A New Wet World

It’s hard to see the doorway where I entered your world but if you step just right you’ll come out the other side on a place called Earth. I know it’s a hard to believe but there are other places that live. Look at me, I’m a two meter tall bipedal mammal among floating telepathic cephalopods. It’s hard not to notice that I don’t really belong here.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be derogatory. I won’t use the c word anymore. I’m still wrapping my head around my new place in existence. Squees are not really a known entity where I came from. We’ve really got better relationships with our fellow mammals. Actually, we really don’t know much about ocean life at all, it’s pretty much our last mystery.

No Elliot, we’re not prudes we just can’t breathe underwater.

Yes Vern, that was why I was angry yesterday.

Oh jeez, Jill I can’t help how my body was made.

Anyways, y’all wanted to know what Earth is like and I’m trying to tell you.

First off, as I’ve tried to explain to you, I don’t know much about the ocean. In fact, I’m just going to stick to my city. Naptown is kind of a copy of Chicago, without the trains or the lake. We’ve got a river but it’s pretty pathetic. People are pretty good here, just don’t talk politics.

Oh right, politics is a topic of discussion that we regulate really important events to. Once we put said events there we tend to trivialize them. Mostly, we talk about said events while roleplaying as different animals. Most of want to be either donkeys or elephants. Some want to be sumatran rhinoceroses; they’re called Libertarians.

Anyways mostly if you avoid subjects of importance you can have a very friendly relationship with your fellow Hoosiers.

Yes Jill, a Hoosier is a person that lives in Indiana.

Okay look, I’m tired and I want to go home. You guys have been thinking my head off for four hours. If you see a little slit that opens to a black flat ground with yellow lines, tell me. I have to tell everyone where I’ve been. Otherwise, I’m going to get some sleep on my little rock with an ocean view. Hopefully, there will be mermaids when I get back.

The Ping That Changed The Human Race

It’s big, about the size of Manhattan, shore to shore, subway to roof access. The scientists say we can only know their intentions once their within twenty miles. We’ve had time to accept their existence; popular fiction tends to gloss over the immense amount of waiting involved in first contact. For the last five years, we’ve been preparing for them.

We’re still warring, still struggling but everyone is looking up at something we can’t possibly see yet. It’s in the far side of Mar’s elliptical orbit last I heard and I hear pretty well, I’m one of those that are going up soon. There are now five hundred active astronauts, plus five other space agencies across the globe scrambling to get every shuttle and rocket we can to meet them.

It’s the intersection of pride, curiosity and fear. We all want to get up there, we want to be the first to shake a gray man’s hand but we’re also a perimeter. The ship will have to destroy us if it wants to get to Earth without our expressed permission. It’s very possible that one of the hundred and fifty or so ships could get trigger happy and we could end up starting a brand new kind of war.

I’m part of the first line of defense and the welcoming party. We have gift bags sitting next to nuclear missiles and it’s all so damn bipolar. As one of the few deemed worthy of opening a channel, while greeting them I will be listening for a command. This command will directly result in my own death and the death of untold aliens.

All in all though, I’m just hoping they’ve learned our language because I have no idea what their’s is.

The Carnage of a Reptilian Mind

There wasn’t a shoulder angel to stop him. There was really nothing restricting Louis. He was a man free and terribly in need of a cage. First, there was a social worker and then, somewhere deeper, closer to the base of him he was an earlier man who only obeyed the law of strength. With eight dead, it was clear that murder was not a taboo to this Louis. The knife was brown and crusty but still stainless and sharp. It was sheathed hilt down, dangling from his neck.

The woman stared at him in an almost catatonic state; she was now alone with a sadistic murderer. The bus stop was painfully quite and no one was talking on their cellphone anymore. Amidst the corpses Louis was crouched and his hands were deep in the workings of a man. He looked at the deceased’s organs with that trademark human fascination.

The social worker inside Louis was fighting back against the old man. The civilized man was wining out but the battle was drowned in sirens. Louis found himself running, hoping desperately to escape the awful noise. He was quickly subdued with the help of a stun gun, a baton and four police cars blocking every exit. They left together, with Louis in a backseat.

The rest of the woman’s evening was uneventful.

A Kitchen Full Of Lust

Her eyes look towards his awesome and amazing sausage. His eyes look towards her pink and boneless breasts. Chef Tony’s eyes looked at their lurid smiles and knew that they would haunt him for sometime. Of course, the man massaging the sirloin between his knees worried the him a bit more, if only for the fact that the trousers were actually school property.

All and all, cooking for nymphomaniacs probably should have stayed just an idea in Tony’s notepad.

 

Right Foot Down, Left Hand

“Left foot down, right hand forward.”

Donna still had to say it. Even after five thousand swings and a thousand jabs, she still had to say it. It was an magical incantation now; she was sure that if she stopped saying it, she’d stop connecting. The bag was silent, but something in the way it swung back at her felt like ridicule. She answered it’s insolence with an ax kick.

“Do you own this place?”

“No, I’ve got a deal with Vinnie.”

Ned had an interrogative hanging down his tongue.

“If I see anything go wrong with the water heater or the dryer, I’m to report to him. I am also to fold clothes if they dry while I’m here.”

The dryer stopped.

“Ned, would you be a dear?”

Ned sighed, ever the domestic. As he opened the door he began folding Vinnie’s worrisome number of knee length loose knit hoodies. The basement was half utilities, half fitness. Among the heater, water heater, washer, fusebox and dryer was a stairmaster, punching bag and weight bench. Ned suddenly remembered Vinnie and his three chins. None of him had ever even deemed to lean upon gym equipment. The camera was very discrete but Ned was sure it existed.

“Can we get back to the part where you are now taking dance lessons with a man you met in a prize fight?”

“Do we have to?”

“Yes.”

“Alright, from the beginning. I accidentally broke off the letters on your Buick while being victim of a judo flip during my pursuit of justice. I had to get it fixed before you found out.”

“You had to fix the decals on my fifteen year old Buick, so you decided to try your hand at mixed martial arts in order to get the hundred bucks needed.”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly my first time. They had the promotion ready for me. Really rolled out the red carpet.”

“Which led to a giant troll about to pummel you?”

“To be fair, I had similar intentions.”

“That I don’t doubt but what I’m wondering about is why did they put you up against him if he had two feet on you and over a hundred pounds.”

“I was sort of undefeated when I left last time.”

“Ah. Do we at least know the date and time of said dance lesson.”

“I left it on your cellphone’s calendar.”

“Which you did because…” The answer was so damn obvious that Ned just stopped asking. He turned to Donna’s plying pleading smile. “Which you did because I’m taking you.”

“Sorry.”

“Oh no, no, you did at least make sure I didn’t have previous engagements right?”

“Yep.”

“Good. I’ve got one last question.”

“Yes?”

“Why do you do this?”

“This?”

“The judo flips, the swan dives out the window, all of it.”

She filled ten seconds with thought.

“Because I think I can help.”

“Good enough, I guess. Is the tank full?”

“Um, no.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

Love, Murder and the Sin of Cowardice

The rain was dying and coming back, each new wave with diminishing returns. The world was muddy and soon to be green. Carlos walked down Tenth, head to the ground as always. He was failing at being an island despite being surrounded by puddles.

The eyes are the windows to the soul and that’s why Carlos prefers to wear shades. With his blue hood over his head he moved through the world with spectator written down ever muscle of his body and down into the white soles of his dirtied kicks. She wasn’t his, she was of spheres above him but she was right next to him. Kelly stayed with him matching step for step.

He thought he would free her from this cold place, but something cowardly and selfish took hold of him. He couldn’t leave this woman’s bitten lip, her purple eyes. He couldn’t bare to see her spirit rise into the heavens where it belonged. She was his and he was hers. All prior duties were drifting into the horizon, being blown away by the turbulent pounding between his lungs. They were and as far as he was concerned they would be for as long as he was able.

As the sun came back, Carlos felt Melissa and Ellen’s gaze in the warm light. He knew they disapproved. They were free now and they knew what a sin it was to keep Kelly from her true state. He was such a shameful creature; he couldn’t even bring himself to carry a plastic bag with him anymore, much less duct tape.

A Sad Strange Cello, A Yellow Suit, A Gray Street

The sad strange cello called to her with powers that Felicity can not yet understand. The strings produce a life of their own. It was born softly and the rises came slowly. Then the bow came back to the center faster and faster still. Always with those imperfect notes, always with those near misses that almost send the piece crashing to the ground. Yet, it lives.

It goes on in sad deep resonance. Felicity begins to wonder if she will echo in time. She stares at the world beyond her two ears, beyond those two speakers. The mp3s run dry and Felicity is left in silence with no one else around. Outside the cleanliness of her plastic yellow suit the world is still and dead for at least fifty more years. The grocery store is two miles away.

There was a gas station and there were children. She can see the marks of their passing. She can even see their passing in the shadow scorched in the cement. It’s a cruel cameo that surely any child could do without. Still, up ahead is the grocery store and the gray levels are promising. Perhaps, she will find canned food, perhaps she will be a hero.

It seems silly, she used to walk to the grocery store all the time.

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