Experiment #380

StoryLab Going on Hiatus

Not a story this week, but an announcement. I’m putting StoryLab on hiatus for a while. How long, I’m uncertain, but for the foreseeable future.

While telling stories is my first love and something I plan to continue to do, right now I have so many irons in the fire with The Undead Institute, Illustrated Sci-Fi, 8 Word Stories, Pineapple Comics and a thousand other things I want to do that I need a break … Read More

Experiment #395

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 5

The tables were set and the guests were seated. From just outside the door Fiz breathed out a prayer. He straightened his shoulders then walked into the black tie dinner wearing a chicken costume. 

Fiz walked out to the center of the room and began singing the doleful end of a popular dwarf opera about a mine that had run dry and the dwarf who’d worked it all his life. When he finished the room was … Read More

Experiment #394

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 4

In the morning Fiz performed his tooth retrieval duties, then sought to avoid the Chancellor as much as possible. At one point when he heard the Chancellor coming he jumped into a wardrobe and pulled the door closed. After the Chancellor had passed, Fiz discovered that he had locked himself in. His yelling and banging soon brought him a savior: the Chancellor.

“What are you doing amongst these women’s clothes?” the Chancellor asked. 

Fiz looked around him … Read More

Experiment #393

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 3

With Ralph sick, Lord Cuspid on a visit to his constituency, Jeffrey on one of his trips to see the Jolly Red Elf, and, of course, Fiz working a double shift gathering teeth, Sekh, head of security, had woken Frannella up from a deep sleep when Lord Martuke arrived. 

As aide-de-camp to the Duke, She was the highest ranking person he could find. Once Sekh had repeated the issue three times she wiped the sleep from … Read More

Experiment #392

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 2

“Well of course I trust you,” Fiz said more worried than usual about Ed and Fred’s plans.

“Good,” said Ed. 

“Politically we need the Chancellor to reinstate you as Lord High Grumgrum of the Dwarven Regency,” added Fred. 

“The Duchess of Tooth has held the position for the last thousand years,”

“But the transfer is by no means guaranteed from one ruler to the next.”

“Even more so this time with the change in gender.”

“He’s here to see whether you’re … Read More

Experiment #391

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 1

Fiz appeared out of thin air with tired eyes. The tooth fairy control room was long past the height of activity. Only the first of the tiered rows of operations personnel remained. A janitor busied himself in the back of the room. Fiz walked up to the first row and yawned. “Kip, remind me to fire Ralph if he ever gets sick again.”

“That won’t solve your issue, Sire,” Kip said. Kip was an old elf … Read More

Experiment #390

Wipple Gang: 49 Part 4

“Sorry, Mavis,” I said automatically. 

“Don’t be sorry, Clem. Stand up for yourself. I like Stank cuz he’s honest, handsome as the day is long and don’t take lip from nobody, not even me.”

“Sorry, Mavis,” I said again. 

She shook her head. 

“But, Mavis, I—”

“Clem,” she said. “I’m with Peter and that’s final.”

I hung my head and sauntered toward the door. As I passed Stank, I looked up at him. He didn’t meet my eyes.

I wandered outside and … Read More

Experiment #389

Wipple Gang: 49 Part 3

They chomped and giggled all through dinner without a word or a nod at me or Cooter. Then after they ate, lickety split they ran right back to Mavis’ room. It went on like this for a few days till I couldn’t take it no more. I pounded on the door and shouted, “Open up in there!”

Stank opened the door with a half-smile on his face. “What’s going on here?” I asked tryin’ to keep … Read More

Experiment #388

Wipple Gang: 49 Part 2

“Can’t we rob some other bank?” I asked. “That place is tighter’n a muskrat’s death grip.”

“Ain’t no other bank gonna give us a payday that’ll get all three of us back to Earth,” Stank said. “And Old Man Cooter a retirement.”

“Well wouldn’t that mean we’d get stopped soon as we tried to buy tickets?” I asked. “They’d knows the money didn’t pop out of Stank’s tuchus.”

“Stop worrying, Clem.” Stank said. 

“We’ll be fine,” Mavis said. She … Read More

Experiment #387

Wipple Gang: 49 Part 1

Mavis got itchy if she stayed in one place too long. We’d been staying with Old Man Cooter for almost a month and Mavis was acting like she had hives. Though that also could have been an allergy to the soap that had heretofore been a distant memory to each of us. 

Old Man Cooter required us to bath regularly. And when me and Stank had first done it the water was as black as ashes … Read More

Experiment #386

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 4

The old man belted out a laugh. “Ha! She used to say that too.”

“Who?” Stank asked.

“My daughter,” the old man replied. “Your friend here reminds me a lot of her.” His eyes shone with memory. “A few more moments with someone like her. Well… It’s done me good.”

“What’re we gonna do now?” I asked maturely and not at all whiney-like.

“Your call, Mavis,” Stank said.

Mavis dropped the gun. “That meal still a possibility?” she asked. 

“Planning a … Read More

Experiment #385

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 3

Old Man Cooter shook his head. “What do you want from me?”

“To go see your house,” she said

“And what’s in your barn!” I added. 

“Okay,” Old Man Cooter said, “hop in.” 

Stank and I smiled and hopped in the back of the truck. Mavis sat shotgun and kept the laser gun on him at all times. 

He took us back to his house and put some soup on to boil. 

“Now let’s see that barn,” Mavis said.

“Follow me,” Old … Read More

Experiment #384

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 2

“Can I help you?” he asked. 

“Old Man Cooter! So good to see you…” Mavis said trailing off as if he knew what she were talking about.

“Okay. Uh, what can I do for you?”

“How’s the weather?”

“I’d say rather cold.”

Having finished everything she could think to say, she just stared at him. 

“You three okay?” he asked. “Those two boys look like a coyote rung the life out of ‘em. You need a hot meal or something?”

Stank and … Read More

Experiment #383

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 1

After the train job went South, both in the direction that maglev train went and in the cash that never left it, the Wipple Gang, me, “Stank” Foreman, and Mavis Wipple went on a “cleansing fast,” least that’s what Mavis called it. Stank called it rebelling against the “Food Czar” …whoever that was. I always just called it being too broke to eat. 

So we was hungry for work and for food when Mavis came to … Read More

Experiment #382

Wipple Gang: Gold Rush

We called ourselves the Wipple gang cuz Mavis said we should. Me and Stank had had our name on plenty of fool’s errands before so we were right fine with her taking this one. Well that and the fact that she could beat us up one side of the spaceport and down the other. 

When we looked at the state of our finances, which was to say we had none, Mavis got it in her head … Read More