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DRABBLES
The Drabble is a delightful literary art form, beloved by writers who love to play with, and construct beautiful things out of words.
It may be a prose story or poetry, but it must contain exactly one hundred words,
excluding the title, which may contain up to fifteen.
(Hyphenated words are argued-about.)
Several books of Drabbles have been published.
The stories are often witty,
or have some acerbic point to make.
Some can be very wicked.
Beware of black humour and remarkably fine puns.
(Did you remember to count the words in this introduction?
It's a Drabble, of course.)

 

 

A SLIGHT ENGINEERING PROBLEM
"Experimenting on ourselves is all very well and moral," said Hugger plaintively,
"But I really don't like doing it. Can't we go on using the cats? 
I might reassemble you inside-out somewhere in Outer Mongolia.
"He turned the tuner a fraction, and depressed the large red button.
There was a faint whine and a whiff of pink smoke from the receiving station.
"Did I do it right that time?"
Zak shuffled out of the transmat booth, 
looking disconsolately at the foot protruding from his sleeve.
"Maybe we do need a little more fine-tuning," he said gruffly through his left ear.

 Rose

 

ACTION AND REACTION
T
he traveller returned in a thunderous crash of merging cross-polarity that shook the deepest foundations of his laboratory.
His flimsy silver pyramid shimmered and wavered while inside it his figure coalesced into reality slowly,
like water solidifying into ice; 
deepening in colour from faint pastels to brown and grey.
His ecstatic expression illuminated the room as he threw off the restraints, 
stumbling to the shocked young woman who eyed him with alarm.
"I did it! I assassinated Vulpender when he was a baby. 
The greatest tyrant of all time is dead!"
"Who?" said his wife. "And anyway, who are you?"
 

 

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMOKING ROOM
Coughing, I undid my collar stud. The air was foul.
"If you don't kill yourself with cocaine, you'll suffocate on that damned tobacco," 
I told him sharply.
His hooded eyes glittered with amusement -- and something more. 
His hand brushed mine with the barest touch. 
"My dear doctor, would you care to recommend a substitute?"
Oh, that wicked gleam. 
What did I care that he'd been distracted, ignoring me all week.
"Yes, Holmes, I rather think I would."
I owned no shame, but he was my addiction.
My hand trembled slightly as I unfastened the top button of my shirt.

 

 

 

Poetry
 
SURVIVORS IN A NUCLEAR WINTER

Long ago my tears were shed
And dried
For the death of all hope
And the passing of good lives.
And now in this grey dusk
Of winter
We strive to till the ground
With little more than blunt knives.
 
When we saw the dark clouds
Press down
Obliterating the sun,
Encompassing the green lands,
We knew that Death would be
Our friend
And welcomed most of all,
But life holds on with clawed hands.
 
The cold is like a shroud
Of ice.
Our breath mists the dim air
As we speak of times lost,
And then remembering
We curse
And bend to toil again
To eke a living from this grey dust.
 
Dust is in our eyes, our ears
Our mouths.
We know our years are short
And why we live I cannot say.
Yet we exist, so few -
So few.
Being human we must strive
To survive for every last day.

 

 

 

OLD SOL
One last carmine kiss
Caresses the timeworn hills
As silent, shadowed twilight
Closes to ebon night.
Old Sol's ghost, fading,
Cataract-eyed and spent,
Has watched the blood upon the sand run dry.
 
We sit upon a sealess shore,
Beneath a leaden, bloodied sky,
Dark shadows gathering
In silent supplication
As time relentlessly
Drips on and wears away
Our fragile immortality.
 
Reach out -
Touch the final sunbeam before midnight -
Then take my hand.
Love's the last thing here to die.

 

 

SONNET
I captured you with woven cobweb snare
As from the dawn your distant form drew nigh.
I held you closer than the breeze's sigh
I caught your voice and laughter in my hair
I clasped you near to shield you from all care
Beneath the dome of summer's storm-torn sky,
While dew rained crystal teardrops down nearby
And I sang siren songs to keep you there.
I built a hanging garden for your ease
Where flowers shook their perfume on the night,
I wove a bower high among the trees,
And out away beyond your farthest sight
I cast your ship adrift upon the seas
So we could lie embraced in love's delight.

 

 

  

 All written works and illustrations are (C) Triffid's Leg Press
Unless specifically attributed elsewhere.