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Something went wrong.

The voices on the comms-link were scrubbed out by static like a picture scribbled away by a child’s crayon-wielding hand.

“Your circuit’s dead …”

His spaceship took him away; far away from a crazed earth.

“Tell my wife …”

Orbit widened.

He was a seed in the fruit of the metal can floating in the void, hoping for purchase.

In one version of the world far away and long ago, they called him Major Tom as if they knew him; a man permanently situated behind rows of microphones bearing the logos of innumerable television and radio networks…

Quoth the Crow

Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven, Illustration by French impressionist Édouard Manet
Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven, Illustration by French impressionist Édouard Manet

Edgar sat at his desk, and the crow perched on his stand near the window, looking over Edgar’s shoulder.

Once upon a midnight dreary…,” Edgar recited, holding his quill meaningfully over the parchment.

“What the hell does that mean?” asked the Crow.

“Reggie, I’m trying to write something. Do you mind just being quiet for just a while?”

“Quiet? Dude, I’m a crow. I don’t do quiet, man.”

“Look, Reggie. You’re supposed to be here to, y’know, inspire me to explore the dark side of the human imagination.”

“Hey! I’m doing my part. And all you can…

old man smoking a cigarette
old man smoking a cigarette
image: Ali Yahya, Unsplash

Sitting in the park on a sunny day, Frederico picked up the white pawn in his gnarled hand and placed it gently two squares away. Then, he did the same with the black pawn on the other side of the board.

He’d learned to play chess in Cuba. His father taught him when he was a boy. Years and years later, after Marco died, he taught himself to play both sides, upside down. Now at 87, he was certain that he was unbeatable.

Frederico wore a green fedora, and a purple scarf around his neck. His overcoat was olive, and…

Nick Heyward North of a Miracle album cover
Nick Heyward North of a Miracle album cover

The scene is a drab department store record section in the suburbs of Toronto, 1983. I am fourteen. Things weren’t great at home for me by this point; something was up between my parents that didn’t bode well for their future together. In the meantime, a song called “Whistle Down the Wind” by former Haircut 100 frontman Nick Heyward was on the radio. I loved it. It seemed sad, but kind of nostalgic and restful at the same time.

In that department store, I held the album off of which the song came, North of a Miracle. The cover depicted…

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Image: Ryan Hyde, via Flickr

I am a FirmCorp model K-12 Humanoid™ device.

Every childhood needs one.

That is my tagline. All K-12 Humanoid™ devices share this tagline. It was devised by the FirmCorp marketing department.

Abigail’s mother and father purchased me at the PlexiCorp central retail hub in Seattle on September 20th, 2051. When they had me shipped to their residence on the outskirts of the city for Abigail’s seventh birthday and her parents unlocked my casement, I imprinted onto her.

Abigail gave me a name.

Murphy.

It could be a girl’s name. It could be a boy’s name.

I am neither.

I am…

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Stan Lee at the Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix, Arizona, 2011 (Image: Gage Skidmore)

As I write this, I’ve only just learned of the death of Stan Lee, one of the divine figures along with Jack Kirby and others who helped to create some of the most beloved characters in Western literature.

Maybe the use of the word “literature” to describe the comics medium is a dubious one to some. …

Rob Jones

A writer and music fan in British Columbia

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