The Community of Tomorrow – Proof of Concept


Book and story ideas pop into my head more often than is comfortable. When one really sticks it’s like a piece of popcorn in my teeth and I don’t get full relief until I get it out on paper.

A Proof of Concept is kind of like a trial run. It’s me wiggling the popcorn (story) with my tongue.

This would be the third in my LGBT+ Romance / Northern Ontario Horror novels, along with Copper Tarnish and Parabiosis which I think will need a new name.

“Why the hell do you smell like antiseptic?” screamed my mother. I didn’t wait for my dad’s reply and closed my door. It was an open secret that Mr. Zelan had built himself a still and was selling alcohol from the back of the pharmacy.

It had been less then a month since we’d moved here. Somehow my parents thought that after ten years of fighting, cheating, and just generally being bad at being married; that moving into an experimental green community in the middle of nowhere would save their marriage.

I was extra pissed because I’d believed them and instead of doing my first year of university at Western or U of T like I wanted, I was stuck two hours northwest of Big Falls Ontario.

Aeter Aerospace had been around since they broke off from Door Technologies in 2004. It had since made a name for itself in every aspect of space travel technology. It created everything for both space missions and consumers. Because everyone needs space-worthy airfiltraion and aeroponics.

Aeter had decided that it needed a testing and development facility. So came the idea of creating The Community of Tomorrow. Build an approximation of what you’d need on Mars or the Moon and then fill it with two-thousand of the brightest, most gullible minds and their kids.

If the first month of this place was any indication, it was a damn good thing they didn’t try it in antarctica or actual space. There has so far been a murder suicide, two people escaping into the wild, and history’s lamest black market.

Not to mention the power outages.

I could hear my parents yelling even through the thick ‘space’ door. Everything here was space or tech or something that sounded like it was named by a middlegrader. The power went out and they didn’t stop fighting. If anything, it got worse.

I stormed out of my room. I’m not sure what I was going to do; yell, scream, tell them to get a divorce? Any thought I had left my mind when I saw them. Standing there yelling, but not moving, just standing with their arms at their sides, no emotion on their faces. Nothing was moving, but their lips.

That’s when I saw the thing for the first time. It unfolded itself from the shadows with a series of cracking noises that sounded wet. Its legs and arms were too long and it looked like it didn’t have any skin. What still keeps me up at night was its face. It looked like a skull with silly string oozing all over it and teeth in every hole.

It’s teeth chittered at me like a squirrel run through an autotune and then the power came back on and my parents started moving normally.

Okay. I’m liking this one. No idea when I’ll write it, but I look forward to it.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Stay safe and be kind,


Love in Lost Places – Proof-of-Concept

People told me that weird things happen in Baker City, Ontario, but I never really believed them until my second year at Baker City University.

“Just text her already,” Simon said, pushing the scrap of paper towards me over our hand me down IKEA dining room table. He tilted his head and smirked mischievously before passing his hands through his short cropped reddish brown hair. His dark skin was speckled with the most adorable freckles that mirrored the colour of his eyes.

“That’s impersonal. Shouldn’t I call?” I was stalling and we both knew it; nobody just called.

“Dude? Seriously. I go through all this trouble to get you the number of the only girl you’ve had a crush on since first semester and you won’t text her?”

He wasn’t wrong. She was in most of my classes and was one of those people who attracted the eye. She wore lots of colour, especially in her hair, and everything she did or said was the most important thing imaginable.

He also wasn’t right. She wasn’t the only crush I’ve had, but I don’t think he’d figured out that I liked him.

Taking my phone, he typed in the number and sent a text. “Hi Zoey”

We both sat staring at my phone waiting for a reply. It came faster than I expected. “I DON’T HAVE ANY FERRETS!”

Simon and I looked at each other confused and I picked up the phone to say, “It’s Harry… We have Can-Lit together.” I pressed send and then quickly added, “Just wanted to say hi… and I think I’m allergic to ferrets.”

“Oh Harry… Blond guy who wears a lot of plaid?”

“That’s me”

“Sorry about that. Someone keeps texting me about ferrets. It’s bloody annoying.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that. My first instinct was to apologize for bothering her. While I hesitated, Simon grabbed my phone and wrote, “I was wondering if you’d like to go out for coffee sometime?”

“Sure, Meet at Café Nation on Bank at 4?”

“Great. See you there.” I shoved my phone into the pocket of my jeans to avoid Simon adding anything.

It was already three fifteen so after a high five from Simon I rushed to take a shower. As I got out of the shower I put on a fresh pair of jeans and my favourite red and gray plaid shirt. I ran out of the apartment convinced I’d be late.

I was a block away from Café Nation when I realized I’d left my phone in my other pants. I walked into the Café and saw the big coffee bean shaped clock read five to four. I wasn’t late, I was actually early. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself. The smell combination of chocolate cake and brewing coffee helped soothe me a little and I sat down to wait.

Five minutes after four she came in, her hair was fuchsia this week, and walked right by me. She was wearing a dark blue skirt with constellations on it and a white sweater. I stood up and walked behind her and said, “Hey Zoey. Can I buy you a coffee?”

Looking back at me startled, her brow furrowed, she opened her mouth to say something and paused. Finally her posture relaxed and she smiled. “Harry right? Sorry, I didn’t recognize you right away. I’ve been just so frazzled by this ferret thing. I’m so glad Simon gave you my number.”

We spent the next half hour chatting and having a great time. Around fifteen to five Zoey looked at her phone and said, “I have to call my mom. Something’s going on.” She stood up and walked to the front of the café. I took the opportunity to go to the washroom.

As I came out of the washroom Zoey was nowhere to be seen. I chatted with the barista as I waited. When she finally came back she’d tied her pink hair into a pony tail and changed her sweater.

“How’s your mom?” I asked.

“She’s okay. She just needed to talk it out. Sorry about flaking out on you. How about we go to dinner? I’ve had enough coffee today.”

That night when I finally got back to my phone I had an email from Zoey saying, “I had a nice time. Sorry I disappeared but my mom needed my help urgently. We should do this again sometime. Next time’s my treat.”

I also had a text from her earlier that day saying, “My mom’s freaking out be there soon.”

This all seems perfectly normal right? Boy crushes on roommate, oblivious roommate hooks boy up with girl; a typical twenty something romantic comedy.

Well, here’s where it get’s weird…

Simon typed in the wrong number, putting a one instead of a seven at the end. What are the chances of two women, going to the same university, were both called Zoey with a penchant for bright colours? I don’t know, but this is how I accidentally dated two women who had never met and were almost identical.

Sailing the Rubble of Galaxies – Proof-of-Concept

Every once in a while I get an idea for a novel but I’m not sure how well it’ll transition from brain to page. So I take the story out for a test drive. I call it a Proof-of-Concept and wrote about it here.

I’ve had this idea stuck in my head for the past few weeks -and I think I like it. I love the idea of a warship’s crew needing to find something else to do when there’s no war left.

Of course they’ll turn to piracy until the real threat shows itself again. It would borrow a lot from Arthurian myth but with a little Pirates of the Caribbean feel.

Let me know what you think.

Sailing Rubble of Galaxies

“Nice of them to design these cells with portholes,” admired former security commander, Nessa Muldune. It seemed like a strange waste of outer hull but she appreciated being able to see the stars.

“Shut up traitor,” sneered her jailer. Lieutenant Alfred’s disdain was a relief after the months of him awkwardly hitting on her. “We’ll be at New Mars soon and you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

The United Martian Empire (UME) Camlann was a Starcruiser class ship, with a crew of twenty-three. Her mission was to explore the other edges of the galaxy for any and all resources that could help in their war against the Ares Republic.

“Alfred, take a walk.” Doctor Anson made sure the man knew it wasn’t a suggestion.

Waiting until he’d left, Nessa said, “Peri, if you’re here to tell me how much you’ve always hated me I don’t want to hear it.”

The perfectly androgynous face of the ship’s Doctor broke into a smile. “You’re an idiot Muldune, but I don’t hate you. I agree with what you did, but they expect us medical types to be Peacers.” It was one of the worst insults for a Martian to be called a Peacer. Peace would only happen when the Empire’s enemies were all dead. Any other opinion was heresy.

The Doctor shook their head in either annoyance or amusement, Nessa couldn’t tell, and added, “I just wanted to tell you I’ve looked over the logs and I’m going to testify for you at your court-martial.”

“But that could get you thrown in here with me.”

“Doubt it. There are perks to one of my fathers being an Admiral. I’m not the only one who thinks the Captain went too far this time.”

Lifting her hand, Nessa said, “No. Shut up. Until we’re safely in dock on New Mars, I don’t want to hear about it and I don’t think you should talk about it either.” Pointing at her ears and then the walls, Nessa added, “What you’re saying could be taken as the M word and you know how the Captain doesn’t like that word.” The last person to hint at mutiny had been spaced without a trial. Her multiple commendations, stellar military record, and Red Star of Honour were the only reason Nessa wasn’t sleeping with meteors.

”Fine, but you’re not alone in this and I wanted you to know that.” Peri smiled again and turned to leave.

“Thank you. Old friend.” They’d served together for nearly twenty years, since Nessa’s first tour of duty when she was a green fifteen-year-old ensign.

Alfred walked back in and started saying crude things about the Doctor. Nessa ignored him; she was doing the same thing she’d done countless times since she’d been put in here. She went over the incident to see what she could have done differently.

They were pushing the limits of known space when they’d gotten a distress call. It was old earth Morse code. When they arrived at the coordinates they found three ships; an Ares Bird-of-Prey, an ancient frigate and a third ship they’d never seen before.

The ancient frigate was what was giving off the distress code. It must have been five hundred or more years old. Nessa’s first mistake was to suggest that the frigate might have star-maps that could lead them back to earth. The Captain had laughed at her and mocked her for her silly superstitions. He was one of the many Martians who were convinced all sentient life had evolved on New Mars.

They’d hailed the Aresian ship and received no answer, but when they hailed the unknown ship it answered with what sounded like a riddle.

Myrddin searches for Arthur

It was all they’d say. It seemed like it was a recording on repeat. When the mysterious ship opened its gunports, the Captain had ordered her to open fire. She hesitated and she still didn’t know why. It was like she froze. The Captain had thrown her to the side and fired on the ship himself.

It had done nothing, their weapons didn’t even dent the ship. The Captain was furious and ordered her to fire on the Aresian ship. Their stardrive was powered by antimatter and the explosion would be more powerful than their weapons.

It was at that point that she’d ruined her career by saying, “Sir, we can’t. If those aliens are powerful enough to take a full blast from our ion cannons, we need to get access to their tech, not blow it up.” And she’d made it worse by adding, “Not to mention that frigate could hold the key to finding our original home world.”

“New Mars is my home world you Peacer trash. Take the traitor to the brig.” To the security guards credit, they both looked uncomfortable jailing their commanding officer. The captain had blown up Aresian ship and the frigate with one hit. The alien ship had given off one unintelligible message before it exploded. The Camlann barely made it out on time, thanks to its top of the line Stardrive.

Now she was on her way to a court martial and, if she was lucky, a life time sentence of hard labour on some mining asteroid. If she was unlucky, she’d be put in the Colosseum for sport.

Nessa felt the telltale wobble of the Camlann’s Stardrive powering down and looked forward to once again seeing the planets of the New Mars system; it was the crown jewel of the empire.

The ship shook violently and all she could see out the porthole was an asteroid field. Something was wrong.

“Brace for impact. We seem to have gone off course.” The Captain’s voice sounded calm.

Nessa felt sick. There’s no way they’d been off course. Out her porthole, all Nessa could see was darkness and meteors; she should have been able to see New Mars, it’s yellow dwarf and the other five inhabited planets.

Something had happened. The Captain’s voice came back on, “Oh Gods! What have they done!”