Cindy and The Ravens

cindy feeds the ravensWhen the talking ravens had appeared, introducing themselves as Hugin and Munin, naturally everyone had been astonished. They could speak English, several Scandinavian languages, and a tongue not heard in a thousand years, though a few scholars recognized it as Old Norse.

And it was kind of cute that the awkward and strange little girl, Cindy Doin, liked to feed them in the graveyard. They would have long conversations together, chatting about all sorts of nonsense … how she should tie her bow? How to keep her socks from falling down? How soon it would be until the giants appeared so they could get Ragnarok started.

When Cindy started carrying around a javelin, the townsfolk were worried, but she still seemed harmless, so they let her be. Even when she started riding around on the eight-legged horse, people were willing to accept her eccentricities. But the two giant wolves? Outrageous.

Not to mention the statuesque blonds flitting around with spears, broadswords, and shields, wearing nothing but tight-fitting gossamer robes.

Actually, it was just some of the lady-folk who objected to that.

Worried about Ragnarok? Read some of my long fiction before the World Serpent awakes!

Alltop is more poetic than Bragi, which is too bad because it’s a humor site.


Graffito of a cartoon vampire looking at garlic

Vampire fiction was my education. It was all I was allowed to sink my teeth into when I was young.

And when I was just a little boy, I loved it.  My mom introduced me to the vampire Lestat, and all his cronies, and I caught the hunger for bloodsucking then. We read Stephen King’s book, Salem’s Lot.  We went back to the original, by Bram Stoker. And read other Victoriana.

But then something bad happened, at least for me and all the others who once found a thrill in the vampire myth – the vampires became the heroes of the stories. They became the ideal. And then they got sparkly.

It was at that point that I lost all interest. Mom found other things to occupy our time, and we moved on. Sure we were annoyed by the proliferation of teenie-bopper nosferatu, but we took it in stride.

And then humanity discovered that vampires were real.

People disappeared every year. Everybody knew that. The authorities assumed the people who disappeared were runaways, or homeless, or had nobody looking out for them, so they just kind of fell off the radar.

But then in 2021 the first conscious AI came online, and the fellow who invented it had lost a sister under similar circumstances.  He instructed iT (short for intelligent Technology) to look for clues to her fate, and you know what iT found?  Lots of people “disappeared” because the vampires were eating them, and then disposing of their bodies.

It was horrible.  No doubt about it, but at the same time, it seemed like a pretty minor problem, given all our other issues – massive climate change, population migration, genocide. But at this point, we’d had TruBlood, Twilight, a host of other similar stories, and  a generation of women had fallen in love with the idea of sparkly, sexy vampires. They sought out the hidden nests of the undead. Most never returned, and those that did make it home again usually ate all of their former family.

It was clear that something had to be done.  Once and for all, many of us decided, we must eradicate the menace of vampires from the Earth.  This rag-tag assemblage of people were probably the last group that you’d expect to tackle such dangerous quest – we were nerds, geeks, obsessive fanboys.  But we were able to convince a few geneticists and nanotechnologists to work on technologies that could turn these evil bloodsuckers into productive members of society.  And they did it!

All we had to do to turn a vampire back into a quasi-human was an injection of the nanotech in the heart.

iT helped us figure out the vectors — where did the vampires live during the day, and what did they do at night?

So we had a solution, and we had the information on how to find them, but there was still that pesky problem of delivering one injection into an extremely pissed-off vampire. Hardly the most promising of theraputic settings.

And that’s when we stepped up. Those of us who had once loved the vampire myth, but could no longer take the insipid literature of the new, sexy version of vampire.  We looked at the problem and said, “We will do this terrible job.”

The called us Nosfaradudes.

While the vampires had practical invulnerability to regular weapons, superhuman strength, speed and senses, we had science. We were outfitted with full-body, full-spectrum light emitting suits.  It was tight to the skin, but you couldn’t really tell because of the full-spectrum nodules covering every inch of it.  Even a starving vampire would find it impossible to approach, because daylight would shine from us like miniature, rotund suns.

Many of the Nosfardudes were in it for the adventure. The violence. For me, it was all aesthetics. I needed to make the vampires pay, and not only for the pain they’d physically inflicted on generations of human beings.

For all those sparkly vampires, I would have my revenge.

The End

Enjoy this short satire? How ’bout some in book form?


Alltop has humor that doesn’t suck. Great photo by Ross Harmes. Originally published June, 2013.

How I Spent the Ice Age

Mountains, snow, and glacier -- Chile

The new arms weren’t as much fun as I hoped they’d be, but they were sure useful during the crisis.

As you know I’m not really into the bodmod community, but I’d always thought it would be cool to be able to swing from tree to tree, the way we saw the Reclaimed Gibbons do in the preserve, when we were in high school. Yeah, the one down in Souwesto, near the ruins of Toronto, remember? That was a great trip.

I got the new arms a few weeks before it started. They weren’t actual Gibbon arms, of course, but a beautiful bit of work by a friend of mine, who dabbles in bio-enhancement. She mostly works with nano, but I keep telling her she has a real flare for the genetic arts too, so she did a combination. The plan was to spend my vacation swinging with my simian friends in Souwesto. Tree swinging that is.

Of course I got the hair on them; I’m not totally fake!

My musculature had just finished healing — even with the latest developments, flesh bodies adapt slowly to nano — but I don’t need to tell you that do I? Duh. I sometimes forget that we’re all real time now, even you guys on Big Red.

Anyway, the worst happened. Multiple eruptions, right when we were at our peek seeding of the atmosphere. Temps dropped. The snow started falling. Piling up. And bam. Ice age.

In miniature, anyway. Of course, it couldn’t last, but the damage. Wiped out my Gibbon buddies in Souwesto. And nearly got all of us here in Nunavut too.

But these babies were awesome. You know how much easier it is to ski and snowshoe if your arms can provide half the power? The hair was useful too — an extra layer for warmth. And I’ve been told they’re awesome in zero-G, so I think I’ll keep them until after I visit you.

Though I’m sure it still won’t be as weird as your green skin, man. That I have to see with my own eyes.

Enjoy this? There’s more like it in my longer works.

Alltop swings with the yuks. Photo by Stuck in Customs.

Hello, My Name Is Indigo Montoya

young child sparking up a ciggyBilly was up to three packs a day, but it was okay; he was in training for the All-Tar Olympics.

His coach said he was a natural, and he had several lucrative endorsements even before he won any medals. He might have been worried about the nagging cough, the chunks of ochre phlegm he horked up after every set of smokes, but Billy was sanguine.

His twin brother, Jimmy, had a perfectly fine set of lungs just waiting to be cut out of his useless chest.

Alltop smokes stogies. Photo via Twisted Vintage. Originally published, April, 2010.