The Drabblecast is a podcast of strange fiction by strange authors for strange listeners like yourself. It’s great, and if you aren’t listening, you should be.
They have a regular feature called the Drabble, which is a 100 word story. I’ve just submitted the following for their consideration:
When Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, its IBM handlers said it wasn’t the computer that won, but the programmers. We had a similar saying at Google: Our Minds Search the Internet. I don’t know if it was the industrial-sized orders of chemical nutrients, or the racks of bowling-ball-sized computers in nitrogen-cooled rooms, or even just the way people worked hard to succeed without being too successful, but I started getting a bit suspicious. I finally figured it out when my boss strapped me down, offered me an “exciting opportunity help grow Google’s market share,” and began sharpening the guillotine.
I’m sure it will get rejected, but in case it doesn’t, I’ll let you know.
Revolution SF is having a contest to win the fantasy video Krok Mandoon. You have to write a 69-word fantasy story. I’ve submitted the following:
Grak sidled toward the sleeping dragon. His years of training were cold comfort in the giant beast’s shadow, where a single slip would mean his gnashing, bloody end. The monster’s jaws hung open, morning sun glinting from its dagger-length, murderously sharp teeth. He unsheathed his weapon, applied sweet-smelling poison to its bristles, put one foot on the dragon’s lower lip, and put his back into the brushing, praying softly.
My phone chirps. “Okay, looks like they picked up a real nerd,” Dave’s voice crackles.
I smile. Brainiacs always mean more dough. I nose into traffic and roll up to where they’d been. I stop for a second and the taxi behind me honks as Dave runs out and jumps into the passenger seat. He tosses the gun mic over his shoulder and mumbles the address he’d overheard, “Corner of Elizabeth and Bleecker.” I nod and we roll, tracking the minivan in the light mid-afternoon traffic. I stay well back from the follow car, an unadorned white van, and we move like a child’s string of ducks, each tethered and pulled along by the ducks in front. I absentmindedly watch the stoplights to make sure we don’t get cut off.
Dave chuckles as the light at 10th street turns red and the target stops. We’ve gone nearly 20 blocks, so that has to be enough. When the light changes and we start moving again, the car in front of me turns right and suddenly I’m directly behind the follow car. Dave and I start chatting; it helps you hold your “normal guy” face. Dave suggests that the Mets will go all the way this year. I suggest that anyone who disagrees is certainly an asshat. We bitch about the Yankees for a while.
I perk up as the target moves suddenly to the curb. “Shit.” Dave mumbles. There’s nothing to do but go around the block. The follow van has just pulled in behind them and it will look bad if we stop too. It’s risky, but there’s no choice. I watch for a gap along the curb where I can stop, but there’s nothing. Even the damn fire hydrant is blocked by a diplomat car, its windshield already festooned with two parking tickets. I turn the corner and circle the block, trying to be both fast enough to get back around before they leave and slow enough that we don’t pass them again. It pays off, and we’re suddenly back in place, two cars behind the follow van. Dave slaps the dashboard, grinning like a jackal.
Three more blocks and we’re there. I drop Dave at the corner and watch him lope away as I pass the follow van and the target. I turn the corner and park half a block up between a beat-up Civic and a shiny Prius in a spot big enough to pull into nose-first. It’s not more than a minute before Dave yanks open the door and we’re nosing into traffic again. He tucks the sap into his inside jacket pocket as he counts the crisp bills. “Twelve hundred fifty,” he says.