Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

The Church of the Small White Square.

June 22, 2017

The congregation fell silent as the lights inside the church dimmed to black. All eyes were focused on the pastor standing at the front of the darkened interior illuminated only by a projected image of a small white square on the wall behind him.

Suddenly the square moved up towards the ceiling. “Uh”, the pastor called out while pointing to the square, his voice rising in pitch.

Then the square moved down towards the floor. “Uh,” the pastor called out again, this time his voice descending from a high whine to a deep baritone.

The square again moved up towards the ceiling and the pastor’s voice again changed in pitch from low to high.

The square moved back down towards the middle of the wall before it suddenly increased in size to cover almost the entire wall. “AAIIEEEE!” The pastor screamed and immediately turned away from the wall before the image exploded into tiny projected squares that flew in all directions.

Then a blue square appeared on the wall and rose towards the ceiling. “Uh”, all the men in the congregation said in unison with their voices rising in pitch.

The blue square lowered towards the floor. “Uh”, all the male voices responded, their pitch in united descent.

This went on for a few more minutes until the blue square rose to the middle of the wall and suddenly enlarged before exploding. “AAIIEEEE!” all the men screamed as they ducked to avoid the flying pieces of the blue square.

Now a pink square appeared and moved up and down and this time all the women in the congregation responded with their voices varying in pitch according to the square’s movements, and when it too exploded, all the women screamed in unison as they dodged the flying pieces.

Finally, the white square returned and the entire congregation rose to its feet. They watched in silence as the square grew larger and larger and soon it filled the entire wall before exploding. Then colorful confetti came drifting down to the cheering congregation, with its participants jumping gleefully with their arms raised as if feeling rejuvenated by the squares.

Then the lights inside the church came back on to illuminate the room with the ecstatic congregation still on its feet.

“This concludes our service for this morning,” announced the pastor. “May the blessings of the squares be with you all.”

The song that destroyed the world.

June 15, 2017

It all started innocently enough with three guys getting together for an evening of rap. The Saturday Night Rapdown, they called it.

One of the guys, some loser named Ian, had been working on his answer to the classic 15-minute Rapper’s Delight with the epic Thuggers De Life that stretched to a full 30 minutes. Unfortunately Ian’s song would win him and his friends global fame for all the wrong reasons.

Thuggers De Life was a brutal song that spared no victims. It attacked just about everyone under the sun, specifically people who had jobs, homes and families. Ian had none of those, which infuriated him, so he rapped of his plans of revenge through committing destruction and violent crimes. Yet Ian wanted to write the song solely as a means of blowing off steam. The last thing he wanted was this song to be heard outside the room where it was performed. He himself knew it was bad and was careful not to perform it where someone might hear it and become offended by its hideous lyrics.

During that evening, Ian performed Thuggers De Life in its entirety, not aware that fellow rapper Steve was recording his performance. Steve was so impressed that he uploaded the video to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Hate comments poured in as outraged viewers demanded to know where Ian lived, and Steve innocently gave out Ian’s address and phone number. His actions ultimately cost him his friendship with Ian, as well as his own life.

There were repeated attacks on Ian’s house as well as the buildings where his parents worked. Steve was seen as a collaborator and was later hunted down and killed. The group’s DJ Dave was burned alive when his house was torched down by arsonists. Ian himself was killed when his house was firebombed.

Ian’s song was singlehandedly responsible for the breakdown in relations between the United States and the rest of the world, and terrorist attacks escalated to the point where world leaders were assassinated. The world was thrown into turmoil as governments collapsed with the advent of World War III. Millions of people were killed and countries were ruined beyond repair. Thuggers De Life had just succeeded in bringing forth the end of the world.

Guys without talent.

June 15, 2017

The nervous rappers stood on the stage in the empty auditorium before the panel of celebrity judges as the cameras rolled on “Planet Earth’s Got Talent”.

“Well, what did you think?” Ian asked. “Did you like our performance?”

What performance?” the judges asked.

Did they just say that?

“We called you back out because you didn’t do your audition,” said Howie Stowie. “When you were on stage a few minutes ago you guys just made a lot of noise and then left.”

“But that was our audition,” Ian protested.

“It was?” Howie exclaimed. “Roll the tape.”

On the large screen behind the rappers played the recorded performance of their audition just moments before. Ian and Steve both rapped as Dave stood on stage holding a boom box. When the playback ended, Howie’s mouth was open in mock horror.

“So that was it,” Howie said. “Tell me something. How on earth did you guys make it past the local auditions?”

“There were no local auditions,” Ian replied. “We’re the only ones from Florida so we were allowed to bypass the local auditions and go straight to you guys.”

“That explains it,” Howie said. “Let me ask you something. What’s the name of this show?”

“Planet Earth’s Got Talent.”

“And do you guys have talent? No. That was pathetic. If you’re expecting us to allow you in the competition, you’re only kidding yourselves. A retarded gorilla has more talent than all of you. I’m sorry, but you’re out. All of you. Get out. Go home. And bring some talent next time!”

“No. There won’t be a next time,” Mighty Klump said. “I don’t want to see these guys again.”

And that was that.

“Dad, take that paper bag off your head. It’s not safe for driving.” Ian said. His parents had picked him and his friends up at the airport the day after their disastrous audition.

“Retarded gorilla,” Ian’s father said. “I am ashamed. Everyone knows who you are. Everyone knows who we are. Did you see that YouTube video playing at the airport? It’s gone viral! Millions of views within 24 hours? The shame, oh, the shame!”

“DAD, TAKE THAT PAPER BAG OFF YOUR HEAD!” Ian screamed. “YOU’RE DRIVING!”

But it was too late. The car crashed through a guard rail and flew off the road.

“Retarded gorilla,” Ian’s father muttered as the car continued its flight. “I’d rather this car crash and explode into millions of pieces than be seen in public again.”

Seconds later, Ian stood in line outside the Pearly Gates along with his friends and his parents. Ron was still wearing a paper bag over his head.

“Dad, take that paper bag off your head!” Ian hissed.

“Retarded gorilla,” Robert muttered. “I’d rather be at That Other Place than to be seen here with you.”

“Request granted!” shouted St. Peter, who had overheard Ron’s remark.

Seconds later, Ron was at That Other Place where it was too hot for paper bags.

“Retarded gorilla,” Ron muttered. “I’d rather be -”

Then Ron realized he was alone.

“So you’d rather be someplace else?” sneered The Big Red Guy With The Pitchfork. “I know just the place for you!”

Seconds later, Ron was in a dark room, but he could sense he wasn’t alone. He could hear a steady growling as not one, not two, not three, but twelve angry gorillas circling him and demonstrating their fierceness in spite of their mental disabilities. Alas, Ron never said a word again, for minutes later he became retarded gorilla shit.

The Jai Alai Chronicles.

June 13, 2017

PART ONE

It was five minutes before game time, and all the visitors were placing wagers on who was going to win the first game. They had 8 players to choose from, but who was the best?

One person knew. Or he thought he did. He was so confident about Player 5’s victory he placed his very life on the line. This man came up to the cashier window and placed his bet. “Here’s a twenty on 5. I also would like to bet my cat, my house, my luxury yacht, my basset hounds and everything I own that good old 5’s gonna win tonight! Besides, he’s got a 2-5 chance of winning!”

After placing the wager, the confident man went to his seat and boasted that 5 would surely win.

The game started. The man sat back calmly, expecting 5 to win.

5 lost the game.

Silence. All eyes in the auditorium fell on the shocked man. He rose slowly to his feet and let out a bloodcurdling scream.

PART TWO

The second game began.

This time, the person to get in trouble was a loud-mouthed heckler who placed his week’s pay on Number 7.

“Come on, we’re talking money, not brain stems, you cockaninny!” he screamed. “Play the hell out of Number 4. Show him what Jai-Alai is!”

He rose to his feet.

“Hit it! Sling it! Fling it! Hey Number 4! How can you play like that when your fly’s undone!”

Player 4 stopped, looked at his pants, and suddenly the pelota struck him in the head. 4 fell to the ground, unconscious. He came to and protested bitterly.

Suddenly, a voice boomed over the intercom. “Will the heckler who made 4 lose please come up to the playing area?”

The heckler stood up and walked into the playing area behind the fence.

He was ordered to stand right in front of the wall. Then, to the audience’s amusement, Player 4 flung the pelota at the heckler, and the ball struck his head off his shoulders.

The traffic light on Elm Street.

June 10, 2017

There’s one traffic light I absolutely dread during my commute to and from work, and that’s the one on Elm Street.

So far I’ve been lucky. Lately it’s been staying green long enough for me to pass through the intersection without incident, although I always catch a glimpse of an old man seated on top of the traffic light while watching the flowing traffic below his feet.

On my way home from work, though, my luck ran out.

The light on Elm Street was red.

And when the light turns red, it stays red for a long, long time. To help deter temptation, there are twelve police cars hidden behind the nearby bushes, waiting and eager to reward any violators with hefty traffic tickets.

Nothing to do do now but wait for the light to change.

And watch the old man sitting on top of the traffic light.

Except now he’s got a book.

I watch as he opens the book and flips through the pages as if searching for something. Then he stops his search as his face lights up with a smile. He casts a menacing glare at me as he begins to read out loud.

“Once upon a time, there were three little pigs…”

Truly, I cannot recall a more horrifying predicament.

Checking in with Kevin.

June 10, 2017

“Ready, Charles?”

“Let’s go.”

Robert and Charles walked into Kevin’s empty office and removed the floor tile in the corner behind the desk to reveal a ladder under the floor descending into the darkness below. One by one they climbed down the ladder to the bottom where they encountered a door next to a numeric keypad.

“What’s the code?” Robert asked.

“2-1-4-9-3.” Charles replied as Robert tapped the numbers in.

Beep.

The door slid open to reveal a short hallway with an elevator at the other end. It too was guarded by a numeric keypad.

“3-3-6-0,” Charles said, as if reading Robert’s mind. Again Robert’s agile fingers tapped the keypad in nervous anticipation.

Beep.

The elevator doors opened and Charles and Robert stepped in. There was only one other floor for the elevator to go, and Robert pressed the button to begin the descent.

A short while later, the elevator stopped with a slight tremble and the doors opened to reveal a busy underground office with cubicles everywhere.

“Look,” Charles pointed. There, seated at one of the cubicles, was Kevin, working at his computer while going through a pile of papers on his desk. Just hours ago Kevin had been fired from his job as director of the Information Systems department at the hospital and now here he was working in an office of a mysterious underground office building. This only added to the ongoing confusion.

“What’s he doing down here?” Robert wondered. “I think it’s time to pay him a visit.”

Kevin was too busy working to notice he had company. When he finally saw Robert and Charles approaching his cubicle, he let out a terrified yelp.

“Robert? Charles?” Kevin stammered. “How did you get down here? You’re not even allowed down here!”

“Hello, Kevin,” Robert smiled. “To answer your question, I was cleaning out your home folder on the server when I noticed a rather interesting library of documents about this place, including how to get here.”

“Not exactly a safe place to store information about a top secret organization like this one,” Charles added.

“Visitors, Kevin?” asked a deep voice behind Robert. “I didn’t know today was open house.”

“No,” Kevin sheepishly replied. “These are my friends.”

“Friends,” said the older man now in view, “who have just committed a serious security breach and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, provided they live long enough.”

“Not so fast,” Robert spoke up, “Maybe we can work out a deal.”

“What kind of deal?” snarled the older man.

“Well, according to the documents we read in Kevin’s folder, your organization uses our hospital’s network for its operations, which often slows us down to the point where we can’t get anything done on our end.” Robert explained.

“Apologies,” offered the older man while casting an angry glance at Kevin. “But your network does use the outdated protocols essential to our security. While hackers keep moving forward to hack the newer networks, they leave older ones like yours behind. That alone spares us a huge expense in our budget.”

“That explains why Kevin never signed our purchase order requests to upgrade our network,” Charles said. “Ultimately his job was to keep the network unchanged, a move that eventually cost him his job. Kevin, I had no idea you were really a double agent.”

Kevin hung his head in shame, his secret life finally exposed due to a careless move on his part.

“But it does make sense though,” added Robert, “but why don’t we do this. We’ll upgrade our network and give you our old one.”

The older man smiled. “For a bunch of intruders, you sure drive a hard bargain.”

For the next several months, the deal was carried out. The hospital finally upgraded its network to the latest hardware and donated its old equipment to the secret organization under the hospital. Even though Robert and Charles were the only ones who knew of its existence, they were still clueless as to what the organization did.

After the network was up and running at the organization, Robert and Charles took a vow of secrecy and severed their ties with them forever. And that meant losing their friend Kevin forever as well.

One fine evening at the dinner table.

June 4, 2017

The mood at the dinner table was uncharacteristically tense. Ian stared at his empty plate while his parents stared at him, wondering why he was so quiet.

“So Ian,” Ian’s father spoke up. “What did you do today?”

Oh, I had Steve over and we hung out in the kitchen and I cooked bath salts, baking soda and vinegar to make shnulk and then we smoked it until we were berserkly high and then we were passed out on the floor for the rest of the day.

“Nothing,” Ian muttered.

“Oh,” replied Ian’s mother as she dished out another helping of rice that was cooked in the same pot Ian used to make shnulk and when she tasted it she suddenly became berserkly high and then passed out on the floor for the rest of the day.

Ian the prisoner.

May 28, 2017

Ian sat alone at end of the table in the prison mess hall. His eyes were focused on the uneaten food in front of him but he could feel the stares from all around the room. He tried to ignore the glaring eyes but failed. Finally, he could take no more.

“Some welcome this is,” Ian shouted as he angrily rose to his feet. “Here I am, forever without my home, my family and my freedom. I thought there was some support system here to help me cope with my new life in prison, but no, you all detest me because of my crime. You even stoop low enough to dump a bucket of acid on me during the night. LOOK AT ME! The acid left me bald and permanently scarred! I look like Freddy Krueger! Is this how you welcome the new arrivals?”

“Um, that wasn’t acid,” one of the nearby prisoners spoke up.

“THEN WHAT WAS IT?” Ian shot back.

“Water.”

“WATER?? Then how -”

Ian stopped. He reached up to his face to pull off the Freddy Krueger mask. Then laughter began to ensue from around the mess hall.

“Oh,” Ian sighed as he sat down. “That’s different.”

Protecting yourself from doggy bag thieves.

May 18, 2017

Tonight I had a scrumptious dinner out that left me unable to finish my meal, so I asked for a box to take the leftovers home. After leaving the restaurant, I was suddenly attacked by a thief who demanded I hand over my doggy bag “or else”, so I had no choice but to comply with his demands, not even remotely interested in what he meant by “or else”. The thief then ran off with my food while chortling into the night. I looked around for any witnesses and was shocked at the sight of them getting robbed of their doggy bags as well.

After I got home I did a quick search online and found out that I was not alone in my ordeal tonight. There has been an alarming rise in doggy bag thefts in recent months and it’s having a negative impact on restaurants across the country. As a result, fewer people are dining out and instead are choosing to get their meals from nearby dollar stores.

It’s not that the restaurants haven’t noticed this problems. (The fact that the word “problem” was presented as a plural in the previous sentence is an entirely different problem altogether.) Desperate to curb the thefts, some of them attempted to reach a deal with the thieves to share their leftover food every night upon closing, but the thieves only responded in unison, “SERVE US STALE FOOD? THAT’S DISGUSTING!”

Other restaurants have hired security personnel to patrol the parking lot, but that approach drew complaints from patrons who said the presence of the security officers took away from the romantic mood of the evening. So the restaurants hired security personnel who could patrol the parking lot while playing violins. That proved doubly effective in keeping the doggy bag thieves away, who apparently can’t stand the sound of violins.

One restaurant in New Orleans has even developed a special box with a spring-loaded mechanism that shoves the food into the thief’s face upon being opened. Unfortunately the box was prematurely put into use before a method to disarm the mechanism could be developed, thus resulting in many a messy mealtime at patrons’ homes.

It will take some time before a universal solution to the problem of doggy bag thefts will be implemented, but you need not let that stop you from enjoying your evening out at your favorite restaurant. Park as close as you can to the front door away from bushes or storm drains where thieves have been known to hide. Make sure your appetite is sufficient enough where you won’t need to take any leftovers home in the first place. However, if you must take your leftovers home, bring along a large overcoat so you can keep the bag hidden during the walk to your car. Avoid looking around the parking lot for thieves, which is a signal that you have a doggy bag on your person. And don’t forget your violin.

Ian wants to go to Orlando.

May 18, 2017

“Mom?” Ian called out.

Wait for it.

“Can I go to Orlando?”

Bingo.

“No, Ian,” Karen replied.

It’s been like this all morning.

Ian sat on the couch in the living room with his guitar on his lap. Nearby was a suitcase packed with clothes, ready for his trip to Orlando. But Karen wouldn’t let him go. He had no job, no money, no car and no driver’s license, yet he thought he could borrow his mother’s car along with her credit card and go anyway. Heck, he was even planning on taking a few of his friends who wanted to go to Orlando just as badly as he did.

He just doesn’t get it.

Then, to Karen’s great annoyance, the guitar music started up as Ian played some crudely formed chords to accompany his off-key singing.

ready to go
our lives are on hold
tired of waiting
please
keys to your car
ride the Hulk
our lives will change
what are you waiting for

gotta go
Dueling Dragons
ready to go
what are you waiting for
deprived childhood
suitcase by the door
Universal Studios
we’ve waited long enough

By the time Ian finished his song, Karen was cringing.

What kind of song is that?

“Mom?” Ian called out.

Wait for it.

“Can I go to Orlando?”

Bingo.

“No, Ian,” Karen replied.

It’s been like this all morning.

A few minutes later, the awful guitar music started up again before Ian’s dreadful voice joined in.

right now
we’ve waited long enough
haven’t grown up yet
chilling on the City Walk
Back to the future
Universal Studios
haven’t grown up yet
give us your money

Universal Studios
give us your money
Great Scott
what are you waiting for
Islands of Adventure
tired of waiting
Great Scott
Islands of Adventure

What kind of song is that?

“Mom?” Ian called out.

Wait for it.

“Can I go to Orlando?”

Bingo.

“No, Ian,” Karen replied.

It’s been like this all morning.