STOCK MARKET

Leave a comment

(Note: This is a story written under the Machine of Death premise – a collection of stories written by several authors that somehow involve the existence of a machine that predicts how (but not necessarily when) its user will die. This story, STOCK MARKET, was submitted for the second Machine of Death volume, but didn’t make it into the final cut, so I’m making it available to the public here. If you’re interested in this story or its premise, please visit the Machine of Death website for more information and FREE access to the first collection of short stories, an audiobook podcast, and other cool related resources.)

STOCK MARKET

by Fernando H. F. Sacchetto – July 1st, 2011

 

“Chambers and Compton, come in here for a moment.”

It was always a bad sign when Foster called us into his office like that. He was a rather to-the-point kind of guy, who usually preferred to walk up to your desk and lay it on you right away. When the talk was inside his office, either he was going to chew you out, or the case was particularly sensitive – which I always figured was the worse of the two. This time, it was the latter.

“What did we do this time?” Compton asked, only half joking.

“It’s not what you did, it’s what you’re gonna do, which is make pretty damn sure you know where you’re stepping with this one.” There was a fat case folder on his desk, which he turned our way. “Just in from the Department of the Treasury. The name’s W&M, for Worthington & Masters. Business consulting, financial market analysis, insurance, I don’t know what the hell else. Business never really been my thing. Problem is, they and their clients have been doing some really dodgy trading on the stock market, mostly by knowing stuff before anyone else had a right to. You know, buying just before the big merger that drives the stocks up, selling when the bad news hasn’t gotten out to the public yet, and so on. They’re calling it insider trading, of course. Have a look for yourselves.”

  More

Advertisements

The Guy Who Knew It All

Leave a comment

The Guy Who Knew It All

by Fernando H. F. Sacchetto – jan. 2006

“Hey baby, did ya know I’m omniscient?”

This was of course a rhetorical question. Of course he knew that she didn’t know it, being omniscient.

“You’re what?”

He also knew that she didn’t know what that word even meant, and decided to use it anyway. Thought it’d cause a better impression.

“Omniscient. Means I know everything.”

“Ooookay… that’s a new one.” She giggled. “Then tell me, smart guy, what am I thinking right now?”

That one was easy. “You’re thinking I’m crazy.”

“Well DUH! That’s obvious!”

“Well ask me something harder then!”

“Ooookay…” She giggled again, partly because the alcohol was getting to her head. This, he not only knew, but was also counting on. “What color panties am I wearing right now?”

More

The First Story

Leave a comment

The First Story

by Fernando Sacchetto – dec. 2009

Once upon a time, there was a peasant boy who loved to play. While he was very poor, such that he often had to go to bed hungry, he was rarely without a smile, for his life was never devoid of wonder and magic. Nobody could tell from looking at him, as he looked in all ways like simply one more peasant boy in a dreary forgotten down, living a dreary and soon-to-be forgotten life. However, when he played – which he did in every waking moment of his life, as much as he could anyway – he lived a thousand different and fantastic lives. This time he was a bold knight, fighting against monsters so strange and fearsome that the wisest sages could scarcely find words to describe them; that time, he was an escaped slave, trudging through dank sewers as he evaded the tricks of his wicked sorcerer master, contriving plans to bring about his downfall and claim his remote frozen kingdom. His little head had more stories in it than the greatest of libraries, each more amazing than the last – and, when he finally tired enough to lay down and sleep, they came to life.

One cool spring night, the boy dreamt of a king. This king and the peasant boy were one and the same, although he could never have suspected that, having been a powerful and respected king all his many years, and a young high-born prince before that, but never a peasant boy. The king in the boy’s dream led a life of glory and greatness, for his kingdom extended in all directions as far as a horse could ride, and was filled with people who had nothing but deep love and respect for their sovereign. He lived in a vast and beautiful castle, where he sat on his high throne, dispensing justice, pronouncing edicts, laying down the law, and deciding on war and peace, all with the most hallowed wisdom. He would also go out hunting gorgeous beasts with his trusted retainers, and hold memorable feasts for a shining court, where the most delectable foods and drinks in the world were served, and the most enchanting music played. Yet, despite all this, deep inside, the king was troubled.

More

The Man from Nantucket

Leave a comment

The Man from Nantucket

by Fernando H. F. Sacchetto – sep. 2008

There are those days when you’re so pissed off – not for any particular reason, that’s hardly necessary, just pissed off – that you don’t have any business getting out of bed. You know the deal – you look like you’re always chewing down a sour lemon laced with glass, you don’t speak as much as snarl, everything you hear is an insult, everyone and everything – even your damn toaster – seems out to get you, and even cashing in a lotto jackpot feels like torture. That was one of those days – not for me, but for God, from the look of the shitty weather. Wind, rain, the sort that annoys you rather than get you wet, sky of a color that said “piss off”, the works.

A guy – who was probably wiser than all those theology doctors and priests – once said that the difference between the angry, vengeful, smite-happy God of the Old Testament and His more chilled-out, understanding, “just love thy neighbor, okay” self in the New Testament was that He got laid in the meantime. Well, it was one of those days when it sounded like He could use another round. Not me, though – rare as it may be these days, my mood couldn’t be further from the weather’s. And yes, a girl had something to do with it. But don’t they always?

This may sound awfully cliché – probably because it is obvious, in this sort of situation – but Corinne was the sweetest thing ever. I couldn’t help seeing her everywhere I looked. Yes, there was some sex involved, of course. Call me a pig, but it’s simply the truth – nothing makes a man care more about a girl than when she makes him come, and hard. And Corinne was kind enough to give me that opportunity, at a time when I sorely needed that release. But I’m getting ahead of myself – let me start over, from the beginning.

More

Sacrifices (first layer)

Leave a comment

(Note: This story was written in two layers. The second layer retells the story with a deeper and more complete viewpoint, and is meant to be read after the first. It will be posted in the future; if you wish to read it sooner, please leave a comment or otherwise contact the author.)

Sacrifices

(first layer)

by Fernando Sacchetto – mar. 2007

Oh. My. Fucking. God.”

Zaminsky was seasoned, the most experienced one in the medical field and one of the oldest people around, but that obviously wasn’t enough to prepare him for that sight. He turned away, retching slightly. “How… how come?”

We, uh… still don’t know.” Mihara strived to find the composure to say anything at all, as he pulled the bloodied sheet off the body. She was mostly intact from the neck down, but the head that Zaminsky had uncovered was barely recognizable as a human body part. It would be impossible to identify the mess as Karen Higgsen if the colony wasn’t small enough for everyone to immediately know who was missing. Fragments of bone, tooth and eye could be seen amid the pool of gore and blood that formed in the caved-in head, crowned by blood-drenched blonde hair. “I guess there’s going to be a security inquest, and…”

No, I mean… how could anyone… you know.” Vague gestures made up for the insufficiency of words.

Yes, tell me about it. I still have a hard time believing it myself.”

More