Archive for February, 2010

back together

February 28, 2010

After the subsumption (which is what they decided to call it eventually. They decided “annexation” was almost as bad as “conquering”) all marriages had to be confirmed. Individual property after certain limit was abolished, and the new government brought wealth back to family lines, so a lot of the marriage confirmations turned out to be negotiations. Bill and Tammi had been living together for two years but had just recently broken up. The government wanted an audit of what was spent and earned during that time, and they either had to move back in together until the audit was complete, or both of their families paid a monthly fine which neither could afford.



February 27, 2010

Beat police officers respond to a calls about a large bird. They find a vulture feeding off of a stray dog’s corpse in an alley, but it flies off before they can catch it. They notify animal control and forget it. Then it’s found again feeding on a homicide victim. Their sergeant tells them to work with animal control until it’s caught.


February 26, 2010

she had planned to continue her education past gymnasium, but she was requisitioned to bear a child. First she was standardized – she changed the part in her hair to cover the scar. After the regime change, and treatment that effected partial restoration, she was gratified by religious conversion.

home improvement

February 25, 2010

Inside the model house, if you looked up at the ceiling, you saw the sky. It wasn’t a window however – and it wasn’t a video screen either. A second glance revealed that it was blotchy. A third revealed that parts of it were wriggling. The roof tiles were actually invertebrate animals with photographic qualities. Photocells would bloom on their outside skin, record a rough image, and then, in a few hours, these would migrate through their bodies to be displayed on the underside of the roof – that is, on the ceiling. It was so cool. I convinced my wife that we should install the same thing in our house. I should have known there would be problems when the contractor showed up and the first thing he wanted to do was to “Pile together the impossibilities! We may not be able to deal with them rightnow, but at least they will be out of the way and not cluttering up other thins.” I wasn’t aware that I had that many impossibilities lying around the house.

legitimate theater

February 24, 2010

The colony has been isolated from communication with the mother country for a couple of generations. They have developed a bastardized form of opera, where the orchestra consisted only of a single one stringed instrument. An impresario starts a non-musical theater based on a magazine article he finds in debris washed ashore. The colony’s king declares the new theater illegitimate because its political criticism is too overt, but it proves too popular for him to ban it without a lot of trouble. He and the impresario, former childhood friends, are turned to enemies. The king struggle to restrain himself from having his erstwhile friend executed.

December in Kentucky

February 23, 2010

December in Kentucky: it’s cold outside, but if you are working physical you get used to it for a while. You’d think the tripod would be more precarious on this incline. The doomsayers said that the city would flood, and they were right. We didn’t know how ahead we were. We blew the save. The armature at the top of the tripod rotates. If I leave the shutter open in the interim I get a curve in the photo. After rummaging in devastation, I now view eating in any restaurant, even where you have to wait in line, as pampering myself. I have a lot more time to think. For example, is there an idiom with the word ‘toothed’? if there is it’s just at the other side of my mind’s border. if there isn’t then some other kind of flame is casting shadows on the wall of the cave.

eternal mind

February 22, 2010

He worries whether to take delight in his gardening, not for its fruits which nourish the body, not for appreciation of the processes of creation, but just for the unthinking physical sensations of it, is not a sin of indulgence in the body against the eternal mind. he has been dreaming of a mysterious pursuer, with a cloak and a long walking stick and bad teeth, who is walking across the country toward him to argue that it is the body that is eternal, and the mind that is fleeting. He wishes his teacher Carn were still alive to bear his mind to for instruction. He is called to the castle to perform for the first time the duties of court formerly done by his old teacher. While there the baron directs him to take a new student, a girl.


February 21, 2010

Bonnie came to tell Nathan that the armsman had prepared a boat for them. “We could escape from this island, escape from this madman!” she said.
“Yes, Bonnie, but… have you seen my portrait?”
“Neither have I. But I want to. He says he’ll show it to me once he’s done, and he’s almost finished! We could delay a couple days. I know it’s irrational, but the curiosity is eating me up!”
Bonnie convinces the armsman to help her kidnap Nathan. They knock him out, tie him up and dump him in the boat. She doesn’t untie him until they’re far enough away that he won’t try to go back.
After they return to the mainland they break up, and he dates a series of artists. Eventually he asks each one if she could paint his portrait – that’s when the relationship usually ends. But one girl, Marion, doesn’t want to give up on him and, seeking some kind of resolution, seeks Bonnie out to ask about the experience. “Take him to therapy,” Bonnie tells her. “I’m done with him, and with the whole episode.”


February 20, 2010

A man and woman, strangers to each other, are caught in an elevator together during an earthquake. The woman regains consciousness just in time to hear the man’s final sputtering and gurgle into death. With the one hand that still moves she manages to get her cell phone out of her purse. It has no signal. She keeps checking it however, and uses it as a light source to survey the cavity she’s in, the body of her companion and her own injuries. Occasionally it does get a weak signal. but when she tries dialing she cannot get through. The battery was already low when the quake hit, but she tries to conserve it as much as possible. She negoatiates with the phone for more life, but soon it is dead. She sits in the dark thinking of all the people in her contact list, points on a star with herslef at the center. The star has gone dark. Then she hears another phone ring. It’s the man’s. She manages to fish the phone out of his jacked pocket and answers it. “Carl?” says the woman on the other end of the connection. New negotiations begin.

Inspired by Bruce Bond’s poem, “Ringtone.”


February 19, 2010

As soon as the lions’ secondary forms appeared the platoon retreated. The exhausted lieutenant dismissed the troops for the week with a defeated sigh. When he got home he was able to be witness at the birth of his grandchild calf. Then he went to the lab. “Any news on the new cloud weapon?” he asked. “It looks like the weapons dealer tried to cheat us. It won’t work as advertised. However I may be able to adapt some of its properties to a new idea that struck me this afternoon.”