Archive for April, 2015

further down the river bend

April 30, 2015

I was wary of the dog, but I decided I needed him. I set myself a goal to get as many of the logs down to the sawmill as I could. It gave me something to shoot for, something besides my own survival to think about. I made me feel less desperate. On the second day out from Sean’s camp I saw the white flat translucent things, like pillowcases, wrapped around the logs. After three days they were gone as suddenly as they had appeared, and the dog would no longer have anything to do with me.


kitchen shrine

April 29, 2015

After the contamination it was thought that the ones who survived had a natural immunity. but it was just that they happened to eat food prepared a certain way.


April 28, 2015

“Hello again! It’s Thursday, isn’t it. The usual then? You’re giving me that blank stare again. Why are you always so surprised? Do you really not remember all of the other Thursdays you have come into my store? I don’t know why I’m surprised by your surprise, honestly. It’s just, well, a little old by now.”

“No, this is my first time here. In fact someone else just gave me the address. Look, I have it written down in a note in my pocket. That’s not in my handwriting.”

“That’s what you say every time you come in here! The same fucking thing! OK, whatever. I have what you’re looking for already laid out on the counter.”

“..Did someone call ahead? Maybe the person who gave me directions…”

“Sure, sure.”

curio clouds

April 27, 2015

An ox with four horns stepped out of the fog on the road ahead. We stared at each other for a half a minute. He twitched his tail, turned and walked back into the fog. Maybe there was a farmhouse up ahead. I left the smoking car and followed it. I couldn’t see it, couldn’t even hear its hooves on the pavement. I hoped it hadn’t left the road. Maybe the fog was dampening the sound. I quickened my pace, but couldn’t find it. The only sign was a cloud of biting flies that might have been taking out on me their frustration at the ox’s disappearance.


April 26, 2015

Maybe it was some kind of radiation or some chemical in the air, but all my plastic turned to jelly, which meant I had to rehouse nearly all of my equipment in wood. Meanwhile I have found someone willing to visit me and teach me the local language, but he refuses to speak for less than thirty seconds at a time, which it difficult to learn useful phrases let alone individual words.

estimated tax

April 25, 2015

As soon as the gilded petals were unfurled, they absorbed the reagent in the atmosphere. Everyone’s attitude shifted. What had seemed charming a moment before, now seemed offensive. Was there a foul odor in the air, or was there something missing? It was meant as a gift, but had been misconfigured. How could they know the particulars here, from the foundation so far away?

secondary stress

April 24, 2015

“Not to worry,” he said. “The tides will be lower this time of month.” Perhaps he had lost track of time while he was in debtor’s prison. He had certainly lost any semblance of argumentative reason. If I had looked at his manuscript before agreeing to his final escapade I would have realized that. The Lack of Congruence Between the Emotional Lives of Man and Beast, Proven By Means of a Computation of Melancholy. But that he had secured release with an advance paid on its publication proved that there was a publisher even more insane than he.


April 23, 2015

“Your interactions, as you know, are tracked. Yours have been low for a long time, as you have been warned. Perhaps you ignored the message about this? We can see that you only read about one out of five of those sent you. At any rate your interactions levels have fallen low enough to classify you as antisocial.”

“It’s nice to be official.”

“Yes, well. As was mentioned in several of these messages, this neighborhood has a reputation for its community spirit, a reputation that it takes pains to protect.”

“That’s great… …?”

“…And community spirit requires a certain level of interaction from all of its residents….”

“I’m being moved.”

“That’s right.”

His new quarters were near a rancid swamp. He couldn’t decide if agitating for better conditions would be ceding to their requirements of sociability, to which his contrary nature made him averse, but he couldn’t think of another way to improve his situation.

the propeller

April 22, 2015

She talked constantly. Whenever she got the chance, whenever she met anyone, she kept up a steady stream of conversation, centered on what the other person was doing. In her stream of speech she considered all sides of any issue that came up without deciding on any particular one as correct. Was that perspicacity? Was that impartiality? Was it just the most successful way she had found of keeping the conversation going? Was there a difference, if the effect was the same? That was the hypothesis that she was testing in this project for her degree in anthroposemiotics. Whatever her motivations, she got other people talking. She got them thinking. She got them acting.

unexcused petiton

April 21, 2015

The hairs on her body tingled at the eerie pronunciation, like something she had forgotten long ago. “Yes,” the stranger said from behind their mask, as if in response to her thoughts, “Encapsulation often means removal. In that way it is more brutal than equivalence.”