Archive for June, 2015

longing to see

June 30, 2015

Marty and Pat worked together on the morning shift, guarding the prisoners as they planted in the fields. Pat was being transferred to afternoons at the forge. He was nervous after the stories they had heard. The first time they met for lunch after Pat started his new shift, he looked wan. Marty asked if the stories were true, and Pat said, “I’m under orders not to talk about it.” They met again a week later, and Pat was cheerful, boisterous. Marty asked if he still couldn’t talk about it, and Pat just laughed.


reworked for the open sea

June 29, 2015

It all started when I heard a rustle within the pile of cut off branches. I didn’t get a good look at what bit me, and a test of the saliva was not conclusive. The doctor told me, “I am going to prescribe certain tenacities. Use them sparingly. Put them away once the condition clears up. A summary of the sanctions will be sent to you by certified letter. I will not explain them here.”

stunned intelligence

June 28, 2015

Individuals that had been emasculated then emitted spores, in a more diffuse lovemaking. Diffusers were sold that spread them like aromatherapy, but there was no market and they were only on sale for a year or two before becoming a curiosity in second-hand shops. But these devices were the inspiration for the bombardment vessels that now loom like floating octopuses in the dark sky.

rain of frogs

June 27, 2015

Yes, there have been documented cases of it raining frogs. Of course any explanation will probably involve freak weather – or for the more faithful, divine intervention. But what both of these explanations discount is the essential, sine qua non, effect of the decision making by the frogs themselves. In every case so far investigated, they got themselves into it, and cannot escape blame.

algebra of translation

June 26, 2015

Out of college, the group of friends formed a company that researched and produced texts that would not be transitive in translation: that is, translated from language X to Y, then from Y to Z, would produce a different text in Z than if translated directly from X to Z. They did not consult or sell anything. Their only output was articles published online or in journals. They were funded by grants, but only one of them knew anything about where exactly the money came from. The others did not ask.

measured reserve

June 25, 2015

“I got beat up not for asking for extra, but for not asking. What kind of sense does that make?” He complained to his wife. She didn’t reply, only undressed him and inspected the bruises, to make sure the thugs she had hired had followed her instructions.

internecine affirmation

June 24, 2015

That was the year that we had a double month of July. It was a little confusing because some states took another of each day in succession – the 1st, then the 1st again, then two days of the 2nd; while others went through the whole month once, then started again on the 1st; and others repeated one week at a time: 1st through the 7th, then the 1st through the 7th again. The first method obviously played havoc with the work week, but officials figured (correctly, it turned out) that schedules would be thrown into chaos at any rate, and this gave them the flexibility to schedule the civil defense drills in a way that people retained the material.

kneading trough

June 23, 2015

He introduced a new additive to dairy products. You sprinkled it in with a little twist of the wrist, or at least that’s how they marketed it. He got the idea while working as a metalworker’s helper when he saw how some of the acid baths were prepared. Five years later his lawyers were arguing that though the product admittedly did cause the growth of tubercules on the skin, these were in no way cancerous.

initial attack

June 22, 2015

They cut the mushrooms into transparently thin slices to make them last, since they were so hard to obtain. They no longer cooked it with anything, for fear the taste would be drowned out. They served it on its own, resting on a crouton just to make it easier to pick up. The way to eat it was to put it on your tongue and let it dissolve into its own taste. If you wanted to put it in an ensemble with other flavors of a dish, you did this either before or after the other food.

A visitor told them that the jade jars in which they were storing it changed its taste, which painted their chests with the ice of fear. How could they test this?

mixed in

June 21, 2015

He drew the objects out lightly, careful not to touch the box itself. He didn’t want to be radicalized. His hands were wet afterwards. All he had to test himself was an archaic thermometer. The receivers had already fanned out, still surrounding. Should he unschedule the walk before them? What did it matter. Even if the test was objective, he could always lie.