Monthly Archives: September 2017

Not with a bang but a chug

The revolution started in August. I guess that’s not really true, the gears were set in motion a long time ago.

 

Back in twenty, twenty six when oil ran dry was probably when it started up. Some people say that it was instant economic collapse. It’s odd that they can have such cognitive dissonance about something that they lived through but I guess it helps them sleep at night.

 

In reality it was slow, slow in the way a wound in the gut kills. It didn’t run out all at once see. At first prices just skyrocketed, people like me who relied on a vehicle to get to work had to take the bus for the first few months. Then they raised the prices on them at another grueling pace. By my birthday I walked to the train station for fifteen minutes then another half an hour to work.

 

I can still remember the great swaths of people walking the highway because they couldn’t afford the trains raised prices or weren’t going that way. They wouldn’t have been able to take a bus because they had all been shut down. At that time there were still people driving a car, big CEO’s and government officials.

 

It wasn’t for another year until most companies collapsed under their own weight. Many went because they were unable to keep schedules, others because they could no longer hire from out of town. But not the Oil companies, they kept chugging, they always kept chugging. Just like the steam engine symbol of Saudi Exell Petroleum.

 

The first night sleeping in a commune was what did it for me.

 

I had lost my job in the middle of twenty, twenty seven. I tried, like most, to use my savings, my four oh one kay, to keep my life afloat until it was over. Until I could find another job. Until something could restore that way of life. I thought at the time that what I had currently saved would last me four years after retirement.

 

It didn’t even last me four weeks. It’s not like I didn’t skimp by either. Bought the cheapest food I could and barely ate at all. Rent in my building went up and so did power, alongside the bus and train but I hadn’t noticed at the time. I managed to get an extra week in my apartment because the property owner could never get the police to show up and eventually hired some internal security.

 

I’ve gotten used to seeing those security badges they had flashed before they knocked me out and left me the alley. With my stuff littered throughout but mostly in the garbage that was when I swallowed what was left of my pride.

 

That first night was more than unsettling. I knew that many people had turned to this but I had never seen myself as well off so I had expected myself to be one of the first to come to this.

 

There were several abandoned buildings in the city but even they were watched by the security teams. The commune members that found me trying to sleep in the park took me to the warehouse where they were undisturbed.

 

I guess it was just more bad luck that had made it that night, the night that the warehouse was raided.

 

There was screaming, a lot of screaming. The security teams bashed and dragged out everyone they could before the rest of us made it out the back. They had waited there of course and did much the same for those running away. They didn’t knock me out, once I saw them outside I fell to my knees and sobbed.

 

There wasn’t a trial or a hearing, the commune and I were all immediately imprisoned. They tried to say that it was ‘resettling’ camp or some shit like that. But it felt like school again, they can say it’s not a prison but you still have to wear a uniform and you’re not allowed to leave.

 

I spend five months there, eating grey slop for breakfast lunch and dinner, working most of the day to pay for it. The food had some kind of suppression agent, during the nights I never dreamed and my thoughts were always muddled.

 

To this day I don’t know how I got out of the cycle, eat, work, sleep. My body just rejected the food some how, I refused to eat or drink for two days. By then the guards had noticed this and tried to get me away from the rest of the inmates but somehow I got away from them. I got away from the camp, it wasn’t really constructed to stop me.

 

I found my way to the outskirts of the city and had to fend for myself. No-one lived out here anymore so I wasn’t disturbed for at least a few weeks. Soon I found more people like myself who had walked out of the camps. A couple of people and me soon became crowd and me.

 

Eventually we grew brave, we went back to the city and kidnapped some zombies from the camps. Sure enough after two days without the grey slop they started asking questions like what they could do, who was in charge, one of the others who had walked out under their own power took command. This was probably around August.

 

In our recklessness we tried several more times to free more zombies. It had worked for while, saved probably about two hundred people. But the last time we did it was one time too many. We were ambushed by some guards. Half our group weren’t just captured, they were killed on the spot. Our leader was among those killed, I’ll never forget the look on her face because it was the same blank stare of one of the zombies.

 

It had been a while since we had last came in, they had since built a series of TV screens around the empty streets. They flicked on as we had managed to get away from the death of our raiding party. I couldn’t hear what was said because I was running but I remember what I saw before the announcement they were making. That relentless symbol, it had changed since I last saw a glimpse of it but the feeling was the same. The moving, chugging steam engine of S.E.P.

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Hop skip and a jump

Madeline’s mother had always said ‘You can’t tie the rainbow to the Galgadorf if you don’t have Pixie blood.’

Madeline could remember bouncing her head up and down in agreement as a child, as though she had just heard a proverb of ancient wisdom. She wanted to say that it was before her mother was in an institution, that she realized that she had been insane the whole time. But she knew that she had continued to believe it until her mother was stabbed and killed by another inmate.

Her mother had not been a Marbh, not even just a regular Pixie.

At least that’s how it seemed for about sixteen years.

The penny dropped and her world was shattered about six months ago. When her garden was overrun by refuge Pixies. Luckily they could change their size down to about that of a medium rat but the fact that they had brought their own homes along did not help with the issue of space.

It came as much as a surprise to the Pixies that Madeline could see them as they had not found anyone outside of Scotland that could. When asked why they were not in Scotland they had made the same face and proceeded to rant about how they had a right to their homeland and how the bloody fay had tricked their ancestors out of the deal between magic and man.

For the first few weeks she had believed she had lost it just like her mother. She went to several different doctors and got enough brain scans to give her the cancer she slightly hoped she had. But it turned up nothing. Her psychiatrist had got her to take extended leave after she described the Visual and auditory hallucinations she was having.

She was pretty sure she wasn’t getting her job back when she finally made it back. Not in the least due to the fact that her house being broken into and her blood being strewn around the place. But also because she had gone to the Tír nAill for about a seven days which in real time accounts for about fourteen months. She hadn’t checked the date in the real world yet but she assumed she still wouldn’t be as old as she felt.

The Pixies had taken her on a wild ride. It definitely wasn’t their fault that the fairies bribed the MSA into eliminating the last remaining Pixies at her house. And they could have left her somewhere but she couldn’t help herself from tagging along after they had literally teleported her to the United Kingdom.

Since then she’d had her own fair share of fights. They met up with a band of Clurichaun refugees on the way and Madeline had used her unusual knowledge of alcohol brewery to show them how to make their own wine. They granted her their only weapon, a sword they had once stolen from a king.

Madeline had used the sword to defeat the Far darrig and best Una’s best soldiers in combat much to her own surprise.

But now she felt her adventures where near the end. Most of her Pixie friends were captured by the Fairy Queen, as she made sure that the Rainbow would never be sealed. She would have complete access to the gold and would eventually be able to buy the human world out from under them.

Madeline made her way to the Galgadorf with five remaining Pixies, each of them dead. You can’t tie the rainbow to the Galgadorf if you don’t have Pixie blood.

Madeline grabbed the red and violet ends of the rainbow. Her mother was right about everything.

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Taidan for fear

I think my upstairs neighbor is dead.

There is a pungent smell seeping through the decayed seal between our compartments. It could have just been an animal stuck between my ceiling and her floor. Although the only things I could imagine getting in there would be a pigeon or seagull but I’ve never seen a bird get this high. A rat would have had to climb from the bottom and they probably wouldn’t get past the environmental filters on the first floor.

I’ve been out of town the last few weeks so I couldn’t draw any further conclusions.

The ceiling didn’t look any different, no stains or liquids. My bare walls and floor were just as normal. I entered my kitchen, nothing out of the ordinary. My refrigerator greeted me and told me that it was empty except for a few condiments that weren’t due to expire for a few more months.

I told it to order a restock and it complied.

We didn’t really talk, me and my upstairs neighbor. I’ve only met her once or twice in real life. Once, when she moved in because she wanted to apologise for the noise the moving bots made when they brought in her stuff. The second time and maybe third time was in the elevator when I had come back from somewhere.

I replayed those memories from my datastore.

She was a beautiful woman, in that traditional kind of beautiful where her smile was infectious even when she was hiding it behind half glances and her dark hair. I couldn’t find a memory where she told me her name. She had a tattoo on her shoulder, it was a character from the Taidan language.

I didn’t know that we managed to translate the dead scripts we had found on their homeworld.

My onboard translator gave me the meaning without me even asking. It meant fear, but in like a substantial noun kind of way instead of just a concept. I turned to leave the kitchen and my refrigerator advised that my groceries would be delivered shortly. I told it to pick them up from the mailslot as always.

I left my apartment and went up a flight of stairs.

There wasn’t any police tape in the corridor or over her door physically or in the Augmented Reality space. I was kind of hoping there would be, because if someone had been found dead and it wasn’t a murder then I would have seen it on the newscast no matter where I was.

I knocked on her door, there was no answer.

My AR flicked on as I requested and I sent a virtual knock there was no response. I asked the central computer if this room was occupied but I wasn’t allowed to query other compartments information. I did a quick check on Facebook to see if I could find her page, she didn’t appear to have one or it was private, I wouldn’t blame her.

I put my hand on the access panel, it beeped and blinked red denying my access. The gears in my arm spun up quickly and I crushed the panel.

Once the door was open the smell spilled out into the corridor. In my AR I could see that this floor was now on security alert. The police would be here shortly even if I hadn’t already alerted them by using my arm like that in the building. I took a step inside and the lights flicked on. She was there on the ground surrounded by blood soaked carpet. Her apartment filled with modern furniture that was sprayed with blood.

I made sure not to disturb the crime scene as I knelt next to her.

She was definitely dead, her skin a pale purple and her head and arms were contorted. Must have been dead for a while as her body had started to swell and parts of her were turning green. With the way she had landed, face down, I could see the back of her head under her hairline. There was no memory core interface, some people had it further down their back but her dress was ripped open and there was no sign of it.

I don’t think she’s ever had a memory implant, she wouldn’t have been uploading her conscious to the cloud.

Her tattoo was gone, it was cut from her body, I couldn’t see it around the room but I wasn’t making any more steps to limit my disturbance. The smell had long since been filtered out by my internal bio-hazard detection. I used my AR to bring up a list of compounds my nose detected, all the signs of death but also faint traces of Cocaine and Heroin. Not illegal but definitely curious, a fleeting high when compared to the kind of experiences augmentations can give.

She wouldn’t be able to be regenerated without a memory backup, she only had one life.

I wonder why someone would want to take it away.


Leesandra is probably going to sit down for a little while guys. I think I may have gone into it half-cocked again but I really don’t want to reboot her again. So we’ll leave her where she is until we can piece together a plan.

In the mean time we’ll be working on Whiskey and Maeve (I hope).
And just exercising my writing muscle when ever I can with what ever I can. This means that there are going to be a lot of short stories on here,  a lot of them won’t make complete sense and may or may not be part of something bigger. I hope you enjoy this.

In other news its my birthday so Happy Birthday to me.

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The Meaning

Yeah, still on a snag with Leesandra at the moment so here’s something completely different


 

I remember a dream I had when I was younger, where an Angel told me the meaning of life. It wasn’t a particularly vivid dream, I only think it was an Angel because I remember bright white light, smooth lips and a feeling of serenity. I don’t know what they said to me either

 

Sometimes I wonder if maybe the reason it’s so vague in my mind is because I was incapable of comprehending the divine. That either the voice was too much for me or the words themselves were.

 

I’ve thought that maybe if I could remember the words I could have been the next messiah. Knowing the meaning of life, giving hints to it in the form of a religious text because I could not speak it aloud. Then I think that I couldn’t be a messiah, because that normally means you are a martyr as well. But I guess if I knew the meaning of it all maybe that would make me okay with it.

 

That the confirmation of the angels existence would make me fear death less.

 

Not that I actually fear death, I just don’t want to die early.

 

There is that school of… philosophy… I guess, that you only reason people fear death is because they don’t want to miss out on anything. That’s probably true for me hence not wanting to die early.

 

But this goes on to say that you missed out on all the stuff that happened before you were alive so why would care about what happens after you die.

 

That didn’t sit right with me. I care about missing out on that too. Seeing the great library of Alexandria, the pyramids and the great wall of China in their heyday, the original plays of Shakespeare or the music of Bach or any other great artist. And those are just the things that have been recorded or are mostly around today.

I remember a joke that I heard when I was younger as well. I forget the punchline but it was about three men who get to make a wish. First man wishes for money, second man wishes for youth, sometimes I think the last man wishes for both but that’s not particularly funny just a comment on how most wouldn’t really think about it and just ask for the first thing that came to mind.

 

Sometimes I think I would wish to know what that angel said. But today I think that’s probably short sighted. When I think about all the people in the world who are living, creating great buildings, writing beautiful songs, who are happy, angry, sad or afraid. Maybe if I knew the words she spoke I could affect those things or be the one who made them happen.

No, that’s not enough. I would wish to be a god.

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Writing Prompt Response

I’ve been trying to stretch my writing muscle. I don’t want to get side tracked with another story so I’ve been looking through some writing prompts on reddit and see which ones give me some inspiration.
So here is the thread: The oldest creature in the universe meets the youngest one.
From: Dioksys
Clearly there is also some inspiration from H.P Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu which I recommend (Not the movie, nor the game just the short story). Also Lovecraft’s other work, just as highly recommended.


 

Jeremiah kicked and screamed, in vain of course, his mouth taped, his legs and arms bound together. All he could manage was to smash himself against the sand and mossy rocks that he lay against. The sound of the waves drowning out his curses and shouts.

 

His wife sat across from him, Mary’s crystal blue eyes twinkling in a flood of tears. Her face covered in snot and a mess of her own hair. She let out muffled moans as a hand gently caressed her extremely pregnant belly.

 

Jeremiah looked around him, hoping to see help coming from the beach in the form of Caleb’s truck. He saw the truck and saw Caleb but he wasn’t salvation they had already got to him. Caleb stood among the others the sickly green hood not fully covering his face unlike the rest of the converted.

 

Daniel removed his hand from Mary’s stomach and used it to flick his hood off. He had a shaven head now, just like the paintings Jeremiah had drawn in his drug fueled hallucinations.

 

Daniel clumsily fumbled inside his robes and slid out the sacrificial dagger. The blade made of bone and handle of obsidian.

 

“It should have been you Jeremiah.” Daniel pointed the knife at him accusingly “But your mother was blind to the teachings. Begin the celebration!”

 

The crowd surrounding them became a buzz of humming and indecipherable words. Jeremiah shook wildly but did not break free.

 

“Great One, I am but you humble servant.” Daniel closed his eyes looking to the sky speaking as loud as he could without shouting. “I do not ask for your boon or any worldly possession, we have gathered the pieces to your prison and may now set you free.” He held the dagger in both hands outstretched. “Hear me Great One come to the sound of my voice the door will be unlocked.”

 

Daniel stabbed the knife down into Mary’s abdomen. She let out a scream the blew off the tape on her mouth. Jeremiah froze as Mary’s voice faded and her eyes closed.

 

The knife flicked downwards and blood spilled out onto Mary’s shirt and coat.

 

Lightning cracked only a few metres off the coast. The clouds started to swirl, only just visible in the light from the town and flashes of white. Hot summer rain fell like a sheet.

 

Jeremiah’s vision blurred with a mix of rain and tears that he couldn’t wipe away. He continued to struggle, rolling onto his back. He closed his eyes to stop the rain from pounding them. The chanting and humming continued around him, it was loud and fierce now.

 

He opened his eyes for a moment to see the sky fill with light again. The clouds filled the night but there seemed to be gaps, in the moment he had his eyes open Jeremiah could the night sky slithering around the clouds like a serpent.

 

There was a crash, the sound of a dam bursting all at once and water picked Jeremiah off the beach and slammed him into metal then deposited him on concrete.

 

The rain had stopped just as it had come on. Jeremiah opened his eyes but was not sure if he could see. There was only blackness the lighthouse was dark and all streetlamps were out. The water drained from one of his ears, he could no longer hear the chanting or the waves.

 

A bolt of lightning hit the wharf illuminating the beach and sea. What Jeremiah saw his mind could not grasp immediately, something huge, pulsing, moving, breathing.

 

His eyes started to adjust to the darkness. The thing was large enough to reach the sky, or was it reaching down from the sky. It was a dark inky blue and there were small dots in it that twinkled like stars.

 

Jeremiah heard a scream, the crying of a baby, his daughter.

 

Another boom of thunder and then the hulking mass spoke with voice that rivaled it.

“Well, hello little one.”

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