Evan Quinlan

Archive for the ‘Drabbles’ Category

For Drinking Darkly

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on May 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

There is a fountain on the moon, nestled beside a tiny hill.  Like a black hole (and perhaps it is), the fountain ensnares the sunlight that touches it (making it invisible to satellites and the like), collecting the light as liquid.  And when the moon waxes, becoming the blackest black you could imagine, He comes crawling across the lunar sands on hands and knees, thirsty for the cool moonlight, and drinks it dry.  Then, before the light returns, He slinks back to his observatory beneath the hill—to watch us, and to whisper to us, as He has always done.

The Hatchling

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on May 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

The egg waits, nestled in silence.  Nothing but warm sunlight and occasional bits of falling dust have touched the shell since its deposit, a timeless interval to the embryo within.  But now it stirs, that tiny life becoming at last aware of a world without, which it must now join—for nature thrives upon new life.  It pokes its snout, then its entire head through the crust of North Africa, and as it struggles free it cries for its mother, who must be nearby, for who would abandon to the coldness of death a child who’d never done anybody harm?


In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on July 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

She dances round and round, arms streaming blood.

He left a rose on the pillow instead of saying goodbye.  She never saw him leave; it was, to her, as if he’d become the flower.  Then the officer came to tell her his body would be brought home.

When they carried it, the coffin wilted and fell apart, pieces drifting like petals to the asphalt.  Nobody could explain but she knew: the body was only a remembrance.

She spins, bleeding from his embrace but she doesn’t care, she has him.  She laughs and the petals of his face seem to smile back.

Laziest. Drabble. Ever.

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

“That’ll be $14.99,” said the delivery girl.

“Oh, I forgot my wallet inside,” Chip said, and he raced into the living room where only moments before his elderly mother had sat on the couch, knitting, but where now there stood a grinning, sinister, hellish figure too horrible to imagine, covered in fresh, steaming entrails that had seconds ago been inside the now-hideously-mangled corpse of Chip’s oh my GOD IT’S JUST TOO HIDEOUS TO DESCRIBE IN WORDS A HEALTHY HUMAN MIND MIGHT HOPE TO COMPREHEND AND IF I TRIED YOUR BRAIN WOULD EXPLODE IN A HAIL OF CABBAGE-Y GELATIN!  RUN!!!  SAVE YOURSELF!!!

One More Makes Nine

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on June 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Monday morning a black cat appeared at Ian’s bus stop.  He shooed it but it only cocked its head.

At work Ian saw it outside his window staring at him, ignoring passersby even when they offered food.

At lunchtime the cat appeared at Ian’s heels.

“Go away!” he shouted.

It only stared.  Then its eyes widened; it crouched, ready to pounce.

A sudden, icy fear seized Ian and he turned to flee.  Moments after the screeching vehicle crushed Ian’s body the cat leaped high into the air, snagging in its claws the invisible prey for which it had so patiently waited.

Standing Room Only

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on June 2, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Kyle watched something resembling a neon octopus swim beneath the survey craft.

“This planet’s a mystery,” he said.  “Something left a footprint so huge an ocean formed inside it.  From orbit the print looks bipedal in origin but there’s only one of them.  And we know almost nothing about the creature that made it.”

“We know it had a leg span of about four-hundred thousand kilometers,” said Greg, staring upward.

“What?  Nothing could be that—”  Kyle followed Greg’s gaze then stopped mid-sentence.  “Oh.”

He got on his transmitter.

“Command, this is Johannessen.  We found the other footprint.  It’s on the moon.”

The Trouble with Idioms

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on May 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“You look surprised,” said the sweaty gnome, arms falling to his sides with disappointment and embarrassment.  “You told me to ‘come out of my shell…’ so I thought you knew….  No?”

Mary stared at him, horror-stricken.

“Ok… this is a big mistake.  I did not want you to find out like this.  I’ll just… I’ll just get back in, then?”

Hesitantly, the gnome climbed back into Mary’s husband’s stomach and flicked a switch on the control panel.  The hatch slid shut and the man-body whirred to life.  Blinking, it looked at Mary.

“I hope this doesn’t change things,” it said.

Blood Money

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on April 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

What happens to checks after they’re cashed?

I wasn’t always a hitman.

One morning a sinister-looking pen appeared on my cubicle desk.  Somebody called for my boss; I wrote down their name; the line went dead.  Turns out they disappeared.  Turns out anybody’d disappear after I wrote their name with that pen.

Red ink.  Blood-like.

I made millions.  The ultimate hitman.  No mess.  Even I didn’t know where they went.

Until I got careless.

Helplessly I stare up from the paper; two-dimensional; nothing but a name written in red ink.  And I wonder, what happens to checks after they’re cashed?

Topic (a sinister-looking pen appears on an office-worker’s desk) chosen by Gregg Daniels, who also wrote his own drabble.

Dressed to Kill

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on March 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Pete shone his flashlight into the iguana tank.  Just iguanas.  No deadly snakes.

“Why the flashlight?” Alan asked.  “The lights are on.  You’re being overcautious.”

“For Pete’s sake,” replied Pete.

“Man, that stopped being funny last year.”

“I remember,” said Pete, poking a tortoise with a stick. “September fourteenth.”

“You’re a really weird guy.  Alright, enough chitchat.  We’ve got to find this escaped Egyptian cobra.  And I’m guessing it’s not in that tortoise’s shell.”

“Never can be too careful,” said Pete.  “By the way, Alan, I love your snake hat.”

“What?” Alan asked, alarmed.

Don’t look up, thought the cobra.

Thank you, news.

Gloria, Too

In Drabbles, Fiction, Short Stories on March 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

The flight attendant authorized use of electronics so Elizabeth logged into her email account.  There was a message from Rick, that bastard.  She’d endured four months of his twisted, psychological machinations intended to mold her, as it turned out, to be as much like his dead ex-fiancée Gloria as possible.  The creep even maintained a shrine to Gloria in his closet.

She opened the message.

Dear Elizabeth,

You really are so much like her.  She died in a plane crash, after all. Bon voyage again, my love.  Enjoy your flight.

Then Elizabeth felt the cabin shake and the screaming began.

Thank you, Erin, for the inspiration.