Tag Archives: Short Fiction


I am a big man but I am not a smart man. My father always says that and I inherited the saying like I inherited his wits. Dad drives lead in the convoy. He hates using the grinder but insists on driving up front anyway. I don’t know why. My brother and I take the middle. My brother never lets me drive. He says I don’t have the coordination. My uncle Rob drives back with the animals. He sometimes leaves the radio on when he talks to them. His voice calms us, keeps our eyes on the road.

We drive north so it is easy to follow the compass. We haven’t seen Highlands for a long time now. It has been weeks maybe since we hit the bottom. It is hard to tell. I tried marking the days off on a calendar but I keep forgetting. Mostly I just check the sensor to make sure the silt isn’t too deep, even though Dad does that anyway and he is much better at it.

We drive in the column of smoke belched up by the grinder as it turns whatever is in front of us into fuel to sell when we reach the Highlands. I catch brief glimpses of the bottom as we go. Rocky spires and huge carcasses and muck as far as the eye can see. I’ve stopped looking. It’s not that it’s all the same but it is the same kind of different.

Dad’s voice comes over the radio. He says there are Highlands ahead. Maybe a station. Northeast turn. I go to point for my brother but he says he has got it. The smoke turns and we turn with it. I catch a glimpse of the Highlands. It is way smaller than I hoped. A single finger of rock jutting upwards, birds circling above, a spiral road melted out of its length.

Rob says “shit” over the radio and I hear his truck stop. I look down at the sensor and the warning light is blinking. Our truck stops, then Dad’s. I put on a gas mask and slip wide plastic pads onto the bottom of my shoes. I open the door and jump out onto the silt.

Slimy, multi-pronged worms writhe in the muck. I try not to look at them but I can still feel them under my feet. Rob is standing by his truck. It hangs over the edge of a huge trench that has opened behind it. The silt slowly pours over the rocky edge, half-formed creatures sliding with it. I walk up to the truck, putting my hand on it for balance, and lean out over the edge. The trench does down further than I can see.

Dad takes hold of one of the front wheels and motions for me to take the other. We pull as hard as we can but the truck only slips backwards. Dad swears. I inject some stimms. I feel them course through my veins and feel my muscles tighten. My brother tells me to be careful. I ignore him and try pulling on the wheel again. It doesn’t work. The animals are screaming in the back of the truck. Dad says to push them over, better to give them a quick death. I roll the wheel backwards. The truck rolls back and the animal’s screams fall into the darkness below. Dad pats Rob on the back and he climbs into the front truck.

We drive slowly up the spiral road. My brother strains against the wheel the entire way. I watch out over the bottom. New things at first and then the same things over and over again. I start humming as we drive and then stop when my brother starts humming the same tune.

The top is smaller than it looked from below. A single station takes up most of it, a wide covered area with petrol bowsers and a small warehouse. We get out of the trucks and I breathe a deep breath that tastes of petrol. The wind is very loud and cold. I move away from the bowsers to smoke while my brother fills up the truck.

I move to the side of the warehouse so the wind doesn’t blow out my lighter. I can hear a sound like rain coming from a window. I poke my head in and see a room filled with ferns, sprinklers raining lightly above them. A young girl dances between them, wearing headphones. She sees me and her eyes widen, then she smiles and beckons me inside.

I find a door and walk in. The girl immediately grabs my hand and twirls under it. I stand stiffly and the girl tries to move my arms, tries to make me dance. I start to move my feet and she laughs and moves with me. I move my arms through the air and feel their weight, their momentum. The girl moves her arms in the air to match mine, looking as ridiculous as I feel.

The girl puts my hands on her shoulders, her weight is pushed around with every tiny movement. I try and concentrate, try not to hurt her. I slip on a puddle of water and crash down through the ferns, snapping them beneath me. The girl falls too. She yells at me, hits me, tries to push me out of the room. I brush my wet hair out of my face and then brush her out of the way. I leave.

I put a cigarette to my mouth as I walk up the side of the warehouse. The cold wind chills my wet clothes. As I go to light the cigarette a man jumps on my back, trying to wrap his arms around my thick neck. He struggles for a while and I light my cigarette. I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder, a knife cutting through my flesh. I let myself fall backwards onto him. I hear him exhale and feel his ribs crush under my weight. I roll off him and stand up.

The girl rushes over and kneels next to him, crying. He struggles to breath and his eyes bug out. I walk away. When I reach the truck my brother says that I fight like a wrestler. I tell him that I don’t fight. My Dad asks me what I did in the warehouse. I tell him that I danced. We hear choking noises from the man. The girl seems to choke with him, her eyes darting around, looking for something. My brother tells me that I can drive if I want. I refuse. We start up the trucks and drive away.

Dad always said that it is the small places that make the best homes, because they are easy to move when the tides change. He says to find something small that makes you happy and hold onto it until it becomes too heavy to carry. He says a lot of things that I don’t understand. I am a big man but I am not a smart man.



Short Fiction: Joystick

(It has been a while since I wrote any fiction so I thought I would try and get back in The Game. Go easy on me I have been real nervous lately.)


When the journalists asked me how I do it I did not want to tell them. I told them anyway because I like telling the truth. There was some philosopher who said you should always tell the truth and that you should not use words to manipulate people and I like that. I am also really bad at lying.

When the journalists asked me I said that I can fly if I have an erection.

They thought it was a joke at first. I was uncomfortable because I am not used to people laughing at things I say. I sat there and frowned and rubbed my face a bit. They still did not believe me which I guess was because I was not doing a good job of convincing them. I told them I would show them and a rose a few metres into the air and they all looked at my dick and saw that I was not lying.

They nicknamed me “The Flying Pervert” which I think was not fair at all. I am not a sexual deviant. I do not look through women’s’ windows as they are changing. I got in a conversation once about superpowers and every other guy said they would choose invisibility because they could look at naked women in the shower. I chose flight.

I woke up one morning and I could fly. It is a weird sensation. I kind of grab my crotch area with my brain tightly and lift myself upwards. It is a warm, pulling sensation but not in a sexual way. More like a friend pulling you along by the hand through a crowd to show you something interesting. Except the hand is my dick.

Steering is easy; I just pull myself along in the direction I want. I can go very fast but usually do not. I tend to bob around a bit as my concentration lapses. I like floating up stairs and over fences that I could easily climb.

I couldn’t decide whether to tell my family or my girlfriend first. I feel like both would be betrayed if I chose the other. I didn’t really want to tell my girlfriend first because she is not that into me but my family had been kind of mean to me and I thought that maybe they deserved a little distance from me. I decided to tell some of my friends first but I did not really know where they lived and when I asked them to come over they said they were busy.

I flew around the city for a while and people shouted and stared and I did some loops and they clapped a bit. I caused some car crashes accidentally and decided I should probably stop interfering with other people’s lives. I flew to my girlfriend’s house that night. I wore some tight underwear under loose jeans and a big jumper I had borrowed from my dad that almost went to my knees.

I knocked on her door and she answered and asked me what I was doing there. She seemed pretty pissed off. I thought to myself that I probably should have texted and organised to come over because I guess it wasn’t that big a deal on her end. I told her that I could fly and I showed her that I could fly. She said she was impressed but that she still did not want to have sex me that night. I said that I didn’t expect sex even though I had a little but I felt that it wasn’t that bad a lie because I wasn’t really manipulating her to do anything. She said she was going to bed because she had work early the next morning and I said ok and then I flew off.

I flew to my parents’ house even though it was late. There wasn’t anyone awake except for my mother who is a terrible sleeper. When I showed her that I could fly she said that she was very proud of me. She said there wasn’t any food in the house and that she wasn’t really prepared for visitors. I said that was ok because I could just fly home and then I did.

The journalists came the next day because someone had seen me fly home. They asked their questions and left already talking about the next newsworthy item. I made a coffee and sat down to relax but someone else knocked on the door. They were men from the military. They said they would give me a lot of money if I would let them run some tests on me. I said no because I have never really agreed with the military. They seemed to get pretty angry at that so I excused myself for a cigarette and then flew away.

I flew to my girlfriend’s house and asked if I could crash there for the night because the military was at my house and they were pissed at me. She said okay but she had some reading to do so maybe I could keep it down a little. When night fell she started getting ready to go out. I asked her where she was going and she said she had a party to go to. I asked if I could come and she paused and then said yeah it would probably be okay if I did.

We went to the party and it was a small, intimate house thing. My girlfriend told them my name and that I could fly if I had an erection. They laughed for five seconds and then started talking about things I did not understand. My girlfriend sat next to someone else and laughed at jokes I did not get and gave them playful little punches. I excused myself for a cigarette but no one seemed to notice. Halfway through the cigarette I decided I could not go back in. I flew into the air and kept rising. I tried to figure out things but it was hard because I had an erection.

I flew back down and landed on the roof and waited for the erection to pass. It did pretty quickly. I felt sadder than I thought I had felt ever in my life. I was probably only medium sad though. I played some nice music in my head and spoke to myself.

“Hey kiddo.”

“Hey kiddo, do not feel so down. You can fly. You can go anywhere that you want to right now.”

I would have said I wanted to go home if there was any place in the world that I felt was home. Instead I answered that I wanted to go anywhere but here. So I went back inside and I grabbed my bag and left.