Ink-slinger. Photo-grapher. Earth-ling. These are Stories of the Fantastic and the Mundane. Space, time, superheroes and shapeshifters. 'Wolf' thumbnail: https://unsplash.com/@marcojodoin.
One learns to be patient, after a time — no pun intended — toiling in the lower ranks of the Time Bureau. I was not blessed with a patient mind, nor with an altogether forgiving nature, as many an ex of mine can confirm, but I do toil, most loyally. I recall when my moment of opportunity arrived, and it did not arrive alone…
Pity Me Not
“Put your good boots on,” Sherah snapped, at her young brother. “Got us a bad man, needs t’ be kilt.” The boy answered to Kemuel; it was a Biblical name, as was her own. He was just turned ten, three years younger than his sister, and nearly as stubborn as she was. He rubbed his sleepy eyes and bounced upright in his bed, glaring in bewilderment and irritation.
Geistermädchen (Ghost Girl)
A soft scraping, issuing from somewhere, just on the outer side of the bedroom window, skree-eeee, skree-eeee, was just barely audible, but it jolted the girl like a boom. The branches outside of the Eads house had often brushed up against the window, but the pale-blond girl had snapped them off of their parent tree, on the previous day, in preparation for this event. It could not be them.
The Green Tree Frog
Charlie got the crazy ones, his supervising officer knew. Why these cases went to him first, to him alone, his supervisor didn’t know. Demonstrated talent for the job, of course, may have played its part. Once upon a time, a fugitive, who was slippery in the not-amusing-to-children sense, eluded other teams of local lawmen; Charlie followed clues only he seemed to understand, knocked on a door, and had his cuffs, in a matter of seconds, on the suspect’s wrists.
I don’t like my hand-me-down spacesuit. I don’t expect the Organization to tailor work clothes to employees' tastes, but at least they could have issued one that fits me. My predecessor is taller than I am, and somewhat skinny; these suits are adjustable, but it still takes a bit of elbow grease to yank the sleeves down and let out the waistline a tad. I’m difficult to satisfy — a sure sign of high intelligence, I believe.
From the official report of Inoue Noburu, Cartographic Service-Division 74ZZ+3, [DATE]: My first thought, when I viewed my orders, ran to this: Which shall it be: death in a painless flash, before I set foot on solid ground? Or one of painful increments, once I step outside of my ship?
All Disheveled Wandering Stars
“If our cream were any more fresh,” Katherine Ó Corra snapped, “it would still be grass.” She wielded a coffeepot like a weapon, poised to strike. The glare she trained upon her impertinent customer, an older gent, who must have been a regular at Mulryan’s Café, seemed intended to close off further inquiries. It lacked the force necessary to accomplish this, if said aging customer’s glowering countenance, enhanced by his shock of white hair and ruddy face, offered any clues. Oh, no mistake about it — she warmed up his cup of coffee, neither side was able to surrender the spirited debate, nor would they have enjoyed doing so, a lone American customer mused at the next table.
Working up my nerve, as I clutched the armrests of my chair until my fingers throbbed, I said to the people behind those weary-but-interested faces in my circle, "My name is Pauline," smiled patiently through a halfhearted chorus of, "Hi, Pauline," before I finished up my introduction: "and I am not a wolf, but I ought to be."
Trick's Own Indigo Awakening
Nineteen eighty-nine: The space invader looked a lot like, well, Mom — if she were tiny and bony, and (like... Dad!) buck-toothed, trying to carry that head of curly hair the color of coffee (with a lot of cream in it), and no, when I 'stepped out' of my reality, into… this one, I didn’t expect such a weird scene.
Moxie in "Midnight For Everybody!"
Nico Orsini’s last thoughts, as he faced imminent death, were of Myrna Loy, on whom he had bestowed the honor of being, “The greatest dame alive.” He sang her praises, to friends and family alike—until they were so bored by his devotion, he suspected that it might even have hurt her box-office in the greater New York City area!
'Thunder Child' and the Epic Signal
Must have been nine, maybe eight, when first I learned about those Martians. Relying upon the primitive television devised by humans, my cousin Tamara and I were witness to the frightening arrivals of their deadly saucer ships, and we gaped at the destruction they wreaked, with their murderous heat beams. We drank in the scenes of global annihilation: Homo sapiens, defeated by ugly alien invaders with stick-like limbs and three-colored lenses for eyesight.