I do all sorts of things. Mostly badly. Mostly better than others. I tell stories. Occasionally, I lie.
"Hello, that was quick. Only 40 minutes on hold…"
"How can I… help…you today?"
"I stepped on my wallet and cracked my credit card. I need a replacement, please."
"Are you the primary card holder?"
"No. That's me wife."
"Can I speak to the p…"
"She's at work. I don't have a job."
"I need to speak to th…"
"You didn't last time… it took an hour of me convincing you I'm authorised on this account, but…"
"I need to speak to the primary card holder."
"But I'm authorised to access this account! Last time I had to talk to...
Martin Adams began to type. He wasn't sure what to say; a fact that the repeated DELETES and EDITS made clear. Love letters were so much simpler in the pre-computer days. You'd write what you felt, scrunch about 3/4 of the pages up and throw them next to, if not in, the bin. Then you would belabour whether to post the thing. Sometimes you would, then regret it. Sometimes you wouldn't, then regret it. Now all he had to do was click SEND. Or not. Not click SEND that is.
Martin wished he'd managed to set up that clever thing...
Hard to think now, gazing into her eyes as we lay side by side, that we'd only met on the train an hour ago. I'd been standing at first. She sat with a mother and two small kids, chatting away; she'd been so gentle, loving, playful with them. Occasionally, she'd look out the window. Several times she caught my eye in the glass, and smiled at my dimmer reflection. When the family got off at Bristol I sat down, the carriage empty now. We chatted about our lives, her boyfriend, my wife and grown up daughters. A generation gap meant...
Giving in wasn't an option. The first time Ted died he didn't really notice, being in a full on berserk. One of his incisors was embedded in the top of his shield. He only felt its loss after he lay beside the gnawed wood, head split by a centurion's short sword. Like most warrior souls, he didn't leave it there of course.
The second death was a spear. Ted bled out over a few days, his last fevered thought - blood poisoning - being one of confused pride he had all his own teeth 'this' time.
Ted's third demise was...
In hindsight, the solution was obvious. That was Holmes' skill. His "parlour trick" as some victims had described it. I'd seen his leaps of faith, inspired deductions and uncanny conclusions many times. And yet the inevitable unlocking of the puzzle was always obscured from me until Sherlock lifted the veil of smoke from his beloved pipe.
Sometimes it took more than one pipe. Sometimes as many as three. In this case, the unstated conundrum set by his brother, Mycroft, had consumed five refills. It might have broken new ground, but the tobacco slipper had been returned empty to its customary...
WHAP!! The sniper rifle cracked harshly then a second later an echoing crack sounded back across the valley. A few hundred feet below a crawler's head exploded.
Daniel smoothly reloaded and set his eye back to the scope. "Clear for now. They'll be confused by the sound, but look lively. Your boy's on the High Street heading into trouble."
Off to the edge of his vision, a runner… Runner Five? Runner Eight? broke cover, trailed by Peter. They reached Luke just as he turned the corner where a lone Zom was shambling by the corner shop.
I see Mummy....
I jumped. I left the rope ladder up in the treehouse. I'm scared. Leaving it will stop me from not going to Mummy. I'm not crying. I am a big boy. I will go to Mummy, even if she is still mad, and walking like Daddy.
Maybe she will hit me like Daddy and I will tell people I fell downstairs and tomorrow she will buy me candy and Daddy will come home.
She is near Mr. Grant's shop. Most of the other angry people have given up looking for me, or where looking in other places, or have fallen...
He ran into the room, his heart pounding, and his clothes soaking wet. One of the Abel Security Volunteers, Daniel, brought up the rear.
"Peter has been trying to leave the compound again, Major."
"It's Luke. My neighb… my… friend. He's still alive." the boy interrupted. "A runner on rofflenet posted evidence of looting in Mr. Grant's, a shop near where we used to live."
The major pulled out a map. After a brief inspection Peter pointed to one of the orange 'No Go' areas. The Major considered the chart doubtfully.
"There are two or three old supermarkets in the...
Gradually. Ever so gradually, he noticed her work routine. She'd come into the shop below the CCTV camera that gave him his vantage point. She'd stop, check her skirt, then turn and wave. Wave straight at him, it seemed.
Once when he spilt his coffee he swore she looked up, about to greet the camera (or him?) and then the smile vanished. As if she had seen what had happened and was sorry for his stained pants.
In trawling through the back footage, looking for a pattern. Something to identify who had planted the device that had wrecked half the...
You had me at 'Ox Bow Lake'" I sighed. Temporal Repair 202, the practical. "So we have this rift, right? And you're saying it's like God was dealing out the cards in a Cosmic Bridge Game, when this stupid 21st century chronoterrorist (I hate Chrono's) interrupted his deal."
My instructor nodded, pleased at least one of us had listened and remembered his tortuous analogies. He cleared his throat, "So, how does God carry on dealing so everyone still gets the cards they were 'meant' to get?"
We all looked at one another round the card table. We were stumped. Not...