A.J. Walker



Didn't win. but it made some people laugh, which is job done in my book. Time to roll the dice.

300 words. Microcosms No. 201 Prompts: Cosplayer/Back Alley Casino/ Comedy


Daniel was doing his best not to kick up any of the greasy mud which caked the Back Queens Street alley. He never knew where all the grease came from, nor the mud, the cobbles were well laid, there was no exposed soil and there were no greasy spoons putting their waste there - not without a commute. He was adamant he would not splatter grease on to his hired outfit before returning it.

He spotted the door he was after and carefully climbed the steps. Finally he was faced by the doorman.

‘What do we have here?’ the bruiser asked.

‘I’m Robin Hood, of course.’ Daniel replied with some trepidation; blood on the costume would be no better than grease.

The doorman put his head to one side. ‘I can see who you are dressed as, but why the hell?’

‘The Spider-Man costume was gone.’

‘You wanted to dress up as Spider-Man, but instead came as a sad old folk hero - to a casino? What the fuck?’

‘No. I’m here for the cosplayer event. It’s here isn’t it?’

The doorman’s face gradually progressed through thinking, smiling, and laughing before settling on nodding.

‘Yes, Mr Hood. Right place, wrong time. That’s next week. Tonight Robin, this is a casino. You want to play roulette or blackjack? Or you going to wait for Friar Tuck and Little John?’

Daniel cursed, but eventually went in; whilst promising himself to sort a diary.

He recognised the dealer on the blackjack, it was the lovely Joy L’al from the Back Alley Massage Parlour.

‘Hello, they’ve taken you on after closing the massage parlour then?’

‘No, Daniel. It’s diversification. We do usual after casino closes. You want play?’


‘Either, or both. With the cards I can’t promise you happy ending.’

Daniel wondered about possible stains.

Where Is That Italian?

Made up that this story won the community vote at Microcosms for the week. Wasn't really sure how the story would be taken. So thank you for those votes.

300 words. Microcosms No.197 Prompts: Psychic / Subway / Mystery

Where Is That Italian?

‘Communication is all, dear.’ Mystic Gina said, gesturing for Carla to sit down beside her.

Communication and money thought Carla, having just paid for the sitting. She’d heard nothing but good things though about Gina’s talents. She’d foretold new relationships and their breakdowns, accidents & illnesses, births and deaths. If Auntie Annie was right, Gina’s record was second to none in the state. Though Annie was a trifle gullible.

Carla put her hands into Gina’s. She felt a tingle and wondered if she’d picked up static from the carpet.

‘Ah! I see your questions are about your near future. Oh yes, very clearly. I see it.’

Carla said nothing. Not wanting to direct the answers at all. She wanted to hear the future from Gina’s abilities, not from mirroring her hopes.

‘Nice. I foresee an Italian. Do you know any?’

‘I don’t think so. Even the guy who runs the pizza place was born on my street.’

‘You definitely have an Italian in your future. And your love will be total. Brown skinned and six foot.’

‘Sounds interesting! Where will we meet?’

‘The subway.’

‘Oh dear. How will I know? I mean that’s a hectic place to bump into someone.’

‘You’ll know.’

Weeks passed without any love interest. Carla almost forgot the prediction after deciding it was all just a parlour game.

It was only sighing out loud whilst she was eating a Meatball Marinara that she decided that Gina had almost perfectly predicted it. She loved that filling on a 6” Hearty Italian and it was a Subway. Perhaps Gina had simply mixed her feet and inches. That would explain how she hadn’t met the Italian man yet: there wasn’t one. As she chewed the last of the sub she decided that was the only 6”s she needed anyway.

Smoothly Until That Point

300 words: Microcosms prompts No.196
Prompts: Mermaid/Astronaut Spaceship/Atlantis Western/Romance

The prompts made me think of an amalgam of Firefly and Stargate Atlantis. So I combined the two sets of prompts into one. Although I didn't use the characters from these series you may spot that I instead used the actors first names.

Smoothly Until That Point

Nathan decided he’d been lollygagging in the outer planets of Sham-69 too long. It was time to get on with something interesting; and get paid. He was kickstarted in the Serenity Bar where he’d overheard a conversation between the two resident exotic dancers, Torri and Jewel (whose enormous assets she named after gemstones). Puzzlingly mesmerised he only caught half the conversation, but it was an enticing one about a mermaid called Morena who lived in the tropical ocean close to Nova Atlantis. A mermaid! Such a rare catch would be worth plenty of planetary credits he thought. He’d found a job.

He’d filled his one bag and left the hotel room in super quick time. When his mind was made up there was no stopping him. His Astrobug, the Aldi Central Isle, was at the nearby airport and as always ready to go; it didn’t pay not to be ready for a hasty getaway in Nathan’s line of work (when he was working).
It took him just two days in various unsalubrious honky tonks in Nova to learn the whereabouts of Morena. His charm and his bribes worked well – and his trusty Colt revolver even better. Two days later he flew Aldi to the area he’d been recommended and found her within half an hour of arrival. Everything had gone so smoothly: until that point.

He’d found his prize to steal away and sell to the highest bidder, but no one had warned him of Morena’s beauty and magic. It was soon clear he’d need an alternative plan of work. Love would do that to a man. Last time he was seen he was living with Morena whilst selling flip-flops and knock-off sunglasses on the beaches of Nova Atlantis – looking the happiest he’d ever been. Serenity: love would do that.

Potentially Better Than an Oat Milk Skinny Latte

Potentially Better Than an Oat Milk Skinny Latte By A.J. Walker
Billy hadn’t been on a date for seven years – and that’d barely counted: Jennifer had bailed before her coffee arrived, putting a dent in his fragile confidence. He’d ended up with her coffee. Billy mused that he’d at least learnt that an oat milk skinny latte was every bit as distasteful as it sounded.
Subsequent years had passed in a nothingness blur.
Now he was meeting Cheri to go to The Auction House. He’d not eaten all day in anticipation of a nice meal (maybe two if she departed early).
They met at the station. He was impressed by her timekeeping and her appearance. She looked intelligent and appeared potentially normal.
Cheri smiled when he waved. He’d said he’d wear a white carnation to distinguish himself. He looked exactly like his photo, with or without the flower.
‘William I assume?’ She said nodding at his lapel.
‘Billy, please. I’m assuming you’re Cheri.’
‘Indeed. Can we get a wiggle on? I thought the auction started at two but it’s one. I’m sorry. Don’t want to miss any lots.’
Billy paused. ‘Auction? Thought we were going for a meal.’
‘Didn’t I say the auction house?’
‘Well yeah. But I assumed it was the name of a fancy restaurant.’
Cheri slumped. ‘Really? Didn’t you Dr Google it?’
Billy had. Failing to find the restaurant, he’d assumed it was new.
‘My bad. Assumption is the mother of fuck-up.’
‘And of a hungry boy.’
Billy wondered how loud his protesting belly was.
‘Thought it’d be nice to do something different from a restaurant or bar.’
It certainly was. He ended up buying a broken microscope and a chipped ceramic bowl. Cheri had been disappointed he hadn’t bid on a pair of police handcuffs. But given she had her own in her handbag it wouldn’t matter.

300 words Prompt Elements: Reluctant Dater / Auction House / Comedy

Exhibit E.H.

Exhibit E.H.

Aldiss always struggled with zoos. They pulled him in to quench his constant curiosity, whilst pushing him away with the multitudes held outside of their habitats. He’d seen so many now that he was almost numb to their many shades of negativity. But here he was on Bastion Alpha 5 visiting another one. Hopefully his last. The data leak passed on to him via his contact on the Millennium Earth Station 2.0 looked promising. If it was credible then the lead was his best for decades. He’d been drenched in hope in the early years of his quest, but he tried not to have it these days. He always wanted to just be as methodical and unfeeling as he could.

The two suns over the planet were warming but never too hot at this time of year. The red one was low in the sky barely casting a shadow as its light was drowned out by the yellow star. He flicked side of his glasses to increase the polarisation before getting off the train beside the zoo. It was quiet at opening time, but it would be busy in the coming hours when the holiday makers had risen. He’d skipped breakfast: today it was all about the zoo. Getting it done quickly and methodically.

He followed the path to the enclosures. His heart began to race. The telltale sign of hope afflicting him. It angered him. But as he approached the enclosure he could not control it. Minutes later he’d fainted and was taken in hand by a robot medic. The excitement had run roughshod over his own medical controls. His blood pressure spiking both up and down sending him crashing against the window to the enclosure. His mother, who was among the exhibits of “
Earth Humans”, didn’t even notice.

This is an amended story after I misread in my rush to get a story down for Microcosms 185 'zoo' instead of 'zookeeper.' Thought I'd got a story done which I quite liked, so why not finish it off and give it a home on here? Without the maximum 300 word limit I could tweak it a little too.