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Well, I’ll Be a Sonofagun…

Wow! After more than a year of having this site totally fubarred, I found the ONE THING that got it working, again. I can’t believe it. My head has been so messed up, that I couldn’t see the problem, even when I was looking right at it. The last WP update reset my permalinks to the default, overriding the setting I had, which was using post titles instead of numbers. *facepalm*

Anyway, I finally figured it out, and now the freaking site is working, again. I guess this means that I have to get my writing brain working, again, too. We’ll give it the old college try, at least. Wish me (lotsa!) luck! 😀

Frozen Dream

The sun shines differently here now. Gone is the soft golden haze, the muted light which left its glowing kiss upon the earth and enriched her colors, reddened her shadows, and dulled their sharp edges. The atmosphere has thinned, pulled back, and has harshened the gauzy film that once served as a marker, a reminder that one was, indeed, living on a dream world, a tranquil, lovely, living world, spinning gracefully about its motherly star–living, instead of clinging desperately to a cold, dead rock that was hurtling through empty space like a comet gone mad.

The Absolute Truth of existence is kind to no one, to no world, to no time. It is indifferent, oblivious to the cares of man, and it holds no softness, does no favors. The frigid disregard of its encroaching emptiness, like the void of outer space, is a dream eater, a killer of compassion, a strangler of empathy. What use has a block of ice for empathy? For compassion? For dreams? Where does Truth live, in these ideas? These are trifling, human things, full of flaws and contradictions and pretty lies. They have no place, serve no purpose, find no moorings in the deep freeze of the sprawling raw darkness. All that is living and warm and gentle will be swept away, as all is swept away in the path of a great glacier’s descent. All shall sleep, buried beneath the unrelenting hardness of ice, until the warm light of Dream returns to melt away the gelid borders, bit by bit, to blunt the razor blade of Absolute Truth, and to remind us that we are, indeed, humans–soft, vulnerable, imperfect, alive–and not dead pillars of heartless logic.

The Dream will thaw, and live, again.

Land-lubberin’ Fer Love

Nicky Swift

Here’s a little bit about himself, the so-called hero of this story:

His name is Nicholas Swift, but he’s commonly known as Bonnie Nicky—or just as commonly, as Nicky Swiftleathers, since he’s something of a coward and will run from most fights, unless he’s sure he can win. I think he’s about 30 years old, born sometime around 1640 in the town of Bantry in County Cork, Ireland. Nicky isn’t much of a fighter, but he’s quick-witted, scheming and a little unpredictable, being as he is also more than slightly crazy. He gets even crazier when drunk. He has an enormous ego and thinks of himself as a great lover. His women tend to humor him, since he likes to buy them things. He also steals women, and always has a bevy of them around him. He is an arrogant loudmouth who can be extremely violent, if actually cornered and forced to fight. He claims to have a ship by the name of Órflaith (Golden Princess), but I don’t know if I believe him or not. He often stretches the truth about his wealth, status, and exploits, so you can never be sure what to believe.

I think he’s a pretty silly fellow. He’s not only an infamous swasher of buckles but also a notorious pincher of women’s bottoms.

And now, the story:

Bonnie Nicky Swift swept through the Dublin market stalls, halfway dancing a jig to cover up the sway of his sea-leg stagger. He sang his favorite drinking song as he went along, winking at the ladies and waving at the children as if he was just another yokel drunk off the latest wagon from Galway, and not a dastardly pirate on the prowl for some land-bound fun.

His trilling tenor barely rose above the din of the market. “Ohhhhh, if I get drank, well the money’s me own, and them don’t like it they can leave me alone! I’ll tune me fiddle, and rosin me bow, aaand I’ll be welcome, wherever I go!”

He paused to make a sweet little bow to an old fishwife, who merely sneered at him and huffed her attention back to her mackerel. That didn’t bother him. He kept right on singing and swinging merrily through the crowd.

“Toora-loora-loo, toora-loora-lay, toora-loora—Lord!” he yelped, and stopped short, his eyes wide and fixed upon the very large, green-skirted bottom of a woman, who was bent over a vegetable bin. Nicky licked his lips with a smack, and put both hands on his hips, staring at her generous bum. “Ohhh! Lord strike me dead if that ain’t the finest bottom I ever seen! I got to pinches it, I does!”

His lips turned up in a big grin, and he snuck up on her in a melodramatic way. Just as he reached her, he stuck out his tongue, leaned forward and pinched the bejeezus out of her.

“Eeeeeek!!!” she shrieked, popping up and spinning toward him in a flurry of red curls. Her right hand was already swinging around to slap her attacker, but she missed. Nicky ducked and half tackled her around the waist, trying to toss her over his shoulder in the same motion. But she was heavier than he expected, so his eyes bulged out and he huffed as he hefted her up.

“Oof!!” he grunted, “A solid gold bottom, it is!”

The woman squirmed, furiously kicked her feet, and pummeled his back with her fists, yelling at the top of her lungs. “Put me down, ya filthy pig! Put me down! I’ll kill ya for a dirty dog!!”

“Heehoo!” he hooted, slapping her bottom. “She’s a fire in her, too! What a fortune we’re havin’!” He smiled appreciatively at her squirming bottom, and then happily rubbed it. “Stay yerself, me velvet heifer! Meself’ll take good care of that fine bottom!”

“Eeeeeek!!!” she shrieked, again, squirming all the more fiercely. “Let me go! Let me go!!”

The other market-goers paid no attention to them, so Nicky just staggered off with his prize, trying to keep her wriggling body balanced on his shoulder. Her shrieking continued, as did her pounding of his back with her fists, but he didn’t seem to mind it. He kept right on singing, now louder and happier than ever.

“Ohhhh, when I’m dead and in my grave, no costly tombstone shall I have! Just lay me down in my native peat with a jug of punch at my head and oof!” He winced as one of her blows knocked the breath out of him, then continued on with his song, still lumbering down the road toward the port. “Toora-loora-loo, toora-loora-lay, toora-loora-loo, toora-loora-lay! Just lay me down in my native peat with a jug of punch at my head and feeeeeet!”

My Micro Stories from TalesOnTweet

These micro stories were first posted on Twitter, under the hashtag #TalesOnTweet. All were stories told in 140 characters or fewer; the last two are “six-word stories.” Micro-micro stories!

Micro Stories

  • Cast in a comedy show with a mime. Again. How can the same skit happen to the same guy twice? Mime Hard 2
  • Their gaze met, lingered, parted; a secret acknowledged and renewed.
  • He sang his troubles in the bath, so that they might be drained away with the suds. They never were.
  • His guitar struck her with despair; the notes he played were the sounds of a breaking heart, and she was the one breaking it.
  • She found him asleep underneath the apple tree. She knelt to wake him, but froze, when she saw a spider creep out of his nose.
  • He clung to the edge, terrified. It was a long way to fall. Finally, he could hold on no longer. He let go, and then he flew.
  • One potato, two potato, three potato, four! Five potato arsenic’d and Freddie is no more.
  • Yesterday, she had nine cats, but never any friend. Today, she’s nowhere to be found, but the cats now number ten.
  • She hungered for a kiss, just one kiss, from one who loved her. They found her today. Empty. Starved. Alone.
  • The ghost stood at my window, rapping, cloaked in red mist, but I would not raise the sash to let him in. He moaned and left.
  • The dolphin loved the humans so much, that he decided to become their island, to be near them forever.
  • Six-word Stories

  • Fish leapt. Heron swooped. Hunger sated.
  • Quest followed. Boss defeated. Game over.
  • A Not-quite-scientific Scientific Report

    All this terrible talk of alien ships being stolen, and alien lifeforms becoming stranded! It concerns me that my own ship might someday be stolen, or worse, caught by some deep-sea fishing outfit and sliced up for consumption in some we’ll-eat-anything-that-moves area. If she were merely stolen, I could easily have her back, for she is bonded to me and will come at my call, when our time for departure is nigh, but were she to be caught and eaten! I would have no way to leave this world, or to deliver my findings to the Inter-universal Research Council, or to download my data and undergo the necessary metamorphosis that would allow me to “reincarnate” and experience a new situation here. My mind might become so full of this world’s noise that I could lose all of what passes for my sanity, at which point, my original (rather explosive in this kind of atmosphere) form would intrude upon this denser one and attempt to occupy the same space, and I assure you, gentle readers, that this would not be something pleasant for any of us to experience. Not that any of you would remember it, being as you’d all be reduced to atomic bits within some few nanoseconds, but I would remember it, and what is worse, I’d be flung who-knows-where, without even a mothership to cling to. Homelessness taken to the point of no return! No one in the vast emptiness of deep space can read your “help me get home” signs, after all.

    Ahem. Yes, well. Where was I? Oh, right. My ship. At the moment, I am reasonably certain that my ship lies at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean–though she might have, out of her boredom, gone roaming, and could be anywhere in the depths of this odd world’s waters, eating who knows what, over-educating the underwater flora and fauna with her intelligent excretions, and absorbing her own set of data on this world–Earth, that is, as it is known to its bipedal inhabitants. What my kind call this world is of no consequence, for it is the Earth peoples’ perspectives that interest me, and not my own people’s. I’ve not come here to evangelize our philosophy, or to “save” humanity, or to spread our superior learning and technology; I’ve come only to observe and record the sentient beings here and their fascinating ways. I have spent many incarnations here, of varying lengths and at varying times, wearing varying genders and races and ages and shoe sizes, and occupying varying social positions, in order to learn and experience as much of this world’s different cultures and eras and situations as I may, in the time that the Council have allotted to me. Which amount of time is, of course, grossly inadequate, as is always the case with such extremely pointless–er, important studies.

    Our term for my scientific title has no direct translation in any Human language, though for the sake of convenience, you might think of me as somewhat of a cognitive ethologist, an affective neuroscientist, mixed with a bit of cultural anthropologist, a smidgen of psychologist, a dab of archeologist, and a large portion of “foodie.” I study, experience, and record the behaviors, thoughts, emotions, motivations, edible delicacies, and ways of living of conscious beings, and how they interact with and affect their respective worlds. Although I attempt to study all such beings equally, I admit that my interest can fall into “rabbit holes,” wherein I become fascinated to an insane degree with one type of being or another. Currently, the rabbit hole is filled with cats. Did you know that the common domesticated house cat can and frequently does cross dimensions and universal membranes without even trying? Well, now you do. And now you also have some idea of what the cat might be looking at, when they are staring up at that seemingly empty corner of the ceiling.

    Unfortunately, for me, my kind have no true conception of the passage of time, so that, whilst I have been given a rather arbitrary amount of time to spend on this world, I have no real clue how much of that time has already passed, or how much of it remains, though I have a dreadful feeling that I’m quite near the end of it, with so much yet to study and so much yet to taste! I cannot even say with any amount of certainty how much I have already learnt, as every time a physical body I am wearing “gives up its ghost,” i.e., spits me out and my essence wafts its way into the waiting cocoon of the mothership’s belly, all of my learning is downloaded into her data banks, and I am wiped clean of it, save the barest threads of knowledge needed to begin a new set of circumstances in a physical vessel. It is the most efficient method we have come up with, though, to insure that each new micro study starts out as clean as it can possibly be, whilst at the same time, allowing the researcher to truly become part of the studied biomes, and not instantly die at the first taste of something like aged blue cheese.

    I do know that, at the end of my series of study on this world, my essence will enter the mothership’s womb one final time, and she will make her quiet exit from the seas and begin our long journey to the next interesting world on the agenda. During this time, my essence will be thoroughly wiped of all Earth experience, and the mothership’s psychic probe will forge ahead and select an appropriate form to apply to me, so that the delay between our arrival at the new world and my insertion into an appropriate “mother” there will be of the shortest duration possible. Though sometimes these incarnations are in some way extremely painful or otherwise unpleasant, I rejoice in the knowledge that my work in this field will enrich my people’s understanding of the greater universal population, and perhaps, will give us new ideas for improving our own ways and thoughts, or at the very least, allow us to feel justified in our smug belief that we’re better than all of you little people. That said, I sure would like to have another life of material comfort, before I depart from Earth. It would seem a fitting way to go out, with a silver spoon, full of fine dark chocolate, resting deliciously in my mouth; a flute of fine champagne nestled in my hand; and a purring interdimensional cat curled up on my lap. Yes, that would be very nice, indeed.