10-Word Stories (From Microsatan Mag #4)

The moment I sawed you, I ruined the magic trick.


Shrimping is hard, swimming is harder, drowning is the worst.


Ignoring all warnings, I opened shop. Sign market too crowded.


Tonight, we fell in love. Fuck, uncompatible phone chargers. Nevermind.


Roomba thought it was the last of its species. Tragic.


Chad lived in his car. Had a home, got lost.


Surfing gravitational waves was always too lofty of a goal.


Her new invention was complete! Plastic hats would change everything!


On Halloween: dressed as Pinhead, he tripped. Now, he’s Pinhead.


Fittingly enough for our purposes, augmented reality changed the world.


“There is no story without conflict.”
“Yes there is, idiot.”


The Future is Augmented

The world of technology is advancing at breakneck speeds. Science fiction is bleeding into our reality on an almost daily basis. From 3D printing to the new frontiers of virtual reality and high-definition video, we’re creating a new reality where anything is possible. One of the most promising new fields of technology is the world of augmented reality, also known as AR. Using augmented reality, you can use goggles, or even a cell phone to change the view of the world around you. We’ve already seen it used to give drivers more lifesaving information on the road in real time and to translate signs into other languages for travelers. But we here at Techworld 2000 think that it can be used for so much more. So, without further ado, here are some potential new uses for augmented reality technology:


Have you ever wanted to go on a wildlife safari? Of course you have, the heart of the oppressive colonialist beats within us all! Now with AR, your everyday commute can be a safari. Just don your new mobile Hololens or AR-enabled windshield and you’ll be able to change all of your fellow pedestrians and drivers into wild animals. That junkie on the corner, put there by an underserved mental health care system? Now he’s a giraffe! Police officers behind you making you nervous? They’ll appear as a pack of hyenas! Now the majesty of the savannah can follow you wherever you go! Well, eventually, that is.


Ever wondered what the other half is eating while you’re subsisting solely on canned beans and the occasional trip to taco bell? Well, with Otherhalf you will always know what your life would be like if you had been born into better circumstances or not missed that one opportunity by replacing every can, TV dinner, or empty space in your pantry and refrigerator into whatever it is rich people eat when viewed through your Android-enabled Walmart Family Plan phone. Do you know what it is? Neither do I! I work in the publishing field! Probably something like sheep fetus or something they sell at Whole Foods. Do they sell sheep fetus at Whole Foods. I guess it would have to be a whole sheep fetus to stay on brand none of that half sheep fetus bullshit. Yeah, that makes sense.


Tired of your elders always saying “It used to be so different here” everywhere you go together? Soon, you’ll be able to shut grandpa up with a concept we’re calling Gray-Tinted Goggles. Slip some AR-enabled device to your grandparents head and project historical images of every location in the world over your reality. To them, nothing will ever be different ever again. I mean, sure you could accomplish the same thing with by blindfolding them wherever you go, but we’ve found that that only increases complaints old people, in our experience.


Sometimes the most obvious idea is the best. KissyFace will be the next big name in Paul Stanley facial replacement software. Now everybody in your life can have the face of KISS’ resident starchild, Paul Stanley. Are we really the first ones to come up with that? It seems improbable, you lying sack of shit.


There’s no limit to what we as humans can do, except for our black, selfish hearts. Now that our technology is reaching new heights  of ingenuity and usefulness, there is no limit to the collective human potential we can waste by prioritizing the collection of objects over caring for each other, and the sales and advancement of weapons technology over fearlessness! It’s time for us to invent the future so we, together as human beings, can squander it!

Kissyface free trial

The Resolution pt. 1

[Inspector D’Anton]

Now I understand we’ve all had a trying night here, locked in this mansion with a wanton murderer, but I’ve gathered you all here in the drawing room to reveal who that killer is. At last, our long nightmare of fear, suspicion, and low-quality hors d’oeuvres will be at an end.

Mrs. Walters you poor woman, not only are you a new widow, but you’ve had many of your own guests opening accuse you of murder with their eyes. At least I’m pretty sure that’s the case, my intuition is not what it once was. But, why wouldn’t they? It’s long been suspected that you have been less than loyal to your now-deceased husband Edward over the past few months. And while, that may be completely untrue, it gives many the appearance of motive.

However, at the precise moment that the shot rang out, you and I were in the broom closet discussing serious business matters. Just to make sure, before we rolled your husband up in the rug to avoid having to eat our dried out deviled eggs around the corpse that was beginning to smell like them, I checked the door of the closet for a hole of the same size and shape as the one in your husband. There was none, and you have been cleared, sexy.

Now, to Miss Mallory Martin the maid: You love your ducks, don’t you. Always feeding them that stale bread that would have otherwise been used for that mediocre crostini, taking them on walks through the garden, teaching them to roll over and play dead. Very maudlin, Miss Martin. It was no secret that you have been slowly emptying the feathers from the Walters’ pillows and gluing them to your ducks to keep them warm for the oncoming winter. Clearly, you think you can play god; there’s only a small step between that sort of behavior and deciding that you should be allowed to decide who lives and dies.

It must have driven you crazy when Mr. Walters used to play Jock Jams 3, his favorite album, through the speakers disguised as rocks in the garden, regardless of how many times you warned him that all birds hate the song “Come and Ride it (The Train)” by Quad City DJs. He deserved to die, didn’t he, Mallory? Didn’t he?!

In all honesty, most of us agree with you, however confusing your reasoning we may be. You couldn’t have done it, could you? You were too busy in the kitchen disguising this evenings’ overcooked chicken a l’orange to appear more like duck, weren’t you? None of us were fooled, and I think we all agree that you should have died as well for that transgression. Oh well, justice isn’t always on time.

And here we have young Cayson. 16 years old and you’ve never wanted for anything. Money, cars, friends who aren’t quite as good as you at sports even though your own ability is negligible. . . You’ve got it all Cayson; you’ve even been handed the ability to appear educated without the need to be intelligent. You’ll make a fine investment banker one day.

But you couldn’t wait for a full fortune, could you? Your uncle had always provided everything you could want, but greed is a filthy animal living in the pit of your stomach, devouring everything, isn’t it Cayson? You knew that your uncle had made you the sole beneficiary in his will after catching your aunt with a particularly handsome gentleman caller. So, you killed him, didn’t you?

No? Okay, I was just checking. Well, in that case, congratulations. We’ll talk about my fees after this little bit of unpleasantness is over. Also, your hair is absolutely perfect this morning, all things considered.

Well, as I’ve gathered an uncountable number of suspects into this room and refuse to reveal to you the true murderer, I had better move on with my person by person exposition. Who knows how long this will take, probably until whatever force controls this universe gets tired of this bit.

[To be continued]