Stories to dread reading

(written in conjunction with Matt Brown)

27 April 1994

Matt Brown begins: >He was an AI construct in the flesh. spun off from the machine, >given a body; not a robot, but a living program. Love was not >one of his subroutines.

Pain, however, was, and the Good Doctors subjected him to it every day as they fine-tuned his error-checking software. He found, eventually, that he loathed and despised his makers. He thought to keep this secret from them; someday, he thought, he would surprise them with how human he had become.

But they knew all along, of course. How far would a human go if driven over the edge of insanity and then still further? How far could pain drive the sentient mind? To try it on a true living thing was, of course, unthinkable, but he wasn't subject to the Laws of the Convention. He was an AI construct in the flesh, spun off from the machine, given a body; not a robot, but a living program. Love was something he would never know.

>Now that he had kidnapped the girl, he wasn't sure what he was
>supposed to do with her.

Fortunately, she had done this before, and was able to give him some pointers. She recommended a brand of kitchen knife and showed him, on a map, several good places to hide a body. She coached him through the initial phone call, and screamed when it was most appropriate. She told him about tracing procedures and provided him with the address of a reliable mail drop. They talked long into the night about forensics and failed affairs, about lost pets and long-distance phone scrambling. They practiced knot-tying and fly-fishing. Eventually, the deadline came and went, and they did not notice, for they were in love and nothing else mattered. Eventually, the police found his shack, and they were cut down together in the SWAT team's vicious crossfire.

>Ace H. Ware had 15 reasons for saving the world, and 14 of them
>were dead.

Billy Green-Day took a bullet to the head when they crossed the barbed-wire at the perimeter. Sarah was caught by a mine; she might still be alive, but the prowler-hounds had been closing in when she got popped and without her legs, she wasn't going to be outrunning them this time.

At the front gate, Zima and Peru went down as they skirmished with the guards. Graffiti Joe ate a million volts on the secondary fence when they were caught by a flittering drone, and Diamel burned out everything north of her secondary brain overriding the drone's command core.

A door closed on Gilli, cutting him in half with its steel teeth. Stark, of course, refused to leave Gilli's upper half, which was still running through its posthumous checklist. Last Ace saw, Stark was protecting Gilli from laser fire. Only a matter of time for him.

Something with six arms and a pair of chainswords took down Ollie Ollie; he screamed something incoherent and pulled the pins on both his napalm eggs. They had dived for cover but Qarrie had taken some splash and went into shock recovery mode; they had to suppress her the hard way. No time for anything else, goddammit.

Mick was at the bottom of a pit. Hot Pudding was trapped in a virtual mirror; Ace shattered the mirror right off to put him out of his misery. And the twins...

Jesus, the twins.

Don't even think about it, Ace. Just get under that portal before it scissors shut. Then you'll have the button. It will be yours. And you'll be able to push it anytime you want. All you have left is yourself.

Ace slid through the gap, wincing slightly as the lens of the portal snicked shut, removing his left foot instantly. 

"Identify yourself," said the hall monitor.

"I'm the fifteenth reason," Ace said, and he pushed the button. Ten billion lives ended, then, and Ace thought to himself as the shock impaled him on the horns of the distant moon that some reasons just aren't good enough.

>Little Johnny had no arms or legs.

This made his immortality a curse-- no, more, an insult straight from the mouth of God. At one point he was dropped in the desert by accident. It was fifteen years before he was found. In that time, he had been alternately buried and uncovered by three different pairs of sandstorms. He spent seven months floating in the South Pacific before the military traced his belt-transmitter. He was ravaged by wolves in Eastern Europe and volcanoes in Iceland. Always helpless, always unable to move or do anything but call for help, but never able to die-- that was Little Johnny. He will still be lying somewhere when your bones are feeding the worms.

>He wasn't very tall as milkmen go.

As the evening progressed, he became progressively shorter, and his screams of pain only gave me new inspiration.

>It isn't every story that starts out with a single sentence like

But every story ends just like this.

Bedtime Stories To Freak Out Your Kids (9 Aug 1994)

Patrick Tufts <> wrote:
>Tom Swift and his Hydrosonic Stimulator.

Danny Dunn and the Orgone Accumulator

The Bobsey Twins in Double Rape at Black Lake

The Three Investigators and the Case of the Distended Bladder Infection

Nancy Drew and the Blunt Object


Ahhh, memories of childhood.