Midnight Jolt Run

Caffeine tastes better when the city's asleep

Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category


Posted by Fiss on June 17, 2018

By Christopher Brummet


“Well, Joe, I’ve got some good news. And I’ve got some bad news.”

“Seems like news always does that,” Joe McDunn said, not daring to look down at the folded newspaper. Even as he handed over his dollar-twenty-five for the special weekend edition, he could see the titular headline announcing that the votes were in. “It’s decided then.”

“Sure is,” the newsstand owner nodded back in the dim morning night. “Everyone will know in an hour or so. You’re probably the first who has a copy in their hands.”

“Thanks, I’d better head back,” Joe said, looking towards his home instead of the headlines. “Think I’ll read it in front of the family. They deserve to know when I do.” It sounded noble when he said it like that, anyway.

“Here,” the owner said, handing him a rolled up poster. “For the resistance,” he winked. “Just in case.”

Joe nodded, then began walking, newspaper tucked under one arm, poster in the other. He wondered what his wife and daughters would say. Good or bad, at least they would have the news at last.

Almost a year ago, June 20th, 2021 “The Event” happened. It had been a beautiful summer Sunday in Newfoundland, Canada, and families everywhere were celebrating Father’s Day. Dads, Granddads, Uncles, Mentors, Father-Figures and all manner of household patriarchs were being honoured for their quintessential Dad-ness as had been tradition for decades. The Event occurred quite by accident, though. A large percentage of Dads started telling jokes at around the same time.

The wave of Dadjokes crept across Canada as the Earth rotated. Quips, bad word-play, silly innuendo…all was showcased in this amazing moment of Fatherly Synergy all across the nation. But, as their collective punchlines, puns and verbal punishment all culminated to fruition in the span of a single heartbeat, a collective groan roared across the province. Moms, Kids, Partners, and all manner of family and friends promptly reacted to the Greatest Dadjoke Wave ever, and produced a power far more destructive than even the worst Dadjoke on its own.

“The Event” had begun in the East. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Short Stories

The Wall

Posted by Fiss on June 18, 2017

The Wall


“Mother, why do you believe in magic?”


I remember, while growing up, thinking how silly it seemed that mother would place a saucer bowl out for the pixies, and whisper a prayer thrice while tossing a pinch of salt over her shoulder whenever she needed some extra luck.  Ours was an age and a kingdom of reason, though superstitions seemed to be growing every year and an acceptance of magic became almost commonplace.  Finally at the age where my curiosity and frustration could no longer be held in check by mere politeness, I asked her outright.

She blushed deeply, turning her normally rosy pink cheeks a more crimson shade as she did.  “The Wall, honey.  Everyone believes in magic since the Wall appeared.”

“What wall?” I huffed.  I had heard of this ‘wall‘ whispered of before, but every time I asked for clarity, I was met with blushes and giggles and all manner of infuriating silence.  More often than not, I heard the words my mother then said to me:

“I’ll tell you when you’re older, honey.”

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Posted under Short Stories

The Impossible Hunt

Posted by Fiss on April 15, 2017

The Impossible Hunt


Drone Commander Aima of the great Patchu War-Beetle lay conscious in his nesting pillows, unable to obtain regeneration-rest for several moons now. Voices that were not his own began to creep into his conscious thoughts. Shadows that were cast by inert objects suddenly became…human-shaped…in his fevered mind’s eye. Still, he tried to rest, until he startled back to full alertness, gasping and wheezing with the imagined cold steel of a human blade at his nerve-stem.

“I hate this world…” he murmured to himself.

Twisting his eye-stalks to the viewing porthole by his nest, he saw the great blue-and-white sphere they orbited. The native species…humans…had called the world Earth. He hated Earth. Commander Aima hated the Earth more than anything…except for That Human.


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Posted under Short Stories

Santa’s Gotta Die

Posted by Fiss on July 10, 2016

695The last three people I murdered each thanked me.

I used to like being thanked by those who had made their peace with it all. They seemed to get why my office is more like an office and less like a prison cell. Made me feel like I was performing a mercy when we talked. Not everyone thanked me, but the anomalous streak of late has made me sick just thinking about it.

A knock at the door. It normally startles me, but I suppose I’m beyond caring now. Some lingering sense of professional pride forces me to hide the bottle of whiskey I have been sipping at for breakfast, and when I key in the codes and open the door I try to breathe shallow to hide my vice. Two armed guards and the warden are standing behind the door, flanking a man gagged and bound to a wheelchair.

“Good morning, Doctor Crane,” the warden says firmly, offering me the briefest of shamed glances and a clip-board to sign. “Prisoner Dennis Newton shall now be transferred into your possession to carry out his sentence for the murder of three peace officers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Short Stories

Bloom part 1

Posted by Fiss on August 6, 2012

She wakes up at a quarter to four, spends a futile sixty seconds trying to pretend sleep will return, and lets out a three year old sigh when it is denied.

A bad case of electrocution brought on by careless co workers, badly grounded high heels, and some truly comedic timing had been the culprit.  The doctor said she’d have problems sleeping now.  The doctor told her her body would be different after the accident and she would have to relearn some of the more rudimentary things she once took for granted.  The doctor told her there could be other side effects, like sleepwalking, hallucinations, and panic attacks.  The doctor was full of shit; if she got to sleep on time all the other stuff would go away without the medication.
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Posted under Short Stories

Apollobo (part 2)

Posted by Fiss on March 21, 2011

[read part 1 here]


My Daddy once told me that you should never rely on the works and acts of a pair of hands that isn’t still around to own up for them.

I believe this intrinsically, as do many poor hobos like me who have spent the night in a pre-dug camp and ended up getting crushed by rock when the half-assed supports failed.  Even worse is some of the corporations who sling out small fortunes in an effort to professionalize this rock-hopping business.  They’ll cut corners, ignore warning signs and pull out their teams before they can see the results of their poor planning.   The nastier characters, and I do know a few, will set boobytraps that they forget about when leaving, or purposely leave just for a dark chuckle.   Fine by me, I say.  Just more reason to dig your own holes and set your own tent.


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Posted under Short Stories

Apollobo (part 1)

Posted by Fiss on January 8, 2011

It’s an art, ya’see.

All in the wrists in those last few seconds.

When I tell the youngsters that you have about a minute to prepare once you see the train comin, they act like a minute is a lifetime, forgetting that those sixty little seconds melt away pretty fast in the cold black of space.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Short Stories

Son of A Mad Scientist

Posted by Fiss on March 26, 2010

“Great Tesla’s Ghost!!” my father screamed as he nearly ripped the front door off it’s hinges.

His coat was on fire and it was raining, but like so many other experiments, he got the proportions mixed up and ended up making everything worse.  The rain wasn’t nearly heavy enough to put the fire out.

In fact, the light spring drizzle had only coaxed the adventurous next-door tenants onto their balconies to enjoy the sudden cool precipitation instead of the stifling heat within their concrete matchboxes.  As he ran screaming out onto the yard, flailing about, smoking, sparking and steaming in the rain, the building’s entire compliment of available eyes were upon him.   Only after realizing one layer of his clothing would have to be sacrificed to save the other layers of his skin did my father finally pull his arms out from his coat, slide it off, and let it smoulder down to a wet, gray lump that smelt of burnt cow and petroleum. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Short Stories

Schematics – Part 4

Posted by Fiss on January 22, 2010

transmet1>part 1 >part 2 >part 3

They spent the evening in a mad dash of furious lovemaking. Making up for lost time, maybe.  Or maybe they both just realized that tomorrow they would have to return to their regular routine.  It didn’t matter.  Tomorrow didn’t matter.

Wet, soggy, but no longer shivering, they managed to make their way up into the bedroom.  Maybe it was the magic in the air, but Tom no longer felt like an old man, and Maria definitely didn’t feel like a little kid, and neither thought it completely strange when, as Maria was trying to coax him into another round with little kisses all over his back, that the sun came up before either of them felt tired.

They both used some minutes on Tom’s pay-as-you-go phone to call in sick, then continued to fuck like hyperactive teenagers until there was a real and serious danger of the bedroom floor cracking like the bathroom’s. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted under Short Stories

Schematics – Part 3

Posted by Fiss on December 31, 2009

plug1>part 1
>part 2

Scraping together what he could afford and borrowing what he couldn’t, Thomas bought a warehouse in the middle of what was laughingly called the rough-side of the tracks area of the city.  There were no tracks here.  Hell, most of the roads should have been condemned.  But there was plenty of poverty.  Plenty of crime.  Plenty of angry.  Plenty of tears.

He was working three days a week.  Just enough to pay the bills, eat, drive and have an active pay-as-you-go cell phone.  The rest of his cash went into his project.

Week one was painting.  Repairing.  Reconnecting ancient circuits in the walls to make it all work.  The building he bought never had been up to code, but it had been wired with thick, heavy cables that had survived decades of decay.   Where floors would rot, at least he could be certain of heavy wire underneith.   He knocked down walls, laid tarps and did emergency surgery on a top floor that was one good thunderstorm away from falling down anyway.  All the runes in the world would account for nothing if what they were burnt on fell apart.  And he needed space.  Lots of space.

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Posted under Short Stories