Monthly Archives: December 2013

Story no. 20! I admit I have been having a bit of difficulty keeping up, what with end-of-term papers and all. I’m on break now though!

I have often wondered how it is that people don’t notice immediately that I am depressed. Surely my arms are depressed arms. Surely I push buttons with depressed fingers. Surely I drink coffee with depressed slurps.

The truth is, not many people pay attention to an elevator robot, even if he has fished a half-full cup of espresso out of the garbage and is drinking it with noble sadness. Though to really be frank, I don’t actually know any other elevator robots, so this is roughly seventy-six percent conjecture on my part. As I am forcibly tied to my profession with a number of welded joints, the option of going to look for my own kind remains only a passing fancy, a daydream of sorts.

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Story no. 19. 

“There you are, my lovely,” Zirach said, tugging the last strap tight. “How does that feel?”

Fia looked down at the brass limb. The sorcerer had added three sections to increase the length so it matched her other arm. The hand had been made entirely anew from steel cogs and copper plating. She wiggled the fingers. Wires wrapped her stump, one continuing up the back of her skull under her hair. The wires somehow carried her thoughts down into the metal arm so it moved almost – not quite – as easily under her direction as her own flesh did.

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Story no. 18. 

My husband spends most of his evenings working on the literary magazine for which he is assistant editor.

Leina, one of my friends, asked him about it once: “Doesn’t it bother you – when you care so much about literature – to work as a censor?”

He shrugged. We were eating dinner, and he forked another caramelized root vegetable (he had done the shopping, and I didn’t recognize the plant) into his mouth. “I think of it more like quality control.”

“Really?” Leina sounded like she was being strangled.

“Really.” Hassur took another bite and smiled thinly at her.

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Story no. 17. It still counts as Wednesday’s, because it’s Wednesday in. . . part of. . . the U.S.! 

Mummy had picked a really spectacular day for all this, Beatrice thought, leaning her aching head on the steering wheel. Her eyes burned and her throat ached. After she had driven away from the house she had pulled into the car park of a petrol station and wept for a full hour. Her head pounded with dehydration and misery.

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Story no. 16.

Bet you thought I was dead, didn’t you? How’d you think I was telling this story to you, exactly? Orks don’t come back as ghosts. If we leave unfinished business, it stays unfinished.

But I’ll admit that for a while I assumed I had to be dead. Everything was dark and I couldn’t really move my limbs. It did strike me as peculiar that if oblivion were all that awaited me after death I should be aware of it.

As time passed, I became increasingly uncomfortable. My head burned and there was a weight on my chest and my arms. The place where the Fey’s glaive had gone into me, just under my left shoulder blade and certainly puncturing a lung, hurt so much the pain had become an unfamiliar, bizarre sensation: like having surgery done with an icicle while I was flying through the air at top speed. Read More

Story no. 15. I don’t want to talk about my problems with motivation, exhaustion, managing work from different parts of my life, and random emotional triggers, but I’ll try to get at least three more stories up this week. 


Vern was always trying to get us to buy his vacuum cleaners. He’d show up at the door of our room, a towel tied around his neck, clutching his oxygen tank like it was a briefcase. “Good morning, ladies,” he said, no matter what time of day it was. “Can I interest you in Gentility’s new model of vacuum cleaner?”

He was older than nearly anyone else in the nursing home. He had been a young man in the 1930s. After the bank had foreclosed on his family farm he had run through a whole series of jobs: asphalt layer, egg seller, roof repairman, and finally panhandler. The war had not been kind to him, but in the post-war boom he had found his true calling: door-to-door salesman. Nothing, not being a husband, not being a father, not being a son or a soldier or a farmer, suited him so well as the hard sell. All other parts of Vern’s life gradually came to pieces, but he remained Gentility’s top salesman until they closed their doors in 1974.

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