Should a Droid that seems to be ‘waking up’ go to war?

Photo by Michael Marais on Unsplash

Not again. Never again. “Enough.”

The android’s imploring voice tugged at Captain Beelze’s conscience.

It sounded human. Nonsense, he told himself. It’s just a dumb robot.

Tapping away at the keyboard, he entered code that would override the machine’s objections, and finish their mission.

His instructions were: Penetrate enemy lines, shoot to kill, don’t seek target verification.

He closed the control panel. The machine fired up and disappeared back into the field.

Beelze avoided eye contact with the droid as it moved out.

Then the screeching sound of eviscerated metal. And a haunting scream.

He checked his screen:

USCONTDROID71 terminated



An attempt to incinerate an unhappy past

Photo by Nathan Lindahl on Unsplash

It was a pleasure to burn your letters when you terminated our illicit ‘little’ affair. I was so wounded by your turning of the back. Tu te fous de moi?

I torched them, along with journals from those years. It was a thrill to watch the flames scorch and sear away our tender words. I put you on the pyre, a tinderbox of tears.

One fragment survived and that was, fittingly, your final, tormenting missive from this demented debacle:

‘My Steppenwolf,

For so long I thought my love would be what healed you. Today, I see that it will not…’

Thank you for reading.

This story was inspired by the Weekly Writing Prompt: Too Hot To Handle. Thanks to Zane Dickens.



Parenthood changes your relationship with everything; things matter more

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Growing up, I lost the sense of joy and wonder I had for the festive season as a child. It became a difficult time of year.

This was our daughter’s second Christmas, and the wonder is back, in abundance.

We decorated the tree and heard her say ‘bauble’! We counted down the days to Santa’s arrival, read books on the Nativity, wrapped presents on Santa’s behalf, and watched her face light up when she opened them.

I have renewed gratitude for the family with whom I had those magical times. And that we now try to create, for our daughter.

Thanks for reading.

This story was inspired by the Weekly Centina Prompt: The Greatest Gift. Thanks to J.A. Taylor.



A war that tore families apart

Courtesy of Pixaby by JamesDeMers

The battle tonight could decide everything, father. You know what Jefferson says: ‘a nation is great only when it is free’.”

“You’re being idealistic, my boy. These leaders you believe in will tax us and steal our freedoms, just like the Brits.”

“We must fight for our independence, father!”

“King George is a good man; my business depends on the British. You’d do well to remember that. This Republic you dream of will crumble, they all do.”

As he spoke a fist thundered on the door.

“What’s going on?”

“That will be the minutemen, father. I have signed us up!”

Thank you for reading.

This story was inspired by the Weekly Writing Prompt: Revolution in Microcosm. Thanks to Zane Dickens.



On the Arctic ice danger is lurking everywhere

Photo by Susanne Schwarz on Unsplash

The polar bear locked eyes with Graham and charged. It thundered towards him with ferocious intensity.

Graham had seconds to act. He raised his rifle, arms trembling.

Not today, buddy! He pulled at the trigger.

Nothing. With chilling dread, he looked down to see his finger was frozen stiff. He couldn’t fire.

Graham turned as white as the vast Arctic landscape. But the bear stopped.

What the..?!

Then he heard an almighty crack; the ground shook violently and a chasm opened in the ice, sending Graham plummeting down into a crevasse.

The bear watched, before turning and padding softly away.

Thank you for reading.

This story was inspired by the Weekly Centina Prompt ‘Cold’. Thanks to Bill Adler Editor.



When he decided to flout the rules on his first Safari, Jonah got a real close up

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Pop! The camera’s flashbulb startled everyone.

“Put it away,” said the ranger, “the lions don’t like it.” There’s always the one who flouts the rules, he thought.

Pop, another flash, but from outside…



Anthony Halliwell

Anthony Halliwell

I write in order that I can understand my own thoughts better. Sometimes I make them clear enough that other people might want to read them.