Would you like fries with that? word count: 567.
“Get me a cheeseburger combo, with fries, and a medium coke,” Grant said.
“What kind?” asked Charles.
“A cheeseburger, I told you.”
“No, I know that, what kind of fries?”
Grant paused and held the phone away from his ear. Placing the phone back to his left ear, he asked “What do you mean, what kind of fries?”
“You know, steak fries, curly fries, waffle cut, shoestring. What kind?”
The choice had never occurred to Grant. Most any other place you went to the fries were all the same. He found himself coming to a standing position in front of the couch. “I don’t¬¬--”
“Okay look, you better hurry up, I’m gonna be at the window soon. Do you want thick, meaty fries? Crunchier fries? Maybe au natural?” Charles asked.
Did his choice actually matter, Grant wondered. Is there something lurking in his subconscious that could be defined by the choice of his French fry?
“Uhh, regular,” Grant said.
“Dude, there is no regular. This is the Fry Hut, there is no regular.”
“They have to have regular, everywhere has regular,” Grant said. He was pacing now.
“They don’t. I’m coming up next, hurry the gently caress up dude.”
Steak fries were thick cut potatoes, large wedges of starch. Would it look like I was overcompensating for something, Grant thought. Curly fries are zestier, but greasier, am I a slave to my own gluttony?
Grant began to sweat. He could feel the moisture collect under his armpits and bead on his forehead. Grant was not circumcised and wondered if the choice of waffle fries would reveal this truth to his roommate. He had been called anteater in high school and loathed to confront the nickname now that he had moved away for college. But the shoestring fries were small, limp and soggy. Such a tepid choice would clearly reveal himself for the weak willed person that he believed he was.
“Okay, I want a number 4, grande size, with a mountain dew and steak fries,” Charles said over the phone. Steak fries! Grant could feel a hotness well up inside him. The confidence Charles had to order such an ostentatious food, Grant was disgusted, but envious. To be able to order such a small-dicked order with such flagrancy infuriated Grant.
“And can I get a number seven, with a medium coke, and, sorry, one second. Hey, what kind of fries? Grant? What kind of fries?”
A lump caught in Grant’s throat. The anger he felt was quickly replaced by embarrassment. His vision began to spin and he could feel his forehead become feverish. Knowing his entire life could be summed up into his choice of fry made Grant want to faint. Closing his eyes as hard as he could to prevent nausea, Grant whispered, “Regular.” The word came out of him like a typhoon. Air rushed out of his lungs and pushed him back onto the couch.
Grant could hear Charles sigh on the other end of the phone.
“And uh, regular fries I guess,” Charles said, “Oh. Uh huh, okay.”
Grant felt relief. There was nothing that could be said about regular. He knew there would be regular fries, every place has regular fries.
“…nt. Grant. Grant.” Grant could hear Charles coming in over the phone.
“What? What now?”
“Do you want spicy seasoning or garlic seasoning?”
Grant screeched and threw the phone across the room.
|# ¿ Aug 8, 2012 01:37|
|# ¿ Jun 19, 2019 11:51|
There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just write. Take up your pen, the ink, the typewriter, and the whole cabin, and I'll spare your lives. Just write and we'll give you a safe passageway and a free copy of The Waste Land. Just write and there will be an end to the horror.
|# ¿ Aug 13, 2012 19:58|
Diary of Bootstrapping the Apocalypse words: 494
Saturday 5 January 2064
81 pounds. No marauder king would want to snog with a bag of bones like me. On the plus side I think I had my last period, ever. Bad news: ate all the chocolate I had rationed. The sad truth of it all was that had I been sitting on my rump when this whole thing happened, living off food stamps and welfare, I would have had plenty of fat stores to maintain my status as a birther. Unfortunately, I was busy living my life and working hard for Hubert Goster (as dreamy as he WAS) so I could live in a small apartment, that isn’t cozy or quaint no matter how hard my mother tried to convince me it was, that I just didn’t have the time in the day to sit around all day and watch Maury. Maybe mum was right and I never should have moved to New York.
Anyway, with the Festival of Skulls looming, I just know I’m going to be last picked at the Reverse-Sadie-Hawkins Blood Pairing, AGAIN. But you won’t see me whoring myself out for some scraps of pig fat, no sir. I’m going to get picked because I worked my skinny butt off. I found some new burlap to sew onto my Festival dress from Bernice. She wasn’t using it anymore, if you know what I mean!
Looking at the Festival dress in the broken mirror, I could just imagine what my mum would say if she hadn’t been eaten by wild dogs.
“Brigdy, dear, the colours are all wrong. It makes you look sick.”
“Mum, but I am sick.”
”Yes but you don’t want to go around telling every boy at the Festival do you? And that hem, it looks like you ate the bottom half of it for lunch.”
”I had to teach myself to sew, no one-“
“Oh you know what you should do? You should get some of that pool tarp, no one uses pool tarp anymore. It’s got such a lovely blue. Gilly Steinman had such a lovely pool tarp dress.”
“No mum, I do not want a pool tarp dress. I like my dress, I made it myself.”
“Oh I know. Anyone who looks at it will know.”
I should really stop having fake conversations with my dead mum, even dead she won’t shut up! She never knows when to quit. Maybe I don’t want to look like that loose bottomed tramp Gilly Steinmen. You know she only got that pool tarp because shacked up with some Persian, or Indian, or whatever sheikh right away. Sorry mum, I’ve got some morals.
I’m going to that Festival Dance and I’m going to show off my stuff because its 100% me, and if you don’t like it, well sod off!
If I do get picked I hope he isn’t a grotty little mutant, ugh, wouldn’t that just be the worst?
|# ¿ Aug 14, 2012 22:54|
Count me in as well.
|# ¿ Aug 21, 2012 00:17|
Actually curious about this, so this extends to every single person, period. Not just protagonists. Like not even the antagonists can fall under those categories?
|# ¿ Aug 21, 2012 00:38|
Got it. Furry-fiction incoming.
|# ¿ Aug 21, 2012 01:00|
Background: P. drat white, straight, cis-gendered male.
Pineapple Fields Word Count: 1504
Kalani’s skin was the color of cocoa, his lanky frame showing his bones, his clothes hanging from them like in a closet. When the three of us found Kalani he was face down on the bank of the reservoir. His black, bushy hair was slightly wet, and must have been drying in the noon sun overhead. What he was doing so far from his section of the pineapple fields, we didn’t know.
“Ho, brah, dis no good,” Hama said. He and Kalani were both Tongan, with a little bit of Portuguese and Samoan mixed in, but they couldn’t be any more different. Hama was a Big Island moke, strong as an ox, just like he was supposed to be. He was round in his shoulders and chest, like a football player.
The red dirt around the reservoir was un-disturbed and something felt very wrong. I bent down to turn Kalani over.
“No, no, no, Kaona, don’t touch him. He not clean. ‘Member, yeah? He sick, he not clean,” said Pokole. He was the only real native I knew, but not too smart.
“gently caress that superstitious talk, braddah. What he doing out here, yeah? If he so sick?” I said.
Before I had a chance to turn Kalani over, we heard the groaning and rumbling of the plantation truck coming down the dirt road.
“Shoots brah, we trouble now,” Hama said. He straightened up and put a hand over his brow, “Kine Japs.” I stood up. Mr. Dole had a lot of people working for him, but he only sent out his Jap workers for the even more unscrupulous tasks. Us natives were too stupid to do anything but bend, chop, toss pines into buckets, he thought. If he sent out his Jap boys, did he know Kalani was make?
“Hurry, braddah,” Hama said. I turned Kalani over, despite Pokole making sounds like a stuck pig. He was make, for sure, for how long couldn’t have been more than a couple of hours. I remember him holding his belly and running to the bathroom this morning. Kalani’s eyes rolled in the back of his head as I looked for anything. No blood, no cuts, but one huge bruise over his neck.
The plantation truck creaked to a stop a dozen feet away from us. I turned and watched Hama puff up and step between me and Mr. Dole’s boys.
“What are you stupid mokes doing off the line? Get back to work,” one of them shouted at Hama, poking him with the business end of a club. His name was Kento, and he was the craziest Jap I had ever met. Kento did all of Mr. Dole’s undesirable work. Two of them pushed me out of the way and grabbed Kalani under the arms.
“Break time, brah,” Hama said, towering over the Japanese man.
“Break is over, get back to work you dumb mutt.”
“Ho, shoots! Who you calling mutt, half-breed Haole Jap poo poo,” Hama bristled. Kento, whether he was stupid or crazier than I thought he was, put the end of the club against Hama’s chest and pushed off. Hama didn’t budge. Pokole wheezed behind us.
“Is Kalani going to be okay?” I asked, getting between Hama and the man.
“Get back to work, he’ll be fine.”
The other men hauled Kalani into the back of the truck and they took off, kicking red dirt and dust into the air behind us.
“Kalani make, yeah?” Hama asked.
“Yeah. I know. They know it. They know we know.”
“Shoots,” Hama said.
Pokole dropped me off on his way home. I patted the side of his truck and he took off. My truck was sitting in the yard on blocks. I’d get to fixing it one day. Today was not that day. A bit better than a lean-to, the sheet metal of my roof always made the best sound when the rain would hit it. Pock, pock, pock. I laid on my cot, eating a plum musubi. The crunch and salt of the seaweed tingled on my tongue. The rain would come and go throughout the evening, and I fell into a fitful, sweaty sleep.
There was a tapping at my window. I opened my eyes, thinking it might be rain. Tapping again.
“Psst, Kaona, Kaona. Where’s my Kalani? He no come back, yeah?” I knew the voice. It was Poi-Boy, Kalani’s squeeze.
“Get outta here, you want people to think we’re da kine? Kalani ain’t come back. Not now, not ever. He make, out on the fields.”
Rustling and climbing, Poi-Boy flopped in through my window in a pile on my floor. His skin was creamy, almost Haole white, and he was small, smaller than Kalani. He looked like a mound of poi, and he was soft like it too. Tears began to form in his eyes.
“They shut him up, those Dole boys. I knew dat was trouble, oh I knew dat was touble,” he begain to wail.
“What you talkin’ bout Poi-Boi?”
“Kalani, man, Kalani. Two days ago, he snuck some canned pineapples home for me, you know I love them Kaona, you know I love them. We ate dem pines, and we got sick. We got so sick, Kaona.”
“Yeah so? I get the shits too. I bet you do a lot,” I sneered at him.
“Kalani say he gonna tell Mr. Dole. Mr. Dole made us sick, and he gonna tell people unless Mr. Dole gave him some money. I knew dat was trouble, I just knew it,” Poi-Boy started to cry.
My stomach knotted. “Poi-Boy, do you have any cans left?” He nodded. “Go get them, and bring them back here in the morning yeah, I gonna go get Hama.”
Poi-Boy started to go for my door, but I grabbed him by the shoulder and pointed to the window. He grimaced and clambered out. There wasn’t much time before Pokole would be back for us in the morning. I had to think.
I put on my rubbah slippas and hurried to Hama’s house.
“Shoots, brah, what are we gonna do?”
“We get da can of pines, and we give it to da news. We kiss our jobs da kine,” I said. Hama looked defeated, but he knew that was all we could do. We waited by my house for Poi-Boy, but even by the time Pokole drove up, he was no show. I made Pokole take us to Poi’s house, ignoring his protests.
Poi’s door had been kicked in and his place a wreck. Blood drained from Poi’s nose and mouth as he lay motionless against a cabinet. Someone, some people, had beaten him so badly his creamy skin was more blue and black than anything else. Spray painted all over the wall was “Fag,” but we knew better. Everyone knew Poi-Boy was like that, and no one cared here. This whole thing was rotten to the core.
“No pines, yeah?” Hama asked. I looked around and shook my head. They knew exactly what they were looking for and made a big mess to cover it up.
“We gotta go chop, braddahs,” Pokole whined. He was right, we were already late. They knew we knew. It was only a matter of time before they came for us.
“You go, I catch up, yeah,” Hama said. I nodded.
Pokole and I climbed into the truck and headed towards the fields. We got there first and picked up our baskets and knives. We stood in a red dirt clearing, pineapple fields around us in all directions. Normally, some haole foreman would be here to tell us all where to go for the day, but it was just me and Pokole now. I started to get nervous.
Clouds of dirt were getting kicked into the air as a truck approached us from the factory. It was Kento and some of his men, I could tell. I had a real bad feeling about this. Kento’s truck pulled up to us, and I wasn’t feeling as brave anymore.
“You’ve been sticking your nose where it don’t belong, moke,” Kento said to me as he left hopped from the back of the truck.
“I wanna see Mr. Dole,” I said. Kento looked back at his goons and laughed. I doubled over from the club in my gut. My face hit the dirt as the club came down across the back of my shoulders. I could hear Pokole start to cry.
The familiar sound of suspension creaking and bouncing lifted me up. Hama’s truck pulled up, loaded with some dock boys. Behind them, another truck with some of Kalani’s family arrived.
I got up off the red dirt and brushed it off my shirt.
“We wanna see Mr. Dole,” I said to Kento.
“Over my dead body, you stupid moke islander,” Kento said. Kento pushed me with a club. Hama stepped between us and laid the man low with one punch.
And then I did what any stupid moke islander would do. I bent, chopped, and tossed.
|# ¿ Aug 25, 2012 00:09|
Is title excluded from word count?
|# ¿ Aug 27, 2012 23:35|
|# ¿ Aug 28, 2012 19:17|
The Earth floated in the blackness above Jongle and Krunch like the eye of a deep sea fish. Jongle and Krunch were human janitors working at the last amusement park on the moon and they were sitting on a bench smoking electronic cigarettes.
“I’m glad tourist season is over,” remarked Jongle.
“Same here. I’m looking forward to finally going back home, these 6 month shifts are hell,” said Krunch.
The two stared at the Earth through the double thick polyplastic windows that made up the roof of the Garden District of the amusement park, which was named Moon Base Zoom, or as the younger generation liked to call it, Moon Beez. Winking lights of transport crafts propelled from the Shuttle Bay to Earth as employees of Moon Beez clocked out and went home for the long off season.
“Sometimes I forget what it’s like back on Earth,” said Krunch. “When I get back, everything seems so foreign. Every time you look up at the Earth from here, it’s like a painting, never moving, never changing, but when you get back, everything is different.”
“And then 6 months go by and you finally feel comfortable again, and then you’re back on the moon, dreading going back home.”
“Well, I wouldn’t worry about coming back here again,” said Krunch.
“Moon Beez is Moon broke.”
“I guess I’m not that surprised. It’s gotten slower and slower every season. No one likes the Moon anymore. Mars, everyone loves Mars. And Mars’ moons. It’s got two you know,” said Jongle.
“Yes, I did know that,” said Krunch.
Shuttle after shuttle blinked into the darkness away from the Moon. Ride attendants, concession standers, management and mascots all floating back to Earth.
“I feel like I’m under water,” said Jongle.
“Yeah, I know what you mean. Moon Beez has been the only reliable thing in my life. 6 month’s stipend won’t get you peanuts on Mars, but boy it’ll buy you a nice lady and a strong drink back home.”
“I’d prefer a stronger drink and a nasty lady, if you know what I mean,” said Jongle. The two laughed and took deep drags on their electronic cigarettes.
A robot on a track, Moon Base Zoom was lousy with them, wheeled next to them, its blocky body turning to face them with its giant, red orb of an eye.
“ATTENTION PATRONS AND STAFF,” it buzzed, “the park is now closed. Please continue towards the nearest exit shuttle and prepare your departure. The park is now closed. Thank you for your patronage and loyalty. Do not forget to purchase your discounted return admission coupon at any one of the kiosks located by the Shuttle Bay.”
The robot wheeled away on its track, making turns at right angles along the walkways and repeating its line at a mannequin standing next to a map and directory.
“That’s a dirty trick,” said Jongle.
“Welcome to Moon Beez.”
“No more cleaning out condoms in the Lunar Love Tunnel,” Jongle sighed. “No more Zany Zoom barf bags, Crater Crab infestations, Asteroid ‘Amburgers or Solar Slurpee spills.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” laughed Krunch.
“It’s not like Earth is gonna be that much better,” said Jongle, fidgeting in his seat, “I read the Pac-Atlantic rose again, Latin America officially doesn’t exist.”
“Yeah but we’ll have at least 6 months to find new jobs. With our experience, I’m sure we could get a gig on Mars, maybe even one of those new Satellite Islands around Venus. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“That’s not the point. As much as I say I don’t want to come back for another stint, it was reliable. I didn’t have to think. Comfortable,” said Jongle.
Another robot, maybe even the first one on a second lap, wheeled up to them. “ATTENTION PATRONS AND STAFF,” the harsh tones repeated. Just like last time it transitioned into a softer, feminine voice, “The park is now closed. Please continue towards the nearest exit shuttle and prepare for departure. The park is now closed. Automated gravity and oxygen generation will cease to function in thirty minutes. The park is now closed, thank you for your patronage and loyalty.”
“That’s new,” said Krunch.
“I guess they really are shutting down for good,” said Jongle. “Never heard of them turning off all the gravity and oxygen. What about all the Moon mice?”
“Probably better than getting eaten by all those Moon cats,” said Krunch.
“No one appreciates the Moon anymore. You remember when we were kids and you could just look up into the sky, and glowing like the glass eye of God, there it was. This huge thing, unfathomable, yet so unremarkable and mundane that you wouldn’t even notice for a couple of nights if it suddenly went away. Where did all the magic go?”
“You’re wrong. The magic didn’t go anywhere, it never existed. All the Moon is, is some big piece of commercial real estate. All it ever really was. The Americans had to get here first to beat the Russians and claim squatters rights or it wasn’t worth anything anymore. Now it’s a poor mans vacation spot because everywhere else is newer. It’s why Disney Land sucked, it’s why Zoombini World sucked, and now it’s why the Moon sucks,” said Krunch.
“That’s not true,” said Jongle. He lowered his head and stared at the ground. His dustpan and broom leaned next to him against the bench.
For a third time a robot wheeled up to them. “ATTENTION PATRONS AND STAFF,” but before it could finish Jongle stood and delivered a vicious kick to its red orb. The robot teetered back and forth in its track, let loose a spark or two, and whizzed away.
“Well, it’s about that time. I bet they left some moon pies over at the concession stand we could steal,” said Krunch.
“You go ahead,” smiled Jongle, “I’d like to be the last man on the moon. At least for a few minutes.”
edit: I realized I had a hyphenated word in there, which would gently caress up the word count. The word count has been fixed, but if that DQs me, so it goes.
|# ¿ Aug 29, 2012 01:30|
I had a hyphenated word in my story, which would push that to 1,001 words. I changed that to preserve the 1,000 word count, but posting to own up to my misdeeds. If this DQs me, I'd prefer to be up front and honest about it.
|# ¿ Aug 29, 2012 03:35|
I had gotten my story out so early because I knew I wouldn't have time to handle it later this week, but I've still got a few hours if the deadline doesn't shift, so I should have a new story out in time.
|# ¿ Sep 2, 2012 19:37|
”I’m not leaving Moon Beez.”
Jongle, a man in his eighties with thin gray hair and sinewy limbs, stood crossed armed. In front of him stood a security guard armed with a grimace. They were located in Dome E, also known as Lunar Lovers Lane, of Moon Beez. Moon Beez was the last amusement park still operational on the Moon. Other amusement parks, located in various craters and plateaus of the Moon had fallen on hard times and had gone out of business. Only Moon Beez still stood, defying the whims of fickle tourists.
”I’m sorry Mr. Bernard, but them’s orders. Everyone leaves. Hell, everyone’s left!” Krunch said.
Krunch’s last assignment as security officer of Moon Beez was to escort all employees to the Shuttle Bay. Everyone had been sullen, but cooperative. Except for Jongle Bernard. Krunch had been at Moon Beez for over ten years, Krunch’s supervisor for over 30, and Jongle Bernard had been there longer than both of them by at least one more generation.
”I don’t care, I’m not leaving,” Jongle said, sitting on a park bench. Krunch sighed. Many of the people he had escorted out had been unhappy, but had understood the state of affairs of Moon Beez. None of them had fought, some of them even had their belongings already packed. Jongle was still sweeping.
”Mr. Bernard, the park’s shutting down. It’s time to go home,” Krunch said. Jongle looked up at Krunch, with his head cocked to the side and one cheek bone raised. Krunch felt his face heat up and flush.
”What I mean to say is, the season is over. You can’t stay here, everything’s getting turned off. We’re packing it all in,” Krunch said. “Everyone’s gone back to their homes, just like we always do, except this time we aren’t coming back.”
“Son, do you even know what home is?”
Krunch’s bottom lip and chin stuck forward just a bit and he raised an eyebrow.
“Of course I do, what do you mean?”
“I’m sure you’ve got a family, a house, friends, pets or what have you. What is it that you think I have?”
”I honestly haven’t thought about it.” Krunch was telling the truth. He honestly thought of Jongle as more of a fixture at Moon Beez. Similar to the pock marked Moon headed mascot that stumbled around Moon Beez scaring children.
“You and every other person here,” Jongle said. “Do you know what I wanted most when I was a boy? To go to space. To be on the Moon. To do something wondrous. And now it’s so ordinary that no one cares anymore.”
Krunch opened his mouth and Jongle stared at him with a hard gaze.
“I have no family. I have no where to go. No one to see. Nothing to do. Just a life of regret and unfulfilled dreams. And now, you little poo poo, are trying to bully me along because I’m not convenient to Moon Beez anymore.”
”Wait a minute—“
“Shut up you. I gave everything to Moon Beez to live out a dream. Do you think my dream was to sweep up trash in a lovely amusement park? My dream was big, big as the Universe. And this was as far as I could get. Now leave me alone, so I can at least be the last man on the Moon.”
Krunch rolled his eyes and pursed his lips.
“Don’t make me get desperate,” Krunch said, reaching for the taser strapped to his belt.
”I don’t think you know what desperation looks like,” Jongle said. Krunch’s face went slack and he straightened up. Jongle flicked the end of his broom, bringing it into Krunch’s groin. A dull, hollow pain shot into his stomach and one knee buckled. Jongle bent and grabbed at the taser holstered to Krunch’s belt. Krunch swatted at Jongle with one hand, his weight one the other as he tried to maintain his balance. Jongle came free with the taser, and pressed it to Krunch’s neck.
The taser crackled and Krunch’s body tensed up. He went stiff and slumped over before his body succumbed to spasms. Jongle fled dropping the taser and broom stick. Several minutes passed before Krunch regained composure.
Turning a bend in the walkway, Krunch saw Jongle up ahead, moving much slower than when he had escaped. Alternating between limping and jogging, Jongle swayed like a drunk on the springy rubberized asphalt path. Krunch doubled his pace to catch up but stopped as Jongle’s movements began to worry him.
With his arms bent at the elbows, but his wrists limp, Jongle kept trying to run. His pace slowed to a crawl and his head lolled backwards. All at once his legs finally collapsed under his scrawny frame and he pitched forward. Krunch ran to his side, grabbing Jongle’s jacket and turning him over.
A weak smile spread across Jongle’s face. Wrinkles formed around his cheeks and loose neck skin. His breath was shallow and light. But he was smiling.
”What were you thinking old man?”
“That I’m still better than you lot, and I could have killed you back there if I wanted to,” Jongle said. He was right, the taser had incapacitated Krunch thoroughly.
“I wanted to be the last man on the Moon,” Jongle said. “And I could have done it if I wanted to, and I let it go.”
Krunch took off his jacket and draped it on Jongle. He didn’t know why, but he felt he had to do something as he tucked it under the collapsed old man.
“Now piss off, and be quick about it, so maybe I can at least have one more thing to be happy about,” Jongle rasped. Krunch stood up and looked down at Jongle. Jongle wasn’t looking at him, but upwards towards the clear domed ceiling where stars were twinkling and the last shuttles departed Moon Beez. Krunch turned and walked to the Shuttle port leaving Jongle behind, staring into space.
|# ¿ Sep 2, 2012 22:02|
I decided to just use a new post to do the story so it's clear I didn't edit the older submission multiple times.
|# ¿ Sep 2, 2012 22:03|
May I get some feedback on the first one, at least?
|# ¿ Sep 5, 2012 01:25|
I didn't ask you, bitch! BOOYAH.
|# ¿ Sep 5, 2012 02:00|
Claiming "Me! I Disconnect from You"
|# ¿ Sep 6, 2012 05:21|
I hope you guys are happy. The last three nights in a row, I've woken up at some rotten hour with my head pounding and the opening bass riff from The Dream Police looping in my head. I've listened to that song so many times, it's become part of the fabric of my being.
Might be your Dream Police are the LAPD.
|# ¿ Sep 7, 2012 19:04|
Me! I Disconnect from You! Word Count: 1080
Static. For just a second, static. The reverie broke. Serial-36’s face scrunched around his forehead and eyes. Teeth grit and slid side to side. Perspiration ran down his temple. The video resumed but he was no longer enthralled. At an increasing rate static took over the feed. Serial-36 stood, his legs tingling with sleep. The headset jostled, too big for his skull, and he pushed it off with thin, pale hands.
Clattering to the ground the headset continued to display video across the visor. Sitcoms now, war documentaries to come soon, Serial-36 knew there was a kind of pattern to the video displays, nothing exact, but subconsciously knew how the patterns effected his emotions. Ups and downs, neither lasting long, always changing, engaging, absorbing his thoughts.
Serial-36 stretched, his weak muscles clinging desperately his boney frame. The metal plated wire-tubes protruding from his skull and spine were heavy but not unbearable. Six in all, placed in even succession from the middle of his spine to the base of his neck, each the width of a garden horse, slithered behind him and up a dark staircase.
Creeping out of the darkness of the stairwell were more sets of wires, bundled together and splitting off in other directions of the room. There they sat, other Serials, 45, 51 and 39, crouched or pacing, the blue light from their video visors illuminating their solitary spot in the darkness.
Serial-36’s eyes adjusted to the new darkness, the concrete basement was empty save for the metal pillar in the middle of the room. Water and feed troughs ringed the pillar. Serial-45 shuffled his feet across the dusty floor, his wire-tubes making a shiff, shiff sound as they dragged. A small grin strained across his face as he put a brown pellet of food into his mouth. He chewed with his mouth open, particles of pellet and saliva lining his chapped lips. He never stopped watching his video visor.
Serial-36 pulled a little on his numbered ear tag. He looked at his video visor on the floor and saw the static flicker continuously now. Reaching behind his head he felt the chaffed and scabbed skin of his neck plug. Dead, agitated skin flaked off onto his fingers and he made his way to the staircase.
“Mama,” Serial-36 said. “Ma-mah.”
“My little spark,” Mama said.
Serial-36 stood at the top of the staircase looking in on a room lit from a large glass tank in the middle of the room. A bank of video screens encircled the front of the tank, the tank refracting the light across the room. Between the tank and the video screens, a bulbous woman with thinning hair sat. Her lower half completely fused with machinery of the pod she occupied, her back lined with wire-tubes that spread out like a spider’s web. Some of the tubes attached to the tank of viscous liquid, others connected to tubes that ran to the other Serials, like 36’s. Half a dozen more Serials flitted about the room, younger, on shorter tethers than 36.
”Give it back, Ma-Ma,” Serial-36 said.
”I’m so sorry, my beautiful spark,” she said. Her body shifted and leaned at an angle, her eyes never leaving the bank of screens.
“I said, give it back,” Serial-36 said.
“No more, little spark, no more. Your light dims and fades. No more.”
“I don’t understand.”
”New sparks,” she said. 36 looked around the room and saw him: Serial-54, young, fidgety, tugging on his wire-tubes as he tried to move around the room.
”No. Give it back,” Serial-36 said, his voice rising.
”Your spark is gone, my burnt out little star,” she said. She pointed to a door on the side of the room. Serial-36’s stomach tightened and flipped.
“You are—disconnected,” she said. A ball of heat grew in 36’s belly, rising through his chest. His face flushed and he saw visions of artillery, planes, fire and blood in his mind. He remembered how this felt, and he knew catharsis would follow very soon.
Light glowed through the cracks of the door frame, lining it in glow. 36’s heat did not diminish like it always did, but grew in intensity. Anxiety crept into his body as his expectations of relief did not come.
Mama cooed and her eyes rolled back into her head. “Oh, my little spark,” she said. She slumped in her pod and her arms relaxed.
”No! Give it back!” Serial-36 grabbed at the tube’s coming from his neck. He followed it along in his hands, to the back of Mama. “Give it back,” he shouted.
The tank bubbled furiously as 36 clawed at the other end of his tubes. 36 put a dirty foot against the supple flesh and grasped the bundle of tubes. The door on the side of the wall clicked open and began to swing, spilling blinding light into the room.
”Give it back!” Even as 36 pulled at the tubes, Mama gurgled in pleasure. The harder he pulled the louder she grew. Serial-36 felt play in the tubes, he felt the wires begin to free themselves from flesh. Mama’s groans turned to sharp gasps and she began to regain her senses.
”No my spark, no.”
The plug ripped from Mama like fleshy Velcro, wet and soft but with an awful tearing sound. Serial-36 flopped backwards, completely un-tethered from Mama. She seized and shook for a moment before losing all composure. 36 grit his teeth and pulled back his lips. Emptiness came, a sinking, cold emptiness. 36 grabbed his bundle of tubes and ran to the outside, into the blinding light.
Shielding his eyes, 36 could make out shapes looming in the brightness. Fuzzy, large rectangles became buildings, gray and concrete with few windows. Clicking shut behind him, the door locked. He turned to the door, no handle. Flipping round he saw streets, empty streets, stretched out into the horizon. Buildings were everywhere, the only reprieve from the bright whiteness of the sun.
Scattered along the street were more Serials in various stages of decay. They were sprawled in alleys, on corners or collapsed in the middle of the road. Some still with their wire-tubes stretching behind them like tails. Others with their video visors, clutching them with mummified hands.
Serial-36 turned and threw himself against the door. He pounded on the door.
”No, Ma-Ma! I’m sorry, Ma-ma! I’m sorry!” The dust choked him as he wailed. “Give it back, Ma-Ma. I’m sorry Ma-ma, give it back!”
|# ¿ Sep 8, 2012 23:29|
|# ¿ Sep 10, 2012 21:16|
1) Skoll. He's Fenrir's son that chases the sun across the sky. I believe when Ragnarok happens he eats the sun.
but I think I've interpreted the question wrong, like I want it to be Kronos or something, but I know that's wrong.
|# ¿ Sep 10, 2012 22:14|
|# ¿ Sep 10, 2012 23:13|
David grew up without a mother and an overworked father. A fire had claimed his home, his mother and all of his possessions. David now lived in a small apartment with small photograph of his mother and an overwhelming feeling that his father secretly resented him.
Playing hookey was how David spent most of his time, running through the cobblestone streets of Old Town Boston. Nearly slipping, David came to a halt on the dew-wet sidewalk. His face pig-nosed as he pressed it up against the glass window of a storefront. Fighting with his mittens, he grabbed his one-pocket wallet and pulled the weathered picture of his mother out and stared.
In a frame of the shop was a large, pristine version of the one he had in his hand. He kept looking back and forth between them. They were the same, no doubt about it. Door chimes twinkled and crashed as he rushed into the store, pointing at the frame.
A middle aged man, wearing a white collared shirt and mottled green-red sweater vest looked up at him uninterested. David pointed eagerly at the frame in the window and showed the photo to the man at the desk.
The shopkeep raised his eyebrows, stuck out his chin and nodded.
“Twenty dollars,” said the man.
David’s face fell. He emptied his wallet onto the counter, three dollars and 16 cents. The shopkeep shook his head. David pleaded and begged. The shopkeeper just shook his head again.
“I can’t sell an empty frame.”
David put the frame back and began to trudge out of the store.
“Wait,” the man said. Under the table, the man pulled out an old camera. “I have one shot left.”
David smiled wide until he heard the sound of the bulb and was blinded by the flash. “Come back tomorrow.”
Running home David could barely contain himself. He wanted to tell his father. He wanted to see his father smile again. But when he got home, his father was asleep on the recliner in the dark, the television illuminating him in blue light. David would wait until tomorrow when he had the picture.
Stretched on his bed, David envisioned going to the store and getting the photograph and running home. Sometimes in his imagination the wind would catch the photograph, and he’d chase it all over Old Town, over puddles, through wrought-iron fences, before he’d finally get it back. Other times a bully would steal it and he’d use his wits to get it back. But they all ended the same, as the sun set he’d come home and show it to his Dad. His Dad would stare at it and run a hand over the picture before a tear would come to his eye. He’d stand and pull David into his body with a giant hug that would last until they were both out of tears. On the mantle the picture would go, in a brand new frame, to remind them that David’s Mom was always there, watching them. That was how David fell asleep that night.
A yellow bus zoomed by, splashing a puddle as it left the stop. David stepped out of the bushes and watched it go with a smile. Turning around he ran all the way back to the shop, bursting through the front door like he did the day before. The shopkeep saw him and held up a hand while he went to the back.
Producing a picture the same size as the frame, he handed it to David. David looked at the picture of himself, beaming wide, showing a thumbs up. David was careful to hold back his desire to just tear the frame apart to get at the picture of his mother. He undid the fasteners, pulling the backing out of the frame and pulling the photograph out. Gently, he slid the photograph of himself into the frame and sealed it back up. Placing it right where he found it, he saluted the shopkeep, who had a warm smile on his face.
Clutching the photograph of his mother he ran out into the street and back home. He didn’t care if his father would be mad at him for skipping school, not after he saw this picture. Every so often David would look down at his smiling mother and pull it close again to his chest, making sure it would not get stolen by a stray gust of wind or oversized lout. Slightly disappointed his trip was uneventful, he charged up the steps to his brick apartment building.
His keys did not fit. He tried each and everyone to no avail. He stopped and looked around, not recognizing the street he was on. The buildings were unfamiliar and their numbers hidden. Thinking he must have made a wrong turn he ran down the street, taking lefts and rights looking for a landmark, something he could recognize.
Dead-ends, cul de sacs, roundabouts and empty trolley stops passed by as he ran down each street. He stopped and looked around, nothing he had seen he remembered. He looked down at his mother, still smiling, and he felt okay, safe. Looking back up he couldn’t remember which direction he had come from, so he picked a new one and continued to run, peeking at the photograph every so often.
David kept running even after the street lamps had turned on and his breath had turned to fog. He had to show his Dad, they all had to be together again.
This is probably the third version, and I really wanted something sub-500 words, and I thought I'd get it on this try, but to no avail.
|# ¿ Sep 14, 2012 01:28|
Oh, why not. In.
|# ¿ Sep 17, 2012 06:52|
A trout, a fish with quite a bit of clout
Aloft the wastelander’s head it doth sat.
Everywhere the man went, the trout went too
Flipping and flopping and making a scene.
Any place in the wastes that the man went
People would stop and ask him about his hat,
“’er since the lakes bottomed out and wells dried
This feller has just been looking for home.”
But that doesn’t answer why he’s on your head,
“Do you remember the ocean?” he said.
And the crowd would shake their heads and say no.
“Well let me tell you about that big beauty
bright and blue, calm and cool, white waves like wool.
There ain’t nothing we got close to ocean
As the wide open expanse we call a sky.”
They all looked up and began to pout.
For they too were all just like the trout.
”I remember before the sands came in
And the buzzards couldn’t fly from gorging
So does my friend, as he sits on my coif.
I know he misses the day to swim free,
‘Cause every so often I hear his plea.”
The wastelander would point up to his ear
And the crowd hushed intently so to hear
as the trout flopped and gurgled “Wa-wa.”
|# ¿ Sep 20, 2012 21:09|
In as well.
|# ¿ Sep 24, 2012 02:13|
Never Wanted Twins
Doris Baumgartner stretched, waiting for the soreness and slight tug from her stitches. She slouched forward onto her desk and placed a hand on her liver. She traced each stitch with the tip of her index finger. Herbert’s stitch was so skilled, and her eyes began to water. A fresh telegram on her desk distracted her.
“Bring organ. Your facilities inadequate. Procedure risky.”
Energy balled in her stomach and expanded. She felt like it would continue to expand, stretching her out and exploding. She would be free, she thought, to roam time and space as an indestructible force. More than ever, she wished Herbert were here.
“Mother, dinner is ready,” a pair of voices shouted from down the hall.
“Thank you dears, I’ll be right there,” she called. As she stood, a pang of pain shot through right above her left breast. Gritting her teeth, she braced against her desk until it passed. The pains were becoming more and more frequent. She felt her sternum, imagining where Dr. Klein would crack her chest. Moving her fingers back and forth she thought about how Herbert would have stitched her and wondered how Dr. Klein would piece her back together.
“Mother, when’s papa coming back?” Darcy Baumgartner asked at the dinner table.
Doris’s stomach sank, but this was a question she expected. “Any day now, I’m sure.”
“Is Marcy going to come back from college for the holidays?” Lucy Baumgartner said.
“Oh, I don’t think so. Dartmouth is very rigorous, I’m sure her studies will keep her there all winter at least,” Doris said. Doris felt warmth inside her as she remembered herself at age 16. Just like her, the twins were so full of questions, so inquisitive and curious.
Doris had never meant to have twins, but the fertility drugs she had devised made it a risk. She needed all the help she could to give birth at 57, but this time it was a little too much. All in all, she was happy. Even at 73 she could still keep up with them. Only her ID betrayed her age, and her heart. That damned heart, she thought. A painful throb began to work itself up in her chest and she leaned back in her chair.
“After you finish cleaning, I’ll read you a story by the fire,” Doris said.
Doris lay on the large sofa in their cabin, looking at the fire. She could hear the twins in the kitchen, speaking to each other in that twin speak of theirs. It agitated Doris because she did not understand it. Would she have had a similar connection if she had a twin sister, she wondered.
Settling in to the couch, the twins had brought their favorite Hardy Boys novel, What Happened at Midnight. So curious and imaginative, Doris thought, just like herself when she was younger.
“Mother, is Papa Herb dead?” Darcy asked. Doris put down the book mid sentence. A rush of fresh grief flowed through Doris. She clutched the two girls to her and wept. The relief of being able to finally mourn after a week of silence was so powerful she could not control it.
Doris woke in the morning to a searing pain in her chest. The operation could not be put off much longer. Standing she could see herself in the full mirror. She inspected her old, whitened scars from previous surgeries, reminiscing on the loving care Herbert had given her. All of their knowledge of medicine meant nothing compared to a car crash. In an instant Herbert was gone, and here she was, feeling as though she were 30 again.
“Mother, telegram!” Lucy called.
She heard the twins in their jabber off in the kitchen and the crumple of paper. Almost turning to see what they were up to, she stopped. The envelope containing the telegram opened without much fuss, as though the seal had been improperly set or weakened somehow.
“Operation soon. Come tonight? Do they suspect?”
Doris knew she could not wait any longer. Everything was falling into place much sooner than she had expected, but she was also concerned her heart wouldn’t last much longer. She prepared a grocery list for the twins that would send them into town for the better part of the day so she could prepare.
In the basement was a surgical table Herbert had had since his medical school days. She cleaned the surfaces of the basement, sterilizing her instruments in clinical fashion. The familiar snap of gloves over her long and bony hand made her feel in control again.
When the twins had arrived home she had them pack away the ice into the chest while she prepared chowder for supper. She fingered a tincture she kept in her apron, waiting for the perfect moment.
“Dears, could you please set the table,” she asked. The twins nodded and went about placing the silverware and napkins while Doris ladled chowder into three different bowls. She could hear the twins placing the cutlery on the table and she quickly uncapped the tincture and poured some into Darcy and Lucy’s bowl. Mixing them quickly she tossed in freshly crushed garlic.
Bringing the whole tray of soups to the table, Doris set down the twin’s bowls and then sat down in her seat. They pressed their hands together and said a short grace before they began to eat. Doris smiled and looked at their bowls. Lucy sipped first, scrunching her face. Darcy sniffed her chowder.
“Mother, this tastes funny,” Lucy said, about to try another spoonful. Darcy grabbed her hand and said something in their twin jabber.
“What’s wrong, dears?” Doris said.
Darcy pulled out a torn envelope.
“Why does Dartmouth admissions department say that Marcy Baumgartner is not enrolled in Dartmouth, and that she didn’t make it to her orientation?”
Doris’s face went slack. Those god damned, smart, little girls, she thought.
“Who is Dr. Klein?” Darcy demanded.
“Where is Marcy?! Where is Papa!?” Darcy shouted, tears beginning to stream down her face.
Doris pushed herself away from the table. She reached to a dresser near the table and grabbed a silver candlestick. The wide swing of the candlestick sailed over the table, too suddenly for Lucy to react in time. A dull thud leapt from the candlestick as it bounced off Lucy’s skull, sending her to the floor. Darcy sprang away from the table, circling it to keep Doris away from her.
“I should have known, I should have known,” Doris said. Doris’s heart began to thump heavily and her breath tightened. She could not afford to have her adrenaline pumping for too long. She danced around the table with Darcy, swinging the candlestick trying to spook her.
“I never wanted twins for a reason,” Doris said. “But, I do love you, please do not forget that. How could I not? You’re my own flesh and blood.”
Darcy said nothing. She wore wide-eyed horror across her face, her eyes darting left and right, looking for an escape. Darcy’s hands helped her keep balance as she put her weight onto the table. Darcy looked briefly down at Lucy, who was still not moving. Darcy said something again in the twin gabber without breaking eye contact with Doris. Her hand brushed the bowl of soup that was on Lucy’s placemat. She flipped it up, surprising Doris.
Doris put her hand up to instinctively, the hot chowder burning her skin. She yelped in pain and heard Darcy break away. Doris crashed after her, trying to wipe chowder out of her eyes. She heard Darcy bang against each locked door in the house. Doris had taken precautions just incase.
Doris cornered Darcy at the end of the hall right by the basement steps. Her heart was skipping. At least Darcy had made it a little easier to get her to the basement. Her first swing at Lucy had pulled some of the stitches out of her, but the surgical incision had healed sufficiently that it was just very sore, and not reopened. Doris’s breath became more labored, she would need to settle down soon, maybe even having to get into her steroids in the basement.
Darcy braced against the wall, slumping a little as Doris encroached upon her. Shattering wood resounded through the hall as splinters flew everywhere. Doris crumpled as Lucy bashed her with a dining room chair. The silver candlestick rolled away from Doris as she lay on the floor, her heart pounding harder and harder. Her breath began to resemble a fish out of water and her face began to flush.
“I never wanted twins,” Doris whispered as her vision started darkening around the edges.
Lucy stumbled over to Darcy and they embraced each other, crying softly. The twins clutched each other tightly and they whispered soothing words and nonsense to each other. Darcy pulled Lucy’s head into her chest and stroked her hair as Doris’s breathing slowed to a stop.
|# ¿ Sep 28, 2012 01:43|
This is not an issue, so don't talk about. Seriously non-thunderdome; nothing more about this.
Way to be weird about it.
|# ¿ Sep 28, 2012 02:06|
That magazine allows for another 3500 words. SIGH.
|# ¿ Sep 28, 2012 04:23|
|# ¿ Sep 28, 2012 05:20|
More than likely rejection is because it's been up since March, and the deadline is in 3 days. Formatting isn't going to be that big of a deal, especially when its attached to a specific profile that has your info on it. Unless of course your paragraphs are all wonky, but I have no idea why you'd even do it that way.
|# ¿ Sep 28, 2012 06:42|
|# ¿ Oct 2, 2012 09:54|
I'll see you again one day, old spice.
Archie sat in his wheelchair at the top of the grassy hill and slapped his helmet.
“Okay, now just let go,” Archie said.
“I’m really having second thoughts about this,” Douglas said.
“If I crash I won’t feel a thing.”
Douglas knew Archie was smiling. He couldn’t see his face from where he stood behind the wheelchair, but he could hear it in the sound of his voice. Douglas remembered that sound from the first day he heard it, nearly-drowned in mud and muck in a Vietnamese jungle. Ambush, landmines, grenades, bullets, screaming, so much screaming. Archie tackled Douglas. Blood was coming through Archie’s teeth. Archie snapped out of it.
“Are you alright?” He remembered shouting.
“I don’t feel a thing,” Archie laughed. He had tears in his eyes.
“Hey, let go,” Archie said, fighting with his wheels.
“You’re going to flip over and break your neck,” Douglas said.
”No I won’t, I put all the weights I could in the backpack to act as a counterbalance,” he said, reaching behind his back and using his thumb to point at the backpack strapped to the back of the chair.
“You dirty son of a bitch,” Douglas said. Douglas, who had never let go of his Army routine, had stayed in shape throughout his retirement years, but even he had struggled to push Archie to the top of the hill. “I knew I wasn’t out of shape.”
Douglas leaned forward over the back of the wheelchair, using Archie’s shoulders as a rest. Archie’s Old Spice deodorant filled his nose, a mixture of nostalgia and regret wafting about. Archie reached up and stroked the hair on the back of Douglas’s head near his neck. Douglas took two more deep breaths and pushed himself upright.
Douglas stood there behind Archie at a military ball some time after they had been shipped back. They were both dressed in their formals, watching couples slow dance across the floor. Archie drank from a flask, Douglas stayed dry.
“Go and dance,” Archie said. Douglas shook his head. There was no way he was going to go and dance in front of Archie, taunting him and rubbing the question, Why me, in Archie’s face, Douglas thought. Truth be told there was no good reason why Douglas should walk and Archie shouldn’t. Douglas even wondered if the thought plagued himself more so than it did Archie. He would stay up all night with only those thoughts and the smell of Old Spice next to him.
“Come on, you pussy, let go,” Archie said, beginning to sound annoyed.
“I’m trying to enjoy the view just a little longer before the ambulance arrives,” Douglas said.
Douglas loved Archie, there was no doubt about that. But there was a hidden guilt that kept Douglas around, he liked to think. If Archie hadn’t been shot, they wouldn’t be together, he was positive. They would still be friends, write to each other, but they would have moved on and found another, more perfect partner to be with. Douglas wanted to convince himself of that, that there was someone more perfect for Archie, because then he wouldn’t be an imposter.
He would give anything, everything, his legs, medals, to throw off his disguise and tell Archie, I love you, but I’m not in love with you. And then Archie would breath a sigh of relief and laugh and say, that’s okay, I’m not in love with you either. They would shake hands, and even though they were both old and bony, they would have a whole new life left to live.
“Alright, enough monkeying around, are you going to let me go, or not?”
“I’m scared,” Douglas said.
Archie put his hand on Douglas’s and rubbed it softly. Archie turned in his chair and looked up at Douglas.
“Dougie, please, just let me go,” Archie said. He had tears in his eyes. Douglas flashed back to Archie laying on top of him in Vietnam, tears in his eyes. “I don’t feel a thing,” reverberated through Douglas’s head. He let go. Archie’s chair lurched forward slowly before taking a steeper angle.
The chair plunged down the hill, skipping off lumps in the grass and clattering away. Douglas’s stomach fell and he panicked.
“Archie!” He shouted. Douglas took off after him, his knees and shins aching as he raced down the hill. Douglas’s tears streaked the sides of his face, wetting the edges of his mask; it peeled away in strips and floated away into the sky.
|# ¿ Oct 6, 2012 01:27|
I was trying to go for a less literal sense of espionage, and more for living as a fake persona, but I definitely understand I was taking a risk going that way.
|# ¿ Oct 8, 2012 05:12|
Congrats Sebmojo, but bad Sebmojo bad! Stories in past tense, first person with the narrator dying at the end is a slap on the wrist!
|# ¿ Oct 8, 2012 19:17|
I'm out for this week, I have a flight to catch tomorrow and a wedding all weekend, so no writing for me. See you guys next dome.
|# ¿ Oct 9, 2012 22:27|
I'm back from vacation, joining in this thing.
|# ¿ Oct 17, 2012 20:15|
A strong wind blows. Dust picks up and casts about, the last vestige of whimsy. Towers of desiccated flesh stand defiant against the dust. Hideous, pupil-less eyeballs roll about in the sockets atop the towers. An eyeball quivers and blinks, the sound of giant lips smacking echoes below. They shout praises, hymns and collect their buckets, these husks of men in rags at the base of the towers.
The eyeball quivers again and blinks, tears form at the edges. The men shout in orgasmic delight, their mouths split apart at the seams. The eyeball shudders, shakes and blinks the tear away and it falls through the dust. A man below is crushed as the tear drop errantly lands, the others hold their rotted buckets above their heads to collect the splash. Their screams carry on the wind.
“You told me the Lookers were closed,” Garret says.
“I reckon’ I did,” Tuvult, his brother, responds.
Garret and Tuvult stand a few yards from each other. Tuvult ahead of Garret. Garret does not move. Black, charred corpses form a line that separates Garret and Tuvult. Brown-red dirt collects on the bones and faces, locked in their last moments of agony.
“And you have my money,” Garret says.
“I reckon’ I do.”
Wind rips through their jackets. Garret pulls his brimmed hat closer to his skull. He edges a foot closer to Tuvult. The closest eyeball pauses and the lids peel all the way back. It rolls in blinding speed and locks onto Garret. The sycophants below freeze and then smile at one another gleefully. All is silent. Garret pulls his foot back.
“The woes of a wanted man,” Tuvult says. He smiles. Tuvult’s fingers clutch the strap of the leather bag tighter.
“I just want what’s mine, fair is fair,” Garret says.
“No can do, brother. This ain’t mine neither. Ol’ Soul Ruster made that very clear to me.”
“You’re making an enemy today.”
“I’ve made many,” Tuvult says.
“I will come back for what’s mine,” Garret says.
“We’ll see,” Tuvult says and turns. The dust obscures Tuvult’s retreat. Garret moves his jaw back and forth until it pops. He turns and leaves. The eyeball relaxes and a sigh of disappointment springs forth from the sycophants.
Garret returns to the edge of charred corpses, behind him dozens of slow moving metal monstrosities follow. Each made of jagged metal, treads, bristling spikes and a large cannon on top. Garret holds his hand up and the behemoths groan to a stop. Out of a porthole, a figure pops up, covered in rags and wearing a pair of heavy duty goggles.
“Fire when ready. All of them. Kill all of them,” Garret says.
The man in the tank nods, and escapes back into the metal hell. The tanks spread out, flanking Garret on either side. Roaring booms crash through the wind. A shell whistles through the air, piercing a Looker. Dried flesh and bone blast out the back side, blood flows from the popped eyeball like a burst balloon.
The sycophants scream in terror. Their wailing grows louder and louder as more and more cannons fire. Blood coats the base of the towers, sticky and sludge-like. Garret watches atop a tank as the sycophants as they crawl through the muck, pounding the earth. Garret waves the tank line into the city the Lookers protected.
Crumbling buildings ring an enormous expanse of land. There is no activity. The only sound is a disjointed chorus of moans. Thousands of men, broken upon wheels, stick out the ground. Macabre lollipops, collecting dust and regret.
Garret’s tanks halt. Garret steps down from one and inspects the field of wheels in front of him. Days pass before he finally finds what he wants.
“Hello, brother,” Tuvult says. His head is upside down, lolled over the edge of a wheel. His elbows and knees broken and twisted around the dried timber.
Garret looks up at him.
“It has been a long time,” Garret says.
“A thousand years. I bite my tongue every day to remind myself, and I count the scars,” Tuvult laughs.
“Soul Ruster did not keep his end of the bargain?”
Tuvult face scrunches. Rare spittle forms at his mouth.
“Mock all you want! I had no other choice.”
“We all have choices,” Garret says.
Tuvult tries to spit. Hoarseness and dust are all that come out.
“You never would have helped me if you knew what I was in. I could only count on you to look out for yourself. Don’t talk to me about choices,” Tuvult shouts.
“Tuvult, you are my brother,” Garret says.
“Yet here you are, full of vengeance and righteousness. I see it in your eyes, take what you have come for. End this existence of mine.”
“No, brother. I am not here to punish you. Not anymore. I can see it now that Soul Ruster has taken from me what he has taken from you. I do not harbor hate for you, brother. Only pity now. For that, I will inflict my wrath upon the thief of my thief.”
“You are a fool, Garret, a fool! My fate will pale to yours! Go home brother, there is nothing for you anymore!”
“Goodbye brother, I will consider your advice, but I will not heed it. I will not make your mistakes. I have cherished our times together, please wait for me where the sun will shine, and the grass will grow. I love you.”
Garret walks away and signals for an aide. Behind him his brother shrieks and prophecies doom.
“We move. Level this forsaken place, and erect an edifice for my brother. Conscript those madmen out front and then kill them. We make pursuit for the Soul Ruster.”
|# ¿ Oct 19, 2012 23:18|
I suppose I'm in.
but then it takes a sharp turn through WTF Gulch, where it gets stuck in a deep pool of corpse-mud and spins its wheels helplessly. No one comes to help.
I assume this is not in a good way, right Sebmojo?
|# ¿ Oct 23, 2012 00:01|
|# ¿ Jun 19, 2019 11:51|
A Friend in Need
“I just can’t do it anymore,” Jack said.
Standing on the outer railing of the bridge, he looked down at the swirling river below. “Will it hurt?”
“Not likely,” Mason said, from the other side of the railing.
“Everything has just fallen apart, Stephanie, school, my parents, it’s just too much,” Jack continued.
“I understand,” Mason said.
“You’ll tell them I love them, right?”
“Sure, man, sure,” Mason said.
Jack dangled a foot off the ledge and pulled it back.
“I can’t believe I ran into you,” Jack said. Mason smiled behind his back.
Mason sneered, but Jack wasn’t looking at him.
“Nothing, heh. Did you write a note? I mean, to let your parents know and stuff?”
”Yeah, I did, I don’t want to think about them reading it though,” Jack laughed a little, letting his foot drift into the nothingness again.
“Where is it? Are they going to find it?”
Jack patted the breast pocket of his coat.
”Won’t it get wet?” Mason asked.
Jack straightened up and laughed. “Haha you’re right, man, talk about dumb,” he said.
“Do you want me to give it to Stephanie?”
Jack nodded and turned around, taking the note from his pocket and handing it to Mason. As he fumbled with the note, he slipped and clung to the railings.
“I’ll make sure she gets it,” Mason said with a smile.
“Thanks man, when did you ever get so nice?” Jack asked puzzled.
Mason shrugged. Jack smiled, but did not turn around to face the openness again.
“This—this is a mistake, I don’t think I should—“ Jack started. Mason’s face went slack and he stuck out an arm. A slow, smooth shove caught Jack off balance. He swung his arms for a moment and pitched backwards. Mason watched him plummet into the black waters.
Mason turned and patted the note in his jeans pocket and started back towards home, with a lighter bounce in his step than before. He puckered his lips and tried to whistle, before just opting to hum.
Replaying in his head the sequence of events leading up to tonight he smiled ear to ear; he was a genius. From the tip off about child pornography on Jack’s father’s computer and its viral arrest video Mason anonymously uploaded, to swapping out Jack’s final with an obviously plagiarized essay, Mason was amazed at what he could do with a poorly secured wireless password.
Breaking into Jack’s house and spiking the bottle of Jameson he kept under his bed, that took a little more effort. But all Mason needed was Jack to be out cold for one night to hijack Jack’s computer and make some belligerent and explicit emails to Stephanie’s best friend, and it was as simple as that. Finding out that Jack had a prescription for anti-depressants was just icing on the cake. Finding adequate sized placebos was the hardest challenge Mason had.
Everything worked perfectly, Mason thought. Patience, determination and a genius mind! He cheered to himself. Before he even realized it, he was at his house, perfectly across the street from Stephanie, his neighbor since childhood.
Knocking on the door, Stephanie’s mother answered.
“Oh hello Mason, isn’t it a little late?”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Hartford, I was just out for a walk and I wanted to see how you and Stephanie were doing,” Mason said as endearingly as he could muster.
“Oh Mason, you’ve always been so nice,” Mrs. Hartford said, hugging him. Faded streaks of mascara ran down her eyes. “I’ll go get Stephanie, I’m sure she would love to hear from you.”
Mason smiled until she turned, and did his best to wipe away the makeup from his shoulder. His mouth pulled into a frown as he smeared it further into his polo shirt. A minute later, Stephanie came down to the door, equally as disheveled. Mason had to hold back a triumphant smile.
“Oh, hi Mason. Why are you here?”
“It was the weirdest thing, I was out for a jog—walk, heh,” Mason said making a joke. Stephanie did not laugh. “And I ran into Jack, he was in a hurry, he looked awful. He just gave me this note, and said to give it to you. He gave it to me, I couldn’t say anything it was so fast. He said, take care of her, and then he ran off. I couldn’t keep up with him at all, so I came here as fast as I could.”
Stephanie took the note out of Mason’s hand and unfolded it. She looked at it and started to shake, the paper flapping violently. Her feet split apart and her knees came together as she slumped to the ground. She began to bawl, and scream, crushing the paper in her hand.
Mason’s eyes went wide before he had to snap himself out of his reverie, and then he bent down and held her, and rocked her back and forth. Smiling, he shushed her as they moved back and forth on doorstep.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Mason said. “I’ll take care of you, I promise.”
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2012 22:19|