“What's the word, Feng,” he asked the alien as it hovered back and forth, stirring this pot...mixing that... “I just told the blue boy I ain't seen nothing,” he mumbled. “You eating tonight?”
We pushed our way through the shattered city. All around us were the signs of a race without hope, an entire nation devoid of both love and life. "Is this what they saw at Pompeii?" I wondered. Men and women both, dead before they died.
The familiar carol's paradigm downshifted like McQueen and floored it, and I realized what the shepherds saw that had them "sore afraid."
Were those footsteps? He hid himself behind a massive oak—greater than any he had seen in Europe. The trunk was more than five feet in diameter, and smelled musty—very musty. He could almost smell the centuries of age in the bark. But there were the footsteps again! This time he was sure of it. He peered out around the trunk...
Then a roar like the fall of a second Atlantis tore the jungle behind us. The great pillar stood shuddering, and then it fell, smashing branches and saplings on its way. It shook the ground when it fell, and the treetops parted ...
Ladies and gentlemen, and scoundrels of all ages, this is the page for the stories.
Tigers walk here, where Maharajahs rode, with jackals as their grooms and serving men. There lies the ancient, ruined city. There lies Delwaar San.
"Good reflexes," Hazard thought: "just the sort Sarge appreciated when the brain behind them could keep up."
A slender girl was silhouetted in the doorway against the early light.
He checked his Kruger in its holster. It felt good in his grip. 'No', he told himself. 'Not just yet. Not yet.'
A brilliant light threw their shadows against the far wall and vanished. The office and its contents were gone.
It only occurred to me this week, some few days after I opened the Stories shelf with The Bestiary and The Legend of Gnat Bunker what those two pieces have in common. They are not merely "creative" but meta-creative. They're about how we create what we do, and in a deeper sense, why.
Check back each week for new stories!
He was back on Geiger Seven and his right hand was cold—so cold like the night after Doublenight. Where was the Sarge?