October 22, 2014


Leo studied the man before him.  His actual shape was hard to discern, draped in a heavy leather apron and face blocked with a welding shield, but something in his movement suggested he was thin.  Shards of broken glass stuck into the leather and fell to the floor as he walked.  His heavy boots crunched with every step.  The apparition halted, pulled off one massive gauntlet, and held out a narrow spidery hand.

"Havatachi min Rogenthol, at your service!  Delighted to meet you.  Leo, I presume?  Even if you're not, still delighted.  But you are, right?  I hope you are or you're probably a little confused and the real Leo is probably getting disappointed.  Or frustrated... if he's stuck in traffic somewhere."

The man never paused and Leo realized he was going to have interrupt to get a word in.  "Uh, yes.  I mean, yes, I'm Leo.  You're Mr. Rogenthol?  The Glass Breaker?"

"Please, call me Havi.  Only my ex-wife's lawyers call me Mr Rogenthol.  And, to be honest, I don't like the Glass Breaker moniker either.  I'm a maker, see?  I'm trying to make strong glass and you gotta break it to know how strong it is, dontcha?"  The apparition had finally succeeded in disassembling the rest of its outer layer and the man standing before Leo did, indeed, prove to be quite thin.  And bald.  And covered in a series of fine scars virtually anywhere Leo could see skin.  And, apparently, unable to manage any expression besides a huge face-eating grin.  "Or rather, you gotta TRY to break it."

"But you designed the ShieldShatter.  The Fire & Rescue guys rave about it and there's that informercial with all those testimonials from people who used it to escape from sinking cars."

Havi waved his hand over his head, "Yeah, yeah, I built that.  I needed something hand-held once I outdid my own arm strength with a hammer."  He held out his wrists, "That was some time ago. Ha ha, my wrists are just about back to normal size.  But it's a tester, see?  I sold it on the side and I'm glad it's helping people but it's not what I DO."

March 18, 2013


There are only so many ways to hide a rhinoceros in your apartment, even one that's cooperating.  There's the giant-appliance-box trick, the shower-curtain thing, and even the "Have you seen my new fake rhinoceros?" bluff.  But you have to have the box ready to go, the shower-curtain thing only works with certain kinds of tubs, and the "Have you seen my new fake rhinocerous?" bluff never actually works, to be honest.  And each of those tricks assumes the rhinoceros is cooperating, which this one most certainly was not.

October 23, 2012


When a carriage built with four wheels finds itself using only two of them, it is a strong indication that something has gone wrong. Presumably it has been in that state for at least the time it takes the horses to get up to the speed necessary to unbalance half a ton of wood and metal plus approximately that same weight in baron and baronness (it was, by necessity, a very large team of horses).  Now, had the baron been sitting properly at the critical moment, his substantial bulk might have been enough to hold the carriage's center of gravity below the point at which tipping could occur.  He was not sitting, however.  He was standing.  And shouting.  And very likely waving his arms about.

October 24, 2008


If this were the case, I would not feel such rage. But they are lying. They are not speaking truth, and more, they are saying these things, these ridiculous things without qualm or doubt, to me, their oldest ally. Is it because they do not trust me or do they perhaps think to gain some advantage over me? Do they think me stupid or cowardly or weak, that I would just accept these lies?

That confusion is all that keeps me from killing them where they stand; I do not know WHY they are telling these lies. They expect my complete acceptance and, from that, my cooperation. For now they have it. But they have lied to me and my eyes will be open.

January 19, 2008


A creeping and a crawlin, a jibbin and a jivin. They come on rollin and a bowlin, runnin and a gunnin. Simmer, shimmer, shake, bake, they come and come and come. Wibble wobble. Trippin all over each other to get to us. Tribbles, troubles, hephalumphs and woozles. Grignacs, grognards, and even a jabberwock or two. Fissssst, fummmmmph. Ughhh. They push and tug. The wall, she stands, but she don’t like it.

Here I see eyes, there I see legs. Noses, snouts, and ears. Horns, claws, and everywhere teeth. Big teeth, little teeth, shiny teeth, black teeth, but each and all sharp teeth. Some are long in bits, arms, necks, legs, and things I ain’t never named before. The long snaky ones get close, but the tiny crawly ones get closest. The wall don’t mean nothing to those that can climb, which is why we got another wall, and a bit of flame atop that one.

Some day we’ll meet ones that don’t burn.

January 12, 2008

Toby on the rock

Toby slithered out onto the rock, belly down and head up. He grasped the edge with both hands and stuck his head out into space. The chasm below curled with fog and even here, as high as he was, he could smell the damp air. The rock was cool, but warming in the sun. A breeze kicked up, pushed his long hair out of his face, and then pushed it back again. He tied it in a tail behind his head as he regarded the valley below.

The clearing fog revealed a river snaking towards a clear lake, fields of grass rippled away. Whitecaps dotted the water’s surface. Here and there a rock jutted from the field, poking sharply through the green fabric of the valley floor. The sun poured into the valley lengthwise, flowing in the same direction as the river. Trees emerging from the grass became visible for the long black tooth shadows they cast upon the ground.

January 05, 2008


She does not know what she means anymore. She cannot. Those words must be . . . wrong. I cannot accept that truth. Not that one. The Oracle has lost her powers. How long, I wonder has she been without? Am I the first to recognize her error? She must know her strength is at an end. She must know her powers have waned and that the words she spews – foul venomous words! – will soon do the world more harm than good if she continues. Or is she unaware? Did the power depart, only to leave its certainty behind? Is she babbling on with every confidence, unaware that it is now lies she tells? It matters not. The flow of words must be seen for what it is, but I dare not announce to the world that her Truth has fled. The questions they would ask, my own prophecy to be revealed? Never! That blasphemy shall never again be spoken, it’s only grace is that it has revealed to me her error. I wonder if this is what she wants? Is this why she uttered so false a phrase, to inspire the recognition and urge me to do what I must? It must be so, she knew, and so knowing welcomes my next act. Barbarity, savagery, others will call it thus when they see the result, but she will know. I act out of love. I do this for love of her.