All tagged february 2016

The bone trader opened his cloak, revealing to me that there was nothing but a skeleton beneath. Not everything inside was human in nature; his left ribs were parentheses of ivory, and those on the right had been replaced in their entirety by a caribou’s antler. There were copper bones in his legs that had once belonged to machine men, and rosewood vertebrae interspersed throughout his spine.

“Everything that you see here is open to trade, two or more of yours for one of mine.”

It is a difficult matter for ants to dream. The mental processing required takes up the majority of their small bodies, overflowing outward from tangled nerves into the strange oozes that fill their abdomens. Even these, the most social creatures on the planet, sometimes desire to be alone within their own minds.

“You know, like those little Russian dolls.”

“The kind where you break them open, and there’s a smaller one inside?”

“Yeah. One of these days I’m going to split in two, and a smaller, bloodier version of me is going to crawl out of my midsection. That’s what I have to look forward to in life.”


$7.99 BEER-BATTERED INSECT MEDLEY - A mixture of hornets, fireflies, and grasshoppers, deep-fried in our signature pilsner batter, then glazed with charcoal salsa. Don’t forget to spit out the stingers.

$4.99 WEST TEXAS POPCORN - Cooked over an open flame the old-fashioned way, then tossed in thistle butter, dusted with rock salt, and finished with a drizzle of cactus blood.

$9.99 HUMMINGBIRD SKEWERS - Grilled whole on shish kebabs with peach slices, brussel sprouts, and artichoke hearts. Painted with a glaze of local petroleum, served burning.

He awoke to find himself as a passenger on the train of the dead.

Those around him watched with interest as strange things passed outside their windows, from mansions in the clouds that were large enough to contain their own clouds, to orchards in which smaller orchards grew within transparent fruit on their trees. These were the afterlives of the greatest and most virtuous, containing splendors within splendors to allow an eternity of delight. All such things would soon be far behind.

The lives of insects are unceremonious, and often end as splatterings of colorful ichor. For the most part, they are small, fragile things with short lifespans and long lists of predators. As such, humans can earn the loyalty of their simple spirits by granting them something that the wilderness beyond rarely ever does: a proper funeral. Every species has its own preferred rites, several of which are outlined below:

There are nine isotopes of elemental fire which can be found in nature, though only five of these are stable.  Classical fire, the sort which lights candles and powers engines, consists on the atomic level of exactly eight protons, eight neutrons, and eight electrons. For this reason, it is often mistaken for oxygen during experiments in modern chemistry. Remove one neutron from this arrangement, and the resultant isotope is phlogiston, classical fire’s nearly indistinguishable cousin. Remove yet another neutron, however, and the result is a volatile substance known to natural philosophers as phlox borealis.

Through the matter of teeth, mankind’s innermost horror reveals itself. While the majority of the human skeleton is well-concealed, the skull is allowed to protrude beyond the flesh as two sets of sixteen tombstones, reminding its owner that it exists just beneath their skin. As such, teeth are the ultimate memento mori; a manifestation of death present in the visage of the living.