One January Morning, Part 25

They stare at each other, Morgan the Pirate and Morgran the Schmuck, and they have no further words. It is not until the pirate turns to me to speak that anyone says anything at all.

“Why?” is the question she asks as she slams a fist down on my desk, my coffee mug of pens tipping and scattering across the desk calendar left behind by the big guy Himself. It’s of Garfield, the cartoon cat. Not my thing, but I didn’t dare move it.

I smile and gesture at the schmuck. “Ask him,” I say. “He may have forgotten who he is, but I assure you both that he is the one with all the answers.”

He scoffs. “I was just picking up girls and playing some Skee-Ball when all this started,” he says.

It is on the word Skee-Ball, however, that something finally clicks. His eyes widen, his lower lip droops, and he mumbles, “Holy shit.”

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 24

She stands on the other side of my desk now, and she is silent. What she wants me to say, I don’t know. Now that she’s here, I can’t see into her head at all.

I pick up the phone, dial Peter in the other room, and ask him to find someone for me. I offer a pseudonym, something Pete will pick up on but the suicidal lady pirate will not. Then, I hang up.

Throughout this, she says nothing. She does not move. Her arms remain crossed, her foot still tapping. She is silent as the cliché. It is not until my guest arrives that she makes any sound at all, and then it is the quietest “What the fuck?“ I have ever heard.

Morgan the First—the first of our story, that is—has arrived, his neck wound freshly sewn up, and his “What the fuck?“ is not quiet at all.

To be continued…


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One January Morning, Part 23

What surprises me is that they don’t ask. They don’t beg at all. Instead, after a lot of whispering and a few nods, SWAT Morgan unholsters his sidearm and hands it to Deckhand Morgan. Deckhand Morgan then does something that I should remember doing, but don’t—the part of the manual on time travel was used as toilet paper by the Big Guy during a shortage of some kind, so I have no better idea how this works than you do. At any rate, Deckhand Morgan presses the barrel of the gun to Lady-Captain Morgan’s temple. She squeezes her one good eye shut and says, “Do it.” Then, just following orders, he pulls the trigger.

And now, now there is a pounding at my door.

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 22

That wasn’t the way it happened the first time around, of course. The first time around, she came aboard after a scouting mission gone wrong, decided that I wasn’t putting enough elbow grease into my work, and, as punishment, took my arms off with a lop of her sword. Then, before I could bleed out, she changed her mind about the manner of my demise. A woman’s prerogative, I suppose. She sat astride my chest and wrapped her cold, wet hands around my neck, and the last thing I saw as I passed from the world was her heaving bosom. I allowed myself the ogle. I thought I’d earned it.

When I died—well, as I had been as good and god-fearing a man as had ever walked the Earth, a deal was struck with me. I was elevated, so to speak, and given this quadrant of creation to look after so the boss could take a well-earned vacation. And so, while He played Skee-Ball down the Jersey Shore, I decided to take out my vengeance on poor Lady Morgan.

But now, of course, there’s this: SWAT Morgan and Lady Captain Morgan conferencing with Deckhand Morgan (the older, softer me), attempting to smooth things over. Any moment now, they’re going to call up to me through the clouds and beg for forgiveness, beg for me to call off the aliens, the apocalypse, everything.

And what will I say? That’s the question. What should I say?

To be continued…


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One January Morning, Part 21

I was but a lowly deckhand when the captain came aboard, talking to the man in the strange blue armor I’d later learn to be a mix of kevlar and flak jacket. Many a strange thing had happened to us since we’d fallen off the map at world’s end and plunged into this place that my mates were calling the future, but this was the strangest sight of them all: the captain in an orange jumpsuit, looking at me like she’d seen a ghost, while this outsider whispered in her ear.

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 20

On deck a half hour later, what convinced her of his implausible yarn was the sight of a black deckhand hanging off the port side and scrubbing barnacles from the ship. A black deckhand who she knew to be dead, who she had, in fact, killed with her own bare hands. The cop pointed, asking her if she knew who that was, and she said that she did but that she didn’t know his name.

But, of course, as soon as she said that, she realized that she did know, that, of course, it could be none other than:

“Morgan,” said the cop. Then, he continued. “This is the man you wronged,” he said. “This is the man who will bring the ultimate calamity down upon this Earth.”

And he was right. That was the man. I was the man.

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 19

In the rowboat, on the way to the ship, she asked him what he meant by ‘back’ and got an earful. He took the oars from her as he told her, as if to suggest that she needed to give him her full attention. To begin with, he wanted to know if she’d ever heard of a DeLorean, or a Floaty Ball Person Carrier, or perhaps a TARDIS. When she shook her head no at the end of each query, he explained that the sewers were like that.

“Like what?” she said, holding her hat atop her head as the fierce wind sought to take it from her.

“They bring us back to the sea, or to whichever other place it was from whence we came.”

“But what about the aliens?” she said. “What about the Dread Pirate Roberts?”

“Back,” he said. “We’ve gone back before all that.”

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 18

“It happens all the time,” is what he said when she said yes. “Morgans are just this way by nature,” he said. And she tried to believe him as she followed him up the rusted ladder to the surface, its rungs so cold they burned her hands. But she could not let it go. Which way by nature? Murderous? Paranoid? As he helped her up into the abandoned alley, she thought to ask for clarification. But what she saw when she reached the surface—that sight held her tongue, bound it.

There, past the vacant arcades the squeezed them in on either side, there was the beach. And beyond it, beyond it was the vast, beautiful, unknowable sea. Out there, in the distance, her ship bobbed gently on the waves.

“This is what we do,” he said, setting a warm hand on her shoulder. “Standard procedure,” he said. “We bring you back to where it all began, to where it all went wrong.”

To be continued…


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One January Morning, Part 17

In the sewer, knee-deep in the muck and the mire, he asked her why she couldn’t trust him. But she said nothing. She simply nodded in the direction he was leading her and hoped that they would continue on in silence. He was a talkative one, though, and it wasn’t long before he took his query further. They’d reached a bend in the pipe and he stopped. The water and filth that streamed past her was growing cold, all of a sudden, and she wanted nothing more than to keep going and to get out of there as fast as she could. But, no. No, he had something else to say.

“Is it about the M word?” he said. “Morgan, I mean.”

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling one story day-by-day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.

One January Morning, Part 16

As the guard used a hand-held torch to cut first through the floor of the wagon and then through the pavement below, Morgan thought of dozens of questions to ask him—‘How do you know Roberts?’, ‘Where are you taking me?’, ‘Is there still hope?’—but the one that kept pushing and shoving its way through the mosh pit of her confusion and to the forefront of her mind was this: “What is your name?” And, of course, when he answered ‘Morgan,’ that was cause for alarm. For she knew what happened to excess Morgans in this story, knew all too well, and now she needed to figure out what to do. He was almost through to the sewer now, and the hammering of her attackers was shaking the wagon harder than ever, but could she really trust him to take her to safety? Could she really trust anyone at this point, anyone at all?

To be continued…


This month, January 2015, I’m telling a story one paragraph per day, inspired by cards from the Writer Emergency Pack. To read the next paragraph a day early, support me on Patreon.