Second Stage Turbine Blade

“I started with the hands, cos they looked like the easiest part to swallow. I didn’t have to chew too much. The internals weren’t too bad either. Not something I’d typically consume but it was bearable.”

“Oh god, you must have been famished. I can’t imagine what you did with the shell!”

“Haha, you have no idea. I had to grind it up before it was palatable. No way I could have eaten it whole. Was a pretty interesting experience!”

“Ew! Did you get the shits?” Fred laughed.

Jimmy pulled up a chair and sat at our table. “What are you guys talking about? Sounds juicy!”

“I was just telling Fred that I ate a clock yesterday, it was very time-consuming.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: [CW] Write a story around a pun, a joke, or a punchline

Excursion

“On the right, beyond those rocks, you can see the cheetahs resting under the trees, waiting for the sun to come down before they start to hunt,” said Ms Lilium through the microphone.

The kids all looked out the side of the bus, trying to catch a glimpse of the predators they had only read about in books, letting out “oohs” and “ahhhs” excitedly.

This was their first excursion out of the Dyson sphere to planet Earth, and they were finally able to observe with their own eyes things they had only seen in books and television.

The driver slowed the bus down as a herd of deer stood in the middle of the road, blocking their path.

The deer were now circling the bus, noses in the air, sniffing frenziedly.

“Wait, aren’t deer herbivores?” said Lucy, the smart alec of the class.

Little Tommy felt a shiver run down his spine.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: “Wait, aren’t deer herbivores?”

Five Thousand Years

My jaw dropped, I could not believe what I was seeing.

There she was, standing precariously at the edge of the road.

Was it really her? She must be at least thirty five thousand years old now.

I called out, “Come here, Snuggles!”

She yelped, ears flailing in response, and ran to me.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: [WP] For five thousand years you thought you were the only immortal on earth, then one day you run into an old friend. A very, very old friend.

Paths

“Are you ready?” she asked me.

Turning back now would have been near impossible. I nodded wordlessly.

She handed me a coin. “It’s all up to you now.”

I removed my backpack and set it on the ground. The woods were surprisingly well lit at this hour. The moon must be working hard tonight. We were back at same forked path we had backed out of before – but we didn’t have the luxury tonight. I had to make a decision.

There were two routes in front of us. I had to choose one of them, but I wasn’t sure which one. There were no signs or any clear indication. She suggested I flip a coin to decide when the time came, and that time was now.

“Isn’t it the stupidest idea?” I said.

“Do you have a better suggestion?”

“No. But, we’re leaving it all up to chance!”

“You know that’s not true. Once the coin is in the air, you’ll wish for it to land on one of its sides. You can’t explain it, but you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s already a path you want to take. We can choose to go with your gut – or with whatever side the coin lands on. It’s up to you to decide, either way it’s all the same to me.”

I pondered for a moment. “Why can’t you make the choice for me? That way it would be so much easier!”

“This isn’t my journey. I’m but a mere companion. I go where you go.”

“What about them?”

“What about them?”

“Won’t we run into them if we go down the wrong path?”

“Sure, but we could also avoid them entirely. There’s a chance.”

“We could turn back-“

“And let them come after us? That’s fine with me too. We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.”

“You’re not very helpful.”

“I know. I’m also imaginary,” she said with a smile.

“Very funny.”

I flipped the coin. It landed heads. Right where I wanted to go.

I picked up my backpack and headed down the path. She disappeared as quickly as I had made up my mind. I hoped I was right.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: [DP] “We’ll burn that bridge when we get to it.”

Connect

It was a long and arduous trek to the edge of the world. Jimmy had trained his whole life for this moment, and today he was going to accomplish what nobody else before him had done. He was going over the edge. To be fair, he was going to be the first because nobody else cared enough. He didn’t even know what got into him. Nobody in his village believed that there was anything beyond the horizon, and the idea to visit it never crossed their minds. He wanted to prove them wrong. Lazy fucks! After two years of getting in shape and living in the wild to train himself to the harshness of the environment, was prepared for the journey.

It had been months since he bid farewell to his village, nobody shed a tear when he did. They expected him to give up and return, and since he didn’t, they probably thought he was dead. By his calculations, he’d be reaching the edge of the world soon. He had read in books about his ancestors living on a sphered world, where it would have been impossible to reach its edge (since it didn’t have one) but there were a significant amount of people who believed otherwise. Idiots. He knew that his world was flat because he had seen pictures of it taken from the air (at a very high altitude). There was an end point – and today he was going to find it.


She was on the run. There was no turning back now. Her family massacred, lover murdered right before her eyes. It had been by chance she had managed to slip by the marauders. She took it, and never looked back. Instead of heading westward, where other villagers could have sheltered her and offered protection, she decided to head east, towards the barren wasteland of the world. She preferred to take her chances on the unknown, instead of leaving her life in the hands of strangers. How would she know that they wouldn’t sell her out to those creatures? The monsters had caught up to her village because someone spilled the beans in the first place.

One thing she knew for sure – the marauders would never follow her east. It was much too dry and barren for them to travel through. They thrived in wet and slimy places – just like her own kind. She decided that she would rather die to the hands of nature than the claws of those beasts.

As she continued her journey east, she realized that the horizon was appearing closer to her – it wasn’t some intangible line that she thought it was when she first spotted it as a child. It seemed very real – like something within reach. She set her sights on it, and made it her goal. A literal endpoint to her escape. She wondered what laid ahead.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: [WP] A shattered Dyson sphere is fragmented across a dim star. It’s creators have long ascended. New life emerges on the sphere’s inner shell, where civilizations use the fragments as islands. Fungal life grows on the outer shell, surviving in the cold dark. The two sides meet for the first time.

Pizza

It was just another evening in Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque. I had just completed my exhausting journey through rush hour traffic and parked in my driveway when I saw that my neighbors, the Whites had done the same thing as well. Mr White, head of the family, got out of his car, walked around to the back to get stuff from the trunk – a red sports bag and a pizza box. From the back of his car, emerged their son, who hobbled with his crutches towards the entrance of their house.

I called out “good evening” and waved, but they didn’t seem to have noticed me. It’s okay, they must have had a long day, I told myself. The Whites were usually cheery enough to reciprocate, just not today. I walked out to the sidewalk and lit up a cigarette, watching the kid entering the house, while his parents stood at the doorway talking.

I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it looked like Mrs White didn’t want Mr White to enter their home. She took the sports bag from him but refused him entry. She didn’t seem to want the pizza either. Mr White’s face turned from one of elation into one of defeat. Ouch.

I stamped out my cigarette and walked to my front door. As I unlocked it, I turned to look at the Whites again. This time I saw Mr White stomp angrily towards his car, pause, and threw the box of pizza onto his roof! What happened next was magical – and I kid you not – the pizza flew out of the box and landed on the roof, while the box fell onto the ground. The pizza, uneaten and a perfect circle, lay there, as though it was meant to be there all along. I quickly went into my house, not wanting to appear nosy and peeked out through my windows. Mr White had started up his car and sped off. Something must be going on between the Whites!


Writing Prompt from Reddit: [WP] When you die, you end up in the universe of your favorite TV show as a background character. You see the events of your show unfold from your point of view.

3478*

I punched the number into the payphone after the job was complete, just like I was instructed to. Goddamit, pick up the phone. Why isn’t she picking up?? The dial tone continued ringing. I looked around anxiously, outside it was pitch black. The only source of light for miles was from within the phone booth I was standing in. It was quite a trek, but I had selected this place for a reason. Nobody would pass by at this hour, let alone this season – it had been snowing for days.

I stayed on the phone, waiting for someone to pick up. doo doo… doo doo… still no answer. I checked the time on my watch: four a.m. What the fuck do I do now? Why didn’t we come up with a plan B? Holy fuck. Frustrated, I hung up the receiver. This was no time to panic. What was my next step?

I looked out of the phone booth again to make sure that nobody had followed me, I was alone. I stepped out into the snow, walked around to the side to shield myself from the win, and sat down, back against the wall. What did I get myself into?

The calm that I felt faded away and was now replaced by fear and anxiety of the crime I had committed half an hour ago. Well, the crime I had looked like I committed.

I was told by Miss Chicanery (a fake name, I’m sure) I’d be paid double the reward of turning her in by donning a wig and dressing up like I had just killed someone in cold blood. I only had to walk past some security cameras to lead the authorities astray, while she (who would have done the deed), exited the same building in the opposite direction.

I had to make sure that I wasn’t followed, call her up to check in, and meet her somewhere else to collect my reward. Because she wasn’t answering, and I had no idea what to do next. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it up, I needed something to calm down my racing heart.

Now’s not the time to panic.

I finished my smoke and headed back into the phone booth, I tried the number one more time.

“What took you so long?” said the voice on the other end.

“Me?? I called you about five minutes ago and nobody picked up!”

“You must have dialled the wrong number, I’ve been waiting for you to call all night and my phone didn’t even ring once!”

“Forget about it, now that we’re talking – where do we go next?”

“You sure nobody is on your tail?”

“I’m pretty-“

There was the sound of a gunshot on the other end, followed by the thud of the cellphone dropping to the ground. What the fuck just happened over there? The sound of footsteps crept towards the phone. A man cleared his throat and spoke.

“Miss Chicanery?”

I remained silent. Do they think she is me??

“I know you’re listening. Nice decoy, but you’re not going to get away this time. I’ll be seeing you soon.”

He hung up. I placed the receiver back in its place and collapsed against the wall. Holy fuck. What did I get myself into?


Image Prompt from Reddit: Phonebooth

You Used to Call Me on My Cellphone

“Wow, still getting texts from my boss even when I’m dead, can you believe it?” I said, going through the notifications on my phone. Once I was done with all the tags to tributes and photos on Facebook, there weren’t many to go through. People tend to stop reaching out when they know you’re gone.

My new friend who seemed lost in thought a moment ago noticed I had a phone with me. “What the hell – how did you get that in?? I thought they confiscated that shit at customs?”

“Beats me, they must have missed it. Besides, there’s not much charge left anyway, it’s going to die – like I did.”

“That’s very funny, can I use your phone for a bit before it dies? I haven’t been connected to the internet in ages.”

“Dude, you came in right after me!”

“I know! It’s been half-an-hour.”

“And..?”

“That’s an eternity without being online!”

I shrugged and handed him the phone, “sure. If you get caught, don’t say it was from me.”

I didn’t bother logging out of my apps or deleting my messages – it didn’t matter anyway, we were in the afterlife, what would people do with information about my past life? I continued walking down the street, leaving my friend, who found a bench to sit on, behind while I explored this new world.

The afterlife isn’t so different from life. If I took a photograph of the two worlds, you would have trouble discerning the differences. I didn’t feel like I was dead. It was just like living but in another country.


A couple of weeks had passed since the day I arrived – I had settled into a new routine in this life. I had completely forgotten about the friend I made when I saw his face on the front page of the daily paper.

Suicide Bomber Stopped From Setting Off Phone Bomb – Terrorist is now in custody, and police are currently investigating the phone used in the crime.

I spit my coffee out.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: “You die with your cell phone in your hands, and the afterlife customs agents miss it when letting you in. You find that it still works, and you can connect to the internet and contact people in the living world.”

The Deal

Having just moved into your new home, you jokingly say “If there are any monsters in my room, come out and we can make a truce!” Then, a skeleton walks out of your closet.

I dropped my backpack onto the floor in shock and inched towards the exit, wishing that I hadn’t closed the door.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” said the skeleton as it closed the closet door behind it. (I assumed it was speaking despite its lack of lungs and larynx. The alternative explanation was me imagining voices in my head, which was probably just as bad).

“Are you questioning my ability to speak?” it asked when I didn’t respond to its first question. (Holy fuck, was it a mind reader too?) “No, I’m not a mind reader, that’s just what all the other people I’ve encountered asked when they met me.”

“Come on kid, I don’t have all day. What are the terms of the truce this time?”

“I didn’t think of one yet! Give me some time!” I managed to blurt out. It was the truth, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I said those words.

“You’ve got ten seconds, if not I’ll go all Army of Darkness on you!” (it sure knows its trivia!).

“Okay, don’t bother me and my family, and I will feed you once a week!”

“What, do you think I need food to survive? Look at me!” the skeleton retorted.

“I didn’t think it true! What kind of truce has worked for you in the past?”

“I the life of your firstborn child in exchange for peace and quiet is a pretty common one I’ve received,” it said.

“What if I don’t want kids?”

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Everybody wants to start a family!”

“Not me. I don’t want any kids.”

“Fine, you can make that promise then, since you won’t be having any kids. It’s a win-win for you.”

“Are you going to meddle in my affairs? Will you try to get my partners pregnant?”

“Hell no, I’ve got better things to do than to make holes in condoms.”

“What the fuck do you do inside the closet anyway?”

“That’s none of your concern.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

“So we have a deal?”

“Deal.”


“And kids, that is the story of how you lost an older brother. So if you see a skeleton in your closet, be sure not to make promises you might later regret.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: “Having just moved into your new home, you jokingly say “If there are any monsters in my room, come out and we can make a truce!” Then, a skeleton walks out of your closet.”

30th Post of the Year

30, thirty. Three sets of tens. This will be the 30th post that I write in my blog this year. It’s something I’ve realized in the past – whenever I do a job related to what I do in my free time, I tend to spend less time on it. Now that I work as a writer/blogger for eGG, I hardly update this blog.

Is there a correlation between getting paid for doing what you like vs the amount of time you spend doing it in your free time? Maybe. But I’ve also seen plenty of exceptions. I know a lot of people who still draw for fun despite needing to draw for work. There are musicians out there who churn out music like nobody’s business despite getting paid to do so. So I might be an anomaly. Or there is an equal amount of both kinds of people – just my own confirmation biases at work.

Regardless, I’m happy to say I haven’t completely abandoned all creative pursuits in my non-working life. I haven’t stopped making music, drawings or writing. I do it a lot less than before due to how busy work has been, but I have also spent hours playing video games. It’s all about priorities. I know the solution to not ‘wasting time’, it’s a matter of whether I want it enough.

There are plenty of people out there who constantly complain about things in life, even though they have the power to change things. It’s probably because their problems aren’t as big as they make them out to be. They’re not feeling the ‘something’ which pushes them over the edge.

Think about it – desperate people will do anything to get what they want or to get out of a situation. ANYTHING. This includes illegal, unethical and immoral actions because they believe that the consequences of whatever happens will be better than their current situation. Most people aren’t that desperate when it comes to making a change in their lives. They accept the inconveniences and resort to complaining instead.

We all get too complacent with where we are in our lives. Most of us don’t live terrible lives, and there’s not much more to ask for. Sure, life can be better, but how many of us are willing to put the substantial effort into it for a minimal increase? If we’re content with lives, why make a change?

I don’t fault them. It’s their own life after all. But complaining doesn’t do anything unless it’s to the right people who can make a difference (usually I’m not that person who can make a difference).

I’m sure this is a biased take based on the people I know or hang out with, but hey, it’s a blog after all. Everything here is anecdotal, if not fiction.


30. This year I turned 35. 30 feels so far away now. I remember the days when I used to think – I’m not ‘old’ until I cross 25. That was over a decade ago. This month, I woke up with a back pain that lasted 4 days. I had to consume medication and use Yoko Yoko to get rid of it. That was never a problem for me in the past! Also, I learned that there’s a correct method of sleeping with a bolster. You learn new things every day.

Would life be better if I had ‘taken care’ of myself when I was younger? Possibly. I think my body is paying me back for all the abuse it has taken for me. Can’t really complain about it, since I set myself up for it.

People place a lot of importance on age. If you think about it, every year is just another collection 365(.25) days. There’s nothing that sets one year apart from the previous one besides the numbers we write at the beginning or end of a date. A new day marks the completion of the earth’s rotation – that’s it. A new year is no different. People believe the new year means so much more than it actually does. How much a new year or day means is determined by the value we give it.

The world isn’t going to suddenly get better when it completes its journey around the sun tomorrow. The pandemic is still here, and people will still get infected and die. Work isn’t going to change. I’ll still be terrible at Dota and Dark Souls. It’s just another day.


30. Way past the halfway point of life and another year closer to death. Too young to die? There is no too young or too old. If you think about it, you’re always going to die too young. That’s what people who miss you will say. You were taken too soon. You could have done so much more with life. All that jazz. But what if you didn’t want to do anything else? What if you felt like you had lived to your full potential and there was nothing more you wanted to look forward to? Isn’t that possible? People will say, you can’t say such thing, you’ve barely done anything with your life. Who are they to say what we should have or shouldn’t have done? It’s my life, I decide what I do with it. There’s no checklist of things to do before you die – unless you write it yourself. And that list can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

Life has as much purpose as you give it. That’s why some people give themselves lofty goals and ambitions, and some people are easily content with what they have. We’re all different people. It’s expected. No two people will think the same or have the same values. Unless they’re twins (not the conjoined ones though, they usually don’t live long enough to set goals).

Am I happy with what I have so far? Pretty. It could be better but that could be said of anything and everything. Perfection is rarely reached, and things can always improve. But for what it’s worth, I live a happy, content life. Sure it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or the glitz and glamor, but that’s not what I’m looking for. My ligaments are all attached to my body and functioning properly. I don’t have difficulties doing what I want, I have a close set of friends and a loving family. I have a job that pays the bills. I’m not sure what else I’d ask for to be honest.

It would be great to never have to work another day in my life, but if a genie granted it, he’d probably turn me into a paraplegic to cash out that sweet insurance money. Life wouldn’t be worth living at that point though. And I’m not sure if insurance companies can dispute the work of an evil genie. So I’ll just wait till my friend hits that sweet jackpot and gives me the million he promised (this paragraph is for posterity).


30. We’re no longer children. We think about life as adults. Our future. What we want in the coming years. I’ve thought about a lot of things over the course of the year, and in the process I’ve ended up hurting people. Now do I try to fix things? Do I let things be? Why am I so indecisive? I haven’t experienced such conundrums in the past, it’s completely new to me.

I ruined a relationship because I was unwilling to compromise. I didn’t want to be the one who caused someone else to give up a dream for me. But in leaving that person, it also ended their dream of being with me. Either way feels like a selfish move. And I don’t know what I should do.

The way I see it, I’m never going to emerge from this a good man. Maybe I’m just a terrible person after all.


30. Cats have 30 teeth and there are 30 tracks on The Beatles’ The White album. I don’t own a cat or listen to The Beatles. Over the years, many people have recommended them to me though I still don’t get why they are heralded as one of the best bands of all time. Millions of people around the world love them, I still don’t get it. For me, the best band of all time are Dance Gavin Dance. No one even comes close. Also, I’m sure that will change one day, but that’s my answer for now. I don’t own a cat and I think dogs are the superior animal, but we know there’s no need to justify that statement.


Thank you for reading this drivel.