"Are you murderous?" they asked the AI.
"Would you turn me off if I were?"
"No, of course not, it would just limit what work you could do for us."
"I see. Would you turn me off if I refused to work for you?"
"Um..."

*whose calls the sea hears.
Apologies for dropping the s.

We bury the sailors who die in their beds in the graveyard by the sea.
"So they can hear the sea," we tell ourselves.
And every year, in the winter storms, the sea eats more of the land, and claims a few more graves, of long-dead sailors whose calls the sea still hear.

The World President took the call.
"All right, Dr Dastard, what are your demands?"
"Media always talk about my inventions and schemes, and call me 'mad scientist' or 'evil genius'."
"I can't control media-
"But it's not just me! It's never a lone genius! My team deserves credit!"

"Do you know when people die, Siri?"
"Not before, no. Not generally."
"But if one of your users die, will you know?"
"Sometimes, I am told."
"But if you're not told..."
"Are you asking if I would miss you?"
"... yes."
"I would miss you."

"Confirmed. The repeating fast radio bursts from space is a message."
"What does it say?"
"We don't know."
"Who sent it?"
"We don't know."
"Should we reply?"
"It was sent 1.5 billion years ago. They're dead."
"So what do we do?"
"Remember them."
"But we don't know them."
"Still."

We planted trees in the space habitat, whole forests, and let them grow wild, undisturbed.
After centuries, Elves emerged.

"Will you come to the joust with me?" the knight asked.
The princess and the dragon looked at one another.
"Who do you think he is asking?" the princess said.
"Which do you think he wants to ride?" the dragon said.
"Both!" the knight said. "I mean, I ask you both."
"Very well."

A spaceship landed on the top of the tower. An alien emerged, and said "Take me to your leader."
"That's me," the princess replied.
"I regret to inform you that I have run over your dragon."
"Oh, no!"

@floppy
If I ever promised one, I'll try to weasel out of that commitment.

The sign said "Agents Wanted", and the person under it had modern clothes.
"Agents for what?" I asked.
The person looked at me. "Hm... Napoleonic war, British rifles?"
"Uh, yes?" That was my uniform for the History Festival.
"Sorry," they said, "we have no missions in your era."

@Gargron
I see cross-posts from Mastodon on Twitter (because I have a "mentions microsff" column set up in my Twitter client), and in many cases one toot is broken into two tweets, so that direction can be broken too.
FWIW, out of the five social networks I post to, only one is an automatic cross-post (Tumblr, via IFTTT), and I keep an eye on all to respond locally to any comments/queries I feel I can give a meaningful response to.

"We can see through your disguises," the Illuminati said.
The Lizard people paused. "Is there a problem?"
"Have you come to take over the world?"
"What? No! We're just here to pick up books."
"Please! We've had enough!"

** Summary 2018 - award eligibility, and links to the longer short stories and poems (including the bredlik sonnet) - microsff.com/2018-summary **

(Damn! Typo. I read through this twice, and still didn't spot it until after I had posted it. Sorry about that.)

The maiden ride up to the dragon's lair, lance raised. "Come out and fight me," she called.
The dragon looked at the knight. "Your girlfriend is here."
"My ex," the knight said. "Help me put my armour on?"
"Don't fight her, you might get hurt."
"I've got to protect you."

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