Quibble cannot remember when last he had sex. In recent years, stiffness has been reserved to muscles and joints, not for sexual probes. With a regime that needs children to fill their horde of the unwittingly willing, he has not the power of blood to swell for his patriotic commitment. He tried all that he could when the subject was private pleasure. Now that it is public duty, the same remedies will end with the same bodily indifference. His wife suggests that he can cast the problem as a long-term disability. She has already gathered the forms from public health.


Quibble does not know when he became a threat. What sort of threat he is varies, and it is hard to get a definition of his villainy. He does not mean to be a threat. At times his neighbors clandestinely inform him of the people he threatens. The class and sect changes, and at times Quibble is behind on tracking his current malignancy. He comes to believe the bulk of his threat devolves from him having a history. History neither for nor against. Just a history. Periodically having to rewrite it bothers first us, and then them. Threats must evolve.

Ken Poyner’s four collections of brief fictions, four collections of speculative poetry, and one mixed media collection can be found at most online booksellers.  He spent 33 years in information systems management, is married to a world record holding female power lifter, and has a family of several cats and betta fish.  Individual works have appeared in Café Irreal, Analog, Danse Macabre, The Cincinnati Review, and several hundred other places.