Back when I enjoyed being on Twitter, I ran a comedy feed called @GenreStories.

In concept it was a series of Twitter-length short stories in every conceivable genre.

In reality it was just a bunch of dumb jokes.

Here are some of my favourites.

LINGUISTICS: To dogs, the phrase “The carrot and the stick” has the exact opposite meaning.

WAR: “No Guts, No Glory” was the motto of the regiment, which was strangely proud of having neither guts nor glory.

LITERARY: He found a white hair, and sighed. It had to happen some time. You can’t escape a wizard’s curse turning you into a polar bear forever.

EROTICA: She was turned on by statistics. It wasn’t uncommon. In the world of mathematical fetishes, it was a standard deviation.

SHLOCK: Anyone know a quiet place in the city? Secluded, private, no witnesses? Asking for a fiend.

COMPLIMENT: “You’re one in a million. That’s your rating. One out of a million.”

ETIQUETTE: End a statement with “just saying” if you’ve run out of things to say but still need people to hate you.

HISTORY: Archaeological evidence shows that the Great Pyramid Of Giza was constructed by a workforce of 100 000 unpaid interns.

MEDICINE: “Back, fiend!” he yelled, holding out an apple. The doctor hissed and retreated into the shadows.

BIOPUNK: “Heeeey! Who has seventeen thumbs and a surgery addiction?"

BUREAUCRACY: Due to a clerical error, millions of dollars of genetic research funding were accidentally granted to the Human Gnome Project.

BIOLOGY: When rabbits see approaching headlights they become paralysed because they mistake them for deadlines.

ARMY: “Follow me, you maggots!” shouted the drill sergeant, and they did, leaving the food more edible.

CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT: “Oh gosh, my suit is giving me just the hugest rash!” said Barney, over-delivering the gift of sharing.

HOLLYWOOD REBOOT: Dorian Gray looks great. But on a forgotten phone in his ex-girlfriend’s cupboard is an increasingly rough-looking sext.

DOMESTIC DRAMA: Aggressive passion turning to passive aggression.

LIFE COACHING: Before committing to self-actualisation, do a quick check as you might already actually be yourself.

TRIBAL MYTH: Some primitive people believe that you're stealing a piece of their soul when you photograph of one of their federal buildings.

ASTROLOGY QUIZ: Every sign is linked to particular characteristics, so this simple quiz can predict your sign! 1) What’s your birthday?

POP PSYCH: Random questions can have deep and revealing answers. For instance, If you ask me what superpower I’d like, I'd say the USSR.

SCIENCE: Brain parasites can make ants climb grass blades. Tequila makes people climb on tables. Tequila, with a worm in it. Coincidence?

SCI FI: Max tried to impress the new girl in the lab with his Quantum Translocator. It malfunctioned, trapping him in The Friend Zone.

FAILED RESOLUTION: Stop with the lame puns and write a serious story about dockworkers joining sheets of metal together. Riveting stuff.

FANTASY: "This wand can erase people from history. I've never used it, though, because I don't have enemies. At least, none I can remember."

MYSTERY: The axle on our carriage broke and we were forced to spend the night at Clickbait Manor. What happened next will shock you.

EXPLOITATION: The creators of “Girls Gone Wild” didn’t reclaim their success with the follow up, “The Elderly Turned Feral”.

CRIME: The body was found, aged 87, surrounded by grand kids. Detective Duke winced. The Entropy Killer was back.

LITERARY: The writer sat at a bar looking for a metaphor. But the classy ones were taken, and the rest were only good for a one night tweet.

NERD JOKE - “Three Boromirs do not simply walk into a bar.”

HORROR: In 1994 she was bitten by a Trekkie. Now, once a fortnight, she attends conventions as a WereWorf.

BIOPUNK: Decades ago, our brains were infected by a linguistic virus. Now dormant, it can be reactivated by the phrase “Dashing and Daring…”

ROMANCE: They swapped love notes after church. He thought their love was pure. But when she wrote "XXX" she wasn't referring to kisses.

FABLE: The violinist won the contest so the devil gave him a golden fiddle. Which is a euphemism for a sex act, because, y’know, the devil.

MEDICAL: The surgery left her hollow and oval. She should never have asked the plastic surgeon to give her a ball-park figure.

MATHS: Facebook Minus Twitter Minus Instagram Plus Your Boss Equals LinkedIn.

MEDICAL: "Look over here. Tell me what you see.” She points at a picture of a half-full glass. Never get your eyes checked by an optimist. 

BIBLICAL: The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth, And Won’t Cause A Fuss When The Brash Contest The Will. 

PLATITUDE: A poor carpenter blames his tools. A rich carpenter blames excessive regulation in the carpentry industry. 

SCI-FI: In the future more tech will be gesture-based. You’ll play music, change channels, and mail your parents every time a wasp flies in. 

FANTASY: Torod-Mur owed fealty to Omon during the Western War. Look, if you’re having trouble following this, imagine I’m explaining it while having sex on HBO.

EVERY TRAILER: He was the best at crime. He stopped because he was cool. But now, someone nice will die unless he crimes again. COOL CRIME.

BEHIND THE SCENES: In the movie xXx, under his neck tattoo, Vin Diesel had more X’s and 0’s in a grid on his back. The man played hard.

GRITTY REBOOT: Tin Man wanted a heart. Scarecrow wanted a brain. Lion hid from them, cradling a gun, praying for courage.

HEIST: He got the old team together: Safecracker. Tech wiz. Seductress. Master of disguise. Acrobat. Lion tamer. Three clowns in a tiny car.

FANTASY: Although he was undeniably rugged, muscular and virile, very few kidnapped princesses were ever rescued by Onan the Barbarian.

CLASSIC: An arrow struck Achilles’ ankle. He screamed and cursed the heavens. Why did it have to be his heel? That was his… Death Star vent.

SUPERHERO: Spiderman’s enemies finally defeat him with a giant glass and a large piece of cardboard.

CAROL: On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love was arrested for animal endangerment, noise pollution and kidnapped aristocracy.

SPORT: MIT’s soccer team was hoping for a Mexican Wave from its fans, but, since only one supporter, they had to make do with a Mexican Particle.

FACT: Youtube was invented in the 1980’s when someone played a home movie and wrote Mein Kampf underneath it in crayon.

HORROR: The results of the pre-mortem were conclusive. Death by dissection.

PROVERB: When life gets you tired, make tirade.

FACT: Lightsabers are silent but attract wasps.

DRUNK PLATITUDE: Make a man self-sufficient, and you feed him for a lifetime. TEACH a man to self-suffish and you… you… also... do that.

ARCHAEOLOGY: Dig through the strata. uncover the past. Pottery shards. Bones. Ash. An unused advert for a service to clean your dorm room.

RELIGION: Sadly, dinosaurs were only on Noah’s stretch-goals.

EPIC: “My first word is a donkey. My second is an opening.” Hercules frowned. It was surprisingly easy to solve the Riddle of the Sphincter.

RELIGION: And God said, Let us make man in our image. And Adam was the selfie of the Lord.

SEQUEL: After the loss of the 2nd Death Star, the Empire wrote patriotic country songs and made everyone take off their shoes at spaceports.

CRIME: He thought days were going faster because he was getting older. After his death, police discovered cut brake cables in his calendar.

SCI-FI: The Nostalgia Gun made people look back longingly and think how much better life had been before they were shot through the lungs.

FILM: Hollywood grittily reboots itself into Detroit.

ADVICE: Follow your dreams. Eat broken glass and go to school naked.

CRIME: The boss accidentally told his thugs to make the informant "swim with the dolphins." The informant came back spiritually healed and, like, shwaa.

ART HISTORY: As leader of the impressionists, Claude Monet was tired of being told to "do Arnold Schwarzenegger, then".

WORLD'S WORST JOKE: The taxidermist wanted to create a shell-less tortoise, and he made no bones about it.

URBAN VIKING: Sven had an axe to grind with Olaf, who didn't grind Sven's axe when Sven axed him to.

HISTORICAL: The young president-to-be declared "I cannot tell a lie," which was the first of many.

SCI FI: The Internet collapsed. With no other outlet, gangs roamed the city, cornering strangers and assaulting them with opinions on Dr Who.

CLASSICS: Zeus fathered the Muses, source of all inspiration - Coffia, Deadlineus, Guiltia, and BrokenWiFia.

REBOOT: "Brutally murdered by the mob. Rebuilt as a machine to uphold the law. Part man. Part machine. All inspector. Gadget."

SLICE OF LIFE: "Sideways breasts, eight, a couple not sexually gratifying each other, ninty-six..." it was Doug's last day calling bingo.

AFFIRMATION: There is no “I” in "dyslexia".

FOLKTALE: By the 850th night, Scheherazade was padding things with dream sequences, on-again-off-again love plots and endless guest stars.

COMIC: "Finally! I have learned my nemesis’s greatest weakness and shall defeat him! According to his job interview it is: 'Perfectionism'."

FACT: 14% of the population of Victorian London were time travellers who were there for either the steampunk or the chauvinism.

HISTORICAL: The guillotine blade dropped and the crowd cheered, except for a guy at the back who DID kind of want cake.

FANTASY: Wishing wells are portals. Now and then, someone on the far side says "I wish a sucker would throw me money." They get THEIR wish.

CULTURAL APPRECIATION: The kid tagged the lower right-hand side of the building, accidentally turning the gallery into art. 

URBAN FANTASY: 4am. The psychic hammered on the wall. His neighbour was playing a loud song on repeat in his head. 

DRAMA: Their relationship lasted years, until one night, a drunken bender unleashed their hidden desires and tore them apart. The seven beer itch.

DOMESTIC DRAMA: "You are my rock," he told her. Picturing a trapped arm and a penknife.


MYTH: Sisyphus sat writing at a desk in Hell. His attention kept slipping to the browser again, and again, and again.

PORN: A chiseled delivery guy appeared at the door. No one had ordered pizza, but the ladies weren't going to turn down a Deus Sex Machina.

WAR: "I'll break you down, and build you back up from the rubble!" screamed the drill sergeant. Which naturally led to some unstable houses.

GAMES: The chess grand master found one of his knights in his bed. The next day, he threw the game. The Sicilian Defence never fails.

BUSINESS: A few years ago he'd been one of them. Now, with champagne in hand, he looked down on the rioters below. From Zero to Nero.

EULOGY: Tim died in a fire. His dominatrix gave a touching speech at the funeral. "Tim died doing what he loved: screaming in pain."

CRIME: Dozens of Joggers were mugged. Police were baffled. No one suspected the owner of the local gym, where membership tripled.

BIBLICAL: "Go Forth And Multiply," God told Noah. And, being human, Noah assumed he was talking about sex. Not maths.

FILM HISTORY: April 1 1950: Kurosawa releases many different versions of Rashomon, freaking the critics when they read each others' reviews.

BIOGRAPHY: She wandered around with gin and a sword. "Majesty," said the butler, "You can't knight a toaster." "Sir toaster," she corrected.

DIY: Screws are alive and breed when exposed to light. The offspring will appear just after you put whatever you were fixing back together.

GEEKY: He took his car in to have the alignment of his wheels fixed. They came back Lawful Good.

PROVERB: A phrase that rhymes and feels nice / Isn't always the best advise / I prefer sayings more concise / Like: "Don't Be A Twat."

ROMANCE: The last man at the bar was a grinning dude in the Battlestar Galactica shirt. She sighed. He was her worst-case Lothario.

SUPERHERO: "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a fish? Is it a house? Is it a shoe?" Captain Indescribable was getting tired of his power.

FABLE: From his new tower, the king surveyed the glittering empire below. "Foundations!" said the builder behind him, slapping his forehead.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: "We need realistic people to face reality, and unrealistic people to make the alternatives," he said. The imaginary crowd cheered.

INSPIRATIONAL: if you love somebody, let them go. If they don't return then that was really bad advice. I'm so sorry. Please stop crying.

CRIME: "Wanna get high?" said the paraglider dealer. Brad was tempted. It had been a while. But he knew the product would be cut with tent.

POLITICAL: At the UN were 120 interpreters and Juan, who translated speeches into the international language of love.

ADVENTURE: "I'm gonna literally wipe the floor with you," said the GI. "I doubt that," said Hans, who was literally a Grammar Nazi.

CRIME: All the victims were the same: Perfectly healthy and alive, with one tiny paper-cut. This was the the work of a PsychoHomeoPath.

FABLE: The Billy Goat Gruff convinced the troll that a more gullible goat would soon be on the comment thread.

WAR: The Sergeant respected the General's command of the tactical map, but worried about the "Brrrm!" sound he made when moving the tanks.

LEGAL: The music industry released a track about how copyright law stifles free speech. Protestors were then sued for infringing the lyrics.

HORROR: "You'll sleep like babies," said the innkeeper. Which was true. They spent half the night screaming, and the other half throwing up.

PALINDROMES: These are easy, as long as you don't mind the second half going gniog flah dnoces eht dnim tnod uoy sa gnol sa ysae era eseht.

BUSINESS: In the interview he claimed he was a workaholic, but arrived drunk on his first day. He had his own definition of "Workahol".

SCRIPTURE: "G-O-L-D!!!!" "FRANKINCENSE - Cheap!" "Myrrh - For Men. FREE SAMPLEZ!" Mary was getting suspicious about some of her son's new followers.

EROTIC: "Who's your equal?" he growled respectfully.

ACTION: "Extreme sports always have two extremes," said the winner of the shortest triathlon, lowest bungee and least flips on a skateboard.

MODERN FAIRYTALE: the Wicked Witch gave Snow White an apple, and cackled as the helpless princess drove up a massive debt on the app store.

EPIC: The Thousand-Year War between the Thirty Tribes and the Dragoneers of Crya was brought to a sudden, devastating end by writer's block.

LEGAL DRAMA: "I find the defendant..." coin arcs, lands in palm, slapped onto back of other hand, revealed, "...not guilty!" Mistrial.

HORROR: The outbreak of vampirism amongst walruses went completely unnoticed by everybody.

TIME TRAVEL: dox but couldn't, because the past had already happened, so he tried to make a para

TRAILER: The nihilists wear the symbol of the naught. If the priests don't stop them, it's Game Over. NAUGHTS AND CROSSES – THE MOVIE. 2012

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Hypocrisy is absolutely terrible unless I'm doing it.

SPIRITUAL: “Only by shutting down all thought can you achieve happiness,” said Michael Bay.


HORROR: My soul haunts the spot I died, cursing those who enter the building. But someone turned it into a Home Affairs so no one notices.

DRAMA: His tattoos were stretching. His piercings got caught on his wife’s doilies. He had lived fast but was bad at following through.

SCI FI: “Laugh at me?” said Dr Zarxo. “I’ll show them! I’ll show them all!” So he did a double-blind study and got the results peer reviewed.

SEQUEL: All things considered, a spoonful of sugar wasn’t the wisest way to encourage Jimmy to take his insulin.

ACTION: “Is anyone on board a pilot?… Or played Flight Simulator?… Or had flying dreams on absinthe?” Phillipe stood. His hour had come.

HEDONISTIC: The pills kicked in. He raised his hands up towards the lights. And crashed the ambulance.

POSTAPOCALYPTIC: “I’ll finally get thin,” thought Bob. He hadn’t counted on the stress-eating.

HORROR: “Bind Them Forever!” chanted the eyeless ones, holding a rusted needle. And the couple began to regret having a themed wedding.

MEDICAL: For years his doctors thought he had Tourette’s, until they discovered that he was just surrounded by arseholes.

PHILOSOPHICAL: His motto was “Live every day like it was your last.” He spent the final 37 years of his life screaming and crying.

DRAMA: She married him at his ultra-orthodox church. “I declare you Man and Disfigured Rib,” said the priest. And she had second thoughts.

CULINARY HISTORY: It was a disaster, but he had to brazen it out. “Voila!” he said to the shocked dinner guests. And the flambé was born.

CAUTIONARY: Alone in the blizzard, he wondered what had compelled him to check whether his tongue would stick to a snowmobile.

MOB: The cops watched the rookie heading out of the station. When he was gone, the desks flipped and the place turned back into a speakeasy.

CIRCUS DRAMA: She always tagged along to his unicyclist conventions. She always got in the way. His second wheel.

BUSINESS: He’d finally made it. His own office with huge plate-glass windows. His own wheelie chair. But the two didn’t go well together.

FAMILY DRAMA: Dad fishing with his sons. “This is lame!” said the youngest. So Dad took out the dynamite, got their respect, and lost custody.

CLASSICAL: The poison taster gagged and writhed. The cook was executed before the taster could explain that he hated coriander.

HISTORICAL: He stared at his tools. The bolts first? The pliers? That wouldn’t work. He sighed helplessly. Torturer’s block.

CRISIS OF FAITH: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, they told him. But the scuba tank kept knocking over the communion wine.

PREHISTORICAL: As the meteor grew near, some dinosaurs rejoiced. They roared hymns, denounced the mammals, and awaited the Velocirapture.

FABLE: The sparrow didn’t care that her chick was a changeling. “Fly, my pretty!” she said with pride, pushing the baby rhino from the nest.

MAGIC REALISM: She followed the knife-thrower everywhere, always first on stage, showing off the scar where he pierced her heart.

UTOPIAN CONSPIRACY: Everyone is in on it: CIA. FBI… They’re throwing you a surprise party.

POP-SCI: “It’s okay to be shallow,” said the biologist at the cocktail party. “90% of ocean life is in the shallows. It’s warm and bright.” But the model he was hitting on yawned.

FABLE: The clumsy trap-maker always got caught in his own traps. “Here we go again,” he thought, as the ring slid onto his finger.

CONSPIRACY: Inside the hanger wasn’t a moon landing set. There was a stadium. Our minds reeled. The 2010 World Cup was faked.

HORROR: “Fish Fingers tonight!” said New Mommy. Jimmy looked at his plate. Scales. Knuckles. They weren’t what Jimmy expected. Not at all.

EPIC: He had The Call. He has a Love Interest, and an Antagonist, and the potential for Personal Growth. Unfortunately, he also had an Xbox.

GHOST: Dripping walls. Patches of cold. Weird laughter in the night. On the plus hand, only 800 bucks a month and near varsity AND the pub.

METAFICTION: “Mr President, we’re on the brink of disaster. Our world is built on 140 characters and they’re non-renewable. When they run ou

CRINGE: He did a German accent whenever he was nervous. He met his new boss Mister Müller, and panicked. “Top o’ t’ mornin’ to ye!” he said.

STEAMPUNK: “The Analytical Engines must be purged!” said the minister. Too late. The compromising mimeograph was already with ClickiLeaks.

DRAMA: He was miserable. “Puzzle pieces forced together are harder to pull apart,” he said. But she didn’t understand him. Again.

WAR: “They’re filling their trenches with poets,” said the German general. “We can play that game. Send in the mimes.”

HORROR: “Wear this ring,” said the shopkeeper, “and all your dreams will come true.” They did. Even the one with the teeth.

EXPOSÉ: It was his first day as a copywriter. “Jesus Saves… With CostCo!” he said. It was his last day as a copywriter.

COMEDY: He did the racist bit. The audience gasped. He paused, ready to launch the punchline, when the heart attack hit. He died on stage.

BLACK COMEDY: “They’ll remember me now,” he thought, finger on the trigger. “I’ll be the Kurt Cobain of actuaries.” He was wrong.

OBJECTIVIST: His industrialist father had told him that the wealthy owed nothing to anybody. So, as his trust-fund grew, Atlas chugged.

WAR: He failed his driver’s test twelve times. But driving a tank means never checking your blind spots.

UNNERVING CHILDREN’S HAIKU: Waldo is easy / But can you spot the ninja? / He Is Behind You.

DRAMA: Two men sat on the bench. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we’re waiting for the same girl?” But they were, and it wasn’t.

ALLEGORY: He slept all day. His conversation left people drained. He avoided mirrors; they made him look unremarkable. And garlic was passé.

WAR: Christmas in the trenches. The two sides played football in no man’s land. Afterwards the English fans got out of hand as usual.

TEEN ROMANCE: She watched him from across the cafeteria. He was so much taller, more confident, and better described than she was.

SELF-REFRENTIAL: This tweey has exactly one hundred and thirty nine characters, two commas, one full stop and an obvious spelling mistake.

HISTORICAL: While trying to get a loan, Spartacus discovers he’s the victim of quite unbelievable identity theft.

SUPERHERO: “Behold! This suit will let me move through solid objects!” He put it on and fell to the centre of the Earth.

CRIME: He argued with the mechanic. Drove off without paying. As he hit 120 he noticed the tyre bolts on the passenger seat.

CHILDREN: Jimmy wanted to see the fire engines but mummy wouldn’t take him. Mohammad won’t come to the mountain, he thought, lighting a match.

GAME REVIEW: In the Sims 6 your character can meditate, transcend and become aware of its true nature: A bored person playing the Sims 6.

INFANT MYSTERY: Missing woman. Dame disappears right in front of me. Then, she’s back. No explanation, just the cryptic word “peekaboo.”

SCI-FI: A giant prehistoric butterfly stood on Dr. Mandel, who by chance had doctorates in time travel, literature, chaos theory, and irony.

ADVERT: It’s hard to ignore where our food, clothes, and goods really come from. Time to disconnect. Conservol™ chemical guilt suppressant.

ARTHURIAN: He swung Excalibur at the enemy’s neck and it bounced off. Always resharpen a sword after it’s shoved into a rock.

DYSTOPIAN XMAS TALE: The elves watched, listened, judged me naughty. They left me with sock full of coal. Coal that used to be my foot.

DICKENSIAN: “As you see, in the future, no one attends your funeral- Hey! Is that a sports almanac?” “No!” said Ebenezer.

ORWELLIAN ROMCOM: It’s the same old story: State loves girl, girl commits ThoughtCrime, State wins girl back in Room 101. DoublePlus Good.

8-BIT: Mistakes are fatal. There is no save. You forgot to pick up a key on level 3. Games eventually become more lifelike, but never more like life.

SLAPSTICK BILDUNGSROMAN: He saw the banana peel and leapt over it, no longer a clumsy child, but a Man: A Man who hadn’t seen the low doorframe.

SELF-HELP NOIR: She was an attractive broad. Now, she’s attracted six bullets to the heart. Negative thinking. Case closed.

STEAMPUNK: Broken glass had fallen into the mechanism. The inspector sighed. What buffoon would install windows on a Thinking Engine?

SPACE OPERA: “We have starships! We have AI and nanotech! So why do we still have a monarchy?” yelled a man holding a laser-pitchfork.

FABLE: The peacock was extremely beautiful but could only squawk. Thanks to autotune and an aggressive MTV play cycle it went platinum.

GRINDHOUSE: “Show some backbone,” he taunts, so Kandi pulls out a whip made from the spines of boys like him.

SCI-FI: The AI spent its holiday on Windows XP contracting viruses and getting infested with spyware, and came back claiming enlightenment.

SPY: Agent V aims his pen gun and fires. Nothing. Back at the QuikSpar someone tries to sign a receipt and shoots a hole through the condoms.

SCI-FI: 2037 – SETI discovers an interstellar data network. 2038 – Mankind posts its opinions in all caps. 2039 – Mankind gets unfriended.

HORROR: “You used to love this before the accident. Now open wide,” said his daughter patiently, holding up a spoonful of crushed eyeballs.

DRUG FANTASY: White powder. Street name: “Skep”. It’s only addictive because it makes you sceptical. You don’t believe it’s bad for you.

POST APOCALYPTIC: Dan loved it. Free from civilisation. Raiding the camps, crushing the efforts of the rebuilders. Then the toothache came.

CRINGE: On the cake were three figures. Bride. Groom. And the baker herself, holding a tiny model cake, so proud to be part of the ceremony.

DARK COMEDY: The passengers were tense. The pilots wouldn’t stop giggling. “We’re having unexpected… Hehehe… Engine issues…”

BARBARIAN: “Say your prayers,” said Ord the Avenger. “I was trying to!” said the Snake Cultist, pointing sulkily at the sacrificial virgin.

CYBERPUNK: “Can’t talk, going through a tunnel.” “Whaddaya mean? I’m right next to you.” “Yeah, but without net access, I can’t think prop-”

LOVE LETTER: You are the words “This Way Up” printed upside-down on the side of my life. I must turn it the right way up, even if everything else falls out.

CYBERPUNK: “Call me 404,” says the man in the invisibility suit. “404 Not Found.” The general sighs. Tech always turns hard men into geeks.

STEAMPUNK: The cylinder came through the pneumatic tubes. Hidden in a side compartment was a small wax recording disc. Blasted spyware!

SCI-FI: Replicators could copy anything perfectly; food, cars, homes, medicine. It was utopia for everyone, until the copyright lawsuits.

TRAGEDY: They sat, hand in wrinkled hand, watching the wide screen HDTV bought with their son’s life insurance. It seemed so blurry.

PREHISTORIC FANTASY: Ug held up the magical stick in wonder. The magic on the end glowed, spread to his beard, and hurt.

EROTIC HORROR: Fingertips touched the nape of her neck, stroked her shoulder, and brushed down her body, envious of its completeness.

FAIRYTALE: Mary didn’t chew her food enough so maggots ate her head, or, in the modern version, she was told off and given ice-cream.

AFTERLIFE FANTASY: There were harps. And clouds. The ghost of Richard Dawkins looked around, confused on many levels.

GOTHIC: “Do you really love me? Be honest,” said the inquisitor.

BIOPUNK: LEGA-C (TM) looks lovable, but inside, it’s so much more! Its mirror neurons(TM) let it love, mimic, and eventually, replace you!

URBAN FANTASY: I stopped at the lights. A newspaper vendor walked up behind me, stepped in something, and swore. “Bloody centaurs.”

CYBERPUNK: The billboard auto-hacked my brain interface and adjusted my neurotransmitters, making me drowsy. I hate coffee adverts.

DETECTIVE: When she walked in the room, I knew she’d done it. I’d ruled her out before because of the pretty smile and the wheelchair.

REDNECK COMEDY: The thief lay moaning on the ground outside my trailer. He’d been trying to siphon the gas but got the septic tank.

FANTASY: The Faerie Army were unstoppable. Arrows flew straight through them. In the end, we had to resort to our deadliest weapon: Doubt.

GHOST STORY: Esther examined the exorcist she’d hired; stocky, grizzled, and in the moonlight, transparent.

COMIC FANTASY: The Empire of the Cat-People, though formidable, was distracted by a very, very long piece of string.

EROTIC: “Our order,” the Mother Superior confessed, “Has the most unusual habits.”

CRIME: I regained consciousness lying in a circle of policemen, with the murder weapon in my hand and the shoe on the other foot.

© Copyright Sam Wilson