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June 28, 2010 3 comments

A friend of a good friend, who is in the electronics business, came back from a trip to China this morning and is claiming that the picture is of the iGlove. Apparently, Apple have ordered an emergency production of this glove for left-handed people to use when making calls with the new iPhone4. His company is involved in making a special insulating material sewn into the glove which will eliminate any hand interference with the phone’s antenna. The material, so he claims, is similar to that used on the nose cones of space shuttles.

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Cover Stories – a great anthology of flash fiction

A friend of a friend produced this new anthology of short stories, so I’m giving it a merited plug because all the stories I’ve read so far have been brilliant.

“A year ago, writer Christian A. Dumais set in motion Cover Stories, a project where 10 writers from around the globe banded together to produce a collection of 100 stories that cut deep into the tracks of their favourite albums to produce euphiction, the duet of musical inspiration with the written word. The rules were simple: 10 stories per writer, each story inspired by a track from their chosen album, and each under 1000 words.”

I got permission to publish one story here. A free 10 story sampler can be found here:

The book can be ordered here:

Here is one of the stories from Cover Stories.

Black Magic Pickle

It was something in the way she smiled that gave it away. An average person wouldn’t have noticed it, but I did. It was in the eyes, and everyone knows the eyes never lie.

She slid the tray with my order across the counter and smiled again, but this time I was ready for it. One smile is procedural, two is suspicious. I kept my eyes low.

I sat with my back to the counter, but it didn’t work – the coffee slopped over the lip of the cup and scalded my hand as I removed the top. Obviously, the hex had already been placed.

I turned suddenly, but she was too quick; she was pretending to replenish the serviette dispenser. A normal person wouldn’t have realized this, but I did.

The burger did not taste as it usually did; it did not taste good. How could it? I chewed slowly, thinking. There are too many evil people in this world; too many that would sit at the feet of Satan and do his bidding. They will not triumph. It is left to those pure of mind and heart to see the evil ones defeated, to drive back the forces of Lucifer to whence they came. God, I hate these slimy pickle slices, damn it!

I went back to the counter. She smiled at me again. ‘I asked for a burger without the pickle,’ I said, keeping my eyes low.

‘Yes, sir.’

‘You gave me one with a pickle.’

‘I’m sorry, sir. Would you like another one?’

What evil ruse was this? I raised my eyes in time to see a slyness slip from her face. An ordinary person wouldn’t have detected it, but I did.

‘Another?’ I probed.

‘Yes, sir. One without a pickle.’

‘Well, ok, yes please.’

She accepted the burger box from me.

‘But you’ve eaten most of this,’ she said.

‘Of course,’ I said, ‘I didn’t know it had a pickle in it until I got to it!’

‘Ok, sir, no need to shout. I’ll get you another.’

Faces stared at me from the kitchen. Satan everywhere.

‘Here you are, sir.’

I opened the box. The burger sat there, pale brown and plump. I lifted the top bun: no pickle. She smiled at me. I turned the burger over and lifted what was now the top bun: no pickle.

A man in a shirt and tie came over. ‘Is everything ok here?’ he asked.

‘I’ve sorted it out, Mr. Keane,’ she said. ‘Everything’s fine,’ and she aimed at him a subtle wink the average person would never have picked up, but I did.

I returned to my table. Many eyes resting on my back; I could feel them. The burger waited in its box, perfect, lifeless, waited as though it had always been there and always would.

‘Is everything ok, sir?’

She was standing by the table, the smile on her face.

‘Yes, everything’s fine.’

She glanced at the burger.

The forces of darkness never give up.

The burger sat there, same as before. I lifted the top bun.

‘No pickle?’ she said.

His soldiers roam the surface of the earth and they are legion.

I lifted it from its box; a black smell squeezed out of it.

‘I’m not hungry anymore,’ I said.

She smiled. A naïve person would not have understood, but I did.

‘Eat it,’ she said.

I looked around. The man with the tie had gone; everyone was looking away. The burger moved towards my mouth and her eyes forced it in.

Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

An ordinary person could never have eaten a quarter-pounder in one bite, but I did.

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