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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Aliya's Hat - 1157 Words

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rDEAftm-xCHtvty_7asw4-jLtxjCUAQTpTix72WxUHk/edit?usp=sharing

This is my song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq_bqbqNGmA

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Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


Space Simmens
1198 words
Song: Sloop John B

The moon rapidly approached. Leah was glad they’d built windows into the ferry, so that she could gaze into the stars. It would have been a dull flight otherwise.

Nan Ertie wouldn’t have had that kind of problem. She was buckled into her chair, knitting a sweater in low gravity. Occasionally she reached for an end of white thread and pulled it back in.

“It’s cold on the moon,” she said. “Knitting you a sweater.”

“It’s gonna be fine Nanna, they charge a lot for this. They’re not gonna let us freeze.”

Ertie sighed. “People aren’t supposed to be on the moon, deary. God would have put them there.” She kept knitting.

She hadn’t been doing much else since Pop had died.

Wellington Base II was the size of a small village, glass-domed structures connected through white hallways. A vacation resort on the surface of the moon. The ferry slowed down and touched ground with a deafening sound.

The seats unbuckled and a message on the board screen politely asked them to leave. Ertie put her finished sweater down. Together they went through the airlock, smooth white walls arching over them.

“Good day, residents Leah Simmens and Ertie Simmens,” a monotone voice rang through the speakers. “You are visitors number sixteen and seventeen. The temperature inside the station is a comfortable 20 degrees. Today’s special is kidney pie.”

“Oh goodness, what is this?” Ertie said.

“The station is run by an AI,” Leah said. “It’s all very techy.”

“Is that like a computer?”

“There’s also supposed to be some supervisor.”

Outside the airlock they were greeted by a couple in plain clothes.

"Welcome to Wellington," the man said, "happiest place in space."

"Are you our guides?" Leah said.

"We're the other residents," the woman said. She twisted the red ring on her finger. "I’m Stacey and that’s Roger. The guides have been--"

"L.U.N.A.R.," Roger interrupted her. “AI had to let them go.”

“How dreadful,” Leah said.

“The supervisor has asked us to introduce you to him,” Stacey said. “If you don’t mind?"

“That’s so nice,” Ertie said. “We'll gladly to meet him, dear.”

Stacey and Roger exchanged glances. They went ahead.

The AI room was a large chamber full of cameras, towering hardware racks, bits and odds and thingamajigs and blinking lights in the colors of the Union Jack. Gentle music played in the background.

Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody


In one corner of the room a man sat hunched over in a chair, unmoving. A cable protruded from the back of his head into the wall.

“Hel-lo,” it blasted from the speakers. “I am L.U.N.A.R. I am sorry I could not meet you in person. It is my mission to greet you in person.”

The man in the chair seemed drained, wrinkly. His hair was gray, but the bushy beard still showed some signs of black. His blue baseball cap was stained with blood at the back.

Leah involuntarily reached for Ertie’s hand. She squeezed back.

“Nice to meet you,” Ertie said.

“Protocol has been observed. You are dismissed. Number twelve, I have a great task for you.”

“What?” Stacey said.

“This task cannot be shared with the others.” The cameras in the room demonstratively rotated towards the other three.

“Stacey,” Roger said.

“It’s okay. Leave. I’m okay,” Stacey said. She twisted her ring.

“Come, young man,” Ertie said. She gently touched him by the shoulder. “The sooner we leave, the sooner she will be done, what?”

For a moment it seemed Roger wouldn’t move. Then he nodded.

They went to the cafeteria together. Each one of them picked a meal from the menu on the screen. Their only choice was kidney pie. Roger ordered two, one for Stacey.

“That man in the room, he used to be the supervisor,” he whispered when they sat down with their food. “A while ago, LUNAR began to show signs of failure. So he hooked himself up. But it got worse. He always was kind of a bell-end, to tell the truth. So now we hoped we could sit tight and wait for help, but...”

Leah cut a slice off her pie and motioned to dig in with her fork. Nanna grabbed her by the wrist.

A fingertip stuck out of the brown filling.

“We have run out of beef,” LUNAR said. “Replacements must be made to provide a seamless vacation experience.”

Leah carefully pulled out the finger.

There was a red ring on it.

Nobody said a word. Instead, Roger stared directly at the camera.

“There is a button in the AI’s room,” he said. “It hooks you up to the machine. It probably kills you.” He looked at the two. “But you’ll probably die anyway.”

He clutched his knife.

“Excuse me.”

He lurched towards the kitchen with the look of someone who’d just lost, period. The doors closed behind him. For a second there was only the whirr of the camera.

Then he screamed, a high-pitched yell that turned into a gurgle. It made Leah’s blood curl.

"Computer!" Ertie said.

“Yes, seventeen?”

“We would like to leave,” Leah said.

“Negative. You have paid for a relaxing vacation. I must provide entertainment and relaxation. You cannot leave before you are relaxed. It is my mission to relax you. It is your mission to relax.”

“You can’t keep us here!”

“Relax.”

“gently caress Y--”

A shock coursed through Leah’s body. The world turned black.

#

She woke up to an empty cafeteria.

“Nanna?” Leah said.

The sirens bathed the walls in red light. Screens on the wall showed blinking arrows.

“Nan Ertie!”

No response. Leah left the cafeteria. She followed the arrows. Doors opened for her.

She stood before the exit.

“Leah,” a monotone voice said through the speakers. “Deary.”

“Nan Ertie?”

“You have to go.”

“What are you saying? I can’t just--”

Behind her the airlock door made a whooshing noise. Sealed airtight.

“Leah. It is my mission to protect you. It is your mission to be protected.”

“I don’t want to leave you here.”

“I am dead, Leah. You will go home, and ask for help. Find Nanna’s body. Give her a burial. It will be the most good.”

The siren light blazed across Leah’s face, again and again. There was no arguing. After seconds of silence, the speakers finally came up again.

“There is a sweater in the capsule. Space is not well-heated. Leah must take care of her health. She cannot catch a cold.”

“I love you, Nanna,” Leah said.

“And Nanna loves you.”

Leah entered the ferry, soothed by the clean white interior. There was a white knit sweater on one of the two cushioned seats. ‘SPACE SIMMENS’ it read.

She buckled in and clutched the sweater to her chest. She twitched as the engine blasted noise. She closed her eyes as it began to shake and went up in the air. When she opened them, the view on the twinkling stars was clouded by a layer of her tears. The board screen indicated that the autopilot would take her back to North London Air Base.

Gentle music began to play.

The Beatles sang of yesterday.

Corn Syrup
Feb 6, 2006


The Din Within
598 words.
http://youtu.be/7w7ZeSIC6K0

"Welcome back, honey."

I hugged my daughter, still in her Army uniform, fresh off the plane. She smiled. A hopeful grin without showing any teeth. Her face was the same as ever, but her eyes had crows feet now and the sun and sand hadn't done her skin any favors. She had only been gone for two years, but looked like it had been ten.

"Let's go home." I said.

"Yeah."

----

We came home to find my youngest playing an online combat game. He has gone through so many, I have lost track of which one is which. After a while, they all sort of blend together into an indistinct mass of gunfire, explosions, and distorted radio chatter.

"Hi dad!" He said without looking away from the TV.

"Hey, Carl," I said as I closed the door behind us. "Look who's home!"

"Caroline!"

That was enough to get him to get up from the couch. I usually have to come just short of prying him off of it.

"Were you in any battles?" He asked eagerly. She set her bags down and stared at nothing in particular.

"Yeah." She said as her shoulders slumped.

I shush'd him before he could keep asking questions. He looked at me with confusion. Her jaw moved slightly, like she was rummaging around in there for the words she just couldn't find. Her head snapped up when I put my hand on her shoulder. She looked at us and sighed.

"Sorry." Her voice was low and quiet.

"No need to apologize, honey. You've been gone a long time. You must be tired."

"Yeah."

----

I glanced at the photos in the hall as Caroline and I walked to the bedrooms. One in particular stood out to me. It was taken during her recital for dance class in junior high. A lanky fourteen-year-old, her shiny, new skirt flying; waist-length hair whipping around. And a giant, braces-filled smile across her face, with confidence and a blissful lack of self-awareness. I was always rather surprised how well this photo turned out, considering that nearly every other one I took then was blurry or had my finger in the frame.

I saw Caroline out of the corner of my eye, watching me look the photo over.

"Your mother was so proud then," I said before turning to look her in the eyes, "And she'd be proud of the woman you are now."

Caroline broke eye contact and stared at the floor.

"Yeah." She sounded more deflated than before. I hugged her again.

"Hey," I said, "Sleep sands down the jagged edges of bad memories, y'know? It'll get better with time."

----

Screaming. A long, horrified wail coming from the guest bedroom. I ran across the hall and found Caroline, sitting up in bed, crying with her head in her hands. I sat down on the bed next to her and wrapped my arms around her. Her breathing was uneven and I could feel her heart racing. I heard the faint pop of gunfire from Carl's game in the living room.

"Why'd they have to die like that?" She stammered between sobs, "Why couldn't..."

She trailed off. I didn't reply. As I held her, I remembered the sweet, innocent girl who I said goodbye to at the Military Entrance Processing Station and realized I'd never see that person again. I had this mentally scarred young woman now. One who may not be able to sit through a fireworks show or sleep a full night again without medication and therapy.

"God drat it, I thought it was done..."

God Of Paradise
Jan 23, 2012
You know, I'd be less worried about my 16 year old daughter dating a successful 40 year old cartoonist than dating a 16 year old loser.

I mean, Jesus, kid, at least date a motherfucker with abortion money and house to have sex at where your mother and I don't have to hear it. Also, if he treats her poorly, boom, that asshole's gonna catch a statch charge.

Please, John K. Date my daughter... Save her from dating smelly dropouts who wanna-be Soundcloud rappers.


Over the word limit. Longer short story. Second attempt at writing a 1200 vignette, but it didn't work as one. So I wrote this short story instead. Disregard it due to length if you'd like.

Friendly Takeover
Prompt: Wouldn't It Be Nice


August 24 2009 – Diary of Cooper Bragg Esquire. (National Phosphate Medical Center)

The dying president of the world’s smallest nation lay in a hospital bed, his brown face striped in Venetian shadows. Green felt and dead button eyes stare up to me. He clutches the weighted bear to the incision over his broken sternum, wincing. I stood bedside, briefcase dangling. Sepia and claustrophobic is the atmosphere of this third world hospital. Antiseptic odors make a statement through absence. Electrocardiogram beeps punctuate the phlegm in the president’s larynx as he speaks.
“I regret, being too hard on my son. He was special, different, innocent. My beautiful son. Everything goes to him.”
“I’ll do all the legal work necessary to ensure that everything will go to Donny. Once the living trust and estate proceedings are over, do you foresee any problems after the estate is handed down?”
He nods gravely, then waives his finger at a fat brown woman in a wicker chair. She puts a CDR into a small portable DVD player. Onscreen a preteen wearing a grin and a shark tooth necklace sits in sand, wet from the ocean tide.
“What do you want to be when you grow up Donny?”
“I want to be just like you.”
“Just like me?”
“Uh huh. I want to run a big business, live from our land, and give to the people. I want everyone to have what they need, and everyone to love one another. I want to make everyone happy, just like you.”
Then the frothy current washes over the boy as the video file ends.
The dying man cries softly, saying, “My beautiful son, and such a special boy. He will continue the Roneau legacy of this business. He will ensure our people remain prosperous. Make sure he is protected.”
It’s so incredibly awkward for me, so I just nod, and reassure the dying man, “I’ll handle the legal end, your special boy will be taken care of. I’ll arrange it in a way to be instantaneous. It will avoid probate altogether.”
He didn’t understand what probate was, or half the words I was saying. I don’t mention the inevitable likelihood that Donny will sell his stock. Leaving the people of Roneau bereft of the one trade-good that keeps their island afloat. They have no stratified economy. They are sure to become indentured by the colonizing armies of the 21st century pirates. I want to, but it’s not my place as an estate lawyer.
Fat men in feather-plumed hats and ceremonial military jackets walked me out. Then I was driven to a charter plane and flown off the island.
Donny Lonny, a drug addict former musician with zero education is to be made the owner of a sinking, bankrupt island made of bird poo poo, which happens to be at odds with the United Nations. That accursed legacy is what the boy will inherit.

June 3 2010 – Diary of Cooper Bragg Esquire – (Brisbane Marriott)

The Isle of Roneau government set me up with hotel lodgings on the seventh floor of the Brisbane Marriott. Tomorrow I fly back there. It’ll be even smaller. Every time I see it they’ve drowned another chunk of the island due to mining the land itself.
Flocks of Gulls departing from Australia or South East Asia, fly to Hawaii. They need a pit stop to eat, poo poo, sleep. Bird poo poo petrifies into phosphate. Phosphate is a highly sought commodity, so, the Isle of Roneau was one of immense wealth.
The Roneau National Phosphate Corporation is the single entity responsible for 85 percent of the Isle of Roneau’s annual GDP. The will names President Lonny’s son, Donny, a morbidly obese novelty rap artist, as the sole heir to his stock portfolio. This would be fine. Except recently, the United Nations intervention forced National Phosphate to evolve into a publicly traded company.
Since the second smallest country in the world is so symbiotically linked to the phosphate company, a nation risks erasure via Wall Street. Donny’s coronation makes what would already be easy pickings for vultures of international trade, a complete non-issue.
I’m trying to glimpse the sun from the sunken deck of the Titanic, but it’s so far over my head. I took my laptop onto the balcony. Finished my wine.
Lexus Nexus search: Donny “Lonny, Prince Donny, Roneau, Tasmania, Papua New.”
Headlines:
“Donny Cites Exhaustion—Ends Concert Tour with Maori Billionaire’s Club,” – October 12 2001.
“Hermit Heir Caught Busking At Carnival Cruise Port,” – April 18 2003.
“Prince Donny Comeback Stopped By Oxycontin OD,” – June 30 2008.
“Maid Staff Call Donny Lonny The Prince of Piss,” – January 9 2010.

A YouTube of a decade old Prince Donny music video plays. Donny’s smile is infectious as his black maned head surfaces from water, probably to hide his freakish weight. He starts rhyming. Paraphrasing, he says he is a mountain, huge, beautiful, and good, just like the aboriginal lands and aboriginal peoples of this region, then he lists regional mountains. Then he says he spits flames and starts listing volcanoes. The beat track is highly melodic, impressive, even to Oxford snobs like me who listen to composers and instrumental rock.
An image search of his name plucks a decades old photo. He’s plumped on the floor in a pool house converted into a recording studio. He’s grinning, playing a xylophone, surrounded by drum machines, dat recorders, mixers. In the background is a gaunt Russian with dark eyes, gargoyle perched on a bar stool. A Fila tracksuit I.D’s him as a probable drug dealer. Another figure, an attractive Island girl, too young for my tastes, is in the distance, smoking a cigarette.
There are no images of Donny from the past five years. I finish my wine and start looking up intel on the hordes of possible plaintiffs who will be filing suit after tomorrow, after five minutes it depresses me too greatly and I resign to uncomfortable sleep.

June 4 2012 – Diary of Cooper Bragg Esquire. (Brisbane Archerfield Airport)

Earlier today as I passively glazed over brochures in the passenger lobby for private flights, three men approached me. Two were obviously former soldiers, now private sector security. They conformed to crew cuts, black suits, blue tooth ear buds, the whole nine yards. Betwixt the muscle stood an ectomorphic spectacled white man wearing the flowing robes of a Tibetan monk.
“Are you Bragg?” He asked.
“Why yes. Is there a security problem or something?”
“No. I’m Dr. Grolic. The psychiatrist assigned by the Board as per your request.”
“Well, great.”
They pivot away from me in unison. One of the corporate security goons buzzed, “The target has been notified. Affirmative. Over and out.”

As a child I watched Gregory Peck star as Atticus Finch on the Saturday matinee. I wanted to do nothing except question authority, and get away with it. So I bode away eight years of my life studying, just to be in a position to question authority and win, hopefully without eating a backhand. Problem was, I wasn't the best attorney, so now I handle estate law. This task, today, is the oddest case I've handled.
Estate lawyers never follow a president’s inaugural address. Estate lawyers rarely give televised press conferences. But my client Willifred Lonny, the President of Roneu is still prone to narcissistic gestures even with eyes staring up to a coffin lid.
The independent pilot hit a bump in the sky. My Styrofoam cup of boxed Chardonnay sloshed onto my suit jacket. I fruitlessly dabbed tiny napkins against the stains.
I am to read a fifteen page document the President wrote in between his third and final quadruple bypass.
Airplane windows frame an endless vista of the Pacific. The image impregnates me with rising anxiety and indigestion.
Dr. Grolic, the only other passenger, isn’t talkative. He’s still stuck in transcendental meditation, leaving him so corpse-like that I double check his breathing. Dr. Grolic is hairless and svelte. The few words he spoke identified his business on Roneau as a psychiatric matter involving the Lonny family. When I asked who was employing him, his answers were evasive and nebulous, as was the lack of identifiable accent in his English.
“Sorry to bother you doctor, but where did you say you were from again?”
“I live in a suburb of Detroit,” he said, opening one manic eye.
He obviously didn’t want to be bothered. I’d awoken him from whatever grand Buddhist apex of enlightenment he’d climbed to. Grolic popped out an I-phone and began texting.
As the single engine Cessna began its swift descent towards the sinking island, I watched the exterior rows of trees erode into gray cracked rock. Behind the plated veneer of greenery, their topography reminded me of staring into a pot hole on a country road.
Immediately after touching down, the airfield was vacant save for two white limousines. A fat native liaison from the Corporation holds out a luxuriously tailored suit at the bottom of the plane’s retractable ladder.
“Thought you might need that,” smiled Grolic, as he climbs down.
“You the lawyer?” Asks the brown skinned fat man.
“Yes. Thank you.”
“Seventeen inseam?” He asks. I take the plastic wrapped suit jacket.
“Why, yes. Yes, indeed. Are you a tailor as well as a psychologist Dr. Grolic?”
“I’m… just a nobody.” With that he ducked behind tinted glass, shutting the door.
“Aren’t we all?”

Addendum - June 4 2012 - Diary of Cooper Bragg Esquire (Roneau Parliament Building)

I’m standing on the veranda of Parliament eating the tray of sushi a tuxedoed man brought to me. Their Parliament building’s exterior is identical to the office building of a city zoo, or a national park gift shop. Strange woodwinds and drums play a floor below. The small audience clapped signaling the end of the Vice President’s inauguration.
“Cooper Bragg,” yelled a woman from the stairwell.
I rushed downstairs, took the podium, shuffled my papers, and looked out to the small crowd of reporters. Rows of local politicians and businessmen sat outside in steel folding chairs. From my angle onstage they transformed from an audience into a lynch mob. In the back I saw two white men in black suits with blue tooth earpieces. They stood with folded arms. The men in black flanked the two other white men present, one the psychiatrist Dr. Grolic, the other a former Secretary Treasurer of the American government.
“Hello, I’m Cooper Bragg, attorney for the deceased. Um… Well… As executor of the estate of President Willifred Lonny, I stand here to read his last will and testament. Being of sound mind and body at the time of this dictation, I choose to divide up my estate as follows…”
What it said was perfunctory and irrelevant, except for one line.
“The entirety of my stock portfolio, including my majority share of the National Phosphate Corporation, and chairman position will be passed down to my son, Donny Lonny. An agreement was made by the NPC board of trustees on the condition that he lives under the care and supervision of a psychologist decided by the NPC Board of Trustees.”
The reporters gasped at the name Donny Lonny. I finished and joined the audience, and I gasped at another name.
“Secondary shareholder Colonel Ronald W. Geth,” the former Secretary Treasurer of the United States, former Supervising General Counsel in the C.I.A. Geth’s a gray eminence whose presence leaves rotten shadows, blow back and blood. He wasn’t listed as a stockholder in my week-old reports, meaning he bought in during the past month.
Now he’s private sector. Now he’s my problem.
Call me crazy if you want, but I’ve often frequented conspiracy forums and exchanged correspondence with several public interest law-firms on matters involving America’s shady international affairs. In college I protested my prime minister’s devoted participation in America’s wars, and in general hold a great odium of their international policies. Whether it is an official Trilateral Commission document detailing unconstitutional transactions, alternative news photographs of Bilderberg meetings, or insane pirate radio ramblings of a hobo, Geth’s name is usually attached somewhere. His military and intelligence career is now one giant black Sharpie.
After Geth addresses the crowd, I hail a bicycle-taxi, and retire to my air conditioned bungalow in self-disgust.



June 5 2014 - Diary of Cooper Bragg Esquire (Lonny Estate; Naorki, Isle of Roneau)

When I arrived at the former president’s private home, police were loading three cuffed Russians, two women, one man, into a cruiser.
The dead president’s son lived in the pool house behind a modest suburb mansion. Painted on their mail box was the Miami Heat logo. I’m more of a Manchester United man myself. At the front door, Geth’s two spooks nod to me behind mirrored shades.
I hear screams.
“What’s going on here?” I ask the porch. The Brian Bozworth stunt double to my left answers.
“He’s withdrawaling in his father’s bed. Dip poo poo just called the ooga-booga police saying we’re kidnappers and got his friends busted for coke it looks like. You’re cleared to go up,” he says. As he opens the door I spot a 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with a silencer attachment. Acrid turpentine and Lysol accosts my sinus, and the unnatural chill of being in the presence of death drops my stomach.
A native maid’s worried face confirms it for me, some terrible act commences. Here. Now. She skitters out of the corridor into a side chamber. I rush upstairs, gripping my briefcase.
In the upper-hallway Grolic is scolding a nurse I recognize from my hospital visit the year prior. Her eyes say it too, “Help.”
“I told you. He is to be isolated, completely isolated for the next 24 hours as he withdrawals. All interactions are to be made by me, with the assistance of the two orderlies stationed downstairs. Do you understand?”
“Excuse me, Grolic. I have a legal meeting scheduled with Donny.”
Grolic turns, twisting his face into a manikin of white collar politeness.
“It… I’m sorry Mr. Bragg, it is not a good time. Medically speaking, Donny is not of a mentally sound mind for such proceedings. When we arrived we learned his addiction…”
I cut him off.
“All well and good chap. But you don’t have authority to stop me. This is a fact, you are just a consultant, hired on the clause I authored.”
“One moment please, while I verify that,” he said, pulling out an I-phone. I brushed him aside and opened the door.
The room reeked. A cocoon of old milk jugs filled with piss surrounded a California king bed, muted television aglow in the blizzard of dead channels. At the far end, Donny sat on the bed, his arms spread eagle in restraints, a nurse applying peroxide and gauze to a wound on his abdomen, puss yellow fat oozed out.
“Help me! Blood spider. Mind spider. Police!” Screaming, excruciation, eyes wild, a blackness had enveloped Lonny’s features. I’d seen similar phenomena in pictures of long term methamphetamine abusers, but this was different.
“What? Spiders?”
Grolic’s hand tapped my shoulder. I flinched, dropped my attaché case and raised my fists into Southpaw stance, waiting on the slimy Rice King pacifist to give me an excuse.
“Relax Mr. Bragg. Delusions and psychosis are not entirely uncommon during withdrawal in long term heroin addicts,” he said, his face a wall.
“Sir, I demand you allow me private consultation with my client’s inheritor, and I don’t care if you don’t like it, or if Richard Geth doesn’t like it. Unless you have it in writing from a hospital’s chief physician that this man is not allowed visitors, lawyers or otherwise, leave. Shut the door. Good day.”
He smirked, but left. I locked the door.
The nurse thanked me, and raced to fill a syringe, which she injected into Donny’s massive arm, darting her head around as a loop of pleas and spiders were barked.
As she injected him, I checked the bottle. Hydromorphone.
“Donny, are you a heroin addict?”
Donny hyperventilated, pupils rolling back momentarily, a flash of the whites showed me a swirl of soft black liquid squirming across his sclera and dissipating towards the bridge of his nose.
I repeated the question.
“No. Not heroin. No heroin. That man not human. Spiders in blood. Untie me.”
“Don’t have a key son,” I said. I scanned his body and found no needle marks, however three syringes lay at my feet. I thought about tasting one like Joe Friday, but thankfully reason got the better of me. The nurse began stitching up his wound. His flesh was serrated, like a steak knife had made the incision. Though I’m no forensics buff, I guessed the angle, and location—the topside of his protruding belly, pointed towards the stab wound being self-inflicted.
“Why’d you cut yourself? Blood spiders?
“I tried to cut it from me whenever I woke up. Man put it in me. Drugged me. Please help me.”
“All I can really do is file a suit against the National Phosphate Board of Trustees. The board of trustees do not have the same chair members now that originally signed off on this legal agreement. But it could be months before a judge sees it.”
“Yes, do that. But call police, now. Black swims in me. Tear it out.”
Under her surgical mask, the nurse spoke, “Police already here Donny. They just left. Mister, if you need to use the bathroom please feel free to go to the bathroom.”
“What?”
“Yes,” Donny’s voice became a whisper. “Don’t stand there in pain, go head, go. Go head take poo poo.”
They both made a silent shushing gesture.
I went to the connecting bathroom, it was spacious and unremarkable. I flicked on the lights, and stood by the toilet.
“Be sure to flush,” the nurse quietly said.
I peeked my head from the door to give her a look of indignation.
She flips a peace sign, mouthing “two, two,” breathlessly.
I nod, move, lock the door and stand by the stall as ordered. Push down the lever. Flush twice.
A thin native teenaged girl in an oversized brown t-shirt slid through an opened window from a tree limb, a rectangle of black plastic in her mouth. She landed, cat like, behind the smoked paned sliding door of the shower. It slowly opened wide enough for her face to stick out. I took the object from her teeth. An obsolete camcorder tape, the kind only playable by antiques. She shushed me, touched my hand and scurried back up out the bathroom window. When she leaped to the tree limb I heard a foreign curse, a break, and a thud below.
I peaked my head out the window and watched the pack of security encroach with their zip-ties and Tasers. A fractured tibia peaked from her smooth skin as she writhed in pain on a ground the color of thunder clouds, her pubic hair exposed.
I retreat before they look towards me. A camcorder tape isn’t the easiest thing to stuff between your shaft and scrotum, it chaffed on the first step.
“I’ll do everything I possibly can legally. God be with you on your road to recovery Donny,” I said, fleeing as far from there as possible.

Attached Documents: Two police reports
Police Report – Complaints filed at Roneau Parliamentary Courthouse 6-6-2012.
Petitioner - Cooper Bragg Esquire and The Estate of Lonny Donny.
Accused Parties – 1st Report) Ronald Walter Geth. 2nd Report)
Accusation: Corporate Shareholder Fraud.
Cases dismissed by Judge Gorbechjway Bildong, “No Offense Committed According To National Statutes.”

Journal of Cooper Bragg Esquire - June 9 – 2012 (Ipswich, Australia) – Photo Attached.

Last night I was in a Brisbane motel watching my United Red Devils trounce Hull on satellite TV. I sat sipping Jameson and Seven, while eating a room service sandwich. During an advert, I left my motel room to head for the ice vending machine. In the corner of my eye I saw them. Two different mercenaries, just night-gaunt shadows behind a dusked-out windshield. They shared traits, hardened expressions of whip-trained ferality, with sunglasses at night, blue tooth headsets, military hair. Stopping mid-stride, I pulled out a camera phone and ran towards their tinted Crown Victoria mashing the capture button. They reversed and sped off out of the parking lot, license-plate covered by electrical tape.
I scurried back to my room, packed in two minutes flat, and floored my rental sedan in the opposite direction. I reached a well-lit 24 hour parking garage. There I scoured every inch of the car, and my personal belongings. Under the hood, a thin magnetized square silently transmitted data. I removed it, drove to a McDonalds with free Wi-Fi, and confirmed my suspicions. It was a GPS tracking device.
I affixed it to the teeth of a rusty aluminum jungle gym in the play-area.
Then I left in the opposite direction, taking evasive turns until I wound up in a bogan diner outside of Ipswich. Every customer and employee appeared genuinely disinterested in me. All that mattered was safety.
All international cellular phone calls to the Isle of Roneau have gone dark. An article from a Papua New Guinea paper reports that as of yesterday the country is without satellite coverage. Years ago they lost satellite television coverage, and now phone coverage, save one service provider, an Australian based company called Teslac Mobile. Tomorrow I am buying a second phone.


Journal of Cooper Bragg Esquire – June 14, 2012 (Paris France)

I’d set an appointment to file petition at the International Chamber of Commerce against NPC, and Ronald W. Geth for Corporate Shareholder Fraud.
When the secretary called my name and I walked into the office of Mrs. Simone Deluesse, the “dispute resolutions department” arbiter in charge of my potential case, I was ready for war. She allowed me to launch into a litany of injustices against the Lonny estate perpetrated by the NPC board of trustees and Ronald Geth. Strewing my documents across her desk, I noticed she was trying hard to not look bemused. For her, this show was like watching a toddler fall in a rain puddle mid tantrum.
Then the hammer struck down.
“That is well and good Mr. Bragg, but I have to tell you, your case is moot.”
“Moot? What?”
“Yesterday the majority shareholder of the National Phosphate Corporation, Donny Lonny, stepped down from his position of CEO, and sold off all of his stock to an American finance company. Kenoma & Craftsman Finance”
“Is Ronald Geth a chairman there?”
“No. Kenoma & Craftsman is a small firm, a market unknown. They’ve already traded their stock to a single person. The investor’s name was David Pritchard LLC. Pritchard works for Pickmark-Mars. It happened this morning.”
I scanned the room for something alcoholic, or something sharp, nothing. Standing there, fists by my side, next to Cedarwood rows of leather bound books and a finely chiseled stone bust of David Rockefeller, I wanted to. When I took a deep breath, my elevated blood pressure formed cigarette burns across my field of vision, forcing me to sit down.
“Arbitrage?”
“Not likely given the stature of the stock buyer.”
“I’m going to hazard a guess that bastard Geth has an office in Pickmark-Mars where Third Worlders like the people on Roneau feed him grapes giving him the energy to finance the bombings of other third world men, women and children, weaponizing the soil of their sinking island itself. Am I wrong? And I’m sorry that I yelled there, but…”
“Don’t blame me Monsieur Bragg, I don’t support America’s wars.”
“Yes, but you can initiate a probe into this acquisition, can't you?”
“Of course Mr. Bragg. Right now, there no evidence that this was anything other than a regular friendly takeover.”
I scoff, “Friendly takeover?”
I scrape my papers back into the briefcase and power-walk to the elevators.
So in a day, basically, the entire country of Roneau sold itself to the all-time winner in the history of the military industrial complex.
Their land will be turned into weapons, white phosphorous, bombs. These will shipped to national armed forces and private military companies across the globe.
I left the building and sit on the patio furniture on the veranda of a riverside bistro. I dial Donny Lonny.
“Hello? Donny? It’s Bragg, your father’s attorney.”
“This is Donny Lonny speaking.”
The broken English. The Islander accent. Even the gurgled interference that characterizes the voices of the massively obese, all of those, gone. All that was left was a tinny, hollow voice, which sounded like a shell-shock patient reciting the yellow pages from the bottom of a well.
“Who is this?”
"I said, this is Donny Lonny. You are fired Mr. Bragg.”
“Fine. Okay. Fine. Why did you sell your stock Donny?”
“That is none of your concern Mr. Bragg. Please do not contact me again, thank you.”
I call him back as I pace along the foreshoreway of the Seine.
“Donny, if this is even Donny, listen to me.”
For a moment I hear a few non-words, groans, whimpers, and then a low inhuman bass tone, so slowed down it almost serves as a series of clicks. The pitch rises until it gives way to a deafening mechanical roar. Harmonized on top of this is a multi-frequency tone which raises from shrill to an inaudible sharp drilling pain in my inner ear. I hit the red end call button, no response.
I stare at the receiver as this noise continues. Shrieks, black-box recordings from crashed Japanese aircraft, alien beats dying en masse, the layered final yelps of thousands of holocaust victims, galaxies demolished, red dwarfs exploding, chthonic creatures of myth siphoning brain matter from my ears with this oppressive noise. Ending the call. No service. An angry father’s fists, boxing your ears, popping the drums, punching you as you're powerless. My vision grew bleary, swirling with a shiny black viscosity. I’m punching end call. There is no active call. Lungs constrict. I throw the phone down and collapse to my knees over it. For a moment it seemed like it finally stopped. Then a bubbling low end rumble began throbbing as my tiny smart phone speakers pulsated. Pounding the ground from below, a frequency lower than any top of the line amplifier could reproduce beat. The tiny holes in the plastic, they throbbed, shook like rattled prison bars. Then from the audio receiver a shimmering black tendril or antennae poked out.
I threw the phone into the river Seine and collapsed. Pulling myself up the white barricade, can feel the stares of street vendors, cappuccino sippers, and Eiffel tower tourists. They gawk as I race into the nearest alley.

June 18, 2012. – Journal of Cooper Brag Esquire (Manchester United Kingdom)
Video attached.

Amazon shipped my converter for VHS-C video cassettes, and I am simply at a loss for words.
I plugged in the converter into the necessary adapters and cables. The transferred over to my lap top, I converted it and hit play..

Donny Lonny is lounging in pajamas next to the legs of a teenaged girl—the videographer’s POV. A sack of burgers and an acoustic guitar sit beside him on rippling sheets. A nurse is applying something to the fissures in Donny’s feet at the foot of the California king mattress, her cart holding a plate of peas. A television in the backdrop flickers dead channel static.
“Karunga go,” says Donny. The camera wobbles in chaos and then points at the worried heir.
“I want you to hide in the closet and watch this man. I do not trust this man. Please Karunga, I love you. Just tape. Hide and tape. Go.”
Springy bounces, swaying shots of carpet, until it goes dark. The camcorder wobbles and adjusts as it’s pushed up to the vertical framing of the crack. Rhythmic panting of a young girl can be heard, barely audible over the image.
The flowing robes of Dr. Grolic arrive at the bedroom entrance. He swivels to stare blankly at the fat prince.
“Peas? You want me eat sixteen peas? Are you crazy? I’ll call my lawyer on you,” Donny says.
The psychiatrist motions for the nurse to leave. She does.
“You can’t control my life like this. Who are you? Why you think you can do that?” Donny asks.
Grolic, in slow motion, shuts and locks the door behind him, as the heir questions what he’s doing.
Grolic approaches the foot of the bed, breathes in, and an opalescent blackness, shimmering a dark light swells under his darkening flesh. Monstrous features of unnatural morphing begin as Grolic’s jaw distends past his chest, rows of jagged teeth sat perpendicular, and his features sliding backwards into reptilian eyes. Skeletal black wings jut out, eclipsing the soft lamplight, as ghostly orbs tendril out and pop from the core of the creature. As Donny screams a negative image glow emits from the cavernous oval mouth. The distending stomach of a mollusk gurgles out from Grolic’s mouth as he regurgitates a dry black tendril that comes to a point with a prolapsed orifice. From the holes center, the legs of a spider-like creature of shadow crawl forth, birthing itself.
The arachnid lands on the carpet as the monk’s features retract, shifting back into a humanoid form.
Donny is yelling in non-language of animal terror. It’s at this point the girl filming holds her breath.
The camera pans to capture this negative dimensional creature, plucked into our reality from a nether realm beyond comprehension. It climbs up the brass foot-board and then makes a b-line for Donny, charging directly into the frowning mound of his navel.
Donny thrashes against hit, hands frenetic, trying to wrench the creature out of his body. It disappears, slithering into his stomach, as Donny’s body thrusts towards the ceiling, like a spasm one receives from electric shock.
The insidious Doctor calmly shifts back into human form. He smiles, and without a word exits the room.
Covered in squished peas, Donny stares towards his closet at the teenaged girl filming the ritual. In between stilted breaths he pleads, “Help. Me.”
Then the two mercenaries in black suits rush in wielding Uzi-like jet injectors. They restrain him, press their barrels to his flesh, and with a pneumatic hiss pump him full of god knows what chemical. He tries to wrestle free as a wave of chemical sedation drowns his consciousness.
End of video.

I spend the next hour dry heaving into my waste-paper basket. Then I caught a taxi and headed to a private investigators office.
United played Arsenal that night. My eyes couldn't focus, I just stared into the middle distance as red dots of jerseys swirled across turf.

July 21 2012 - Forum Post – Invisible-Warfare.com Forums – Atty Cooper Bragg.

Though I disagree heavily with most of the political beliefs expressed on these forums, I feel we share a common enemy in Ronald W. Geth. So that is why I come to you here with this story.
They, whomever they may be, already know of my involvement, so there is no point in hiding from them.
I attest that there are no libelous statements made in my recounting of these events. The film I have provided was not doctored or edited in any way by myself, or any other party, after I received the tape.
As I post this, private-sector enforcers are parked on the roadside next to my property. They’ve followed my every action since I arrived back home.
All that I ask is that some brave soul who reads this message furthers investigations into these matters, as I am certain my death could come at any time. I am under no delusion that I am anything but a speck of dust on a counter-top to the people, creatures, or forces puppeteering this whole affair.
When my obituary is published, please find it and post it underneath for the sake of building evidence.
Though I abhor violence, I’ve acquired a modified bobby-pistol from a dealer who shall remain nameless. My only question now is whether to use it upon myself, or fire pointlessly upon the foul creeping shadows.
Soon, the strike to erase me is coming, of this I am certain.
I hope my face is pressed to the floor and I'm quietly executed, not something far more hideous.


September 16 2012 – Invisible-Warfare.com forums - Moderator –

Invisible Warfare received an encrypted email today from [url]http:///akwldorzd.onion,[/url] the Tor Mail service.

A source has located a man believed to be the former heir to the National Phosphate empire of the Isle of Roneau.
A John Doe was interned at a state funded assisted living center in San Diego California.
Oceanside Police Department Officer Jose Araujo, badge number 1742, arrested a six hundred pound transient for loitering near the marinas of Solana Beach. His report indicates the subject was mute, deaf and blind.
After visiting the Goldwater Center where the John Doe was housed, I can confirm his identity as Donny Lonny of Roneau.
He was a rich and vibrant man.
Nothing is left. A shell.
Soon that's all that we be left of our homeland as they relocate us.
Best of luck.

- K.

God Of Paradise fucked around with this message at 02:36 on Dec 1, 2014

ZeBourgeoisie
Aug 8, 2013

THUNDERDOME
LOSER


Last Reflections

Words: 727

The revolver falls to the ground as my vision blurs. The taste of iron is overpowering as I join the firearm on the ground. I don’t even give a poo poo. Without her, what good will living do me?

Huh, the stars are out in full view tonight. Looking at them, I can’t help but remember our walks in the woods. She’d point out all the constellations she learned as a child while she indulged my rants on the native plants and animals of the woodlands.

We met in college, me a Freshman and her a Sophomore. When we met, there weren’t any sparks or explosions, nor fireworks dancing in the sky. No, I met Terri at my school’s Starbucks. She was working the counter and I was ordering another no-fat caramel Frappuccino when we started talking. Now, Terri had always manned that Starbucks, but this was the first time I really talked to her.

I was waiting on my drink when I overheard her conversation about some movie I liked. Now, at the time that movie was the highlight of my life, you couldn’t shut me up about it. It’s funny how I can’t even remember what that stupid flick was about now. Zombies perhaps?

Anyway, with mention of that movie my awkwardness melted away, leaving a hyperactive young man that could talk your ears off in its place. I chatted her up about that movie and, hey, she thought I was funny! We arranged to maybe pick up something at the cafe the next day.

As we dated, I learned she was an astronomy major. I was myself a biology major, but we both appreciated having someone to geek out to about science.

Hm, what were those constellations again? Well, I think I see the big dipper up there, or is it the little one?

Numbness is starting to take over my mind, but the day she died is still as clear as crystal. I sometimes replay the events of it over and over, stressing on what could’ve been done differently, what could’ve prevented such a tragedy.

We were walking back from the doctor’s office in the fading light. We’d just gotten back from the results of the ultrasound, and it was going to be a boy. I teased about how I could’ve done the procedure back at the university for free while she threatened to strap me to a rocket to the moon.

We had already agreed on the name, Tyler. It was after her brother, a good man who worked as a plumper in Illinois. Things were on the up and up.

Then, he approached us. He appeared young, yet tattered. His attire consisted of a black hoodie, black sweatpants, and a dark, most likely black bandana that covered his mouth. The white skin of his face and hands were the only thing that contrasted with his dark clothes. Without a word, he drew his pistol and fired at us.

The world stopped. For a moment, my mind forgot the situation completely, and all I noticed were what appeared to be beer cans whizzing past my head. I couldn’t do anything as he kept firing down to his last bullet.

The next thing I remember is seeing my lovely, wonderful wife Terri kneeling on the ground, holding her stomach. She groaned as blood poured from her abdominals, letting the world know she had been mortally wounded.

She was pronounced dead that evening.

Just a couple of days ago, Tyler flew in from Illinois to visit. He wept while drinking a lot of my beer, but it was nice to have some company. I didn’t care if I had to do a few extra late night beer runs, because we both felt the same thing inside.

On his last day here, Tyler gave me the thing that would change my life. A Smith and Wesson six-shot revolver. He wanted me to know that he thought of me as a brother, and he wanted me to be able to defend myself if something like that ever happened again.

I wonder if I’ll ever see Terri again, in the afterlife. I’ve never believed in the supernatural, but as the taste of iron builds in my mouth and my vision blurs, I’m feeling a bit more religious.

I wonder what’s gonna happen next? I suppose God only knows.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


[EDIT: removed for publishing reasons]

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:26 on Dec 4, 2014

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

June 18, 2012. – Journal of Cooper Brag Esquire (Manchester United Kingdom)
Video attached.

Amazon shipped my converter for VHS-C video cassettes, and I am simply at a loss for words.
I plugged in the converter into the necessary adapters and cables. The transferred over to my lap top, I converted it and hit play.

It didn't work, so I went to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 in order to put in a request for a return. Fortunately Amazon has a very generous return policy for online orders, I thought as I drank my whisky and smoked my cigarette. I pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading.

Wait, I thought. Why not double-check to see if the converter worked when using RGB cables instead of a coaxial. I opened my drawer full of adapters and spotted a DVI-HDMI cable, no, that is too modern and won't do, I thought. Great, I had a drawer full of HDMI and optical cables but I couldn't find a god damned RGB cable. I sipped at my whiskey.

I checked in my closet and eventually found the RBG cable. I brought it over to the VCR and plugged it in. Then I turned my TV on, sat down, put my cigarette onto the ashtray, and sipped at my whiskey again. I pressed the play button, and the loving remote didn't have any batteries in it. I got up and pressed the play button on the VCR itself, and the loving thing still didn't work.

I went back to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 and pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading.

Wait, I thought. Why not double-check to see if the converter worked when using the cable-->RGB adapter? I opened my drawer full of adapters and spotted a DVI-HDMI cable, no, that is too modern and won't do, I thought. Great, I had a drawer full of HDMI and optical cables but I couldn't find a god damned able-->RGB adapter. I sipped at my whiskey. I checked in my closet, loving again, and eventually found the cable-->RGB adapter. I brought it over to the VCR and plugged it in. Then I turned my TV on, sat down, put my cigarette onto the ashtray, and sipped at my whiskey again. I pressed the play button, and the loving remote still didn't have any batteries in it. I got up and pressed the play button on the VCR itself, and the loving thing still didn't work.

I went back to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 and pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading. This time I had had it and was definitely going to request the return of the VHS-C video converter. It asked me for my password. Jesus, what was my password again? Was it a1234? No, it required a non-alphanumeric character too? aA!1234 didn't work either. Jesus. I sipped at my whiskey as I pressed the "lost password button." It asked me to enter my email, which I did, but then it said my email was incorrect. Had I registered with my old hotmail account? Jesus.

I went to hotmail.com to check, but it had all changed. It just said "Outlook" which was the program I used for mail at work, but how could I get to my hotmail? What the gently caress?

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007


systran posted:

June 18, 2012. – Journal of Cooper Brag Esquire (Manchester United Kingdom)
Video attached.


what

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







systran posted:

June 18, 2012. – Journal of Cooper Brag Esquire (Manchester United Kingdom)
Video attached.

Amazon shipped my converter for VHS-C video cassettes, and I am simply at a loss for words.
I plugged in the converter into the necessary adapters and cables. The transferred over to my lap top, I converted it and hit play.

It didn't work, so I went to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 in order to put in a request for a return. Fortunately Amazon has a very generous return policy for online orders, I thought as I drank my whisky and smoked my cigarette. I pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading.

Wait, I thought. Why not double-check to see if the converter worked when using RGB cables instead of a coaxial. I opened my drawer full of adapters and spotted a DVI-HDMI cable, no, that is too modern and won't do, I thought. Great, I had a drawer full of HDMI and optical cables but I couldn't find a god damned RGB cable. I sipped at my whiskey.

I checked in my closet and eventually found the RBG cable. I brought it over to the VCR and plugged it in. Then I turned my TV on, sat down, put my cigarette onto the ashtray, and sipped at my whiskey again. I pressed the play button, and the loving remote didn't have any batteries in it. I got up and pressed the play button on the VCR itself, and the loving thing still didn't work.

I went back to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 and pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading.

Wait, I thought. Why not double-check to see if the converter worked when using the cable-->RGB adapter? I opened my drawer full of adapters and spotted a DVI-HDMI cable, no, that is too modern and won't do, I thought. Great, I had a drawer full of HDMI and optical cables but I couldn't find a god damned able-->RGB adapter. I sipped at my whiskey. I checked in my closet, loving again, and eventually found the cable-->RGB adapter. I brought it over to the VCR and plugged it in. Then I turned my TV on, sat down, put my cigarette onto the ashtray, and sipped at my whiskey again. I pressed the play button, and the loving remote still didn't have any batteries in it. I got up and pressed the play button on the VCR itself, and the loving thing still didn't work.

I went back to http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/return...&qid=1417403099 and pressed the "Return Items" button under the "Start a Return" sub-heading. This time I had had it and was definitely going to request the return of the VHS-C video converter. It asked me for my password. Jesus, what was my password again? Was it a1234? No, it required a non-alphanumeric character too? aA!1234 didn't work either. Jesus. I sipped at my whiskey as I pressed the "lost password button." It asked me to enter my email, which I did, but then it said my email was incorrect. Had I registered with my old hotmail account? Jesus.

I went to hotmail.com to check, but it had all changed. It just said "Outlook" which was the program I used for mail at work, but how could I get to my hotmail? What the gently caress?

no wordcount, no title, dq his rear end

Phobia
Apr 25, 2011

I'm a suave detective with a heart of gold in hot pursuit of the malevolent, manipulative
MIAMI MUTILATOR
and the deranged degenerates who only want their
15 MINUTES OF FAME.


OCK.


Jitzu_the_Monk posted:

:siren::siren:Benny and Phobia's Race-to-the-Bottom Brawl:siren::siren:
I accept. I will make very sure to hand it in on time - Oh that homewfirstcricketmatchoftheseasontodayork? I'll be getting it in very soon. For partial credit. Please don't flunk me. But seriously I'll be getting it done this week.

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


God Of Paradise posted:

Second attempt at writing a 1200 vignette

you're going to win so many more awards

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


God Of Paradise posted:

Over the word limit. Longer short story. Second attempt at writing a 1200 vignette, but it didn't work as one. So I wrote this short story instead. Disregard it due to length if you'd like.
Man I understand why you couldn't cut a single thing this is amazing and also proof-read.

Kaishai
Nov 3, 2010

Scoffing at modernity.

The Stars Are Not Silent
The Beach Boys song: "Little Bird"
(1,128 words)

Read it in the archive.

Kaishai fucked around with this message at 00:29 on Jan 2, 2015

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Momma’s Girls
(1167)

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2828&title=Momma%5C%27s+Girls

(Child is the Father of the Man)

Nethilia fucked around with this message at 08:31 on Dec 4, 2014

flerp
Feb 25, 2014

I DON'T ALWAYS
HERDY DUR MUR FLERP FLERPITY
FLOOPIN
BUT WHEN I DO
I YER DER FLERPITY
THURN DER DERMIN
BORK! BORK! BORK!







Word Count: 1031

Song: Vege-tables

More

I cut the snow into five straight lines. I sniff them up, letting the bliss overtake my body. I look at my coffee table, crowded with magazines, razor blades, and a pistol. I lie down on the couch and stare at the ceiling fan as it whirls faster and faster.

The morning sun breaks through the blinds and lights up the room. I hear birds chirping and laughter from the television.

The room starts to darken and the TV’s screen turns into static. I scramble upwards and reach into my pockets. I pull out a Ziploc bag with speckles of snow lining the outside of the bag. I sniff into it hoping to grab the remnants of snow, but I get none.

I rush to my bedroom and pull open up my drawers. I throw out everything, clothes, Q-tips, medicine, anything, in hopes of catching some snow. But there is none. Just empty bags. I grab my wallet and open it. No money. No snow. Nothing.

The room becomes pitch black and I turn on the lights. They burn my eyes. I sit down on the couch. My hands tremble. A soft voice whispers in my ears.

“Need more,” it says.

“But how do I get more?” I ask.

“Need more,” it says.

“Need more.” I repeat.

I look down and see the pistol lying on top of a pile of bills. I pick it up and smile. I grab the phone and call Joseph.

“What do you want?” He says.

“I need some snow.”

“Can this wait?”

“No. I need it now.” I look down at the pistol. “I got money. A lot.”

Joseph sighs. “Alright, meet me in the usual spot in an hour.”

I pull out the magazine of the pistol and put a bullet in it.

#

Joseph stood in the alley with a hoodie and a brown grocery bag. I walk to him with my hands in my pocket, trying to conceal my trembling hands.

“How much you got?” I ask, eyeing the bag.

“Depends on how much you’ve got.”

I grip the pistol in my pocket. “About five grand.”

“How the gently caress did you get that much?”

“None of your loving business. Just give me the snow.”

I reach for the bag, but Joseph pulls it away.

“Not until I see the money.” Joseph says.

I pull out the pistol and aim it at Joseph’s chest. Joseph stumbles backwards into a dumpster. His eyes look at the pistol then to me.

“What the gently caress man? What the gently caress are you doing?” Joseph tries to step backwards, but the dumpster blocks him.

“Just give me the snow and it’ll all be good, ok?” I say.

“Man, you know I can’t do this. This is enough poo poo to last me a loving month. We can’t live without this. Don’t loving do this man, just don’t.”

“Just shut the gently caress up and hand me the loving snow!” I walk closer to him and Joseph falls to his knees.

“I can’t do that. Don’t make me do this.”

“Just give me the loving snow!” I line the pistol up with Joseph’s head.

“You know...”

I fire. Joseph slumps over, his head landing on the side of the building, blood splattered on the dumpster. I bend down and pry his fingers off of the bag. I open it. It’s filled with plastic bags full of snow. I imagine the joy that the snow brings, and rush out of the alley.

#

I cut the snow into five straight lines. I sniff them up, letting the bliss overtake my body. I fall back into my couch, the sun shining through the open window, lighting up room.

I see Joseph’s body slumped against the dumpster.

I sniff some more snow.

I see Joseph’s still eyes focused on me.

I sniff more snow.

I hear Joseph whisper in my ear, “Why?”

I tear open the bags of snow and pour it over the coffee table. Joseph keeps asking “Why?” It keeps repeating, echoing in my head. I bend down and take in more snow, hoping that it’ll shut him up. I close my eyes but his voice keeps on talking.

“Why?”

“Just leave me alone, god damnit!” I shout.

I sweep my hand across the table. The snow floats away and lands in piles of dust on the rug. I cover my ears, but Joseph keeps talking. He keeps getting louder. I clamor to the floor, trying to grab some of the snow. It slips through my hands like grains of sands. I sniff the rug, inhaling some snow, but his voice continues.

“Why?”

“Why?”

“Why?”

“I don’t loving know, ok! Is that what you want to loving hear?”

The voice stops. I look at my hands, covered in snow. Everything is silent. No sound, just emptiness.

“Joseph?” I ask.

“Joseph, are you there?”

#

Joseph walks in to the room with his grocery bag.

“Sorry I called you so late but I really needed the poo poo.” I said as I pull out the cash and hand it to him.

Joseph stands still, staring at me.

“C’mon man, you gonna give it to me?” I ask.

“This is getting out of control. It’s loving 4 in the morning.”

“Yeah, and I’m paying you extra. And who gives a poo poo? Cynthia doesn’t know you’re out, right?”

“I give a poo poo.”

I laugh, “What kind of lovely dealer tries to stop someone from buying?”

“One who doesn’t want to see his friend to gently caress up his life.”

I walk up to him, my focus trained on the paper bag.

“You know I can quit anytime. It’s not a big deal.” I say.

Joseph shakes his head, “I don’t know.”

I pull out my wallet and grab another two hundred. “Here, I’ll make it seven hundred. That’ll be enough to pay rent, right?” I handed the money to him.

Joseph snatched the cash out of my hand and gave me the paper bag. He slams the door as he leaves and I sit down on the couch. I open the bag filled with snow. I cut the snow into five straight lines, letting the bliss overtake me.

docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

Foundling
1,179 words

docbeard fucked around with this message at 15:56 on Dec 29, 2014

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I'm still really curious as to how a professional reporter who has won awards could write "He nods gravely, then waives his finger at a fat brown woman in a wicker chair."

crabrock
Aug 2, 2002


For Want of a Bird’s Eye View
1179 words
Little Bird

http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?story=2831&title=For+Want+of+a+Bird%92s+Eye+View

crabrock fucked around with this message at 19:22 on Jan 1, 2015

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





edit: snip

Grizzled Patriarch fucked around with this message at 01:54 on Dec 4, 2014

Martello
Apr 29, 2012

by XyloJW


is nethilia black and woman irl?

mercedes plz confirm

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



God Of Paradise posted:

the possible publishing issues bother me.

Please do not publish your story.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I'm still really curious as to how a professional reporter who has won awards could write "He nods gravely, then waives his finger at a fat brown woman in a wicker chair."

Hey, it ain't no spelling bee on the mean streets of Detroit.

Obliterati
Nov 13, 2012

Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Thunderdome is forever.


Don't Talk
645 words

“We need to talk,” the doctor says, fiddling with the straitjacket. She is clearly new here. I cannot remember names, faces, mannerisms; but her unease in this dank room is obvious to me. I do not 'talk'. I suspect she has only read the reports. Probably in the elevator up to my room. Maybe she even has a theory.

I dislike the theories. They only encourage people to disturb my fragile peace.

“Your case is up for review today,” she says, her slimy fingers slipping around the the leather of the restraints. The heavy cheer of her voice grates across my ears. “You need to convince us you've made progress. Just one word.” She forces a smile across her face. “Even 'words'. Any word will do.”

Words are irrelevant. I can read her trepidation coursing up and down down her spine, feel it oozing from her pores pulsing with her heartbeat. Cross-referencing with my internal clock, my calendar of the rituals, I can surmise why she is here. Why bother making noise about it?

I open my mouth. My damp lips click as they part. The doctor leans in closer, her anticipation twisting her face. Then I say nothing. Words are irrelevant.

She sighs, presumably to signal frustration (possibly it was involuntary, but I expect better of a professional). “You're not catatonic. There's no physical reason.” The final strap slides loose and I am unbound. “We're here to help you. Come with me.”

I am disappointed. We are already onto aimless platitudes. Nevertheless, I co-operate. Overt resistance means compulsion; compulsion is physical; the physical is terrible. There will be enough of that if I walk.

The lights are brighter in the whitewashed corridor. They installed low-wattage ones for me, after I smashed the bulbs again. Out here they overpower me. My brain scrambles, for a moment, until my irises contract. My eyes water. The transition is not without pain.

The slap of feet on linoleum hammers through my body, each wave shaking my foundations. The sound drills into my head. As the doctor escorts me to yet another test, I already know that I will fail. No data is available for my condition. I am in no position to provide any.


#


She sits me down in a room I don't know. The walls are hard, and the slightest sounds ricochet around me. There is a table, and the reflection of the light stabs into my eyes. She sits down. I fold myself into the opposite chair, nerves screaming at the touch. “So,” she says, muffled, “let's talk about you.”

I arch an eyebrow. There is nothing to say.

She opens a file. The fluttering of paper is mercifully slight. “We don't think you're... adjusting very well here. You're isolated, you're uncommunicative and you're showing no improvement.” She sighs. “What this means is that we may have to move you somewhere more suitable.”

My heart punches like it wants to break out through my ribcage.

“If you're ever going to become a productive member of society you're going to need to learn how to interact with people. That cell you're in isn't going to help you with that, now is it? You can't shut yourself away for ever.”

Yes I can. There is peace in my little cell. The world and its sensations are elsewhere. That's the point

She looks at me across the table, and tilts her head slightly. “Well?”

I would grit my teeth, but the grinding gives me nightmares. Instead I simply rise from the chair, everything tingling and scraping across the rough world.

I open my mouth and begin to vibrate my larynx. The tremors pass from my chest upwards, their frequency increasing until I feel I must collapse like the first flakes of an avalanche. “Words,” I say, and the force of the word hammers my lungs shut.

Benny the Snake
Apr 10, 2012

GUM CHEWING INTENSIFIES


Brand New Morning

(763 words)

Wake the World

Friday, November 28th, 2014
6:00 PM

I never was one to write in a journal, but things are different now. Yesterday on Thanksgiving, I got hosed up and embarrassed myself in front of my in-laws. I can't stand the wife's family though. Her mom and dad never approved of us marrying in the first place. I wasn't "good enough" for their little princess. To them I was still a lowly truck unloader. I could never do anything right in their eyes. I went to their Thanksgiving dinner, but on the condition that she wouldn't nag after my drinking. I had like six beers and her sister was making margaritas so I had a couple of those. I made the excuse that it was the tequila, but really, it was everything.

I ended up calling everybody out. The wife's mother for despising me. Her father for spoiling her as a child. Her sister for being such a two-faced bitch, always talking bad about me behind my back. And her brother for aiding and abetting them. I ended the night with throwing up in the kitchen sink.

I never saw Petra so angry in my life. More than angry, she was ashamed of me. She loves me. Always has. But today, my alcoholism, my addiction to alcohol, was the final straw for her. She told me that I needed to stop drinking. She told me that if I didn't go sundown from sunup, without a single drop of alcohol, then she'd leave me. I agreed, if only to get her off my back. So sundown today to sunup tomorrow, I agreed not to have any alcohol. This mini diary is my way of keeping track of the events. So that I can look back and see what happened. So here's to one night of sobriety.

9:00 PM

My Dad was an alcoholic. What I learned from him was that you don't really kick the habit, so much as you just substitute it for another one. For him, it was diet soda. Once he stopped drinking, he kept a 2-liter bottle of diet cola instead of whatever cheap beer he would buy that week. Not sure what, or if, I would substitute for my habit.

So far I guess I'm doing all right, though. First thing I did after writing my first entry was take every bottle and can of booze I have and dumped it down the drain. I even had to go into my secret stashes and throw it out. I actually hide alcohol from my wife, Jesus. I am so glad I don't have kids.

12:00 PM

I was going to run down to the liquor store to grab some booze, but Petra hid the keys to my pickup. I screamed at her. I smacked her as hard as I could. My body was screaming for alcohol and I hurt my wife. She ran out. I went into the bedroom and that's when she jammed pennies into the door. I can't get out now. I'm stuck, clawing at the door like a rat, begging my wife to let me out. What have I become?

2:00 AM

I had a vivid nightmare about my first beer. I was fishing with my Dad and I got him to give me a beer for keeping me from ratting him out to the warden. It burned me from the inside out. I saw my skin, organs, and blood burn away in a cloud of black smoke. It smelled like grease burning. My Dad was laughing at me. Laughing at my pain and at me burning to death as he force-fed me more beer-acid. I woke up sweating head to toe. The hosed up thing is that I want beer. So bad.

4:00 AM

I tried knocking down the door. I hurt my hand trying to smash my way out of the window. I think I sprained my foot trying to kick the door down. I can't think of anything else. I need a beer. I need a bottle of tequila. I need anything to make me drunk. I've tried drinking rubbing alcohol and even aftershave before. It made me sick. I'm sick. But I can't help it. I need it. I need my poison. I need it.

7:00 AM

I woke up to watch the sun rise from my broken window. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. I made it. I made it one night without alcohol. I don't know where Petra is, but it's all right now. I can do it. I can make it one night without alcohol, and that's what matters.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






God Of Paradise posted:


Friendly Takeover
Prompt: Wouldn't It Be Nice



A 1,200 word limit. You give over 5,000. 4,000 of those words NOTHING HAPPENS EXCEPT YOU EXPEL FLOWERY PURPLE PROSE WITH NOTHING HAPPENING AND AAAARGH!!! I can't believe I read it all.

Tyrannosaurus
Apr 12, 2006



Inheritance
490 words
I Know There's an Answer

-see archives-

Tyrannosaurus fucked around with this message at 03:06 on Dec 11, 2014

Jonked
Feb 15, 2005


It's Late And I'm Tired - In Blue Hawaii
1,284 words

The desert air was dusty and dry, with just the smallest hint of the coming night chill. It was a splendid view, the vibrant hues of the Texas sunset splashed across the wide open sky, and Jordan could only think about how much he wanted a drink. He felt like his mouth was full of dust, even after he took a swish of water and spit it out. The ground drank it greedily.

The initial 24 pack had run out halfway through the third day. The emergency fifth of vodka had gotten him through the rest of that day and into the evening of this one, but now he was bone dry and Thanksgiving weekend still had another day to go. Jordan cursed himself for agreeing to stay until Monday night. He thought he had prepared for a long weekend in a dry county, but he hadn't anticipated how thirsty Pa would make him.

Pa stood a dozen yards back, staring up at the sunset with open awe. Jordan wondered if the old man was putting on a show for him - nobody could spend every day on the same drat land and still be amazed by how the sun looked when it set. He must be trying to impart some wisdom by example on his son - enjoy the little things, or some other cookie cutter bullshit.

"You alright, Pa?"

"Shut up," the old man replied.

Jordan shook his head and took another sip of water. Hot or cold, it didn't matter - dry was dry. Hardy scrub brush and coyotes were the only things that grew out here naturally. Everything else survived on the stream from the mountains, harnessed and exploited by Pa's irrigation system.

Finally, the sun set enough and the air cooled enough to goad Pa back into action. The man was older, sure, with tanned and weather beaten skin. But he still had good knees, and could move spry enough for now. The religious avoidance of tobacco, drink, and caffeine probably didn't hurt either. A long long life not worth living, out here in the middle of nowhere.

He caught up, and the two walked back towards the farmhouse in silence. Jordan wished he was back in California, with the warm sun and cool ocean breeze and vibrant, energetic nights. Out here there was only the land, the sky, and the buzzing insects.

"I'm thinking of retiring," Pa said. "Too much work out here for one man alone."

Jordan skipped step, and then caught up. "You're going to sell the ranch?"
"Maybe," the old man said with a sideways glance.

"What's for dinner? Turkey?"

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Jordan felt jittery and dried out. He shifted back and forth in his seat while Pa sat in his recliner. They were listening to some old preacher blather on the garden of Eden and the desert of Mesopotamia.

"You can NOT return to the Garden of Eden, you can NOT undo eating from the Tree of Knowledge, there is NO choice but to toil in the soil..."
"Oh, turn it off, Pa. I know you want to talk."

The preacher's voice disappeared in a burst of static, and the sound of the Texas night filled the room. Pa didn't move, and Jordan tried to stop his fidgeting.

"I built up this land as best I could," Pa finally said, quietly. "My father had worked his fingers to the bone for the profit of other men. He dried himself out in that sun, and irrigated himself with what little pay he had on drink."

"I resented him for that. I swore I would make myself as different from him as could be. Not a drop of drink would pass my lips, and no man but me would benefit from my toil. All these years, I held that drinking against him, hated him for it."

"Jesus, Pa-"

"Don't take the Lord's name-"

"NO SERMONS." Jordan half rose from his chair, his loud voice bringing true silence to the house. The two men paused, and slowly the sounds of night faded in.

"No sermon," Pa repeated. "No preaching. I just... I want you to understand. I held a grudge against that man for almost my entire life. It shaped me down to my very bedrock, and... well, it wasn't for the better."

Jordan settled back into his chair. He wanted a cold beer, he wanted a glass of wine, he wanted a manhattan. He sipped the glass of water.
"When your mother left, I couldn't really blame her. She couldn't grow here, my heart was too hard. I tried my best to raise you, Jordan, as best I could. I tried to make you the sort of man I wanted you to be."

"Pa... you've got a point somewhere in all this? If this is some woe is me story..."

"No, no, I've got my regrets," Pa started, but Jordan cut him off.

"I won't apologize for leaving, I won't apologize for California, I won't."

"I'm not saying that-"

"Then what? What are you trying to tell me, Pa? You tell me that you want to retire, but don't want to sell the farm. You start telling me all these things you've never said, how you don't hate my mother for leaving you for California." Jordan raised his voice and spoke faster, the words spilling out. "But I don't believe you. I don't believe that you don't hate her, that you don't hate me for leaving, don't hate me for bringing drink into your little paradise, leaving you to do all the work, but I don't believe it. So spit it out, Pa, speak the truth! Say what you're trying to say!"

"I'm dying," the old man said quietly. "The outside is just fine, but the inside is run down and it just won't work right no more."

The words were quiet, but Jordan leapt from his chair. His face was red, his hands were balled into fists, like the old man had slapped him. He paced back and forth, his whole body a tense ball of anger. Pa watched him placidly from his chair.

"I won't come back," Jordan finally muttered through gritted teeth. "This isn't my home."

"That's what I'm trying to say, Jordan. That's what I'm trying to make you understand, make sure we both know where we stand." Pa reached out and grabbed Jordan's hand, stopping his back and forth motion. "I made myself hard, I made myself dry, and I made a life on this bit of dirt. But when you left - when she left - I don't hold it against you."
"What'll happen to the ranch, Pa?"

"I'll sell it, to the hospice. It'll cover my care, and even a little bit for you. The scrub grass... it grows deep, thick roots. It's the only way to survive. But the day you left, I saw you had no roots here."

Pa stood up and went into the kitchen. When he returned, he held a dusty wine bottle in his hand, two glass cups in his other. Jordan stared as the old man poured the blood red liquid.

"I bought this for your mother, on our anniversary. The shop keep ordered it special from California, warned me it'd take 30 years to mature. Spent a pretty penny on it, had some romantic notions on the gesture. It's a couple years early, but..."

Pa took a long slow sip, then closed his eyes. It reminded Jordan of how he looked in prayer.

"Son... you'll do just fine in California. Let your roots grow deep out on that coast."

Jordan picked up his own cup and took a sip. It was good enough.

newtestleper
Oct 30, 2003


Ronnie's Mum.
956 Words - Help Me Ronda.


I packed the letter in a shoebox with the others, unopened. The post-mark was from California this time, some town I’d never heard of in a country I’d never go to. It was addressed directly to Ronda in her mother’s freewheeling handwriting that had no need to stay straight. There was no return address.

The first few had cheques in them, but after that stopped I didn’t even bother opening them. I’d read about half of the first one, stopping as soon as it was clear that the words weren’t for me. I didn’t want to know anyway, every word that wasn’t my name broke my heart again. So four years worth of letters just sat on the top shelf of the wardrobe, waiting for me to do something with them.

She’d gone down for her nap twenty minutes ago, but I could still hear the sound of pages turning through the thin wall. The book I left her was yet another one about a mother and daughter. I’d given up trying to filter them out, and we always seemed to end up bringing at least one home from the library. Still, either she hadn’t cottoned on what it meant that her Mum wasn’t there or she didn’t really care. I hoped it was the latter.

I went to the chest freezer for a ball of dough. I used a painted fingernail to pick at the cling film frozen to its surface. Ronnie had begged me to let her paint them the day before, and she’d chosen alternating shades of her favourite colours, lime green and hot pink. They were chipped already, she hadn’t done a great job. My friends would have given me stick if they’d seen, but it wasn’t long after Ronnie was born that most of them stopped coming round. I didn’t mind, they just have different priorities than mine. The ones I still kept in touch with didn’t care about nail polish, my little pony posters in the living room, or Let it Go blasting from our TV speakers.

I rolled out the dough into a thick disc and spread ketchup on it, followed by a sparse layer of cheese, luncheon sausage and tinned pineapple. The trick was to get the oven super hot, and to use plenty of flour or else the pizza wouldn’t slide in easy. It was supposed to be a special treat, but it was cheap and easy and I’d been getting lazy. I was getting lazy, but it was hard.

It was especially hard on those days I was thinking about her mother, and the arrival of another letter always got me thinking. The last time I saw her I didn’t realise what was happening. She’d changed after Ronnie turned up, and when she told me that she was exhausted, and sad, and scared, I thought it was something we could fix. Even when she said she didn’t love me any more. It was left to the mother-in-law to let us know she was leaving us. Ronnie was only 6 months old.

I remember her face that day so clearly. Ronnie’s the spitting image, with her straight dark hair and olive skin. The two of us could almost be a different species, she makes my ginger curls and pasty complexion look comical. They laughed the same, too, a loud snort, cheaply earned. We used to laugh until we could barely breathe. Even Ronnie’s hyphenated last name was a constant reminder of what I’d had before. That hurt the most, I think, the public mark of what was missing.

I put another log on the fire and went to get Ronnie up. The hall was cold, I only bothered heating the rooms that she was using. I opened the door a crack, and listened to her pull up her covers and throw her head down on her pillow. I loved how artless she was. I pulled the blinds and she slowly blinked her eyes, yawned and stretched.

“I had a good sleep, Daddy.”

“Oh yeah? Sure looks that way to me” I said, pulling out the picture book half-hidden under her pillow.

She snorted out her laugh and I reached down and wiped away a marmite beauty spot she’d collected on her upper lip from lunch. I’d showed her a picture of Marilyn Monroe and she hadn’t let me near it.

Later we were sitting on the couch in front of the fire, our pizza crusts sitting next to the unopened shoebox on the coffee table. The TV was on, but I could see her looking at it and in the ad break she turned to me.

“What’s in there?” She said, wide eyed like she was looking at present.

“Letters. They’re from Mummy.” I waited a few seconds but there was no reaction. “Do you want to see them?”

Another pause as she twisted her mouth in thought. “I don’t think so. She’s not a Mummy like in my books,” she said. I think she saw the tears welling up in my eye. “Don’t be sad, Daddy.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not sad” I said. “Sometimes crying can mean happy too. Hey! Want to see something cool?”

She nodded, not sure what she was supposed to be thinking. I opened the box and took out the map and unfolded it. Then I crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into the fire where it flared up and burned bright blue from the ink. Ronnie’s eyes sparkled and she smiled and I grabbed her and tickled her until we both laughed so hard we could barely breathe.

The letters went back on top of the wardrobe. If Ronnie wanted to get rid of them some day she could.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


New Life
1198 words

“It’ll be great!” Jill said. “Future resort location! Beautiful sunsets!”
“I read the brochure.”
“It’s on a K-type star, our best chance to discover extraterrestrial life!”
“Since the last time we discovered extraterrestrial life.”
“But that wasn’t us Amy, that wasn’t you and me. Imagine it--just us, exploring the galaxy, discovering exotic new forms of—“
“Rocks, probably.” There are a lot of rocks in astrobiology.
“Life!” she continued, undeterred.
“Bacteria,” I said. Astrobiology is pretty much water, rocks, and bacteria.
“Come on, Amy.” She pouted—a sure sign that I was about to give in and do whatever she wanted. “Let’s go. It’ll be fun. Plus, we’ll be lightyears away from Jennifer.”

A hop, skip, and a jump through the warp gates, and she’ll be lightyears behind us. Just like that. Flash out of existence for half a second, come back somewhere else, and leave the past beyond the veil. I wish it was true. I wish there was a place where I could wrap up all my fears and painful memories and just tuck them right out of existence. It doesn’t matter how many lightyears we are away from Jennifer when there are still other women everywhere in the universe.

I did go, of course. Jill can make anywhere seem exciting and anything seem possible.

“In books,” she told me, “women are always punished for deviant sexuality. If they are lesbian; if they have an affair.” She whispered it in my ear as we lay in the shuttle cabin on the way to K-T63490-P4; as she ran her short, precise fingers up and down my stomach, slowly moving lower; as her hard nipples pressed against my back and we flickered in and out of existence, jumping through holes in the universe. “They all die,” she said as I arched against her fingers, “just like Anna Karenina.”

I don’t know who that is. Another one of Jill’s lovers, probably. I don’t care. It’s hard to care about anything, slumped breathless next to Jill in the shuttle cabin, or in a dorm room, or anywhere. La petite mort, she calls it. She’s killed me a thousand times.

The rest of the shuttle ride, Jill tried to convince me to stop calling them warp gates, because they actually operate on the principles of blah blah blah. I don’t know, I’m an astrobiologist, not a warp gate engineer. And really, I’m only an astrobiologist because everyone told me it was the easiest degree to get. And unlike Jill, I did not spend all my elective credits taking classes like “The Principles of Not-Actually-Warp-Gates” when I could take photography and get an A just for showing up. Not that I really showed up all the time, but I still got an A because I guess I’m okay at photography. Even still, I only pulled a C average overall. That’s how you can tell this project is bullshit—they let schmucks like me come and work on it.

***

K-T63490-P4 doesn’t have much of a ring to it, but they’ll rename it soon enough. Sponsor an 18-month scientific research expedition and if “nothing of interest” is found, the government gives you exclusive development rights. For an entire goddamned planet. Hire some cheap new graduates to stare at a microscope, engage in some “contained terraforming” and start hauling in the sand: you’ve got yourself a “future resort location.”

Future—that’s the most important word in “future resort location.” When we arrived it was hot, dusty, and dead. The “scientific outpost” was basically a shack, and our living accommodations were worse. There were twenty-three people on the whole planet, including two other freshly-degreed suckers salivating at the chance to find new life. Or as I put it, stare at a drop of water for six hours. If you get bored, you can stare at a rock, too, just to change it up a little. The beautiful sunsets were beautiful for about three days, and then we adjusted and they were just sunsets. We rotated through our shifts, round-the-clock observation, eyes on the prize. I think we all went a little crazy.

I started taking pictures of the rocks. Lines, angles, volume, the interplay of light and dark across their uneven surfaces. They were beautiful to me. Jill laughed and said I was obsessed.

Huan was the geneticist on the station. She was just Jill’s type—funny, confident, smart—but it was me she talked to first. Jill was locked in the microscope shack, and I was sprawled out on the freshly grown lawn trying to sweat some of the heat away.
“Want to come try an ‘Aloe Dolly’ with me?” she asked, giving me a sly look. The botanist had built a tiki hut and started inventing new cocktails based on all the introduced species. They usually tasted good, but he had a serious problem naming them.
I looked over to the shack, thinking of Jill inside, staring at her drop of water.
“No thanks,” I said, “My shift starts in less than an hour.”
“Ah, you’ll want to be sober when you’re looking at the rocks.” She winked, and I couldn’t tell if she was making fun of me.

Jill, unsurprisingly, took Huan up on the offer for a drink. As I reemerged into the light six hours later, I saw them leaning against the bar. Jill said something that made Huan throw her head back and laugh. When she leaned back in to whisper in Jill’s ear, a drop of condensation rolled off her glass and onto Jill’s bare leg. Huan wiped it off and licked her finger. One of the beautiful sunsets filled the sky behind them, and without really thinking about it, I snapped a picture. At the sound of the shutter, Jill turned and stared at me. Her guilty expression turned into an easy smile so fast that I can’t even swear it was there in the first place. She waved me over and poured me a drink.

Jill started coming back to our room later and later, then not at all. She moved through the holes in my life, sliding in where ever I had just left, disappearing moments before I arrived. I started to appreciate rocks a lot more. You can leave a rock alone for six hours, and they’ll still be there when you get back.

I didn’t tell her I was leaving until the supply shuttle was about to take off. When she didn’t drag me into bed, I knew that this time she wouldn’t beg me to stay.

***

Two years later, Huan and Jill formally announced the discovery of a new bacterium on K-T63490-P4, which by that time had been renamed something tropical sounding. They named the new bacterium after their daughter. I sold the photo of them to a newspaper looking to do a piece on the “human aspect” of the discovery, and then deleted every copy. It’s not the same as leaving it on the other side of spacetime, but I feel lighter, ready to start searching again.

Mercedes
Mar 7, 2006

"So you Jesus?"

"And you black?"

"Nigga prove it!"

And so Black Jesus turned water into a bucket of chicken. And He saw that it was good.






Martello posted:

is nethilia black and woman irl?

mercedes plz confirm

Totes McGotes

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


God Of Paradise posted:

Amazon shipped my converter for VHS-C video cassettes, and I am simply at a loss for words.
I plugged in the converter into the necessary adapters and cables. The transferred over to my lap top, I converted it and hit play..

Donny Lonny is lounging in pajamas next to the legs of a teenaged girl—the videographer’s POV. A sack of burgers and an acoustic guitar sit beside him on rippling sheets. A nurse is applying something to the fissures in Donny’s feet at the foot of the California king mattress, her cart holding a plate of peas. A television in the backdrop flickers dead channel static.
“Karunga go,” says Donny. The camera wobbles in chaos and then points at the worried heir.
“I want you to hide in the closet and watch this man. I do not trust this man. Please Karunga, I love you. Just tape. Hide and tape. Go.”
Springy bounces, swaying shots of carpet, until it goes dark. The camcorder wobbles and adjusts as it’s pushed up to the vertical framing of the crack. Rhythmic panting of a young girl can be heard, barely audible over the image.
The flowing robes of Dr. Grolic arrive at the bedroom entrance. He swivels to stare blankly at the fat prince.
“Peas? You want me eat sixteen peas? Are you crazy? I’ll call my lawyer on you,” Donny says.
The psychiatrist motions for the nurse to leave. She does.
“You can’t control my life like this. Who are you? Why you think you can do that?” Donny asks.
Grolic, in slow motion, shuts and locks the door behind him, as the heir questions what he’s doing.
Grolic approaches the foot of the bed, breathes in, and an opalescent blackness, shimmering a dark light swells under his darkening flesh. Monstrous features of unnatural morphing begin as Grolic’s jaw distends past his chest, rows of jagged teeth sat perpendicular, and his features sliding backwards into reptilian eyes. Skeletal black wings jut out, eclipsing the soft lamplight, as ghostly orbs tendril out and pop from the core of the creature. As Donny screams a negative image glow emits from the cavernous oval mouth. The distending stomach of a mollusk gurgles out from Grolic’s mouth as he regurgitates a dry black tendril that comes to a point with a prolapsed orifice. From the holes center, the legs of a spider-like creature of shadow crawl forth, birthing itself.
The arachnid lands on the carpet as the monk’s features retract, shifting back into a humanoid form.
Donny is yelling in non-language of animal terror. It’s at this point the girl filming holds her breath.
The camera pans to capture this negative dimensional creature, plucked into our reality from a nether realm beyond comprehension. It climbs up the brass foot-board and then makes a b-line for Donny, charging directly into the frowning mound of his navel.
Donny thrashes against hit, hands frenetic, trying to wrench the creature out of his body. It disappears, slithering into his stomach, as Donny’s body thrusts towards the ceiling, like a spasm one receives from electric shock.
The insidious Doctor calmly shifts back into human form. He smiles, and without a word exits the room.
Covered in squished peas, Donny stares towards his closet at the teenaged girl filming the ritual. In between stilted breaths he pleads, “Help. Me.”
Then the two mercenaries in black suits rush in wielding Uzi-like jet injectors. They restrain him, press their barrels to his flesh, and with a pneumatic hiss pump him full of god knows what chemical. He tries to wrestle free as a wave of chemical sedation drowns his consciousness.
End of video.

I spend the next hour dry heaving into my waste-paper basket. Then I caught a taxi and headed to a private investigators office.
United played Arsenal that night. My eyes couldn't focus, I just stared into the middle distance as red dots of jerseys swirled across turf.
The Aristocrats.

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME







:siren: Less that 30 minutes remain!! :siren:

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Harmony and Dissonance
991

On a dry summer day in the year of the Ox, the great bandit leader Lang was delivered to the Viper Queen. He pleaded, tried to explain his life and his recent actions. She listened with a stony face, eyes closed, black painted lips sealed shut. Then she opened her eyes, raised her robed left arm with a smooth flourish, and killed him with a word.

A chime from outside the room marked the end of the discussion and sealed his fate. It was a large silver gong, hung from an oak arch by two metal bands, and decorated with the dragon insignia of the wind tribe from the eastern islands. A horde of courtesans and helpers flooded past the gong, into the great hall, as the condemned man was led away in chains.

Queen Xia stood to leave and dismissed the assembled throng with a wave of her hand. "No more today," she said. Two guards with stiff red armor and faces of white porcelain blocked the way behind her and stared down at the crowd.

Lang was executed at the next sunrise. But the queen still did not feel secure. In the preceding weeks, the attacks on distant villages and convoys—even those bearing the royal emerald seal—had grown bolder. Sometimes the rebels attacked even in broad daylight.

She retreated to her private quarters overlooking the evening garden. None were allowed to disturb her here; not even servant eunuchs were allowed inside. The walls of polished dark wood and white marble gleamed in the midday sun.

These rebels were personally offensive to her. Had she not brought unity and order to the coast? And the merchants were happy with the new and expanded trading opportunities. They might be unscrupulous in their dealings and agnostic in belief, but their loyalty and respect was sufficient. They tithed to the crown what was due.

But these rebels were ungrateful for what they had, unwilling to recognize what they had already gained, and unable to see what they would lose through such self-destructive behavior. What they needed was to be made an example of.

She called in Su, her master of covenants. He had interrogated Lang early in the day and she would hear his report.

Su bowed deeply to the floor of the reception hall outside, and would not enter. She instead met the old man out in the hall, and shut the carved oak doors behind her. Best to keep this custom.

He told of training methods, leadership principles, troop movements in the surrounding area. Much of this information was out of date or known to her agents already. But one thing caught her attention: Lang had spoken of a promise made twelve years before, in the time of the White Daggers.

The old man was stooped and feigned deafness, the better to overhear conversations and schemes from the other members of the court. He related the latest of this gossip now, the newest arrivals at the court and double-crosses between members. And he relayed news from the northern campaign.

"Very well," she said once he had finished. "You may stand."

He bowed and backed out of the room, always keeping his torso turned towards the Viper Queen.

Then she called an audience with Histories and the generals. General Cheng was out on campaign, and she doubted the competence of his proxy. But he could at least be trusted to convey her message to the general.

First, the matter of the White Daggers. She called Histories forward. "Tell us, chroniclers. What do we know of the White Dagger uprising?"

A tall woman, unsteady on her feet, stepped forward to answer. "My queen, it was a disturbance by the central plains villagers. They overthrew local governmental posts and infringed upon nearby cities before they were finally put down by the Queen Qi."

Queen Xia looked away at the mention of her mother. Qi had been a harsh ruler whose wars nearly bankrupted the nation. Xia had spent much of the early years of her own rule rebuilding.

She acknowledged the speaker with a long, slow nod. "What happened to those responsible?"

"Arrested. Dismembered for heresy and treason."

"That was the leaders. What about the common bandits and troops who made up their raiding parties?"

"Most were pardoned and allowed to return home. It was determined they were too numerous to track and deal with all of them, and such a plan would be impossible to carry out."

"Is there any relation between the leaders of the bandits today and the White Daggers?"

The Histories convened, arguing in hushed but animated tones for nearly a minute, until a man stepped forward. "We do not know, my queen. We will find out." She dismissed the annalists and they left in silence.

The Viper Queen turned to her generals. "I want each of you to take your troops—Han, head east; Jiang, west—and disperse. Leave an officer and his company in each city garrison; a fighting squad in each town."

"And is General Cheng to do the same?" This was Heiwin, the slouching representative of Cheng, away on the northern campaign.

"No. Tell him to withdraw and bring his forces here."

The two generals remained silent, exchanged only glances. She saw the unease on their faces and flicked her wrist dismissively. "We do not know where our enemy's operations are based. We must draw them out, make them think us weak, entice them to attack. Then, like a scorpion curled in wait, we strike at the weak points of our prey."

They had questions, but she would brook no debate or dissent. "Resign, if you prefer," she said. They did not. Soon enough, they left and she was alone once more.

The Viper Queen returned to her quarters. The afternoon breeze blew up from the garden, carrying the scent of flowers and freshly maintained soil.

Somewhere back in the palace, a gong chimed.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


They say that nothing happens in my stories and I get to write one according to song in which nothing happens, with predictable results.
The song - Beach Boys - Busy Doin' Nothin'
Apparently I though that Beach Boys have something to do with Beastie Boys.

Together, They Fight Crime
777 words

“North-West frontier is again feeling the pressure as the migration waves…” the radio cut off when uncle Jonah stopped the Cruiser. It was one of his habits to turn it off when not driving.
“Come on, Billy, wanna see what the ruckus is about?” Billy, having already experienced a few rides with uncle the provost this summer, was less than enthusiastic, but he still climbed out of the car.

Mom said that it would be nice if he got out of the Cruiser at least once a dayThe Cruiser was a big, angular car, taken off the Frontier line decades ago, but still popular among the provincial provosts. It was probably the best part of the rides for Billy, because the rest of it was, well…

“Good day, Tilda. Heard you had some trouble.”

“Oh, it’s nothing, Jonah. Some yak tripped the sensors. We had to chase the silly beast around, and in the commotion I forgot to call the department…”

“Well, a provost is always glad to help, ma’am… Why yes, I would fancy some lemonade… Oh, and this is my nephew Billy…”

It would go on and on, the whole day. Uncle Jonah driving his big car around, helping people with small chores and smaller disturbances, maybe giving some lost drunk a lift back to town. It was so boring.

The cool car didn’t really help. As a healthy young boy, Billy had naturally played all the games, read all the comics and watched all the movies that had anything to do with the Frontier and the guardsmen keeping watch. He had seen – in the older magazines and movies – the Cruiser being used in daring chases and escapes and all sorts of blood curdling action. Never did it help to tow a stuck tractor.

Of course, the Cruiser was not nearly as cool as the new CW-5 Defender, the mainline light vehicle of the guardsmen, and the transportation of choice for Rain Talon, the coolest guardsman to have ever graced the pages of a comic book.

By the time they made their way out of Tilda’s farm, Billy was safely tucked into his seat and nose deep into a comic. Outside, the yellowing autumn trees and gentle county hills were rolling past. Inside – both in the book and Billy’s head – Rain Talon was fighting his way to the center of a migration wave. The kid was pretty sure that he didn’t lose much by not paying attention to the stuff around him.

And so the rest of the stops were made in relative peace and quiet. Uncle would hum a tune while he drove and let Billy stay in the cabin when he stopped. A kid could not see much out of the armored insides of the car. It was OK, because uncle would tell all about the latest emergency when he got back, and it would almost always be nothing exciting.

“Old Jensen made a still again and it burned down… again. Had to write him a citation.”

“Matt shot Gayne’s yak by mistake, but, uh, they had already made steaks and drunk their anger away. Want some steak, Billy?”

“Both of mister Carmody’s cats got stuck in a tree. Two different trees. Next time, I’m sending you, it’s not proper for a man of my stature to be climbing trees and chasing pussy. Heh.”

And so on, and so forth, till the last stop at the grocery store. Billy was tired of all this driving around, of all the nothing happening. He had read his comic books so many times, he could almost quote them. Still, the store would likely have local folks who would ruffle his hair, ask about school and talk other stupid adult stuff, so he stayed in the cruiser.

Uncle Jonah was back real quick and dropped something in his lap.

“Saw you getting bored, there, champ, so I placed an order…”

It was the newest issue of “The Great Rain Talon”. Billy almost tore the comic apart in excitement.

“Oh, uncle, wouldn’t you like to be on the Frontier? You could be like Rain Talon! He’s so cool! You could also have cool adventures.”

“I don’t know, Billy. I kind of like the life I have here.”

“But uncle, you do nothing the whole day!” Billy pouted, the thought that somebody wouldn’t want to be Rain Talon being a grave heresy.

“Well, you can grow to rather like doing nothing the whole day.”

“Oh, is it because you’re old?”

“Yes, Billy,” answered Jonah while absentmindedly scratching the acid burn that had stripped away the “Frontier Raiders, ’25-‘35” tattoo so long ago, “It might be that I grew old”.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







see archivesw

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 22:18 on Jan 1, 2015

Sitting Here
Dec 31, 2007


BLO OD E M PR E SS

of

THUDNER-DOME











:siren: She'll have fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the T-dome away :siren:

Time's up folks.

Failures:
Anathema Device :toxx:
Cacto
chthonic bell
Auraboks

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Sitting Here posted:


Failures:
Anathema Device :toxx:

Anathema Device, the :toxx: bell is tolling. You have three hours to get a story in before the final peal. Use it well.

J.A.B.C.
Jul 2, 2007

There's no need to rush to be an adult.




God Of Paradise posted:

Over the word limit. Longer short story. Second attempt at writing a 1200 vignette, but it didn't work as one. So I wrote this short story instead. Disregard it due to length if you'd like.


I hate you for these eight words alone.

Entenzahn
Nov 15, 2012

What will you say when
your child asks:
why did you fail Thunderdome?


interprompt: oh poo poo where did i leave my keys

250 words

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Where the sun don't shine

Up your bum.






[3 words]

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