Monday, February 5, 2024

“A Blaster Called Sam” • by Matt Bliss


Most stories start with a person. Someone with a problem, or who asks a question, or who is suddenly thrust into a world where they must overcome the odds and become the person they never thought they could be.

Not this one.

No. This story starts with a blaster.

As far as blasters are concerned, this one was not constructed with the typical cubic housing, sharp angles, and blocky grip like the other standard emergence-grade blasters on the market. The Vaporiform Bodkin Deluxe, or VBX-42, was hourglass round. It boasted gentle curves that rose and fell from the rear frustum until tapering towards its hemispherical tip. This particular model was painted kiln metallic red with a proprietary thermo-ceramic coating that not only prevented fingerprint smudges, but always felt cool in the user’s hand.

The blaster’s name was Sam.

That was the name given it by Lawrence Kensington on his tenth birthday. He would be the first to open the factory-fresh box and lay eyes upon it.

“Really, Pop?” Lawrence asked while staring at his warped reflection in the blaster’s high-gloss finish. “Is it truly mine?”

“Sure is, son. Your very first.” His father smiled as only a proud father can as he watched Lawrence take the blaster in the yard and squeeze the five-point-five pounds of springy pressure of its trigger. They laughed as Lawrence sliced holes in trees and eviscerated rocks and shrubs in the garden. Lawrence would later kill thirty-seven people with the blaster throughout his ascension to power.

Later, Chief Global Chancellor Lawrence Kensington would be assassinated by a disgruntled Alrick Easton during the Great Nephologic Recession. Alrick claimed the blaster as his own, however, he would not hold it very long as the Taranellians invaded the planet shortly thereafter to enslave the entirety of the human race. Alrick was slain before ever pulling the blaster’s trigger.

Sam would lay unused for twenty-six years until Zoey Olivero, who would later be known as the leader of the Night Rebellion, eventually invaded the spider queen’s castle and discovered the blaster in a storage hall among other remnants of the previous world. She would later claim it was this blaster that was used to murder the spider queen, thereby shutting down the Taranellian’s hive mind and freeing humanity, as well as noting the ergonomic comfort of the blaster’s grip in her hand. Zoey quickly took to her new position of power with Sam, the blaster, at her side.

After Zoey died from neurotoxin poisoning, caused by the Taranellian’s carapace decomposition, the blaster moved to the hand of her son, Dev Olivero, who shortly thereafter traveled back in time with Doctor Maxwell Lazarus, using the newly invented Time Deixis machine, to shoot then ten-year-old Lawrence Kensington with the very same blaster in order to prevent his inevitable rise to power and in turn prevent the further growing environmental toxicant infection happening within their own time.

Upon arriving, however, the blaster noted the presence of its previous self, and in turn distorted the space-time continuum, thus opening a wormhole from planet Araknal of the spider dimension into this very same timeline, which the Taranellians would discover in some years to come.

Lawrence Kensington, however, noticed both Dev Olivero and Doctor Maxwell Lazarus in his garden on his tenth birthday while slicing holes in trees and eviscerating rocks and shrubs, and quickly disemboweled them with a single pull on Sam, his newly obtained blaster. His father laughed and clapped wildly at this.

Lawrence would later kill thirty-five people with the blaster throughout his ascension to power.


Matt Bliss is a construction worker turned speculative fiction writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. His short fiction has appeared in Diabolical Plots, Cosmic Horror Monthly, and MetaStellar among other published and forthcoming works. You can find him and links to his work at