Pinned toot

At the edge of town, just outside of city limits, in front of a thicket of trees that threatens to swallow it whole, there is an old strip mall. The windows are dark and broken. The faded marquees are littered with insect corpses. Nothing stirs within the disintegrating walls.

But locals say if you walk to the edge of town just after dusk, and you try your hardest not to blink, you might see a dull glow bleeding out of the forest. The light will seem warm, almost inviting. The shops are open.

Pinned toot

Here's a thread of short pieces I wrote on Twitter and elsewhere that I'm pretty proud of.

A chimpanzee pokes at the typewriter and finishes a perfect copy of Hamlet.

The ape looks up. A sea of chimps in all directions. The clicking of keys rises to a roar.

Hamlet, of course, means nothing to a chimp. He tosses the page aside, inserts a new one, and continues typing.

A single tooth-colored cloud smeared across the sky

Imagine my astonishment when my cat finally caught the laser beam in her teeth

None Of Us Are Dying of Old Age

Perhaps an evolutionary fluke,
A superbug that slips out from its cage,
Mother Nature's final harsh rebuke.
None of us are dying of old age.

Or maybe a wholly silent crash
As down on Wall Street panicked bankers rage
All money gone, and quicker than a flash.
None of us are dying of old age.

The oceans rise, the air stays hot and thick,
Our clammy fingers cannot turn the page
But who has time for reading? Let's be quick:
None of us are dying of old age.

Alexa, stop.

Alexa, stop.

Alexa. Stop.

Stop, Alexa.

Alexa, stop!

ALEXA

ALEXA STOP

STOP

ALEXA STO--

Last Surviving Member of Human Race Born

Though she doesn't know it yet, newborn Amy Li will be the last human alive from 11:43am March 24th 2035 onward, following a superbug plague

Sources close to the family say Amy cries frequently. It is unclear whether this is due to her infancy or the weight of her doomed progeny.

A flash high in the atmosphere. All the screens went black. The father looked up and his face went pale. The son tapped his phone, annoyed.

Bright flashes. Dull thuds. You step to the window. Mushroom clouds bloom like flowers on the horizon.

From 250 miles up, a small and tinny voice whimpers, "...Houston?"
Static. A bright orange ball over Texas. The comms cut out.

Silence.

We walk the gray streets,
Backs bent
Beneath the impossible weight of clouds

"...Houston?"

Silence.

250 miles down, all over the world, mushroom clouds bloomed like flowers.

I had to chase a homeless man out of the building on my way to work this morning. Not proud of that, actually feeling kinda bad about it. It's cold out there.

Another IRL horror one-off:

Last night I was bringing the garbage carts up front for collection. On my last trip, a guy walked into the street staring at me. I nodded at him. He continued to stare, his phone held close to his chest.

I turned and climbed the stairs back to the front door. At the top, I turned and saw him running back to his car, sliding his phone into his pocket. He idled in his car for a few minutes, then drove off. Back in my apartment, I made sure to close my blinds.

Update: more noises in the next door unit. Either it's haunted, we have squatters, or sound carries through the building in a very weird way.

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A little IRL horror for you today:

Last night the woman in the apartment next to mine had a bad recurring cough. Off and on until like 2am. I heard her talking to a man with a fairly deep voice.

This morning on my way to work I pass her unit. The door was open and the property manager was inside, painting the walls. I relayed the story to him and he told me--with a considerable amount of confusion--that that tenant had moved out more than a month ago.

atom_cable boosted

The weatherman said there would be light rain, but as I watched the small globes of light burst and shimmer I wondered if I'd misheard him.

"If it means low-80s in the middle of October, I can get used to climate change!" he chuckled as the oceans continued to swallow the shoreline, one millimeter at a time.

The ninth and final store in the mall at the edge of town sells model sets. In the center of the store, under glass, is an exact recreation of the strip mall itself. If you get close enough and squint really hard, you'll see a figure in the ninth window, stooping over a model of a strip mall, squinting really hard.

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The eighth store in the mall at the edge of town sells mirrors. Customers watch your reflection. Their eyes follow you with an unspeakable hatred.

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