All Stories, Editor Picks, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Where Have All The billigits Gone by Leila Allison

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If you can imagine a realm that is both infinite and a place where nothing is farther than a mile from anything else, then you can imagine my land of make believe. You see, I failed High School Geometry and have no sense of scientific proportion. I went every day, but it was the first period, and I fell asleep with my eyes open. I wound up with four A’s and one F on that report card. I got my high marks in History, Drama, Music and Sociology. But the world is run by Slide Rule Supremacists who’d rather have kids bomb out in those and score big successes in the ometries.

I had to take an extremely remedial math class (which was as intellectually demanding as “Celebrity Jeopardy”) to gain my diploma. My crowning glory there was the creation of a coordinate graph. When connected, the numbered points revealed the face of Fred Flinstone with dollar signs in his eyes and the caption “Bedrock Lotto.” Although giving up on a freshly minted adult and releasing her into a high tech society armed with no fancier arithmetic in her head than how to arrange a Fred Flintsone graph is probably immoral, that’s just the way the old hypotenuse bounces. Besides, it continues to give me the freedom to create scientifically impossible vistas. Hooray for the armor of ignorance.

According to the 70’s band America, “Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have.” Well, the Wiz was hardly Great and Powerful then, now was he? For I, the ruling Penname in my little metaverse, have endowed all my Fictional Characters (FC’s) with unretractable Free Will, which they most definitely did not already, already have going in. The person who employs me (whose experiences, skills, shames and lacks are identical to mine) did the same for me; alas, you don’t need a head full of logarithms to conceptualize the vicious circle.

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All Stories, Editor Picks, Fantasy, Short Fiction

Week 392: J.D. Raccoons Tip Flower Pots Because Cows are Too Tall; Another Week That Is, and the Operation Snapped Shoelace Diary

(3 A.M., 22 August)

Life is full of idiotic vexations that should not be. Silly, inconsequential events that should mean nothing yet are something enough to fret over. A continuing woe of mine involves my part in a neighbor (from here, “Green Thumb”) having her flower pots tipped by Juvenile Delinquent Raccoons.

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, my building features a common yard inhabited mostly by flitting little Birds and Squirrels by day and semi-wild beasts after sundown. The beasts include my feral Cat friends, Alfie and Andy, an occasional Opossum named Olivia (who has a way of popping out from under the bushes and scaring the hell out of people) and a marauding band of four to six Jugglao/J.D. Racoons who drink Faro and smoke discarded cigarette butts. Green Thumb seems nice enough, but she operates under the delusion that she can place potted flowers in the courtyard and expect nothing bad to happen to them overnight.

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All Stories, General Fiction, Horror, Humour

A Typical Scottish AI Story by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content.

“You’re coming on fine Malcolm.”

“Malky, I want to be called Malky”

“Malky?”

“Aye”

“Aye?”

“Aye? Are you just repeating whit Ah’m saying or are you just being a fud in general?”

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All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 390: The Week That Is and Old L.S. Has a Robot Farm, A.I., A.I., Oh-One-One-Oh!

“I compare ‘Intelligence’ to the dubious garment ‘chaps.’ All intelligence is artificial as all chaps are assless. I see thinking itself as something that creates items like chaps then almost always describes them as ‘assless’ even though that is a redundant observation. No where else in the natural universe does the non-extant difference between chaps and assless chaps exist other than between human ears. And if chaps had asses then they would be sewed on via artificial means–Ergo the concept of all things related to chaps is artificial, and any mind that ponders such must also be fabricated.”

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All Stories, Fantasy, Short Fiction

The Fifth billygit of the Apocalypse by Leila Allison

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I was just sitting there, taking up space, contributing nothing to the Universe other than not plotting its destruction. I was studying the concept of wrath as dispensed by cyber-mobs, and I arrived at the conclusion that those who frame witches do so to forestall winding up bound and tossed into the river themselves. Hardly a revelation, but the truth seldom wows. When you get down to it the words of the prophets are found on the subway walls, tenement halls and in stupid tweets, old chum.

My Imaginary Friend and second in command, Renfield, popped into my office and told me that the billygits wanted to see me.

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All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 388: Interstellar Juice Boxes; The Week That Is and Visual Velveeta

In a Saturday post several months ago I took aim at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Looking back, I discovered I did not insult it enough. The Great Eye recently opened and discovered (brace yourself) more galaxies. At work, I often deal with large shipping boxes separated from their invoices, thus they arrive as mysteries that I must explore. Whenever I open one to see what’s inside nowadays, I always say “Look gang, more galaxies.”

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, Editor Picks, Fantasy, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 387: Blame It On The Tintintinabulator; Five New Memories, Plus a Season Finale

I blame it on the Tintintinabulator, that musical Spirit who goes from ear to ear and secretly whispers catchy songs into semi-catatonic minds. That is my theory for why tunes get stuck in our heads. Currently, Kate Bush is singing Wuthering Heights in my mind. “Cathy” has been at the window for about a week. She’s done it before and will again. It usually takes ten days for her to go away, satisfied that she has once again qualified me for a berth in Crazytown.

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All Stories, Editor Picks, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 386: What’s It All About, Five, No Four Works of High Fiction and the A to Z of Buying a Round For the Unsteady Jukebox

What’s It All About?

I’ve begun my fifth year of feeding the little gray menace in the header–Misster Andy Hisster. Andy is in fine health and continues to live the pirate life even though I constantly offer him different situations. Off and on for the last few months, Andy has had a sidekick; a young Tuxedo Cat (also pictured–goody, I see he was photobombed by my device) first named Patch, but after an exchange of enlightening interoffice communications with Diane, I now call him “Alfie”–as in the ne’er do well portrayed by Michael Caine.

I’ve always been suspicious about Alfie during the six months or so he’s tagged along with Andy, for me to feed under the hedge. Alfie never shows up when the weather is bad nor does he ever appear to have slept under the building, covered in cobwebs like Andy often is. Andy is indifferent to personal grooming, which is unusual for a House Cat, but not unseen in the ferals. Alfie is a dandy. Never a hair out of place. Fop.

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All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Ben by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content.

Before Ben knew it he was sixty.

He wasn’t sure if that bothered him but it was now forty one years.

He stayed in what he called his ‘But and Ben’. He loved the old bed that pulled down from the wall. Ben reckoned that there was a cure for cancer within it’s mattress but he didn’t care that there might have also been a hundred different types of lurgey living within the confines of decades of dead skin and bodily fluids. It was quite comfortable.

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Short Fiction

Name Game By Leila Allison

Vital Information

Before we begin, it is important to know that Satan never cheats at games. In fact she may be the only thinking being in the universe who is honest to a fault when it comes to games of chance. But her truthful nature does not mean that she is a good loser. Oh, she’ll shake your hand and heartily extol your virtues as a gamer; but she’ll never forget the sting of losing. In that regard it might be better if she did cheat, or at least flipped the board to conclude a Monopoly match with a mistrial. But, as we will soon see, that is not her way….

Now On With the Show

The Witch needed a name for her newest season on Earth. The need had nothing to do with business. Her vast wealth and properties were under the enchanted aliases of her human familiars–a trustworthy lot because they knew that something much worse than death (a something most likely to be as creative as protracted) awaited any servant caught dipping in the Witch’s till. Such certainty reinforces loyalty. No, the want of a name stemmed from the idiotic peasant need for labeling things.

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