Tag Archive for: Scott O’Neill

Blended Family

by Scott O’Neill

I awaken to paralysis. Blinding lights. Hospital smells.

I vaguely recall feeling dizzy at Mom’s wedding reception.

“You’re conscious.”

My new stepfather glides into view, wearing blood-spattered scrubs and a lunatic grin.

“Observe.”

He tilts my head right. I see my new stepbrother, Caleb, unconscious on a gurney. Gleaming surgical staples circumscribe his upper arm, above a Celtic tattoo like mine.

Exactly like mine.

My head gets tilted left. More staples. I see Caleb’s arm grafted onto my shoulder.

The tectonic plates of my sanity shiver and buckle.

“Now you’re really part of our family, and we’re part of you.”

 

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on the socials as @wererooster.

Transmogrification

by Scott O’Neill

“Stupid goose,” said the witch. “The opening is big enough. See, I myself could get in.” She stuck her head into the oven.

Gretel shoved the witch and slammed the door. The witch howled frightfully. Finally, all was still. Gretel started towards Hansel’s cage, then stopped. The smell of roasted witch had her salivating.

She found herself opening the oven. Carving off a sliver, just to taste.

Delicious!

More slices. More nibbling.

Gretel hardly noticed her hands turning greenish and warty. Her eyes glowed red.

She cackled at Hansel in his cage. “You’re not fat enough. But you will be.”

 

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on the socials as @wererooster.

Gesundheit

by Scott O’Neill

Rabbi Michnik proudly watched his golem dismember four more Schutzstaffel guards.

Imprisoned in Hitler’s occult research facility, he’d invested months in secret sculpting and kabbalistic rituals to refine the humaniform clay.

His golem was graceful and obedient. He’d even taught it courtesy. It had politely held Michnik’s cell door after shattering the lock with its uncanny strength.

After much mayhem, the rabbi and the golem stalked two final guards.

One guard sneezed.

In a voice like a sack of rocks tumbling down stairs, the golem intoned, “Gesundheit.”

Michnik blanched.

The guards’ Schmeisser submachine guns mercilessly shredded both flesh and clay.

 

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on the socials as @wererooster.

Lawnmower Surfin’, USA

by Scott O’Neill

The TurfPredator 9000 riding lawnmower stalled out against the trailer park’s lone palm tree, most of a six-pack wedging its accelerator down. A grisly trail of mulched Florida man glistened redly behind the big mower.

Assorted trailer park denizens with deep tans and hyphenated names gawped and gossiped.

“Poor Billy-Bob.”

“What happened?”

“My kid just showed us a video on it. Lawnmower surfing is the new trend.”

“I don’t think Billy-Bob was doin’ it right.”

“He was okay till the wheel hit that gopher hole.”

“What’d he say to you before he started, Bobbie-Jo?”

“He just said ‘Hold my beer’.”

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on Twitter.

Twitter: @wererooster

Apex Predator

by Scott O’Neill

Twelve hundred pounds of angry Kodiak bear sliced the tents, guide, and tour group into bloody lasagna. The two survivors hid behind the campsite’s redolent porta-potty.

Ronnie pulled a stubby .32 semi-automatic pistol from his pocket.

“Are you insane?’’ hissed Chad. “That’s just gonna piss him off.”

Chad knelt and laced up his fancy running shoes.

“Who’s crazy now, college boy?” sneered Ronnie. “You can’t outrun no bear.”

“Like the joke says, I just gotta outrun you.” Chad stood and smiled smugly.

“That’s a good point,” said Ronnie as he levelled his gun at Chad’s stomach. “A real good point.”

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on Twitter.

Twitter: @wererooster

The Notorious Captain Jane Hotchkiss

by Scott O’Neill

“Just surrender! We’re about through,” crowed Ensign Richards.

A plasma cutter splattered molten metal from the freighter’s final bulkhead.

Muffled contralto laughter sounded behind the hatch. “Dear boy, the renowned star pirate Captain Jane Hotchkiss doesn’t surrender.”

“Renowned? Notorious, maybe. You’ve no engines and minimal life support,” said Richards.

“Where could you go?”

The cut bulkhead fell. Eager navy ratings followed their ensign through the still-smoking hole.

“Wherever I please,” came the voice from a comlink in the empty compartment.

Vibrations from released docking clamps echoed in the suddenly still air.

“My notoriety waxes ever brighter. Your pinnace is lovely.”

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on Twitter.

Twitter: @wererooster

Eudyptula ex Machina

by Scott O’Neill

Thunderous roars shook Sydney Harbour.

“Deploy the penguins,” ordered Professor Miller from the twin-hulled research vessel trailing the kaiju. “May science succeed where bombs failed.”

Hundreds of cybernetically modified little penguins swarmed from shipboard holding pens.

The kaiju faltered and wailed plaintively as the chromed beaks of augmented penguins carved cruel radio-directed paths through its innards. The mighty monster toppled.

Cheers erupted on the ship.

“Signal for return,” said Miller.

“Unresponsive.”

“Send it again!”

The frothing water, dark with pureed kaiju, grew still.

Professor Miller watched in horror as the swarm sped towards the city centre.

“What have we done?”

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on Twitter.

Twitter: @wererooster

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Expert System

by Scott O’Neill

 

I get the others to stop whimpering so I can hear my smartwatch.

“sAIveME free expert system downloaded. Please summarise your crisis.”

“Class-Nine shuttlecraft. Drive damaged by hostile lifeforms. Pilot and engineer eaten by same. Nontechnical crew to repair drive for escape.”

“Acknowledged. Scan damage and available resources.”

I show my watch the engine and repair kits.

“Acknowledged. Processing.”

The others crowd around to stare in breathless hope at the crawling progress metre on my watch.

“Solution complete. In-app purchase required. Please tender twenty-nine credits.”

“Smartwatch, check balance.”

“Balance twenty-two credits.”

I’m still laughing brokenly when they come for me.

 

Scott O’Neill.

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. He likes technology a lot, but he thinks we trust it too much. He can be found on Twitter @wererooster.

 

YEAR FOUR

YEAR FIVE