Found doodled in the margins of a high school note unaccountably preserved from sometime in the 1980s. Words were drawn with appropriately-shaped road signs. I think if I won a lottery, I would order some of these and place them along various highways:

Divided Mind Resumes
13 km

Psycho Killer in Back Seat

Caution: Tacks Spread on Road

Bias Ahead

<--ONE WAY-->

Falling Mixmasters
Next 30 km

Speed Limit Changes at Random

This Lane Ends During Full Moons



Exit Closed in April

This Lane Does Not End
You must continue in this lane for eternity.


Chariot Inspection Station


Slippery When Dry

Esophagus Crossing

TRAUMA Next 16 km

Philosophy and Toasters!

Be Prepared to Cough

Oral Test Ahead

Last Novelty Store 290 km

Beware of Falling Principles

Weekdays: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Porpoises at Work

(Sketch of old-timey school crossing a highway)

Highway Ends
(Silhouette of car going over cliff into flames)


These aren't strictly drabbles but they were in my head, so here they are.

Stop Time

It's been Tuesday for ages.

He sits in a carrel at the top floor of the downtown library beside a window and a pile of unread books. Behind him, stacked on the floor and tall enough to be level with his shoulders, is a pile of read ones.

Outside, snow is frozen mid-fall, and light flakes perpetually almost-begin to blanket the city. Traffic in the street below never moves. A cyclist is always about the hit a pothole, a pigeon is always about to land on a streetlight. He doesn't look at the clock on the wall; he doesn't need to. It reads 3:00, as it has for what feels like -- and might be-- forever.

He rubs his eyes, sighs, and turn back to the page of his book.

* * * *

Star Sound

She can't stand the sound of stars.

Their screams fill her mind at night, like nails on a chalkboard, like chewing tinfoil with metal fillings. During the day, the sun is even worse. It moans and puts in her head images of candles melting in anguish, of bones left bleaching in the sand, of dying things crawling away from creeping fire.

She's gotten good at pretending not to hear it all. In the car, her music is loud enough to get looks from other drivers, and at work the shriek of saws fill her ears. When she's alone in the shop, discreetly as possible and hoping the foreman doesn't see, she'll loosen her ear protection and let the sound of wood and metal drown out the stars.

* * * *

Blood Weather

There's blood in the water again.

It had only just rained that morning, but already the puddles on the street were starting to go red-black, changing from the middle-out, as though some invisible hand cut itself above and was letting blood drip down.

Some boys crowded around one by the curb and got too close; a car turned and splashed them. White jerseys turned pink beneath damp, open jackets and backpacks. The oldest lamented his new shoes and hoped they'd wash out. The youngest, his brother, said nothing but was secretly proud that he'd had the foresight to leave his new shoes at home.

After all, they'd been warned about the rain all week.

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