Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Dark World (001 of 100)

Chad wiped the blood from his eyes, but his racing heart quickly replaced it.

The wolf's teeth shone black under the buzz of the paper factory's parking lot lights.

"Please" Whispered Chad, "Please, let me go. I'll do anything!"

And the wolf was gone.

The wind seemed to whisper: Soon, son, soon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Warmup Part 04

 Peter stepped gingerly through a door that opened into a basement full of sunlight. Rubbing his eyes under a pair of heavy sunglasses, Peter looked around. Same basement he'd stepped out of while it was dark.

"You've been gone a long time." Taara shouted from above him. She was wearing a different, frillier, gauzier, bleaker outfit than when he stepped out.

Peter quietly closed the heavy wooden door which faded away: A slow dissolve like a wafer of sugar  in a sink full of warm water.

Peter sighed, his temples suddenly tight.

The pit in the middle of the burned out basement was gone, now; a cracked cement floor and chunks of support beams and window frames scattered about in its place.

Birds chirped.

The sky shone blue.

"Going to be a hot one, today, I think." Taara said and, slinking onto her belly, stretched an arm down, to help Peter up. She wiggled her fingers invitingly. and grinned. Her sunglasses were half dollar mirrors in ornate, spiraling, copper frames.


Dusting himself off, Peter looked at Taara over his sunglasses. He said, "Thanks."

"I haven't been here the whole time." She replied with a raised eyebrow and impenetrable lenses. "You've been gone three days."

They stared at each other for a few moments. "Oh." Peter said.

"Oh indeed." Taara replied. She added, "At least the door stayed. I thought maybe the assailant and the keys would get pushed up as the hole disappeared, but no such luck."

"Never is." Peter replied,

"Then I worried the door would vanish before you were back." Taara poked at Peter's chest. "Call next time." She admonished with a smile.

Very slowly Peter said: "We should go back to my place." He asked, "Do you mind driving?" and added, "I have a crushing headache, suddenly."

"Sure thing." Taara said, and slid her bare shoulder under Peter's arm, propping him up on herself as they crutched to Peter's car, parked in front of the ruin.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Warmup Part 03

The Octopus sat across from Peter in an overstuffed, antique chair. The pillows were gold and the wood was carved with simple, modern grooves up and around the backrest. The wood was redwood, stained deep, deep chestnut. The Octopus was bigger than average, its tentacles (as you know them --they're actually referred to as arms, but that's a strange mental image: a blood red octopus with *arms*. Very strange. So we'll call them tentacles and things will be more consistent, won't they?)

The Octopus was bigger than average, its tentacles hung down off the pillow and two of them held an ornate, delicate-china teacup. The teacup had lilacs printed on the side,  they and the tentacles enhanced the color of the other.

The room had no walls, was instead an endless black surrounding the two chairs. Despite the lack of a fireplace, the two chairs were lit by a warm, softly dancing firelight.

"Cozy" Remarked Peter to the Octopus who nodded and took a sip from the teacup. An octopus, especially The Octopus, sipping from a teacup is quite the sight. First, an Octopus's mouth is on the bottom of its head; second its mouth is a beak. So. Sipping for an octopus involves the use of its six other limbs to tilt its head-auf-body up and back, such that the cup can be maneuvered and tipped back into its beak. This is also rather exhibitionistic, exposed undersides being what they are.

It is thus understandable that before taking the sip, The Octopus, using sign language to speak (who knows how Peter could understand this? Call it dream logic and please let's move on? Assume that when it is written, "The Octopus said,..." That The Octopus is, in fact using a tentacle (arm) or four to create the sentence, in approximation, in American Sign Language.) asked a certain level of forgiveness of Peter, which he gave with a grin.

And, sorry, of course, yes: An appropriate(ly) small tea table, set with a teapot and another cup and saucer set. The cup and saucer: both delicate-china with lilac prints. These details, this tea set: in the middle of Peter and The Octopus.

Indelicate sip finished, The Octopus asked Peter how he was doing. Peter explained his situation politely, with enough detail so as not to offend, without getting graphic or overplaying his hand (Being dead, being of course an advantage when handled with the necessary finesse.)

As they caught up, through their light chatter and amiable banter, The Octopus slipped its tentacles into and out of the teacup, slowly, politely; as one may pick spinach from teeth at a presidential dinner, or relieve a particularly distracting ear itch. The Octopus was always active in their conversation, even as tentacles slowly, graciously, (maintaining eye contact ) spiraled around the cup, into and out of the top, quietly dripping tea into the void-floor or onto a particularly lacy napkin, now and then.

Another thing about The Octopus, and all octopods: their tentacles are also tongues.

"But, if you're here, that means she isn't." Peter said, gently setting his cup and saucer back on the table. "And I was really hoping to see her again. I'm in need of some services."

"Oh?" The Octopus raised itself up on a few tentacles.

"Oh indeed." Peter smiled, "But no. I'm afraid I need her particular talents."

"A shame."

"Indeed."

The Octopus made an approximation of a human sigh. They both chuckled. The Octopus said, "Everyone has their gifts, eh?"

Peter said again, "Oh indeed."

The faux firelight dimmed. The Octopus asked Peter a question, which he answered honestly. When dealing with Octopods (and any other creature) answer their questions honestly. If you'd rather not answer, do say that, don't be evasive, do be effusive for the delicacy of a tabled, loose, faux-pas.

Peter's chair was a single piece  of ergonomically curved steel. It was warm when he had sat down in it. It was now cooler.

The Octopus told Peter the last place his lady friend had been seen, with the caveat that rumors are as the sky is blue. After this, they moved back to their small banter for a while, quietly enjoying the length of the teapot and, as is their custom, never filling their own cup. Finally,

"Goodbye."

"See you later."