Friday, 28 March 2014

Breaking even

“We're not gonna make it, are we?

His voice was weak, his breath ragged. He was giving up.

“Shut up and keep running.” I snapped back.

We had managed to stay ahead of the pack, but they were close behind, I could almost feel them breathing down my neck.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw him stumble slightly, he was going to go down. I reached out and grabbed his hand, pulled him roughly along, forcing him to keep up.

I squeezed his hand tightly, grinding his knuckles inside my own, hoping the pain would give him that extra ounce of fire in his belly, that one more molecule of determination.

I was not leaving him behind, if he failed, we would fail together.

This was it, I gave a final burst, dragging him along with me.

I punched our clasped hands forward, using them to break through the tape.

A few yards further we both collapsed to the ground.

Less than a second later the rest of the pack followed, some falling to the ground as we had, some running on a little further before coming to a standstill, hands on knees, gasping for air.

I reached out and grabbed him to me. We clutched each other tightly as tears rolled down our faces. Exhaustion, relief and euphoria all adding to the moment.

We had competed against each other all our lives, as twins do.

Last year I had taken Silver in the marathon, and he the Bronze. The year before, the positions had been reversed. This was our last year, we were both retiring from competitive sport, and it felt good to be going out breaking even.

©2014 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The vacuum of space

Authors note:
I have heard that over the years scientists have sent many radio messages into space, in the hope that someone may be listening. Eventually some of them formed the opinion that anyone, or anything, that had the ability to track these signals, and the capability to travel the vast distances involved to get here may not be coming with benign intentions, and that it may be wiser to cease broadcasting the messages... In case someone may be listening.
Are those radio waves still travelling?
And more importantly, have they been heard?

* * * * * * * * * *


The being had been travelling for many years now, following the tantalising scent, flowing with the undulating waves, feasting on the delicate flavours as it hurtled through space. The tastes and aromas strengthened as it neared the source, its hunger burned fiercely.

It slipped effortlessly into the atmosphere, and there it found a new taste to savour.

It began circling the tiny blue planet. Faster and faster it went, absorbing, devouring, feeding ravenously. Stripping the air and the surface of the planet of the delicious ingredient until there was barely a morsel left.

Its ethereal body, unhindered by liquid or solid, combed the oceans, then beneath the world's surface, seeking out every last drop of food, until there was none remaining.

Its hunger still burned.

Stretching out its senses it tested the surrounding star systems, searching, hunting.

A strange, new flavour came its way.

Once again it began following a distant scent, it left the blue planet behind as it hurtled once more through space, continuing its never ending quest for sustenance.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In a concrete bunker far beneath the surface of the Mojave desert, a corporal stared at his computer screen, unable to understand the figures he was looking at.

“Major? You have to look at this, Sir.”

The officer walked over, and looked at the screen over the Corporal's shoulder.

“According to the readouts Sir, the radiation levels have disappeared, none of our sensors are picking up traces, not in the air, or on the land, even the oceans appear clear, I know this sounds crazy, and impossible, but it's as though the war never happened, somehow the planet's clean again,”

“There must be something wrong with the sensors Corporal, the surface of this planet will be uninhabitable for decades yet.”

“With respect Sir, it's extremely unlikely that thousands of sensors are all malfunctioning at the same time, I've run a systems check too, the hardware's working okay. It's as though something's sucked all the radiation from the planet.”

The same scenario was being repeated in many other bunkers in many other countries.

Before long, the survivors of the world war three apocalypse would tentatively emerge to a new beginning, to a new, clean world. Time would tell if they could keep it that way.

©2014 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 14 March 2014


I drove past her house every morning, she was always there. She was beautiful, and I fell hopelessly in love with her.

She must have been over forty years old, but looked much younger. Probably high maintenance, but I didn't mind, when she was mine I would care for her, cherish her.

Most people would consider us an odd match, me being so much younger, but I wouldn't care what other people thought, I just had to have her, and I would, in time.

At night I dreamt about her, her curves, the proud way she stood.

I was filled with fear that someone else would love her too, I just had to do something, I had to be brave and ask the question.

Today, I would do it today.

I pulled to a stop outside her house, climbed out of the car and walked straight up to her, I felt an overwhelming urge to touch her, but decided it would be a shade forward and presumptuous, better to ask permission first, I just ogled her, almost drooling.

I walked around her, brushing against her as I did, I didn't mean to, I just couldn't help myself.

I walked up to the door and knocked timidly.

A moment or two later the door opened a few inches and the face of an old man appeared.

“Yes?” He asked me.

“I... I... h..hope you don't mind me asking sir,” I stammered, “but the Cortina on your driveway, would you possibly consider selling it?”

©2014 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 7 March 2014


The first time it happened I blamed my brother, two days later he slipped on a roller skate on the first landing, he fell headlong down the stairs, breaking his neck along the way.

The second time it happened I blamed my parents, before the day was over an unattended frying pan caught fire, which rapidly spread through the house claiming both their lives.

The third time it happened I thought it must be a government conspiracy, within hours an accusatory email landed in all of the ministers' in-boxes, the ensuing ass-covering, in-fighting and back stabbing brought about a political bloodbath that resulted in their downfall.

The fourth time it happened I blamed society itself, a few days later a lab spillage released a contagious bacteria which rapidly spread throughout all of humanity, killing everyone it touched, at least the bug must have taken care of the guilty party this time.

And now there is only me left... And it just happened again.

©2014 Stephen. J. Green.