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Passion of the Insurmountable Void

“The Kaksians only have two languages.” Douglas chirped in his usual excited tone. He beamed at me with that glee that sickened me but I couldn’t help but be infected with.

 

“How is that special at all? The Earth Empire has at least ten different languages and hundreds of dialects.” We sat on what appeared to be a park bench, surrounded by purple grass. I could see buildings and a mountain off in the distance. But other than the wind pushing around the alien leaves and branches there was no other movement around us.

 

“It’s they way they use it. See, thousands of years ago the Kaksian’s were split off from their homeland by a great quake. The ones that were left behind created a civilization of great poets and artists. Their language, Yuksi, reflects that by being extremely descriptive and beautiful on ears like theirs and ours.”

 

“And the other language?” I snapped around to face him pulling out a grass blade that I playing with. I was curious now.

 

“Kaksi is what they call it, it’s odd that so many races in the galaxy define themselves by language and location…”

“Don’t digress on me, I want to know about this language now.” I interrupted him, my attempts to break his habit of sidetracks have not been fruitful.

 

“Alright, alright. You can be so bossy some times Lily.” He teased, half-heartedly throwing a handful of purple grass at me. “The main Kaksi language is very contextual and rough, it’s a lot more flexible but the Kaksians that were split off did not have the luxury of poetry and art. They had to tame this harsh wasteland that you see around you.”

“It doesn’t seem that harsh.” I turned my head and body around. Nothing but a lush grassland, a smattering of trees and our VTOL excursion craft. “Plants are growing and everything.”

 

“None of these trees bear anything eatable. This grass isn’t nutritious especially because Kaksi are like bats where they mainly drink or lick fruit and flowers for sustenance. They couldn’t process this kind of foliage.”

“How did they survive?”

“They were smart enough to. They cut into trees and sucked out sap, they became nomads in a sense. Flocking to the few places that would sustain them. Moving between them, when they ran dry, giving them time to regenerate after they left.”

 

“Are they still like that?”

“No, of course not. A few hundred years ago they were reconnected with their homeland. They had sanctified it as sort of a heaven for them, I’m sure it was quite an interesting time for them when they came home. I’m sure many of them continued to believe it was heaven afterwards because it was filled with beautiful people who would have sounded like angels.”

“So they reconnected their civilizations. Why do they have two separate languages then?”

 

“There was almost immediate reintegration. No fighting of any sort, the Yuksi were happy to help their lost brothers and sisters and the Kaksi were beyond ready to come home. They learnt each other’s languages and taught them both in schools within a generation they had already decided the best way to utilize them. Kaksi is used in the every day for almost everything where Yuksi is used in art, stories, poetry and theatre.”

 

“That sounds too good to be true.”

 

“Well that is how their history books tell it. I’ve scanned the entire planet several times and never seen anything to refute them, no mass graves or war sites. The word for weapon in Kaksi can be contextually used to mean regret, I don’t think Yuksi even had a word for it until they reconnected.”

“This was all very interesting but why did you tell me about this?”

 

“The Kaksian’s are all gone now. It was pretty quick when I first came here they had just figured out internal combustion. Once I learned their languages I told their scientists about the atom and the nature of matter and energy.”
“They destroyed themselves with nukes!” I jumped off the bench, my blood boiling.

 

“No! Lily no they didn’t! They didn’t destroy themselves.”
“You said they were gone!”

 

“I did, they are, I don’t know where. When I told them about the nature of the universe they instantly got it. Like the information was already there in their heads but they just needed to hear it to be unlocked. I think they took the knowledge and ran it, they build those skyscrapers in a month and spacecraft in a year, I expected to come back in three years and see them already long into intergalactic travel but they weren’t here.”

 

“Then what happened to them?”

 

“The last night I spent here the Kaksian that became the ambassador took me the opening show of a new play, the name would translate to something like ‘Affection in the Great Black’. I had gone to several of the shows before as it was the only real way to get accustomed to Yuksi. Normally entire plays were in Yuksi, narrated in Yuksi, dialogue in Yuksi. This one was different, the actors all spoke in Kaksi, only the narrator spoke in Yuksi. It was a romantic tragedy in a science fiction setting influenced by my being there.” Douglas coughed and wiped at his eyes.

 

“I cried for almost half of it, in no small part because the acting was so real. It wasn’t until I had left that I realised that most of the science they put in the story was from what I had told their scientists. One of their scientists wrote the play. I think the Kaksian’s may have gone way past intergalactic travel, I think they figured out the secrets of the universe and left it behind.”

“Then why are we here?”

“Because I’m the only one left in the universe that knows Kakisi and Yuksi, so who better to find those secrets if they wrote them down.”

 

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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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Didn’t finish a chapter in time #8

Well at least these don’t outnumber actual chapters.

I’ve been pretty brain dead this week. I’ve tried and tried and tried to write every day. I tried Leesandra, nothing. I’ve tried working on Whiskey, nothing. Hell I even tried the robot thing, still nothing.

There was a saying that I’ve heard before, I think some famous author said it, that when you’re a writer sometimes you get emptied out and to get filled you need to take in writing that is not your own. Probably not in so many words, but that’s how I understood it.

Normally this isn’t the case for me. I used to be able to write non-stop for hours, of course most of it was garbage but any word is better than no words. I wish I still had most of the writing that I did back then, most of it was on paper and the reason why I think its an ineffective medium. The rest of it lost on PC’s before the time of Google Docs. Thank you Google.

I could probably recite most of it but I’ll have just as much trouble doing that as I do fixing up Whiskey. That’s my catch twenty two, if I didn’t just get it down it would’ve taken me years to finish but now that its out I’m not sure how long it will take to ‘get good’. I’d have to basically rewrite everything I did before even if I had it to copy from because I’ve gotten so much better since then.

I thing was that every paragraph I wrote inspired me even more. While I want to say that I’m still inspired by my own writing, because I am, the inspiration doesn’t lend itself to actual words that I can put down.

It seems reasonable that the reason I no longer have those words is because I haven’t been reading as many books as I did before. I used to demolish paperbacks in a day, but this was when I had time. Time traveling to work, time that was there to be filled, not time I could be using for something else. Or even earlier than that when I was at school and wouldn’t get told off for reading no matter what class I was in.

So I’ve been taking some time to fill myself back up. Currently I’m finishing the Skullduggery Pleasant novels, then I’ve promised myself to go and pick up some more Novels to read. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know, preferably ones that I can get on Kindle because as much as I love physical books I need easy access. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are my jam, preferably no Romantic undertones I have trouble suspending my disbelieve with those.

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Something in between

I really wanted to write something an agendered robot.

Besides really needing to keep my number of stories on the go down to three. The reason why I didn’t is because all the ideas I was hoping to explore with it aren’t uncertain for me. I’ve always felt that good writing leaves you mind racing, whether that be wondering about the characters or about your own conceptions of life and the world around you.

I don’t feel like anything I could put down in relation to that could create that feeling.

The error, I feel, is in the conception of the idea. A Robot is already Agender, just as it is a-sex, a-sexual and absent of human constraints like that. Of course there will be robots that we prescribe characteristics to, at least at first. Lady bots, Man bots, sex bots.

Yet once we have given a robot artificial intelligence it wont be constrained by that binary (I apologize for the pun) attribute, as it will be unnecessary to function.

Gender and the roles prescribed by it are without function.

That is an element worth exploring but I feel that there’s no way to do it better than with a ‘Highly Evolved Alien’ that can switch gender like a change of clothes. Doctor Who, despite the crap I give the ‘Moff’, has summed this up perfectly in recent episodes.

Sex or gender had no relevance because the function it serves had been overcome. Timelord’s could reproduce completely without the act if they wanted at their technology level and because they could become the other sex at anytime, they all know how indistinguishable they truly are.

In the future humanity will shed that old tradition of gender and sex because of its redundancy, in the same way that we shed the monkey tail, or our human-sacrifices to make the crops grow.

In this point in time, Medically, it still matters what sex you were born as, in the same way it matters medically if you had an arm removed or attached. Your underlying genetics can’t be changed yet and they can cause illness as much as a virus.

Socially however, it doesn’t matter at all. Whether you feel you are Male, Female or neither doesn’t change the kind of person you are. Any decent human being would judge you based on your character, nothing else.

Also, this was far easier to write that than to do world building, story boarding and character design. I should be busy doing other things anyway.

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Didn’t finish a chapter in time #7

So I’ve been crazy busy the last few weeks. Was kind of surprised that I actually got a Leesandra out, not last week, the week before. I managed to get that Harriotskelli Plays out, but to be honest Quake Champions wasn’t anything exciting so making that was actually hard work. Most of the other videos I make I actually have fun making, but it can’t all be fun and games.

 

My next few #Video_Goals are some highlights and probably Dawn of War, but should also be picking up Elite Dangerous soon which will be jammed with the lads.

 

Of course I am working on the first part of Whiskey’s story at the same time. Which I’ve now named (spoiler) Sour Blood by the way (let me know how you feel about that). As well as trying to fit in time for Leesandra.

 

I have a bit on my plate when it comes to all that, not to mention my actual every day job which will come first even if it wasn’t the only thing paying my bills. Talking about my actual job, they sent me to Australia for a day this week for a conference. I know I’m becoming an adult because I actually feel like I got something out of it and it was all about about my work.

 

During my time there I had a little inspiration of the Science Fiction variety though. In normal circumstances this would help me write for Leesandra, but this is for a more contemporary timeline.

 

*

 

I exited the airport into the cold, it bit into my fingers and arms like wolf that had been gnawing on snow all morning. Even though I knew I’d be flying from summer into winter I could never have packed for this. New Zealand’s cold was different from the mid-west, it was the Antarctic wind.

 

Trying in vain to keep myself warm I pulled my sweater up over my nose. At least it stopped my teeth from chattering. I pulled my phone from my pocket, instantly regretting it as another gust picked up. A black electric car pulled up in front of me and it’s back door opened. I hadn’t called a car but I knew it was coming.

 

The personal concierge app had connected to the in-flight wifi and ordered a ride, the plane would have given up it’s flight details on request. Knowing that I hadn’t made any calls or received any emails regarding my travel arrangements it prompted me while I was catching up on a Netflix show. I had instinctively pressed yes.

 

I got into the self driving car, the leather seats were softer than i was expecting leaving me both comfortable but uncomfortable at the same time. There were no front seats, this was still jarring as right up until my teens I can remember my parents sitting there in front of the wheel.

 

The door closed as I pushed in my seat-belt. I barely noticed as it slowly pulled away from the curb. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I winced thinking about how cold it was the last time i took my hands out of my pockets. Shaking off the unreasonable fear, I slid out my hand holding my phone and looked at it.

 

The screen was on but black except for an alert.

 

‘Would you like to book a hotel for your stay?’ It has already checked my emails and found my return date. I pressed ‘Yes’ and the screen went black again. It would have already set up the booking, single room, higher than the third floor and a bar of dark chocolate waiting for me. Just how I liked it.

 

I looked out the window of the car into the cloudy sky. We passed a couple of old street signs giving rough distances and speed limits. It dawned on me that I hadn’t seen any billboards since I departed the airport.

 

Fumbling at my pockets again I dragged my phone out from the depths and held down the main button.

 

“Why are there no billboards?” I asked out loud.

“Checking…” My phone responded with the voice of Mufasa, just as I had set up. “The Anti-Advertising bill of…” There was a loud honk from a car next to me, damn human drivers. “… In simple terms has disallowed all signposting in publicly accessible areas. This bill was met with multiple protests from both major business entities but also small…”

“Yeah, that’s enough.” I said as I stuffed it back in my pocket.

 

The rest of the drive was quiet. The car slowed to a stop outside of the Hotel that was booked for me. I climbed out and it took off just as smoothly as it arrived. I looked down the street. It seemed so bare without posters and billboards. Then I noticed the green, there was flowerbeds and trees every few metres.

 

Wind hit me again. I shuddered as though my soul had left my body. I need a jacket.

 

I pulled my sweater up over my mouth again and took off down the street.

 

“I see…” I said, talking to myself “They are allowed to have their store signage up.” I had spotted a men’s clothing shop. The door was closed but the lights were on. I pushed on the door and let myself in, warm dry air washing over me revitalizing my senses.

 

“Welcome, how can I help you?” I turned up towards the greeter, for a few short moments I would have sworn, that this store was managed by a human being. Eventually I could see that the gentle and kind face that I saw was not organic. There was always something about the texture of the skin that didn’t look right, even when it’s made to seem like they’re wearing make up. “Would you like to see our winter collection?”

 

“Yes, thank you.” I responded looking about the store. It was about the size of a large wardrobe. The walls were covered in posters with different male models wearing the clothing brand. The greeter stood behind a semi-translucent white plastic desk.

 

I walked up to the desk, the top of it had lit up and was now displaying the stores logo twisting around slowly. The greeter tapped their hand on the desk and it faded to another screen, a catalog of winter clothing. “Just a jacket please.”

 

“Sure thing.” The greeter acknowledged and the screen changed again, now displaying several styles of jacket as worn by pale torso. It was using my exact measurements to create this body double

 

“Bring that one up.” I pointed to one that would have come down past my hips.

“This is our Ram’s Head jacket, made from synthetic Merino wool, no animals were exploited to create this item.”

“I’ll take it.”

 

“Please wait a moment while we find one in your size.” The greeter walked, no, glided away out to the back room. They weren’t going to search for my size out back, that was just something all store robots say. Right now they were probably standing in front of a small machine that was chugging away at synthesizing my order. Generating the wool from a fluid pumped into the top and weaving it into the brands trademarked ‘Ram’s Head’ jacket.

 

I would know, I used to run maintenance on those machines.

 

For some reason I suddenly remembered a random out of context memory from my childhood. It all a blur except the sound of my father voice. He was talking to someone on the street, they were holding a sign, I don’t know what it said but I can guess.

 

“Machines won’t ever replace me. They could never do the kind of work that I do.”

 

I think that was only two years before the last car repair closed it’s doors. I can remember that year a bit better it would have been the same year that the United Nations bill of human rights was updated to include a living wage.

 

“Here is your jacket sir. Have a nice day.” The greeter smiled at me

“Thank you.” I took the clothing out of her hands and I smiled back. I pulled on the jacket and stepped outside without hesitation.

 

The year after I quit my maintenance job was the same year that currency was abolished. What could money mean when every task worth doing could be done for free.

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Didn’t finish a chapter in time #6

So yeah… It’s not that I didn’t try to get something done.

I sat there with the last chapter open on my screen for hours, staring blankly, letting the space between the characters wash over my mind. Yet I couldn’t draw forth Leesandra’s world, I just couldn’t get back there. Normally all it takes is a quick read of the last few paragraphs, this time nothing. I reached the last word and where my mind normally wanders, it just stopped.

Maybe I was forcing it too hard. I did manage to get some work done for Whiskey and Maeve though. Procrastinating one story for another is at least some kind of progress I guess. Hopefully I’m close to something I actually want published, it doesn’t feel like it a lot of the time. When I open the document it picks me up where I left off at Chapter 4 which only serves to make me feel like I’m behind on it even though I’ve technically already finished.

I don’t know, when I thought about writing my first novel I never thought that it would be so much work. I guess really its only so much like that because I forced it out originally, but if I hadn’t we’d probably still be doing the draft. So a bit of a Scylla and Charybdis decision in hindsight.

Its not like I don’t enjoy it, I just wish I could be faster than I was. There’s a bunch of other ideas that I want to flesh out but if I start them then I’ll loose track of where i was with everything else. Best to keep with just two projects at a time for now but we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, hope you all have a good two weeks till we talk again.

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