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Showing posts from August, 2018

Party Games

By N J Crosskey

“Zero points for originali-ti-ness, you bastards,” Rhys yelled. He pulled at the cuffs holding his hands behind his back. They didn’t give. When he looked down the cracked pavement was spinning, a kaleidoscope of pinks and greys. When he looked up, the streetlight overhead flooded his retinas with a sickening orange haze. He groaned, the bile churning in his guts. What had been in that last pint? “What’s up mate?” Ed yelled from across the street. “Feeling a little WOOLLY headed?” The pack of Neanderthals he called colleagues roared, slapped each other on the back, and disappeared into the bar. Great. At least the inflatable sheep strapped to his middle was covering his (now painted green) modesty. But seriously, how predictable. Welsh name, Welsh parents – doesn’t matter if you’ve never actually lived there, you will, on the eve of your nuptials, end up with a white plastic effigy on your groin. It was horribly inevitable. God, he needed to scratch his nuts. The thick seam …

3 A CROSS?

We've caught another CCD. We're gathering at the wind farm by the shore to witness the processing. The turbine for the execution is modified to always face the sea but its blades still rotate. Much of Castle Goring appears over the water at low tide but only rarely is the tide low enough for any of Worthing to be seen.
First the question. “Do you, Joshua Josephson, believe in climate change and acknowledge that it has been caused by human greed and stupidity?”
“No, it's all bollocks. I don't believe it.”
“So, Joshua Josephson, you are guilty of climate change denial. You are hereby sentenced to death by crucifixion.”
The three blades of the turbine don't literally form a cross. Josephson's arms are tied to the blades in a 120 degree angle. At one time we restrained the CCDs' heads, but that enabled them to strangle themselves quickly and the whole point is that they should die slowly. They have a heart monitor attached so we know when they are dead. It usually …

Done Like a Kipper

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“Pity the tan’ll start to fade as soon as we get back,” Jim sighed, as he dropped his clothes in slow-motion, one by one, into a sizeable hold case. For a split-second Jan watched as Jim struggled to zip up the case, then broke off from her own packing and pushed him aside, snapping: “You’ll never get them in like that. We’ll miss the airport coach. Let me do it.” “I’d have had no trouble packing, if it wasn’t for those floaty bits of flim flam you couldn’t get in your own case,” Jim objected. “You never wore most of them. You were hardly out of your bikini.” Now the awful moment had come for the long journey home. When they were first married, Jan would ask: “Jim, where would you like to go this year?” as she leafed through the holiday brochures. “Wherever you like, babes, you know I’m easy.” Jan liked to organise and plan ahead, so that kept them both happy. Jan and Jim did everything together and kept no secrets from one another – until the day Jan noticed an odd-looking patch on her…

Aliksander Chess

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Aliksander ChessThe chess Grand Master Aliksander had trained for six months for this encounter. His calculations during his training were all done on paper because he was certain computers talked to each other and he didn't want his laptop giving his strategy away. He did not need to touch the chess pieces. The virtual board was in a TV studio a hundred miles away. The world was watching.
The entity he was up against was actually a network. His publicity agent had billed the match as “The Grand Master Aliksander versus The Internet.” It was a bit of an exaggeration but Aliksander's alimony had not been cheap and he was looking forward to reviving the sales of his books on strategy with some inexpensive publicity.
“D2-D4.” He began. His calculations gave a 49 percent probability of “D7-D5” being the response.
“You must be joking.” was the unexpected reply.
There was a pause.
“Who are you?”
“Oh isn't that just typical. You don't even know my name . I am Eric, the pawn at…

Earwigging

I was sitting in the canteen minding my own business. I had a coffee and a crossword. I swear I wasn’t earwigging, it was just that what she said was arresting. There were two women who were clearly pregnant — I estimated they were about six months into their pregnancy, give or take. One was ash-blonde and the other was what my mother would have called a suicide blonde — dyed by her own hand. They were the only other customers in the canteen. The ash-blonde looked really worried. “I think they are going to kill me,” she said. Her companion considered this with commendable calm. On the other hand, I suppose it was not her they were going to kill, but her next remark did seem a little callous. “Well, you could at least look on the bright side. I’m sure they’ll make a really good job of it. They might have a fire, perhaps. For instance, you might be drunk and leave a cigarette in an ashtray, then it falls on the settee that you’re passed out on and you go up in smoke. Spectacular! “They might …