Gone Too Long

I was enjoying myself way too much and hadn’t realized just how much time I spent away from my physical body when traveling in my astral form. I was gone too long and now I was locked out of the controls of my body, unable to contract my diaphragm, which meant I couldn’t draw breath and as I floated helplessly outside myself, possessing the knowledge yet physically unable to perform CPR, I watched my corporeal shell die a slow death.

Chasing Influence

They were young and willing to take ridiculous risks because life had not as yet knocked them on their collective asses enough for them to become disillusioned. They were filled with a strong desire to produce online content and talented enough to come up with original material. The only thing that eluded them was the coveted title of influencer.

One day, while marathoning their way through Alien, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Pitch Black, the team decided they were going to stage their own “monster in the house” movie by breaking into an abandoned government facility and pretending it was Area 51.

It was a brilliant idea and everything went to plan when they live streamed their shoot and shortly thereafter quadrupled their viewership. The only fly in the ointment was that none of them lived to see it. It turned out that although it was not Area 51, the government facility was actually another secret site that conducted torture and experiments on extraterrestrial lifeforms and the ghosts of these aliens were seeking revenge against all mankind and their latest victims came gift-wrapped.

Mise en Place

Everyone wrote Mise en Place off as another cheap reality competition knockoff tv series because the premise was identical to a much better cooking show in which two teams of chefs competed for a lucrative position at a Michelin 5-Star restaurant, while working in a restaurant-style kitchen set up in the television studio. A series of cooking challenges that escalated in difficulty were designed to eliminate contestants until there was a single winner.

Despite this similarity, the show set itself apart immediately in the very first episode during the “eat it, now meat it” challenge, where chef-contestants had to recreate a protein dish prepared by celebrity chef and host, Jacquez Devereaux, by taste alone. The loser of the challenge faced elimination after the host delivered the show’s catchphrase, “You will be served.”

When it was later revealed that the protein in the dish was human flesh which had to be correctly identified by gender, nationality and country and city of origin in order to secure a win and the loser was escorted to the show’s abattoir to be cut into sections for the next competition, the show became an instant ratings success.

Family Time

It was all coming to an end. The asteroid struck Earth like a match and set the world ablaze. While all their neighbors made futile attempts at outrunning the apocalypse, the Glomb family decided to watch their daughter, Gigi’s, favorite movie on Blu-ray in the living room that was bathed in the warm red light of the flames that licked their apartment building.

The Thing Lonelier Than Being A Writer

The one thing Chaddeus knew from experience was the only thing lonelier than being a writer was being a writer with writer’s block, when the characters inside your mind stop speaking to you.

Fictional characters interacting with each other while the mind was idle formed these creative bubbles where ordinary situations weaved and evolved into something new and wonderful; plot germs to be sown as far and wide as possible as soon as they emerged. But his characters grew silent which meant his stories lost their ability to fly into the productive chaos of the ever-expanding frontier of creativity.

Set adrift in his lonely mental avoid, Chaddeus contemplated giving it all up and resigning himself to an existence as one of the content-consuming mundanes…when he was hit with a streak of story brilliance like a bolt out of the blue.

To Boldly Go…

A tremendous amount of Earth’s resources went into constructing the Interstellar Drive which was designed to propel humans to the very edge of the ever-expanding universe.

The hope was to find a compatible planet in its infancy so that humankind could begin again and avoid the mistakes that placed their homeworld in its deathbed.

But as Astronaut Anton Pascoe explored the planet at the end of the universe, he stumbled upon a sign that suggested someone had beaten him to the punch.

The Man With The Rope Tattoo

Her steps were slow and measured as she backed away from the dead-eyed man with an ornate tattoo around his neck of a hangman’s noose strangling the life out of him.

When he lunged at her, she reached for the gun inside her coat but it was like moving through syrup.

Entropy In High Heels

Prudence Periwinkle was inked-up grotesquely beautiful entropy in high heels. Born to be chaotic, she embodied every single thing that was wrong with the world, so how could Howard have not fallen head over heels for her?

He had always been a sucker for a bad girl.

A Taste For Flesh

When her research team vanished during the 40-day heavy acid rain downpours that fecundated the experimental harvest, Dr. Dunner was certain in her assumption that after years of being genetically altered, the crops had evolved to sentience and developed a taste for humans.

Forgotten Light

It was only one light, left on in the den when the Mays family went to bed after a tiring day constructing the corrugated metal Anderson Shelter in their back garden. When the air raid sirens sounded and the rest of the neighborhood followed blackout procedures, the forgotten light served as a beacon for the Messerschmitts.