Who Sheds Blood With Me Will Forever Be My Brother

An interloper in the fullest sense, he is: godsent, heroic, fraternal, doomed. In that we are united. The inexplicable cruelty of our fathers, that pit us against each other! What sin is this, to pit teeth and hooves against flesh and warm bronze? We have deserved more, my brother, my soul, my destroyer.

Cruelty is our birthright, my sister; he will use you and cast you aside. We have never met, but I have heard your weeping on a summer’s night, heard your voice as the rock is rolled away from the gate to this my tomb. What did they tell you of me? Did your father explain his crime to you, did our mother trace her humiliation upon the shore?

They cast me here in horror before I was even born, built this charnel house even as I turned overlarge within an amniotic sea; through flesh and fluid I watched it descend into the earth, traced its singular coil with half-formed eyes. I might have spoken prophecy for them, had they listened, had they waited, had I a more commanding tongue. This moment, this meeting, was inevitable as the returning tide, as the flood water rising to reclaim the plains.

The Ambitions of Great Men

“The bitter irony,” Murphy panted, grinning bloodily down at the shredded remains of the former head of Omni Consumer Products. “Killed by your own creation. Did you expect it to save you?”

The suit, somehow still clinging stubbornly to life, made a horrible burbling noise that it took him a few seconds to understand as laughter. “You… still don’t get it. The goal… was never… to build a police officer that would… never malfunction, never take… an innocent life. The goal was to create one… that wouldn’t care… if it did. My death… all of this… you…just a successful proof of… concept.”

“Look around, you jackass. Your prototype is spare parts, your headquarters is in ruins. Omni can’t come back from this.”

More of that horrible burbling. “It… doesn’t matter. We were never the hand, only… the lever. You can’t shoot an… idea, Murphy. They hate us, they hate me, but… they’ll love you. They’ll make you a hero… they’ll make more of you. The world… needs heroes…”

He died still laughing.

I Come To Bury Caesar

It’s a long string of Polish jokes and first the crowd is hostile, then it’s game, then it’s just bored. The hack is impervious to their heckling, but they’re drunk, they’re horny, they’re a steeltown mob trying to blow off steam at the weirdo burlesque bar and grill and there’s only so long they can put up with this nonsense.

They’re long past the point where simply yelling GET OFF THE STAGE is going to move the needle, so a group of more or less sober welders huddle together for a bit and send their most tactful bruiser up onto the stage. Which, normally that’s verboten, but desperate times, desperate measures; the bartender makes an overt show of turning away to wash some dishes.

“Hey, listen,” the hod says, one meaty, heatscarred hand on the sweaty shoulder of the comedian. “We’re all in your corner here, but don’t you think you should wrap it up?” The comedian doesn’t blink, just rolls right into his joke about the lesbian with a hard-on. The hod shakes him slightly, then harder, but nothing; he doesn’t even make eye contact. With a shrug, he scoops him up in his arms, or tries to, but the hack is boneless as an eel, slips through his arms without missing a beat. One of the other welders, drunker than most, hurls a bottle. It embeds itself dead center in his forehead. “Hey,” says the comedian, smiling mildly. “You shouldn’t oughta do that.”

It’s at this point that they discover the doors are all locked, and the bartender and the waitresses are all gone, but of course by then it’s too late.

Sherlock Holmes Is A-Mouldering In His Grave

The bees are long dead, John and Mary more recently, and his fame, such as it was, is a long-banked fire he warms himself on on short winter days. Time has stolen his height and his appetite, and most days he sits quietly by the southern window watching the sun move across the valley. He boasted once to John that he neither knew nor cared if the sun revolved around the earth or the earth around the sun, as neither case could affect the solution of a crime; now, however, he cannot watch a sunrise without thinking of it.

They must have been young, then, but it was all so long ago he cannot conceive of what youth must have been like. He remembers the anxiety and the desperation of his idle times, but not the pith of the experience—remembers it as a story to be told. How it felt to be so despairingly understimulated that he would rather throw himself from the top of the falls than not eludes him. He is as precise with dates and times and distances as ever, but without the vital interest in humanity that once drove him, those points of data are as sterile and drily pleasing as a railway schedule.

He had not expected to live so long, to so far outlast not only the dead but even himself. He does not begrudge the passing time, but he cannot bring himself to care about it, either.

I Blame The Parents

Two noble houses alike in dignity, which is to say: none.

Look at these dumbasses, pulling knives on each other in the street in front of a cop, and then insulting each other’s virginity when el swine give them the stinkeye. Is this wise? Is it smart? Forget an honest man, Diogenes would starve to death looking for a single Veronese brat with the sense to pour piss out of a boot.

Horny idiots, the lot of them, which would be just about endurable except for the fact that they’ve got more money than god and mostly spend it on booze, caffeine, and an endless supply on knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, short swords, rapiers, foils, sabres, and epees. One utter maniac has a fucking claymore as tall as he is, it’s a wonder he hasn’t decapitated himself or someone else hauling it around to every pubescent rager in the city.