The Only Non-Superfluous Speech

Daily Prompt: Seven Wonders

How to reduce language to seven words? Focus on the important ones. Coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, americano, mocha.

See, with language, the key is understanding and the nuance of meaning. The ability to differentiate subtle variations in desires. A vehicle for expression.

Strip language back to those seven words, and everything else fades away. All concerns, all debates, all conflict. The only drama of the day is that demanding decision of which word to use in the morning. Which word to fully capture one’s intentions and encourage the embracing of a new day. All thought could be bent towards the resolution of that simple daily conundrum. A singular focus, embraced by all speakers of this sept-mot language.

And besides. It’s always been the only way humanity has ever understood one another. Over a cup of coffee.


Do You Understand the Words Comin’ Outta My Mouth?

Daily Prompt: Express Yourself


They didn’t get it. I had been perfectly clear and explained it multiple times. But was met with uncomprehending faces.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

‘In order for the facade to have the desired effect, we need to angle the windows in order to create a repeating pattern that expresses the client’s vision. But the angle has to be such that the apertures remain of a consistent facing and there are no conflicting sightlines.’ I paused and looked around the architect’s office for inspiration. The project team had been working on variations of the facade design for a few days, and I had sat through the various presentations impatiently. I couldn’t follow what any of them were driving at, and was eager to simply present my proposal.

The uncomprehending looks didn’t change though, even after this last foray into clarification. Then finally, one of them spoke.


My turn to look uncomprehending. He repeated himself, pointing at a particular corner of the model. I nodded sagely and sat back down.

Two weeks working in China and I realized it was going to be a steep learning curve.

Demonic Ambitions

‘Fuck this for a lark.’

I had big plans. Felt certain that my misspent youth and deleterious adulthood would merit  me high reward in that anti-Pantheon that is Lucifer’s domain. I was aiming for some high-level demon, a lieutenant of the Morning Star perhaps, in charge of many of Hell’s most horrid minions. And I worked for it too. I put my time in. Evil don’t come easy, and I was fairly certain my heart was black as they come by the time I made the long journey down here.

‘Abandon hope. Enter. Yada yada.’ I kick the poor sods as they shuffle past me.

If there was to be no reward, what then was the point? A life of dedication? A life of servitude, towards a higher, or lower, goal? All that time spent, sure, looking out for number one, but not selfishly. No. With a purpose. To be the worst I could be, and so garner my eternal reward after shuffling off this mortal fucking coil.

‘Welcome to Abaddon,’ and I spear one of the grey souls stumbling past me and throw him off the bridge. You know, for shits. And giggles.

They had space for me too. Know that for a fact. A couple of skirmishes with Jehovah’s pretty boys in the days before I arrived had thinned the ranks somewhat. I could have been made a demon most foul. Could have taken my proper place in the foremost ranks of the Underworld. But no. ‘You’ll do,’ he says to me, setting aside my resume without a glance. Didn’t even read it. Clearly outlined, annotated, fucking bibliography attached! I had documented my earthly travails. ‘Murders, Appendix C, pages 27-63; Destruction of Property, Appendix G, pages 8-135.’ I was no pathetic soul on the dole. I had ambitions. Ambition enough to work my way down here, but ultimately, forced to bow before these scum.

‘Move along you pathetic bastards.’ I don’t even do anything. St Peter has a guest list, but here? Everyone’s invited to the party.

I hear them coming before I see them, the tramping of armored troops, members of the Demonic Guard exiting the city on some official business. They push through the crowd, unaware of the souls crushed underfoot or shoved into the abyss surrounding these city walls. And I’m forced to kneel as they pass. No inglorious future for me in the ranks of Hell. No epic confrontations with Heaven’s eunuchs. Just an eternity of guard duty, not even classed as a demon, counting souls as they enter the gates of Pandaemonium.

‘Fuck this for a lark.’