Tagged: play

Lente Currite, Noctis Equi

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 5

May 30th, 1592:

Christopher Marlowe is the talk of London. Those who were in the audience can scarce relate what marvels have been conjured on the stage: they have trembled to see Faustus sign his pact with Satan, delighted at the mischief he inflicts upon the Pope, marvelled at fireworks far beyond compare. It was as if Marlowe had summoned up the very flames of Hell. All who stood within that theatre recall the moment that the gates were opened, and—though the entire troupe was present—an extra devil stepped upon the stage.

May 30th, 1593:

Christopher Marlowe is the talk of London. Those who were in Bull’s Tavern cannot say how it happened—not even Ingram Frizer, whose dagger dealt the fatal blow—though they agree it started when the bill came. Someone might have mentioned Marlowe had a debt to pay. From there things became heated: diverse malicious words were exchanged. None recall the extra figure at the table, who later slipped away.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Cragne Manor

Not so long ago, I contributed to Cragne Manor, a massive (80+ authors) interactive fiction project created as a tribute to Anchorhead. The game is now finished, and you can play it in your browser!

This is quite a different sort of game to the things I’ve made with Twine. It’s a parser-based text adventure, meaning that instead of simply clicking links you must control it by typing things like “go north,” “take key,” and “hit shoggoth with inflatable novelty hammer.” I’ve got no idea if that last one is ever an option in the game. I’ve got no idea what’s in the game at all beyond the one room I designed, to be honest. It might be terrible! The opening text suggests that it is (and that that’s part of the fun).

It also offers quite a list of objectionable content that appears in the game, so maybe not one for the squeamish. It is cosmic horror after all!

The Trouble with Tybalt

Flash Fiction Month 2014, Day 19

Challenge #9: Write a science fiction story featuring at least one non-human character. It must also include the phrase “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

“What light through yonder window breaks?

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

“Beautiful,” whispered Splirda from the front row, dabbing a tissue to her eye with one of her many facial gnathopods. “He may be young, but I doubt there’s been such a moving performance since Lemon Nimrod originally took to the stage a thousand years ago.”

Splurg leaned forward, peering through his thick omnifocals. “I don’t get it,” he grumped. “Who’s that guy? What’s going on? Why is that battleturret made of plywood?”

Splirda sighed, exasperated. “That’s Romulo. He’s in deeply in love with Juliet, but they can’t be together because he’s a Montagen and she’s a Capulet: Montag II is stuck in a bitter war with planet Capule, much to the consternation of the United Federation of Planets. The plywood battleturret is part of a sacred Thespian tradition. They don’t use any hologimmickry in these performances.”

“O Romulo, Romulo, Wherefore art thou Romulo?

Deny thy D’era and refuse thy fame;

Or, if thou wilt not…”

“Why is the female Earth-creature flailing about like that?”

“It’s an all-human acting troupe. They’ve only got the two arms so they’ve got to move about a lot in order to convey the proper sense of drama.” She leaned in close. “If you’d gone to last week’s performance of Othello 2: Moore’s the Pity you’d know all about it. They held a very informative Q and A session afterwards.”

Splurg blew contemptuously through his five lips. “If you have to know all this stuff for it to make sense, it can’t be very good.”

Sprilda harrumphed and turned her attention to the play.

Things went on much as they had done before, and Splurg almost dozed off. But then something changed. There was a scuffle of activity on stage as the one known as Mercutron drew a raygun from his belt.

“Tribbalt, you rat-blaster, will you walk?”

“I am for you.” Tribbalt drew his too.

Romulo approached, his gently flailing arms perfectly illustrating his wish for peace. “Come Mercutron, put thy phaser up.”

But alas, it was in vain. Mercutron and Tribbalt lunged for one another, both weapons scattering really far away across the stage. As they began to grapple, blaring music rose from the orchestra.

Suddenly, Splurg realised that he was really quite enjoying this, and Sprilda knew it. “Okay,” he said reluctantly. “It’s not all bad, I guess.”

“I told you!” Sprilda beamed. “William Shatner’s the best playwright who ever lived!”


If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from Flash Fiction Month 2012 and 2013 collected in OCR is Not the Only Font and Red Herring respectively.