The evening sun was waning over the abandoned city, and the cats were on the prowl. Leo Socks was walking down what he believed was an empty alley way just minding his cat business when from out of a bin sprang a red fox. Leo regarded the newcomer with consternation. He’d seen foxes before, but few as bold as this one. He was after all deep in cat land.
“Say, what brings you here Mr. Fox?”
The red fox skulked as he crept sideways yet was careful to maintain eye contact with Leo.
“Who are you?” Croaked the fox.
“Socks, Leo Socks,” said the cat coolly.
A broad toothy grin slipped across the fox’s face. Leo instantly recognised the meaning of this grin and bounded forward just as the fox did the same. They connected in mid air except Leo landed on the fox’s back and sprang back off again driving the fox’s nose down into the ground in an dramatically uncontrolled landing. The baffled fox snarled uncomprehendingly at what Leo had just done; cats generally run away from foxes not attack them head on.
“You’re very brave for a cat!” Hissed the red fox. Continue reading “The Tuxedo Terror”
There once was a platypus named Herbert who lived in a river deep in the bush. Like most platypuses, Herbert was happy living underground or exploring the riverbed believing. If you asked a platypus what the world looks like they will tell you it is equal parts water and land, with the land at the bottom and the water mostly near the top. This satisfied all the platypuses except for Herbert, who was different to the other platypuses: Herbert had doubts.
Herbert would often ask difficult questions, especially during the long nights sitting underground in his little cave counting the worms wiggling by. He often wondered if there was more to the world than just the riverbed and the little underwater caves the platypuses lived in. However, platypuses pride themselves on knowing everything and whenever he spoke to the other platypuses about his doubts they smugly told him that there was nothing beyond the riverbed but more riverbeds.
Herbert asked what lived in those other riverbeds and the answer always the same, “some of them have other colonies of platypuses, but most of them a full of monsters that would eat a platypus if they could! So a platypus must never ever leave their riverbed else they will get eaten by a monster.” Continue reading “Herbert the Platypus”
“Hey Bree, what’s up?”
“Oh, nothing much, I just wondered if maybe you had heard any news about Amelia recently.”
“You mean about how she’s pregnant?”
“Yah, that’s it. I mean, yeah, I know about that, but I was wondering if you knew of anything else, since you’ve known her since high school?”
“Not really, she’s always kept a lot to herself, in fact I was chatting to the guys about her last night, and we’re all kind of confused, we didn’t even know she was dating anyone, then she announces online that she’s pregnant out of the blue. I kind of thought one of the other guys might have been secretly dating her, but we soon found that’s what everyone else was thinking! Some of the guys even thought I might be the father. But we had established by the end of the night that no one here knows who the father is.”
“Yeah, that’s right, the other girls don’t know either, Amelia is being really tight lipped about it. It seems to be a pretty well guarded secret because I haven’t found anyone else who knows.”
“Yet she seems really happy about it all.”
“Yeah, she is. Too happy if you ask me.” Continue reading “Amelia’s Baby”
Zoe was not like other girls and it wasn’t because of her sparkling crystalline eyes, nor was it because of her mischievous grin and cunning glance, in fact is wasn’t even the red polka dot ribbons she used to tie up her chestnut coloured bangs. Zoe was the quiet girl in school who did her work silently and interrogated anyone who wanted to be her friend. She was a mysterious girl, a girl with secrets, a girl with a passion. An obsession some might even say.
Paranormal events, psychic readings, the occult, tarot cards, the illuminati, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and ghost stories: She read all about them. Typically she did this at night hidden away in her wardrobe with a torch. She had turned her wardrobe into a secret hideout where she stored her bookcase full of ancient and forbidden knowledge. Her room was filled with arcane objects and photographs of ghosts and fairies. She was a believer in the paranormal.
One day she was tinkering with a walkie talkie and learning Morse code so she could send messages into the aether to contact the dead. She hoped she could also manage to tune the receiver into the wavelengths used by ghosts to communicate.
So it was hardly surprising that one hot summer’s evening, as she was tinkering with parts of a radio transceiver, she heard a message: Three long, three short, three long. SOS. Continue reading “Zoe and the Fly”
The village of Imbrick was perched far on the northern shore. The forest to the south of the village was so thick that from above it looked as though the village was being engulfed and eaten by a giant dark green slug. The forest was infested with packs of wolves and so the locals rarely ventured down the road through the forest, and instead they traded with the odd fishing boat that passed by. The villagers were often out of touch with developments in the towns and cities far to the south and so it caused great excitement when each year a priest would visit the village to bless and preach to the villagers and give them news of the events affecting the rest of the nation.
One evening a strange man cloaked in the tattered robes of a cleric stumbled into the village. His flesh had been scratched and ripped so the villagers took him in and tended to his wounds. The strange man pretended to be asleep while the villagers around him discussed who he could be. The blacksmith argued that because of his robes he must be the priest who came to visit them each year. The milk maid pointed to the torn garments and proclaimed that they were too small to be a man’s. The village was divided and did not know which to believe. The strange man hearing this awoke the next day and introduced himself to the villagers as the replacement priest sent to visit them each year about this time. He said that he had been attacked by a wolf and most of his robes torn away from him. Continue reading “The Fool of Imbrick”
Laneg was sitting in a small rectangular and heavily insulated room with a large pair of television screens dominating one of the long walls. There was a semicircular table arranged in front of the screens with space for four people to sit at. On one of the screens was the logo of the Salvati order and on the other was the face of a wise eyed woman in her mid fifties massaging her temples thoughtfully. There was a knock at the door and in hobbled Suvarin on her crutches and Kent trying in earnest to be so helpful to her that he was almost a hindrance. The woman on the screen opened her eyes and two brilliant sapphire blue eyes seemed to glitter at them.
Kent placed one hand just below his left shoulder and bowed respectfully towards the woman on the screen, Suvarin did the same but she made the gesture towards Laneg
“Honoured by your presence Priestess,” said Kent, “Allow me the honour of introducing you to my friend Suvarin. Suvarin allow me to introduce priestess Catherine Harking of the second order.
“Honoured to meet you priestess,” responded Suvarin
Catherine Harking surveyed the three people sitting in the conference room gravely and waited until all attention was focused on her image on the video screen before talking.
Continue reading “The Monk – Part 34”
The suburbs where Oriana and her friends lived were a relatively new addition to the city. Twenty years ago a change in the tax rate of the neighbouring state created an opportunity for energetic companies to uproot themselves and move across state lines. The city’s population swelled from 50,000 to 100,000 in just five years before the government of this state decided to raise their taxes too and stifle the economic boom taking place.
As a consequence the city has divided into two distinct architectural zones: that of the factories and sprawling suburbs that housed their workers, and those surrounding the hospital and the old city centre. The latter were old high density town houses that while small were aesthetically more pleasing to the discerning eye. The limited size of these residences did not limit the prestige and cost of living in them. It was a status symbol to live in the old suburbs and Syndi, who considered herself an artist, would never allow herself the disgrace of living in a cheaper roomier suburban house.
Syndi was poor, however, and the seemingly perpetual stipend of student allowance she received for never succeeding to complete a degree was insufficient to pay her rent. She had however two additional streams of income, neither of which included selling any of her ‘artworks’. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 33”