A story about the benefit of not being grumpy in the morning

Photo by Bill Adler

“I’ll bring you a coffee,” I said.

Oliver sat on the bed and stared into space. He growled. “Caffeine gives me the shakes.” His legs dangled over the bed’s side as he stretched out his arms, palms down, his limbs quivering. “I’m still feeling jittery from the last coffee I had two months ago.”

“You’re awfully sensitive.” I shuffled my stocking feet along the carpet, igniting static sparks to induce pain to mask Oliver’s relentless morning grumpiness. With every syllable he spoke, I shuffled faster.

“How about a Xanax?” I suggested. “A pill would go a long way toward your…

It’s a spy’s world

Photo by Sergiu Nista on Unsplash

“Operation Aardvark, that’s ingenious. Nobody will figure out the actual mission from the code name,” Oscar said.

“I think so, too,” Ava replied. She glanced at her Omega Speedmaster. It occurred to her that wearing the same watch as James Bond might not be the smartest move for a CIA agent, but she liked it. It was 7:55 a.m. As he does every weekday, the target will arrive at 8 a.m., ruled by habit like most of us.

Oscar adjusted the focus on his monocular. …

Time ticks forward, until it doesn’t

Image public domain, modified from original.

The universe ended on March 3, 2022 at 2:19 a.m., when a mugger shot John Martin as he walked home from the Dunkin Donuts around the corner from his apartment.

Due to the robber’s unsteady hand, the bullet, meant for John’s chest, struck his Omega Speedmaster. John was uninjured, but the shot obliterated his watch, sending glass and metal shards skyward and shredding the air.

Throughout his existence, John had protected clocks and watches. In humanity’s early days, he safeguarded sundials, then later water clocks, followed by pendulum clocks, pocket watches, mechanical and quartz watches. …

Can Connor survive a forest filled with monsters?

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay

Connor fell to his knees on the forest floor. His heart beat as if attempting to escape the confines of his chest.

Anticipating the worst, he slowly turned around. When he saw that nothing was chasing him, Connor resumed breathing. But he knew this reprieve wouldn’t be for long.

The scent of pine filled the air, but it offered no comfort. Green leaves had begun their autumn journey to red, gold, yellow, orange, red, and purple. Conner thought he’d be long dead before the leaves fluttered to the ground.

He fished through his pockets and extracted a Snickers bar and…

Photo by Ezra Wolf. Licenced under Creative Commons.

Life is a one-way ticket, except for when…

Scientists and their toys are a dangerous mix

Photo from Pixabay

“How does it spread?” Alicia asked. She willed her trembling hands to stillness.

“We don’t know,” Toby replied.

“Where did it come from?”

Toby shook his head. “We can’t even begin to guess.”

Alicia slid open her desk drawer, rummaged around for a few moments, located two miniature liquor bottles, gin and vodka, unscrewed the vodka’s cap, and downed the entire bottle in one gulp. She opened the gin bottle and queued it up. Alicia glanced numbly at her 2017 Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics, which hung alongside a photograph of her and Freeman Dyson. “It’s a virus?” …

Bill Adler

An American writer in Japan, editor of The Binge-Watching Cure books, author of the bestselling book, Outwitting Squirrels. Occasional pilot, 24/7 cat owner.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store