• Jabe Stafford

Incomplete Sentience

A whole world on a single page!

The short story morsels of One Page Worlds are flash fiction adventures of all flavors. Every Wednesday will feature a complete story in one page, or the first page of what could be a novel or novelette.

Sharing the fun and geekery is the best part of writing! Please tweet or comment with your guesses on what genre, character, and job is central to each tale. Enjoy touring new universes each week with One Page Worlds!

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Seventy two stories up the Sentience Spire by jetpack.

Nobody took the time to look out the building's windows.

Bryce counted the floors by peeking in at the suits, the power skirts, and the janitors roving about among desks and potted plants. Women in lab coats moved between shelves on some floors. Empty racks and white stains covered others.





Nobody bothered him out here as he systematically washed each window with his spray pack and squeegee. Flying to unoccupied offices according to the employees’ work shifts meant a people-free day and a easy paycheck. He ascended the seventy-fifth to the roof.

“Privacy is my right,” a bird cooed. With rage?

Peering over the building’s lip, Bryce squinted at a nest crammed into a crack between the roof garden’s bushes and the four foot brick wall separating safe footpaths from open air. An apoplectic pigeon warbled at him like a grumpy neighbor who’d caught him trespassing. “You. Bald face. You know what I do to get rid of home invaders?”

Wind swirled up Bryce’s nose, cold to the taste this high up. “Flap your beak at them? Look, I’m not washing windows to—”

The bird flapped out of its nest and rocketed at Bryce’s face. “Defecate! Defecate!”

Dozens of downtown pigeons flocked out of the foliage, mimicking the first as they beat their wings and shed feathers onto the tidy roof garden.

Bryce flipped upside down and dove headfirst down the Spire's steel-and-glass façade, pissed-off pigeons trailing behind him.

Every second, another face flashed past in the windows, gaping at the ruckus and the feathered mass plunging streetward outside.

“People will see you can speak,” Bryce hollered, craning to look behind him. He wished he hadn’t. "Don't you want to stay free?"

“No more spies,” the flock trilled as one. “No more spies. No more spies. Defecate!”

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