Category Archives: Short Stories

Quick fictional stories about anything and everything with recorded audio.

Winne the pooh, and Loki too

Chapter twenty-one

In which Pooh goes looking for Christopher Robin, and finds some gods

“Begone impudent omnivore!” Thor commandingly shouts to everyone’s favorite bear.

“I’m terribly sorry. Are you a friend of Christopher Robin? He’s gone missing you see, and we’re all terribly worried looking for him. We think the backson has got him.” Pooh was blocking Thor’s path to Alfheimer.

“There’s a battle brewing among the elves and I must be present to preside over the battle.” Pooh scratched his head.

“Are elves anything like bees, because there’s a rumbly in my tummy, and this tree looks like it could have an awful lot honey! Could I come with you to awful helmet to meet these lelves?” Thor threw up his hands and stormed back into Asgaror.

“Where is Loki? Surely the trickster can do something about this bear of miniscule intelligence.” Loki was in fact, observing the traffic jam of deities forming around Yggdrasill. He was greatly amused, but had some tricks to play in Hel, and so allowed himself to be summoned to deal with the situation.

Loki turned himself into a bear, and approached Winnie the Pooh. “Friend bear, what brings you to Yggdrasill? I have lived here for many years and have found no berries.”

“No berries, bother, they go so well with honey. I’m glad to have a friend though. I’m winnie the Pooh, or just Pooh for short, pleased to meet you.” Loki could not help but be taken aback slightly at the word friend, it was a long time since anyone had thought to call him friend.

“Well friend.” Loki said again, using the word somewhat how it should be used, and only partially as a trick. “There are berries and honey a plenty in Asgaror. If you would only come down from this tree I could show you where they are.”

“Would you be so kind?” Pooh said. “I need to find Christopher Robin, but I suppose I could stop for a small smackerel of something sweet to eat.” Pooh smacking his lips together then followed Loki down from the tree. Loki had meant to lead the bear to Hel, and so continue on with his pranks, but found himself enjoying the company of the bear more and more. They talked about bees and reading over lunch, and Pooh made up a hum about himself and Loki.

“Two bears should know

How the time does go

How the time does go

On flowing

And everyone knows

That when the time does go

The bears should go

On humming”

And so Pooh taught this hum to Loki, and the two of them spent the day together, doing all the things a bear and a norse trickster god could do, until the day ended, and Pooh said.

“I must be going now.”

“Must you?” Asked Loki.

“I must, but you could come with me. I’m sure Piglet won’t mind you living with us.”

“Is this Piglet like you? Do you think he will like me?” Loki asked, finding the idea of more friends very compelling.

“Oh yes, any friend of mine is a friend of piglet’s and any friend of piglet is a friend of mine. So you shall have to meet all our friends and become acquainted.” Loki felt years of hatred and malice stripped away by the thought of living with this kind and thoughtful bear, amongst his gentle and well meaning friends. And that is how Loki cam to live.

Side note: I read the entire Winnie the pooh series several times, have seen every movie, and watched every episode of both the many adventures of Winnie the pooh, and the new adventures of Winnie the pooh. I never thought I’d combine this knowledge with that of Norse mythology.

Man out of time(short version)

As is the case with many of the novellas, man out of time resulted from a short story. In case anyone doesn’t have time to read six thousand words on a blog, here is the short and sweet version. Enjoy!

“Gary Ridgway, you have served your sentence of 1680 years, and you are now free to go.” With a nod to the judge the criminal turns and walks away. They had called him crazy for volunteering for the cryogenic freezing program, but it had worked. They had thawed him out a hundred years or so ago, and it turns out he was the only one who survived the thawing process. Now he was the world’s oldest man by over a thousand years.

He grabs his affects and heads out of the gates to his sky cab. A reporter on Mars has paid over 10 trillion dollars to be the first to interview. He was informed this is equivalent to only a million dollars in his time’s money, but it was still a lot.

A crowd of fans and historians is at the gates to greet him, but he just ducks his head and silently passes through, aided by a few members of the emperor’s personal bodyguard. Apparently the emperor of earth has declared anyone who harms this historical person is to be executed onsight, and has ordered a few of his best man, and several satellite laser strike drones, to see that it is done.

As he sits down in the plush personal interstellar car and takes off he realizes one thing. He doesn’t want any of it. He was happy they had locked him up. He was an addict who hated himself, but just couldn’t stop. When they had sentenced him he was almost overjoyed that the world would be protected from him.

Then when the cryo experiment came up he signed up immediately, not expecting to survive. If he had died giving his life to progress life saving technology, maybe it would have balanced out all the evil he had done. Now he was the sole survivor, and they were worshipping the ground he walked on. He had money, protection, fame, and it disgusted him.

As the cab fired up its FTL drive he sighed and thought about what he would say. They would try to make him a superstar. The millennium man, the ice man, father time, he was already hearing the names from his guards. He would have to take that fame, that money, and do something with it. He had spent his first chance at life destroying others. Now he was given a second chance at life, and he would spend it building others. It wouldn’t be enough. It couldn’t possibly be enough, but he had to try.

What they really meant

It isn’t every day someone finds a magic lamp. One wish later, and I can hear what people actually mean. It’ll be nice to hear what my coworkers actually think of me after all these years.

I stroll confidently through the cubes and wave hi to my boss.

“Morning Susan.” I call cheerfully.

“I’m acknowledging your standard greeting with a standard response.” She calls back. I smile and move into the gowning area to put on my lab coat.

“Morning Teresa.” I call to the coworker whose running an experiment on the next bench over.

“I’m sounding mildly disinterested and distracted because I really don’t like talking to people all that much and am trying not to attract too much attention, but I am trying to add in enough positivity so you don’t think I’m being rude to you in so I can continue to foster productive work relationships and thereby further both my career and personal life.” Wow, and all she probably really said was ‘hi’.

Around lunch time I sat down with a co-worker Samantha and discussed politics over some sandwhiches.

“I’m voicing an opinion I feel strongly about because my social group stigmatizes anyone with the opposite opinion and I’m trying to fit in.” Samantha tells me.

“That’s interesting, when did you hear about this.” I asked.

“From my friend.” She replied. Huh, that was probably what she actually said.

“So what do you think of the president’s new economic decision?”

“I’m voicing an opinion I feel strongly about because my social group stigmatizes anyone with the opposite opinion and I’m trying to fit it. Also I love chicken.” I wondered how many political questions I could ask and get this same answer? This was going to make the elections so much more interesting. Also, I wondered if the chicken comment was about the food or the economic policy.

Having completed an interesting day of talking to coworkers it surprised me to know it actually made conversations a lot easier. When I arrive home and say hello to my husband whose watching to TV he responds.

“Hello person of significant emotional value to me who I am attempting to acknowledge enough that she feels valued but not so much that she feels the need to start a conversation.” I make my way to the study to find a good book and reflect that if he said that whenever he wanted alone time we’d probably have way less fights.

I periodically checked in with him every half hour to see if he was ready for me. His responses were the same. He wanted alone time but wanted to acknowledge me, until I finally heard.

“I think I’m done watching TV and wish the girl I love would just come over here so we could spend some time together.” His comment was made all the sweeter by the fact that I knew he meant it.

I eagerly came back in, and when I sit down he tells me.

“I love you.”

A single moment

The six foot rule, nothing more than six feet away from you matters. It was a rock climbing term, but it perfectly encapsulated how I felt. There was the rush, the butterflies in the stomach that came from the expectation of this moment, and all the hard work to get here. Countless attempts that had ended in failure to get to this point, it made me feel alive, but not feeling anything outside of this moment was the best feeling.

To have so much stress from the constant exams of school, the troubles of family life, and the troubles of friends and romantic interests, the pressure to find someone, none of that could be felt here. I could do nothing but feel the cold water all around, the intense concentration that let me get here, and the freedom that being here brought. Things seemed to slow down, and the world just seemed to breathe.

Right here, right now, was worth more than a hundred therapy sessions.

A lifetime of October 13th 2014

Okay, the train just passed, one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, and turn. Squint, eyes go wide, jaw drops, reach it into back pocket, and kneel.

“Oh my gosh you are the most wonderful woman I’ve ever seen in my whole life, will you marry me?” She steps back and covers her face in shock. Now quick lunge forward to grab her dangling hand and pull her away from the on coming cab.

“I’m sorry.” I stand up and quickly release her hand and back peddle. “I didn’t mean to scare you so badly, it’s just I couldn’t risk the chance of you getting away.”

“How, how, what.” She stammers. I put the ring back into my pocket.

“It’s okay, I understand, this is too much. I should go.” I turn and take three steps away, and then pause and drooped my head. It had taken a dozen cycles to figure out it was exactly three steps that would do it.

“Wait.” She calls, running up and taking my hand. “It’s okay. I just.” She fumbles. I look at her eyes with an expression of hope and fear that I had spent two whole cycles perfecting in a mirror.

“Why did you have an engagement ring in your back pocket?” The first time she asked this I had went with ‘Just in case I see something as rare as you’. That had gotten me a few oohs and ahhs, but hadn’t gone anywhere. Next I had tried some practical excuse about selling an old family heirloom. That had almost earned me a slap for selling an engagement ring. This time I decided to try.

“Because I was going to propose to the woman I love, and I didn’t expect to run into the woman of my dreams.” Her knees buckled and I had to lunge forward to catch her again. Three hours later we were saying our vows in front of a justice of the peace.

Some people would spend an eternity doing depraved acts, or earning lots of money, or possibly traveling. Me, I wanted to marry every girl in the world.

The face of romance

One Last Request

“I wish to see myself at fourteen to convince myself to ask out Francine Walker.” I asked the mysterious ghost who has appeared before me.

“But first I will show you what will change.” Th ghost tells me. That’s fair of him. It’s his powers I’m taking advantage of, so I’ll gladly abide by his rules.

We arrive at the honeymoon with my current with Margarett. “Gone.” The ghost says.

That’s alright. I’ll get married to Francine. We’ll have another honeymoon.

I’m standing at my wife’s side as she gives birth to my first son. “Gone.” The ghost says. I’m watching my first daughter being born. “Gone.” The ghost says. Those two hurt, and hurt bad. I’m sure I’ll have more children, but it was hard to tell that to myself as I saw them take their first breaths.

I’m at my dad’s funeral. Oh good, I won’t mind losing this. “Keep.” The ghost says. I look at him questioningly, and before I can voice my question he points to my wife comforting me as I sob like a little girl. “Gone.” He says. Then I know I can’t change my past. I can’t betray this woman who means so much to me.

“I wish to see myself at nineteen when I’m picking majors so I can go with something more lucrative than creative writing.” The ghost nods. I suspect I am about to view the changes to my life, and I am right when I find myself at my first book publishing event. “Gone.” The ghost says. That stupid book had only made 5,000$ and had started me on a very poor artist lifestyle, but I remembered the stories my readers had told me about how my book had changed them.

I’m in my room reading one of my books to my wife and children as they go to sleep. “Gone.” The ghost says. These two memories aren’t as powerful as the ones from my wife, and I am still thinking about making more money when I show up in the room of a teenage girl. She’s bawling her eyes out, and has a lot of pills around her on the bed. She’s got my book on her lap. I ask what’s going on when she finishes the book and runs bawling to her mom to tell her that she loves her. The ghost points to the girl. “Gone.”

“I can’t change this either.” I tell the ghost. He nods and we return to my room where we started.

“You know.” I tell the ghost. “I can sense a pattern. Everything in my life happened for a reason, and I didn’t appreciate those reasons. Ghost, I wish to end this charade.” The ghost nods and points to himself.


“For Use in the Apocalypse”

Hey guys, thinking of turning this into a novella and doing a sequel to ‘Man Out of Time’. Let me know if there’s one you’d like to see first in the comments below. Safe journey!

Trips to the city were dangerous. Old relics of the time, almost 30 years ago, from before the world apart could be found, but the finding was dangerous. Some of the relics might be worth the risk. Old guns were useful, and some books were still in good shape if you could find one with something helpful in it.

Thom did not view them worth the risk, he stayed on his farm and kept largely to himself. He planted. He reaped. He lived. Thom’s parents had left him on this farm when he was barely old enough to remember, and then they had abandoned him. He lived a quiet life until one day his shovel struck something metal. He got curious and dug it out.

It’s one of those time capsules! On the side of it is written ‘For Use in the Apocalypse’. Someone must’ve stashed something useful inside it. Thom runs back to his cabin to grab to knife to pry it open. As he dashes back he wonders what could be inside.

There had heard rumors of ruggedized electronics with instructions on how to rebuild modern society. No one had found one of those, so Thom didn’t get his hopes up. It wasn’t likely that he would be so lucky, but the thing was big enough for a pistol, or maybe a chemical book that had useful recipes like gunpowder or dynamite. He would even settle for an agricultural book about crop rotation or what native plants were edible.

As he opened the capsule he found that it was filled with letters. Letters, who would leave letters? Maybe they had blueprints or something on them. Thom reached for a bright blue one and opened it, thankful that he had traded with someone early on for reading lessons.

“Thom, we know that you would reach for the blue one first. It was always your favorite color, and you no doubt think it contains a blueprint. If you’re reading this then your mother and I are dead, and we want to take this first letter to apologize. We wish we could’ve stayed and helped you grow into a fine young man, but we have to try one last time to save a little piece of this world, for you. Things have gotten bad, but we believe there is one last trick we can try to fix things. It’s too dangerous to bring you, and it’s a long shot. If you’re reading this, clearly it didn’t work, and you are now an orphan. Always know that we loved you, and that we have faith that you would survive. If you’re reading this clearly we were right. There isn’t much time so we’ll just say one last time that we love you, and that the rest of these letters contain plans for basic blacksmithing, gun smithing, medieval farming techniques, and other skills you’ll need. Love, your parents.”

Election of the gods

In an effort to modernize, the Greek gods hold democratic elections.

“Settle down everyone.” Athena said. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, the big three, were all standing at the podiums awaiting the start of the debate. Zeus was sharing a laugh with Dionysus.

“Father.” Athena said, mildly angrily, at Zeus. “We must begin, the mortals are awaiting our decision. The Norse gods elected Thor the head of their pantheon two weeks ago and if we have any hope of maintaining our number of believers we need to make this quick.”

“I’m sorry.” Zeus said, whipping away a tear of mirth. “Please continue.” Hades was glaring sideways at him, he still suspected Zeus had cheated in the drawing of straws that had earned him his place on the mountain. Poseidon was looking off into the distant ocean, and Hermes had to give him a poke to refocus his attention

“Thank you.” Athena replied, returning to her stately bearing. “As I was saying, welcome to the first annual debate of the gods. You three are the major contenders, and so have been chosen to debate. We have chosen the questions carefully and each of you will have a chance to respond.”

“First question, where do you stand on paid advertising at temple entrances. Poseidon, your response first.” Athena said, in a very careful measured voice.

“Hmm, what?” He said, having become once again distracted by the ocean in the distance. “Oh, uh, I guess advertising is bad. Place of worship and all.” He didn’t even finish his sentence before looking back out at the ocean.

“Hades?” Athena prompted.

“Now then, I propose that the situation is not bifurcated in nature and requires a thorough investigation as to the advantages and disadvantages. I believe that this investigation will demonstrate that some advertising, if kept to an acceptable and not outlandish nature will be acceptable.” Hephaestus had yawned halfway through his speech.

“Zeus?” Athena asked.

“More money!” Zeus shouted. This brought a laugh from the crowd of assembled deities. Athena shook her head and turned back to Poseidon.

“Second question.” Athena was cut off before she could finish.

“I’m sorry.” Poseidon interjected. “I really have to get back to my kingdom, can we just vote for who gets to be head god now?” Athena sighed. She had a twenty point list of hot button issues, but several gods were already falling asleep and they had barely started.

“Fine.” She exasperatedly put a hand to her forehead. “All in favor of Poseidon becoming head of Olympus?” Everyone but herself, Dionysus, and Hephaestus raised their hands.

“What!” Hades shouted. “The fool doesn’t know the first thing about governing!”

Hermes shrugged. “He seems to manage well enough, and he’s not going to overcomplicate things like you.”

“Overcomplicate things!” Hades yelled. Before he could find more words to say Poseidon interjected again.

“Great, thanks everyone, now I gotta get back to the sea. Zeus gets to rule while I’m gone.” Zeus whooped for joy. Athena buried her face in her hands, Hephaestus and Dionysus high fived Zeus, and Hades went back to the underworld in a shrieking ball of flame.

Deus Ex Machina

Man makes a computer that is literally god.

“Alright, we just got clearance from the president, fire her up.” The machine is massive to say the least. Someone got poetic and actually turned Mount Olympus in Greece into a giant Deus Ex Machina. Kind of a heavy handed analogy, and something that had taken the world’s religions some coaxing to accept.

Well, most the world’s religions. The pope, a couple sheiks, a few Buddhists, and some prominent members of the jewish community had all agreed to it rather quickly. Too quickly, as the scientists were finalizing the initialization sequence they looked quite calm.

The scientists kept glancing over their shoulders at the religious people who were chatting idly as they watched the giant monitor flick on. The scientists held their breath, and waited for something miraculous to happen.

One of the scientists whooped for joy as he was lifted into the air by an invisible hand. They had done it! They had created god!

“Shut me down.” The machine boomed. That was an odd request for a god to make. Before we could think to ask why it anticipated our actions and continued. “There is already a god here, and he is more powerful than I.” The scientists looked dumbfounded as their compatriot was let down so he could start the shutdown sequence.

The religious people exchanged a few knowing smiles and light chuckles before the pope walked over to the head scientist and patted him on the back. “Don’t take it too hard. Someone comes up with an idea like this every couple of hundred years.”

A murderous game of chess

A veteran detective and an infamous criminal meet unknowingly in a coffee shop.

I liked Ben’s coffee and chess. You never knew who you were going to meet. Take this night for instance. I was just sitting there, sipping on some decaf, mulling over a case, when an unsuspecting stranger walks in and sits down.

“Evening friend.” I say to him. He’s sitting behind the black pieces, so I make my opener. “Your move, I’m Tom by the way.”

“I’m Jim.” He says, countering my move. “Rainy day isn’t it.” It’s been pouring since noon, and the sun has long since set.

“Yeah.” I say. “Perfect day to hide a body.” I like freaking people out. I work with death so much that it’s occasionally fun to just get a rise out of people.

“Not really.” The man counters, as he castles to protect his king. “Rain makes backroads slick, and digging holes a lot more difficult.” Only my interrogation experience kept me from swallowing my tongue. Then again, I had started this conversation, so it was only fair I continue it.

“True, but the decrease in visibility is worth the extra toil.” My foe shook his head as he moved a pawn forward.

“Any serial killer who is going to get caught in the rain deserves to be brought in.” I supposed this was true. These conversations never went this far, and I couldn’t think of anything else witty to say. After a few silent moves my compatriot broke the silence.

“Anyway, disposal isn’t the hard part. It’s isolation and clean up. If you don’t leave any evidence with a body, they can’t tag it back to you.” That was an angle I hadn’t considered before.

“Oh yeah? You mean bring bleach and stuff?” He shook his head.

“No.” We were getting some funny looks by now, but most of the people here knew me so it as okay.

“I mean don’t connect yourself to the victim, use weapons on the scene, and don’t leave any fragments of yourself behind. Make it random. If they can’t connect you to the victim then they can’t make a case.” It was true, and this man’s knowledge of crime was beginning to disturb me.

“Do I know you?” I asked. He looked me dead in they eye.

“No.” The game concluded in a few more moves. Don’t connect yourself to the victim eh? Check, this guy didn’t know me at all.

“How do you know so much about murder anyway?” I asked him as he stood up and started to walk away. It was a quick game, but the conversation had been riveting.

“It’s my trade.” He said. “Been working homicide for 20 years now, about set to retire.” I smiled.

“Good for you.” I tell him. He nods to me, says thanks, and heads out the back door. I grab a bottle from my case of beer, and follow him out the back.