The Scratching

The cats and dogs were the first to react. All over the world, pets went crazy, barking, yowling, generally freaking out for no discernible reason. Then people started to hear it too. The scratching. Almost inaudible, coming from everywhere and nowhere. It took only a few days for social media to catch on, and fear and confusion swept the globe. It was everywhere. Soon, tiny scratches were appearing on every imaginable surface. Buildings, trees, cars, electronics,nothing was safe. Soon, the world was in chaos, as no remedy was forthcoming for what seemed an otherwordly ailment.


Then people started to be scratched. Tiny marks, at first, not even splitting the skin. But as the days went by, hospitals began to fill with lacerated and terrified individuals, bleeding from innumerable tiny wounds with no source. Other animals were affected too, but nobody cared any more. The world died in pain and bewilderment. No answer was forthcoming as the scratching consumed us all.

Fiction, Uncategorized

A Spaceman Foresees His Death

I had such dreams, when I was a kid. Space, the final frontier, all of that jazz. Now look where it’s got me. Floating around out here in the blackness. Half an hour of oxygen. And this stupid robot for company. No, I should amend that. Stupid, well-meaning robot. I should be grateful that it continues to try to save me, even though all hope is lost. It obviously doesn’t know that it should have given up hours  ago.

I give a feeble kick to turn myself around. May as well enjoy the scenery, I say. Unfortunately, there isn’t much too look at out here. The wreckage of my ship has made some nice sparkly patterns in the distance, receding ever so slightly as the stupid, well-meaning robot tows me along.

I guess I should make peace with it, seeing as it’s the last excuse for sentience I’ll ever encounter.

‘Robot’, I said.


‘You’re stupid, but you do mean well.’

‘Yes. Thank you. Should I return to my duties now?’

‘Yes, I guess you should.’ At least one of us should find job satisfaction here.

4500 years later, the stupid, well-meaning robot would tow my body into the orbit of the last planet we obliterated. Maybe the descendants of our almost-successful genocide would laugh.