Sunday, 25 December 2011


Inspiration can be tricky. It cannot be defined, yet is the source of almost every story wrtten.  There are ways to inspire yourself, placing your mind in the right position to be most receptive to new ideas. What most people do not realise that there are one or two other, more artificial ways to inspire yourself.

There is a ritual that can be performed. Most who know of it will stress the importance of the time of the year and of incantations that need to be read aloud, but these are unimportant. It requires blood, as often the oldest ways do. You must obtain the blood of someone, and specifically it must be blood from a wound that killed them.You must drink this blood whilst writing For every sample of blood that you collect in this fashion, you will receive inspiration to write one story. These stories will literally be about anything.

Things that could happen, or even have happened.

Things that wouldn't, or shouldn't, happen.

There is one catch.

After the first couple of stories, you will feel a new inspiration that cannot be dampened.

And you will begin to write.

And before you know what you are doing

You will be typing an admission of guilt

telling everyone what you have done

the crimes you have committed

the blood

the old lady near death

the mother-to-be

that poor child

Oh dear God no.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Xbox Live

I'm writing this sat in front of my T.V.  My Xbox is on and resting on the main dashboard. I can see my avatar, and I think he can see me. He occasionally waves. 

I prefer to keep my eyes on the screen as much as possible because better the devil you know, right? 

This all started a week ago. I was playing, mixing it up between Trials HD and Battlefield 1943. I'm an Arcade nut, and love some of the games you can download. I was owning a level on Trials when I received a party invite.  

The thing is, it had no name attached. Just an empty field followed by "has invited you to party". Flummoxed, I accepted and entered the party. When I checked the menus, I was the only one in there. Somewhat strange, but not impossible. The person could have left before I entered.  

Just as I was readying to leave, someone else joined the party. Namely, it was me. "SiliconLemming has joined the party". This made me smile, as you do sometimes see some rather weird glitches online. I checked the menus, and saw my name twice in the party. One was playing trials. The other was editing the avatar. 

"Hello?" I said, not really expecting an answer. 

"Hello?" Echoed back to me a couple of seconds later in my voice. 

I relaxed. Sound delay and party glitches were rare but they did happen. 

"getting freaked out over a glitch" I said, half-annoyed that I had allowed it to unsettle me. 

My words returned to me, but this time time the tone of the words had become a little mocking. 
This made me stop short for a second. I shook my head and reasoned I must have misheard. 

"Why don't you come and say that to my face", a current private joke me and my friends were sharing at the time. 

"Maybe I might just do that."  

My blood turned to ice. 

That was my voice, but I hadn't said those words. 

The other "me" left the party immediately after that.  I sat for a moment, confused and shaking as the adrenaline pumped. I checked the lists of interacted profiles, but that revealed nothing. I eventually decided that was enough Xbox for that night and turned it off. 

The incident played on my mind for the entire next day and that evening the Xbox as back on again. I spent a couple of minutes looking around the menus for anything else scary, but everything was decidedly normal. 

Half an hour into some intense 'Splosion Man, I received a voice message. I was getting bored of the game, so i dropped out to the dashboard and opened the message. It was heavy breathing for about seconds, followed by my voice saying "can you say, Distraction?" 

Once again confused, I stared at the screen. In the background I could see my avatar dancing away, but there was nothing to attribute the message to. A momentary, illogical fear made me spin round and inspect the room, making sure there was nothing there. 

it was when I turned back that I nearly screamed. My avatar had forced his way forwards over the menus and his head now filled the entire screen. He stared at me silently, his hands planted against the screen from the opposite side. He pointed at me, then drew a finger across his throat. I started to smell burnt plastic, a trickle of smoke escaped the console and then it crashed. The last thing I saw was the colours invert on the Xbox, and the face of the threatening avatar turned electric pink and green. The image disappeared followed by the standard "no signal" message. 

My Xbox was wrecked. When I tried to switch it back on I got the dreaded Red Ring of Death. The ominous name of the defect wasn't lost on me. 

I waited a month before I eventually sent off my Xbox for repairs. I had brought it brand new, and it was well within warranty so I got it replaced for free. It sat in my hallway for a fortnight before I had the guts to switch it back on.  I finally rigged it up and now I'm sat staring at the dashboard. Everything was fairly normal, until I logged in my profile and saw literally dozens of voice messages. All of them in my voice, screaming "where are you?" and "we're not done yet". The final message was dated about 20 minutes ago. All  it said was "I'm done waiting, I'm coming to get you." 

The avatar on the screen has stepped forward and started to rub his hands together, then he started to wave.  

It took me a couple of seconds to realise he was waving at someone behind me.
rWritten by The Silicon Lemming

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Quantum Man

Jonathan Felix sat back in the chair after affixing the final electrodes to his skull. He currently reclined in one of the most expensive private scientific investments in the world, and today was the fruition of his, and many others, efforts. The aim of the project was to open a human beings mind and allow them to perceive one of the spatial dimensions above the mediocre three.

The actual result was still a point of debate, but it was suspected that the individual would be able to study all possible universes that could be created from his actions, and then choose the one that he wished to follow. A man whose every action would be perfect as he had already witnessed the results.

Felix had jumped at the opportunity, because he was young and headstrong. In his early twenties and brilliant in the field of quantum mechanics, he was relishing the opportunity to apply the usually theoretical aspects of his craft to a physical medium. He gave the final thumbs up to the techs behind the safety glass, and they activated the first stages of the machine. A microphone in the room relayed his words as the process started

" If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants". Imitation was the highest form of flattery, he thought with a grin.

The chair reclined back until it became a flat table, and a large rotating dome lowered down to encompass his entire body. Within the dome, there was a complex crystalline structure lining the inside. He focused on the facets of the crystals, and noticed that they had started to morph, shifting in ways his mind just could not understand. He started to feel light-headed and dizzy. His sight was suddenly filled with explosions of light, and his body started to spasm.
Reading his health signs in the control room, the engineers instantly halted the operation. A medic ran in checked the vitals of Felix, and was pleased to find a weak, yet consistent heartbeat.
Felix opened his eyes a couple of minutes later. He looked up at the doctor and suddenly jerked up as he realised where he was.

"What happened? I don't feel any different....."

The doctor smiled and patted him on the shoulder

"Any landing you can walk away from, right?"

The doctor turned to walk away, caught his ankle on a trailing cable, tripped forwards, and cracked his forehead against the corner of the table. His head twisted to a sickening angle.......

The doctor turned to walk away, caught his ankle on a trailing cable, tripped forwards, and then was grabbed from behind as Felix threw himself from the chair, stopping him inches from the table corner.

Felix collapsed and threw up.His hands shaking, he realised that he had just perceived two universes and had actively chosen the one he wanted. He smiled at the doctor.

"I did it! I can see them ...I can see them all......"

Felix's smile faded.

He now saw two new universes, both the same as far as he was aware. Suddenly, a third, a fourth, a fifth blossomed in his mind. He could suddenly see all of the possibilities that he was capable of, some he didn't wish to see. His mind began to fracture.

Felix grabbed the medic and in an act of unnatural rage plunged his thumbs into the poor attendants eyes.....


Felix looked despairingly into the eyes of the medic and started to scream, refusing to stop even when bubbles of blood foamed around the corners of his mouth.....


Felix grabbed the table leg and forcefully head butted the corner, only achieving his goal of shattering his skull on the fourth strike........


Felix sat on the floor experiencing all the potential evil that he was physically capable of. His body shook as he was racked sobs of horror. He grabbed the collar of the medic and drew them face to face.

"TOO FAR......TOO FAR......" he screamed

His eyes blurred for a moment, then started to turn yellow and shriveled. At the same moment his hair changed to the purest white. Felix in his final moments became aware of a magnitude of universes bearing down on him, and he would have to live through every single one. His grip slipped and his mind was lost to the abyss.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Bigger Stick

United States Armed Forces

Security Clearance: POTUS or above
Dated:December 2nd 1988
Interviewee: General Cornelius Watson
Interviewer: John R. Simpson

What follows is the transcript of their conversation.

S: So start at the beginning General. Everything you said before, say again. We need to have record of this.
W: Okay...okay. I've known this secret for far too long, and it needs to be told. Maybe we can do something.
S: There are a number of events throughout history that have always been assumed to be accidents or "unexplained", isn't that right?
W: That's right. Sometimes incurring massive loss of life, these events all are linked. There is a will behind them. It dates back to the 19th century. Would you believe me if i told you that first contact took place back then? Towards the end of that century, extra-terrestrials attempted contact with our president.
S:What happened?
W: It was a clusterfuck for everyone involved. I mean you can understand "their" logic. Take Us to Your Leader, and all that, but they planted their damn ship right on the White House Green unannounced in the middle of the night. The Secret Service agents had no information or understanding so defaulted to Shoot now, Apologise Later.
S:They killed them all?
W:Not quite. One of them, what we understand to be an ambassador now, struggled back into the ship . He took off and that was the beginning of the end. We seized the technology, but had no clue as to it's design or how to reverse engineer it. Over the last hundred years we have been able to take it apart and utilise the parts. This one event is directly responsible for the discovery of the micro-chip and everything related to it. Without it we would still be living in the thirties. Hell, the tech showed us how to split the atom.
S: And that was thought the end of it?
W: We weren't stupid enough to not expect a reprisal, but we were fully willing to apologise after realising that it was meant to be a meeting of peace and alliance. Think of where our society would be now, if only those agents hadn't opened fire.......but none of us were prepared for what happened next.
The only reason we know it was intentional was due to a signal broadcast in the seconds before hand, depicting a countdown in binary. The science-guys always said that numbers would be the universal language.
It was a weapon, a warning shot of more to follow. A single missile detonated 7 km above the surface of the earth was enough to flatten trees for 2000 square km.
What we soon learned about this race was that they were very long-lived, with life-spans in the thousands of years. They had all the time in the world to anaylse and pick their targets. The next attack came without warning and inadvertently helped us. See this race have evolved past countries or politics, and assumed our planet was a single nation. They thought an attack on part of us was an attack on all of us.
So they attacked Japan. Hiroshima, to be exact. What could we do? We could admit that for 50 years we had been hiding the existence of aliens, or claim that the attack was ours and that we were capable of yet more attacks. The fear of that weapon has held us in check for decades after.
S:Did the Japanese know?
W:After the end of the war, they were brought into confidence and we were able to pool our resources along with other countries. England was battered and bruised from WW2, but those limeys were too stubborn to say no, and even Russia jumped on board.
S:What did you have planned?
W: What could we plan for? We had almost no information on the enemy past what initial contact taught us, and they could rain fire from the heavens. The breakthrough came when we finally perfected our nukes. We needed to defend ourselves, but someone would have noticed a huge stockpile of weapons with no clear intention.
God Bless Russia.
They were the ones who came up with the idea of the Cold War. A period of sustained hostilities where we could arm our arsenals without too much concern.
S:The Cold War was fake?
W: Of course! Why would need enough nukes to blow up the planet 100 times? Because they were never intended for use on earth. Working with designers of the V-2 missiles , and the lesser known V-3 cannon, the nukes were designed for high orbit defense against any and all threats. The EMP alone made them formidable in space.
S: The Russians were actually allies?
W:They crippled their own economy just to try make sure the world was safe. Everything about that conflict was staged, from the amendments to the constitution to the Cuban Missile Crisis. All distractions whilst we went about about the business of protecting the world.
S: So what is now happening?
W: We'll they changed the god-damned rules, didn't they! They've worked out how to detonate our nuclear power plants from orbit with no missiles or sign of intervention. Two years ago, we had Chernobyl. That was a new show of force, and a sign that wiping us out is not enough. These creatures view us as a little above vermin, and in need of punishment. We worked out how to jam the damn wavelength they were using to mess with the half-lives of the radioactive material, but it was just another step in this insane "inter-galactic"arms race.
S: So where do we go from here?
W: I don't know. Everything has gone quiet, but this is often a sign of the calm before the storm. I'm bracing myself for something far worse. You should too.
Interview End

The following interview was classified and archived, but recently has been read by a number of individuals within the United States Government. This number peaked shortly after 26th December, 2004, the date of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
No-one within the government is willing to comment at this time.

The Patron Saint of the Good-Looking Corpse

"Come in friend and take a seat. My name? Call me Jack....I run this establishment. I've been working this bar for the better part of a hundred years. Got a nice stage, we got entertainment later if you're sticking around?"

"Uh-huh. Well do you have time for a drink? Okay. What was that? The hundred years thing ? Yeah, friend, I'm a little older than I look. I'm a demon"

"I can tell from your expression that you've never bumped into one of us before. We do exist. I guarantee that by the end of this conversation, I'll have swung your opinion. Don't worry, I'm not a threat. Hardly good for business."

"And my business is important to me. On that stage you'll see some of the best talent in the biz. I consider myself a 'talent scout' without equal."

"I specialise in contracts for fame and fortune. I can give the lucky individual ten years of their dreams and then I come to collect. In return they play at my club for the rest of eternity. They almost never think twice. One catch, though. I can only make this deal with them whilst they are 17."

" I don't know why, I don't make the rules."

"Who do I have? You probably know a few of them. The first guy I signed was something really special. Created an entire genre by himself. Kid by the name of Robert, a real demon on the guitar, if you'll pardon the pun. It seems everyone and his brother knew about our deal, though. "

"Yeah, the crossroads thing. Well, it did make subject easier when I was talking to later pitches. Thing with Robert is he wasn't ready to give it up when I came to collect, so I had to grease the wheels, so to speak. Strychine poisoning can be incredibly painful, or so I hear."

"This is the thing. They are happy for the trade at 17, but the moment they hit 27 it starts to consume them. it becomes all they can think about. Some will use it to drive them to write as much as they can. Others will try and use the as many distractions as possible to not think about it"

"You know, drugs, alcohol, women. The good things in life. Need a refill there, champ?"

"This one guy, Kurt, now he surprised me. He worked out how to summon me, against my will I might add. Yanked me right into his goddamned front-room. Just as I'm about to give the shaggy haired fool a piece of my mind, he pulls out a shotgun and says that he is breaking the deal"

"Blew his brains out right in front of me. I mean, come on?! The deals are binding. Killing yourself just gets you here faster. I'm a freaking demon. My kind invented fine print."

"Another cat I should mention is Jimi. He was a rare one I tell you. The kid was tripping so hard when he got here, it took us a week to convince him he was dead. All he cared about was as long as he had a guitar to play. Now he plays every Friday night, packs the place out everytime"


"Come on, I've worked hard for them, and now they work hard for me. "

"This bar is something I take pride in. I have some of the best entertainment in the world, and here I showcase it to any who know how to get here."

"You don't remember how you got here. Yeah, i've been meaning to talk to you about that. Something tells me you've got a little more free time than you realise."

"Fancy another drink?"

The Golden Dilemma

There is a knife that is not a knife.
It is a key.
It is about 9 inches long, with a golden blade. It has weaving blood channels along the shaft that seem to almost trace words, but no meaning has been found in them yet. The edge is keen and it is said that in the right hands it can slice silence. Fitted to the base of the hilt is a cut and polished ruby. Despite the apparent size of the gem-stone, it does not affect the weight of the blade. To hold the blade is to be possessed with passion and vigor for life. Your confidence will tower over other men, and it would be impossible to find doubt in yourself.
The artifact has been responsible for more crimes of passion than most realize, and most under it's spell are often unaware. But all of this is merely a side-effect of it's true purpose.
The blade is a key.

A key to any heart you desire.

To be eternally loved by the object of your desire, you must slip the blade between the ribs and through the heart muscle. The blade will not harm if this is performed correctly, however the slightest mistake will render the injuries you are inflicting all too real, and they will shuffle loose from this mortal coil.
This is the choice you must face. Many would risk their own lives to be with who they love, but would they risk the lives of their beloved for the same reward?

And would they even seek their permission?

Survival Instinct

He was lost.

He stumbled across the sand-dunes. He didn't remember anything prior to when he woke up with a deployed parachute dragging him across the sand. He didn't even know his own name. He had wandered for two days, and the relentless sun and ice cold night was boiling away the little sanity he still retained. There was no shade to speak of and no means of working out direction. The horizon was featureless in every direction and he had no idea if he was keeping a straight line, simply walking to feel like he was trying to do something. He was aware that his chances of survival, outside of a miracle, were low. He just wasn't willing to lie down just yet.

He suddenly heard shouting from behind him.Turning, he saw a man sprinting down the slope of a dune towards him.

"Jimmy, HOLD UP!!!!!!"

He stopped and regarded the guy as he approached.

"Man, I've been following your footprints for hours. That got a little crazy back there"

He stared confused at the newcomer.

"I'm sorry, I think I hit my head......I'm having trouble remembering..........anything? Am I Jimmy?"

"Yeah, mate. You don't remember a thing? Jeez, we just bailed from a plane after one of the engines exploded. I saw what direction the wind carried you, and have been following you ever since. Do you know who I am?"

Jimmy shook his head, his mind bringing forth no data. The new guy continued.

"I'm Mick? We've flown together for a couple of months? We were just taking a cargo plane to an airfield on the far side of this desert. Any easy jaunt, at least until the engine had something to say about it."

Jimmy relaxed. At least a second person here would improve his still low chances of survival. Mick put his hand on Jimmy's shoulder.

"Two days without food must be taking it's toll by now"

Jimmy nodded. Mick suddenly slipped something out of his pocket and his grip on his shoulder tightened.

"Because I'll tell you something Jimmy. I am so fucking hungry."

The blade of a Swiss army knife plunging towards his neck was the last thing he knew.