital had made sure my uniform was clean and pressed but now I was regretting wearing it instead of my civvies. The ribbons on my tunic looked a lot more impressive than I felt they should, but it was the empty sleeve, neatly pinned up at the shoulder, that had attracted the most furtive attention from my fellow travellers. People, strangers, had been helping me all day whether I’d needed it or not and their reverential attention had long since started …