Conclusion

Hole in the Wall: The Fifth Monday Three – Part Four

By Edele Winnie

“Jocelyn, is it really you?” Carol asked the white-coated woman up on the catwalk. “I am so…. muddled.” Carol ran her hands through her brown hair but the confusion remained. They were surrounded by buzzing machines, tubes and metal catwalks. “What is this place?”

Jocelyn laughed. “It’s definitely not the bank. The Jocelyn who works there with you is just one version of me. A sister, if you like.”

Carol pointed at one of the large glass tubes. It was filled with green liquid and an exact copy of Carol herself, floating languidly. Beside that there were more tubes and copies. Carol shook her head, unable to find words. Beside her, Gary shifted into a quivering red cylinder shape.

“I see you’ve met Gary. He’s a portal jumper. A creature that can transfer between dimensions without decomposing.”

“You make me sound so dull.” Gary complained and transformed into a star shape. “I’m actually a star.”

Everything seemed to be swirling in her head and Carol looked for a place to sit. She settled on the bottom step of a metal ladder that led to a catwalk above.

Gary changed into a rhombus. “There was a cloh enforcer right behind us.” (more…)

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Three Days of McKay – Part Two

By Edele Winnie

McKay came back the very next day. Hester was going out for breakfast, which today meant black coffee. There was a young man seated on a bench across from her building. He was wearing shiny black pants, a black shirt and black boots. His hair was dyed black. She could not see how tall he was because he was sitting.

“I took your advice,” he said to her as she passed. “Got some new clothes.”

He stood up then, painfully short McKay, all blacked out. It caught Hester by surprise and she almost said something but bit her tongue instead. They walked together in silence. Entered the coffee shop one after the other, sat at the counter on stools side by side. He ordered what she was having. The barista asked if they wanted separate bills. She said yes. He said no.

She turned to him. “Okay, let’s get through this. This isn’t going to work, you know? I don’t need a boyfriend. And I don’t want you.” (more…)

The Dale of Five Worlds – Part 7 (Conclusion)

By Christian Laforet

Sam was blindfolded. Her hands secured behind her back. After the Emperor’s men ambushed her and her companions, Felicia and Robi-Jo, at Fresh Choppers 9822, they were loaded on to a transport. She couldn’t help but wonder how the Emperor had managed to get to Hardpan. Although able to communicate across the worlds, he had, as far as she knew, not mastered the technology needed to teleport. A familiar voice answered all her questions.

“You must have known I’d figure it out.”

She tilted her head. “Professor?”

“Pahlease, I’m ten time smarter than that fool.”

“Don!” Sam’s words dripped venom.

Felicia piped in. “Hey, um, for those of us who have no freaking clue what you are talking about, how about some answers.”

Sam assumed her compatriots were secured, as she was. “The Professor was my mentor. He invented the teleportation technology that I’ve been using.”

“Huh,” Felicia said. “So, he turned traitor or something?”

Sam shook her head before remembering her friend probably couldn’t see the gesture. “No. The professor died for the cause. This is his half-wit twin brother Don.”

“Half-wit?” Don roared. “I’ve always been the smarter sibling.”

Sam laughed. “Yeah, right. You’re a lazy loser who leeched off the professor for years. I’m guessing you sold him out and stole his technology?”

Sam smiled when no reply came. Clearly she had hit the nail on the head.

Finally, the man spoke. “It doesn’t matter what you think, soon you and your friends will be dead. The Dread Rainbow Emperor will rule the multiverse and I’ll be there by his majestic side.”

Despite all her bravado, Sam felt a swell of remorse fill her. They had lost. “It’s over.” Her voice barely above a whisper, Sam shook her head. “We’ve failed. The great profit Veets was wrong, nothing can stop the Emperor.”

She felt the familiar distortion of a teleportation field wash over her.

***

When the blindfold was pulled from her face, Robi gasped. She expected to see anything but the sight before her. She, and the other two girls, stood in front of a massive window. The pane stretched floor to ceiling and looked out at the most gorgeous world she had ever seen. Towers of sparkling glass and ivory stood like sentinels across the landscape. Lush bunches of trees and foliage carpeted the land around them, and stretching between it all was rainbows. These were not just illusions of light like the ones she was used to either, these were physical arches which radiated glorious colour.

“Holy crap!” Felicia let out a whistle. “This place is—” (more…)

The Fifth Monday – Hard On’s Curse Conclusion

By Ben Van Dongen

Chad struggled to wake up. His dream, something about a hot Quebecois redhead with a Charles Bronson moustache, kept tugging him back to sleep. Yawning, his jaw cracked, and water slipped into his open mouth. The half of his face he wasn’t sleeping on was wet and cold. The sensation, along with a burning desire to take a piss, roused him.

Burning. The word repeated in his head. Burning. It was distasteful, making him frown and fidget. Burn. He smelled smoke, or char. Burner. The word made him sneer.

“Ah!” He jumped up, running in a circle, kicking up snow, screaming and clutching his bottom.

The grumbled, deep voice of the snoozing demon joined the yells. “Shut the fuck up Hard-On, I’m still fucking sleeping.” The words, accompanied by small fires, caught dry branches and grass in the patch on the ground, melted by the demons heat.

“My asshole is on fire! My asshole, it burns!” (more…)

Dime Store Detective – Part Seven (Conclusion)

Ben Van Dongen

The elevator doors opened onto a dim city street. Streetlights were on to compensate for the deep shadows and setting sun, which was almost gone over the horizon. Groups and couples walked down the sidewalks or hailed cabs. Thomas took a moment to look for a cab without a group of people standing around it, trying to make their claim, but they were all taken, leaving dozens of people waiting. He turn and ran, dodging pedestrians and excusing himself.

At the first intersection, he went right then darted across the street through a gap in the traffic. Horns honked at him, but he ducked left into an alley, leaving them behind.

Coming out at another street, he followed it to the next intersection, ran left through traffic again

Thomas ran along the street, next to parked cars, but he was tiring and slowed. Plodding down the sidewalk as quickly as he could, he ran into a woman who walked out of a store without looking. (more…)

The Fifth Monday: Hard-On’s Curse – Complete

Part One

Ben Van Dongen

Chad sat at a scarred counter, behind bulletproof glass. The pawn shop was empty and he was on the verge of beating his Joust high score, on his phone. His boss, Mr. T, was in the back office doing the day’s banking, and probably, he thought, some blow.

“Hard-on!” Mr. T’s yell was accompanied by a bang, crash, and swearing.

“I pity the fool who calls me Hard-on.” Chad ignored the continuing swearing that grew louder.

“Cut that shit out.”

Chad put one hand up, the other was furiously tapping his phone screen. “Don’t call me Hard-on and I won’t point out that you go by the name of an 80s icon.”

The owner of the pawn shop was perpetually sweaty. Thick black, sweaty, body hair poked through his t-shirt. Even his voice was greasy.

“Put that damn thing down. You responsible for that coin on my desk?” Mr. T swatted at Chad’s phone, but missed. Spit flew from his mouth and he pointed to his office.

Sad digital music played from the phone as the last ostrich-rider died.

“Come on T, I was going for the high score.”

“This is serious, little shit. The coin, on my desk.” Mr. T wiped his brow with a dirty handkerchief.

Chad pocketed his phone and swiveled to face his boss. “Yeah. Some super old, jacked-up, dude brought it in this morning.” (more…)

Dime Store Detective – Complete

Ben Van Dongen

Thomas rested his eyes. He pulled the authentic fedora down and put his feet up on his real wood desk. He hadn’t had a case in months, not that he expected any, but he was getting desperate. He didn’t need the money, the buyout he got when his tech start up was acquired gave him more than he could spend if he tried. His detective business was a dream that the extreme money and young retirement allowed him to fulfill. Thomas’ skills were with genetic programming, but his passion was detective novels.

The collection of folded and faded paperbacks was considered and eccentricity that kept other literary zealots away, but the genera fascinated Thomas. Using his time and wealth to recreate the office of his favourite detective and actually opening for business made him a kook, but he had the money to not care. Thomas even sprung for a human secretary. Big shots, like the CEO of Fresh Choppers, the top conglomerate in the world, didn’t hire humans, and Thomas’ did accents. He had insisted on having a woman, just like the books, but the old Bronx dialect was a bonus. He smiled thinking about it.

The afternoon quietly napped with Thomas. He considered heading down to the local watering hole to get the word on the street. The friendly neighbourhood bartender, paid by Thomas to play the part, kept his ear to the ground. The robotic ones never talked. He contentedly listened to the whir of the fan and the sound of his secretary randomly hitting keys on the typing machine. He swore it was called a typewriter, but she insisted it was a typerator.

Thomas decided to skip the trip to the bar and ride out the rest of the afternoon in the office. At five his secretary would come in and complain about how slow it was and about not getting paid. Thomas would assure her he would come up with the cash, though her fee was promptly transferred to her account weekly. The guys would be at his place for poker by the time he got there, then he would end the night by chronicling his adventure in his own detective novel.

With a stretch, Thomas sighed. It was in the slow afternoons that building and selling his company paid off.

“Mr. Holliday? Rachel, his secretary, called over the antique intercom. Her voice sounded tinny and hollow over the speaker, but the high-pitched nasal quality was all hers. (more…)