Archive for September, 2011


September 30, 2011

We measured the acceleration in cubits per hour per second. When we got off of the vehicle we just assumed our clothes were contaminated. We soaked them in the brown liquid, and sure enough the leeches soon appeared, fastened on to the fabric with their eternal lick. The copilot suddenly grew distressed because he had forgotten his ring in the pocket of his coat, which was now in the tub. Before any of the proctors could stop him he had plunged his hand into the murk and fetched it out. It appeared unharmed and unblemished. One of the proctors snatched it away suspiciously. Later tests proved it was made of rhodium. That co-pilot was in deep trouble.




September 29, 2011

The alpha male of the pack of wolves always relied on his friend for advice, to such an extent that everyone called this friend the beta male, or just Beta. The leader flew into a rage when he discovered his friend Beta mating with one of the females. He attacked Beta and maimed him, but didn’t kill him. He then cast Beta out of the pack. When over the next few days the female was still moping he decided he couldn’t bear to look at her anymore either, and he cast her out as well.

A short time later the pack was attacked by another troop of wolves of much greater numbers. Members of the pack convinced the alpha that he once again needed Beta’s advice. There was no fear of Beta usurping leadership of the pack. Beta couldn’t defend himself in battle since he had been crippled by the alpha. But he would have the best strategy for them all. The alpha grudgingly admitted they were right. He kidnapped the female to make sure of Beta’s cooperation, and once the battle was won, he led the hopeful Beta to her corpse, and then finally killed him. Like Dr. Yueh, Beta was glad it was finally over.



September 28, 2011

The war machine had sat in Sam’s backyard for decades. His grandfather had actually used it, but only for home patrol, not in battle. It had become a rusty piece of sculpture, but Sam was dedicated to raising it from the dead. He used sulfuric acid to get rid of the rust, and initially he had a hard time procuring enough of it. His patronage allowed a chemical plant that everyone was happily expecting to shut down to survive for another two years or so, heavily polluting the area. The neighbors came to Sam’s house angry about that, but by then he had the war machine operational, and that quieted them down.



September 27, 2011

I sit in the mud, stupefied. I have a sudden craving for salmon. I knew when I emigrated that I would occasionally have cravings for my native food, but I had no idea it would be this powerful. I can visualize every aspect of the meal. I can picture it in my head like a 3D computer model – I can zoom in, I can rotate it, I can examine it from every angle. I can play the sequence of bringing it from the plate to my mouth. I can pause this movie, play it backwards or in slow motion or loop a particular clip of it, such as the moment when I bite into the food and its juices flow onto my tongue, and I can feel the saliva surge into my mouth, like it’s pouring from the insides of my cheeks.



September 26, 2011

When we reached the train station we stopped in our tracks, and so did our argument. We hadn’t noticed the crowd standing outside, and they had let us approach the building, and almost enter it, without warning us. Or maybe they did warn us, but we had been too busy arguing to notice. The floor inside was covered in trash mixed with human filth. After peering into the gloom for a few minutes i saw a figure crouched in a corner.

“I wouldn’t go in there,” said a voice from the side.

I turned to the member of the crowd who had spoken. “Why not?”

“Because he’ll start raving again.”

“Has someone called the law yet?”

“That …man in there is the law.”



September 25, 2011

Her rosefinches were all talonless. They had stubby, padded feet. She bred them that way. They fed mainly on the seeds of her lilac bushes. In another part of the garden she trained horses. All of the horses must have been affected by the smell of those lilacs. One of the horses started eating them. The finches would rest on him as he stood by the bush eating away. Then they followed him, or rode him, back to the stable, and picked the seeds out of his manure. Eating the lilacs seemed to make him more distracted, so she put a fence between the horse and the bushes. So the finches started bringing small lilac branches to the horse.



September 24, 2011

Roderick was a student at the boarding school who came to apprecntice at Dr. Porter’s office. Whenever he got the chance this boy would boast about his family’s wealth and criticize the laziness of the lower classes. One day on a trip to the butcher, Dr. Porter sees Roderick coming out of the shop with a package. The doctor learns from the butcher that since his family cannot afford to send him an allowance, the boy does menial work at the school including picking up butcher and grocery orders, in exchange for a stipend.


formal dinner party

September 23, 2011

I was there the night she miscarried. None of us knew she was even pregnant. I remember they served duck. I was wishing her ill because of her arrogance when she clutched her belly and keeled over. After he had helped her from the room, her husband returned and urged us to continue eating. But it was as if the food had acquired another spice.


remember these instructions

September 22, 2011

You must find a suitable house and commission it for conversion into a convenience store. As you explore the surrounding neighborhood, be sure to thoroughly scan the ambiguous, so that it will not disturb the admixture. Your manner of address may be halting, so long as it is accurate and complete – you must know all of your speeches by heart. On off days you have no special duties outside of self abuse.



September 21, 2011

Pops had noticed the grazers’ manure started to smell bad, and the consistency was wrong. He sent me out to check the drinking trough. Sure enough it had started to coagulate. I brought out my pipette and restored the solution to proper mixture. I decided to keep an eye on it for the rest of the day. I grabbed a pad and sat down in the pasture to do crosswords. In the early afternoon I spotted an animal I had never seen before. It had the flexible trunk of a ferret, but it was as big as a skunk. Maybe its fur made it look bigger. It scurried up to the trough and stuck its snout in. Sure looked like that was what was screwing up the mixture, but I wanted to be certain. It took me a couple of weeks but I finally got friendly enough with it to follow it back to its den, where there were some of its young. I took one of them home to test its blood. It made a pretty good meal, too.