Thursday, June 30, 2005
Deploy! Deploy! Deploy!
by Sharon 1:57 PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
when the martians come
and you know they will
they won't play dumb
they'll shoot to kill
the hive ship, it won't hover
to carress the earth's sky like a lover
they'll open fire from up above her
and blow us all to kingdom come
but it's the farthest thing from my mind right now
I swear I just don't care
'cause she walked out of my life last night
and so I think it's only fair
that when the martians come
and they'll be here soon
with their big ray gun
from beyond the moon
the stellar fleet will break cloud cover
they'll fire once and the ground will shudder
the sky will burn and she'll know I love her
but it'll be too late then to change her tune
by Fred 11:59 PM
the farthest thing from my mind
by Fred 12:48 PM
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
When it starts to rain, Jody doesn't know if it's the memory of what happened that summer or just the fact that it's cold and he's left his jacket in the car that makes him shiver. The local news has been frothing at the mouth about snow all week, and, while it hasn't happened yet, there's definitely a new chill in the air. It's too cold for just short sleeves, which is what he's got on, even though it's not halfway through October yet. Jody looks back over his shoulder at where the car is parked at the end of the field, and he thinks about telling Rebecca it's cold and they ought to head back, especially now with the rain rolling in, but instead he just kicks the ground at his feet and shivers again.
"Well this sucks," he finally says, with a nod towards the sky.
"It'll let up," says Rebecca. She looks up at the clouds, then at him, and smiles. "You said you'd help me."
"Sure, sure," he says. "I will. I just don't see why we have to this class project of yours in the rain."
"Atmosphere?" she says, and she shrugs. She lets her bag slip from her shoulder to the ground. "I dunno. I just thought it'd make an interesting picture. I mean, it's been what? Three months? And that's the tree where it happened."
She doesn't point, but she doesn't have to. Even if Jody didn't know the tree, he'd recognize it straight away.
"Don't, okay?" he says. "Just don't. I'll help, but -- just -- I don't see why we have to talk about it, is all, okay?"
"Okay," she says. "Okay, I get that. I just figured, whatever. We'll take some pictures, and that'll be it."
She picks up her bag and starts off across the field again.
"I mean, it's not like you guys were all that close."
But I was there when it happened, thinks Jody. That's the only reason I'm here now, right? Jody couldn't remember five words he'd spoken to Rebecca since high school graduation in June, and it was only the night of the accident, when he and her brother were out in that storm and she met him at the hospital where they'd rushed Frankie and where he was still, that Rebecca took any notice of him at all. And, the way Jody figures it, it's only because she wants some kind of answer, an explanation for what her brother was doing out there at one in the morning, the night of the big storm. And maybe Jody has answers.
He wasn't going to pretend she wanted him there for any other reason.
by Fred 7:42 PM
She couldn't describe in words how she felt about him now. The only way to could think to articulate it was with a photograph, and he wouldn't have understood that.
by Christy 11:21 AM
Monday, June 27, 2005
"The Ex-Superhero Blues"
My baby doesn't love me since I hung my old cape.
I said goodbye to x-ray eyes and my cyborg sidekick ape.
I bid fond adieu to super strength and that pesky ESP.
But now I'm just a guy, and I can't fly, and my baby don't love me.
She said she was okay with it. She said things wouldn't change.
She said she loved the man in me, but now she's actin' strange.
I turned in my decoder ring. I packed the tights away.
Don't even ask about the mask. Ain't nothin' left to say.
I don't teleport, not anymore, don't climb the walls with ease.
No single bounds to win her heart. My baby don't love me.
by Fred 6:19 PM
bionic secret agents fighting the forces of evil in their own unique style
by Fred 12:00 PM
Friday, June 24, 2005
1. Scroll down to the archives in the sidebar ("The Past")
2. Select a link at random.
3. Scroll down to about halfway down the page.
4. The first topic you see -- that's what you write about!
by Fred 8:29 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I know what you're thinking -- and you should be ashamed.
Your mind is such a sewer, you know that? I hope you don't think about kissing your mother with that brain, you pervert.
Don't you ever once think about the poor telepathic children who might accidentally stumble upon your libidinous thoughts? Doesn't it trouble you that their blissful innocence might be irretrievably corrupted just because you can't stop broadcasting your latest depraved fantasy or giggling over some new naughty word? They didn't ask to be born with the power to read minds, you know. The leas you could do is try to keep your projected thoughts a little cleaner.
Because, sure, they're weird mutant freaks who make our everyday existence uncomfortable and who will one day rise up to create a horrific totalitarian regime that will wipe us so-called normals from the face of the earth, but that's no reason to start openly attacking them with your disgusting potty mouth...er, brain.
So give it a rest, would you? It's just fluid. It's just heat. Stop reading innuendoes into it. Your perverse giggling is going to emotionally scar little Timmy for life. Start thinking about daisies or puppies or fluffy bunny rabbits or something.
Because I know what you're thinking, and that means they probably do, too. If you have to think of anything, think of the children.
Their evil telepathic government will probably let you die more quickly if you do.
by Fred 6:35 PM
"What was unsettling was that the fluid just kept coming. It was quite a lot of fluid. On a hot day like this, you have to move fast." - Stuart Claxton, The Guinness Book of World Records, 6/22/05
by Fred 2:08 PM
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
by Fred 12:59 PM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
go live where the wild things grow,
in the tall grass where the wolves prowl
and the world builds walls to keep you out
and there are no words
except those few of stone and wind
and howl and snarl.
go live where the stars are born,
in the deep black where the planets dwell
and the world is small as you drift out
and there are no words
except malfunction, do you read?,
can you hear me, ground control?
by Fred 1:22 PM
by Sharon 8:56 AM
Monday, June 20, 2005
Jerry didn't believe in god, so he had a limited number of explanations when he started seeing messages spelled out in his morning cereal. Although, then again, had been a believer, the explanations would still have been limited, only this time plus one or minus all the rest.
None of the explanations he had were satisfactory. He was crazy, under stress; he was imagining it; the CIA or FBI were -- but no. Any explanation that took that route and accepted the messages as fact would lead to madness, while explanations that proclaimed that he was mad already at least offered the possibility of relief. More sleep, less stress, a visit to the local psychiatrist. But to start from the belief that what he was seeing in his bowl of cornflakes was actually there... No, Jerry wouldn't allow that.
Except, of course, that once seen the messages were difficult to ignore, the words shaped into the ridges of flake all but impossible to un-see.
"Hello, Jerry," said this one.
"How's it going?" asked the next.
"Would you like a banana?" asked yet a third.
"Bananas are good with cornflakes," said they all, once Jerry tried to swirl them away with his spoon.
If he was crazy, it wasn't turning out to be a particularly interesting sort of crazy.
by Fred 6:46 PM
by Fred 1:35 PM
Friday, June 17, 2005
There are many things that Gloria does not remember, but the day she became no longer a ward but an employee of the company is not one of them.
She was eight when the suits first came to see her. Before that, she had been tended to by nursemaids and tutors, who treated are as they might nearly any child of privelege and wealth, and who never betrayed any knowledge of who they, in turn, might work for. Before she was eight, before it made its presence known, Gloria has no idea that the "company" even existed.
The suit's name, he said, was Mr. Randall. His partner, who said nothing, he introduced as Mr. Smith. Even now, Gloria thinks of them as the suits; both of theirs were clearly tailor-made. Company men, who had decided that now, three weeks after Gloria's eighth birthday, was the right time to make their presence (if not their purpose) known.
"How would you like to go on a vacation, Gloria?" Mr. Randall asked. "How would like to go on an exciting trip to a whole different planet."
Even then, Gloria knew to mistrust what she was feeling and not to say what she was thinking. Because her first impulse was to tell Mr. Randall about all of the different planets she had already visited in her dreams -- but they weren't dreams -- and she knew that was crazy because all the nurses and teachers told her so. She had never yet been outside the compound -- "outside" was another concept foreign to her, except from books -- and certainly not to any other planet. Gloria knew this. There had been no other planets and no voices singing to her from them while she slept.
At eight, it was still sometimes a struggle to tell what she had imagined from reality, to forget what she remembered -- the songs and then the screams -- because it couldn't have happened. So, when Mr. Randall asked her if she would like to go on a vacation, Gloria did what she always did. She said nothing.
"Another planet," said Mr. Randall, eying Gloria with interest. "With a really tricky problem we'd like your help solving. Wouldn't you like that, Gloria? To help us and see a whole different world while you're doing it?"
Gloria stared. She did not want to tell Mr. Randall that she knew which planet he had in mind, that she knew its name even he and his friends had so far only given it a number. She didn't want to tell him that she knew it wasn't a vacation. She didn't want to tell him all the things she knew because she couldn't know them. Because it was dangerous to let her imagination roam free like that.
And because then he might not let her go.
She wanted to say nothing, but she knew Mr. Smith wanted to say something. She knew it the way she knew the name of the planet, the name of the problem Mr. Randall and his friends were having trouble with, and everything else. The way she'd always known things, like it was just something she had overheard, that's all. Something the voices had told her. Mr. Smith might not have actually said it, but Gloria had heard it all the same. And if he wouldn't say it, there was something in her brain that demanded she say it instead.
"Aw Jesus, Frank," Gloria whispered. "Just tell the kid who you want her to kill."
by Fred 11:59 PM
on vacationAlthough, from the look of things around here, I'm guessing he's not the only one.
by Fred 11:32 AM
Thursday, June 16, 2005
She never knew her parents. Or at least that's the story the company's always told here, and, if it isn't true, there's not a whole lot Gloria can do about it anyway. She knows they could have tinkered with or erased her memory, gone in and cut out the meddlesome pieces that might make her a liability, or that would give her some connection to anything other then them, anything else but the job. A suregeon's scalpel to sever the ties of family, friends, a life before and without the company at its center. Gloria knows it would be easy -- she's seen the procedure at work first-hand -- but if that's what happened, it's done and over, and it's just easier all around to believe she never knew her parents and move on.
Besides, there's a part of her that sort of likes the idea of being an orphan. There's something about it that sets her apart, it's true, but it's also an understandable difference, a quanitfiable something. Unlike the madness, which has proved to be anything but quantifiable, and which no one -- not the compnay, not her caretakers, not Gloria herself -- has been able to understand. She is useful to the company, in ways they would rather not discuss in public, but that has done little to alleviate their fear of her.
The company has been the closest thing she has had to parents, but she has never felt like she's known them all that well either.
by Fred 6:01 PM
She never knew her parents.
by Fred 12:44 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
When the nausea hits, Gloria is in transit, where there isn't supposed to be any nausea, where that sort of thing is supposed to be impossible. Gloria's not supposed to even be aware of the passage of time, much less the restless heavings of her stomach. Transit is where they put you in stasis -- which is a bit of an oxymoron, if you ask her -- and you're supposed to be out cold for however many hours, weeks, or years it take to reach your destination. But always, always, Gloria feels that same old queasiness hit her in the gut as soon as the engines kick over, the freeze settles in, and the ship crosses back into the void.
She's had pilots tell her she's crazy, had them check their instruments, check the stasis field, and remind her that there's no such thing as turbulence in a vacuum. It doesn't help that that Gloria knows she is crazy and usually even the pilots on these short-range trips know it, too. They know she wouldn't be aboard if that wasn't the case. It's her special gift, the schizophrenia that, in ways she isn't allowed to discuss and that the pilots are not allowed to know, make her valuable to the company and ensure they keep paying her fare to these other stars.
But even they maintain there's no reason for her space sickness.
by Fred 7:08 PM
sic transit gloria
by Fred 1:45 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
"Hey, everybody! It's raining kangaroos!"
Thus begins the great lost tragic novel of Alexander Popsin, which can be said to have in many ways defined the Victorian Age in England, but of which today, sadly, there survives only that short two-sentence fragment. Long have literary scholars debated the underlying meanings or lack thereof in Popsin's words. Just who, for instance, is this "everybody" to who the narrator refers, for what exactly are "kangaroos" a metaphor, and, if not a metaphor, just what sort of strange weather patterns was Europe experiencing back then anyway?
That Popsin should adopt the familiar and colloquial "Hey" has been thought by many, including the respectfully very much dead literary critic Simone Bovee, to be one of the most telling aspects of the piece.
"Popsin uses the word 'hey,'" writes Bovee, "where a simple 'hello there' might have easily sufficed. 'Hey' from the French term, 'heyeé,' translated roughly as 'howdy' or 'ahoy there' or 'wazzup?', creating immediately that almost haunting sense of intimacy between Popsin's narrator and whomever or whatever nameless 'everybody' that this narrator is informing of the ongoing marsupial downpour.
"However," adds Bovee, who goes on at great length, "by doing so, Popsin also removes all frame of reference to time or place. Why no 'guten morgen'? or 'greetings, to my friends and fellow Englishmen, alive here and now in the year of our Lord yadda yadda'? It's quite maddening, frankly."
As, too, are the kangaroos, if literary debate is to be believed.
"For when has it ever precipitated kangaroos?" wonders Bovee. "The odds are just not in favor of that, I'm afraid."
Yet not everyone can be said to agree. Bovee's staunchest literary opponent, Reginald Aardvarderman, Jr., has recently put forth the dubious claim that not only are we to take Popsin's words at face value -- that it is, in fact, raining kangaroos and everyone should take heed -- but that Popsin himself was a kangaroo, newly escaped from the wilds of Australia by steamer and living under an assumed name in Hertfordshire.
Naturally, little evidence has emerged to support this claim.
by Fred 6:43 PM
"Hey, everybody! It's raining kangaroos!"
by Fred 2:51 PM
Monday, June 13, 2005
What do you do?
by Fred 3:03 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
What happened was this: ultimately, she had been the victim of circumstance.
Whether it was lost time due to alien abduction, metallic implants lodged at the base of the skull or thick of the thigh, or something eles entirely, like a press-ganging, knock-out gas, a cocktail laced with sedatives slipped to her on the sly, the point was that it wasn't Mary's fault that she'd wound up in Vegas, no matter what Edgar might have to say about it.
To think, he'd almost hung up on her, after he'd almost refused to accept the charges. Clearly, she was sorry that she's absconded to Las Vegas with his credit cards, most of his cash and his checkbook, and she wasn't surprised he was angry. She was being very forgiving. It had been two whole days since he'd last seen her, and he had every right to be upset, but he had to look at this from her perspective.
She had no memory of the past forty-eight hours. She only a lengthy room-service bill and a staggering number of "I Heart Las Vegas" snowglobes to suggest maybe she'd been spending any money. The last thing Mary remembered clearly was Edgar proposing, not punching him in the face and stealing his wallet, and certainly not fleeing to the local airport for the redeye to Vegas. She didn't remember the flight, or the Vegas strip, or the casinos, although she was obviously in one of their hotels, and she didn't remember anything she might have shouted about Edgar, or questions she might have raised about his parentage while he was still on his knee and cradling his bloodied nose.
She remembered none of it. Obviously she, too, was the victim here. Edgar just needed to see that. Alien abduction seemed like the most likely culprit.
by Fred 6:49 PM
At noon yesterday, you were at home. At noon today, you woke up in Las Vegas. What happened?
by Christy 10:51 AM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
wish you were here
by Fred 12:38 PM
Monday, June 06, 2005
This sky keeps following me.
by Fred 12:38 PM
Saturday, June 04, 2005
"If I didn't love him (or her) so much, I could really hate him."
by Christy 7:53 PM
Friday, June 03, 2005
Scissors: gray metal blades, handles painted black, paint starting to chip so that it's speckled with gray, the blades speckled, too, but with rust, dirt, adhesive. On one, there is a small piece of tape; scraping it off with a thumbnail leaves only the an outline, suggestion of half-rectangle. One blade is more than speckled, spattered with dirt, the rust and grime of however many worked at this desk before me. Sharp, though, still sharp. At the end of that blade, beyond the point where it intersects with the other, just past the screw of the joint, are two numbers: 12 and 5. I don't know what these numbers signify -- perhaps they don't -- but on the other blade, on the reverse, there are two more: 6 and 6. Or maybe it's a 5 and 6. The metal has begun to wear thin at this point where the two blades -- the unsharpened ends of the blades -- come together. There is the suggestion of gold in the brown and gray, as if the process of cutting we were also refining, removing the rocks to find the gold underneath. The blades appear symmetrical but are not. The handles loop at the end like eyes, and one is smaller than the other to accomodate only a thumb. The handle below is a longer, not quite a circle, more an oval flattened at its bottom, built for the comfort of two fingers, a firm grip. Closed, the handles touch one another, as do the blades, but again the symmetry is imperfect. The blade of the two-finger handle overlaps the other more than it, in turn, is overlapped. The screw that forms the joint of the scissors is ordinary one side, like a tiny metal nipple on the other.
by Fred 3:41 PM
Take an ordinary object, any object, and describe it.
by Fred 3:19 PM
Thursday, June 02, 2005
I don't freestyle much but I write 'em like such
by Fred 12:30 PM
- Check in for today's topic, or offer one on your appointed day.
- Log into Blogger.
- Once the edit window loads, start the clock.
- Write for ten minutes. Then, stop.
- Select the text, press Ctrl+C to capture it, then publish the post.
- In the unlikely event that Blogger consumes your post, thank your lucky stars (and Sharon) that you copied it onto your clipboard. You're welcome.
Copyright 2005 Sharon Cichelli, Mary Ann Borer, Martha Cichelli, Blythe Christopher, Fred Coppersmith, Faith Drewry, Dan Gabbett, Ben Gibbs, Jonathan Leistiko, Josh Martinez, David Menendez, Christy Roy, Shawn Sharp, Bryan Storti, Remi Treuer, Margaret Whaley, Glen Williams, John Williams, Erik Wilson