Fictional Shorts: A Retrospective from 2014

I was chopping out these shorts on a regular basis in 2014. It was a tough time for me. Events had me thinking too much – never a good thing. Kipling’s Vampire, and all that.

Encounter in Zamboanga – April 29, 2014 – Nonfiction – Response to request by Jonathan H.
The Monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga – US Navy Sea Shanty

Requiem – April 24, 2014 – Nonfiction
Sometimes things suck. And a lot of the time, you just have to roll with it and embrace the suck.

Loose Ends – May 5, 2014 – Nonfiction
Everyone wants you to tie up loose ends. 

Vampire Zombies from Venus – June 19, 2014 – Fiction
You take one down and pass it around

Her Garden – April 26, 2014 – Nonfiction
People were left behind.

Moving on to your international update:

For a fifth consecutive Saturday, yellow vest protestors clashed with police in Paris and some other cities. The BBC reported fewer protestors showed up because of rainy weather. No news service reported looting.
The police deployed 69,000 personnel. The BBC reported no more than 66,000 yellow vests protested. The yellow vests do not appear to have evolved a political organization, which must occur for a movement to continue. The government’s responses, the weather and the holiday season are likely to encourage a decline in political activism in the next two weeks. During that time, some key members of the crew may begin to create a more organized effort, but the present composition of the dissatisfied includes both the communists and the anarchists.
Encouraged by the French yellow vest protests, about 250 people in Basra protested the poor condition of public services, official corruption and to demand jobs. Security forces used live bullets and teargas on the 14th to disperse protestors, but no injuries were reported. Protesters threw rocks at riot police vehicles
It’s a gesture on the part of the protesters, but deep seated unrest remains throughout Iraq based on a wide variety of completely valid issues. There isn’t anyone who is reading this blog who would want to move to Iraq. (or Honduras, Guatemala, Syria, Yemen or anywhere in Africa) In fact, I can’t understand why a woman would want to be Islamic, and therefore chattel.
On 16 December, clashes renewed in Hajin in the middle Euphrates River Valley when Islamic State fighters counter-attacked the newly-established positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) inside the town. The US-backed SDF said that its fighters had repelled the attack, despite suffering some minor loses.

“The terrorists attacked the front positions of our forces, our fighters repelled them … following this, the terrorists began shelling from a far distance, they targeted the positions of our forces with mortars and artillery shells,” the SDF media center said in its daily press release.

US-led coalition warplanes conducted 50 airstrikes on Islamic State positions and vehicles in the Euphrates Valley in order to support SDF forces. Local sources said that one of the airstrikes on the village of Bukhatir, in Hajin’s countryside, killed more than 17 civilians including women and children.
71 fighters and commanders of ISIS were killed in the Euphrates Valley in the last 24 hours.
On 14 December, SDF fighters claimed they liberated Hajin, which was another Islamic State strong point. Reports on the 16th indicate most of the town has been destroyed. The Islamic State fighters have no where to retreat, so they fight on.


  1. Those shorts were well done! And no, the 'current' news isn't getting any better either. Take what you can get and move on. Hopefully into WWM sooner rather than later.

  2. The White Wolf Mine should be complete (with the exception of the inevitable touch ups) on Thursday. Then I can move my possibles into the joint and possibly slow life down a little – in a place where political correctness doesn't matter.

  3. My late father was a CBI vet. He said no Americans should get involved (on the ground in today's speak) in an Asian war. He included the one he was in. I think he was mostly correct.

  4. Defense is necessary and should be vigorous. I have no problem with that. Wars should be decisive and fought to "win". The problem with the Asian wars including the current one in Afghanistan is that they've been nearly endless. And they didn't have to be. World War 2 was an exception to the rule.

  5. Oh good, some more shorts. I have things to do tonight, so I'll likely read them in the morning. Except for the Kipling of course. He's a longtime favorite of mine and is likely my favorite poet. I read, and enjoyed The Man Who Would be King when I was a teen and have reread it several times since. I need to do it again.

  6. I'm not entirely sure why communists and anarchists would dislike the current socialist system in place in France.

    Communists, perhaps the only reason they are disaffected is that they are not in charge; everything else seems to be going according to communist principles.

    The anarchists also are a puzzle to me: chaos reigns in France (which should please all anarchists to no end), and I suspect they simply are against anybody being in charge of the chaos.

  7. Rudyard Kipling and Robert Service have both provided inspiration and a measure of understanding and comfort. — Peach never let go of Danny's head…

  8. Yes, in France, the difference between a communist and an anarchist is almost moot. Both like to sit around in cafes (anarchists drink espresso and communists drink wine) and say "life is shit". I don't get it, but I'm not French.

  9. The latest information is that it won't be complete on Thursday. Hopefully on Christmas week… No, I'm not the slightest bit amused.

  10. I like your shorts a lot and might have to revisit "Solstice in Austin"… Viz France — they seem to want an end to the repellent Macron, tick. Less taxes, tick. More welfare. Stoopid.

    My feeling is that the revolt's initial leaders are nationalist patriots who hate the tyrannous rule of Paris/Davos elites over the country. That's surely good. Then the rent-a-riot anarchomarxists join in. Not so good.

    Let's see if they're capable of doing something meaningful apart from deposing the odious Macron, which isn't bad but, at the end of the day, a start.

    For that matter, let's see if we're up to locking up the coup conspirators. #pardonflynn

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