Stick Man

MJG Fantasy, Stories 5 Comments

Dray is slumped at the edge of his desk, doodling. It’s Saturday again. Another business studies class. 4 low level Japanese students talking about their companies in broken English. No matter what he does, it’s always boring. You’d think, you’re the teacher of a class, it’s going to be interesting. You’d think, you’re the teacher, you shouldn’t be the one falling asleep. But it happens. He spends longer every time, planning, brings in CDs, newspapers, games, but somehow it always comes down to this. Just, dull. Dray’s eyes creep shut. His classroom has always been too warm. The fan just …

The Disgusting Crow

MJG Fantasy, Stories Leave a Comment

Tycho lay on top of his grassy hillock and waited for the disgusting crow to come for his eyes, feeling downright blue. His friends the tired old turtle and one-eared rabbit tried to pep him up, but it wasn’t taking. Banter was banter, but the disgusting crow was something else entirely. Every time he closed his jewelly eyes he saw its claws of brambly bone and its diamante beak. He remembered how it stank, and how much he hated it. “I really hate that disgusting crow,” he said sadly. “Maybe I should just let it take my eyes.” “It won’t …

Brand New Day

MJG Stories, Surreal 3 Comments

TODAY She wakes up slow, opens her dull eyes expecting the new day to glow in, but no. It’s still night. She blinks, yawns into her pillow, stretches beneath the duvet. It’s the pig bedspread, the one her mother made. Her dozy palms bobble over the linen pigs stitched onto the cotton, sleep-weakened fingers catching in the felt swirls of their curly pink tails. She pulls one out gently, lets it tug back into place, and smiles. In the distance, muted by the thick velvet curtains swaddling her second floor window, there’s the sound of drunken students calling out on …

Two Hearts

MJG Stories, Surreal 6 Comments

He held the FridgePak plastic bag close up to his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything special. He saw no spark of life, no memory of love, nor any trace of meaning. He just saw the pulp of a heart. Liquidized. Red and purple, twisted through with fragments of yellow fat, white sinew, the strings and cords that held the organ together. Floating in the melted mushy blur. He squeezed the bag. He felt the texture of ground meat, some gristly chunks remaining. He felt the fluid rush of blood, filling the bag’s vacuum, the indentations of his fingers, his …

Sir Clowdishley and the Sea

MJG Fantasy, Stories 4 Comments

His name was Sir Clowdishley. He was once a royalty man, an astronomer to the king. He surveyed great kingdoms of heaven and charted the progress of the stars. He named whole galaxies after his two children and wife, but his family were now all dead, outlived by their celestial counterparts, lost to the sea. He stalked the ocean, walking the shores of England’s beaches, from Land’s End in the north to John O’Groats in the south. He lived off tubers and seaweed, jellyfish he found rotting on the sand, husks of old cod half-desiccated in the salty winds. He …

Sky Painter

MJG Fantasy, Stories 2 Comments

The Sky Painter lived on the mountain and painted the sky.  He painted it blue for blue skies, and white and grey for clouds.  At night he painted it black, with white for all the stars.  When the sun rose he dashed its arcing yellow lines across the heavens, and as it sank he brushed it orange and gold over the horizon. He knew he had to paint the sky.  If he didn’t paint the sky, who would? Nobody would.  He knew that.  So he stayed, and he painted the sky. He lived on the mountaintop alone.  Sometimes it was …

My Kids

MJG Science Fiction, Stories 5 Comments

“It happened 2 years ago,” he says. “What did?” Silence. “You don’t remember?” “Did I ever know?” Silence. Reflection. “I don’t think you ever did.” “Then that’s good.” “Yes. It is.” Image from here.

Alegria’s Hair

MJG Fantasy, Stories 5 Comments

The first time Tarragon Ray saw the giant Alegria, he was a baby. He was lying in his father’s arms, staring goggle-eyed up at the clouds and the big blue sky. He could hear the comforting crack of his father’s whip, and the low braying of their humpback pony as it strained against its hauliers. He could feel the joggle of their Sheckler’s wagon over the ramshackle red dust road, and the gentle motion of his father around him. “She’s a big girl,” said his father, but Tarragon didn’t understand. He saw his father’s face leaning over him, smiling, and …

Killin Jack the Malakite @ Aoiffe’s Kiss

MJG Books, Jabbler's Mons, Stories 2 Comments

This is the second time Killin’ Jack has been published, such that any of my longer-term readers have probably already read it. Its publication came as quite a surprise in the latest Aoiffe’s Kiss- I sent it in to them about 18 months ago, in January 2008. In February 2008 it sold to the online zine AtomJack for $10, and I was pleased. I did the proper thing and sent a follow-up email to samsdotpublishing (who print Aoiffe’s Kiss) to withdraw it from consideration. I heard nothing back, but then that wasn’t unusual. And now, in the past several months, …

Mandragora’s Laws

MJG Fantasy, Stories 4 Comments

It was a bright spring morning when Mandragora came upon the sweet little cottage with the two dead bodies hanging from its eaves. “What’s all this then?” he asked his skulls, rattling out behind him on their 100 leather tethers. “Looks like a violation,” they called, bobbing and jostling to see. “A clear violation. Bodies from the eaves, what else could that be?” Mandragora walked over and studied the bodies. One was a man and he had his skin intact, though one of his legs was gone, and the other was a woman but it wasn’t easy to tell because …