Tagged: Shakespeare

Flappy Bard

Here’s my first HTML5 game – Flappy Bard! You might be wondering why you’re hearing about this one after April 1st’s Cookie Cracker. Well, there are two reasons:

  1. I made Flappy Bard as a birthday present for my sister and wanted her to have a chance to give it a go before it went out to the general public.
  2. I thought that Cookie Cracker would make a better April Fool’s joke if people weren’t already aware that I could create this sort of thing.

Flappy Bard is essentially a clone of the classic Flappy Bird, but with some small changes to the way in which obstacles are spawned and an overall Shakespearian theme. Continue reading

Shakespeare Jumps the Shark

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 14

Challenge #7*: Write a story in which at least one character only speaks in verse, another represents the Shakespearian fool, and someone dies tragically. It must include at least 10 words created by Shakespeare and the final word count must be a multiple of 37.

“Behold, the fair Ophelia whose feet

“so nimbly guide the course of skis that fly

“not upon base snow, that blights the land

“but water, flawless, perfect in its sheen.

“Drawn by vessel motorisèd she

“like Phoebus’ car glides swift across the lake,

“though not so bright, her radiance less grand,

“her fair-faced beauty gentler on the eyes.”

“Hamlet,” said the gravedigger, “it’s cool how much you like Ophelia and all—I’ll agree it’s admirable that she was so keen to give waterskiing a try—but I’ve got a job to do here and I think we can both agree I should probably get it done sooner rather than later. This isn’t the best time to stand on the lakeshore reciting an ode to her, if you see what I mean. I’m certainly finding it unhelpful, and I’m not sure it’s the best thing you could be doing right now either.”

“Stop up thy mouth, thou idle-headed fool!

“Canst thou not see mine eyes—only for her,

“Mine ears deaf but for that sweet engine’s sound,

“That draws my love behind, approaching me—”

There was a crunch as the leaky motorboat ploughed over the enrapt Hamlet. A lone eyeball shot out from beneath with a loud squeak, plopping into the water a considerable distance from the shore.

Laertes hopped out of the boat and walked away, oblivious to the carnage.

Ophelia stepped from her skis and followed him.

“That’s what you get for standing in the slipway,” lamented the gravedigger, shaking his head. Hamlet might have been well-read, but he hadn’t had a whole lot of common sense.

But on the bright side, the gravedigger considered as he approached the bloodstained shore, the hole he’d dug so far would probably be big enough after all.

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.

Othello 2: Moore’s the Pity

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 18

Challenge #8: Write a story that opens with the first sentence from another author’s piece this month, and includes the username of a different author in a creative way. It must use at least three words of the following five words: “flash”, “flasher”, “flashers”, “flashing”, or “flashed,” and at least three of these five words as well: “viva”, “fist”, “fistpump”, “community”, or “madness.”

“This can’t be right.”

SC:\Frank.les looked up from the script. “Hm?”

S:\ebast.ian held up the proof copy of the programme, servos whining in annoyance. “It says here that the part of Othello will be played by Leonardo DeadCaprio. You can’t have a zombie playing Othello! If he’s still dead in the sequel then the whole time machine plotline just falls apart!”

“Oh.” SC:\Frank.les’ ocular LEDs flashed reassuringly. “The theatre’s looking to shore up its relationship with the zombie actors’ union. Hopefully make our performances more accessible to the undead community. We’ve also got Helena Brainham Carcass for the role of Desdemona.” She scanned a little further down the script, LEDs flashing rapidly. “Oh, wait. Deadsdemona.”

S:\ebast.ian raised a hydraulic pincer to his forehead and gave a sigh of despair that only a Mercurial thespiandroid could perform. It was perfect to within a tolerance of six point two nanofacepalms.

“This is the thirtieth century! Zombie theatregoers want zombie actors. It’s inevitable.”

“It’s madness!” S:\ebast.ian detached his hydraulic pincer and swapped it for a lifelike latex fist, which he proceeded to shake angrily. “It’s an insult to the works of William Shatner!”

“That’s what they said about the first robot actors.” SC:\Frank.les gave a meaningful flash of her LEDs. She leaned in, speaking quietly. “After all, C-3Piago was originally played by a human in tinface!”

S:\ebast.ian’s CPU fan whirred loudly for a few seconds.

“Alright,” he said at last. “We’ll give DeadCaprio a chance.”

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 Cover

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

Some Manner of Shocking Twist

Flash Fiction Month 2014, Day 29

Challenge #13: Write an epistolary story in response to a piece of flash fiction written by another author this month. The story must include at least one dead character, at least one nameless character, and at least one cat. This story is a response to Joe Wright’s piece, Toil and Trouble.

Dear Miss MacAbre,


I have a somewhat embarrassing problem. As a recently deceased usurper of the throne, I’m having some difficulty adjusting to the afterlife. I understand that’s totally normal, and I’ve been very impressed by the advice on offer. The leaflet I was given upon arrival—So You’ve Been Besieged by an Army of Guys Dressed Like Trees and Your C-section Rival Lopped Your Head Off—was both helpful and unnervingly specific. I’ve taken everything it says on board and, though it’s hardly smooth sailing, I feel that I’m making good progress. My wife, who died shortly before me, seems to have acclimatised much more quickly and has already succeeded in gaining employment with a local magazine.


My real problem is that while I am content to slowly adjust to life after death, my wife is pressuring me to commit regicide once again. This causes no end of worry, as not only did it not work out so well for me last time, it is actually the same king. I fear that murdering him a second time would threaten to end our already strained friendship.


I love my wife dearly, and have tried to divert her attention from what I believe to be a doomed enterprise by adopting an adorable kitten named Spot. Sadly, my wife does not share my affection for him and upon seeing him will invariably attempt to shoo him outside. Also, I fear that distracting her with a pet or hobby would not address the underlying problem in our relationship.


I eagerly await your advice. Also, if there’s any chance anyone at your publication would be able to look after a small but very energetic kitten, I would be much obliged.


Yours sincerely,





Dear Anonymous,


Boo hoo hoo! You sound like such a whiny little girl. If I were a man, instead of a lady, I would totally murder that king so hard! In fact, I wish I wasn’t a lady so that I could actually murder him. I would be, like, soooo full of cruelty and thick blood and junk. And manly. Really manly. Just like you should be, except you’re not, because you suck. You big wuss.


Go kill Duncan again, and do it right this time.


Yours sincerely,

Lady MacAbre




Dear Miss MacAbre,


I’ve taken your advice, but I can’t help but feel that I’m just going round in circles. Everything is happening the same as before, only this time people seem to be much, much, much more suspicious of me. I didn’t like to mention this initially, but a lot of people who were around for my first stint on the throne are also dead now, and it’s hard to persuade them that I didn’t kill the king’s ghost. Frankly I feel kind of guilty that they’re even giving me the benefit of the doubt.








It’s fine. Just throw a big banquet. Get ‘em so drunk they don’t know what’s what! Also, if any of these people gave you trouble last time around, this would totes be the time to bump them off. Live and learn, right? Well, learn anyway.






Dear “Miss MacAbre,”


I didn’t exactly study at Wittenberg, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to plan multiple murders in the “Help and Healing” section of a widely-read magazine. While I’d like nothing more than to see both of you get your comeuppance, I personally would prefer it if you didn’t arrive in the after-afterlife quite so soon.



Banquo’s Ghost’s Ghost




Too late. He’s your problem now.






Not anymore.


Banquo’s Ghost’s Ghost




I think we should see other people. “Till death do us part” and all that. You can keep the cat.


Macbeth’s Ghost’s Ghost’s Ghost

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.

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.