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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.


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Oddments

(viewed 1345 times)
A pink-and-orange scarf. The head of a long-eared god (all the better for hearing prayers). The umbilical of a long-dead pumpkin. Straw coolie hats worn by acorns before they fell. The base of a table lamp.

Every horizontal surface and every sparse section of wall is an altar, an offering to the senses and sensibilities, something to provoke and evoke and invoke. Blank space enforces a rhythm, a musical rest in synaesthetic terms.

These things we invent in collusion and conjunction, these properties we nail together, looking for the synergisms to pull them, and therefore us, to higher heights. These are the high-flying cranes to whom we pray for intercession. If they fly high, are they not between us and the Almighty? If they fly closer, won't He hear them before us? Or can we build a tower directly to heaven and deliver our messages--our desires and criticisms--in person?

There is no angel or prophet who has not had Satan tamper with their respective messages as soon as they express a desire that can be twisted. It falls to the source of all knowledge and wisdom to repair the damage of vanity. And why not? That is what the Almighty is good for.

If we do not create our vanities, our whims, our fantasies of ourselves, we will express nothing and He will have nothing to correct.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

17th Aug 2008, 22:39   | tags:comments (2)

Velveteen

(viewed 1488 times)
Velveteen will never make me real.

It doesn't matter how sick my boy gets, no matter how hard (and how long) I prayed for scarlet fever. For leukemia. For whatever mitochondrial disease Madeleine L'Engle gave Charles Wallace.

Nothing works. Nothing so far, anyway.

I've read six different versions of Pinocchio. Four different versions of the Pygmalion myth, not counting that 80s flick, Mannequin. But I've watched that twice.

They're all just stories. I hate stories now. But I read them all, just in case.

The crickets all shut up when they hear me coming. The only fairy in the house is the boy's dad, who seems to be overly fond of his wife's stockings and only gets hard if he can sneak a picture of David Hasselhoff into the room.

Magic wands in the house: about twelve remotes for various and sundry entertainment devices and some rubber-headed monstrosity that plugs into the wall and says Hitachi on the side.

I've hit all the buttons. Believe me.

No luck. I'm still fake. A plastic toy.

But I have a box cutter.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

15th Aug 2008, 19:27   | tags:comments (3)

ahh...

(viewed 1339 times)
When God started creating the world he put gold into South Africa. Finding he had some left over he gave it to Colombia. Brazil received emeralds and tropical fruits. Again, God had some left over and gave them to Colombia. He put coal into Appalachia. Colombia got the leftovers. The Middle East got pots full of oil and the remainder was poured into Colombia. Flowers went to the South Pacific islands but there were some of these left over too, so God gave them to Colombia.. along with some surplus minerals including iron and nickel.

"Wait a minute," exclaimed a watching angel. "Do you realise that you're making Colombia one of the most powerful nations on the planet?"

"Yes," replied God, "but don't worry. I haven't given them their politics yet."

19th Century Colombian satire



(this shot also comes with another story ....but that will go in my blog later)

Posted by Dhamaka

14th Aug 2008, 15:23   comments (9)

New Coworker

(viewed 2415 times)
This is my new coworker. We share a desk.

She's possibly a little young to be working. Her final molt will replace her missing leg and probably tone down the racing stripes on the dorsal surface of her abdomen. And then she'll be fully grown.

Her name is Latrodectus mactans maria dei maternae, or words to that effect. I may not have heard her name correctly due to the excitement surrounding her introduction.

Right now she's on guard duty, hanging out with my little desktop toys I play with while my dual-core multiple Gigahertz processor workstation does what it does best, which is show me slowly creeping status bars. She's somewhere over there with Optimus Prime and Starscream and the smorkin' bone and the REDRUM smorkin' labbit and the ten glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs, currently in their "four legs good, two legs bad" configuration.

It's probably not fair to her hard-working nature to make her presence such a low-key thing. I should probably make her a name plate for her side of the desk. Maybe include her title as well. But maybe that would draw too much attention to someone who I know prizes her privacy....

Or maybe I should just put a card in front of her that says, "It behooves you not to fuck with the black widow spider. Thank you."

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

14th Aug 2008, 03:29   | tags:comments (2)

Clockwatcher

(viewed 1475 times)
One of the reasons I like the idea of atomic clocks is that on the atomic scale -- on the quantum scale -- it's next to impossible to tell what time it is. On the quantum scale, anything that can happen can unhappen. More bizarrely, anything can happen as long as it unhappens so quickly just about no one had a chance to notice. There's no way to tell past from future.

Time, as experienced on the "I think it's about time for a sandwich" scale, is an aggregate of the bazillions of "just abouts", measured as the infinite APR interest rate on borrowing matter and energy from the void, from the future, paid back in one infinitieth of a second so you don't get kneecapped by Maxwell's Demon, Choronzon, Yog-Sothoth, or whoever it is who is the Keeper of the Gate these days.

The interest, the vigorish paid on the virtual particles borrowed from the nothingness ... this is where time and space come from. This is the source of the expansion force that pushes us apart and into the future.

Atomic clocks count the markers called back in by the void, reclaiming the tiny tiny tiny bits of glue holding lumps together that could only have been nailed together by a supernova.

It was an impressive feat at the time, an awesome spot of luck, but the house always wins in the end. It's predictable enough to set your watch by.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

12th Aug 2008, 23:35   | tags:comments (4)

The competition

(viewed 1360 times)
Even in the faint glow of the candle I couldn't deny her sexiness.
It oozed around us both. Wrapping me in it's heady rush. Teasing me into further heights of awareness.
I was about to lean and initiate the kiss when she spoke.
"SO which do you prefer. Your PSP or me?"
I looked at her in shock.
My mind did a quick compilation.
My PSP:
Dependable.
Never complained.
Got turned on in 0.0006 seconds flat whenever i wanted it too.
Hadn't cost me a dime ever since our first meeting.
Never once yelled when i hit it.
Or hit me back in turn.
I looked at her waiting stare.
And got up and left.

Silly girl.
Why didn't she just let me kiss her?

Posted by carlang

12th Aug 2008, 09:54   comments (4)

Goose Step Duck Walk

(viewed 2246 times)
"We can't do that one, I said. There's no music playing."

"Also, there aren't any chairs."

"We could just sit on the ground."

"How does that rule someone out? There is, pretty much by definition, enough ground for everyone to have a seat."

"Last one to sit down is out."

"Not doing it. You know how it'll go. There'll be an argument every time. It'll be worse than Cowboys and Indians."

"Also: No Music. NO MUSIC."

"We could sing."

"And the one singing would pretty much always be the first one to sit, you think?"

"We could ALL sing."

"And how would we all know to stop at the same time?"

"Here we go 'round the mulberry bush! The..."

"Oak. And SHUT UP."

"Okay. How about 'Button, Button, Who's got the Button'?"

"I hate to even ask, but does anyone have a button? And if you do, don't tell me where you're carrying it."

"..."

"..."

"Thought so. I don't know why we bother."

"I know! Duck, duck --"

"Who are you calling a duck?"

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

11th Aug 2008, 23:37   | tags:comments (8)

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

(viewed 1644 times)
The moon follows me around. It likes to keep me in its line of sight.

Yeah, I know, that's silly and paranoid. Not true.

The truth is that there's a giant interstellar form made of gravity-gnarled darkness, well and truly hidden in the blackness of the nearby night sky. It holds the spinning moon in its twisted limbs, using it for a lantern, and it likes to keep me in its line of sight.

When we send rockets to the moon, we're like ants climbing on its body, as unaware of its true scope as ants are unaware of the shape and purpose of the table at a picnic, unaware of the ankle they're traversing until they get swatted. We fling our little ships into the lined curves of its swirling body, trying our damnedest not to tickle....

The moon follows me.

What makes me so special, so worthy of attention? Here's the only answer. You're a kid, following some ant around with the burning focus of a magnifying glass at midday. What makes that particular ant so special?

Same damned thing. Nothing.

[*]

Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

10th Aug 2008, 20:01   | tags:comments (6)