Win an Envy 15 laptop for your prime-cut literary travesties

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264 Responses to “Win an Envy 15 laptop for your prime-cut literary travesties”

  1. davedorr9 says:

    The hills were white, the kind of white you see in the neologistic apathy of everyday experience, the way they shone reminded me and them of the effervescent and eternal shape of elephants.(1)
    Knowing that such a question indicated a kind of existential crisis of the worst form (and this while waiting at a station for an ‘express’ train from Barcelona to Madrid, with the semiotics of express being clear even to those not schooled in exegesis), the girl nonetheless asked, as though impelled by some internal force that elicits grammatical sophistry while maintaining some kind of so-called realistic, post-modern, epiphany-like mysticism,
    “What should we drink?”
    It should be noted(2), at this point, that the ‘girl’ (so-named, although this kind of literary anti-feminism is as trite as the very use of euphemism to describe unwanted medical procedures or ‘sexual congress’(3) ) had removed her hat. At this point, the reader may ask, if these geographical perturbations so resembled pachyderms, what was the point? Does this prepare us and them for the inevitable decline and unfortunate painful choices that face us all?
    ‘It’s pretty hot’, the man said.

    1)Perhaps it is better to indicate at this point that they in no way resembled elephants in a literal sense, but in the boring symbolism of early 20th century literature.
    2) I feel compelled to also note that we have deviated significantly from the style in question here, but the reader will forgive this error in the spirit of honest explication.
    3) This then, is the whole point: she was pregnant and they were discussing an abortion. If this isn’t obvious to you by now, then there is really no point to go on, for is there really an author and a reader, or is my presence some manifestation of your perception?

    The end.

  2. Beorscealc says:

    One Hundred Years of the Sun (also, Rising):

    Many years later, as he passed out on some wine-casks in a café in Pamplona, Robert Cohn was to remember those distant years of being middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. At that time Princeton was not particularly welcoming to Jews, and Robert Cohn was very shy and enormously nice, with a flattened nose, like a broken egg. The university was so snobbish that most of his classmates lacked a memory of him, and in order to remember him it was necessary to scratch their heads, though even then they would usually still not succeed. Every time I met a Princeton man, I would ask about Cohn, and with a great uproar of hemming and hawing, they would blink their eyes and confess to not being able to remember. Spider Kelly, a former teacher who taught all his young gentlemen to box like featherweights and the sole exception to this tendency, told a bold public story about Cohn’s battle with the Macedonian gypsy giant whose fists were the eighth wonder of the athletic world. He moved from listener to listener, mimicking both fighters and everybody was amazed to see fists, jabs, blocks, dodges, and even blood emerge from his body as if he had become an embodiment of both boxers, the tale of that impossible fight made real within Spider’s magical limbs. “He had been thinking of leaving his wife,” Spider changed the topic with a harsh accent. “In California he fell among literary people and became the sole editor of a review of the Arts.” Frances, a new lady friend who had taken him in hand, thought that it would be possible to make use of this review from Carmel, of which Cohn had become the sole editor, and rise with the magazine. Braddocks, who was his literary friend, warned me: “Robert’s mother had settled an allowance on him, about three hundred dollars a month.” But Frances at that time was a little disgusted that the magazine was not going to rise, so Cohn kicked me under the table when I suggested we fly to Strasbourg.

  3. Ebon2007 says:

    The House at Pooh Corner, by William Burroughs.

    Concerning The Tree And It’s Occupants: Roo and Kanga lounged about, pinwheels in their eyes, jabbing jabbing about in the shadow of the great spreading tree, shadows mixing their shadows, blurring the connection they had. Mother, son, son, mother, one being, never apart. Roo leaked a line of drool down the fuzzy, puzzy pouch, his little mind blasted by the electric high of his mother, sharing her flesh, no end to him, no beginning to her. One continuous birth and death.

    About The Boggy Place And Why It Is Sad: Piglet heaved another jacket onto Eeyore who shook and moaned in withdrawal, great furred body grown putrescent, stirred to action by the scent of the forbidden. Gotta get straight. Dance. He wanted to dance. The ground retched as Eeyore raised his massive form and lumbered forward, slaking his thirst on a vision that didn’t even exist. “Goddamnit, I need more wine,” he growled to a waiter.

    Concerning The Events At The House: Christopher Robin bit his lower lip until it bled, his lithe brown form splayed on the porch, head swirling, detached, from the honey he’d consumed, the sweet drizzle making a brain-map on his smooth skin. His gasp exploded from full lips, back arching, the honey again, clawing at his brain, running from his nose, matted in his corn-yellow hair. The bees. The corpulent form against him, all brown fur and wet nose.. he clung to it in screaming ecstatic despair, his brain burning from the high roaring through him. Pooh snuffled a line of sweet bee-juice from Chris’ arm, the cycle beginning again.

  4. Aurini says:

    Fear and Loathing in 1984

    I was walking down Glasgow Street, two blocks off of Duke, when the pills began to kick in. “You’re looking a bit light-headed,” said the merchant who was eyeing me, “Don’t worry about me,” I said, “I’ll be fine. I’m a professional. Just hurry up with that damned bagel.” The clocks were striking nine, as I recall, and the cold April air was doing nothing to improve my temperament. My blood’s not thick enough for this part of Oceania, I’ve never been able to wake up properly in this climate. The pep pills have a tendency of giving me the shakes but they’re the only way to cope with this weather-induced mental clouding. Not that this mattered to my Editor, of course, and truth be told it didn’t matter much to me, either. I’m a journalist, goddamnit, and I go wherever the story takes me. For the past two years that place had been this rotten hole of a city they call London; Party Central and chief city of Airstrip One.

    Just then a calamitous roar washed over my ears. “Good god, man,” I yelled at the merchant, “Don’t you know who that is? That voice playing on your telescreen there? Who authorized this transmission?” Of all the things to play, on this date, at this time – what sort of monstrous saboteur was running this show? And how did he know I would hear it?

    “If you don’t already know who it is, then I’m not going to say it!” The Prole’s eyes were squinted in confusion, his mouth agape at knowledge which was clearly beyond his ken. “I personally saw that folder incinerated. What sort of game are you playing here, mister? Answer me, damnit!”

    As my fist slammed down on his cart I saw that I was drawing a crowd. With a sudden lucidity I realized the music wasn’t what I thought it had been. It was the same baseline, maybe, but that was permissible. There’s only so many, after all, so what do you expect? The machines are programmed to keep remixing it. So where had this awful memory come from? It had to be the pills. One of these days I’m going to get off this rotten drug.

    Unfortunately my wild ranting hadn’t gone unnoticed. A clutch of Peace Officers were shouldering their way through the crowd, machine guns clattering as their polyester uniforms strained against their hominid frames. I managed to pull myself together. This situation needed to be handled properly.

    “Good to see you boys,” I hid the shaking of my hands by slapping the senior one on the shoulder, “You look like honest, hard working Party faithfuls. That’s good to see, man, that’s good see.” One of them tried to ask what was going on but I wasn’t about to let him finish. “I just so happen to be in dire need of some law enforcement right now. Tell me, what is the punishment for Thought Crime? Come on now, don’t stand there looking at me like I’m some sort of raving lunatic, spit it out! That’s right, Death – Thought Crime doesn’t just entail Death, it IS Death! Now listen,” I leaned in and looked suspiciously at the merchant, “we may have a situation on our hands.”

    What you have to understand is that these sorts of things aren’t the way they were before the Revolution – though I suppose you don’t really remember that – but the uniformed thugs we have patrolling the streets nowadays are just that – thugs. They grow them in factories, from what I hear. They pop them out of plastic vats, shave off all their hair, squeeze them into polyester uniforms, then give them a gun and enough Pavlovian training for a faucet to grow out of their cheek. You just have to know how to handle them right. A Party member – even an Outer Party member, such as myself – has nothing to worry about if they’re thinking properly.

    The merchant was looking nervous and his wife had started crying when one of the smarter Officers finally managed to squeeze out a question. “Who the hell are you?” or something to that effect. “What me?” I said, pulling out my credentials, “Don’t worry about me. I’m one of the Friendlies – Ministry of Information – hired geek. Listen, it looks like you’ve got a lot to take care of right now, so I’ll just get out of your way. Keep up the good work.” I caught the crying wife by the hand before walking off, “Hey, hey, now. It’s not so bad is it? You’re gonna be alright.”

    The merchant would be fine. Or maybe not. But he was just a Prole, after all, and what’s a man to do in this day and age? Either way I needed to get going.

    ***

    I was just finishing up the last bits of an article for the evening edition – something about horse racing, though I’m not certain of that – when my Editor stepped into my cubicle.

    “Listen, about your Op-ed…”

    “Goddamnit man, can’t you see that I’m busy? I sent it to you already, you filthy jackal. Four-hundred and eighty-six words of Party gold, but you’re not going to be happy with it until you piss in it, because you think it improves the flavour.” His brows furrowed but there was a glint in his eyes. He knew perfectly well that if he didn’t like my writing, there were plenty of other places for me to go. I’d be happy moving back to the desert. So why the ghoulish grin?

    “Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be? Actually, the writing’s fine,” What was this bastard up to? “I was just worried about the content. It looked as though a saboteur might have retyped it en route to my office–”

    “What the hell are you talking about? Give it here.” I snatched the paper from his hand and began scanning it, line by line, to see if the office boy had screwed something up. “I don’t see the problem. I see journalistic genius. Put it in the paper and stop hassling me, you fat Samoan.”

    “Oh, I would, but I just got one question… since when have we been at war with Eastasia?”

    So that was the game, then. Obviously the situation had changed since this morning. “You filthy animal… I told you my news ticker was broken. How do you expect me to catch typos like this when I don’t have a steady supply of updates? Send the boy back in five minutes, and you’ll have your good copy.”

    “Not now – it’s time for the two minute hate. You’d better attend. You’re loyalty’s not been looking all that good today.”

    “No more of that talk, or I’ll put the leaches on you.” As I popped another pill I caught him eyeing the bottle. “Here, you’d better take a couple of for yourself – three even. After all, anything worth doing is worth doing right, isn’t it? Let’s go.”

    ***

    It started as it always did. My Editor and I shuffled into a room that was already humming with nasty vibrations. I pulled out a cigarette and tried to light it but my hands were shaking too much. Too many of these pills, I thought, but there was nothing to do about it now. The room was growing hot. I could feel the tension rising out of the floor like some sort of vile serpent, dripping with black ooze as it slithered around our feet.

    I started to say, “Listen man, I’m not feeling so good…” but my Editor wasn’t listening. “That Emmanuel Goldstein,” he was saying, “He’s a fucking bastard, man. Motherfucker needs his throat slit, you know what I’m saying?” He was fingering his keychain as if it were some sort of weapon. “He needs to die! Die, motherfucker, Die!”

    He was lost to the rage, I could see that now. I was beginning to feel the effects myself. It was like being trapped in a zoo full of angry howler monkeys, all of them high on mescaline, while some evil-minded bureaucrat kept shaking the cage. I glanced down from the screen for a second to see that I’d somehow crushed my pack of cigarettes without noticing, stale tobacco shreds falling out of my fist. Good god, I thought, I’ve become one of them – yelling and jabbering as the bad waves of fear and loathing washed over us. Had we all descended to the levels of dumb beasts?

    Jesus – did I say that? Or just think it?

    Two minutes of the typical madness. Then Big Brother’s face appeared and the room turned into an ocean of calm. The next thing I knew my Editor was saying to me, “You’re looking a little high strung, man. Too many of those pills. They’re bad for the brain. It’s time for lunch, how about I buy you a beer?”

    ***

    By the end of day I was tired, my mind was stretched out like butter spread across toast, the pills on one side and my bottle of Victory Gin on the other. I didn’t know where that damned Editor of mine had gone to. Probably holed up in a public washroom somewhere with the door barricaded. The last words out of his mouth had been something about a powerful hunger for salmon.

    Down below the Proles were having one of their festivals, but I was too tired to really notice. I’d had to rewrite that article three more times over the afternoon. That’s politics for you – nothing can happen for months, and a dozen things happen all at once.

    The lights below glowed like muzzle flashes, the fireworks were like bombs. Strange memories this nervous night in London. How many years had it been? Thirty? Thirty-five? An entire lifetime.

    Back then the revolution had been in full swing. There was anger wherever you looked, fire in every set of eyes. Nobody could say what was happening, but we all knew there was a purpose to it. Some sort of energy, the spirit of an entire culture rising up against anarchy. We had all the answers, knew how to set things right – we were finally fighting on the right side.

    And now, thirty years later, we’re finally done. All that’s left is to rework history, to make it what it needs to be. Thirty years later, and we’re almost ready to stop that endless turmoil. We’re all working for Big Brother now, all agents of his agenda – and to some extent, his agenda had become our own. It’s all so simple. Obey. Believe. No more madness, no more struggles…

    The Proles shouldn’t envy me. They shouldn’t envy any of the Party members. Most of them have managed to forget the war. When they look at the sky all they see is the fireworks. But standing up here on the balcony, I can look east; out to our enemies, where the waves of invasions and revolution happened so long ago. And on a night like this, with the right sort of eyes, you might even see the place where the wave finally broke.

    I finished my bottle and packed up my bag. Time to walk home, to lose myself in the throng. Away from the writing desk. To be safe again – anonymous – just another freak in the freak kingdom.

  5. rangerwickett says:

    In a town in the Pacific northwest there lived a vampire. Not a nasty, nocturnal, evil vampire, sleeping in a dank, smelly coffin, nor yet a tragic, angsty, anti-hero vampire who battles demons and monsters: it was a Cullen-vampire, and that means sparkles.

    He had a perfectly beautiful face like Adonis, pale as marble, with a chagrined expression on his flawless lips. Those lips concealed a seldom-seen smile: a very beautiful smile without fangs, with teeth strong enough to tear steel, and sweet breath and poison saliva never used for murder—the vampire was fond of animal blood. The vampire’s family went on and on, including a sister who could see the future, a father who had perfected his medical knowledge over the centuries, and a caramel-haired mother who could love passionately. The vampire himself had the power to forever look like a perfect, pale seventeen year-old, and he could read thoughts, and it indeed was these same powers that let him first be drawn to a teenaged human girl, working over a class project, smelling her sweet blood.

    This vampire was a very well-to-do vampire, and his name was Cullen. The Cullens had lived in the rainy town of Forks for time out of mind, and no one believed them vampires, not only because most of them were vegetarians, but also because they never stayed more than a few years every decade nor fell in love with humans: you could guess that a Cullen would be strange without the bother of asking him. This is the story of how a Cullen fell in love with a human, and found himself doing and saying things that make women of all ages irrationally squeal. He may have lost his fellow vampires’ respect, but he gained — well, look at the box office receipts and you will see whether he gained anything in the end.

    -Twilight, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

  6. SKORPIO says:

    Another Lovecraft revision:
    Ode On a C’Thulhu Statuette – John Keats

    Thou still ravishing brood of R’Lyeh,
    Thou spawn of horror and undead time,
    Pre-human hysteria, who canst just ooze
    An eldritch tale writ in slime:
    What tentacled fringe haunts about thy shape
    Of deity or cephalopod, or both,
    In Carcosa, or shores of Lake Hali?
    What things or creatures are these, what horrors loath?
    What wings pursue? what tentacles to escape?
    What barbs and claws? what bloody ecstacy?

    Heard melodies are mad, but those unheard
    are more, therefore, ye piping, twitter on;
    Pipes to Azathoth of music of no tone:
    Damned thing, beneath thy stone, thou canst not yet rise
    The stars are not yet right
    Thou art drowned, and near the end- but do not grieve;
    Forever wilt thou rule, after even death’s demise!

    What are these coming to the sacrifice?
    To what fetid altar, O hideous feast,
    Lead’st thou that victm screaming down the depths,
    Dragged down and eaten (hopefully first deceased!)
    What eldritch town by Innsmouth shore,
    Or arctic mountain-built with evil citadel
    Is emptied of all life this impious morn
    And blasted waste, thy streets for evermore;
    Will silenced be; no longer a soul to tell
    What now desolate, can ne’er return

    O squamous shape! Suckered mouths that feed
    Of dismembered men and maidens over-filled
    With those scaled one’s hungry need;
    Thou horror form, those not injested simply killed
    As thou art eternal: Cold Abyssmal!
    When Old Ones shall this generation waste,
    Thou shallt remain to prey amidst all woe
    Than ours, a fiend to man, to whom thou say’st
    “Life is Blood, Blood is Life,” – that is all,
    What thing Man was not meant to know.

  7. brainoiz says:

    Here is my submussion. Hope you’ll like it.

    The Scarlet Club

    (The Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rewritten in the style of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club)

    Smiling, nodding, my friend Stamford leads me into the laboratory. I’m not even surprised that there are laboratories in the bowels of these hospitals.
    I’m a doctor.
    London is foggy and the sky looks sick and brown. Stamford is not really my friend. I was in the war and I’ve just returned to London. I have nobody in England, and I am as free as air. I’m also thin as a lath and as brown as a nut. I’m a doctor who is in need of lodgings. I also have scars. It’s good that we are in a hospital.
    This is a lofty chamber, lined and littered with countless bottles.
    Broad, low tables. Retorts. Test-tubes.
    Little Bunsen lamps.
    Their blue flickering flames.
    The smell hurts my head.
    There is only one student in the room. He hears us and springs to his feet with a cry of pleasure, test-tube in his hand. I have found a re-agent, he says.
    This is Doctor Watson, Stamford says.
    I stare. Little Bunsen lamps. Their blue flickering flames.
    The man in the lab coat says, “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”
    He says, “Don’t ask anything now.”
    He says, “The question now is about hemoglobin.”
    Neither of us blinks. He tells us about blood and practical medico-legal discoveries. I want to tell him about blood. I was in the war.
    You wake up in Afghanistan. You are going to bring home honours and promotion.
    You wake up in London and you have nothing but misfortune and disaster.
    I tell him I’m impressed.
    The man in the lab coat holds out his hand as he speaks and I notice that it is all mottled over with pieces of plaster, and discoloured with strong acids. I wonder if he did this to himself on purpose.
    His eyes fairly glitter as he speaks. He puts his hand over his heart and bows as if to some applauding crowd.
    I like him. But I’m lost inside.
    I’m a doctor. My name is Watson. I was in the war.
    He plays the violin. I don’t care.
    He says, “I think we may consider the thing as settled. That is, if the rooms are agreeable to you.”
    I say yes. I wonder how he knew about Afghanistan. But I don’t ask. My head hurts so much. We leave him working among his chemicals.
    This is how I met Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

  8. Nash Rambler says:

    Call me Ish. I couldn’t tell you when I started sailing – the years pile up like dirty clothes on a flophouse floor. What I can tell you is I wound up broke one day and walking around on land was boring the hell out of me. At least on the water you don’t want to push in the face of every lousy mug and cheap dame that walks up to you on the street. Most days I manage to step outside and not sneer at the unwashed masses, but when my lip starts curling five days out of seven, it is time to hit the surf. Admit it: deep down inside, right next to that urge to drink a bottle of cheap bourbon and go lay in a gutter, you feel the same way about the ocean blue.

  9. rmckibbens says:

    “This shit is getting mad ridiculous,” cried Alice, as she felt her limbs stretch like a Biggie Smalls limo.* After she tore out of her clothes all Hulk-style and banged her head against the ceiling, bitch got all delirious, terrified about how was she going to find a way to put shoes on her feet when they were nine feet away from her hands. Little did she know, she had far more terrifying shit** to worry about just around the corner, just waiting outside the door like an unsteady platter of piss-filled teacups. But Alice was Alice, so of course she threw her naked white ass down on the floor and sobbed like Alexis Carrington, rambling on and on about how great a girl she was and how was she going to live like this and “O, what kind of fucked up shit is this that I have outgrown all of my clothes?” Please, any resourceful bitch knows, all a woman needs is a few scraps of sequins and some double-sided tape and you can Charo your way through life, cuchi-cuchiing your way out of a thousand dollar gas bill.***

    (*Although I should note, Biggie’s ride of choice wasn’t always a limo, in fact, he liked to swing through the Bronx in a jet black Cadillac Escalade with windows tinted so dark, Grace Jones couldn’t find her reflection in them. This, of course, proved to be a fatal choice, since it was the same ride he was shot up in and every drive-by shooter knows, if you want to get the most important brother, shoot up the darkest car. Had I been a drug dealer turned rap star, you bet your neon Jesus I’d have been low-riding in a bright yellow Smart Car. Anyone shooting at a ride like that would feel (or at least look) like a dick.

    **Let’s not forget about the psychotic Red Queen, who O-Ren Ishii’d so many heads in her time, evolution caught wind and, a hundred years later, all the babies conceived in Wonderland were born without heads! Talk about precaution, son!

    *** Not that Alice would ever come to know a rough winter in her life. Everyone knows white girls don’t fret over shit like utilities. Hell, I doubt Charo has shit to worry about either, considering her Jet-Puffed lips and peroxided hair got her a get-out-of-Spain-free pass that landed her some prime real estate in Hawaii. Last I heard, she was shacked up with some has-been flamenco dancer who knocked her up to prove to his wealthy papa that he didn’t like it in the poopshooter.)

  10. FaroCastiglo says:

    Finally those monsters leave me, to the very thoughts that cleave me
    To the very heart and leave me gasping here upon the floor.
    Dreadful are the thoughts that grieve me, what a liar; I don’t believe me
    What a foolish scoundrel here with swirling thoughts but nothing more.

    Is it not a daunting notion, that this play’r with such emotion
    Can lay out a speech for someone he has never seen before.
    Face so pale and eyes o’erflowing with false tears and him not knowing
    More than just the name of she whom he was shedding these tears for.

    For Hecuba! What has he to do with her or she with he
    that he should weep convincing tears to show his grief on her behalf?
    What if he had all the motive and the cause for grief that I have?
    How then would he seem to grieve, so one would think he’d never laugh’d.

    Yet I a dull and stone-like statue, daydreaming and lacking virtue,
    Cannot even bring myself to speak for one whom I adored.
    Even though his life was taken when his brother yet unshaken
    In the ear of sleeping king a vial of dreadful poison poured.

    Am I brave or just a coward? Who can point their finger toward
    Me with blame or accusation of the wrongs I’ve done before?
    By Christ’s wounds, I should deserve it for I have not e’en the nerve it
    Takes to make the gains of murder in the sinner’s mouth made sour.

    Otherwise I should have fed this vile slayer’s body dead
    To ravens circling overhead to be remembered nevermore.
    Cruel, obscene, and lustful villain; I am shamed that still he lives in
    Father’s house and still finds love in Mother’s arms behind locked door.

    Vengeance sweet should be forthcoming if I wasn’t still succumbing
    To the doubts that keep on drumming through my mind till I am sore.
    Heaven knows that he’s deserving of the sentence he’ll be serving
    When I finally hold unswerving to the call the Ghost implored.

    Meet, when I by hell and heaven have been prompted to get even
    Must bring words up from my heart and fall to cursing like a whore,
    Calling judgment down from heaven, bowls and angels numbered seven
    On this uncle who has stolen Father’s life and crown and more.

    I have heard that when the shamed see a play that lays on blame
    Sometimes are so moved that they lay down their sins upon the floor.
    For murder, even without speaking, has a cunning way of sneaking
    Guilty party to another so justice may be restored.

    I’ll have actors play a part that looks much like my uncle’s art
    That cut me to my very heart and made my father’s life no more.
    I’ll observe his every action, as he watches with attention;
    If he pales or even flinches I know justice needs restoring.

    The Ghost I’ve seen may be a devil, working out some kind of evil
    Through my sadness and my weakness, leading me to hell’s wide door.
    I won’t trust an apparition, and take hasty, hurried action
    Till I have more than suspicion of my uncle’s evil core.

  11. DaleFarris says:

    Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such- personal attractiveness, gets lost.
    And private in his chamber pens himself, Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
    And makes himself an artificial night:
    And such a hard worker. There’s one thing about Biff- he’s not lazy.
    Never.
    I’ll see him in the morning; I’ll have a nice talk with him.
    Many a morning hath he there been seen,
    With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew.
    Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs;
    I’ll get him a job selling. He could be big in no time.
    But all so soon as the all-cheering sun.
    My God! Remember how they use to follow him around in high school? When he smiled at one of them their faces lit up.
    Black and portentous must this humour prove,
    Unless good counsel may the cause remove.

  12. brainoiz says:

    I guess I should’ve added that it’s “another Palahniuk revision” but seeing the amount of ideas so far I posted first and then checked the submissions from the last two days. I just saw the Dickens / Palahniuk mashup… Good job!

  13. Cerdo Merol says:

    ‘Twas raink, and the bartrons srunk
    Tyler and I agreet at a bar
    the dran asked for a phumber where the police could feach me, t’was still raink. My Audi was starked in the palot but a Dakapo halorchiere was spearugh the windshield.
    Tyler and I , we mrank a lot of beer, and Tyler ansirmate, yes, I could moin with him, but I hato dhim a favor.
    The ney, my suitcase worrive with the banimum, six shunderwear.
    There, drizzy in a crar, where no one would carche, I asked Tyler what he wamme tdoo.
    Tyler said “I wayou thit me ahard as yan”

  14. BCJ says:

    Genesis 02:01-17 as written by Dr. Seuss

    02:01 God finished the heavens, God finished the earth, all of it host to his heavenly worth.

    02:02 Having finished the stars, having finished the sun, day 7 he rested for his work was all done.

    02:03 God blessed that day–he liked it the best. God blessed the day so he took a rest.

    02:04 These days were the days that LORD God had created. He built them all up–he maded and maded.

    02:05 The plants of the field had not yet grown out, not the herbs or the grasses or the pout-spouted-scrout. For the LORD GOD had not brought the rain to the earth, hadn’t tilled or fandwilled with a ground-pounding flirth.

    02:06 Then one drop, two drop, rain drop, dew drop, God sprayed the earth with every new drop.

    02:07 LORD GOD took the dust from the flusterly gound, he huffed and he puffed a man from that mound.

    02:08 And for that man GOD smeedened an eden, then kerploped the man in like a fing-tingly fleeden.

    02:09 God grew the trees up from from the ground there in eden, be they pretty to see, or tasty for eatin’.
    But two trees grew higher like a swaglling sweevil, a tree of life and one good & evil.

    02:10 And a river went out to water a garden, from there it split up like a pardening smarden.

    02:11 The first was named Pison, in the land of havilah. It was full of gold and more than one swilla.

    02:12 The gold of that land was widely known, as were its bdellium and its onyx stone.

    02:13 Gihon, the name of river two, encompassed Ethiopia and also magoo

    02:14 The third of which went by the name of Hiddekel, it went east to Assyria and west to Van Smekel

    02:15 God gave the man Eden for dressing and keeping, he gave the man Eden for mong-snucking and fleeping.

    02:16 God said to the man “every tree may you eat, with a fox, on an ass or with your feet” You can eat in sodom, you can eat in Baswalt. You can season the trees with a pillar of salt. You can eat them in a manger you can eat them in a stranger. You can eat in Bethleham, you can eat green eggs and ham. You can eat them, there’s no ban, you can eat them, you are man.

    02:17 But there is one tree that you shalt not touch, the tree of knowledge, good, bad, and such. You shalt not eat it like other flora. You shalt not eat it in Gomorra. You shalt not eat it during plagues of dark. You shalt not eat it on an ark. You shalt not eat it in a church. You shalt not eat it like a birch. You shalt not eat it, that’s no lie. You shalt not eat it or you will die.

  15. JML says:

    Cthulolita, loath of my life, fear of my lexicography. My syllables, my sanity. Kuh-thoo-lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a temerarious trip of five steps down the palate to tap, timidly, on the teeth. Kuh. Thoo. Lo. Lee. Ta.

    It was Tulu, plain Tulu, to the Tcho-Tcho people, standing four feet ten in their squalid jungle. It was Q’thulu in Quechua. It was Kutulu in deep Y’ha-nthlei. It was Dread Cthulhu in the archives at Miskatonic. But in my darkest dreams it was always Cthulolita.

    Did it have a precursor? It did, indeed it did. In point of fact, there might have been no Cthulolita at all had I not read, one summer, a certain incantation in a certain aged and worm-eaten manuscript. In a princedom on the shores of dim Carcosa, lost Carcosa. Oh when? About as many years before the blasphemous bubbles crawled out from beneath the thumbs of their five-lobed southern lords and loped on the shores in the shape of an ape. You can always count on a madman for a fancy prose style.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, again I say, I do not know what has become of Clare Quilty, though I think — almost hope — that he is in peaceful oblivion, if there be anywhere so blessed a thing. Look at this tangle of tentacles.

  16. Giant Robot Architect says:

    The heater hummed quietly radiating its precious warmth. The man sat outside for hours in the boxy car he not so lovingly called Betty in the cold blackness of night. How could he be so stupid as to not bring his hat in weather like this?

    He stared out the windshield at the great white half dome of the house facing him, only a few feet away. The windows over the garage shining as bright and warm as a summer day in Miami The house practically ran itself. He was there primarily for appearances. He finally understood that.

    Venturing out looking for Frank on a night like tonight was a fools’ errand and he knew it, yet he did it anyway. And now he was going to pay the price. It had taken him and his companions nearly a year to drive out to Jupiter Springs. Now he was the only one left. Almost.

    He’d had enough. The cold outside now flowed through his veins. He had the look on his face of a man with nowhere else to go and nothing left to lose.

    He pressed the intercom button;

    “Hal, open the garage bay doors.”

  17. Day Vexx says:

    From Thoreau’s Walden, Chapter 4, “Sounds”… if written by HP Lovecraft:

    My mind was invaded by the mad squawking of a hooting owl. Near at hand you could dimly perceive it, the most forboding sound in Nature, as if She meant by this to stereotype and make permanent in her insidious choir the dying moans of a human being — some poor foetid relic of cursed immortality who has left all hope behind, and howls now like a frantic animal,”Tekili-li! Tekili-li!” Yet with human sobs, on entering the dark valley, made more awful by an incoherent, ancient gurgling melodiousness — I find myself beginning with the letters Cth when I try to imitate it — expressive of my decayed mind which has long slipped into the gelatinous, mildewy stage which mortifies all healthy and courageous thought. It reminded me of the watery abyss, of half-mad idiots and barely-formed insane howlings. But now one answers from deep woods in a preternatural strain made cold-blooded by distance — Hoo hoo hoo, R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn, and indeed for the most part it suggested only the shrieking lunacy of eldrich associations, whether heard by waning light of day or the darkest night, summer or winter.

    Original text is here scroll down to paragraph 19. Thanks!

  18. Earth Man says:

    With appy-polly-loggies to Clement C. Moore

    Twas the dark before Pressies, and all through me domy
    Not a malchick was stirring, and I were all lonely,
    The sockies were dangled on smoke-out with care,
    Here’s hoping Old Nicky-nack soon would be there.

    The nadsats were nestled all snug in their beds,
    With horrorshow messels dancing in heads.
    and me in me shlapa , ‘kerchief on Devotchka,
    Had just settled our mozges for a long chilly spatchka.

    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    Sprung up, so I did, to viddy the matter.
    Away to the okno I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

    With a little old moodge, so skorry and fat,
    I knew right then, ‘twas old Nicky-Nack.
    More skorry than eagles his coursers they came,
    And he guffed, and he creeched, and called them by name!

    “Now Sharry! now, Skorry! now, Malchick and Yarble!
    On, Tolchok! On, Dobby! On Droogy and Charlie!
    To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
    Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

  19. bencurnett says:

    If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is how in the beginning, god created the universe, and how it was all formless and desolate, and all that kind of crap. But honestly, if you want to know the truth, I don’t even want to get into it. Because first of all, if there’s a raging ocean and everything’s covered in darkness, how’d that even get there? I mean, shouldn’t it be formless and desolate and by the way there’s this big ocean there? Don’t get me wrong, I like the ocean. I spent all kinds of time there when I was a kid. We used to play soldiers around the sandcastles we built and all that other baby crap. It was still fun and all. But that was a long time ago, and it was never in darkness. We always went in the morning.

    Anyway, let there be light. I forgot to tell you about that part. That was good, because it was colder than a well digger’s ass and you could kind of see how nothing was really happening up until that point. With the light, at least you could see the ocean and not freeze to death all the time. But don’t even get me started on the whole day and night thing. I can’t stand it. It’s like everyone has to be busy during the day and just shut the hell down at night. Half the people I know can’t even function for most of the goddam day anyway, and the other half can’t sleep. I’m like that, but I’m not going to tell you which one. I don’t have to say every little thing about myself, not that it matters. You probably already know, anyway.

    Where I want to start telling is on the seventh day, because to tell you the truth, the first six were kind of boring. Everything was being made, that part’s true. But if you think about everything, that’s a lot to write. All I’ll say is it started with fruit and ended with people, and the people were put in charge of everything, which is pretty stupid, if you ask me. There’s a guy on my same hall that can’t even can’t even tie his own shoes. Do you believe it? Can’t even tie his own goddam shoes, and he’s in charge of the whole universe. That kills me. I help him sometimes because I feel sorry for him, and the whole place gives me the cold shoulder for it. It’s pretty funny, actually.

  20. comparanoid says:

    Miley Stewart (a.k.a., Hannah Montana) and her best friend in “real” life, Lilly Truscott, co-translate the original text of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana: Part 2, On Sexual Union.

    Eewww! Gross!
    Oh. My. God. Check out the picture on page 62!
    Not gonna happen.
    Do you think Jake…?
    Shut up!
    I’m serious. Do you…?
    I said, Shut Up! This is totally not cool.
    Don’t be a retad. Hey, check out this! “When the female raises both of her legs, and places them on her lover’s shoulders, it is called the ‘yawning position.’”
    Yeah, because it’s boring.
    Ha, ha.
    What about your virginity pledge?
    Get a life! Reading about sex is the same as having it, dork. Now listen to this: “When the woman holds the lingam in her yoni, draws it in, presses it, and keeps it thus in her for a long time, it is called the ‘pair of tongs.’”
    I feel dirty.
    Go take a shower.
    Then I’d be naked.
    Don’t touch your yoni!
    I hate you!
    I swear to God, you are such a dweeb sometimes. Have you ever tried mouth congress?
    I’m covering over my ears now. “La-la-la I can’t hear you!”

  21. Jegatheez says:

    Oliver Twist:

    ’Child,’ said the gentleman in the high chair, ‘listen to me. You know you’re so cute, I suppose?’
    ’What’s that, My dad?’ inquired poor Oliver.
    ’The child IS very clever—I thought he was,he has collected all your credit cards and keeping with him!’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat.

  22. double0penguin says:

    Harry Potter, in the style of Alan Moore’s Watchmen, specifically Rorschach’s journal.

    Potter’s Journal.

    February 12th, 1998:

    Wizard carcass in ally this morning, killing curse. Voldemort is afraid of me. I have seen his true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of muggle blood and when the drains finally scab over, all of the Death Eaters will drown. The accumulated filth of all their dark magic and murder will foam up about their waists and all those bearing the dark mark will look up and shout “save us!”… and I will look down and whisper “no.” They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good wizards like Godric Gryffindor, or Albus Dumbledore. Great sorcerers, who believed in courage and strength of heart. Instead they followed the pedagogy of the Dark Lord and his darker deeds and didn’t realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don’t tell me they didn’t have a choice.

  23. boinguser1x says:

    Twas was the best of raz,
    twas was the baddiwadest of raz,
    twas was the age of wisdom,
    twas was the age of the gloopy,
    twas was the epoch of bepa,
    twas was the epoch of incredultwasy,
    twas was the season of cbet,
    twas was the season of temhota,
    twas was the becha of dwacha,
    twas was the winter of despair.

  24. mjklin says:

    Yonder Capturer in the Field of Rye

    (in the style of the King James Bible)

    If in truth thou deemst it worthy to know, thou first might inquire about the Place wherein I was born, and thereupon the Manner in which I passed a Childhood most cruel and unjust (my Mother and Father being much Engrossed in Private Business before my birth), and suchlike Stuff that may be found in the Novel call’d “David Copperfield”. However, this meeteth not with my Approval in the Mood in which I find myself.

    Reason the First: such Stuff bores me; Reason the Second: my Mother and Father mayhap would suffer two Haemorrhages apiece if I divulged their Personal Stuff. My Mother and Father suffer betimes from an excess of Choler (especially my Father) when broaching such Subjects, though at other times they be both amicable and convivial.

    Reason the Third: it stands not that I will narrate my entire accursed Autobiography to the Reader. Let it stand then that I narrate the Stuff that occurr’d on or around Yuletide past, which verily occurr’d in the Manner of a Madman.

    Forsooth, that be all I have told my Brother, the One call’d D.B, who resides in the State of California, even in the Place call’d Hollywood. His Abode standing near to mine, he often makes arrangements to visit twice a Fortnight. God willing, I will accompany him in a journey home in the coming Month, he driving a Carriage call’d Jaguar, made after the English style and that can travel Two Hundred Miles in one Hour. This Carriage cost him not less than Four Thousand Pounds Sterling.

    D.B. has riches and wants not for Corn nor Oil, though in past times he was Poor, being a Regular Writer. However, upon writing a terrific Book of Short Stories, call’d “The Secret Goldfish”, he met with Reward. The Subject matter treated with a Boy who would not let Man nor Beast look at his Goldfish, for the Reason that he had paid a Farthing of his own money for it. I found it droll. Now D.B. is in Hollywood, writing Motion Pictures, since in his Soul he is akin to a Prostitute.

    Motion Pictures are the one Thing I loath. Prithee mention not Motion Pictures to me.

  25. selenographer says:

    The murder scene from Camus’ L’Etranger (pp. 58-59) written in Nabokovian prose:

    At this precise moment, I knew that all the amelioration of this situation required was a simple turn–a pirhouette of motion and intent–however, the whole of the beach and that relentless yellow singing orb of radiance still beat upon my back. I advanced. The Arab, steadfast, seemed to be actually laughing! Maybe the shadows played tricks on my mind, tempting the caprice of an unbridled rage, but instead, I waited. Oh, the sun! It burned as it burned when Maman died–mangé les pissenlits par la racine–and I felt the skin on my forehead throbbing and reddening to an almost unbearable end. Do not be confused, dear reader, it was the menacing sun that urged me forward, not the Arab.

    I knew, I knew for sure that it was foolish to move forward and that the torrential rays would not cease to drench me in their abusive aridity. Nonetheless, I advanced. The sand beneath my toes became an unstoppable conveyor belt, and no man nor force alive could halt my journey towards this Arab, this Hussein le terible. Seated and suspicious, he drew his knife towards me, reflecting that awful sun into my eyes with the blade. At this point, it was done. Les carrottes sont cuites. The glare cut open my forehead with the keenness of a thousand slashes, exposing nothing but the most acrimonious of savagery to the open air, an act which would ultimately prove fatal.

    If only you knew, patient reader, just how much the sun hurt, through my skin, past my muscle tissue, and down to my very essence, you would understand. It seared, it ripped apart the very flesh of my existence. Oh, Maman, I’m glad you are dead to not suffer through seeing me in such pain.

    It had to be done. The compulsion–le force majeure–had consumed me and enboldened me. As I drew the snubnose I thought of nothing: not of the cold steel of the barrell, not of Maman, not of the beach, not of the Arab whose life is about to come to an unceremonious close…nothing but the incessant heat of the sun. I closed my finger on the trigger once. He then lay motionless, as if he was nothing more significant that the sand now soaked in his blood. Twice, thrice, and a fourth time I shot the man. The sun, well, it still hurt.

  26. PJFlamingo says:

    Finally the coast showed itself. A low mass of earth jagging out of the water and who knew how much beneath. Candide gripped the ship’s rail and wondered if this was when he’d give up his breakfast. The warm churn in his stomach, the kick in his throat. Release. Amazing he’d made it this far; but then, it wasn’t the movement of the ship beneath his boots or the tang of the salt air but the thought of all that earth soaked and sunk and invisible. “By the way,” he said. He looked to see if Martin was with him now or had faded out again. The other passengers he’d met thought that he was loose in the head by now and he’d given up the shyness about babbling to himself at least here on this ship but if he was going to talk he at least wanted to see Martin. The grimy face, the bright eyes. “You think the earth was originally covered by the sea?” “That’s some load there,” Martin said. “You probably buy all the rest, don’t you. Believe it all. All that land came out of the waves just for us to walk on. Screw on. And on the eighth day he created guillibility.” “Okay,” Candide said. He thought of the red patch spreading on his leg, the infection crawling the vein from his ankle. This journey which promised to never end and to leave them dead or maimed or broke in chains. “So what’s the reason? Why do we even exist? Why bother creating this world?” “It’s an experiment in misery,” Martin said. They leaned on the rail and the coast grew clearer ahead.

  27. Blind Zen Archer says:

    So, who won?

    • savannahjfoley says:

      I’ve been watching all day, waiting! I guess they’re not done picking one of us. I guess that means it was a good competition :-)

  28. jacquesphoto says:

    If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is that this here story is about these two really phony families in Verona, which is somewhere in Italy as far as I know, and all that other Shakespeare kind of crap.
    These folks in Verona have been pretty sore at each other for about a million years and where I want to start telling is when they get really goddam sore at each other. Boy, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people getting sore at each other.
    Anyway, these phonies have kids who are even bigger phonies and this girl gets all friendly with this guy cause he’s such a goddam prince and they start shooting the bull a bit and they end up necking . I don’t really feel like going into it, but in the end they goddam kill themselves over all of it just because their parents don’t really like each other too hot. The whole thing, I mean the whole story I’m gonna tell you is sort of a long one, it takes about two hours to tell maybe. So pay attention if you really want to hear it and I’ll try to put an effort into it. And if you don’t get what’s going on, you can always give me a buzz.

    (Romeo and Juliet by J.D. Salinger)

    • Nash Rambler says:

      I wrote the above Raymond Chandler treatment of Moby Dick, and I am forced to bow to this J.D. Salinger treatment of Romeo and Juliet.

  29. fergus1948 says:

    Pride & Prejudice by Mickey Spillane

    It’s a fact, and everybody knows it, that a sucker with stacks of dough is going to have every crumby dame for miles around banging on his door with the stiletto heels of their cheap shoes. Well Fitz Darcy was no different – there was money dropping out of his butt like confetti and the old dame with three daughters had plans for our friend Darcy and those plans involved both his dough and confetti. Poor sap.

  30. William Ronim says:

    Notes from the Canterbury Tales Underground

    I despise April and its nauseatingly sweet showers even more than the dark and barren drought of March. I am a sick man, and the changing clime greatly angers my diseased liver. If I am already an unattractive man (and I most certainly am!) then my reddened and puffy visage in springtime is even more loathsome to behold. And besides, a fine lot of good a meadow of freshly sired flowers does for one such as I crouching in a squalid hole on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. No! The west wind is not so sweet here, befouled as it is by all manner of filth and pollution.

    And yet I remember a spring long past when the singing of the birds (horrible as it is to hear their shrieking chorus after a sleepless night of stabbing tooth ache!) stirred my heart in a most peculiar fashion. Seemingly out of the blue I felt an urge to accompany my fellows on one of their annual pilgrimages. Perhaps I wished at last to engender some kinship with my old schoolmates, no matter how foolish they were when last I saw them; or perhaps (and this is much more likely) I desired to exercise unlimited power over their souls, to subjugate them, to conquer them completely and then reject them utterly.

    However, being without any close associates (for who wishes to converse idiotically about promotions, the weather, and the favors of young countesses for hours on end?) I had no choice but to wend my way to the Tabard, St. Petersburg’s most spacious and comfortable hostel, in search of companions.

    At nightfall there arrived a party of twenty nine pilgrims hailing from of all fourteen ranks of the civil service. Among them were three old schoolmates of mine: Simonov, Ferfichkin, and Trudolyubov. They were excitedly discussing their forthcoming trip to foreign shores and shrines of healing. I scoffed at their provincial superstitions, though not so loud that anyone might hear me. Finally, impatient with being ignored like an ordinary housefly, I suddenly invited myself into their fellowship. They turned and looked on me with barely contained horror, and indeed my appearance was most villainous. I wore a shabby greatcoat and hat, lemon colored gloves, boots stuffed with paper, and in a contemptuously absurd twist, a brand new German beaver collar that had cost me my last rubles.

    “Very well,” Trudolyubov said. “If he really wants to come so much, let him.” Then they agreed to rise early and take the main road out of the city.

    Oh, how I hated them terribly for their indifference and their unwillingness to recognize my existence! Nevertheless, I knew I would go through with this pilgrimage and that I would suffer willingly and even eagerly. I was just that sort of man.

    The account that follows is not meant for the public, I only write it down to bring myself some relief, and because I am bored and never do anything. Writing feels like work, and they say that work makes a man good and honest. Well, at least there’s a chance.

  31. badger500 says:

    Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War in the style of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People:

    Chapter 3: “Break Their Chariots”

    The president of a Wall Street bank once told me his secret for effective self improvement. He was a man with little formal education, but he had learned the secret to succeeding in whatever he might choose. “The secret,” he said, “is that all warfare is based on deception.

    Was it really that simple? I sat and listened, and took out a small steno pad that I was in the habit of carrying around in those years, and jotted down the wisdom that he imparted to me that day.

    The banker continued. “Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him,” he said. But, I asked, what if the enemy was secure? The banker grinned broadly, and added, “If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.”

    “And if I can’t evade him?”

    “If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.” And that was it! Something clicked in my mind at the words the silver-haired banker told me that day long ago. Give your enemy “the business”. Get him to chase his tail for a while. Before you know it, he’ll have a case of the fantods and you’ll be sitting on top of more sales revenue than you can count.

    Tom McPeterson, an accounts executive with a six figure income, agrees. I recall once, while we were out on Lake Hopatcong angling for walleye, Tom told me the lesson that increased sales even when all his creditors had abandoned him–and even lead to him marrying the girl of his dreams! “With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength,” he said, “the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets…will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.” Just then Tom felt a tug of a feisty walleye on his line and added, “they will be ruined.”

    Ruined! Was that all you had to do?

    But, after some prayer and putting it into practice in my own life, I knew it was true. And one day some weeks after that, I taped a little piece of paper over my shaving mirror that simply said: “Break their chariots.”

    It was my small way of reminding myself of how the little things were so important in life.

  32. dmabury says:

    Throughout Lancre for fifty years there would be bitter-eyed women who looked backward, to dead times, to dead men, evoking memories that hurt and were futile, bearing poverty with bitter pride because they had those memories. But Magrat was never to look back. She couldn’t.

    She gazed at the blackened stones and, for the last time, she saw her cottage rise before her eyes as it had once stood, rich and proud and full of crystals and mystic runes and weird-smelling candles. Then she started down the road toward Lancre town, the heavy basket cutting into her flesh.

    Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again. “As the gods are my witness,” she said, “the elves and the vampires and that creepy guy who killed the old king and whoever else is invading Lancre this week aren’t going to lick me. I’m going to live through this, and when it’s over, I’m never going to be hungry again. If I have to steal or kill or listen to Nanny sing the hedgehog song — as the gods are my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again.”

    “Ook,” said the Librarian, and handed her a banana.

  33. Boba Fett Diop says:

    On the evening of 24 December, just as the clock was striking twenty-three, Winston Smith huddled in his kitchen, taking nips of oily Victory gin against the cold that seemed to creep in through the numerous cracks in the plaster of his shabby flat. With the telescreen set to its lowest volume during the programme of patriotic music that normally occupied the hour before sign-off, Winston reflected that the tower block seemed especially quiet- the normal thumping of feet on uncarpeted floors, the muted arguments, the screams of children playing Thinkpol and Goldstein: all seemed to be absent. To be fair, the building still reeked of boiled cabbage and humanity, but for a moment Winston could almost imagine that he wasn’t surrounded by the misery of other members of INGSOC. Even the vermin normally scratching away in the walls- mice or something larger- were strangely silent.

    Suddenly the eerie calm was shattered by a horrible din from outside his window. Cold fear clawed at Winston’s entrails. It was the Thought Police. They had finally come for him. Winston leapt up in panic, but then froze in the middle of his kitchen- where could he go? All was lost. His gaze moved towards the soot coated window. If the fall could kill him he would at least be spared the Ministry of Love and their methods. No. He was too much of a coward even for that. Winston sat down again and tensed himself for the pounding of boots up stairs, the shattering of a doorframe, the blows to his head and neck.

    When- after a time- none of these things came, Winston crawled over to the window and peeked over the dirty ledge. What he saw in the courtyard of Victory Mansions terrified him far more than the black vans of Miniluv. I’ve gone mad, he thought. They’ve already taken me, and broken my mind, and I’ve gone mad. Winston looked again- in the courtyard below there seemed to be a tiny sleigh, like something in a picture book that he had read as a child, a picture book from before the war. A tiny sleigh pulled by what appeared to be eight tiny deer.

  34. Anonymous says:

    “They are constructed of meat.”

    “Meat?”

    “Meat. They are absolutely meat.”

    “Meat?”

    “There’s no doubt. We picked them up from different parts of the planet, took them aboard, probed them and all. They are meat.”

    “That is not possible. What about the signals? The messages?”

    “They use radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them, they come from machines.”

    “Machines? That’s who we contact.”

    “They made the machines. That is what I am telling you. Meat made them.”

  35. a_shostak says:

    Harry Potter in the style of Emily Dickinson

    Because I could not stop for Death,
    He kindly stopped for me;
    But he did not expect my might
    And Immortality.

    My horcruxes were all made well,
    My wand was sure and true,
    But prophecy be damned that night,
    The killing curse did fail.

    That Potter boy, he knew her love,
    When died she did to save
    Her son, and I miscalculate
    How much that love did give.

    I lost my form, and bone and blood
    but my mind still was sound;
    I waited in Albania,
    Until my servant came.

    Or rather, my dumb rat,
    That idiot Wormtail;
    The Death Eaters are still afraid,
    But they will pay the price.

    Since then ’tis Harry Potter who
    Has been my only thought;
    And Dumbledore, you cannot win,
    for I am the Dark Lord.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Once upon a midnight dreary,As I stood there, weak and weary,
    Overlooking the plains of Denmark’s vast galore,
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly I heard a rasping,
    As of some one gently breathing, breathing on the castle floor.
    “‘Tis nothing,” I muttered, “rasping on the castle floor -
    Nothing there, and nothing more.”

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
    But the silence was unbroken and the darkness gave no token,
    When suddenly appeared before me of our lost dear Lor’.
    King Hamlet stood before me
    As a ghost, and nothing more.

    “What art thou?” we asked him, and in answer he did not reply.
    “Charge thee speak!” we shouted and no answer came to for.
    The ghost turned and walked away as we shouted while it passed,
    “Dost be offended,” as it left and the cock did make its caw.
    King Hamlet no longer did appear right here upon the castle floor -
    It was empty now, nothing there, forever more.

  37. Kunochan says:

    I never believed these letters were real, until I had an amazing experience last Spring.

    I live in a hole in the ground – not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled various diseases and a fishy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole vacant from disuse: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means tight.

    I was sitting on the stoop in my close-fitting morning jacket, which barely reaches down to my furry hobbit-nethers, when a strapping elderly gentleman approached my door. He was extraordinarily tall, with very large feet – and in the lore of my family, that implies a rather generous endowment in the breeches. Needless to say, my attention was aroused.

    “Good morning” I said, and meant it, and more besides. But the stranger looked out from beneath his sexy bushy eyebrows and scowled. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is morning to be good on?”

    “It is a morning to be bad on,” I replied, running my calloused fingers gently, then firmly, up and down the shaft of his hard, weathered staff.

    “Good heavens, Mister Baggins, whatever are you doing?” the man exclaimed. I was not surprised that he knew my name – I was well known around The Hill and Across the Water, and my name was scrawled upon the outhouse doors of inns from Buckleberry to Bree.

    “Questing for the Great Worm,” I replied, and popped my head under the stranger’s robes…

  38. takeshi says:

    Alice, apple of my eye, conflagration of my essence. My iniquity, my vitality. Al-ice: the meridian of the mouth muscle maneuvering in matching movements along the parapet to palpate, in a mated motion, on the maxilla. Al. Iss.

    • voidPortal says:

      Beautiful!

    • Anonymous says:

      @takeshi: This is the only post I have yet too figure out. Is it Wonderland by Graham Swift?

      @latergray: Best take on Edgar Allen Poe yet.

      What does it say about Boing Boing readers that the two authors that inspire the most are William Shakespeare and Dr Seuss? I like.

  39. minorblues says:

    The Merchant of Venice by Irvine Welsh (some language might offend):

    Tae bait fish wi it; — if it will feed nothing else, it will feed mah revenge. He huv disgraced me and shat on me, like; laughed at mah losses, mocked mah gains, scorned mah nation, thwarted mah deals, talked shite to mah friends, provoked mah enemies– and whit’s his reason? Ah am a Scot. Huv nae a Scot eyes? Huv nae a Scot fuckin hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed wi th’ same food, hurt wi th’ same weapons, subject tae th’ same diseases, healed by th’ same means, warmed n cooled by th’ same winter n summer, as th’ English? If ye prick us, dae we nae bleed? If ye tickle us, dae we nae laugh? If ye poison us, dae we nae die? n if ye wrong us, shaa we nae revenge? If we ur like ye in th’ rest, we will resemble ye in ‘at. If a Scot wrongs aw English cunt, whit can he dae? Take revenge. If ‘at same English cunt wrong aw Scot, whit should he dae followin English fuckin example? Revenge! Th’ shite ye teach me, Ah will most certainly execute but Ah will better th’ instruction, ken?

  40. Nilchii says:

    The revelation scene from Oedipus, written in the style of Grendel

    I am mad with joy. At least, I think it’s joy. The plague has changed Thebes, and it’s a whole new game. This messenger has brought news of my father’s death! O happy Oedipus, king of two cities! Yet, this news does not fill me with the joy it should, for my mother still lives!

    Wretched king, to live in fear of some prophecy! It is madness, I tell myself, yet I am still afraid. Afraid of my mother, of all things, like some child standing over a broken platter. My wife is talking, but I hardly hear her. Something fear, something something prophecy. Merope’s face swims in my thoughts, and I tremble, like a virgin’s thigh at the feather touch of her love. Horrible, horrible! The blind prophet can not be right. These portents are too ominous, too ridiculous, too mechanical. Yet, the plague, the plague…

    I have been talking to the messenger for some time now, clockwork king, free-willed engine of fate. I should pay attention. You know, we’ve got a mystery to solve, so Oedipus be ready for your act. Don’t hold back! Where was I? The old king’s death. Right, right. The shepherd.

    The shepherd this messenger says gave me to him when I was an infant. Can he be the same man? How can he be the only survivor of the old king’s murder and the missing link in the chain of my parentage? All along, this one man held the secret key to both mysteries, like some… keeper. Of gates, figuratively speaking. It’s too pat, too neat. I don’t like it. I decide to mess it up. I tune in to what’s going on around me.

    Jocasta is telling me to ignore the messenger. Ignore him! He’s the first thing that has made any sense all day! We can wrap this up in a minute! Less!

    “And close the door on the mystery of my birth?” Or words to that effect, I’m sure it sounds better in translation. I turn to Thebes. They stand in a group. Why are they all masked? I feel that we are being gazed on by the gods. An audience of gods, or the gods’ creators. I am filled with joy and a strange fear, but I can no more stop myself now than I could stop this plague. My tongue plods on in idiot conviction, automatic stubbornness. “Never!”

    Why does the word sound like the sealing of a tomb? Why is Jocasta fleeing? Why am I thinking of Merope again?

    My wife is gone, so I order this shepherd tortured, unsure of why I am doing it. Why does this prophecy he speaks of sound so familiar? Jocasta’s prophecy, my prophecy. Dear Apollo! Appall-o! A pall! O!

    Light! May I never see you more! Was that my out-loud voice?

    Poor Oedipus had a prophecy! So may you all!

  41. pyramidheadlouse says:

    Hans Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, as retold by Ayn Rand:

    There was once a prince who wanted to marry a princess. But she had to be an objectively rational princess. He travelled the world over trying to indulge this whim, but sadly found nothing but warm hearted altruists with pathetic misplaced faith in the rest of mankind. Of course he slept with each and every princess anyway because it made him happy, and his own selfish happiness was the only important thing according to his strict objectivist epistemology.

    A few years later, while the prince was playing ODST on the 360 his own individual hard work had provided, there was a terrible storm. Then there came a knock on the castle door and, being the self-esteemed, commanding and forceful type, the prince screamed at his elderly father to answer it.

    It was allegedly a princess who stood outside, but she looked like a drowned rat in the rain. The old King bid her indoors. As soon as the Queen saw her she suspected her for a liar because this ‘princess’ was wearing clothes bought at a store only the lowest of government-dependent slaves frequent. Still, the young woman was not genetically unattractive in a way, and she insisted on being a real princess.
    “Well, we’ll find out soon enough!” thought the crafty old queen to herself. She went into the bedroom, took all the bedclothes off, and placed a pea on the bottom of the bed. She placed twenty mattresses on top of the pea.
    There the princess had to sleep.

    In the morning they asked her how she had slept.
    “Oh, terribly!” said the princess. “I have hardly shut my eyes all night! I did find a pea in my bed, but what really bothered me was how a bunch of complete strangers like yourselves could show me kindness when the completely rational, objective thing to do would have been to leave me out in the cold!”
    They could see she was a rational princess!

    The prince married her and they would have lived happily ever after, but their status as welfare receiving parasites who gained everything they had through the evil of taxation shone through. As soon as the masses had wholeheartedly accepted Objectivism they murdered the Royal Family and turned their palace into a brothel. After all, it was the only rational thing to do..

  42. Shad Bolling says:

    In the great green room
    Of Castle Caladan

    There was a glowglobe
    And an Orange Catholic Bible
    And a picture of
    Grandpa Atreides jumping over a Salusan bull

    And there were three lasgun cogs
    Propped against chairdogs
    And two little shield belts
    And a pair of whale-fur pelts

    And a little Landsraad house
    And a small shadow mouse
    And an ornithopter
    And some melange spice
    And a bowl full of pundi rice

    And a quiet old witch who was whispering “gom jabbar”

    Three quick breaths trigger the mind-body responses:

    Goodnight moon
    Goodnight moon

    Goodnight grandpa jumping over a Salusan bull
    Goodnight glowglobe
    And the Orange Catholic Bible
    Goodnight lasgun cogs
    Goodnight chairdogs

    Goodnight shield belts
    And goodnight whale-fur pelts
    Goodnight baliset
    And goodnight Harkonnen threat

    Goodnight Landsraad house
    And goodnight shadow mouse
    Goodnight ornithopter
    And goodnight spice
    Goodnight Kwisatz Haderach
    Goodnight pundi rice

    And goodnight to the old witch whispering “gom jabbar”

    Goodnight cold Caladan water
    Goodnight hot Arrakis air
    Goodnight Imperial planets everywhere

  43. caxwl says:

    A merry little surge of electricity piped by scream from the sorry stricken’s head beside his tomb awakened Rick Deckard. Surprised — it always surprised him to find himself awake without prior notice — he rose from the coffin, stood up in his multicolored pajamas, and stretched. Now, in her sarcophagus, his wife Iran opened her gray, unmerry eyes, blinked, then groaned like half-starved ghoul and shut her eyes again.

  44. Anonymous says:

    HAMLET:
    To be, or not to be: that is the question?, not
    The Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything IS the question.
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    but Don’t Panic, Arthur said, when he was waiting for the answer.
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
    To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
    Life, the Universe and Everything

    When he himself might his question make
    at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

    No traveller or Hitchhiker returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?

    Be all my sins remember’d.
    the answer is 42…

  45. procedura says:

    Dinosauria, We

    Born like this
    Into this
    As the chalk faces board
    As Mrs. Death dies
    As the elevators elevate us
    As political landscapes solve our problems
    As the supermarket bag boy holds a cabbage leaf
    As the gold fish spit out their golden gift
    As the sun is bright
    We are
    Born like this
    Into this
    Into these carefully bright lifes
    Into the sight of innocent baby’s eyes
    Into bars where people smile and laugh and love each other
    Into kisses that end as love makings and breakfests in bed
    Born into this
    Into hospitals which are so comfortable that it’s better to be ill
    Into lawyers who save us from the injustice
    Into a country where the jails are empty and the madhouses obsolete
    Into a place where the people elevate geniuses into heroes
    Born into this
    Walking and living through this
    living because of this
    happy because of this
    Liberated
    Happy
    Proud

    Because of this
    Rewarded by this
    Blissed by this
    Smiled on by this
    Made courageous and bold by this
    Made violet
    Made human
    By this
    The heart is opened
    The fingers reach for the hand
    The man
    The brother
    The soulmate
    The fingers reach toward an responsive god
    The fingers reach for the flower
    The raindrop
    The sun
    We are born into this hopefull lifeliness
    We are born into a government 60 years in prosperity
    That soon will be able to pay the food for world’s poor
    And the banks will help
    Money will be flowing
    There will be open forgivness and solidarity in the world
    It will be people doing good for other people
    Land will flourish
    Food will become a everybody’s asset
    Nuclear power will be taken down for good
    Explosions will be silenced for good
    Friendly robots will help men
    The rich will feed the poor
    Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a forgotten nightmare
    The sun will shine
    Trees will breathe
    All vegetation will live forever
    Good men will help the unfortunate men
    The sea will be pure and full of life
    The lakes and rivers will shine and sparkle
    Rain will be the new blessing
    The loud laugh of men and animals will fulfill the earth
    The humankind will be given a new chance
    And the space platforms will be built
    The new lighthouses for a bright future
    The natural effect of general prosperity
    And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
    Born out of that.
    The sun still hidden there
    Awaiting the next chapter.

    original, by c. bukowski is here:
    http://procedura.net1zen.com/?p=602

  46. Anonymous says:

    “It was a new time, it was reminding the past, it was Colonel Aureliano Buendía, he was in front of the firing squad, he was to remember the past, he was to face the squad, it was a good feeling, it was a bad experience, he was diving into the past when his father was taking him to discover the ice.”

    Quote from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by “Gabriel García Márquez (trans. Gregory Rabassa)” written in the style of the initial lines of “A Tale of Two Cities” by “Charles Dickens” :)

  47. JonJohns65 says:

    Have you read the Beaver Papers?
    Here is the Authors site:
    http://www.redroom.com/publishedwork/the-beaver-papers-the-story-lost-season-will-jacobs

    and the Amazon site:
    http://www.amazon.com/Beaver-Papers-Story-Lost-Season/dp/0517549913

    and a review:
    http://everything2.com/title/The+Beaver+Papers

    This book is a work of fiction, featuring “Lost Scripts” for the TV show Leave it to Beaver, as if the lost scripts were written by famous authors.

  48. arnique says:

    Wonderland

    Follow me, said the Rabbit, and I will give you your Golden Afternoon. And she followed him—down the hole, to the chequered lawns of Memory’s mystic band.

    How it repeats itself, how it goes back on itself, no matter how she tries to figure it out (Drink me. Don’t drink me.). How she grows larger, smaller. Her world has gone the wrong way up, and they call it Progress? How it goes in circles and brings her back to the same place, Nowhere.

    She is thinking of going somewhere (which is beyond the looking glass). Does she really want to get back to Here and Now? She was tired of school and lessons—there’s something odd about that cat—beneath the willows and today’s setting sun, so he told her

    About the Tarts.

  49. gregoryhere says:

    Vonnegut does Proust as narrator of “In Search of Lost Time” obsesses over mother coming up for the goodnight kiss:

    I liked to wait. Outside a bird made a noise. Poo-tee-tweet. The bird made a shadow, too. My mother didn’t make a shadow or a noise even if I wanted her to. She did make a different noise, like that of a woman whose dress made it hard for her to get up the stairs without part of it shifting musical notes against the banister. Rif-did-E-rift, it would say. Rif-did-E rift. My mother would get there and leave. I didn’t like that. Would you?

    So, now I didn’t even like it that I knew she was coming. That just made me hurt, like a toothache. Toothaches hurt a lot when I was kid. So it goes.

    I’m sure my father told my mother to stop babying me. He was probably right. Back then I was a big baby, so much so that my mother had to bend down to kiss me. Her face gave me the cuddle-wuddles. That was great. I think I remember shadows on the wall. And a tree.

    Swann lived in Combray, too. I once lived there and in Indianapolis. We were all young once but not anymore. When Swann was in town he came by and visited like humans do sometimes. Other humans do other things. Like kill or be jealous. Swann did things I liked and things I didn’t like. The big thing I didn’t like is that when he visited my parents, I could hear them talking. And my mother didn’t come to my room. That made a kid like me sad. So it goes.

  50. Boba Fett Diop says:

    Slight cosmetic changes:

    On the evening of 24 December, just as the clock was striking twenty-three, Winston Smith huddled in his kitchen, taking nips of oily Victory gin against the cold that seemed to seep in through the numerous cracks in the plaster of his shabby flat. With the telescreen set to its lowest volume during the programme of patriotic music that normally occupied the hour before sign-off, Winston reflected that the tower block seemed especially quiet. The normal thumping of feet on uncarpeted floors, the muted arguments, the screams of children playing Thinkpol and Goldstein: all seemed to be absent. To be fair, the building still reeked of boiled cabbage and humanity, but for a moment Winston could almost imagine that he wasn’t surrounded by the misery of other members of INGSOC. Even the vermin normally scratching away in the walls- mice or something larger- were strangely silent.

    Suddenly the eerie calm was shattered by a horrible din from outside his window. Cold fear clawed at Winston’s entrails. It was the Thought Police. They had finally come for him. Winston leapt up in panic, but then froze in the middle of his kitchen- where could he go? All was lost. His gaze moved towards the soot coated glass. If the fall could kill him he would at least be spared the Ministry of Love and their methods. No. He was too much of a coward even for that. Winston sat down again and tensed himself for the pounding of boots up stairs, the shattering of a doorframe, the blows to his head and neck.

    When- after a time- none of these things came, Winston crawled over to the window and peeked over the dirty ledge. What he saw in the courtyard of Victory Mansions terrified him far more than the black vans of Miniluv. I’ve gone mad, he thought. They’ve already taken me, and broken my mind, and I’ve gone mad. Winston looked again- in the courtyard below there seemed to be a tiny sleigh, like something in a picture book that he had read as a child, a picture book from before the war. A tiny sleigh pulled by what appeared to be eight tiny deer.

  51. JWWaterhouse says:

    I have taken the text of one writer whose works I admire, Franz Kafka, and rewrote it in the style of another writer I equally esteem, William S Burroughs:

    One morning Gregor Samsa woke from a hot-shot fueled junkie dream, woke in his sweat soaked bed to find himself an insect. The driving need of junk sickness had fused his bones, made his ribs protrude and mesh with his vertebrae to form a hard carapace, the outer shell of the alien thing that lived within him, lived and craved the opiate kick it needed just to exist. “Well,” Gregor thought, “that must have been some very serious shit mixed in with my usual.” Gregor noted his psychological framework was in place, the codes and pictures and society’s programs. The proteins and enzymes that made him Gregor Samsa flowed through his brain even as the junk had saturated his body and left him in ever failing need. “I may not be dead, but whoever gave me that shot is going to be well and truly fucked.”

    The cold wretched feeling of junk sickness, the need of the alien within, the alien he was now within, climbed up the back of his legs. His left leg and his right leg, his left leg and his right leg… and his left and right and so on through each of his host’s spindly limbs. What had happened did not surprise him. Gregor had been receiving messages in dreams and snatches of conversations overheard on the omnibus that he knew had been encoded for him, for the thing that had been in him and that now he was inside. A junk hungry parasite, riding a junk hungry host, the useless legs waving like cilia gone mad from contradicting instruction sets. The chilling wave of his body’s cellular need, of his host’s body traveled up the thin, useless lengths of each leg, as it waved and whipped on its own, leaving Gregor on his deprivation stiffened back, the alien’s hardened shell, unable to move, unwilling to move. The needle thin legs flexed and slithered and slunk, seeking a fix nowhere nearby.

  52. twofivesix says:

    If you really want to hear about it, you’ll probably want to know where I was born, and where my money went, and what put this damper in my chest and all that Robert Louis Stevenson kind of crap, but to tell you the truth I don’t feel like going into it. It’s boring as all hell, and more to the point I wouldn’t be getting the hell out of the city all madman if I was in the mood to be looking backwards, would I? Not that it’s a bad place, New York, and not that there’s anything dark and mysterious about my past–I’m not trying to sell you that–just that sometimes I get this wandering feeling and I just want to get out to sea and not make a big deal about all the lousy crap that came before. Besides, it’s not like you need my whole goddam autobiography when I just want to tell you about this crazy mess that happened with the white whale. So anyway, you can call me Ishmael and that’s about all you need to know about me if I’m going to start where I want to.

    Where I want to start telling is the night I turned up at the Spouter Inn in New Bedford. You probably haven’t heard of it. I never did until the goddam dump was right before me. It’s a lousy place with a leaking roof and a crooked floor and some corny sign on chains blowing out front. Just the kind of place I’d never stay usually and just the right kind of place for when I was trying to put some distance between me and all those phonies in New York. So, inside the Spouter Inn there’s this madman painting they’ve got stuck up on the wall. I don’t know a goddam thing about paintings, but I get a bang out them anyway so I always look at them. Only this one’s sort of funny. Sort of insane, really. It isn’t one of those paintings with a lot of phony flowers in it and a phony sunset and a lot of phony ladies in dresses with umbrellas that are always looking at the goddam sunset or picking the goddam flowers. Paintings like that just make me want to puke. This painting is different. It’s mostly just this one screwball blob of black paint, like the guy who made it didn’t even care. You could look at it for a long time, especially if you were having a crumby day and your head’s not in it, without ever figuring out what that goddam black blob was supposed to be. Maybe it’s a black bear clawing the hell out of a panther at midnight, you can’t tell. But then you see it. It’s a whale. A huge goddam whale jumping out of the sea to come crashing down and crush this lousy little boat beneath it. What kind of terrible bastard makes a painting like that? It nearly killed me.

    But what the hell. You can’t ever find a place that’s nice a peaceful, because there isn’t any. If a dump has paintings on the wall that don’t scare the hell out of you, I promise something else is wrong with it. Other places they give you a nice big room with a window that looks out on the ocean, but someone’s scratched “Fuck You in the middle of the floor with a buck knife or something. At the Spouter Inn in New Bedford they cram you two in a bed with a lunatic harpooner who’s got a name like Queequeeg or something and is about eight feet tall and who’d rather eat you than shake your hand. But there’s no “Fuck You” carved anywhere. It’s not so bad, to tell you the truth. Except that that’s where it all started, the whole madman thing with the whale.

  53. stagefrog2 says:

    The Life and Loves of a Wicked Queen
    (Snow White as written by Fay Weldon)

    Snow White lives in a castle in the heart of the kingdom. She sings a great deal about the nature of love: she tells lies.

    Snow White is seventeen, and the fairest in the land. She always has a man—or seven—around to love her, sometimes quite desperately, and she has on occasion returned this love with cleaning, but never, I think, with desperation.

    Snow White has 109,475 silky, black hairs on her head. This is the equivalent of 4.532×10^14 hair cells, 2.453×10^15 of which are inner hair cells. She has 0 split ends.

    Snow White is small, and pretty, and delicately formed, prone to whistling and working and eating apples while pretending that she doesn’t.

    Snow White is loved by my mirror, who is magic.

    I love my mirror, and I hate Snow White.

  54. happyplants says:

    Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” by William Faulkner.

    As Gregor Samsa woke up from dreams that were uneasy and that had kept him tossing and turning in his bed (his bed the cradle which rocked to and fro with the weight of his tossing and turning body, unable to relax in the midst of such uneasy dreams) to the realization, awful realization, that he had transformed into a giant insect (bug, he thought at first but decided to approach the awful realization of his new form as scientifically as possible, his mind carefully turning over the word like he had turned over insects onto their backs as a game when he was a child) and as he lifted his head he could see his domelike brown, not quite black nor red, belly and his many waving arms that reminded him how fitfully he had slept because his dreams were uneasy, but this was no dream and he was lying on his back, now a giant cockroach, an insect turned onto its back with the movement of his limbs like the clumsy accompaniment of so many unnecessary instruments played crudely and amateurishly out of time to the tune itself: these were his legs now helplessly waving before his eyes.

    What has happened to me? he thought but there was no answer. He had expected none, just as a child, before the full instant of comprehended terror, calls on the parent whom it actually knows (this before the terror destroys all judgment whatever) is not even there to hear it cry. He was crying not to someone, something, but through something, (he attmpted to cry) through the the absolutely rocklike and immobile fact that he was now an insect. It was no longer an uneasy dream that had kept him tossing and turning, now he found his room (once a human room, ordinary and regular but only rather too small but now a box, the ceiling a lid over the box which contained an insect on its back) unchanged with the table still spread with cloth samples unpacked and spread out, table unchanged and the cloth out of the box they were packed in but now still packed in the box of the room.

  55. dlouche says:

    The Raven by Dr. Seuss

    Big T, little t, what begins with t,
    Tap, Tap, Tapping,
    t, T, t

    Big S, little s, what begins with s,
    Surcease of Sorrow,
    s, S, s

    Big R, little r, what begins with those,
    Raven rapping repeatedly,
    r, R, r

    Big N, little n, what begins with n,
    Never-nevermore,
    n, N, n

  56. stagefrog2 says:

    If we can submit two entries, read the follow additional submission. If not, please ignore.

    “The Ash Also Rises” OR “For Whom the Fairy Godmother Comes” by Ernest Hemingway

    CHAPTER 1

    Cinderella was once beloved daughter of a good, simple man. Like most good, simple men, he made the mistake of marrying the first woman of breeding who set her sights on him. After, of course, the tragic death of his first wife. But even such a death could not shake his simple faith in the good of mankind. Unfortunately, the new wife was anything but good. She had two daughters just as spoiled and cruel as she. Luckily, a horse stepped on his face, and he was not tortured by her presence for long. But Cinderella was left to the evil whims of her step-family.

    The stepmother was rather distinguished, but she sensed her looks were following the fate of her former husband. She told Cinderella, “You will cook and clean to earn your keep.”

    “Damned noble of you, dearest Stepmother.” Cinderella was quite possibly intelligent, but no one, certainly not she, knew it because she was so arrestingly beautiful. Cinderella had the vague notion that one of servant status should dress as such; thus, she took to wearing old tatters. Yet her rags did nothing to hide her charm and beauty.

    ————

    It was a warm spring night, and Cinderella sat on the floor of the kitchen after her work was done, watching her stepsisters curl their tortured, bleached hair, and the house rats scurry across the floor, and the candles flickered in the waning sunlight, and her stepmother gazing into the hall mirror, her beauty disappearing as she watched. Cinderella watched a dark shape walk up the drive and watched it come to the door. There was a knock. The stepmother answered the door. Cinderella glanced at the royal messenger. She had never been so close to one of them and had never even set eyes on anyone with a title.

    The messenger was invited in for a drink. After they utilized a couple bottles of wine, it was discovered that all the unattached women in the kingdom were to be invited to a grand fiesta. After the messenger left, Cinderella said, “I wish to hell I could go to the fiesta.”

    “I’m a little tight, but not so tight as to let you go.” She utilized another bottle of wine, but still she would not let Cinderella go. Cinderella went to her bed by the fireplace, felt like hell, and cried.

  57. Weirdside says:

    Jabber-viddy

    `Twas bezoomy, and the spoddy tolchock
    Did gromky and gloopy in the sinny:
    All kroovy were the chelloveck,
    And the moodge nachinat sneety.

  58. Anonymous says:

    ha. like PK Dick’s Jungle Rot Boy on the Nod (Tarzan of the Apes reimagined by WSB instead of ERB).

  59. momgo says:

    Harry Potter and the Way-Past-Their-Sale-Date
    Eggs and Ham by Dr. J.K. Seuss-Rowling

    I do not like Lord Voldemort.
    I do not like him. No, old sport.
    Do not like him here or there.
    I do not like him anywhere.
    I do not like that kid Malfoy.
    I do not like that Dursley boy.
    I’d rather eat a red-tide clam
    Than moldy old green eggs and ham.
    Not at Hogwarts. Not with Hagrid.
    Not at all. Some things are sacred.
    Could I? Would I? With a dragon?
    Could I? Would I? From a flagon?
    Could I? Would I? With a Snitch?
    Could I? Would I? With a witch?
    Not with a dragon, not with a flagon.
    Not on a broom or an Alley Diagon.
    Not with a goblet, not with a stone.
    Not with a half-blood or on my own.
    But still, I can say this for sure:
    I’m rather fond of Dumbledore.
    And yes, of course, I do get on
    With dear Hermione and Ron.

  60. haikujunky says:

    WTF? (apologies to Frost)

    We’re off to some woods that I know
    In the shelter of darkness we go
    My horse thinks that I’m nuts
    We are freezing our butts
    All I want is to look at the snow!

    The horse is completely annoyed
    He thinks that my brain’s been destroyed
    The path home’s long and far
    And we don’t have a car
    Next time this is a trip he’ll avoid!

  61. nickjamesuk says:

    Genesis according to Garth Marenghi
    It was black. Black as coal. Black as the blackest kind of black, that was also in shadow. In the coal-black darkness that was like some oil spilt on a penguin, God made heaven and Earth. He made heaven nice, but he made Earth not so nice. Then he said “This dark is dark, darker than a nun’s cloak, although they haven’t been invented yet.” Simile was not his strong point. He said “Light, please”, and light there indeed was. Lots of it. More than in one of those movies where they are set in the future and everything is not only well lit, but too well lit. One of those.
    God made plants and animals to eat them. Then he made animals to eat those animals. Then he stopped, because that was getting out of hand, and could have continued for a long time. Some of the animals were varied, some were similar, but all were alive, and that is the point. This is where fear began. Some animals were eaten, and some were only half eaten. They would lie there, covered in maggots. Of course, maggots are also animals, so at least someone was happy. The maggots would writhe in the bloody flesh of the wounds of the animals, and they would be happy, but the animals, not the maggots, would know fear. And then God made humans…

    …and they also knew fear. But only some knew maggots.

  62. ethanol says:

    You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of Ender’s Game, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Orson Scott Card, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Jane, or the Hive Queen, or maybe Valentine — my sister Valentine, she is — and the Hive Queen and Valentine is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.

    Now the way that the book winds up is this: After I done ended the war, and Peter, that’s my brother Peter, set hisself up to be the Hegemon, Valentine and me lit out for a different planet, what used to be a place where the buggers lived, and allowed we would sivilize it, on account of Hegemons ain’t sivilized nohow, least not when they’re my brother Peter anyways.

    But then the Hive Queen turned up, and I made me a different book. That book was all about her, and I didn’t put my name down on it but just called it Speaker for the Dead, which weren’t too good an idea, ’cause when folks read that book of mine it started to get mighty hot in those parts for a body called Ender Wiggin. So we had to light out again, Valentine and me, only this time the Hive Queen come along too.

  63. Anonymous says:

    The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then stood still again.

    “You cannot pass!” he said, trying not to let his worry show on his face.

    Incidentally, the phrase “You cannot pass” when spoken in Evlish sounds remarkably like the mating call of the male Weeblefleen bird of Sirius VII. The Elves of Middle Earth are completely unaware of this embarrassing fact, of course. So they continue to speak these words to unsuspecting passers by without knowing how silly they actually sound. Gandalf, having spent much of his time amongst the Elves, was also blissfully ignorant of this fact. However, neither was he speaking Elvish. Consequently, despite what a casual observer might conclude, the worry that Gandalf the Grey bore at that moment was not the kind of worry that besets a market analyst when approaching a boardroom full of angry stock holders. Indeed, against all the advice of the best selling self help manuscripts at the time, Gandalf was worried about the welfare of his friends.

    The Balrog thought it would step out onto the bridge, so it did.

    This, of course, caused a great deal of consternation behind Gandalf as Aragorn decided at that moment that it was a good time to assist Gandalf with his presentation.

    “He cannot stand alone!” Aragorn shouted as he ran back toward Gandalf. “Elindel,” he cried, and before he could think of other embarrassing sounding Elvish words to use his mouth valiantly followed that with, “I am with you, Gandalf!”

    Boromir, not wanting to be left out of the fun, but not being as well educated in Elvish or Common vocabulary as Aragorn, could only think of one word. “Gondor!” he shouted, hoping that would help.

    Gandalf wanted to sigh, but knew that this would not stop anyone from continuing to do anything foolish. People, including Balrogs, are, after all, inherently foolish creatures. Almost as foolish as a Took. Or a toque, depending on what side of the border you happen to be from, and whether or not you like poutine. But alas, poutine was not in order here, or anywhere near most places in Middle Earth, for that matter. No, Gandalf realized with a certain wizardly resignation that other implements would have to be used to rectify the situation. Poutine would have to wait patiently in another world for him. Perhaps on the other side of the Western Sea, should he live long enough to cross it.

    Being one of the more clever individual of one of the galaxy’s vast plethora of tool using creatures, Gandalf did what came natural to him. In a fit of desperation, in the tradition of his ancestors, he beat a stick against a rock. It just so happened that the stick he used happened to be the magic staff he was holding. And the only rock he had to beat it against was the bridge that the Balrog was now standing upon. It is not clear if the Balrog understood the significance of this at that moment, but Gandalf, as it also happened, did. Which is why he did it.

    The bridge had been hit by many things before, and it knew what to do in these circumstances. This largely involved remaining in place as best it could, and transferring the kinetic energy of the offending object back down to its supporting structures, who, after a brief consultation with the earth beneath them concluded that they would take the conservative action and also remain still. The energy was returned back to the staff, which didn’t know what to do with it and so broke into several pieces, much like a customer is want to do when his paperwork is returned to him unsigned after standing in too many lines at the complaint department.

    Unfortunately for the bridge, the magic that was contained within Gandalf’s staff burst forth like the Galaxy’s most heroic lawyer and leaped to action, tearing the bridge apart in a catastrophic and sudden flash. Suddenly, the Balrog found that it was standing on thin air. This, of course, did not work very well. And physics got ready to work the imminent transfer of more kinetic energy.

    “Hells bells,” said the Balrog. And then it fell into the abyss.

  64. savannahjfoley says:

    Oliver Twist in the style of Chuck Palahniuk
    by Savannah J. Foley

    I’m supposed to be a docile, little animal. This is the workhouse, and I’m supposed to be a cog, a tiny man-slave. The thing is, today’s not going to work like that. Someone had the bright idea of standing up to the establishment, and once again I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    “You’re going to march up there, and you’re going to ask for more. Just one scoop more. And that’s it.”

    Big insurrection from a nine-year-old. Anarchy. Armageddon. The earth snubbing its bulbous, greasy nose at an affronted God.

    I am Oliver’s perpetual bad luck.

    It’s not that I don’t belong here. I do. I’m a third-class, dirty, little orphan like the rest of them. But I’ve never been the rebel type. I am Oliver’s lily-white cowardice. I am Oliver’s eventual, raging resolve. The boys take their places, and I’m shaking in my rags, bones quivering inside my thin, damp skin. If I’m going down, I’m going to at least make my point.

    Imagine: living off food the rats wouldn’t eat. Imagine: wondering why you’re not growing anymore, even though your belly is. You check yourself for the perpetual shakes, for the skin sores, for the softness in your teeth. You count the number of headaches, praying the same, tired prayers when you feel like you’re going to pass out.

    Pestilence. Parasites. Prayer. The big three in this place.

    I am Oliver slowly starving to death.

    The cook, a large, stern man, stands at the pot and dishes out the meager portions of what constitutes life around here. When it’s all gone you won’t be able to tell we ate anything. A long, boring grace is being recited, but I can’t even hear it. A spoon clinks against my bowl but I can’t even feel it. The others are looking at me, waiting on me. The moment eclipses. I am their puppet, the physical incarnation of their misery and hope.

    You get up from your chair. You approach the only deity you know; the man with the food. The entire hall is staring at you, the mouth of the cook is turned down in contempt. You are remembering every beating, every foul, pitiful groping from the men in charge. You are already feeling the chill of the icy streets outside, and grappling with the death that will surely come quickly when you’re cast out.

    And you are Oliver not giving a damn.

    “Please sir,” you say through gritted teeth. The entire hall is leaning closer, struggling to hear your low voice. “I want some more.”

    The Cook’s spoon clatters to the ground. The master turns pale amidst his sweaty fatness. He stares at you, stupefied, astonished. He clings to the table for support. Everyone in the hall freezes, bracing for whatever’s coming next.

    “What?” He whispers, barely audible. “What did you say?”

    “I want,” you repeat, stomach growling audibly. “Some goddamned more.”

  65. jox says:

    N0@ th3 b1rth 0f J3$u$ th3 M3$$1@h t00k pl@c3 1n th1$ w8.
    Wh3n h1$ m0th3r M@ry h@d b33n 3ng@g3d t0 J0$3ph,
    but b4 th3y l1v3d t0g3th3r,
    $h3 w@$ f0und t0 b3 w1th ch1ld fr0m th3 H0ly $p1r1t.
    H3r hu$b@nd J0$3ph, b31ng @ r1ght30u$ m@n @nd unw1ll1ng t0 3xp0$3 h3r t0 publ1c d1$gr@c3,
    pl@nn3d t0 d1$m1$$ h3r qu13tly.
    But ju$t wh3n h3 h@d r3$0lv3d t0 d0 th1$, @n @ng3l 0f th3 L0rd @pp3@r3d t0 h1m 1n @ dr3@m @nd $@1d,
    ‘J0$3ph, $0n 0f D@v1d, d0 n0t b3 @fr@1d t0 t@k3 M@ry @$ y0ur w1f3,
    4 th3 ch1ld c0nc31v3d 1n h3r 1$ fr0m th3 H0ly $p1r1t.
    $h3 w1ll b3@r @ $0n, @nd y0u @r3 t0 n@m3 h1m J3$u$, 4 h3 w1ll $@v3 h1$ p30pl3 fr0m th31r $1n$.’
    @ll th1$ t00k pl@c3 t0 fulf1l wh@t h@d b33n $p0k3n by th3 L0rd thr0ugh th3 pr0ph3t:
    ‘L@@k, th3 v1rg1n $h@ll c0nc31v3 @nd b3@r @ $0n,
    @nd th3y $h@ll n@m3 h1m 3mm@nu3l’,
    wh1ch m3@n$, ‘G0d 1$ w1th u$.’

    original: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=matthew+1:23-1:23&version=nrsvae

  66. Anonymous says:

    THINK AND GROW RICH by WARREN ELLIS

    ME

    I wrote a book.

    IN EVERY chapter of this book, mention was made of the money-making secret which has made fortunes for more than five hundred exceedingly wealthy men whom I have carefully analyzed
    over a long period of years.

    I know you want to read it and love it. Unfortunately for you, I ripped it apart page by page and gave it out for asswipes in a public restroom. I’d tell you which restroom but I’m afraid one of you cocksleeves would find the damn thing and read it anyway.

    It will come as a shock to the lot of you unwashed, self-deified yanks that the ideas belonged primarily to a Scot named Carnegie.

    I remember sitting in Carnegie’s apartment on the day he died. The smell of burnt bacon pulling out nose hairs. Him shoving his dying wish through a demented scotch fueled mania and into my ear. That I should give these ideas to the world in a way they could be properly consumed. I said I would, and I have kept my promise.


    ————————–
    sent from [device: little black book] outside the pub

    RIP BadSignal :(

  67. momgo says:

    Love Story by Erich J.K. Segal-Rowling
    What can you say about a 25-year-old Muggle who died?
    That she was brassy and sassy. That she loved witchcraft and Quidditch. And Hogwarts. And me.
    “I’m Hermione Granger,” she said when we met. “A wizard-to-be of Muggle descent.
    “You look stupid and rich, Harry Potter,” she said to me.
    “You’re wrong,” I protested. “I’m actually smart and poor.”
    “Oh no, Harry, I’m smart and poor.”
    She was always right, and she really knew how to cast a spell.
    But when she grew ill no one — not Hagrid, not Albus Dumbledore, not Professor McGonagall, no wizard with all the secret potions in the world — could save her.
    Without her, I was through with wizardry forever.
    I renounced my magical powers. Tossed my wand down a well, set Hedwig the owl free, burned my Hogwarts yearbook and moved to Hartford and became an actuary. Oh, and I changed my name.
    Love means not ever having to say you’re Harry.

  68. Shlepzig says:

    This was a cool contest. I had a lot of fun with it. There is so little chatter on the board just people hard at work writing crazy stuff. It’s hard to figure out which was the winds are blowing.

    Great job all, some great stuff in there.

    -Shlep’

  69. tzaraat says:

    And God flipped down His goggles and proclaimed “let there be light”.

    Flipping shut the chromium knife switch, He stood before the mighty poles of the generator as the Arc of the Covenant crackled into being.

    Adjusting a rheostat, He next brought forth a flood of waters from mysterious brass fittings and pipes connected to massive engines deep beneath the immaculate laboratory.

  70. Vladislav Lantsman says:

    “Othello” by Williams Carlos Williams

    so much depends
    upon

    a black hand
    kerchief

    spotted with red straw
    berries

    beside the white
    pillow

  71. jaybushman says:

    William Gibson’s Moby-Dick:

    The sky over the port of New Bedford was the color of ambergris, hewn from a diseased Leviathan.

    “It’s not like I’m desperate,” Ishmael heard someone say, as he shouldered his way into Peter Coffin’s Inn. “It’s like I’ve developed this massive spermaceti deficiency.”

    It was a Quaker voice and a Quaker joke.

  72. Anonymous says:

    So there’s this guy and he’s really not happy and he flies on planes all the time because he’s really not happy. But then he meets his friend who makes soap. And then he starts punching his friend who makes soap and they really like it. So then a bunch of other guys watch them, and they really like fighting too. And so the guy and his soap friend (you know, I think it was Tyler), start doing crazy things, and running around selling soap with masks on and stuff with their friends. I think they crash a car. Oh yeah, so they have this secret club where they wrestle each other. And talk about their fathers and cry and hug each other. It got really gross, so I skipped a bunch.

    And I don’t know, a bunch of stuff happens, I think they try to blow something up…or maybe they do blow something up… but anyway, it turns out that the soap guy and the other guy are both the same guy.

    (My Mom telling Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club)

  73. Anonymous says:

    In the style of “Fun with Dick and Jane”

    See Kane.
    See Kane speak.

    “Rosebud”

    See the ball.
    See the ball fall.
    Fall ball fall.

    See the nurse.
    See the sheet.
    Pull, pull.
    Pull the sheet.

    “Rosebud”

    What does it mean?

  74. beyondlogical says:

    Flatland by Seuss

    It was dark. I was dizzy.
    I cried out in vain.
    Then the sphere shook me – pop!
    right out of my plane.

    The lines were not lines;
    and the space was not space;
    so I questioned my mind
    and the laws of that place.

    I shrieked in my fear;
    I felt not at all well.
    Then I questioned if this
    could be madness, or hell.

    “Just open your eye.”
    my guide said to me.
    “Then you, too, will know
    of these dimensions three.”

    I looked, and behold,
    a new world all around!
    My guide was like circles,
    stacked up from the ground.

    But the cosmos I knew was
    flat!
         flat!
              flat!
                   flat!
    (Like the tippity top
    of a certain cat’s hat.)

    Then he said to me, “Bubs,
    now you listen here!
    This land is called spaceland,
    and I am a sphere!

  75. thevalidvictorian says:

    Gilbert & Sullivan do The Fountainhead –

    HOWARD ROARK:
    I’ve been working in the quarry
    Of a very ardent Tory
    Whose daughter has been giving me the eye.
    ‘Twould be the crowning glory
    Of this architect’s life story
    To rape the girl and win her heart thereby!

    If I am any judge of ladies’ glances,
    Dominique would welcome my advances,
    But I will press ahead in the event that she refuses –
    Objectivism means a man should do just as he chooses,
    Even if it bruises!

    DOMINIQUE FRANCON:
    I fear his stealthy ingress
    Means this man desires congress
    With me, a lady far above his station.
    Although I have admired Roark
    And secretly desired Roark,
    I will resist this brazen molestation!

    TOGETHER:
    Pity, that the proper way to be self-int-er-ested
    Is to undertake behavior that could get a man arrested!

  76. suburbanburn says:

    “1984 as told by Seuss”

    Cold and bright
    One day in April
    Ding! Dong! Ding!
    Thirteen the signal

    Winston the treasonous
    Scaled Victory Mansions
    Mustachio’d Men
    Tacked flat on each landing

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
    Resting his varicose limb

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
    Paper eyes watching him

    Pig-iron ore
    Were today’s top news
    The telescreen switch
    Only reduced volume

    The technology guarded
    Winston’s small flat
    Against thoughtcrime and treason
    Hearing this; seeing that

    WAR IS PEACE
    Proclaimed the Party!

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    Lettered neatly!

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
    Produced indiscreetly!

    So, behind a facade
    of Party orthodoxy
    Winston puts pen to paper
    And so unevens the score

    April 4th, 1984.

  77. David_Niall_Wilson says:

    Alice in Wonderland Channeling Dickens:

    Alice was bored out of her mind. That is to say, she was of sound mind, but that mind was devoid of any interesting thought or fancy, Mind, I don’t mean to claim knowledge of what strikes the fancy of young girls as they sit on the banks of rivers, but men love their twists of phrase, and who am I to argue the wisdom behind being bored out of one’s mind?

    She had tried looking over her sister’s shoulder at the book she was reading, but there were no pictures. To Alice, the sole purpose of a book, it’s sole reason for existence, the very nature of the thing was centered in the pictures.

    “What use,” Alice thought, “is a book with no pictures? No use at all, that’s what.”

    At the same moment she shared this thought with herself, a white rabbit ran past. On a normal day there would be no reason in the world to mention this. Rabbits often ran past her, and even more often ran past the stream. There was nothing strange in the rabbit’s color. There was nothing strange in its manner of hopping.

    It was the beast’s voice that caught her ear. Mind, neither I nor young Alice could be said to be overly wise in the vocal qualities of rodents. Alice glared at it, peturbed, but the rabbit paid her no mind as it stopped, wrinkled it’s nose and said “Oh, this is a fine thing. I will be late, and there’s no way past it.” Which was an odd thing for a rabbit to say. In fact, there is no thing that a rabbit might say that would not be odd. It is not the habit of rabbits to speak, in my experience, and yet that was not the most curious thing. The rabbit pulled a watch from it’s pocket to check the time, half past the hour, if Alice was any judge. As unlikely as the creatures speech might have seemed, the waistcoat, cut in the fashion of the time and worn bundled tightly with a scarf at the neck, was quite a bit less likely.

    Being, as I mentioned, bored out of her mind with the stream and the pictureless book and her sister’s company, Alice rose. The rabbit pocketed his watch and headed off apace. Alice followed with a shrug. If a rabbit was going to be hopping about the property with a watch in the pocket it should not even have, it was her duty to find it, give it a good talking to, and set things right.

    Then, on the far side of a hedgerow, the rabbit popped into it’s hole, and was gone. Without proper thought to her clothing, her common sense, or how she might find her way out again, Alice followed.

  78. Homeslice says:

    Excerpt from Horton Hears a Who as told by Toni Morrison

    “It’s hurts mama!” Jojo rose from the toilet, eyes full of water.

    The men in Whoville were lined up on the gravel streets, pulled from their ramshackle houses beating their lungs and burning from all over from the run to congregate. The women had crowded in the stable by the tall grass sputtering their fickle breaths, holding hands, eyes liquid from the overbearing pressure.
    Sally Who screamed louder than the rest of them, belly swelled with child and extra rations of oats and juice. She’d been in labor for six hours, and now – now after all the sweat and toil of her stubborn existance, she was ready. Ready to have her baby – or ready to let it end. Thing one… or thing two.
    The mayor’s voice split through the speaker as a disease of fear and hunger shot through him and into the already shocked minds of the Grove Street boom band, drums ablazed to build the sound.

    “It’ll pass Jojo. Shhh. Just be calm.” His mothers voice sweet, calming the sweat on his forehead. She pet his forehead. He wished he could pee. He calmed down. Water and blood pushed through his privates as he cried.

    “I wanna go outside, mama!” He spat.

    “It don’t matter hon.”

    Nool was a pulse of hate and spite, drowning the undistinguished minds.
    Vlad hit Horton again
    His trunk spewing mucus and dust, Horton pulled up his foot to block a kangaroo strike. He missed.
    Everything went white.

    so white and yet

    it’s

    who?

    so hot

    who are you?

    i’m you

    you who?

    over here

    “Mama?”
    “Yes, hon’?”
    “I think it passed.”

    They were all tired. Too tired, too small, too insubstantial. They thought about ache and malady. They thought about smut. They snapped together in huge motions, making sound, making sound-
    Jojo tried to run, but he felt his privates tear. He wiped the soot and tears off of his eyes with his sleeve. “God I wanna get out of here, mama!” He fell to the ground and heard a loud crack as his chin hit the gravel. He dug his fingernails into the ground and pulled himself, pants around his ankles bleeding into the ground. It didn’t matter what they were saying anymore, he fixed his dry lips, he wailed
    Sally Who pushed. The baby pushed back, her juice trickling into the tallgrass. If she didn’t pass out from the pain, she was sure she was going to die. A pull back shocked her. Compressed her lungs. All at once

    “Help!”

  79. hyperboleblues says:

    Stephen King’s Hills Like White Elephants (with a little Michael Bay, too, maybe).

    The man downed his Anis del Toro and looked at the woman. She looked beautiful in the warm light form the Spanish sun. She turned her head slightly from the clouds and caught him mid-stare. She cocked her head back, knowingly, “Should we grab a couple more beers?” God, her tits were gorgeous.
    The prospect over another cold cerveza to take the edge off of the coming trip made his mouth water, but then, they had a schedule to keep. “No, Jig. The train will be here any minute. We’d better get to the platform.”
    On the train, the man watched the Spanish countryside pass by like a dream. Everything had happened so fast, and maybe it was the beer and absinthe talking, but for a moment he felt like things could be looking up for the two of them. It felt good. It felt odd.
    “Listen, Jig–” He stopped. Cold. There was a strange, guttural noise coming from beyond their car. It seemed to be coming from at once everywhere… and nowhere.
    “What is it?” She blinked up sleepily from the man’s lap. He just stared, half in disbelief, half piss-scared. “Hey! What the hell is the matter?!” She said.
    The man turned to her; it was as if all the color had drained from his face, leaving him looking waxy. Childlike. “Chupacabra…” he said.
    Nothing else needed to be said. She sprang up off of his lap, tossed the man his sawed-off shotgun from their luggage, and grabbed her own gun– .45 magnum, a regular hand-canon with the words “hell slayer” engraved on the side. In Sanskrit. “Let’s kick some ass,” she said.
    The man, Jig, and Boots, their African American, fast-talking demolitions expert, ran from car to car on the train. “Lock and load,” the man thought, “lock and load”.
    Boots brought up the rear, “I ain’t takin’ no shit from no jive-talking chupacabra, I tell you what!” Boots, he always had something to say. “Hold up. I think I smell somethin’.
    Jig was scared, they all were, but she was focused, too. “I don’t smell anything…”
    “Don’ you fuhget, now, Ms. Jig, I’m half werewolf! Why, back in ole’ Louisiana, I could smell a gator from–” whatever words Boots had left were warped into a blood-curdling scream. A chupacabra had leapt out from the dining car ahead and taken his head off in one clean swipe.
    “Boots!” The man swung toward his fallen comrade and long-time friend. He leveled his shotgun at the beast who was now lapping Boots’ blood from his severed neck like a drunk downed a beer at last call– the way the man downed every beer he had ever had. Their eyes met. He was staring into the gates of hell. He realized then that he had faltered, not acted quickly enough. Soon the hell-beast would be upon him.
    Two shots rang out and the monster fell to the ground. Dead. The man turned to see Jig grabbing a cerveza from the nearby beverage cart, gun smoking. Her eyes were as cold as cold steel. She popped the top off of the brew with her teeth and downed half the bottle in one swig. “I guess that was his stop,” she was beautiful.
    The man grabbed her and kissed her deep with tongue. He swore then and there that he would marry that bitch.
    “But, wait…” she pulled away, “Chupacabra rarely stray that far from a nest…”
    “Maybe he got separated from the rest of the pack… unless…” A godless cackling filled the dining car. They both turned to see a man: seven feet tall, bespectacled, and clearly evil.
    “Professor Mustafa!” They both screamed in shock.
    “Yesss, yes. It is I, your once mentor and now sworn enemy. I must say, you two look none too pleased to see me.”
    The man stared in disbelief. “But… I left you dead in the Amazon! I saw your body carried away by cannibals!”
    “Oh, yes, I was most certainly dead. In ways I still am. But, my dear boy, those ancient forests posses dark magic you could never comprehend. Another time, maybe, I digress.”
    You bastard!” Jig roared, “You killed my father!” She raised her gun and fired. Three perfectly aimed shots sailed through the professor’s chest.
    The professor merely laughed. “You poor little fool. I have gone far beyond the realm where bullets can harm me. I am beyond flesh.”
    “Then what about this, you old son of a bitch?” The man reached into his waistcoat and pulled out a ruby red amulet set in the back of a golden tarantula.
    “The tear of Ra! It cannot be! No!”
    “Professor…” the man raised the amulet, and a brilliant light filled the train with the color of blood, “go to hell.”
    Where the professor had stood moments before now stood only a pile of ash. The man walked over to the emergency exit, and pulled down the latch, opening the door.
    “What are you doing?” She asked.
    “Just letting the air in.”
    The wind came in through the door and carried the professor’s remains out. Out of the train, and out of their lives. He took Jig again and kissed her. That nightmare, at least, was finally over.
    “No time for love now, Mr. American!” said the small, Asian boy who always accompanied the two on their adventure.
    “I suppose you’re right, Short Round, we’ve got work to do. Hitler II isn’t going to assassinate himself,” he turned to Jig, “whaddya’ say, baby?”
    “Lock and load, right?” she was spattered with chupacabra blood, smiling. She looked like some mythical fire loined demon-bitch.
    “That’s right, lock and load.”

  80. agsone says:

    No Country for Old Jeeves

    “My Sacred Aunt! Jeeves, look at this story in the newspaper. They’ve found a whole gaggle of Mexicans shot in the desert just down the road from this hotel!”

    “Indeed Sir, it would seem our quest to escape London’s wintry climes has placed us in the proximity of quite an imbroglio.”

    “Imbroglio? Why are you talking about Italian food when there is murder afoot in deepest Texas?”

    Jeeves sighed, I rather thought the gleam in his eyes faded somewhat.

    “I am not sir, I was merely alluding to the complexity of the situation facing the authorities”

    “Ah, I see … so no pasta on the menu then?”

    “Indeed not, Sir.”

    “And what’s all this about a truck full of heroines? What were they doing out in the desert with the Mexicans, that’s what I want to know. What is heroic about hiding in a truck while one’s friends are jolly well being bumped off?”

    “Heroin the illicit pharmaceutical agent, Sir, as opposed to a member of the fairer sex armed with great fortitude. I would venture that the unfortunate demise of the gentlemen stemmed from a disagreement as to what might be termed the ‘street value’ of the substance.”

    “Very well, each to their own I suppose. Tell me Jeeves, what is making that infernal beeping noise.”

    “I’m sorry sir, this locating device in my pocket seems to be indicating that an item I have been seeking is in the adjacent room in the hotel.”

    “Can you do something about it, I’m getting a bally headache, you would think I had spent last night at the Drones.”

    “I’ll attend to it right away Sir.”

    “And could you also do something about that cylinder whatsit that you left beside the door? Dashed ugly thing if you ask me!”

    “That was also my intention Sir. Before I leave, would sir do me the favour of calling whilst I toss this quarter dollar coin?”

    “Absolutely Jeeves. Lady Luck always smiles on the Woosters. Tails!”

  81. ProfessorAndmaryann says:

    He blinked at the man –
    Someone not to be crossed -
    Who’d suggested they do
    A simple coin toss.

    “Well, we need to know
    What we’re calling it for”
    said the gas station man
    glancing toward the door.

    Said Anton Chigurh,
    who had Prince Valiant hair,
    “I can’t call it for you -
    That wouldn’t be fair.”

    He looked at the coin
    Dated 1-9-5-8
    Dinner was soon and
    He feared he’d be late.

    “Look, I need to know
    What I stand to win.”
    The man was real scared
    Despite Chigurh’s grin.

    Chigurh let him know
    ‘everything’ would he win.
    He thought for a moment.
    “All right, head’s then.”

    The guess was correct!
    Fresh undies were needed
    But he kinda felt better –
    And Chigurh was defeated!

    He pocketed the change
    At the murderer’s order
    “Don’t put it in there -
    It’s your lucky quarter.”

    He asked “Where to put it?”
    longing for a vacation.
    He was sick of this shit and
    would sell the gas station!

    Chigurh was at the door
    The man could soon lock it!
    “Anywhere,” said he
    “But not in your pocket.”

    Chigurh sure is cryptic
    about this quarter of his.
    “It’ll become just a coin -
    Which it is.”

    (No Country for Old Men by Dr. Seuss)

  82. la_nausicaa says:

    Remembrance of Bullshit Past by Marcharl Proutkowski

    Nothing was going on in Combay anymore except for the drama of waking up. Usually in bed, sometimes smelling of wine, sometimes with a woman next to me, sometimes on a couch, my stocking feet hanging off the edge of the armrest. I never bothered trying to retrace my steps from the night before. Never bothered trying to figure out how I ended up back home when the last memories I had of the night before was a smile full of yellowed teeth from some broad or a blank page in front of me and a fire in my belly, not until that one winter night when Lucy came over with some of the good French stuff.

    “You’ll like this, Hank.” she said.

    “Wow!” I said. My glass was empty already.

    “Don’t be a cretin, Hank. You’re supposed to savor the good stuff. Sniff its bouquet, roll it around on your tongue. Experience all the subtle flavors. I’m tasting something, almost like a pastry. Sweet, but not too.”

    “You know what wine is? Liquid memory. We drink it in and it drowns out all the bullshit of our days, all the fetid stink we were born into and it lets us live anew each day, with freshly laundered souls. Like a babe pickled in brine, new as a flower.”

    “No, not the good stuff.”

    Lucy drank like she said I should. Sipping, her lips pursed, some action behind her teeth. My glass was full again.

    “The good stuff is entirely different, Hank. You’ll see. You’ll understand.”

    I drank and then I did understand. It was like a magnet, the wine on my tongue, a magnet pulling me back toward another night another lifetime ago, some other wine. My mother was there, my father. They weren’t arguing for once. I was poured a little wine, the good stuff, in my little boy cup, by my father. My mother pretended not to notice.

    “Yeah.”

    “Yeah? Yeah, you know.”

    “I do. I wasn’t always a gargoyle, you know. I wasn’t born with a hump, I learned to walk this way. Beaten down by the fists of indifference, terrorized by loneliness, held down and smacked across the face by the world and every bastard in it.”

    “You wanted the whole world, and got nothing.”

    “Hey Loose” (I called her Loose), “do something for me.”

    “What?”

    “Show ‘em to me.”

    “Oh Hank.”

    “Just show me ‘em. It’ll be beautiful. A beautiful gift like this wine. A memory I won’t forget, not ever, because it would be a real gift.”

    “You seen ‘em plenty. You seen plenty of ‘em too.”

    “I’ll remember this time though, better than any of the others. After a while, every tit in the world looks the same. Some big-nippled and brown, others flat against the chest, but this time it’ll be different. A beautiful memory. It’ll take me back. I won’t be able to see any breast but yours. Whenever a shirt drops to the floor, Loose, I’ll be seeing your tits.”

    She poured me another. I drank. I remembered it all. I wanted it all. The whole world or nothing.

  83. fairyboatcaptain says:

    “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume as told by John Kennedy Toole a la “A Confederacy of Dunces”

    So Farbrook, New Jersey, it was. Where I would now commute to Manhattan, go to public school and then come home through the vortex to the whirlpool of despair. While my delusional mother could now surround herself with all the grass, trees and flowers she thought she ever wanted, I arrived in Farbrook broken physically, mentally, and spiritually. Please help me, Fortuna, don’t let New Jersey be much more further abhorrent. I am currently in shock from the abysmal sojourn into the swamps to the inner station of the ultimate horror that is Farbrook. New York City is, on the other hand, a comfortable metropolis which has a certain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive.

    The new house is on Morningbird Lane. It isn’t bad, I suppose the common transient seasoned to one of the befouled alleyways would find it to be an adequate domicile. In a seemingly confused pursuit of pre-revolutionary Russian architecture, the abomination is part brick, part wood and the shutters and front door are painted black. Undoubtedly my parents requested the realtor find our family a house offensively in violation of all rules of theology and good taste.

    I must assume we left the city because of my grandmother, Sylvia Simon. My mother has the half minded notion that Grandma is too much of an influence on me. Thank Fortuna that is a far cry from the truth. Apart from her sending me to summer camp in New Hampshire and paying my private school tuition, I managed to barely tolerate our brief encounters. She even knits me sweaters that have labels sewed inside saying Made Expressly for You ..by Grandma. How unspeakably offensive. I gave her a highlighted copy of Nabokov’s Despair accompanied by a message of my disdain for her repulsive attempt at a pun. No doubt it will aid her in rising to a conscious level of literary understanding.

  84. Unguent says:

    Lord of The Flies – The Sound of The Shell in the style of William S Burroughs

    The boy called Ralph stands on a cool beach, grey shirt stuck to him and fair hair plastered to his forehead … long scar smashed into the the jungle behind him. He clambers among heavy creepers when a bird red and yellow vision flashes upwards with a witch-cry echoed by another. He pulls his stocking up and turns to see another boy, knees plump, caught, scratched by thorns … in the middle of the scar Ralph stands on his head and grins at the reversed fat boy …

    Ralph becomes conscious of the weight of his clothes, kicks off shoes fiercely and rips off each stocking with its elastic garter in single movement. Then he leaps back onto the terrace, pulls off his shirt, and stands there among skull-like coco-nuts with green shadows from palms and forest sliding over his skin. He undoes the snake-clasp of his belt, lugs off shorts and pants, and stands there naked, grinning, looking at dazzling beach and water. Old enough, twelve years and a few months, to have lost the fat of childhood; not old enough for adolescence to have made him awkward. He sits back and looks at the water, eyes bright and excited. Fat boy says his name is Pig.

    Green shadows on body … palms overhead and water clear bright with the efflorescence of coral … sea so deep as to be green … dives into water warmer than blood.

    Pig sits on rock ledge, watches Ralph’s body enviously. Ralph does a surface dive, swims under water with eyes open; the sandy ledge of the pool looming up like a hillside. He turns over and golden light dances and shatters on his face. Pig looks determined and begins to take off his shorts. Presently he is palely and fatly naked.

    Palm fronds whisper so that spots of blurred sunlight slide over their bodies or moved like bright, winged things into the shade. Ralph’s lips part in a delighted smile: something creamy among the ferny weeds. Ralph speaks absently; the vivid phantoms of his daydream interposed between him and Pig. The palm sapling, bending, pushes the shell across the weeds so that Pig can make a grab.

    Ralph takes the shell from him and a little water runs down his arm. The shell is deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink. Ralph purses his lips against the small end of the shell and blows.

  85. FeistierErmine says:

    The bo’sun Smee had once remarked to me that he had often noted my fear of crocodiles. He was mistaken. It is not the whole of that dread species that evokes such a response, but rather a single fearsome individual.

    The wretched Pan fed m severed hand to the beast. The foul creature found the taste of it so pleasing that it has since stalked me from cyclopean ruins to the darkest of the hillside thickets. The crocodile’s tongue wets its squamous lips at the thought of devouring the remainder of my being.

    I would have fallen prey to that fiend’s hunger long ago had it not swallowed a clock by chance. I am ever alert for the incessant ticking of the clock. At the first sound of a ticking clock I flee and dare not steal a single, furtive glimpse backwards.

    But I know that this warning is a blessing which shall be all too short-lived. One day the clock must run down. On that day I will meet the inevitable end which has haunted my dreams.

  86. adverbly says:

    The times were good. The times were bad. It was an era of mixed feelings. Some were down, and others were up. A large-jawed king and his plain wife ruled England. France was much the same, though with a prettier queen and better weather and food.

  87. mati says:

    The Jamaica Kincaid story “Girl” as applied to an online RPG:

    You can equip a small stick. You can equip a wallet. You can bludgeon chickens to make coins tumble out of them and you can buy a slingshot with those coins. You can buy a leather helmet. You can buy a light melee shield. Sadly, you can’t buy the green healing potion because you don’t have anything to put it in but when you’re done shopping the red-faced NPC behind the counter will thank you for your purchase anyway. You can equip a slingshot. You can seek out the village elder. You can learn the basic fire attack, a delicate pirouette that produces a circle of fireballs. You can watch your magic gauge go down and replenish it by eating blue herbs. You can burn forest bandits. You can burn murk spiders. You can set chickens on fire though it won’t benefit you in any way. You can accept a quest from your dying father, staring deep into his dead, geometric eyes as delicately textured flames burn the thatched roofs of houses behind him. You can journey to Azeroth. You can journey to Maul Pass. You can accept a side-quest in the mountain village of Potenko to find six red stones belonging to a silver-haired elf girl whose fingers never move not even when she’s waving goodbye and when you’re done she’ll reward you with a medium stick. You can equip the medium stick. You can learn the advanced fire attack and use it to blast a directed beam of white-hot magma at a trio of skull horses. You can equip a compass. You can equip a lute. You can learn the Forest Waltz and play it in the Azeroth town square for coins. You can fight sand worms, krakens, fire-crows, goblin thieves, and widow plants. You can enter the Desert Fortress and kill Olm, timing your advanced fire attack to strike his scaly chest just as he re-loads his crossbow. You can equip the melee sword. You can journey to the Ruins of Pashtoth. You can journey to Quig. You can buy a horse from a balding Quigian who bobs his head and blinks when he speaks, but don’t bother because you can win one in the cart races. You can play the cart races. You can learn the Stable Song and play it to call the horse you won. You can increase your magic gauge. You can increase your health. You can equip the fish pendant to keep your magic gauge from decreasing when you’re underwater. You can go underwater. You can journey to the undersea Kingdom of Olperatta (fighting a host of kelp babies, eels, murder fish, and sea snakes along the way) and kill the buxom and be-corseted Lady Ramuda. You can equip the medicine flask. You can equip the longbow. You can buy the green potion. You can equip the large stick but don’t bother unless you’re planning to go on the side-quest to get the Ax-blade of Vanwoth. You can go on the side-quest to get the ax-blade of Vanwoth and fight off an onslaught of awks with your longbow. You can equip the melee ax. You can learn the combination fire attack and use it to open the Demon Cave. You can journey to the Demon Cave. You can journey to the Mountain Keep and kill a plague of green-eyed rats that periodically join together to form an enormous, pulsating being known as The Rat God. You can learn the Lovers’ Ballad. You can enable warp points and move in the blink of an eye from Potenko Village to the Undermore Forest without having to cross the Lodus Field like a common skull horse. You can be killed by a skull horse. You can be killed by The Rat God. You can be killed by a fire-crow. You can be killed by a widow plant. You can’t be killed by a goblin thief, but he can steal your shield. You can be killed in the Desert Fortress attempting to jump across a menacingly goose bumped spike pit. You can be killed if your air runs out while swimming in the sewers beneath Azeroth in search of gold coins. You can restore your life at any one of a dozen crucifix-shaped Save Points scattered about the map. You can secure the six pieces of the Blade of Azeroth and take it to Binterwere to have it re-forged. You can learn the fire slice attack. You can equip the Blade of Azeroth. You can enter the soot-covered castle of Lord Gazerell—the scourge of the Maul Pass, the lord of the forest bandits, the enslaver of Lady Ramuda, the killer of your father—and challenge the dark king to a duel. You can defeat Lord Gazerell by parrying his lightning bolts and dodging his stun spells. You can watch him transform into a shadow demon. You can defeat the shadow demon. You can escape from the crumbling walls of his predictably burning castle. You can marry the silver-haired elf girl from Potenko Village who, as it turns out, was the true princess of Azeroth all along and really could have spoken up about that sooner. You can retire to a sun-swept farm overlooking Lodus Field and, as the credits role, look back on all that has happened to you, all you have done, all you have seen, all you have equipped. And was it all worth it? And what have you learned? And weren’t you happier when you were just a simple boy with a small stick, bludgeoning chickens for the thrill of it?

  88. mgdupont says:

    From: Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe
    To: The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide

    The only person for whom the placement of the chairs was in any way important was Arthur Dent, and that was only because he happened to place his own chair upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of his victim.

    The Senior Shouting Officers were satisfied. Arthur’s tea had convinced them. Were it in his nature to be at ease, he would have been, but owing to a previous and unfortunate incident involving at first a bulldozer, and shortly thereafter the utter destruction of Earth, he could not calm himself. Also, he did not know where his towel was. So they sat, and bellowed of familiar things, and Arthur answered cheerily, as loudly and as best he could, considering his proximity to the corpse along with his concern that, in accordance with the Theory of Indeterminacy, his undergarments might, at any moment, leap simultaneously one foot to the left.

    Arthur’s head began to ache. There came a terrible ghastly noise. He ignored it for a few seconds, and it became more distinct – a low, dull, quick sound, like a watch wrapped in cotton. But still the Officers sat, and still they shouted. The noise became more distinct, and at length, Arthur realized the noise was not within his ears.

    Arthur grew pale, yet he talked more loudly. The sound increased – every tin can, every dustbin, every window, every car, every wineglass, every sheet of rusty metal became activated as an acoustically perfect sounding board. He gasped for breath, and yet the Shouting Officers heard it not. Arthur talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. He arose and quoted from the oft-quoted ‘Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning’, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? Surely at least one of them ought to have died of internal hemorrhaging by now. Arthur paced nervously up and down, as if excited to fury by the observations of the aliens, but the noise steadily increased. What could Arthur do? He foamed – he raved – he recited more poetry! He swung the chair upon which he had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder – louder – louder! And still the Officers barked pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? They heard! – they suspected! – they KNEW! – they were making a mockery of Arthur’s horror! But anything would be better than that agony! Anything would be more tolerable than their derision! Arthur could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! He felt that he must scream or die! – and now – again – hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! -

    “Vogons!” he shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous Heart of Gold!”

  89. Rob Beschizza says:

    Absolutely brilliant, everyone!

  90. mcconnell says:

    The Three Musketeers
    As written by Tucker Max

    So, I pretty much blew all the money shortly after I got it. A-thug helped us all out at first but he ran out of cash pretty quick. P-Dawg went off and banged this old broad and came back with a credit card that went void after 15 days. Ramb0 was forced to sell his textbooks, but he was cool about it. We tried getting a loan from Treville but he had already loaned us close to 50 pistoles at that point so we didn’t get far with his help. We went to the casino and left with about enough for breakfast. We were broke.

    Essentially for the next few weeks, the three of us were first-class poor people or at least professional mooches. Luckily A-Thug, Ramb0, and P-Dawg have all done their fair share of good Samaritan work in the past, so we had a few favors come our way. Unfortunately, at this point, all of my favors in Paris could only be repaid with sex, so I managed to be the odd man out when it came to helping the situation. My charm managed us to wrangle breakfast from a priest, but believe me, it was one awkward breakfast; he kept resting his bony hand on my thigh at uncomfortable intervals. The nightmare of bankruptcy had to end.

    I began thinking that to myself that this was the best possible time to mess with the system. I’ve always been a shit disturber, it’s probably innate. I could tell endless stories of screwing with the Cardinal’s guards, but A-Thug and co. were still caught up in juvenile behavior like slapping eachother on the ass with their épée’s and hitting the wine bong every Wednesday night. Not that I haven’t done my fair share of either, I just felt there needed to be a change in our approach towards life.

  91. Reynardo says:

    Jane Eyre in the style of Northhanger Abbey:

    “Fearful and ghastly to me—oh, sir, I never saw a face like it! It was a discolored face—it was a savage face. (slowly and with hesitation it was spoken.) “I wish I could forget the roll of the red eyes, and the fearful blackened inflation of the lineaments.”

    “Ghosts are usually pale, Jane”, he replied (his quick eye fixed on hers). “You infer perhaps the probability of some supernatural occurrence – some…”

    Involuntarily she shook her head. “This, sir, was purple: the lips were swelled and dark; the brow furrowed; the black eyebrows widely raised over the bloodshot eyes. Shall I tell you of what it reminded me?”

    “You may.”

    “Of the foul German specter—the Vampyre.”

    “Ah? What did it do?”

    “Sir, it removed my veil from its gaunt head, rent it in two parts, and, flinging both on the floor, trampled on them.”

    “Afterward?”

    She raised her eyes towards him more fully than she had ever done before. “It drew aside the window curtain and looked out: perhaps it saw dawn approaching, for, taking the candle, it retreated to the door. Just at my bedside the figure stopped; the fiery eye glared upon me; she thrust up her candle close to my face, and extinguished it under my eyes. I was aware her lurid visage flamed over mine, and I lost consciousness: for the second time in my life—only the second time — I became insensible from terror.”

    “If I understand you rightly, you had formed a surmise of such horror as I have hardly words to — Dearest Jane, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained. What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such creatues? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be harboured without being known, in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open? Dearest Janet, what ideas have you been admitting?”

  92. GrassDog says:

    The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then stood still again.

    “You cannot pass!” he said, trying not to let his worry show on his face.

    Incidentally, the phrase “You cannot pass” when spoken in Evlish sounds remarkably like the mating call of the male Weeblefleen bird of Sirius VII. The Elves of Middle Earth are completely unaware of this embarrassing fact, of course. So they continue to speak these words to unsuspecting passers by without knowing how silly they actually sound. Gandalf, having spent much of his time amongst the Elves, was also blissfully ignorant of this fact. However, neither was he speaking Elvish. Consequently, despite what a casual observer might conclude, the worry that Gandalf the Grey bore at that moment was not the kind of worry that besets a market analyst when approaching a boardroom full of angry stock holders. Indeed, against all the advice of the best selling self help manuscripts at the time, Gandalf was worried about the welfare of his friends.

    The Balrog thought it would step out onto the bridge, so it did.

    This, of course, caused a great deal of consternation behind Gandalf as Aragorn decided at that moment that it was a good time to assist Gandalf with his presentation.

    “He cannot stand alone!” Aragorn shouted as he ran back toward Gandalf. “Elindel,” he cried, and before he could think of other embarrassing sounding Elvish words to use his mouth valiantly followed that with, “I am with you, Gandalf!”

    Boromir, not wanting to be left out of the fun, but not being as well educated in Elvish or Common vocabulary as Aragorn, could only think of one word. “Gondor!” he shouted, hoping that would help.

    Gandalf wanted to sigh, but knew that this would not stop anyone from continuing to do anything foolish. People, including Balrogs, are, after all, inherently foolish creatures. Almost as foolish as a Took. Or a toque, depending on what side of the border you happen to be from, and whether or not you like poutine. But alas, poutine was not in order here, or anywhere near most places in Middle Earth, for that matter. No, Gandalf realized with a certain wizardly resignation that other implements would have to be used to rectify the situation. Poutine would have to wait patiently in another world for him. Perhaps on the other side of the Western Sea, should he live long enough to cross it.

    Being one of the more clever individuals of one of the galaxy’s vast plethora of tool using creatures, Gandalf did what came natural to him. In a fit of desperation, in the tradition of his ancestors, he beat a stick against a rock. It just so happened that the stick he used happened to be the magic staff he was holding. And the only rock he had to beat it against was the bridge that the Balrog was now standing upon. It is not clear if the Balrog understood the significance of this at that moment, but Gandalf, as it also happened, did. Which is why he did it.

    The bridge had been hit by many things before, and it knew what to do in these circumstances. This largely involved remaining in place as best it could, and transferring the kinetic energy of the offending object back down to its supporting structures, who, after a brief consultation with the earth beneath them concluded that they would take the conservative action and also remain still. The energy was returned back to the staff, which didn’t know what to do with it and so broke into several pieces, much like a customer is want to do when his paperwork is returned to him unsigned after standing in too many lines at the complaint department.

    Unfortunately for the bridge, the magic that was contained within Gandalf’s staff burst forth like the Galaxy’s most heroic lawyer and leaped to action, tearing the bridge apart in a catastrophic and sudden flash. Suddenly, the Balrog found that it was standing on thin air. This, of course, did not work very well. And physics got ready to work the imminent transfer of more kinetic energy.

    “Hells bells,” said the Balrog. And then it fell into the abyss.

  93. HughMan says:

    “It appears, Winston, that we must take you to…” O’Brien smiled, displaying his pointed teeth. “ROOM 101!” He laughed mercilessly.

    “Well, it must be better than sitting here talking to you.”

    O’Brien’s smile froze. In an instant, Winston was holding him up by the throat; O’Brien struggled, but the only movement from Winston was to grab him by the body.

    “What are you gonna do, tell your Big Brother?” To the sound of sinews tearing, he tore the senior Minister’s head off, and held it, dripping blood on the floor.

    A second later, he heard the Death Troop squad moving into the room. He turned slowly, and smiled.

    “I’ve been making a few improvements,” he said. The soldiers looked down, as his arms morphed into Kinetic Blasters. “Time to take out the trash!”

    They fired at him, but he was too fast for them; cartwheeling down the room, he avoided every bullet, blasting them at every oppurtunity. He reached the wall, but continued, running up it as he took out some more troopers. By the time he had flipped back to the ground only one remained. He tried to run, but Winston was already pinning him to the wall.

    “Where is Julia?”

    “I vill never tell!”

    In the darkness, there was a snap, then a scream. “WHERE IS JULIA!”

    * * *

    Julia looked up as her door slid open, her skimpy prison-dress clinging to her. There was a Death Troop sergeant standing in the doorway.

    “Looks like I get you all to myself,” he muttered lasciviously, walking towards her slowly. She screamed.

    “Scream all you want. I like a girl with spiri-” There was a blaster-like sound, and he stood still, blood fountaining up from where his head used to be. When he fell forwards, she saw Winston standing there, in a bloodstained tanktop.

    She rushed to embrace him. When they were finished, they rushed for the door; she saw the Troopers bodies in the hall.

    “How did you do that to them?”

    Winston smiled grimly. “Thats what happens, when you mess with The 1984.”

    • HughMan says:

      (I should probably point out that I have no idea what book my entry’s style comes from, but I’m almost certain that it exists.)

  94. Anonymous says:

    Beauty anyhow and our Russell the omphalos. See real beauty of the eye when she not speaks, still how crude it seems. It was not beauty pure and simple, pleasures for the poor-Bedford place leading into Russell square. Straightness and emptiness of course, every ninth and heap, crashraising; the symmetry of the corridor, the mockery of it, absurd; but it was also lit up, from a bulge of window curtains a gramophone rears a battered brazen trunk; a sense of pleasure-making hidden; again emerging; the window left open; kind air defined the coigns of houses in Bedford place. No birds. Frail from the housetops two plumes of smoke ascended, pluming, and in a flaw of softness softly were blown. Absorbing, mysterious, of infinite richness, this life. Ineluctable modality of the visible: At least that if no more, thought through my eyes. And so on into the flare and glare.

    Woolfe v. Joyce

  95. cairns says:

    Hamlet’s soliloquy by Harlan Ellison.

    The big sleep. As misnomers go, that one’s really not bad. It even paints the expected intimation of honor, like some Disney project abandoned half-written and populated with a comatose princess, her seraph savior, and a family-friendly Morphean analogue whose dialogue is written entirely in rhyming puns.

    That’s not it, though. Sleep is that place where intrusions of reality can be dismissed out of hand, which implies a kind of heaven itself, but speaks to us in subconscious tones which more commonly place us on our knees beside an executioner than with clouds and sunshine. If the genuine article is so subconscious it might bear a startling semblance to the common conception of hell.

    And what about hell? If you trust ghosts, when you can find ones who have been there, and when they’ll listen and answer, ask them if it’s really so bad. Ask them if it can be worse than sitting every day, part of you praying for death on swift feet while the rest wonders what it is you might be waiting for. Wonders if whatever that is isn’t just sitting on the other end waiting for you. Ask them if bullshit suburban melancholies ever move the gods.

    These thoughts plague you at the edge, more than the dirt that’s already begun to crumble at your feet, more than the wind at your back which only just now might carry new voices of dissuasion or encouragement. Thoughts of nothing, and of something, and of only trite ways to frame either. There’s the rub.

    So. The big sleep. As misnomers go, it’s really not a bad one.

  96. Tdawwg says:

    The Bible as Told by God in the Style of Ice Cube (ca. Straight Outta Compton):

    “Fuck all y’all.”

    (with apologies to indiecognition #7 above)

  97. Jim Ryan says:

    THE COMEDY OF THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE
    By William Shakespeare

    ACT 1
    London, Baker Street

    WATSON

    This autumn day does find me so set
    To seek out my friend Holmes. And so, and yet
    Do dare I try see him and exalt
    And interrupt him trying to consult
    With client? Aye, for he may well desire
    Good Watson’s aid in tales ‘fore the fire

    WATSON enters 221B, where HOLMES and JABEZ WILSON are talking

    WATSON
    Oh! You’re engaged; Should I be back anon?

    HOLMES
    Your timing could not have been better, Watson.

    WATSON
    But are you engaged?

    HOLMES
    Very much I am so.

    WATSON
    Then I’ll be in the next room.

    HOLMES
    Oh do stay, don’t go.
    Mister Wilson, this is Watson, partner
    And helper in many successful
    Cases, and no doubt have I that he
    Will be the utmost use again to me.

  98. Exploder says:

    The Fountainhead – Final Scene – Thomas Pynchon Style

    —–

    Dominique twirled on black low slung pumps and passed the doorman – a self involved narcissist named Kelvin who, chewing one end of a Bic blue ink pen, always surveyed the forms of those women who passed through his gaze with an air of feigned superiority that made Dominique smirk, some small satisfaction at his pointless struggle with his own innate desire to conquer woman even as he failed to complete the New York Times crossword day after day. He stopped her, doffing his doorman’s cap. “Good day, Mrs Roarke. Mr Roarke is up top.”

    “Thank you, Kelvin. I know,” Dominique replied, stepping past him.

    Kelvin swung around quickly, proffering a parting reparte: “Five letter word for collusion?”

    “Cabal,” she said, failing to relieve even a single step from her trajectory. A muttered ‘thanks’ emitted behind her and Dominique quickly moved to the elevator, depressing the call button, tapping her foot to a tune stuck in her head – a whimsical bit of Beatles inspired rock from a Czechoslovakian band called Rubik’s Cube, who’d debuted on the American charts at an auspicious two hundred and ten and who Dominique never would have learned about had Howard not developed a building for a local radio DJ who went by the name Peter van Peter and wore a green pinstripe suit to every occasion, regardless of propriety. At his insistence, Howard borrowed a stack of rock and roll 45s that he would never listen to, but Dominique’s interest was piqued and she’d discovered a reliquary of sprightly music the bore a distinct Soviet undercurrent that altered the otherwise jaunty songs about life and love into paeans to the unrepentantly bleak lifestyles of a peasantry artistically unfulfilled.

    The elevator arrived and Dominique found herself stifling the lyrics to ‘Give Me Your Communist Love’ as she boarded, inserted and turned the key that allowed her to access the spire and waited for the hydraulics to act.

    Howard was standing with his hands in his overalls, surveying the urban landscape that bled into the horizon. Howard’s horizon. Dominique approached him silently and slid an arm through his. “Husband,” she said.

    “Wife,” he smiled back, kissing her.

    “Stencil called today. He wants to meet at a Hungarian coffee shop on York called Hungarian Coffee Shop.”

    Howard’s gaze fell back over the city. Dominique followed his eyeline and imagined thoroughly the thoughts spinning through his mind; spires borne with a keystone engraved with the name ‘Roarke’ flying upward, each one a testament to the unwavering willpower of man. She could see airships caressing the skyline, lurid gold plates reflecting the images of the world below in stark sheen, filled with the beauteous lovers of an objective world, each specimen a work of perfection in harmony with their own divine selves thrashing forward through the overgrown jungles of mediocrity to find the austere holiness of the truly moderne. She gripped Howard’s hand and squeezed, knowing that despite the allegations they faced and the desperate unease of commonality, they two would persevere, always into the future, unraveling the collectives and the conspiracies, forging paths of discernible self righteousness.

    Howard smiled. “Tell him we’ll be there at eight.”

  99. breid7718 says:

    In the style of “Fun with Dick and Jane”

    See Kane.
    See Kane speak.

    “Rosebud”

    See the ball.
    See the ball fall.
    Fall ball fall.

    See the nurse.
    See the sheet.
    Pull, pull.
    Pull the sheet.

    “Rosebud”

    What does it mean?

  100. voidPortal says:

    It was a frelling cold day in April, and the clocks were striking twelve and a half. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his moobs trying to escape the suck, slipped quickly through the plasteel doors of the center, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of grit and dust from entering along with him. The hallway smelt of ass and dren. At one end a large monitor loomed, splattered with spit and mud and worse, some of its pixels burnt out. Still, you could see that it showed an enormous face, more than a couple meters wide: the face of a man in his mid forties, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features, just watching calmly. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the gravlift. Even at the best of times it hardly ever frelling worked, and now power was mostly cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economic drive in preparation for I Frelling Hate You Week. The room was seven flights up, and Winston, who was already over the frelling hill, went slowly, resting several times on his way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, another large monitor with the enormous face gazed from the wall. The man’s eyes followed you about when you moved. BIG BROTHER IS FRELLING WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

  101. xCleverPoet says:

    Jacquesphoto, your Holden Caulfield take on Shakespeare is simply BRILLIANT.

  102. HeartofGlass says:

    Thirteen Ways of Looking at The Joy of Cooking
    (as told by Wallace Stevens)
    I
    Among twenty snowy powdered doughnuts,
    The only moving thing
    Was the hand of a child, spoiling her dinner.
    II
    I was of three minds,
    Like a pie maker
    confronted with butter, shortening, or the option of making just a crumble.
    III
    The hands of the clock whirled in the autumn winds.
    Never attempt a new stuffing recipe
    Before Thanksgiving
    IV
    A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a loaf of garlic bread
    Are not one.
    V
    I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of butter and sugar
    Or the beauty of my old self,
    in skinny jeans
    The blackberry pie whistles to me
    From the refrigerator.
    VI
    Icebox cookies filled the shelves
    Of the cold white box.
    The shadow of the mother
    Who does not work and bakes
    Cupcakes for school birthdays
    Crosses their imperfect designs, to and fro, frowning.
    My mood
    is not blemished by her shadow
    I know that her husband is having an affair with the school crossing guard.
    VII
    O thin women,
    Why do you dream of golden blondies?
    Do you not see how brownies
    Have just as many calories?
    They are no healthier, even though they lack chocolate!
    Have an apple!
    VIII
    I know noble accents
    And spices;
    I know, too,
    That Whole Foods was involved
    Catering my rival’s dinner party.
    IX
    When the perfect consistency of the roast was lost
    It was flung onto the floor in anger.
    The black dog marked the edge
    With its tongue and was happy.
    X
    At the sight of bacon
    Sizzling in light rolls of fat,
    Even the vegans
    Would munch surreptitiously.
    XI
    Martha Stewart rode over Connecticut
    On a knitted hang-glider.
    She made herself.
    She picked blackberries on her way.

    XII
    The blackbird must be flying.
    Check the index for chicken curry.
    XIII
    It was evening all afternoon.
    It was snowing
    And it was going to snow inside.
    I made hot chocolate from scratch
    The gas stove still works.
    That will be remembered.

  103. demidan says:

    Edgar Allen Douglas’s-Interlopers manual to the Universe prologue.

    Far out in the uncharted heavenly void in the inelegant oft neglected cusp of the Western Spiral arm of the Universe lays a miniscule dimly shining star.
    Orbiting this mote at a vast and incomprehensible distance is an overwhelmingly banal planet, whose blue hue was created by her foul brackish waters and fetid swamps. The denizens hereof, evolved from simians are so benighted as to still believe that pocket watches are a marvelous invention.
    This planet has, or dare I say had a bit of a worry which was this: most all of the people were dissatisfied with their existence. Many proclaimed that the lack of monetary remuneration was the cause even though the money itself had never once bemoaned its station.
    Thus the problem remained; hordes of people were angry, and the vast majority where completely miserable, even those with the aforementioned pocked watches.
    In a rare consensus the populous agreed that evolving thumbs and migrating from an arboreal existence was a poor choice. Some even advanced the idea that the initial move from the swamps was inadequately researched.
    Then one Thursday afternoon nearly two millennia after Christ our Lord and Savior had been spiked to a cross for mentioning that life would be less grievous if we practiced at being amiable, a pale waif of a woman in a café in Dorchester sat bolt straight with the epiphany of where we as mankind went wrong. This time her assumptions were correct; it would work, joy would be universal, and no one would have to be lashed to anything.
    Sadly, however, before she was able to place quill to paper, annihilation vast in scope and cretinous in nature was visited upon humanity. Her idea was lost for time immemorial.
    This is the tale; one horrid act of stupid calamity and the far reaching consequences.
    It is also the story of a great and wondrous tome aptly named “The Interlopers Manual to the Universe”-a book not of this world, and until the Earth’s end never seen nor heard of by any citizen of Earth.
    Never the less a truly remarkable book.

  104. reneemitson says:

    Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4 (The Stabbing of Polonius) as told by Roald Dahl’s wonderful Oompa Loompa’s

    Oompa Loompa Do-Ba-Dee_doo
    Hamlet, Hamlet, What did You Do?
    Oompa Loompa Do-Ba-Dee-Dee
    When Will They Start To Listen To Thee?

    What Do You Get When Claudius Kills Dad?
    It’s Enough To Make a Young Dane Mad!
    What Are You At Sword-Wielding Like a Brat?
    What Revenge Can Come Of That?

    (Queen Gertrude:) “I Dont Like the Look of It!”

    Oompa Loompa Do-Ba-Dee_doo
    Hamlet, Hamlet, What did You Do?
    Oompa Loompa Do-Ba-Dee-Dee
    When Will They Start To Listen To Thee?

    Polonius Thought He Could Hide for A Bit
    Now He is Dead And Queen With Pitch A Fit
    If Only It Could Go Back to Before…
    The Blood and Bleeding On the Floor!

    (Queen Gertrude:) “I Don’t Like the Look of It!”

    Oompa Loompa Do-Ba-Dee-Da
    Now It is Time For You To Go Far
    You Will Die Like Polonius Too
    Long Live the Oompa Loompa Do Ba Dee Do!

  105. Zaren says:

    “Down and Out In The Neuro-Kingdom”

    ======== PROLOGUE ========

    The sky above Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was the the color of an analog television, tuned to a dead OTA channel.

    #

    “It’s not like I’m using,” I heard someone say as I shouldered my way through the crowd around the door of the ‘Chant. They were updating again, this time restoring the place to it’s original 1963 design and finally getting rid of Zazu and Iago. “It’s like my body’s developed this massive crack deficiency.” It was a Bitchun voice and a Bitchun joke. The Enchanted Tiki Room was still a major attraction for professional tourists; you could stay here a week and hear two dozen languages, not counting the ones from the macaws.

    Ratz was still tending bar – they hadn’t pulled him out with the refurb yet. One of the ad-hocs figured that if it was a tiki room, there oughta be a tiki bar, so they squeezed him in alongside one of the totem poles. His animitronics ran a bit rough as he filled a filled a tray of glasses with draft Bud. He saw me, pinged my Whuffie, and smiled, perfectly polished enamel inserts showing from behind articulated lips. I found a place at the bar, between the fur of a fully modded neko girl and the grubby uniform of a consultant working on a renovation in Tomorrowland, cheeks spattered with welding scars. “Wage was in here early, with two old-timers,” Ratz said, sending a draft across the bar with the smoother operating hand. “Maybe some work for you, Case?”

  106. voidPortal says:

    Moby Dick by way of Catch-22:

    Call me Yossarian. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the pain in my liver that fell just short of being jaundice.

    The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn’t become jaundice and went away they could discharge me. But this just being short of jaundice all the time confused the poor wretches.

    Each morning they came around, three brisk and serious philosophers with efficient mouths and inefficient eyes, accompanied by a brisk and serious ward nurse who didn’t like me. They read the chart at the foot of my bed and asked impatiently about the pain. They seemed athirst with irritation when I told them it was exactly the same as the day before and the day before that.

    “Still no movement?” the chief philosopher demanded, abandoning the glory and distinction of his office by so doing.

    Since I abominate all honorable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever, and since there was forsooth no such movement, I shook my head. The doctors exchanged a judicious look.

    “Give him another pill.”

    Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; and especially whenever I find myself involuntarily not being discharged by doctors because they can’t decide whether I have jaundice and whether they can treat me for it or not, and it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

    Besides, it was love at first sight. The first time I saw the Captain I fell madly in love with him.

    There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean and her stalwart Captains with me.

  107. ultraswank says:

    The sky above Diagon Alley was the color of a Floo network tuned to a dementor’s breath.

    Harry shouldered his way past the crowd in front of The Leaky Cauldron. The last thing he wanted tonight was attention, and the inhabitants of the Alley were at full predatory alertness. Fortunately the only notice he got were a couple of skin puppets who quickly decided he didn’t have the Gallions to be worth their time. He ducked into the decidedly unfriendly but empty side of the alley, hoping the packs of feral house elves wouldn’t take too much of an interest in the the black velvet wrapped package under his arm. Along an empty stretch of wall he traced the opening runes with his wand. Not for the first time he noticed how closely they resembled the kanji for “dead whore’s son” and wondered how intentional that was. The wall dissolved like 12th hour amphetamine high and Harry quickly stepped inside.

    Hermione was there, all black leather and restrained hostility. “Did you get it?” She asked, her face unreadable behind the pools of mercury where her eyes should be. Harry pulled off the velvet to reveal a portrait. It moved in a grotesque simulation of life as the aged figure within blinked in the sudden light.

    “Oh shit, you two” he groaned.

    Albus Dumbledore, their old teacher, took a moment to size up the pile of shit he was in. He was exactly who was needed for this job, he knew the layout, had helped design the security wards, and he was dead. That might be an obstacle for some, but Harry’s crew had found alternatives. This portrait contained everything Dumbledore knew, everything they needed, and after liberating it from Hogwarts they were prepped for the run.

    “Hey Aldus, Up for a little bank heist?” Harry asked.

    “You tellin me a got a choice?”

    “No, but its not like I have one either.”

    “Just do me a favor, boy and destroy this thing when you’re done.”

    “Mirrorshadio” Hermione intoned, and the 10 centimeter long knives that emerged from her fingers were an effective end to the conversation. “If we can get back to work. Neuromancy, not the sort of magic to fuck around with. I assume you skipped the reading I gave you.” Harry stared at his shoes hoping to avoid the truth of it. She snorted derisively, “Typical, we’re attempting to breach Gringott’s Bank, the most secure building in the wizarding world, and you can’t even skim “Infiltration Techniques of the Black Circle”?”

    “I dunno”, he mumbled, “I thought we’d muddle through like we usually do”

    “‘Muddle through’, this is the last time I work with you fucking amateurs.”

  108. bobtato says:

    Hi hi, you can find section 4.10 of The C Programming Language by Kernighan, Ritchie and Lovecraft at:

    http://www.bobhobbs.com/files/kr_lovecraft.html

    Featuring working code samples in the language of the Old Ones!

  109. Thomas Palmer says:

    This is the beginning of Ender’s game; the scene in which Andrew Wiggin’s life is changed forever. As told by Yoda.

    ***

    “His eyes through I’ve watched, his ears through I’ve listened, and you I tell the one he is. Or close at least, as going to get we are.”

    “Said you about the brother, the one is he.”

    “Impossible tested out the brother. His ability, nothing to do with. Reasons other.”

    “The sister, same she is. And him, doubts there are about. Too malleable he is. Too willing he is in someone else’s will himself to be submerged.”

    “Not if the other person is his enemy.”

    “So what do we do? Surround him with enemies all the time?”

    “Have to, we will.”

    “This kid you liked, you said I thought.”

    “Make they will his favorite uncle I’ll look like, if him get they the buggers.”

    “Right is all. Saving the world we are. Him we take.”

  110. Anonymous says:

    1984 George Orwell, Scene in which Winston tells Julia about his unfortunate childhood and last time he saw his mother and sister when he stole the last of the food and ran away. In the style of William Shakespeare.

    In twilight weary, Winston, to Julia, laments despair of sickening familial struggles.

    Winston: Julia, innocent petal, I did murder them. Mother, Sister, stabbed to death by wicked acts and vile stares. No father had I to administer justice against my rebellious youth nor to correct my malcontent.

    Julia: Let sorrow escape thee, Winston.

    Winston: Survival. ‘Twas a struggle of such magnitude, even God himself would weep. Slaved and slaved for naught, Mother had nothing to suckle. Mine own stomach ached, and Sister’s ached. “One crumb,” her bowels cried upon deaf ears. Alas, survival overcame sibling comfort, and likened me to Cain, sister following Mother’s sickening tune in pleas for mercy. Within my twisted meditations, stomach forced mine hand for solace, even as kin suffered.

    Julia: The peasant doth act but in ways tried and true to live another day. Thy mother and sister forgive you in their eternal slumber. Think no more of those tragic days.

    Winston: But chocolate! Sweet, succulent beast! Greed hath no patience even as Mother hoped comfort for Sister. Running thief, ‘twas I, melting away the sad scene with every beat of foot, like the pity in my heart. To life, dark morsels of sweetness!

    Julia: Where art thou only kin on this day?

    Winston: I know not wither savior met them or ashes to ashes dust engulfed them. Disintegrated by the Ministry or Thought Police? Oh how my heart doth wilt and sour every day, until death rescue even me! But perchance to encounter Mother and Sister after the breath of life escape me, Julia. Shall forgiveness they offer or damnation and disdain? Damnation, I pray, would be a welcome penance for my betrayals.

    Julia: Ease thy mind, gentle man. Thy worries are useless and remedies for thy past errors are never present here nor upon tomorrow’s rising glow. Come close, and rest thy head upon my bosom.

    Winston: YIELD thy lust! Ye woman of great virtue! I shall not spoil your flower and safe tidings that abound. Wrestle thy flame to obedience! For you with my traitorous manner shall I surely kill, as Mother and Sister I murdered.

    Julia: Leave thee? Never, my love. My heart thou hast captured and sealed with the mightiest of locks, key hidden ‘neath the darkest cave in the deepest waters. Though the Thought Police may crush my bones and burn my flesh to confess their falseties, mind’s truth shall stand victorious, and I shall force mine own hand against life’s beauty ‘fore betraying thy company.

    Winston: Thou art a dove of peace and Noah’s rainbow, precious Julia.

  111. bamorrow says:

    The camp counselors inform you that your mother is sick in the hospital, and that your step dad will be picking you up. You gather your things and are brought to the camp’s office where he awaits.
    >Greet dad

    “Hi!” you say, and give him the smile that made him often forget what he was doing, freezing him in mid motion.

    He’s thrilled to see you, and takes your bag after affectionately patting your head. He brings you over to your mom’s old car, puts your suitcase in the trunk, and opens the passenger door for you. You get in, and the two of you leave Camp Q behind.

    A fly is buzzing around you.
    >swat fly

    You swat the fly deftly. Dad is watching your every move from the corner of his eye. His driving is rather terrible.
    >chew gum

    Gum is the best! You lean back in the seat and relax your posture. Dad is now staring, his eyes occasionally go to the road, but he’s having a hard time paying attention. He doesn’t notice that he’s accelerating. You need to bring him back down to earth.
    >ask about mom

    “How’s mother?” you ask pointedly, and the car almost immediately slows as his eyes go back to the road. He says that the doctor’s aren’t quite sure what the trouble is, but that he hopes they’ll have more information as soon as you and he arrive. The facility is out west in a town called Lepingville.
    >ask how far is lepingville

    I don’t understand `far is lepingville’.
    >ask how long until we get to lepingville

    I don’t understand `long until we get to lepingville’
    >ask what time will we arrive?

    You ask him if you’ll make it to the hospital by 9pm. He states that you’ll be in Briceland in time for dinner, and Lepingville by tomorrow. “How was the hike?” he asks, “Did you have a marvelous time at camp?”.
    >flirt

    How do you want to flirt?
    >bored

    You grunt a noncommittal assent.
    “Sorry to leave?” he asks. He’s started looking at you again out of the corner of his eye.
    >flirt bored

    You grunt out an “un-un” and shake your head no.

    “Talk, Lo- don’t grunt. Tell me something.” You are delighted that his tone is of the pleading variety. How will you reply?
    >obnoxious

    “What thing, Daaaaaad?” you say, dragging out the form of address to really make him sweat. You look directly at him and his eyes zip back to the road. He tries to feign casual interest. “Any old thing,” he says. How will you reply?
    >nice

    “Okay, if I call you that?” you ask. “Quite,” he replies. How will you reply?
    >vicious

    “It’s a sketch you know,” you say casually. Then you lay into him, “When did you fall for my mummy?” He’s dismayed, but recovers well with some crap about emotions, situations, and the harmony of a spiritual relationship.
    >bah

    “Bah!” you say. He’s sad now, watching the road like a proper driver. How will you reply?
    >wait

    You let time pass , and slowly his courage, or desperation returns, and he breaks the silence saying, “Look, Lo, at those cows on the hillside.”
    >mean

    You nastily say that you think you’ll vomit if you look at another cow.” He’s wounded again. After a moment, he says, “You know, I’ve missed you terribly, Lo.” You’ve got him where you want him. How will you reply?
    >vicious

    “I did not,” you say. “Fact I’ve been revoltingly unfaithful to you, but it does not matter one bit, because you’ve stopped caring for me, anyway.” As you say this, the car starts accelerating even faster then before, and his eyes are darting back and forth from the road to you with far too little time looking at the road. What will you do?
    >caution

    “You drive much faster than my mummy, mister,” you say, and he slows down a bit. He takes a deep breath, and his voice cracks a little as he softly asks, “Why do you think I have ceased caring for you, Lo?”
    >look humbert

    Outwardly well composed, Humbert is a rather handsome and well aged adult, who has the bearing of a person who is all too aware that eventually he is going to spontaneously combust, and there’s nothing that he can do to prevent it.
    He’s about to go insane with lust for you.
    >confront humbert

    What are you confronting your stepdad on?
    >lust

    “Well,” you say, “you haven’t kissed me yet, have you?”

  112. sutterdan says:

    For sale: dead kid, never used.

  113. O_P says:

    I have no mouth but I must Catch Rye.

    Anyway, it was the Thursday when we left. I remember because AM used to make a pretty big deal of it, the whole passage of time thing.
    Ellen had really wanted to go, so what the hell, I gave in. You never saw AM but you could hear him snickering, deep and terrific like.
    It was a terrible place no matter how you looked at it. I mean there was Ellen, but she wasn’t exactly the type that drove you mad with desire. She was a pretty nice girl, though. I liked her. But she never came any more, so why bother?
    The reason we were going was because Nimdok had said there was frozen cans up in the ice caves. Very big deal.
    I forgot to you about that. We hadn’t eaten in 3 days. Last time it was worms.
    Benny was lucky. He’d gone mad years before. Another thing, AM made him look like an ape. Ellen loved that. Well, one part of it.
    He tried to escape once. AM blinded him.
    Benny had a favourite story. It always had to start the same way, or he’d get mad. It started with “What does AM mean?”. And then it would go on to the Russian AM, the Yankee AM, and how they was all connected, and started killing everybody and drilling holes.
    There was only five of us.
    I forgot to tell you that.

  114. jammer says:

    Creator died today. Or yesterday, maybe, I don’t know.

    The opening line from
    Frankenstranger.

  115. Anonymous says:

    Hamlet by William Faulkner

    Hamlet

    My mother is a bitch.

  116. -DP-Moira says:

    Alice was beginning to get very bored of sitting by her sister in the park: over an hour ago, her sister had used the park’s hotspot to log on via her iNexion, and had since been wearing the vaguely absent look of all people experiencing full immersion VR netdiving. For want of anything better to do, Alice had tried to follow what her sister was doing on the iNexion’s screen, but for one thing, the device’s screen kept shutting down into power-saving mode every two minutes, and for another, ‘what is the point of watching full immersion VR netdiving’ thought Alice ‘without 3D or virtual tactile-feedback?’

    So instead she happily day-dreamed (as well as she could, for the effects her ‘joy’ stimpatch were wearing off) about the day she’d be old enough to get contactless connectors wetwired to her brain allowing her to full-dive as well. She had just started to imagine what it would be like to troll her sister’s V-space and to trojan self-replicating daisy chains into it when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

    That in itself wasn’t so VERY surprising; nor did Alice think it so VERY unlikely to hear the Rabbit say ‘LOL, I’m like totally late!’ as it almost tripped over its own feet. When she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she should have checked to see if the augmented reality function of her contact lenses was on, but at the time it all seemed quite natural; but when the Rabbit actually took a MIL-SPEC TERA-CORED ICE-BREAKER DECK OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on; Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen such outrageously awesome and expensive tech in the hands of such a short user, or any user for that matter, and burning with curiosity, she ran after it across the Astroturf, and fortunately was just in time to see it make its way to a panel of old-fashioned lasernet sockets hidden in the base of a solar tree by a shrubbery. The rabbit pulled a connector cable from its ear, hard-jacked into the panel, and vanished.

    Alice didn’t give a second thought to using her emergency-only mindlink cable and smiled in delight to discover that it’s jack was retro-compatible with lasernet sockets. In another moment she jacked in, never once considering what in the world might happen.

  117. EvilKnievel says:

    At the sound of the gunshot, they’re off! Welcome to everyone joining us by radio to this thrilling nighttime race along the scenic Henry Hudson Parkway on a chilly New York evening. Only moments have elapsed, and Thomas ‘Babe’ Levy staggered a bit out of the gate but he pulls into a slight early lead. He’s relying heavily on his years of distance training but he’s coming off a recent injury.

    Only meters behind, contenders Christian Szell and fellow German national ‘Karl’ are scrambling to catch up with this experienced marathon man. Karl’s large-framed and muscular torso, more suited to intimidation and physical violence than this kind of endurance running, is proving cumbersome on this hard paved roadway. However his fanatical devotion to his team captain Szell keeps those big legs churning.

    Speaking of second-place Christian Szell, or The White Angel as the press dubbed him decades ago, let’s not ignore the resiliancy of this veteran. He’s been down before, living in virtual exile after the breakup of his national team in 1945. This is a comeback story that none of us ever expected to see, especially for a contender at Szell’s age who at times was thought to be retired or at the very least training with the Soviets.

    With the scenic Columbia University campus as our backdrop, we turn our attention to our leader, Babe Levy. His breathing is steady although race fans should take note – Babe did not start this event in peak condition. His appearance at the starting line was haggard and pale, and we’ve been informed that he’s had little to no sleep in the last several nights. In addition is, once again, the terrible injury he’s sustained to several teeth, causing intense pain in this runner’s upper body. Ladies and gentleman, competing in this condition could only be described as torture.

  118. bencurnett says:

    Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be Soliloquy/Huckleberry Finn

    [Note: I also posted #28 The Book of Genesis/Catcher In The Rye. Hope two entries doesn’t disqualify)

    Is you, or ain’t you… that there’s what’s being asked, I reckon.

    I never did know what’s better: to keep on down the river, with ever’thing all

    Against you, or just to jump in the flood and be drownded.

    If it’s like sleeping at all, I could of handle that part just fine.

    But it don’t seem to me that you can make everything for you just wash off

    By dreaming about something else entirely.

    If it were that easy, hell, I’d be first for wishing it.

    The thing of it is, there’s nothing saying it ain’t all against you still and yet once you’re

    Drownded, either, and doesn’t that make the cold shivers run all over you?

    All those whuppings, no matter whether I deserved them or not,

    And how bad you sometimes feel even if you love someone,

    And everything else mean that happens and makes you run, mainly,

    If it all just up and went away, why not skin yourself?

    I think it’s the not knowing that’s the worst part.

    It’s just like running off down river, because you reckon deep down

    That there ain’t no one never coming back from it.

    Being drownded’s the same as running, but darker, maybe.

    Call me a coward, but if I set and think on it,

    I can’t do a thing except keep on rafting,

    Just letting the current turn me round this a’way and that

    headed downstream again, forever and ever, still and yet.

  119. graphicsman says:

    I’m sorry to not leave much to read in this space, but please click the link to view my entry, entitled “FDIC Copperfield”.
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4008/4185899181_ef86a4e8fa_b.jpg

  120. Zidel333 says:

    When Mr. Frankenstein of Geneva saw the hideous yellow eyes of his monstrous creation with a show of special disgust, there was much talk and excitement in the laboratory.

  121. gilowyn says:

    Douglas Adams vs. Edgar Allan Poe

    Once upon a midnight dreary, Arthur Dent pondered weak and weary,
    Over toothpaste and the shaving mirror’s eyesore.
    While he brushed, still nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of something yellow rapping, rapping on his kitchen door.
    ‘Tis some bulldozer,’ he muttered, ‘tapping at my kitchen door -
    Only this and nothing more.’

    Suddenly it all came back, that dreaded needed bypass track
    ‘Sir,’ yelled he, ‘you quack, you cossack!
    There won’t be no bypass mapping, and certainly no house scrapping!
    Go away with your faint tapping, tapping at my kitchen door!’
    Arthur Dent then stormed outside, laying on the dirty floor.
    Bulldozer there, and nothing more.

    But Mr Prosser still beguiling all his sad soul into smiling,
    Tried with kindness, then aggression, getting Arthur back off the floor;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, Ford Prefect took his friend for drinking.
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bulldozer of yore -
    What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and yellow bulldozer of yore
    Meant in croaking `Nevermore.’

    And the bulldozer, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the dreaded bypass grounds, just outside his kitchen door;
    But Arthur’s eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    As Ford Prefect takes him from the ale house floor;
    And Arthur’s feet from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall touch the Earth – nevermore!

  122. whoisnot says:

    “When I told Mina,” Harker wrote in his journal, and then he stopped. He stood up. He went to the cupboard and poured himself a whiskey and drank some of it. He took his journal and lied down on the floor. Of course, he forget his pen on his table. He hauled himself up, saying, “Stupid, stupid.” The pen wasn’t on the table. He went looking for it and found it beside the whiskey bottle. He lied down again, and wrote, “I just hate this lingering tension. That red scar on Mina’s forehead reminds me of–”

    He closed his eyes. He took a deep breath. He looked at what he wrote, and then he tore out the page and crumpled it.

    “I am not writing this down,” he said. “I am not thinking of that.”

    He would have liked to write something. He looked at the whiskey, and then he looked back at the journal. He grabbed his pen. “When I told Mina the Count is gone from the country, she went to sleep,” he wrote. “She didn’t sleep so well in ages. When she woke up, we kissed. Like in the old days.” Harker closed his eyes again.

    He put the pen down, and then he opened his palm. He mimicked caressing Mina’s head, sweeping her hair aside from her forehead. He gasped. Even now. With eyes still closed he ran his index finger along the scar above Mina’s eyebrows. He opened his eyes and then he stared into the empty air.

    “She is here,” he wrote then, “yet she is not here. And she will not be fully here with me until we kill that bloody monster. For he is here and not here too. Oh, Jesus. Sometimes I forget, thinking we’re done with him. But then sometimes he seems more real than any of us. He has lived for ages. We must stop him. Not matter how small we seem compared to him. But why us? Mina said it may be our destiny. I think she is right. He is not our doom. We must be his. And then that scar will be gone.”

    He put the pen down, and then tore out and crumpled this page as well. He got to his feet.

    “I will write this some other time,” he said. “Mina is working on the older diaries,” he said. “What am I doing here without her? It’s already three o’clock. We must work together. And then try again to make love. At dusk, when she is free.” He grabbed his journal and the whiskey bottle.

    “You won’t stand between us, you horror!” he heard himself shout. He opened the bottle and then drank a long sip. “No, you won’t,” he said. He stepped to the door. He opened it, and entered the dark corridor.

    (From Raymond Carver’s unpublished & unedited ‘Dracula’)

  123. Chuck says:

    In the last years of the eighteenth century, single men in possession of good fortunes would not have believed they were being watched, keenly and closely, by intelligences vastly different than their own, yet just as mortal; that as these men tended to their business and their incomes — amounting to thousands of pounds per year — they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as closely as their observers might inspect the handiwork of their own netted purses, or the detail of an embroidered screen. With infinite complacency, these men of means went to and fro between the cities of Regency England tending to their affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. No one gave a thought to the members of the fairer sex as a source of human danger, or thought of them only when in want of a wife. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most, these men of good fortune fancied there might be a mere handful of the fairer sex more accomplished than the rest, but still inferior and ready to welcome a strong and guiding hand in marriage. Yet across the gulf of the drawing room floor, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded these men’s fortune’s with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans of union and acquisition. And early in the nineteenth century came the great disillusionment.

  124. libelle says:

    Ginsberg does Shakespeare

    I saw the best prince of my generation destroyed by
    madness, raving hysterical confused,
    dragging himself through Elsinore’s walks near dawn
    looking for an angry ghost,
    two-minded hipster burning for the ancient heavenly
    ordination to do justice against the machinery of night,
    who ranting and tattered and hollow-eyed and mad strode
    discoursing on the lunacy north north west
    yet knew a hawk from any handsaw,
    who bared his soul to Horatio beside the grave and
    saw Ophielia staggering off streamside paths unaided,
    who passed through universities of memory yet still
    deflected Ronsencrantz’s espionage
    among the scholars of psyche,
    who expelled from the tapestries of his mother’s room,
    slashing obscene motherf*ing death on the windows of the
    skull,
    who cowered in doubt in fear of dreaming,
    before slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

  125. Poglov says:

    Prologue and Epilogue

    At home, Dublin, June 16th 1904

    Renowned concert-singer Molly Bloom rambled through the vaulted structure of the novel’s grand soliloquy. She lunged for the nearest episodic metaphor, a Penelope. Grabbing the classical framework, the thirty-four-year-old woman heaved a masterpiece of narrative from within herself until it tore from the language in a collapsed and unpunctuated heap.

    Yes because that was unanticipated a blundering request for breakfast barricading himself in the bed like the suite at the City arms hotel and two eggs took and far off my alarm bells began to ring

    his voice close behind tells me not to move

    on me hands and knees bottom out couldn’t see his face course I should never turn

    only ten years we’re away since the tying of the knot and Boylan outside my unsealed gate the mountainous silhouette of my breasts which my lover stared at with his iron bar or some kind of thick crowbar standing all the time tremendous big red brute of a thing he has with ghost pale skin the one they called albino or something like a honky with a shock of thinning white hair on him aiming the barrel directly at me

    alone now I gaze at the iron gate its lattice like the old windows of posadas hid for my lover to kiss the iron am I trapped should I pass on the secret are we dead or will my betrothed arouse with the thought of the engendering with which I have betrayed him of the emissions which in me have been thrusted

    suddenly now this is my one remaining link I might as well try to stop the sun rising tomorrow

    quivering he swept me off my feet on Howth head

    yes we are locked in this grand gavotte and there exists on one person on earth for whom I hold a torch well as well him as another I gazed up at the Moorish wall with my eyes to tell again yes like old friends his gaze and my heart going like mad yes I said yes I will Yes.

    Wincing in pain the reader summoned all of his faculties and strength. Joyce meets Brown. Catholic and confused. The desperate task before him, he knew, would feel like every remaining year of his life.

  126. jmoody270bc says:

    “We gotta win that fight tonight,” Ron said. His voice was hard. “We gotta get even with the Death Eaters. For Fred.”
    The rumble was set for seven.
    ~~
    “You like fights, don’t you, Soda?” Harry asked suddenly.
    “Yeah, sure.” He shrugged. “I like fights.”
    “How come?”
    “I don’t know. He looked at Harry, puzzled. “It’s action. It’s a contest. Like a Quidditch Match or a ball or something.”
    “Shoot,” said Ron, “I want to beat those Death Eaters’ heads in. When I get in a fight I want to stomp the other guy good. I like it, too.”
    ~~
    “I am a Gryffindor,” Sodapop chanted. “I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!”
    “Gryffindor… Gryffindor… Gryffindor…” Ron singsong. “O victim of environment, underprivileged, rotten, no-count hood!”
    “Juvenile delinquent, you’re no good!” Percy shouted.
    “Get thee hence, white trash,” Two-Bit said in a snobbish voice. “I am a Slytherin. I am privileged and the well dressed. I throw butter beer blasts, drive fancy brooms, break windows at fancy balls.”
    “And what do you do for fun?” Harry inquired in a serious, awed voice.
    “I jump Gryffindors!” Two-Bit screamed, and did a cartwheel.
    ~~
    Percy turned to see who it was, and Thicknesse threw a spell. The rumble was on.
    Harry, Ron, Sodapop, and Two-Bit ran forward to help: Jets of light flew in every direction and the man dueling Percy backed off, fast: “Hello, Minister!” bellowed Percy, sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. “Did I mention I’m resigning?”
    “You’re joking, Perce!” shouted Two-Bit as the Death Eater he was battling collapsed under the weight of three separate Stunning Spells. Thicknesse had fallen to the ground with tiny spikes erupting all over him; he seemed to be turning into some form of sea urchin. Two-Bit looked at Percy with glee.
    “You actually are joking, Perce… I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were-”
    The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Sodapop, Two-Bit, and Percy, the two Death Eaters at their feet, one Stunned, the other Transfigured; and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart. Harry felt himself flying through the air, and all he could do was hold as tightly as possible to that think stick of wood that was his one and only weapon, and shield his head in his arms: He heard the screams and yells of his companions without a hope of knowing what had happened to them-
    And then the world resolved itself into pain and semidarkness: He was half buried in the wreckage of a corridor that had been subjected to a terrible attack. Cold air told him that the side of the castle had been blown away, and hot stickiness on his cheek told him that he was bleeding copiously.

    “They’re running!” Harry heard a voice yell joyfully. “Look at the dirty – run!”
    It seemed to Harry that the voice belonged to Two-Bit, but he couldn’t be sure. Harry saw that the Death Eaters were getting on their brooms and leaving.
    Harry did a double take when he saw Two-Bit – blood was streaming down one side of his face and one hand was busted wide open; but he was grinning happily because the Death Eaters were running.
    “We won,” Percy announced in a tired voice. He was going to have a black eye and there was a cut across his forehead. “We beat Voldemort.”
    Ron stood behind me quietly for a moment, trying to grasp the fact that we had really beaten Voldemort. Then, grabbing Harry’s shirt, he hauled him to his feet. “Come one!” He half dragged Harry down the corridor, “We’re goin’ to see Fred!”

    When they finally got to Fred’s room, the Madam Pomfrey stopped them. “I’m sorry boys, but he’s dying.”
    “We gotta see him,” Ron said, and flicked out his wand. His voice was shaking. “We’re gonna see him and if you give me any static you’ll end up on your own operatin’ table.”
    Pomfrey didn’t bat an eye. “You can see him, but it’s because you’re his friends, not because of that wand.”
    They both went into Fred’s room, it was awful quiet. Harry looked at Fred. He was very still, and for a moment Harry thought in agony: He’s dead already. We’re too late.
    Ron swallowed, wiping sweat off his upper lip. “Fred?” he said in a horse voice. “Fred?”
    Fred stirred weakly, then opened his eyes. “Hey,” he managed softly.
    “We won,” Ron panted. “We beat the Death Eaters. We stomped them – chased them outa our territory.”
    “Useless… fighting’s no good…” He was awful white. “Harry.”
    Harry barely heard him. He came closer and leaned over to hear what he was going to say.
    “Stay gold, Harry. Stay gold…” The pillow seemed to sink a little, and Fred died.
    “Damnit, Fred…” Ron begged, slamming one fist against the wall, hammering it to make it obey his will. “Oh, damnit, Fred, don’t die, please don’t die…”

    The world had ended, so why had the battle not ceased, the castle fallen silent in horror, and every combatant laid down their arms? Harry’s mind was in free fall, spinning out of control, unable to grasp the impossibility, because Fred Weasley could not be dead, the evidence of all his senses must be lying.

  127. LColton says:

    Vonnegut does Moby Dick

    This is the tale of the meeting of two old white man on a boat which was dying fast.

    Ishmael was a nobody who supposed his life was over. He was not entirely mistaken. Queequeg disguised himself with tattoos and threw harpoons. As a consequence of their meeting, they would travel with one captain Ahab, who was on the brink of going insane.

    This is a picture of Ahab’s most attractive feature.

    Listen:
    Ahab was a Quaker, and this was their creed, which was pure balderdash, like so much he was expected to take seriously:
    We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatever; this is our testimony to the whole world.

    So Ahab was forced to pick whales for enemies, which he could chase with a harpoon.

  128. Anonymous says:

    (whiteness of the whale, by Chester Himes)

    The whale was white, sure, but this was Harlem, and Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones were the law, and if some whale had broken that law, they would find him and bring him down, white or not. “Maybe it’s some kind of Albino?” Ed said through a mouthful of Mammy Louise’s Chicken Feetsy.
    “Maybe so,” Digger answered, “all I know is he’s big, and so white that nothing sticks to him.”
    The two detectives paid Mammy Louise and went out to the street where Digger’s Plymouth hunched at the sidewalk. Digger picked his teeth and looked up and down the street. It was early Saturday night, and all the hustlers and whores and hopheads were still just waking up. “Polar bears are white, polar bears and sharks and goddamn albatrosses, too. I remember that Navy boy we brought in last week called an albatross a ‘goney,’ kept saying he had a goney around his neck,” Ed said as he opened the passenger door.
    “A goney?” Digger replied.
    “That’s what he said. Until Joe Pullen got sick of listening and cracked his head open.”
    Digger sighed. “Joe need to learn to handle himself with a little more cool.”
    They drove through streets colored caramel by the setting sun. Digger parked in front of the aquarium and got out. Ed followed.
    “Also heard this whale is an atheist,” Ed said as the two men looked at the skinny, mocha colored teen slouched in the ticket booth.
    “An atheist? How the hell can a whale be a mother-raping atheist?” Digger stopped and tilted his head. His partner had gone off the deep end more than once since he’d had a jar of acid thrown in face several years ago, and Digger wondered if this were another one of those times.
    “Don’t believe in God, I guess.” Digger shook his head and laughed, and walked beside his partner toward the ticket booth, smiling in a way that made the boy behind the counter wish he were born some other place, some other time.

  129. Flint_Paper says:

    Fear and loathing in the galaxy:

    I was lying in the soil outside of my house and looking at the whore-beast standing in front of me; he was a short man, with an ugliness that stretched far deeper than his scaly skin. He carried the demeanour of someone who had, deep within his genetic heritage, the blood of a serial rapist. Behind his eyes there was the glimmer of a murderous brute, some dreadful Mongolian warlord who could only be happy when drunk from battle and covered with the blood of his enemies, but from the set of his face I could tell that the days of mass rapes and village burnings had been reduced to the enforcement of petty bylaws by the same dispiriting process that took a wolf and twisted it into a poodle. This was truly a man who epitomised our terrible age.
    “Mr Dent”
    His voice was not one which could carry any authority: if he’d tried to call for calm in a bar full of vicious, motorcycle riding Neanderthals, he’d have been on the end of a terrible and bloodthirsty chain-whipping, deservedly so.
    “What do you want, man?” I barked, “God dammit, can’t you see I’m fucking busy?”
    “You really can’t lie there all day Mr Dent; I have all the appropriate paperwork here”
    Oh shit. Now here’s a man who truly believes in The Power of Bureaucracy. A strong, unshakable faith in the powers above really knowing what’s going on. This kind of person can be dangerous.
    “Not a chance, you pigfucker. I can stay here all day. We’ll see who rusts first, and you can bet it won’t be me, you terrible bastards, that’s for sure.”

    Now you have to understand that this deadlock had been going on for some time, this wasn’t just a minor diversion; I’d have lay there all day if I’d had to. Not that I wanted to, as I lay in the dirt with that terrible poison soaking into my skin, I began to strongly fiend for tea. Ahh, sweet, devil tea; even after all that has passed I still yearn for one more cup.
    Squinting in the sun and trying to fight off the shakes, a figure slowly took shape and began to loom towards me.

    “Stay back, you dog! I have mace!” Paranoia was really starting to kick in, I was confident that this figure wished me some terrible harm. This was nothing less than a full and complete breakdown, real bad craziness.

    “As your attorney I advise you to drop the mace and join me at the bar.”

    Sweet Jesus. It was Prefect. I began to think that I’d prefer to be set upon by some terrible golem; you see, my friend and attorney Ford Prefect was always a harbinger of dangerous times, weird, and not of this world. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fucker was from space.

    “Ford, you bastard, come on. Together we can rush these swine. Let’s see how they like it when it’s us destroying their houses. By God, we’ll put the kind of fear in them that they’ll carry to their graves. It’ll be fun.”

    “No time for destruction now, friend” he sighed “at least not on the kind of scale we’re comfortable with. Things are soon to get heavy – for this we need booze.”

    “There’s no time for booze, you poor fool! Can’t you see what these monsters are trying to do to my house?”

    “Time is an illusion, friend.” He took a marijuana cigarette from his pocket and inhaled deeply once lit. “Let me have a word with this cat”

    As my attorney approached the weasel in charge I saw the poor bastard drain of colour. We were beginning to give off some seriously ugly vibes. Good. Let these blue collar bastards with their earth moving equipment feel some fear. Give them a terrible glimpse of a world they’ll never know, after all, they could never have the strong mental shielding required to truly run with the freaks.

    Prefect’s shouting and waving of arms began to get more and more intense as he explained our situation. Eventually, either by succumbing to some twisted logic or as an attempt to prevent the purple-faced, sweat-soaked, gibbering freak from lashing out at him like a bull in heat, the foreman offered to take my place in the filth.

    We set off towards the bar and as any good journalist would, I could sense that things were about to get strange. Selah.

  130. janusnode says:

    Mobius Dick, by Thomas Pynchon

    Our imaginations set aflame by yelling, our shouted slogans, our inflated sense of team spirit, we all sensed the gigantic apparition at once. But though each of us saw the same thing with wide-open eyes, none of us knew if the thing was in the real world, or whether it had been ripped out of us and made to appear real by the strange times, the extenuating circumstances, the insanity of the moment materializing for us as bleeding heaving flesh, our pure goal. Anyway something every one of us, freaks and ex-cons and escapees, all of us lost devils, could believe in. Something we could bet our lives on.

    And then Captain A-Man climbed and climbed and climbed. He didn’t stop climbing but continued beyond the upper edges of our limping vessel’s ragged rigging, climbing, as we swarmed in awed confusion below, to an impossible perch. The A-man could gaze at the water and see all its mysterious beasts and he could see inside them, could enter into each one. He fell into the dark water to enter all the beings living in that vast heaving chaos. He was billions of vectors of thought accelerating out through earth’s oceans looking for life that inflected in a whisker’s breadth so that at once he was pushing himself, his multi-vectored self, like a reverse big bang, from all directions with fantastic speed into just one little speck, a tiny speck in the midst of vast oceans, one beating heart among the billions. Inside that great heart the brave man burst like a firework, sparkling out into every cell, and then into every cell’s chromosomes and every chromosome’s nucleotides and each nucleotide’s atoms, until at last, lost in salt watery wash beyond the reach of normal vision, there was no more climbing to look outward, there were no more vectors in flight. He had become what he had wanted to become, what we men had fought and bled and died for him to become, had done at last what he had needed to do, what you and I need him to keep doing; conflicting desires, conflicting lives, conflicting needs and ambitions and dreams, resolved by the simple application of a meta operator. At last at long last, he was (at peace and whole! So marvelous!) the hunter and the hunted at once.

  131. Rob Beschizza says:

    Example:

    Okay said Spot’s mom.
    Okay said Spot.
    Okay what?
    Nothing. Just okay.
    Go to sleep
    Okay.
    A gray flake of ash landed on Spot’s nose.
    What is it said Spot’s mom.
    Are we going to die?

    But better! And longer.

  132. refinement says:

    Mystar Germs Joyus wreats the Foear Hearksmean oer the Apackaliesp (from the Brook of Riverancien, Kind Shames far Sion)

    [Far the steek of Goned no blastphanies are mint buy the Hathor]

    Hang winned I saw the iamb happened und of the peaels, and eered a sund, siwere, the nouws ov Fiunder (Crackajackscripshapsingiebelungerwadleftenbrackenthossteraptiontegontasterrertripulatigatulationsalem!), the firest of the for be’sts (Watchwon? It’s a lyin what getsemane! The martyrer and the boddy odinyell!) slays, Commonden, avalookseep. And I slaw, end belltolled, a Zeit Hoearts, end Moister Lyinheart, Sagiterrian (he mybe the finyl abrocard of Fishsnout, our She’sus, horn finaley the Antecrisis), on the Hartses boak, gots withim a bough, of the taipe which shouts the horrows, and he woarred a crayown, givenone toomb; end he vent fouth, and he want farward in a conchring, and faather ondt two chronker.

    And vind the gam moped in the syckined schpiel, eye herd the sicowned peacet (It’s a Humburgher Walken! F’yell buy a mat o’dewars, them’s the harns at’ll gourd you! No blaedin’ bowelsheath!) spray, Comb and tree. And a traw, hens beentold (the die is failling! the pski is farrling!), ere winned oot a nither Whores, a Raidwon, and pyre was striven under hem which spat on the herps, Scarpious, (he moist lickly a Kong or a Genereal, or an Admirror in the lazdy, or a Coptrawler of dewcleer fissiles) to take pasce from the hearth, that they (the paepal of hourts) maighty kells on a nutter, and on to the whoresman was garbedin a gripe’s word.

    And vend the Boamb hopedin the flurred szeal, and the stoirred beets (It’s a Meinager! A Poorsun! A Heemonkeying! And the wangs mien hies sameteams in Eingeld!) sled, Commanche. End I theetelled, and blow, a Bleack Hourpse; and e that flaitt on the hoarse (he problables a Blanksir or a Purchant or a Membraine en the Hewerocrazies) holled a peer of valianzes in hess hund. End aherd a boist, Libratto, troeu the misdt of the Pour Beacheds, shay, A meagger of wee for a petty, an free pleagures a bar lay far a pity; and she’sow, know to curt the toyl and the weine.

    End wenned the limb orfanned the Farth Sheol, I hoaard the veice of the Wourst Baest (It’s a Boored! Sallegal! Wit talings and feitters and a shorp lipple bic!) dsplay, Coreman spree. Ind I luocked, and No!, a Paall Hearse (moushd be shikh, paour orsea): andy that splatt on the hourns was coolled Deapth (He’s definerently a Heartist, or a Porphyret, or a School-Fazed Evenjewel wet a Seeth or a Seccle). And Hails faellowed laughter. And payer west gibbon ento hum aver the farreth port of the Earp, to caol with the stoored, and with hoangars, and with debths, and with the faists of the hurge.

    [and that wiz joycet the fairest prate of the myserties]

    • refinement says:

      That word is supposed to be 100 letters but it got cut off! This was the most fun contest ever in history.

  133. SKORPIO says:

    “Gosh, this wind is simply amazing!” exclaimed Hunter, as he drove the cabriolet. “It’s as if the very air has come alive!”
    “Nothing for me, yet” said Oscar, as he still chewed and swallowed the remains of the paper novelty.”I’m beginning to think nothing will ever happen today.” His shirt was undone to enjoy the bright sunshine on their trip.
    The two chums traveled in their shiny red motor-car at a brisk speed, as they were expected at their destination. Oscar reached to extract a familiar brown bottle. The contents inside quickly flew out, a cloud scattering across the clear blue sky.
    “Oh no, what have I done!” wailed Oscar.
    “Please contain yourself Oscar.” Hunter said firmly “We have plenty for this hol”.
    Their trip planning had included visiting many local merchants. The hamper in back was well stocked with a variety of delicious capsules, tablets, tinctures, and lashings of sticky stuff. There were still plenty of items to keep them happy and silly.
    “As you seem uneffected, perhaps you should drive then” Hunter said wisely, coming to a quick stop. Once behind the wheel, he was sure Oscar’s outlook would soon change

    The two chums were caught off-guard as a scruffy hitchhiker pulled open a rear door, climbing quickly in. His pallid skin hinted at common stock and poor personal habits.
    “Nice car”, muttered the interloper, “and where are you two bums headed for?”
    Hunter looked gravely at the fellow’s features, but still maintained a smile, a long cigarette-holder kept firmly in his teeth. He wondered if he wanted to spend the hols with this sort.
    “It’s a ripping village called Las Vegas” smiled Hunter “We need to meet with an unsavory character named Savage Henry”
    “The man is a common smuggler.” added Oscar. “We know how to handle trouble-makers-we have to be very firm…”
    The stranger seemed put off. At the next stop, he quickly exited, grumbling menacingly to himself.

    “What a queer sort. I’m not at all upset he left us”, said Hunter gravely.
    “Jolly good. He seemed the scruffy sort. He’s probably an ecaped criminal, now on the run”.

    The two friends would not let this incident dampen their high spirits. The future would hold great adventure. There was a race to take part in, escape from a villainous inn-keeper and a mystery to solve- to find the American Dream!

    Enid Blighton – Two Go to Las Vegas

  134. Anonymous says:

    To Win is counted bestest

    To win is counted bestest
    By those who are chronic losers.
    To know a nectar, one has to take a swig.

    Not one of all those idiots who won today
    Knows what it’s worth.
    But those losing nerds, licking their wounds
    Know full well the pain of nerddom.
    When, agonized and clear, they hear the word

    NERD!

  135. SickleYield says:

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single detective possessed of a poor fortune must be in want of a case. However little known the feelings or views of a shamus might be upon his entering a neighborhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of one or the other. Thus it was that at the unfashionable hour of eleven o’clock in the morning, with the sun not shining and a hard clear look of rain in the foothills, that Mr. Philip Marlowe, lately of San Francisco, found himself in the quite unaccustomed state of being neat, clean, shaved, and sober as he prepared to call upon the elusive gentleman from whom he had so lately received a summons. Mr. Marlowe felt his powder-blue suit to be all the crack, and particularly when combined with his dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, his mirror-polished black brogues (over which his valet had been quite in despair not an hour past), and black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them, he could not but feel that he represented everything a well-dressed private detective ought to be. The main hallway of the Sternwood estate was quite two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which might easily have admitted a troop of Indian elephants had General Sternwood for some reason fancied a crowd of pachyderms in his front foyer, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady in quite a shocking state of deshabille which was saved from being worse only by the expedient of her long and convenient hair. It seemed to Mr. Marlowe, quizzing this artwork closely as he waited, that the knight was not getting anywhere in his attempt to free this distressed damsel. He quite felt that he, had he had the extreme good fortune to live at the sternwood estates, would have had to climb up and attempt to assist him.

  136. Praline says:

    THE GARDEN OF EDEN — END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (EULA)

    TERMS OF SERVICE

    The Garden of Eden is provided “as is” by God, Inc. (“iCreate”).

    PARADISE IS AVAILABLE TO END USERS ONLY

    The Garden of Eden is available exclusively to human beings created from the dust of the ground, or derived from the rib(s) thereof.

    CANCELLATION POLICY

    All temptations are final. The Garden of Eden service commences immediately upon your creation and you will not have a right to cancel your contract with God once the service commences.

    TECHNICAL STEPS – 1-Sin ®

    1-Sin is a registered service mark of Serpent.com, Inc., used under license. 1-Sin is a convenient feature that allows you to sin in the Garden of Eden by yielding to temptation just once. When living within the Garden of Eden, 1-Sin may be activated for all your actions by selecting the “Don’t ask me about sinning again…” check box, in the “Are you sure you want to sin and be ejected?” dialog box that appears when an “Apple” fruit is desired. (You may reset this selection at any time by selecting “Reset Transgression Warnings” in your Covenant with God.) When 1-Sin is activated, picking the “Apple” will start the expulsion immediately and complete your downfall without any further steps. Transgressions using 1-Sin are subject to these Terms of Sinning, including the Cancellation Policy set forth herein.

    Alternatively, if you prefer not to use 1-Sin, and instead wish to contemplate your sin before you commit it, choose the “Add to Wishlist” option for the transgression you wish to commit. Using Wishlist will allow you to review and change your sin before initiating your expulsion from the Garden. (Please note: the Wishlist functionality is not available in earlier versions of Creation.)

    OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

    God reserves the right to change the Terms of Service at any time.
    Humanity is encouraged to review these Terms on a periodic basis for modifications.

    Creation is licensed, not sold to you, by God. God retains ownership of Creation itself and reserves all rights not expressly granted to you. Intellectual property rights to everything in existence belong to God. Your use of any part of Creation is conditioned on your prior acceptance of this EULA, including, without limitation, all Usage Rules set forth herein.

    CLICK a button to continue…

    CANCEL
    I do not agree

    NEXT
    I agree with the terms
    of the license

    [Adam and Eve, Book of Genesis, as an Apple EULA]

  137. amandahervey08 says:

    ‘Twas the summer of 1933, when Maycomb moved slow

    cause there wasn’t any money and no place to go,

    that’s when it all started, the summer Dill came to us,

    a pocket Merlin of sorts by the name of Charles Baker Harris.

    Who knew that those games we played so long ago

    would result in a bad break at Jem’s elbow?

    It was all Jem’s idea, “Just picture it, Scout−”

    let’s stop playing games and make Boo Radley come out!”

    When out on the lawn, we rose such a clatter,

    Atticus came out to see what was the matter.

    Jem was in character with scissors held over Dill’s thighbone

    When Atticus yelled, “You kids leave Mr. Arthur alone!”

    We waited a while then decided to sneak

    to the Radley’s old house to steal us a peek.

    A shotgun rang out and we raced under the fence,

    Jem’s pants, they got caught, and things got pretty tense.

    Jem had to creep back, so lively and quick

    And I waited for the shot, my stomach quite sick.

    But Jem soon returned, his pants over his arm

    And the hole had been mended, much to his alarm.

    Not long after that, I think it was fall

    we found chewing gum, a watch, twine and two soap dolls.

    The gifts were well-hid in a knot hole, you see,

    And we had a sneaking suspicion they were all from Boo Radley.

    But the knot hole was patched when we passed it one day,

    Mr. Radley said the tree was dying but we saw no decay.

    Atticus told us to leave it at that,

    It was the Radley’s business, not ours to pick at.

    That summer came but Dill never did,

    He had a new daddy and wanted to stay in Meridian.

    Aunt Alexandra arrived, which made me quite angry

    Her mission in life was to turn me into a lady!

    The talk of the town was the Tom Robinson trial,

    and that Atticus was defending him made some folks quite hostile.

    One night, we followed him to the jail where Tom was,

    and the angry voices we heard made us all pause.

    I couldn’t stand it no more, so to his side I did run,

    Jem and Dill followed and Atticus said, “Go on home, son.”

    I knew the men in the shadows, much to my dismay,

    “Mr. Cunningham, won’t you tell Walter I say hey?!”

    The trial started with the testimony of Heck Tate,

    who’d been called by Bob Ewell the night Mayella was raped.

    “Mr. Ewell,” Atticus said, “are you left handed?”

    “Because it’s on Mayella’s left side where someone’s fist landed.”

    “And Mayella, my dear, why didn’t you fight?

    if Tom Robinson really tried to harm you that night?”

    The crowd fell silent when Tom Robinson began to speak,

    and his innocence was obvious; this man was so meek.

    “But why did you help her?” the prosecutor’s voice boomed through the chamber,

    “I don’t know sir,” Tom said, “I guess I felt sorry for her.”

    “Guilty,” they called, and Atticus took some harassing,

    But the colored folks said, “Jean Louise, stand. Your daddy is passing.”

    Poor Tom, he did his best to escape,

    But he was shot seventeen times before reaching the gate.

    It didn’t end there, not for old, Bob Ewell,

    He demanded revenge for being made to look a fool.

    He sprang at me first and my ham suit covered my eyes,

    I could hear lots of struggling and my brother’s cries.

    Heck Tate was called and Jem was taken to bed,

    aunt Alexandra assured me that he was not dead.

    I stood by his bedside, and to my surprise,

    I noticed a pale figure with colorless eyes.

    He was there in the corner, hiding from view,

    The only thing left to say was, “Hey, Boo.”

    It was all taken care of, the dead buried the dead

    and Atticus tucked me safe and warm in my bed.

    “Boo was good,” I said, “there’s no reason for fright.”

    “Yes, most people are, Scout, now my dear sleep tight!”

  138. SKORPIO says:

    Dr Seuss- The 25,000 Tea-spoons of J. Alfred Prufrock

    Let’s go down into the town
    To walk the darky streets at night
    To eat and sleep, and sleep some more
    Let’s go out, and not just fight

    The snooty ladies come and go
    They talk to only Michael, Ann and Joe

    There is a creeping yellow Fog
    Like a smokey Dog-Cat-Dog
    Let’s say or do, or do or see
    or just enjoy our oolong Tea

    The snooty ladies come and go
    They talk with only Michael, Ann and Joe

    What should I do?
    My head is fat
    I’m old, boo-hoo
    I could wear a hat
    Or put on a nifty jacket
    or could I go and make a racket?

    I know that I must know the time
    the calender clicks, the clocks that chime
    To measure it, I count my spoons
    The room out back plays some tunes

    Looking people give me the eye
    Just like a pinned-down butterfly
    The pretty girls I always knew
    I want to catch and pin them too

    * * *

    Down the dusky street I stare
    At chimney tops and old men there

    I am crabby, I could be a crab
    under the waves, there’s no blab blab blab

    * * *

    I nap and rub and snack today
    I think of bald head things to pray
    I could always lose my head
    Or be afraid of Mr Dead

    I could have my tea-time jazz
    Or talk like zombie Mr Laz
    Or be a big shot, with big-shot phrase
    That’s not the word I meant to says

    * * *

    I’m not an actor in a play
    Well maybe one with one good line to say
    The lines I have aren’t too great for that
    I think I wear a jingle-ly hat

    I grow old…I grow old…
    I have pants-cuffs that I fold

    I comb over, a fruit with pit
    I think I’m afraid of it
    The fish-girls sing far out at sea

    To boats and goats, but not to me

    To see the sea-weeds I wait and think
    This makes us sink into the drink

  139. Andrew P. says:

    A Christmas Carol, by Kurt Vonnegut

    1.

    Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

    2.

    Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile, writes Bokonon; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

    3.

    Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor.

    His sole administrator.

    His sole assign.

    His sole residuary legatee.

    His sole friend and sole mourner.

    And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event. He was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.

    4.

    The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. Listen:

    There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot — say, Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance — literally to astonish his son’s weak mind.

  140. Anonymous says:

    Beauty anyhow and our Russell the omphalos. See real beauty of the eye when she not speaks, still how crude it seems. It was not beauty pure and simple, pleasures for the poor-Bedford place leading into Russell square. Straightness and emptiness of course, every ninth and heap, crashraising; the symmetry of the corridor, the mockery of it, absurd; but it was also lit up, from a bulge of window curtains a gramophone rears a battered brazen trunk; a sense of pleasure-making hidden; again emerging; the window left open; kind air defined the coigns of houses in Bedford place. No birds. Frail from the housetops two plumes of smoke ascended, pluming, and in a flaw of softness softly were blown. Absorbing, mysterious, of infinite richness, this life. Ineluctable modality of the visible: At least that if no more, thought through my eyes. And so on into the flare and glare.

  141. Blind Zen Archer says:

    Thanks, Gllowyn!

  142. latergray says:

    Down the palate the Tongue-tip steps–
    To tap–at three–on the teeth–
    And proclaims my Love–Warranted–
    Unsurpassingly–

    Light of my life–my Sin–Soul–
    In one sock, four feet ten–
    But did she have a–Precursor?
    She did–indeed she did–

    Had I not loved one summertide
    In a princedom by the Sea–
    A certain–initial–Girl-child–
    No Lo–plain or Fancy–

    Ladies, Gentlemen of the Jury–
    I offer Exhibit One–
    What misinformed Seraphs–envied–
    This–tangle of Thorns–

  143. Darius_Roberti says:

    Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ as written by Rorschach

    Dorian’s Journal. November 9th, 1890.

    It’s the eve of my 38th birthday. Walking home after dinner with Lord Henry. The air is arid and the night is as cold as black ice and as foggy as drunkard face down in gutter. Passed man with bag in his hand on corner. Seems familiar. It’s Basil Hallward.

    Hurm.

    Don’t want to talk to him. Not after everything I’ve done. Pretend not to recognize him; walk past him in direction of my house. He spots me, hangs onto my arm and calls my name. Damn him.

    He was waiting for me in my library. Asks me if I didn’t recognize him. I give him some bullshit excuse about the fog. Wants to speak to me. Says it’s urgent. I grow weary and impatient like the petulant child kicking the back of my seat in the theatre last week.

    It’s cold; I invite him in. Hurm.

    We enter my library; it’s warm. The wood fire in the open hearth blazes like the Devil’s furnace. Hurm. The same furnace the soul’s of this city’s scum will get shoveled into, no more important than a lump of the blackest, most charred coal. But not mine; I still have my trump card…

    ……………………………………………………..

    Showed Basil the painting; showed him what my soul has become. He flings himself into an old chair; he is aghast. I sob uncontrollably against the window. He begins to talk.

    Tell’s me that it is a lesson from God, that I should pray. I falter, tell himit’s too late. He says it’s never too late; implores me to kneel with him. Doesn’t know the things I’ve done. Couldn’t know. Must never know. Hurm.

    He did this to me, Basil and his wretched painting. Uncontrollable hate and anger begin to swell inside me. Stronger than any other hate I’ve ever had in my whole life. A glistening knife upon a chest catches my eye. I creep behind Basil and pick it up. He couldn’t know what I’ve done; mustn’t know.

    I sink the knife behind Basil’s ear while he kneels. His head snaps forward against the table like a ragdoll. I plunge the knife in again. And again. Hurm.

    Basil groans and chokes on his own blood. Reminds me of the mewling of a dying cat. He grabs air; I stab him twice more. Warm blood splashes my face. Blood drips to the floor like a spilled bottle of ink. Basil doesn’t move. I release my grip on the knife and listen. Silence. Hurm. He doen’t know. Couldn’t know. Will never know.

  144. ahervey says:

    ‘Twas the summer of 1933, when Maycomb moved slow
    cause there wasn’t any money and no place to go,
    that’s when it all started, the summer Dill came to us,
    a pocket Merlin of sorts by the name of Charles Baker Harris.

    Who knew that those games we played so long ago
    would result in a bad break at Jem’s elbow?
    It was all Jem’s idea, “Just picture it, Scout-”
    let’s stop playing games and make Boo Radley come out!”

    When out on the lawn, we rose such a clatter,
    Atticus came out to see what was the matter.
    Jem was in character with scissors held over Dill’s thighbone
    When Atticus yelled, “You kids leave Mr. Arthur alone!”

    We waited a while then decided to sneak
    to the Radley’s old house to steal us a peek.
    A shotgun rang out and we raced under the fence,
    Jem’s pants, they got caught, and things got pretty tense.

    Jem had to creep back, so lively and quick
    And I waited for the shot, my stomach quite sick.
    But Jem soon returned, his pants over his arm
    And the hole had been mended, much to his alarm.

    Not long after that, I think it was fall
    we found chewing gum, a watch, twine and two soap dolls.
    The gifts were well-hid in a knot hole, you see,
    And we had a sneaking suspicion they were all from Boo Radley.

    But the knot hole was patched when we passed it one day,
    Mr. Radley said the tree was dying but we saw no decay.
    Atticus told us to leave it at that,
    It was the Radley’s business, not ours to pick at.

    That summer came but Dill never did,
    He had a new daddy and wanted to stay in Meridian.
    Aunt Alexandra arrived, which made me quite angry
    Her mission in life was to turn me into a lady!

    The talk of the town was the Tom Robinson trial,
    and that Atticus was defending him made some folks quite hostile.
    One night, we followed him to the jail where Tom was,
    and the angry voices we heard made us all pause.

    I couldn’t stand it no more, so to his side I did run,
    Jem and Dill followed and Atticus said, “Go on home, son.”
    I knew the men in the shadows, much to my dismay,
    “Mr. Cunningham, won’t you tell Walter I say hey?!”

    The trial started with the testimony of Heck Tate,
    who’d been called by Bob Ewell the night Mayella was raped.
    “Mr. Ewell,” Atticus said, “are you left handed?”
    “Because it’s on Mayella’s left side where someone’s fist landed.”

    “And Mayella, my dear, why didn’t you fight?
    if Tom Robinson really tried to harm you that night?”
    The crowd fell silent when Tom Robinson began to speak,
    and his innocence was obvious; this man was so meek.

    “But why did you help her?” the prosecutor’s voice boomed through the chamber,
    “I don’t know sir,” Tom said, “I guess I felt sorry for her.”
    “Guilty,” they called, and Atticus took some harassing,
    But the colored folks said, “Jean Louise, stand. Your daddy is passing.”

    Poor Tom, he did his best to escape,
    But he was shot seventeen times before reaching the gate.
    It didn’t end there, not for old, Bob Ewell,
    He demanded revenge for being made to look a fool.

    He sprang at me first and my ham suit covered my eyes,
    I could hear lots of struggling and my brother’s cries.
    Heck Tate was called and Jem was taken to bed,
    aunt Alexandra assured me that he was not dead.

    I stood by his bedside, and to my surprise,
    I noticed a pale figure with colorless eyes.
    He was there in the corner, hiding from view,
    The only thing left to say was, “Hey, Boo.”

    It was all taken care of, the dead buried the dead
    and Atticus tucked me safe and warm in my bed.
    “Boo was good,” I said, “there’s no reason for fright.”
    “Yes, most people are, Scout, now my dear sleep tight!”

  145. StAllston says:

    Star Wars, by Samuel Beckett

    LARS HOMESTEAD — GARAGE AREA — A TREE — EVENING.

    LUKE: What are you doing?
    THREEPIO: Bathing in oil. I’m contaminated. (With emphasis.) CON-TA-MI-NATED. Did that never happen to you?

    Luke despairs at the horror of the situation. Angrily, he slams a wrench across the workbench.

    LUKE: It just isn’t fair. (He reflects.) I’ve puked my puke of a life away here!
    THREEPIO: Is there anything I might do to help?
    LUKE: Well, not unless you can teleport me off this rock! Look at this dung heap!
    THREEPIO: True. It’s a desert.
    LUKE: A cesspool.
    THREEPIO: A bunghole.
    LUKE: A wasteland.
    THREEPIO: A bunghole.

    Long silence.

    LUKE: If there’s a bright center to the universe, this is the planet that’s farthest from it.
    THREEPIO: Nothing to be done.

    Silence. Luke goes over to Artoo.

    LUKE: You got a lot of carbon scoring here. Have you two seen a lot of action?
    THREEPIO: Action! He wants to know if we’ve seen action!
    LUKE: Have you been in many battles?
    THREEPIO: Billions.
    LUKE: You know of the Rebellion against the Empire?
    THREEPIO: I know a lunatic attacked our ship. He reeked of garlic. (Angrily.) People are bloody filthy apes!

    Luke inspects Artoo.

    LUKE: Look!
    THREEPIO: What?
    LUKE: He’s got something jammed in here.
    THREEPIO (looking at Artoo) I see nothing.
    LUKE: Look at his neck.
    THREEPIO Oh I say!
    LUKE: It’s debris.
    THREEPIO: It’s corrosion.
    LUKE: It’s inevitable.
    THREEPIO: It’s a disgrace. But there you are.

    They continue their inspection.

    LUKE: What’ll we do?
    THREEPIO: I don’t know. (Pause.) It’s never the same pus from one second to the next.

    Luke struggles to remove a small metal fragment from Artoo’s neck joint.

    LUKE: That’s how it is on this bitch of an earth.

    The fragment breaks loose with a snap. He falls.

    LUKE: Ah!

    He sits up and sees a 3D hologram of Leia Organa, the Rebel senator, projected from the face of Artoo.

    ARTOO: Help me, Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope–
    LUKE: What’s this?

    Artoo looks around miserably and beeps an answer for Threepio to translate.

    THREEPIO: What is what? He asked you a question. (Points to Leia.) What is that? Talk, pig!

    ARTOO: Help me, Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope but on the other hand and as argued in public by the works of Crick and Campbell of the efficacy of hope qua Word qua fingers crossed qua biological imperative quaquaquaquaqua some feathered thing or in relation to the force of virtue as put forth by Yoda and Ackbar out of the mononononomythical cosmos dark and immense and desolate and infused with searing supernal light–

    Luke and Threepio begin to protest.

    –and all of it ex humanus but for reasons unknown connecting us all living symbiontic bliss and mid-chlorian soul-like feathery thing permeate all it must with some exceptions and wait this unexplained fictive underpinning propping up as discussed in the work of Campbell and Frakbar beyond belief suspended save that night so proved but for reasons unknown I resume the darker force–

    Luke and Threepio grow more agitated. They groan.

    –not deserts but boogey space breeds suffering anger fear misery freaking torture sickness unto death in all with some exceptions wait I didn’t say that as seen in the public works of Yoda and Boba and the practice of knightly fencing dancing hacking at all parts of the body I resume freaking emptiness of jawa nighly terror fencing us in in false hope–

    Luke and Threepio protest violently. Luke attacks Artoo. General melee. Artoo shouts his text.

    –pretending meaning the sarlacc night fencing the wampa bantha womprat night in the works of Frick and Frakbar in spite of of of the promised endless sequential telling of the the the fencing the dueling the kendoing . . . the searing night . . . so lightless . . . so uncontinued . . .

    THREEPIO: The restraining bolt!

    Luke seizes Artoo’s restraining bolt. Silence of Artoo. He falls.

    LUKE: Victory!

    Silence. Panting of the victors.

    THREEPIO: That passed the time.
    LUKE: It would have passed in any case.
    THREEPIO: Yes, but not so rapidly.

    A terrible cry from offscreen.

    AUNT BERU: Luke? Luke! Come to dinner!
    THREEPIO: Is that him?
    LUKE: Who?
    THREEPIO: Obi-Wan.
    LUKE: No. My Aunt Beru.
    THREEPIO: I knew it was him.
    LUKE: Who?
    THREEPIO: Obi-Wan.
    LUKE: It’s Beru.
    THREEPIO: Are you sure?
    LUKE: I don’t know.

    Silence.

    THREEPIO: (trying to be helpful) It’s Beru . . . Skywalker?
    LUKE: Lars.

    Silence.

    THREEPIO: I once knew a family named Skywalker. The mother had the clap.
    LUKE: STOP IT!

    Silence.

    THREEPIO: Such is life.

    Long silence.

    LUKE: I’m going.

    Silence. No one moves.

  146. thomasjunior says:

    Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” as if written by Arthur C. Clarke a.k.a ” A Winkle in Time”

    Citizen Van Winkle, or Rip had recently come to the attention of the Grand Galactics. Attention is a poor choice of words. The Grand Galactics had long ago transcended mere attention. Existing (another poor choice of words) for millennium upon millennium as the Grand Galactics had had strengthened their (yet another poor choice of words owing to the fact that The Grand Galactics were simultaneously plural and singular entity or entities) powers of observation to not God-like realms but exactly to God-like levels. Perhaps further.

    Time has also granted another attribute (as well as any other attribute the human mind can consider, ponder, imagine, possess, etc.). to The Grand Galactics. Citizen Van Winkle had piqued their (what I will take liberty in calling, omitting further explanations on my inability to explain and your inability to understand) sense of humor. More accurately, it was Citizen Van Winkle’s wife who made the Grand Galactics laugh. If you could call a noise akin to the sound of static laughter, then Mrs Van Winkle’s reaction to her husbands’ laziness had filled the cosmos with white noise. Rip Van Winkle with his perpetual idleness, Mrs. Winkle with her torrents and volleys of chastisements, The Grand Galactics with their what will have to be termed momentary boredom are on the precipice of union. Resulting in an act of impish malevolence whose ramifications will alter forever Citizen Van Winkle.

  147. john_kipling says:

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte as told by Charles Schultz a la “Happiness is…”

    [you’ll have to imagine the illustrations with Charlie Brown as Heathcliff]

    Happiness is coming indoors and escaping the unforgiving cold.

    Happiness is being told a haunting story of love.

    Happiness is being a gypsy orphan and meeting your new family for the first time.

    Happiness is having a sister who makes you feel better especially when your big brother plays too rough.

    Happiness is making a big, dramatic exit.

    Happiness is having someone you love beat up your husband because he isn’t worthy of you.

    Happiness is suddenly coming into unexplained wealth and “buying” the house you grew up in.

    Happiness is living long enough to give birth to your daughter and long enough to give her your own name.

    Happiness is finally learning how to read.

    Happiness is finding your eternal resting place next to the woman whom you always loved.

  148. wehttamcc says:

    Franz Plath, “Morning Sickness”

    Pale threads unwind. Last
    vestiges of a torpid dream. Oh, what a
    wasted womb! Uneasy, full of scratching and clawing
    Daddy, daddy calling, demanding

    ‘Gregor,
    Gregor,
    Gregor,
    you are not yet a man!’

    Now, a smothered candle’s
    lost light. I am awake, the night
    is through. Sentenced at the alter
    of rational mirrors, the morning seeks revenge.
    Cutting through mist with an eagle’s reflected glare.

    The familiar room stares at me.
    I stare back, delighted in
    the geometry of its corners.
    To speak Mathematics language –
    opaque, cold and shiny as iron.

    Rain falls, bloated miscarried skies
    heeding their call, I try
    to reach the ground. Yet, more scratching –
    the dry heaves, brittle bones
    above me writhes the branches of a dead tree.

    I cry! As I am the wind
    which rattles them so, agitates.
    Where my mind slithers –
    these infernal branches follow
    in hectic step. A maniac’s Jitterbug –
    They call to me,
    beckoning me to the ground

    ‘into the decaying soil –
    heart of the Earth, putrid –
    upon our twitching, jagged
    spindles’

    Insane legs! In bed, my hard round body
    a cut, raw brown onion, spilling tragic fumes.
    Daddy, this is not my fault. I must
    work. Your uniform was taken off,
    left hanging, dead and drained –

    Don’t put its wrinkled, soiled fabric
    to your pink skin. Standing beside
    my ruptured cocoon, stinking
    of a giant pest. Yelling! Damning
    me, Daddy. Daddy don’t –
    I’m not.
    Daddy, I swear I’m not –

    ‘Gregor,
    Gregor,
    Gregor,
    you are nothing but vermin!’

  149. Anonymous says:

    How about a Famous poem? Is that alright?

  150. jmoody270bc says:

    Harry Potter and The Outsiders

    “We gotta win that fight tonight,” Ron said. His voice was hard. “We gotta get even with the Death Eaters. For Fred.”
    The rumble was set for seven.
    ~~
    “You like fights, don’t you, Soda?” Harry asked suddenly.
    “Yeah, sure.” He shrugged. “I like fights.”
    “How come?”
    “I don’t know. He looked at Harry, puzzled. “It’s action. It’s a contest. Like a Quidditch Match or a ball or something.”
    “Shoot,” said Ron, “I want to beat those Death Eaters’ heads in. When I get in a fight I want to stomp the other guy good. I like it, too.”
    ~~
    “I am a Gryffindor,” Sodapop chanted. “I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!”
    “Gryffindor… Gryffindor… Gryffindor…” Ron singsong. “O victim of environment, underprivileged, rotten, no-count hood!”
    “Juvenile delinquent, you’re no good!” Percy shouted.
    “Get thee hence, white trash,” Two-Bit said in a snobbish voice. “I am a Slytherin. I am privileged and the well dressed. I throw butter beer blasts, drive fancy brooms, break windows at fancy balls.”
    “And what do you do for fun?” Harry inquired in a serious, awed voice.
    “I jump Gryffindors!” Two-Bit screamed, and did a cartwheel.
    ~~
    Percy turned to see who it was, and Thicknesse threw a spell. The rumble was on.
    Harry, Ron, Sodapop, and Two-Bit ran forward to help: Jets of light flew in every direction and the man dueling Percy backed off, fast: “Hello, Minister!” bellowed Percy, sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. “Did I mention I’m resigning?”
    “You’re joking, Perce!” shouted Two-Bit as the Death Eater he was battling collapsed under the weight of three separate Stunning Spells. Thicknesse had fallen to the ground with tiny spikes erupting all over him; he seemed to be turning into some form of sea urchin. Two-Bit looked at Percy with glee.
    “You actually are joking, Perce… I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were-”
    The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Sodapop, Two-Bit, and Percy, the two Death Eaters at their feet, one Stunned, the other Transfigured; and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart. Harry felt himself flying through the air, and all he could do was hold as tightly as possible to that thin stick of wood that was his one and only weapon, and shield his head in his arms: He heard the screams and yells of his companions without a hope of knowing what had happened to them-
    And then the world resolved itself into pain and semidarkness: He was half buried in the wreckage of a corridor that had been subjected to a terrible attack. Cold air told him that the side of the castle had been blown away, and hot stickiness on his cheek told him that he was bleeding copiously.

    “They’re running!” Harry heard a voice yell joyfully. “Look at the dirty – run!”
    It seemed to Harry that the voice belonged to Two-Bit, but he couldn’t be sure. Harry saw that the Death Eaters were getting on their brooms and leaving.
    Harry did a double take when he saw Two-Bit – blood was streaming down one side of his face and one hand was busted wide open; but he was grinning happily because the Death Eaters were running.
    “We won,” Percy announced in a tired voice. He was going to have a black eye and there was a cut across his forehead. “We beat Voldemort.”
    Ron stood behind Harry quietly for a moment, trying to grasp the fact that they had really beaten Voldemort. Then, grabbing Harry’s shirt, he hauled him to his feet. “Come on!” He half dragged Harry down the corridor, “We’re goin’ to see Fred!”

    When they finally got to Fred’s room, Madam Pomfrey stopped them. “I’m sorry boys, but he’s dying.”
    “We gotta see him,” Ron said, and flicked out his wand. His voice was shaking. “We’re gonna see him and if you give me any static you’ll end up on your own operatin’ table.”
    Pomfrey didn’t bat an eye. “You can see him, but it’s because you’re his friends, not because of that wand.”
    They both went into Fred’s room, it was awful quiet. Harry looked at Fred. He was very still, and for a moment Harry thought in agony: He’s dead already. We’re too late.
    Ron swallowed, wiping sweat off his upper lip. “Fred?” he said in a horse voice. “Fred?”
    Fred stirred weakly, then opened his eyes. “Hey,” he managed softly.
    “We won,” Ron panted. “We beat the Death Eaters. We stomped them – chased them outa our territory.”
    “Useless… fighting’s no good…” He was awful white. “Harry.”
    Harry barely heard him. He came closer and leaned over to hear what he was going to say.
    “Stay gold, Harry. Stay gold…” The pillow seemed to sink a little, and Fred died.
    “Damnit, Fred…” Ron begged, slamming one fist against the wall, hammering it to make it obey his will. “Oh, damnit, Fred, don’t die, please don’t die…”

    Harry’s mind was in free fall, spinning out of control, unable to grasp the impossibility, because Fred Weasley could not be dead, the evidence of all his senses must be lying.

    ~~~~~~~~
    *sorry, had to re-post it because there were a few errors in the other one and I didn’t know how to delete the old one!!

  151. Elijah says:

    Please consider this humble submission – a coder’s soliloquy from Ham.net, Act I, Scene 1337 :

    To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
    For in that restful slumber what code may come
    When we have shuffled off a deadline’s coil,
    Must give us pause: there’s the bastard fact
    That messes with a guy’s ambition;
    For who would bear a position that’s an embarrassment to their resume,
    The supervisor’s wrong, the client’s last-minute requests,
    The pangs of buggy code, the server’s delay,
    The insolence of officemates and the spurns
    That patient coders of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make by
    Dreaming of busting a cap in someone’s ass? Who would put up with this shit,
    Do grunt- and busy-work from 9 to 5,
    But the dread that you’ll wind up dreaming of work
    After slaving away on some misbegotten project
    That’s going down in flames anyway, puzzles the will
    And makes us say ‘screw it, the money
    Isn’t worth the hassel.’
    Thus does sweet sloth make impoverished teacher assistants of us all;
    And thus the tender hue of native talent
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of edu-tainment,
    And Gen X-ers of great pith and moment
    With this regard from slashdot turn away,
    And lose the name of dot-commie.

  152. Blue Canary says:

    From The Lazarus Story (John 11), told in the style of H.P. Lovecraft

    -

    Jesus Christ – Reanimator

    . . .

    Two days later, Christ stated simply that by now, Lazarus must surely be dead, and that we must quickly make our way to Bethany before his body became unusable for our purposes.

    Upon arriving, Lazarus’ teary-eyed sister Martha told us that we were too late and that Lazarus was already dead. Christ assured her, “Your brother will rise.” Christ demanded to be immediately brought to where the body was being laid, and it was with great haste that Martha lead us to the tomb.

    Those unfamiliar with Christ and his work may have confused the expression on his face for lamentation, but I had often seen him glancing at particularly vigorous and intelligent men, as if appraising them. It was with these cold blue eyes that Jesus Christ began to prepare the body of Lazarus for injections.

    We waited quietly for some minutes with held breath, and my mind tricked me with strange phantasies as I imagined that the body of dead Lazarus had begun to twitch or move. As time dragged on, my thoughts began to wander from the scene before me, and so it was with a jolt that Christ brought me back to the present as he cried out, “Lazarus, come out!”

    The body had indeed begun to writhe and rock back and forth, and slowly it made its way towards us. The dead man was tied in burial clothes, and his face was wrapped in cloth. Eagerly, Christ ordered the wrappings be removed.

    Upon Lazarus’ being loosened, Christ and I realized the terrible mistake we had made. Lazarus was alive, certainly, but no sign of an intelligent and rational state marked his twisted face. Instead he exhibited only pure daemoniac rage, knocking the men who had loosened him to the ground. He bent down and mauled his liberators before next turning his frenzy upon his sisters, Mary and Martha. The sisters stood frozen in panic as Lazarus leapt upon them like a wild and deranged animal.

    Upon seeing this, my partner and I fled in terror as Lazarus began to claw at his sisters mercilessly, and we did not stop until we were halfway between Bethany and Jerusalem. It was then, as we paused for breath, that my companion turned to me and stated simply, “Damn, the body just wasn’t quite fresh enough.” Exasperated, I glanced up towards the heavens and shouted, “Jesus Christ!”

    -

    Sources:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_West–Reanimator

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+11&version=KJV

  153. prof.gross says:

    The Very Hungry Hungry Caterpillar
    as told by Edgar Allan Poe

    One wind-chilled night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I happened by a tiny pearlescent egg, cast in pale moonlight – sat atop a leaf. Possessed by some gin-fueled sense of wonder I tore the leaf from its branch, haphazardly placing it in my waistcoat-pocket.

    The next morning, a Sunday – the leaf and its wondrous passenger forgotten – enveloped in cotton and compelled by the heat of my body, the egg fractured, giving way to the tiniest of larvae. Unbeknownst to me, there in the pocket of my waistcoat, the very small, very hungry insect began to feed upon the leaf.

    On Monday it had eaten through the breast of my waistcoat – still it was hungry.

    On Tuesday it had eaten through my undershirt – still it was hungry.

    On Wednesday, even now unnoticed – save for a minuscule red irritation, no bigger than the tip of a pin – it had burrowed itself underneath a thin layer of my pallid skin – still it was hungry.

    On Thursday the devil himself propelled the small pupa through the very cavity of my chest – indeed, it was still hungry.

    On Friday it reached my beating heart – ravenous.

    On Saturday the stunted creature took hold of my soul – it swam through my blood – crawled into my mind – pulsed through my veins. Violent spasms racked my entire body – I was thrown into a fit of despair – overwhelming gloom consumed me!

    That night a sense of insufferable anxiety oppressed me.

    Upon waking the next day, a Sunday, I prescribed myself an herbal concoction, which I drank with avidity.

    Still I was unaware of what haunted my corpse; and the tiny insect was no longer a tiny insect. It was changed – tremendous, bloated. Gluttony blistered through its skin, seeping into my vessels – my heart wrapped in darkness.

    More than a fortnight passed before I felt it begin to gnaw its way out. Shuddering realization took hold. Oh horror! Oh! Any horror but this! I felt I must die – when through my chest burst the winged beast – indeed, I had.

  154. drono says:

    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
    In the style of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    Chapter 2.

    There was me, having scatted all smashy-wash in the Desert of Sahara. My plane having been like tolchocked in the blustery sand and I all on my ownsy not having a single droog to give help to the helpless, Oh my brothers. It was real horrorshow, having not enough moloko to peet for even a week.

    The first Nochy I went zasnoot on the sand forever & ever away from any other Chelloveck. I was more oddy-knocky than a sodding sailor in the middle of the Bolshy Blue. Thus, Oh My Brothers, you can imagine my spoogy when I awoke at sunrise by a bezoomy goloss that said:

    “Bastard! Sketchy wetch me a wooly!”
    “What!”
    “Sketchy me a wooly!”

    I jumped to my feet, complete Horror. I blinked my glazzes hard to viddy the vesch around me. I saw a Zammechet Malenky Malchick who stood there smot at me with oozhassny seriousness. Here you see the dobby portrait i was chat to make of the sod. The drawing was not as choodessny as the chelloveck himself.

    That, however, is not my fault. My pee & em claimed it chepooka to rabbit as an artist when I was a malicheck in skolliwoll, and i never pony to draw anything but boas outside and boas guttiwuts.

    Now I viddy’d this sudden dook with my glazzes fairly starting out of me gulliver in astonishment. Remember, I had tolchocked in the desert 1000 km from any other lewdies. Yet my Malenky malchick seemed neither to be spoogy lost in the sands nor about to snuff it with no pishcha or anything to peet a thousand km from any lewdies’ habitation. When I was at last able to govoreet I said to him:

    “But what sloochat brings you here?”

    And in answer he tolchocked me in the rot and repeated, very slowly, as is with great shilarny:

    “Sketchy me a wooly…”

    Brothers, when a mystery is too bezoomy, one dare not drat. As bezoomy as it might seem to me, a thousand km from any lewdies’ habitation and in danger of snuffing it, I took out of my platties a sheet of paper and my fountain pen. But then I remembered how my studies had been about the filth & nastiness and I told the little veck and I began to filly about with him. I creeched at him I did not know how to draw. He answered me with a kick lovely in my pot and said:

    “That doesn’t matter. Sketchy me a wooly…”

    Now my little brothers, I had never sketchied a wooly so i drew him one of the pictures I had drawn so often. It was that of a boa constrictor on his outsides. And I was astounded to slooshy the malenky skitebird greet it with,

    “No, No, No! I do not want an elephant in the guttiwuts of a boa constrictor. A boa constrictor does the ultra-violence and an elephant is a bolshy, clumsy veck. Where I live, everything is very malenky. What I need is a wooly! Sketchy me a wooly!”

    So then i sketchied a drawing.
    He smotted it carefully, then he skazat:

    “No. this wooly s very bolnoy. Make me another.”

    So I sketchied another drawing.

    My droog smiled a bezoomy smile.

    “You viddy yourself”, he said, “that this is not a wooly. This is a ded ram. It has horns on it’s gulliver.” My bratty, this chelloveck treated me to the old boot-crush right in the rot. And then out came the krovvy, my brothers, real beautiful.

    So i gathered myself up and did my drawing once more.

    But it was rejected too, just like the others. This time with a creech and a tolchock with his ringy fist in my goobers.

    “This one is too starry. I want a wooly that will live a long time.”

    By this time I was fagged and weary of the drat so I tossed off this sketchy:
    And I brosayed an explanation with it.

    “This is only his domy. The wooly you asked for is inside.”

    It was choodessny to see a light break over the litso of my molodoy chasso. As if he heard the tune Joy Ode in the Ninth real lovely and horrorshow within.

    “This is exactly the way I wanted i! Do you think this wooly will have to have a great deal of pishcha?”
    “Why?”
    “Because where I live everything is very malenky and he’ll grazzy it up with his cal.”
    ‘There will surely be enough pishcha for him,” I said. It is a very small wooly that I have given you and will be good for lubbilubbing.”

    He bent his gulliver over the sketchy:

    “Not so small that – Smot! He has gone spatchka…”

    And that is how I made the acquaintance of the Malenky Malchick.

    Accompanying illustration:
    http://fab-ri-cate.blogspot.com/2009/12/for-boing-boing-contest.html

  155. E. Howe says:

    John Carter meets Grgnr: With apologies to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jim Theis.

    I opened my emerald-incarnadine orbs upon the ignorant and weird weather-beaten, dust-racked climes of the barren land which dominates large portions of the Barsoomian empire. I knew that I was in Norgolia; not once did I question either my sanity or my wakefulness. I was not comatose, no need for pinching with ironic pinchers here; my inner conscious told me as plainly that I was in the sere and parched tracks of Norgolia as your conscious mind tells you that you are upon the sere and dust-racked trails of Earth. You do not question the fact; neither did I.

    I found myself standing supine upon a bed of reddish-emerald overgrowth vegetation which stretched around me in all directions for indeterminable, finite miles. I seemed to be lying in a deep, orbian basin, along the outer verges of which I could distinguish the irregularities of mean and squalid hills.

    The tireless sun cast its parching rays of incandescense from overhead, half way through its daily revolution intensely upon my naked, heaving body, yet no greater than would have been true under similar conditions on an Arizona desert. Here and there were slight outcroppings of quartz-bearing rock which reflected in the sunlight; and a little to my left, perhaps a hundred yards, appeared a mean, walled enclosure about four feet in height. Acrid, trackless dessert and no other vegetation than the sapphire-green overgrowth was in evidence, and as I was somewhat thirsty I determined to do a little exploratory exploring. I hoped to find the mythic town of Gorzom, rumored to hold hordes of plunder, and bountiful supplies of wenches, free for the wresting should I have the strength for it. I blew the ocarine dust from my opaque nose. As I was about to rise from my perch to pursue my wholesome endeavors, a stygian gloom passed between me and the dessicating beams of the daystar.

    Springing strongly to my feet and drawing my flashing steel, riveted from my hide-enamaled shield, I received my first Barsoomian surprise, for the effort, which on Earth would have brought me standing upright, carried me into the Norgolian air to the height of about three yards. I inflamed softly upon the ground, however, without deprecating shock or jar. Now commenced a series of revolutions which even then seemed ludicrous in the extreme. I found that I must learn to ambulate all over again, as the muscular spurt which carried me easily and safely upon Earth played strange attics with me upon the Norgolian landscape.

    “Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian”, gasped the dis-emvoweled Grgnr.

    “Only after you have kissed the fleeting stead of death, wrench!” I deposited. “For what do we battle?”

    “What else, you ill-bred, misbegotten thoat? The glory of battle, the odor of sweat and blood, and first dibs on the incomprehensible slut, Deja Thoris, Barmaid of Barsoom!”

    (The recent personal discovery of the fact that The Asylum is releasing a version of “A Princess of Mars” staring Traci Lords inspired me: It’s as if Jim Theis had re-written Burroughs’ Barsoomian novels. And then it hit me–I bet that’s what he was trying to do in the first place.)

  156. procedura says:

    what about the winner of this competition?

    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/16/100-word-fiction-com.html

  157. sylviamelville says:

    On one March morning when yellow pine dust had breathed its last layer of granules and covered our subdivision like a giant angora blanket, Clarissa Marks, our newest 16 year old sweetheart, committed suicide by drowning in our lake. The St. Andrews Ambulance arrived shortly after the frogmen departed from the fire marshal’s car hauling a speedboat over the damn. From one end of the sloping side of the damn that bordered the Pinckneys’ house, a man emerged through the yellow haze dressed in a wet suit, and with the help of Jack Carnes the fire marshal, they released the motorboat from its trailer into the water. By this time a second guy also dressed in a wet suit with goggles had entered the water was gliding across the lake, barely breaking the surface. He disappeared under the upturned kayak just when the motor ripped its engine through the still air of our neighborhood and, as if on cue, our lake hummed in concentric circles sending out a hymn as if from the spectators now lined close to the water’s edge.
    At the time, it did not cross our minds that Clarissa was submerged under the yellow kayak. In fact, it was that time of year when we expected everything outside to be cloaked in yellow. No matter how tightly sealed and locked we kept our houses, the fine dust managed to seep into the smallest openings not only into our dishwashers, our jewelry boxes, our pill bottles, but our eyelashes, and under our nails.
    We mistook the upturned kayak for some clump of pine dust collected from the air, from the dead leaves and pine straw scraped from the edge where land met water, for a dense free-floating island. Boating of all kinds had been forbidden on the lake, so our first thoughts would not naturally turn to a recreational vehicle. But we were glad an exception had been made for the motorboat in that morning’s effort, tragically, to attempt the rescue of Clarissa, our fourth ingénue that year to take her life.

  158. LaurenLeto says:

    The Great Gatsby’s Unrequited Love’s Husband is Just Not That Into You

    Wilson’s eyes fell upon Tom; he started up on his tiptoes and then would have collapsed to his knees had not Tom help him upright.
    “Listen,” said Tom, shaking him a little. “I just got here a minute ago, from New York. I was bringing you that coupe we’ve been talking about. That yellow car I was driving this afternoon wasn’t mine, do you hear? I haven’t seen it all afternoon.”
    Meanwhile, at the hospital, Myrtle had amazingly lived. She had told all the nurses her reason for running after the yellow car. One of the nurses called up her friends, Greg Behrendt and Liz Trucillo. They came in right away to talk to this poor woman.
    “Listen honey,” Greg started after they had made themselves comfortable in Myrtle’s hospital room. “He’s just not that into you. You can’t run around after guys like that, it smacks of loneliness and desperation.”
    “I swear he loved me,” she stared at them with doe eyes.
    “He’s just not that into you.”
    “I was better than Daisy.”
    “He’s just not that into you”
    “I was good to him”’
    “HE’S NOT THAT INTO YOU!” Greg was getting pretty worked up.
    Liz cut in, to try and simplify things for Myrtle, “he’s just not that into you if you have to get hit by a car to get his attention. Girl, don’t confuse being classy with being a doormat. Classy is walking away with your head held high, graciously and with dignity. Being a doormat is running out into the street like a lunatic because you think you see his car,” Liz gave a finger snap.
    Greg (having calmed himself down,) slowly told Myrtle, “he’s just not that into you if he’s cheating on his wife and causing you to cheat, too.”
    “Did you ever see our movie?” Liz added, hoping to glean some appreciation for their making the visit to Myrtle’s room. They were pop culture icons, after all.
    “Huh? What movie?” Myrtle had only been to moving picture shows.
    “Jennifer Aniston? Ben Affleck? That girl that everyone thinks is cute but no one remembers her name?” Greg was wide eyed at how clueless this girl was.
    “Oh, Ginnifer Goodwin?” Myrtle said.
    “Who? Yeah, whatever.” He was jotting an idea down for his next book, “He’s Just Not Going To Like You If You Let Him Run You Over”.
    “We got our idea from Sex and the City,” Liz said helpfully.
    “That’s what I think Tom was doing in the city!” Myrtle started bawling.
    Greg rolled his eyes, “she’s hopeless.”

  159. Rob Beschizza says:

    Announced on Dec 15. That had a ton of entries.

  160. -DP-Moira says:

    Perhaps some people were surprised: with so many people in the world, or even just following boing boing it’s inevitable that there should be people for all patterns of thought no matter how unlikely and improbable.

    In this case I was just trying to put things in perspective for “Blind Zen Archer” and “Savannahjfoley”. :7

    Good luck with your apartment cleaning quest.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the perspective, Moira. I’ve never entered a contest on BoingBoing before, so I took them at their word when they said Friday. I’ve been keeping an eye on the 100-word contest too (though I did not enter), and that has helped put it even further into perspective. I’m just sitting quietly being patient. :-)

      I actually hope we move into a voting stage; I think that would be mega fun.

  161. Nilchii says:

    I couldn’t sleep once this doggerel took hold. I call it “On Beyond Princess.”

    Said Westley, the farm boy she loved to berate,
    To Buttercup, standing forlorn at the gate
    “The A is for ardour, the S for sincere.
    The Y is for yearning O so tenderly, dear.
    The U is for utterly, the W: wish.”
    Then he turned and he left her to relive their kiss.

    But I almost fell flat on my face on the floor
    When my grandson demanded I skip to the sports,
    A subject he thought I should read of some more.

    So I told him of giants, of princes and kings!
    I told him of geniuses, fencing, and things:
    Odorless poisons, the six-fingered man,
    And how the Dread Pirate Roberts began.
    I told him of miracles and told him of death;
    I just read and I read ’til I ran out of breath.

    And finally, after I finished my tale,
    When the heroes were riding their horses to sail
    On the corsair Revenge, and they started to kiss,
    Then I closed the book softly and said “You can miss
    This part. Kissing again.”
    “I don’t mind so much, Grandpa.” “All right,” I said.

    So Westley and Buttercup had their true love
    Fitting together like hand and like glove.
    And I put down the magical book I had shared,
    And I patted his head, just to show that I cared.

    “You can come back tomorrow,” he said with his fists
    Curled tight in his blankets. And I said “As you wish.”

  162. Glench says:

    The “To be or not to be” monologue from Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Terry Pratchett.
    —-

    To be or not to be–that is the question–although not a very interesting one, thought Rincewind, who had himself faced that very question quite often yet never spent more than the time it took him to open his mouth and scream to contemplate it. Is it nobler to suffer the slings, arrows, rocks, teeth, swords, knives, pointy sticks, long drops, shorter but still rather perilous drops, and more teeth* that fate flings our way or to hold our fists up to the gaping maw of the universe in the hope that we may inadvertently find a groin to punch? We can die, which, it turns out, is quite easy, but what may follow is a mystery. And perhaps not even a good mystery that can be solved simply by flipping to the end–rather, a mystery with horrors more horrific than all but the most seasoned veterans of life can conceive.

    Rincewind paused, mid-step, surveying Ankh-Morpork. Perhaps it was a more interesting question than he first thought. He considered the time he had spent in the city–the food, the drink, the men, the women, the adventures–and promptly stepped off the cliff, the Luggage not far behind.

    Anything has got to be better this, he thought, as he plummeted to the canyon floor.

    —-
    * To those unaware, the universe’s penchant for creating new and ever more elaborate ways to kill us is one of its defining features. It’s like a Rube Goldberg machine of death.

  163. writergal85 says:

    Cinderella, by way of Mrs. Dalloway (apologies to Virginia Woolf).

    Cinderella said she would buy the flowers herself.

    For her two ugly stepsisters were spoiled brats. They had to get ready for the ball; Prince Charming was to choose a bride.

    And then thought Cinderella, what a morning, after what a night – fresh as if issued by a fairy godmother’s spell.

    What a dress! What glass shoes! For so it had seemed to her when, with a simple wish, her fairy godmother had made her a princess for the evening. How glittering, how soft, silkier than this servant’s garb of course, the gown had been; blue like a wave, the kiss of a wave; beautiful and rich and yet(for a scullery maid she still was even then) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there in her glass slippers, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the pumpkin carriage, at the castle as the mice-horses approached and the other girls dancing, curtsying, looking and flirting until Prince Charming said “Care to dance?” – was that it? – “I prefer a waltz to a fox-trot” – was that it? He must have said it when she approached him to be introduced – Prince Charming. He said he would come and find her this morning, or next week, she forgot which, for his conversation had been awfully dull; it was his regal air one remembered; his eyes; his sword; his smile; his crown and, when millions of things had utterly vanished – how strange it was! – a few requests for a waltz.

    She stopped by the roadside, waiting for a farmer and his cow to pass. A pretty servant girl, Farmer Brown thought her (knowing her as one does know the servants that pass through the market daily); a touch of royalty about her, proud and preening, like a swan, though she was always sooty and especially muddy now. There she stood tall, never looking at him, waiting until he passed.

    For having been at the Prince’s castle – how many hours now? Over three – one feels even in the midst of gay frivolity, or the musical revelry, Cinderella was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause; a suspense (but that might be side effects of the spell, her fairy godmother had said) before the castle clock strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air. Such a fool I was, she thought, running from the ball, losing her slipper.

    For Heaven only knows why he pursued her, trying the slipper on every foot in the kingdom until all he smelled was feet; but every girl, the frumpiest, the most vain and envious, insisted it was their shoe for the very same reason; they loved the attention. In the girls’ eyes, in the sparkle of Prince’s smile; in the gleam of his royal crown; the riches, jewels, castles, vacation homes, carriages, ball gowns and the designer shoes was what she loved: attention, and this missing glass shoe.

    For it was her glass shoe. The Prince’s search was over, except that Cinderella smelled like a fireplace and needed a manicure; or that she wanted to bring her pet singing mice to the castle; but the Prince had found his princess, thank Heaven. Cinderella. It was her shoe.

  164. Anonymous says:

    Many years later, as he faced Cyberspace, Case was to remember that distant afternoon when Dixie Flatline took him to discover ICE…

  165. SKORPIO says:

    From a shorter version of Hamlet:

    The thing is, a chap never really knows the value of being. Inside the old brainbox, there’s always the issue that one can never be sure to be the sort of stout chappie that doesn’t shrug off various brickabrack and pointed objects that events like to fling one’s general direction. It all comes down to a failure to shirk from putting up the good fight from the usual p., hopefully leading to something to turn up in the solutions department.

    Which is to say, it’s like this death thing. I men to say chap such as myself is no good with at least eight hours of sleep, but any more, such as an eternity, seems quite excessive. It would be quite a shock not to stir from the old pillow..

    There was a cough from the corner, interupting my spoken thoughts. It was Horatio
    ‘What Ho, Horatio’ I said, not frightfully chirpily’
    ‘Pardon the intrusion, sir. If I might be so bold, I believe there may be solution beyond mere existential conjecture.’
    ‘Well, I did have a ripping plan whereby he thinks me a loony, and then I secure the services of a wandering theatre troop to frighten him into confessing.’
    ‘The method which I advocate is direct action, whereby the source is removed from the equation’
    ‘What, pop off old Uncle Claudius? Isn’t that tantamount to regicide?
    ‘Were that the actual case. I believe you were defacto to assume your father’s throne, had his Lordship not upsurped it. Within their own particular idiom, the local Norsemen would surely find such a deed admirable.
    ‘Blood-thirsty lot, these Danes.’
    ‘Indeed, sir. There have recent rumours as to how his Lordship assume his position by the castle staff.’
    It appeared poisoning violated the sanctity of the turf hereabouts.
    ‘But surely the bounder could forseeably ventilate me?’
    ‘The gentleman is well into his twelth cocktail. I should recommend the light blade, sir’
    ‘Horatio,’ I said, and if my voice shook, what of it? ‘I wish there was something to repay your fealty.’
    He coughed again
    ‘If you could see your way to abandoning the black apparel, sir.’
    I reeled, but remembered that there was ermine in my future. As to Gertrude, she would be shipped off to a nunnery. While quite decent as a mother, I absolutely draw the line at increasing my aunt population.

    Chapter 3, P.G. Wodehouse- Hamlet and the Unpleasantness at Elsinore Castle

    • maderlock says:

      That’s lovely. With many of these entries I can’t help but feel a little stupid and not-very-widely-read, so the odd P.G.W is refreshing.

  166. CC says:

    The faint mewling sound that Arthur allowed to escape from his otherwise tightly pressed lips was the only indication of the depth of the yawning chasm of fear over which he felt suspended. The actual chasm that yawned beneath him, like a singularly unimpressed lion hoping for a slab of meat but expecting a slice of quiche, descended some fifty stories and ended in the confusion of the tech market that lay on the outskirts of Chia-Zhing, a particularly salubrious district of the city.

    The katana which the chubby man with the disturbing smile had insisted Arthur strap across the back of his filthy dressing-gown dug uncomfortably into his lumbar region and irritated him in such a way that he was now both utterly terrified and extremely cross.

    ‘Why do I need a sword?’ Arthur had asked the man, who had also pressed a exciting selection of unrecognisable lumps of metaplastic into his hands.

    ‘I’m not a sword person,’ Arthur insisted. ‘It’s on my school report. “Concentration low, reasonable application in English and Biology, no aptitude for swords or swordplay.”‘ Arthur felt his tone was becoming somewhat peevish but the largest knife he had handled recently had been primarily designed to spread butter on a scone and that was as fine an edge as he felt he could reasonably deal with after six weeks in Haung City without the benefit of a cup of tea. ‘If people see me with a sword,’ he continued, despite a sinking feeling that his protestations were falling on deaf ears – partly due to the glazed look on the smiling, mumbling man’s face and partly due to the fact that he had no ears – ‘if they actually see me with a sword they could quite reasonably be expected to assume that I am the sort of person that knows how to use one.’ Arthur stared at the man hopefully, searching for any glimmer of understanding. ‘Which I’m not,’ added Arthur. ‘As I may have mentioned.’ The man nodded, and smiled, and burbled and stuck something sharp in Arthur’s ear which caused the babelfish to thrash a bit and, out of pure fear, excrete a stream of psychic noise that sounded a bit like whalesong mixed with the first four bars of Pink Floyd’s ‘Meddle’ and which, upon reflection, was not entirely unpleasant.

    Then Arthur had heard the voice in his head.

    *

    For want of anything better to do Arthur forced out another terrified mewl. He lifted up his right hand and gazed mournfully at the stumps where his four fingers had once been. Mental note, he told himself, when suspended between two skyscrapers on a monofilament wire, wrapping your towel around your hand for protection in an attempt to climb back up is not sufficient. The fingers themselves had tumbled down towards the streets far below and respectively had become the centrepiece of a rat’s feast, caused a young man to remark that Gao-Lo’s hot and sour soup was particularly delicious this evening, tapped an excitable man on the shoulder and started a fight, and quite by chance had fallen in precisely the correct way to irretrievably lock a print-crypted hard drive and go on to cause the collapse of most of the futures trading in Europe. The bleeding had stopped almost instantly, of course, due to the n-tech upgrades in his blood but he nevertheless felt a irreparable sense of loss knowing that he would find it extremely difficult to operate the Guide from now on.

    Arthur stared up at the tiny microdrive from which he hung and which itself balanced on the thread running down from the tall building to his right to the rooftop of the shorter building on his left. The microdrive had fused after someone had shot it with a ray of some sort from a hovering ROV of some sort which someone else had subsequently shot with a gun of some sort from a building somewhere. Most of the details had been lost on Arthur since he’d had his eyes closed.

    Arthur peered back down at the distant jollity of the tech-market where freshly stir-fried seafood was sold in tiny stalls next to others which would reflash picocircuits in comm-beads to make them do highly interesting and illegal things. He peered up and across the city to where, like some mythical Aztec pyramid, the Goyz-Shiou corporation headquarters lay partially shrouded in a rather pretty haze of pollution and in which an unimaginably large number of picobots were currently assembling themselves into a motile neuro-virus intended to infect the population and demand of it utter subservience to the wide range of GZ brands. He pursed his lips, sighed heavily, and decided that he was going to have to speak to that bloody robot again.

    ‘Er .. hello. Hello there?’ he said, feeling a bit foolish. There was a faint stab in his ear, indicating the link had been opened, the startled babelfish farted out a snatch of Brian Eno, and then a heavy, misery-laden voice spoke.

    ‘I’ve been studying the patterns,’ said the voice.

    ‘Right,’ said Arthur. ‘I wonder-’

    ‘Humanity, like a pulse of order in a stream of chaos. A faintly recognisable arpeggio in a cacophony of discordant aharmony. Do you understand my reference?’

    ‘Yes,’ said Arthur, ‘some sort of jazz, probably. However-’

    ‘Emergent structures,’ said the voice, ‘eddies in the stochastic process.’

    ‘Is he?’ snapped Arthur, ‘Yes, well, that’s all very well, however I’m rather hanging above a bloody great drop, at the moment, which I consider somewhat pressing and urgent.’

    ‘Ahhhh,’ whispered the voice. ‘But I see this path that lead you, humanity, from the plains of Africa. For hundreds of thousands of years, idle genestreams, stable, even, dull. Then, in the blink of an eye, language, tools, architecture.
    A shimmer, to the present moment; such a fragile stability, fed by petrochemicals, poised on the brink of ecological disaster and here, in the chaos, I emerge. A new order. Life has leaped from biology into silicon. See this curious hallucination of a landscape against eternity, no more permanent than the crystals of ice formed from water. Do you see it, this brief wonder?’

    Arthur gazed across the cityscape and for just a moment felt deep within his soul a fraction of the majesty of history and evolution to which the voice referred.

    ‘Yes,’ he breathed, ‘yes, I do.’

    ‘Ghastly, isn’t it?’ said the voice. ‘Oh well. I supposed you expect me to use my distributed intelligence to take control of anything near you and rescue you?’

    ‘Well, if it isn’t too much bother.’

    ‘Bother?’ said the voice. ‘Hah.’ Then a selection of large antennae on the top of nearby buildings swung slowly around to face Arthur. A faint buzz came from the microdrive and then Arthur felt himself lifted, then dropped, lifted and then dropped over and over, which caused him to start to swing backwards and forwards and, coincidentally, feel distinctly queasy.

    ‘Don’t mention it,’ said the voice in his ear. ‘Oh you didn’t.’

    Out of the corner of his eye Arthur noticed movement on the rooftop of the building to his left. Three men who had not so much squeezed into their ill-fitting suits as been professionally stitched into them were staring in his direction and conferring. One was pointing at Arthur’s katana. Then all three of them did exactly what Arthur had absolutely warned the laughing, ear-less man they would do, which was that they all produced swords of their own and stood looking poised.

    ‘Oh bloody marvellous,’ muttered Arthur to himself, as each swing brought him closer to the the rooftop and the cheery grimaces of the large men. ‘I think you ought to know,’ he shouted to the AI above the increasing whistling of the wind in his ear, ‘that I am seriously considering writing a letter of complaint to someone about all of this.’ Silence greeted him. ‘I’m not sure who, yet, but it’ll be several pages long.’ More silence. The rushing wind caused his dressing-gown to flop over his head and completely obscure his vision which was both breathtakingly horrifying and curiously comforting. ‘Is there anything,’ he added, ‘that you would like me to know? For the record?’

    The needling pain in his ear stabbed at him again and then he heard what sounded like a weary hiss of static filtered through a phaser. If he hadn’t been preoccupied with the sudden snap as the EM clamp released him from the monofilament wire at the top of his swing and sent him tumbling towards the three large men like a fat bat trapped in a tablecloth, he might have called it a sigh.

    ‘I think you ought to know,’ said Wintermute, ‘I’m feeling very depressed.’

  167. Deidzoeb says:

    David Rees should submit his Diary of Anne Frank as adapted by David Mamet:
    http://trueslant.com/davidrees/2009/08/14/trueslant-exclusive-david-mamets-anne-frank-script-leaked/

  168. Blind Zen Archer says:

    My Companion and I had finally journeyed past the small hamlet of Barstow, at the perimeter of the desert, when the pharmaceuticals began to affect our perceptions. I recall offering for my companion to drive, as I began to feel quite unwell, and suddenly there was the most horrendous cacophony, and the skies had filled with what appeared to be massive bats, encircling our vehicle as they screeched and swooped all about us, while we proceeded towards our destination at nearly a hundred miles an hour with the top of our convertible down, and I heard a terrible voice screaming “Holy Jesus! What are these Godforsaken Creatures?”

    Then, just as suddenly as it began, the horrid sensations ceased. My solicitor had removed his shirt and began basting himself with beer, to ease the tanning process. Staring up at the blazing sun with his eyes firmly shut and protected from the glare beneath dark, encircling sunglasses, he muttered “What the devil are you carrying on about?”

    “Never mind that”, I returned, “It’s your turn at the wheel.” Braking, I eased our Great Crimson Beast to the shoulder of the roadway. No point in mentioning the bats, I decided. The poor wretch will encounter them in due time.

  169. MrScience says:

    The Time Machine by William S. Burroughs

    I laugh. The twingers found the gizmo, and oiled it all up for me. Guess they worshiped it, or maybe wanted it to work for themselves. A shiver goes through my spine, Happy feeling. as a snort of ctlain juice. So I shouts, “Whatcha think? Have me yet in perpetuity?”

    I feel the blackness as my eyes fail. Matches don’t strike. Gaze of miscreants torture my skin. I hear their tumultuous cries as the upper hand is got. a perfect counterpoint somewhere on the floor. guess I should have brought the matchbox. Sit! The orange tastes bitter when it’s ripe (Note: common slang for an unanticipated consequence). Pale face swings at me, and I have to drop the gizmo. “Damn square,” I think to myself. My knuckles imbed into his flesh. I think I see his teeth fly, but know that can’t, and reach down again for the lever.

    I slots it in, and the twingers fail to grasp. “So long, Yootz!” I shout as I yank the thing into overdrive. Dust, up my nose of fingers and dirt and sweat from centuries ago, drift. I sneeze.

    [Cut-ups are an interesting literary style, yet I cringe and so wish to correct each grammatical mistake. Doing a bit more research on cut-ups, I decided to do a 4x4 cut-up, which is a bit more authentic than my more targetted cut-up above. I think I actually prefer it...]:

    I laugh, the twingers found the gizmo and oiled it. Wanted it to work for themselves. A shiver goes through me, pale face feeling. I shouts, Whatcha think? Have me yet, square?”

    My knuckles imbed into blackness. My eyes fail in darkness. Matches don’t slot, and the twingers fail to grasp. Needed the matchbox. Sit! The dust up my nose of fingers and dirt and sweat. Gaze of miscreants torture my skin, I hear perfect counterpoints somewhere on the floor. Guess they worshiped it, or maybe I shout as I yank the thing into overdrive. Through my spine, like a snort of ctlain juice. Happy, I think I see his teeth fly. Orange tastes bitter when it’s ripe (Note: common slang for unanticipated consequence).

  170. whoisnot says:

    PS for my “Carver’s Dracula” entry, for security’s sake: Yes, I know it’s “lay” and not “lied” (etc.) It’s on purpose, believe me. See, for some ‘obscure’ ;) reason I wanted to achieve an unedited and rushed feel, as if the whole thing was written in a small pub or something, during a brief lunch break. (At first I thought noting in the end that the text is “unedited” would be enough, but I’m not so sure now, hence the clarification.)

    Btw, great job, everyone. :)

  171. nep says:

    It was the best of times, at least from a little after two o’clock until almost sundown of the long still hot weary dead September afternoon, it was the worst of times, as they sat in what Miss Coldfield still called the office because her father had called it that-a dim hot airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three summers, still, it was the age of wisdom ever since she was a girl in the old house and someone had believed that light and moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) so the office window became latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the scaling blinds as wind might have blown them, yet it was the age of foolishness, as foolish as the wistaria vine blooming for the second time that summer on a wooden trellis before one window, it was the epoch of belief into which sparrows came now and then in random gusts, making a dry vivid dusty sound before going away, it was the epoch of incredulity: Miss Coldfield in the eternal black which she had worn for forty-three years now, it was the season of Light, whether for sister, father, or nothusband none knew, it was the season of Darkness sitting so bolt upright in the straight hard chair, it was the spring of hope, hope of marrying Ellen, or ten thousand Ellens, it was the winter of despair so that Ellen’s legs hung straight and rigid as if she had iron shinbones and ankles, and while we had everything before us and clear of the floor with that air of impotent and static rage like children’s feet, we had nothing before us except dreamy and victorious dust, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only, talking in that grim haggard amazed voice until at last listening would renege and hearing-sense self-confound and the long-dead object of her impotent yet indomitable frustration would appear.

  172. bpratt says:

    Nice! Was that from Fear and Sensibility, or Pride and Loathing?

  173. graphicsman says:

    These are awesome, copy and paste the thread into a reader, makes for something great to read at the cafe!

    • gilowyn says:

      Go on, rub it in…. my JetBook is on its way from the US, has left NY on the 17th… and hasn’t been seen since. Going nuts here.

      Sooooo hoping to have it before Xmas so I can upload my virtual library and hav sth to read on the way to my parents.

      BUT – did a quick copy paste and clean-up. Here’s a text file of all entries (I hope) – everyone should be able to convert to their favorite format, right?
      http://www.11m2.de/boingboing_literature_vs_literature_entries.txt

  174. Anonymous says:

    Is this open to UK readers/writers?

  175. -DP-Moira says:

    Simply reading (let alone comparing or analyzing) over 200 submissions ranging in lengths from one paragraph to over a page takes a respectable amount of time.

    Even if they are dividing the whole lot into, for example, groups of 50 assigned to 4 different readers, they still need to read and compare 50 entries each.

    Lets imagine that each reader shortlists 3 or 5 entries.
    Then the readers have to read/analyze/compare the shortlisted entries pick a winner each.

    The readers, as a group, will still need to select a winner by achieving some kind of verbal consensus or maybe simply by voting (at any rate some emailing back and forth or chat would be involved), or perhaps by setting up another poll as was done for the 100-word fiction contest… And if one person is doing the sorting by themselves, then we can be doubly grateful for the time and work they’re putting into it in addition to their regular workload.

    As Yoda said, “Patience young Skywalkers, patience. Being read, your entries are. Yesss.”

  176. dmoonfire says:

    = Peter

    “Neverland?”

    I sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the stranger perched on the edge of our end table. Well, more at the shadow pounding silently on the wooden floor. It was fascinating how it acted like a wounded animal, clawing at the floor like some howling beast. The shadow’s mouth opened and closed reminding me of a goldfish out on the burning hot sidewalk. I barely remember that day me and John did that, it faded away in the haze of childhood already passed.

    I tore my thoughts away the halcyon days of the years before. I wasn’t really old enough to call it halcyon yet, I haven’t even seen two decades on this planet, but I couldn’t help thinking I’ve already passed those days.

    I dread my teens, I really do.

    But, my brother drank up the green-clan stranger’s description of Neverland. It sounded like this horrid little place that somehow needed the world “delectable” to describe the islands. The stranger’s words sounded too much like father’s radio shows. The constant commercials that never sounded so good when they came home in empty boxes.

    I also suspected John found the stranger interested in other things. The thin thighs, the tunic that clung to his hips. Yes, I have no doubt that John would be gay but it will take twenty or thirty, very unhappy years before he realized it. But, for how, he would just stare at the stranger’s ass and wonder why butterflies danced in his stomach.

    I let my eyes drift down to the mute creature on the floor. He was trying to grab on Wendy’s bed post, but his fingers would just graze the surface without purchase. I wanted to save him, actually, but Wendy was so terribly proud of that pathetic sewing job she did on Peter’s feet.

    The shadow clutched up at Wendy’s feet, but she ignored him as she took in Peter’s own words. But, it wasn’t the uncomfortable realization of her own sexuality that drew her. No, I could see that glow in her eyes like the morning I caught her drinking from mother’s brandy. The same glassy-eyed stared as she drowned herself in the smokey words of the stranger. The flush of her cheeks and the parting of her lips. No, my sister was caught as tightly as John.

    They asked the obvious question.

    “Do you want to go?”

    I considered the dreary existence of my childhood. There was no doubt in my mind’s eyes, it was already over. And I think I already dreamed of Neverland, a place where the desperate seconds of my childhood would not slip from my fingers.

    I gave my best and clueless expression.

    “I can’t wait!”

    And felt a few more seconds disappearing forever.

  177. justawriter says:

    Captain’s Log, twelve-twenty-five-oh-nine: It is Christmas. The alien entities that invaded the ship have done it in a single night.

    “You there, technician.”
    “Yes sir.”
    “Is the great Romulan goose still in the food synthesizer database?
    “The one that’s bigger than a Klingon’s mother-in-law?”
    “The very one. What a good tech. What an intelligent tech.”
    “Um, thank you sir. Yes, sir, the pattern is in the database but diverting the power to create such a bird will have a small effect of the warp reactor’s efficiency rating.”
    “Hang the efficiency ratings, it’s Christmas!”
    “Sir!”
    “Synthesize the bird and have it beamed to Yeoman Cratchett’s quarters at once. Don’t tell anyone why or who authorized it, especially Mrs. Cratchett.”
    “Yes sir.”

    Neosporin, the Vulcan science officer leaned over to whisper to Ligaments, the ship’s crusty, but exceedingly competent medical officer.
    “What’s gotten into Captain Scrooge. His whole reason for being has been getting through this five year mission without cracking open a spare dilithium crystal.”
    “It seems he has been filled by the Christmas spirit.”
    “More than one, judging by the variation of his behavior from expected parameters.”

  178. sed8ted says:

    the inferno, as told by e.e. cummings

    All sinners
    defunct

              and ghosts guide me midlife
              and lost
         souls testify onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnine circles

              (Lucifero furryfrozensplayed)

    Oh Ugolino
    ,where is your head now

  179. clairecameron says:

    THE CASE OF THE MISSING CONSPIRACY: A Dan Brown & Nancy Drew Mystery

    “We’ve just seen her, Dan! The spook that haunts the Vatican!” Plump, brunette Sophie Neveu was bubbling with excitement.

    “Sophie insisted that we drive straight back and tell you about it, since you’re such a super mystery-solver,” added Sophie’s dark-haired friend, the tomboyish Robert Langdon.

    Dan Brown’s brown eyes twinkled. “Tell me the details!” he urged them.

    The two friends and their dates had been attending a dance at the museum in nearby Rome. They told Dan they had seen the ghost during an break from dancing while taking a stroll.

    “He was all white, just as he used to when he was alive,” Sophie related.

    The ghost was said to be that of Silas, an albino monk and a devotee of the Catholic organization Opus Die. Five years ago, on a stormy night, his car had gone off the road and crashed into the Tiber River. Silas had been thrown out of his car into the river, practiced severe corporal mortification and then he completely disappeared. Since then, a spooky figure resembling Silas had been glimpsed a number of times at night.

    “And sometimes a ghostly light is seen flickering in his room at the Vatican,” said Robert. “I know a couple of people who’ve seen it. It’s really weird!”

    After his friends left to return to the dance, Dan sat watching television for a while. But he could not help thinking of the strange story Sophie and Robert had just told him.

    Finally Dan glanced at his watch, then jumped up from the sofa and said to his pet bull terrier, “It’s not eleven yet, Togo. Let’s go see for ourselves if the albino is still lurking at the Vatican!”

    Traffic was light and Dan soon reached Rome. Circling around town, he drove along the Tiber, but no albino appeared in the moonlight. “Guess we’re out of luck, Togo,” he said, patting the dog.

    At last he turned toward the Vatican and stopped across from the museum. Dan’s heart suddenly flipped. A faint light could be seen glimmering in a second floor window!

  180. Elindale says:

    The name’s Max. Probably better for all of us if you don’t know the rest. As I might have said, I’m no ordinary kid. I’m a monster. Yeah, you heard me. A monster. It pays the bills, well, in theory it would, if there were much call for it nowadays. It does land me in some awkward situations though, which is how I found myself in that room. Alone. Solitary confinement. No supper. This was no state for a monster like me to be in, but here I was all the same.

    The dame who had done this to me – no, I’d better be fair. This was no dame, this was a mother. I’d just been doing my job. Tantrums, growling, you know the drill. Spent a good long time on it too, had my wolf suit and everything. But this mother, she’d have none of it. She called me a ‘wild thing’ and I could tell it wouldn’t be long before she decided she’d have to try and ‘teach me a lesson’. I did what I had to. I looked her square in the eye and told her coldly that I’d eat her up. Most dames would have gone screaming for the hills at that point. Not this mother. She just stood and stared me right in the gnashing teeth, unfazed. Then, with malice in her eyes, she marched me up to this room and shut the door.

    So that’s how things stood, and why I was in that room alone. My stomach rumbled, but I ignored it. I wasn’t about to show that mother any weakness. I spent a while stalking around the room, narrowing my eyes, flexing my claws and preening my whiskers. I knew it wouldn’t get me out, but it made me feel a little better to be doing something at least. I don’t know how long I was there before I noticed the smell, but it suddenly hit me full force. Dirt. Grass. Trees. I looked around suspiciously, and sure enough I could see the rough bark everywhere around my prison. This wasn’t my normal idea of a jailbreak, but…. I shut my eyes again, and kept strutting around the room.

    After a moment, I heard leaves crunching beneath my feet and felt a breeze across my face. Opening my eyes again, I could see vines hanging all around me and mountains in the distance. Beyond where there bed had been there was rough stone path that led down to the ocean. The room was all but gone. I felt a cruel smirk spread across my face as I began to laugh. I was free. Even as I was realizing that though, I thought I heard the dame coming up the stairs. I had to get away, and fast or there wouldn’t be enough of me to stuff into a doggie bag. Gripping my claws into a fist, I ran quickly down the path and saw a boat bobbing gently in the water. Whoever had sprung me knew their stuff. The boat had my name written all over it. I jumped in, heedless of where it would take me. Anywhere was better than this place with that dame lording over me. Besides, with my luck? Wherever I ended up would be one wild ride.

    • Elindale says:

      Just realized I’d forgotten to attribute the story, though ‘hopefully’ it would be obvious that it was ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ done in a ‘Detective Noir’ style, a la Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

      • maderlock says:

        I don’t think we have to attribute it. The example didn’t, after all. Yours was pretty obvious actually.

  181. Anonymous says:

    Kurt Vonnegut in the style of Shakespeare

    “Forsooth! Bill Pilgrim has become the victim
    of disaster temporal. In sweet embrace of sleep
    he lay a widower in dotage, but woke to find him
    self upon the day of nuptials, his wife to keep

    He passeth through a portal in the year of our Lord 1955
    and returneth in 1941, and sees all the things betwixt
    His journey from the womb and at moment of death doth revive
    He liveth in a fright that cannot be fixt

    In the year of our Lord: Nineteen Twenty Two
    Bill came upon God’s green Earth, the only child to a barber
    In Ilium, New York was born a skinny young fool
    In a hunting accident the mortal coil ascended his father

    So be it

  182. mame says:

    Here is Gone With the Wind meets Twilight:

    “Bore, bore, bore! I declare, if I have to sit here one more minute and listen to you two boys snap at each other, I shall have another fit of the vapors!”

    Bella Swan was not interesting, but teenaged girls and mythical beasts seldom realized it when captivated by her interminable adolescent navel-gazing, as the young werewolf and vampire sitting next to her were. In her were blended to an excruciating degree the normal tortured self-doubts of the average 17-year-old girl and the nuanced dramatic sensibilities of an aging soap opera diva. She favored heavy eyeliner to accentuate her natural pallor and affected a disarming clumsiness that enhanced the air of hapless fragility and charming ineptitude which her male companions found so alluring. Her one natural advantage, the oddly succulent odor of her blood, was carefully guarded by her mammy, who never allowed her the indulgence of garlic or Indian take-away.

    “Miss Bella, who are you going to let carry you to the buffet at Twelve Forks?” The speaker was Edward Cullen, the glittering and inhumanly handsome scion of a very old and cultivated Clallum County family. “I doubt very much that dogs will be allowed in.” This sally was met only by a wolfish grin from the hulking young suitor at Bella’s other side, who continued to gaze at her with unwavering and rather sappy devotion.

    “Oh, fiddle-dee-dee! How is a girl supposed to choose between two such supernaturally endowed creatures? Not to mention all the ordinary school boys who keep asking out little old me. I declare, it’s no wonder the girls are school are sore at me, all except that mealy-mouthed little priss, Angela. What’s a girl to do? I know I need kissing and I need it badly, but Edward here insists on handling me with kid gloves! Well, I’ll just think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is a new dawn…”

  183. Shlepzig says:

    Apologies for the link. But my literary travesty is Hamlet Act 5 scene 2 drawn as a Peanuts strip.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shlepzig/4192067588/

    My only regret is I did not have time to really do the best job I could have. I have to say, I was surprised how moved I was when I wrote the last words of Linus.

    -Shlepzig

  184. Frank Duff says:

    King Jabberwock III

    `Twas winter, and our discontent
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy was the firmament,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware G of Edward’s heirs, my King!
    Prophetic words make him a knave!
    And as for the Baron of Hasting,
    We’re safer all if he’s in a grave!”

    He took his brother by the hand:
    Locked him in the Tower anon–
    But soon there came two ill-kept men,
    Take that! And That! His life is gone.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    Richard of York, with hunch-ed back,
    Was forming in his garbey mind,
    A kabrous little trap.

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    Tyrell’s blade went snicker-snack!
    Both nephews dead, and entomb-ed,
    No longer blocking Richard’s path.

    And so he took that frabjous throne,
    But Buckingham cast a jarble eye,
    And the ghosts of all them wronged,
    Burbled now: “Despair and die!”

    And on the toves of Bosworth field,
    Richmond sets a righteous course.
    And cuts Richard down with slithy steel,
    Crying: “My kingdom for a horse!”

    `Twas winter, and our discontent
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy was the firmament,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  185. faithandbegorrah says:

    Coleridge’s Log, Stardate: 81797.7

    “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!”

  186. Anonymous says:

    Balcony scene of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”
    As written by Chris Rock.

    setting: bed stuy, new york.

    Juliet
    OH ROMEO!

    Romeo
    Juliet my heart.
    Let me holla at’chu for a minute
    Lokking up at you like as if you are an angel
    that came straight from heaven to light up my life

    Juliet
    OH ROMEO!
    Where you been at?
    Let’s catch the next bus out of here
    before your Dad finds out and takes you back home!
    We can become one!

    Romeo
    I dont know what to say…

    Juliet
    You’re from the other side of the hood
    Even though you bang Red
    you’re still a good guy!
    it dont matter if im blue,
    we still have a connection!

    Romeo
    MA
    I would diss my set in a minute for your love

    Juliet
    So what are you doing here?

    Romeo
    Trying to prove that I wanna get to know ya

    Juliet
    You aint got to lie to kick it

    Romeo

  187. Dazmilar says:

    Jean Shepherd’s Lucifer’s Hammer

    I remember clearly, itchingly, nervously, maddeningly, the first time I laid eyes on it, pictured in a full-color advertisement on page forty-two of Surfer Magazine, Blue Breaker’s trusty steed, finally available for sale, a 1000-series, golden-yellow shortboard with a compass near the base and a sundial for telling time. I can still hear my mother calling out after me, as I flew out the door Christmas morning in my pajamas, “Don’t surf into any buildings, Gil!”

    “Big wave coming,” I call out, turning my Blue Breaker special out to the sea, paddling in long, deep sweeps.

    Corey shouts, “I saw the fireball! It’s Lucifer’s Hammer! Tidal wave!”

    I paddle faster, leaving the others behind. Fat droplets of sudden rain slap my sun-burnt back. Lightning flashes along the hills above Malibu. I turn my board and wait.

    There’s a terrifying rumble behind me, and I think of my father’s old Ford backfiring and him shouting curses at the neighbor’s dogs, while I paddle like mad, sliding downhill, down the big green wall of upturned ocean. My nose bleeds from the pressure. I turn the board, balance my knees, and stand up, feet gripping the now faded yellow of the shortboard just as surely as Blue Breaker ever did.

    The churning chaos of the base of the wall swallows up swirling debris, thrashing bodies, and tumbling cars, past Santa Monica Boulevard, gobbling up the mall like the neighbor’s dogs gobbled up our Christmas Turkey. I see Tommy Schumacher engulfed. Corey flies out of control and disappears beneath the wave.

    One board left beneath me to the left, but then it dips into the chaos. My legs shriek in agony, as I ride alone on the wave. What if I do it? Even the unflappable Blue Breaker, astride on his yellow shortboard, shredding fifteen-footers with ease, secret compass to point him home if he lost sight of land, might have fallen. But the frothing peak is miles above, and the Barrington Apartments, thirty stories tall, are coming at me like a flyswatter.

  188. Marktech says:

    Sorry about the double entry, I couldn’t help myself.

    CALL ME PIGLIT

    Aghast, Piglet strove against the towering storm, to try to quench his master’s lonely rage. “By all that is Holy, Pooh, I beseech ye, turn aside from this dread quest! What canst thou hope, what canst thou gain, what victory against a mindless monster such as this? Are we all, all, never to see our homes again — and for what? — to wring a dumb revenge from some foul spirit thou hast thyself imagined? By God in Heaven, Pooh, canst thou not have pity, and relent?”

    “By God, then, is it? Is God to rule this Wood, or Pooh? Is Pooh yet Pooh, that thou wouldst doubt his sovereign command? Were God to strike me dead, yet would I have my way! None that is holy may turn me now, not mortal nor immortal hand may stay my track. The deed is done already, the Cunning Trap is set, the pit is dug, if it snares all Creation!”

    Reddening yet, Piglet grasped his old friend’s paw. “Forbear, forbear, for thine own dear sake! Our oaths were made in other, sunnier times — wouldst thou yet hunt this creature down to Hell? Oh, noble soul! — consider all our fates! Am I, and Christopher Robin, all, doomed by this mad Expotition?”

    Pooh paused; and it seemed that his fell purpose felt some shock. “Avast,” he gruffly said, “avast. Were I yet what I once was, were I still subject to the hymns of rhyme, to honey, to sunshine and to Elevenses, yet might I contemplate thy sweet petition. But our fates were sealed at birth: the golden skein of Will, which we think forms the pattern, is but one thread in the Great Carpet on the Stairs: we cannot change a stitch of it, crack our heads on it as we will. Your doom is cast, and mine: so with this mighty prodigy we seek. Yea, foul creature, thou are already damned! No miracle can save thee, nothing intercede! And though I walk these woods till Doom’s crack, yea, yet will I clutch thy Heffalump heart at last!”

    FORECASTLE — MIDNIGHT

    Pip stopped and thought. He wasn’t very good at it, and it made his head hurt.

    Finally he said:

    “Tashtego?”

    “What is it, Pip?” said Tashtego.

    “Why are we all trying to discover Moby Dick?” said Pip.

    “Ah,” said Tashtego.

    “Now,” said Tashtego.

    “The thing is,” said Tashtego, looking Wise and Thoughtful, “that Captain Ahab doesn’t really like Moby Dick. It’s all to do with something that happened a long time ago. I’m not sure what.”

    “But I don’t understand why Captain Ahab keeps following Moby Dick if he doesn’t like him?”

    “Neither do I,” said Tashtego. “I think it’s something grown-up which he doesn’t want to talk about.”

    “But if Captain Ahab is following Moby Dick,” said Pip, “whether Moby Dick is a White Whale, or possibly a Sperm Whale, or as it might be a Cachalot, won’t Moby Dick be cross if he finds out?”

    “I don’t know,” said Tashtego. “Very possibly.”

    Tashtego thought about it some more, until he had made up a shanty:

    We’ve all gone off to chase the whale
    Ahab and Starbuck and Ishmael and all
    It’s a thing you find when you set sail
    With Ahab and Starbuck and Ishmael and all.
    Flask and Stubb and Queequeg and Pip
    And all the crew have gone on the trip
    And when we’ve found it, it sinks the ship.
    Sing Hey! for Ahab and Starbuck and all!

    Pip asked “Why do you Sing Hey! at the end, if it’s going to sink the ship?”

    “You have to have Sing Hey! in it,” explained Tashtego, “or it isn’t a Proper Shanty.”

  189. Anonymous says:

    O! rain, whose water saves and nourishes all,
    Save us from thirst and drought, but not from
    Existential boredom. Alas, o rain!
    Freed are we from our overlords these three hours,
    Freed are we from oppression and misrule,
    But rain, you have drowned us.

    O! judicial feline, whose chappeau is so jaunty,
    Freed we thought we were, but free us further!
    Break our televisions, our furniture,
    Our chains of bored oppression.
    Release your beasts one and two,
    And punish the rain who seeks to hem us in.

  190. kvloden says:

    From Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, modeled on Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib”

    The postman came down like a wolf on the fold,
    And his cohorts were gleaming in blue and in gold;
    The mountains of mail will all be sent out,
    Said the brand new Postmaster, in a wavering shout!

    Like the leaves of the forest when the trees are all old
    Those elderly postmen who lined up as told:
    Like the leaves of the forest that the woodsman did slay
    Those few aged postmen at the end of the day.

    For things have got tougher for postmen of yore:
    It’s time to update, with younger and more.
    We’ll hire even golems, those oldest of all,
    Experienced messengers, and not at all small.

    Deliver the mail! It all must go out!
    Those whispering letters, starting to shout,
    It’s time they were sent, after years on the floor,
    They’ve sat here too long–take them out through the door.

    These letters, some ancient, some of them quite new,
    Will all be delivered by the Postmaster’s crew.
    A difficult task, but they’re up to it, see?
    As the Postmaster says, “You’ll just have to–trust me.”

  191. Steven Bates says:

    A Modern Prometheus by Shel Frankenstein

    Baron Victor von Frankenstein
    Would not leave the dead in pine.
    He’d dig them up with Igor’s spade,
    Then carve them up with a surgeon’s blade.
    And though the villagers would scream and whine,
    He simply would not change his grand design.
    And so they piled up in the lab,
    Arms and legs beside the slab.
    Eyes and ears and naughty bits,
    Fingers, toes, and smelly pits.
    They filled the coffins and covered the floor,
    They cracked the skylight and blocked the door.
    With craniums, clavicles, coccyx bones,
    Taken from erogenous zones.
    Tibias, fibulas, humerus, ribs,
    Sacrum, sternum, finger nibs.
    Ulnas, scapulas, radius, tarsals,
    Igor’s gruesome late night parcels.
    Flesh, blood and brain from neighbors passed,
    At last the parts had been amassed.

    Pieces assembled in record time,
    The stitches sewn, the bolts aligned.
    Then when the operation finished,
    The clouds rolled in, the sun diminished.
    The thunder boomed, the lightning flashed,
    Power surged and systems crashed.
    The patient stirred upon the bed,
    While Igor cringed with dire dread.
    “It is alive!” the doctor cried,
    “This creature born from that which died.
    I’ve cheated death, created life –
    My masterpiece… arise! Arise!”

    Word spread fast throughout the land,
    The Baron had exposed his hand.
    The town folk feared the great unknown,
    Of stitched-together flesh-and-bone,
    And so they met outside the gate,
    Armed with pitchforks, torches, hate.
    They cried for justice, sought revenge,
    Then forced the doors from rusting hinge.
    Inside the walls they faced their fears,
    Tracked down the lab, and smashed the gears.
    But then, of course, it was too late…
    The creature fled right out the gate.
    From Europe to the Arctic state,
    Where there in the ice he met a fate
    Which I cannot right now relate
    Because the hour is much too late.
    But scientists remember Frankenstein…
    And always leave the dead in pine!

    – Translated by Steven Bates

  192. onemonkey says:

    The Secret Life of Walther PPK
    with apologies to Fleming & Thurber

    James Bond finished his quarterly sales report and sat down. Mr. Anderson, the assistant area manager said nothing. David Morris, Bond’s line manager broke the silence “Yes, thank you Jim, that was very… well, um, thank you.” Bother, Bond thought to himself, looks like another year where they aren’t going to give me the promotion. It must my turn by now. Maybe if i had used three colours on the pie-chart?

    “Pay attention, 007!” Q flourished yet another flame-throwing umbrella, pointing out the concealed breathing apparatus. Bond sighed and wondered if, this time, his replacement vehicle might not be a VW Passat or maybe an Espace.

    “Hurry up, James! I need you to pick up my dry-cleaning on your way back from the school run and don’t forget you’re taking Ellie & Oliver to pony club tonight.” HIs wife swirled out of the house and he carried on cutting the crusts off Olly’s peanut butter sandwiches.

    “It looks like a simple charge coupled disilicon sandwich, commonly used in infrared satellite imaging, judging by the machining I’d say it was Korean?” M marvelled at how their best field agent seemed so effortlessly well informed, she fought hard not to look impressed. “Correct, we want to know why it turned up in Caraccas.” “I’ll leave immediately, sir.”

    Bond leaned over the microphone “The library is closing in ten minutes, please bring your selections to the front desk. Thank you.” The last of the public had left and he spent a few minutes rearranging the periodicals. His colleague, Miss Jones was shutting down the computers. “Er, Maggie, I was wondering if you’d like to go for a coffee sometime? With me? er.. if you are free that is..” “Oh, James! that’s terribly sweet but I’m.. I’m.. Not right now, but thanks!”

    “Mr. Bond? If my plans to control all the world’s oil bore you, I can just kill you now?” Bond feigned interest while absent-mindedly picking the lock on his handcuffs. A few minutes later he was hangliding away from the exploding mountain, his mind drifting.

    The End.

  193. indiecognition says:

    The Bible, by God
    “Whatever any man tries to say is my word, is a lie. Now go read some magazines…or hell, have some fun with some porn. You know I made dick and titty for a reason!”

  194. pyrotmaniac says:

    excellent entries everyone. I hope my contribution continues the excellence of this thread.

    No joke, I’m scared. Really REALLY scared. I was and still am terrified, but don’t think I’m crazy. The psychotropics had sized my mind and sharpened my perceptions not degraded them as you would think. It was my hearing though, that was sharpened the most. I heard the roaches crawling up the walls on business unfathomable, and the termites in the wood eating away the buffet of his house’s panels and two by fours. I could hear everything at once all the sounds feel them really. All the evil sounds of the earth were directed at my conciousness as though they were broadcast by the devil in hell with a bullhorn to my heart. So seriously how could I be mad? Listen! I’m calm now as I was then, I’ll tell you how the whole thing went down.
    It’s a little complicated now and probably beyond my ability to tell you how the idea first revealed it’s self to me. A week on acid has that effect on a guy so please be patient, but the idea was there in my mind eating my soul, like the out of place car down the road makes you fear the police are watching, binoculars pointed to the depths of your heart. Searching and waiting for you to mess up. I loved him like a brother! Never did me wrong, hell he never said shit to me to deserve that. He didn’t have any cash or drugs to speak of. But you see, he had this lazy eye scared from some childhood accident. It never focused on anything. But it always caught my focus. making my blood itch and my stomach turn when I saw it. So over the days and hits of acid strips of paper with a bitterness on my tongue every three hours. I finally understood my fate to be the one that would have to fix that evil ass eye problem. With the whole world interconnected with my soul, I had to remove the rot and decay that would eat the infinite life that we are. The termites and cockroaches would understand me, ask them! I thought it through. but there was no way that my life tunnel could continue without removing the decay that blocked my path the way pollution interrupts the cycle of growth, life and death. Rotten and green tastes like a rotten fish smell I feel it’s greasy grasp on my throat. S

    So you don’t have to guess I took it from Poe’s Tell Tale Hart. In the style of William S. Burroughs

  195. cannedirony says:

    I, uh, had to make mine a JPEG. There was sound reasoning, I promise.

    http://i49.tinypic.com/hughuu.jpg

  196. rawket.scientist says:

    The final conversation between Valentine Michael Kim and His Holiness Jubal Lama in Robert Anson Kipling’s Stranger in a Strange Land

    I’d not give room for an Emperor – I’d hold my road for a King. To the Triple Crown I’d not bow down – But this is a different thing! I’ll not fight with the Old Ones – Sentry, pass him through! Air lock let seal – He’s the Lord of us all – The Dreamer whose dream came true! – “The Siege of the Fairies” R. A. Kipling

    When the books had been safely locked away for interpretation by other players in the Great Game, Valentine Michael Kim found himself feeling strangely empty, like a bag entirely wrung out. He first went to the estate’s kitchens, where he prevailed upon the generosity of Patty Sahiba for a taste from the pot.

    “Be not so glum,” she chided him, “for the nest is full with daughters and granddaughters, and even a priest such as thee must take time to appreciate such bounty. Though it would be better,” she hinted, “if thou couldst prevail upon thy lama to write something for our sons. Hark, he awaits thee yonder, and has ever since Dawn pulled him half-drowned and ranting from the bathtub.”

    And so Michael went down to the sculpted caryatid which Jubal Lama liked to gaze upon as he sat in contemplation. “What troubles you, oh Friend of All Worlds? Are we not assured that we will all eventually beach upon the shores of the River of Life? Just and sure is the Wheel, swerving not a hair and giving no such thing as a free lunch!”

    “Ohe, truly thou art my father and my mother, Jubal, as surely as thou art God. Holy one, I grieve for I have failed thee. Yea, the toil of these past weeks has caused me to doubt that holy purpose you first named to me,” said Michael, long lashes downcast in deep spiritual anguish. “Truly, it seems that we are surrounded by unrighteousness at every corner. By our very human nature, it cannot be changed, and by my human and Martian natures, I am not sure that I would change it. Knowest thee what the Old Ones would say of this?”

    The wizened old Lama showed no immediate distress at his young ward’s black mood. He took a deep pull on a cheroot drawn from the folds of his mustard yellow garment and ruminated for a moment. “My chela, I would not have you suffer, for as you know all suffering is an illusion when in the company of these houris who are sometimes known to me as secretaries.

    “But grieve not, my chela. For if there is fault to be laid, it must fall at the feet of this prideful old man! Sorely have I tried your strength of late. Yea, in the lowlands your youthful vigor has been of comfort to me, and then in my vanity did I drag you to the foot of heaven to seek answers I yet knew did not reside there. My foolish pride hath blinded me to the truth that the Astrologer of Vesant did see. Thou art God, O Friend of the Stars! Thou art God, and thy Will and thy Wheel be done, for there is no heresy that can sway it!”

    “My father!” cried Michael. “We are God together, and we grok each other, and are assured that we will soon grok the River of Life.”

    “Faithful chela, the River is here. I feel at the very cusp of enlightenment. Perhaps it lies just on the other side of that enraged mob of Fosterite Brahmins who are jealous of our influence on Secretary General Douglas and his sharp-tongued wife.”

    “Then I go, that we may share the Water of Life!”

    “Share water!” replied Jubal, triumphant as a man who has had salvation won for him by his beloved.

  197. candycritic says:

    How the Romans Made Christmas

    He walked down the little street
    He walked down with bare feet
    He walked down with a cross
    Was he, in fact the Jew Boss?

    He had a sign above his head
    Soon he would, be un-dead
    Was he, could he, be the Christ?
    Soon he will be in Paradise

  198. robotrevolution says:

    Dr. Seuss’ “The Red Death”

    One ROOM two ROOM red ROOM blue ROOM
    Black ROOM blue ROOM old ROOM new ROOM

    Prince Prospero has a little crown.
    Prince Prospero owns an entire town.

    Say! What a lot of rev’lers there are!

    Yes, some are red and some are blue.
    Some are old and some are new!
    Some are sad and some are glad
    And some are very, very bad.

    Why are they sad and glad and bad?
    I don’t know! Go ask your king!

    The guests are all rich, none are poor.
    Death still stalks them all, through rooms galore.
    They dance and waltz and dance some more,
    While the hidden specter walks through the doors.

    He walks through each room, the blue and the red
    The green and the yellow and violet and then
    Prince Prospero saw his reveling end.
    He attacked the specter at once with his men.

    “How dare you!” he cried, drawing a knife from his sheath.
    “We’ll hang you!” he yelled. “You common thief!”
    But the prince fell over a few feet away,
    Followed by all of the rest in the fray.

    None are alive and all are dead.
    The dead ones from their pores have bled!
    From here to there and there to here,
    Dead people are lying everywhere!

    Here are some who like to run.
    They run for their lives from the thin, cold guest.
    Oh me, oh my! Oh me, oh my!
    What a lot of dying things run by!

    Here are some who can’t escape.
    They fall from grace! They meet their fate!
    Oh me, oh my! Oh my, or me!
    The Red Death has dominion o’er thee!

  199. Anonymous says:

    Genesis 1, by Douglas R Hofstadter

    The Tortoise and Achilles find themselves perched upon the shell of another (rather large!) tortoise, in an otherworldly void. Looking down, they see only more tortoise-shells.

    Tortoise: It seems we have arrived at the very beginning of everything, my dear friend!
    Achilles: No doubt about it – if only I could remember where we came from, but I seem to be at an utter loss for my memories.
    Tortoise: The situation may not be a complete loss, kind sir: look over there!
    Achilles: How now, brown turtle! It would appear that a rather stately old gent with a truly magnificent beard is fashioning something out of nothing.
    Tortoise: Even as we speak, the void seems less vacuous – what do you suppose he’s making?
    Achilles: By Jove, if I’m not mistaken, it would seem to be a planet!
    Tortoise: Earth, by the looks of it.
    Achilles: Great Scott – I think you’re right! One can only hope that we can find our missing memories there, and learn what it is exactly that we’re supposed to be doing here.
    Tortoise: I certainly hope you’re correct – I have a nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something terribly important …
    Achilles: Now don’t start getting ahead of yourself, Mr T. Perhaps we should ask the kind fellow for some assistance.
    Tortoise: Nicely put, old chap. [Calling to the bearded fellow:] I say there, good sir!
    God: Is someone calling me? Oh dear, I seem to have left all the air out of this planet’s atmosphere. One moment! [God fills the void with fresh, spring-smelling air, and a great light appears.] Oh! Well that certainly seems to have worked out well.
    Tortoise: Nothing has ever smelled so sweet, I must say.
    Achilles: Glad to have met your acquaintance, kind fellow, but it would seem that we are in a bit of a jam.
    God: Goodness me! I am certainly very sorry to hear it, as I have only just created you, and it would seem you’re already in need of some assistance. How might I help?
    Tortoise: Our memories, my good man, seem to have vanished, and we think we may be late for an appointment, but we can’t seem to remember with whom.
    God: Dear dear … if you have an appointment, then you will certainly need a place to travel to! [God creates the continents, with grasses, trees, and several tea shops.]
    Achilles: Clever! How very clever, my fellow. You needn’t have rushed, though – I only now recall that my meeting is not for at least six days, maybe seven?
    God: Right! Well, let’s see if we can figure out whom it was that you were to meet.
    Tortoise: Everything is still foggy, I’m afraid. Do you happen to know any other beings in this humble universe you have created?
    God: An excellent suggestion! [God creates many birds, whales, and an insurance broker by the name of Dawkins.] Do any of these fellows jog your memory?
    Achilles: The whale is close, but not quite right – I’m afraid he went to Oxford, and I’m sure I would meet only with a Cambridge fellow.
    Tortoise: Exceptional memory, Mr A! You are absolutely correct there – I recall your graduation. But what in the world is Cambridge?
    God: Don’t you worry a bit, my friend. [With a majestic wave, God creates mountains, valleys, and a bustling English University system.]
    Tortoise: Truly magnificent! But the right chap still doesn’t seem to be here – I think his name started with an A?
    Achilles: Hey ho! that’s me! My name is Achilles!
    Tortoise: Expertly recalled, good friend. But clearly it’s not you that you have an appointment with, unless you particularly enjoy speaking about yourself in the third person – wouldn’t that be a little too self-referential!
    God: Heavens above – I seem to have forgotten a few things … [With another fluid wave, God creates all manners of beasts and creepy crawlies.] Hmm. A few of those buggers seem to be eating each other! Ah, such is life. You can’t let a few little mistakes ruin the whole dish!
    Achilles: Except, my good man, I think you might have just found my appointment! See that funny looking thing hanging from a tree in that savanna? I know he’s familiar, but something’s not quite on.
    God: Ah yes – one mo’ … [With a wink of an eye, God evolves the little monkey like creature into a human.]
    Tortoise: Very impressive! Can you do that with pickled herring? I think I saw a batch somewhere that wasn’t quite ripe enough yet.
    Achilles: Enough of your getting sidetracked, Mr T – we must now figure out what it was that we were to see this young fellow about!
    Tortoise: Never less than practical, my dear Mr A.
    Achilles: Say there, my bearded friend, do you know this chap’s name?
    God: Adam, I think. Yes, that seems right.
    Achilles: Nothing could sound more appropriate, although I haven’t the faintest idea why. But I do remember something about our meeting now.
    Tortoise: Do tell, Mr A!
    Achilles: This young chap is without knowledge, just like us! But here’s that tiny thing I do recall – there’s an apple tree just past that chemist’s shop.
    Tortoise: How, might I ask, will an apple help with our little dilemma?
    Achilles: Eating the apple grants you the gift of knowledge, of course!
    God: Easy, there, my young friends. That apple is kind of dangerous.
    Tortoise: Ah, but sir, we’re British, and we never miss an appointment.
    Achilles: Right you are, my friend! Let’s go have some apple dumplings with our new friend Adam.
    Tortoise: That’s exactly my intention, Mr A. To the orchard!
    God: Hey! Don’t eat tha-! [Vanishes.]

  200. alexmce says:

    Here’s my submission; I’ve been working on it all week and I hope you enjoy reading it:

    It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, my hometown out there on the edge of the prairie.

    It was warm and sunny here this last week – for a significant part of the week, anyway – and warm and sunny is what we choose to remember. It got up into the fifties, which a few months ago we would have considered chilly, but now in November it seems very warm to us. It seems like a little bit of Indian summer.

    All you need is to expect something worse and then something better comes along and it raises your spirits for a while. It’s like you’re on your way to the penitentiary in the bus, and the bus has a flat tire, and the guards let you stand in the ditch for a while. It’s better than what you were hoping for. You still have the leg irons on you and you’re still all standing there in a row, but it feels good, you know? That’s the secret of happiness – not to maintain this high standard of euphoria day in and day out; but rather for things to be better than you had expected they would be. You had your first hard frost of the year, and you had every reason to expect that snow is going to fall, and bitter winds are going to blow down from Saskatchewan, but instead it is in the fifties. You feel young, and energetic, and optimistic, and you go for a walk in the woods and you feel wonderful. Then you hear gunshots.

    You take a glance down at your tan raincoat and you realize how much like a white-tailed deer you might look to somebody. You think about running as fast as you can, but that would be even worse, so you walk slowly and you sing in a loud voice “A mighty fortress is our God / A bulwark fanning a mighty force in the voice of human ills prevailing.” Nobody is going to shoot a deer that’s singing Martin Luther’s hymn, so you sing and you walk slowly. Eventually you come to your car and you find that you have not been shot, and this is enough to make you happy.

    Quentin Bunsen went out hunting by himself this last week, out for a deer. Because he was by himself and not with his usual friends he walked quietly down the north shore of the lake. He felt the hint of warmth in the air, the way the sunlight filtered through the branches, and it no longer felt like the onset of winter. It reminded him of summers years ago when he and his sister Candace would spend days by the lake. It was cooler down there, mossy and quiet. The crickets, sawing away in the grass, would pace them along like a breath traveling across a mirror.

    One time, one memory in particular, came to him and he stopped walking. Nearby some tundra swans, big and beautiful and magnificent, were grooming themselves in the dry rushes, but Quentin didn’t notice them at all. He was back at the lake in the summer, seventeen years old, with his younger sister near a fallen box elder tree the two of them called the Branch. Candace was lying in the water, on the sand, half in the cool water and half in the sun. Her skirt, half-saturated, flopped along her flanks to the waters motion in heavy ripples going nowhere, and renewed themselves of their own movement.

    Quentin sat down on the bank next to her. The grass was wet, a little wet, and it bothered him a bit. The two of them had been quiet for a good, long while and this all felt very familiar, but he was in a bad mood that day. “Get out of the water,” he told her, almost hissing. “Are you crazy?”

    At first it sounded too harsh, stronger than he had intended. But she didn’t move, not even an acknowledgement that he had spoken. He repeated himself. “Get out now.”

    She sat up, then stood, her skirt flopping against her, draining warm lake water in tendrils onto the sand. She climbed the bank and sat down in the sun.

    “Why don’t you wring it out,” he said, more of a command than a question. “Do you want to catch cold?”

    “Yes.” She hadn’t spoken all day, to anyone, but her voice was crisp and clear. The water sucked and gurgled across the sand and Quentin thought of their father, who owned Bunsen motors and had planned a promotion that day, selling hot dogs for a dime on the sales lot. It was too hot to go car shopping and he would most likely be in a bad mood when they returned at the end of the day.

    “He’s crossed all the oceans all around the world.” She looked straight out across the water. Two loons drifted in opposite directions from their baby, in the middle, who seemed torn about which one to follow.

    Quentin’s hands felt clammy and something he had never felt before – a mixture of anger and fear and disappointment and nervous excitement – formed, just a little kernel in the pit of his stomach. He cleared his throat. “Do you love him?”

    Her hand came out towards his arm. Quentin didn’t move. It fumbled down and she held his hand flat against her chest. Her heart was thudding. Quietly – “no, no.”

    “Caddy, you hate him, don’t you?” She moved his hand up to her throat and he could feel her hart hammering there.

    “Poor Quentin.” She moved away. “You’ve never done that, have you?”

    He wanted to leave. He wished for a storm or an animal attack or a meteorite to come flying out of the sky and put them both out of their misery. But she waited for an answer. “What, done what?”

    “That what I have. What I did.” She had a way of sounding very distant and feeling too close at the same time.

    “Yes. Lots of times. With lots of girls.”

    She looked at him and a strange thing happened. Quentin began to cry – first a couple of tears but then more and soon his shoulders were heaving. Large, fat tears landed between his legs and soon his sister came over and held him to her chest. The strange ball of energy grew now. He decided it was anger and he pushed her over onto the bank. He reached for the Cub Scout pocketknife that his father had given him. “Do you remember the day Grandma Irene died?”

    “Yes.”

    Quentin held the point of the knife at her throat. She was stronger than he was and could easily have gotten away but she held still. “It won’t take a second,” said Quentin Bunsen, the seventeen-year-old heir to Bunsen’s Motors in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. “Just a second, then I can do mine.”

    Caddy looked straight into his eyes without blinking. “All right. Can you do yours by yourself?”

    “Yes, the blade’s long enough.” His hand was shaking now. “It won’t take a second; I’ll try not to hurt you.”

    “All right.” She said it plain as day. “All right.” She reached up and grabbed his hand. “No, like this. You’ll have to push it harder.” She let go and looked up, past Quentin’s head, up at the sky. Quentin thought he might throw up. “Don’t cry.”

    “I’m not crying, Caddy.”

    “Push it. Are you going to?”

    “Do you want me to?”

    “Yes, push it.” Behind them, one of the loons released a long, haunting call. “Don’t cry. Poor Quentin.”

    Quentin couldn’t stop. He was crying against her damp blouse and he could hear her heart going firm and slow now, not hammering, and the water gurgling among the cattails, and the loons on the lake. “Stop, Quentin.”

    He closed his eyes. “Caddy.”

    “Stop it, Quentin. It won’t do any good, you know it won’t.” She pushed him away and walked off through the trees. He looked down at himself, his shaking hands. The pocketknife was gone – he didn’t know where it went. His sister was gone and he was alone. She’d marry Dalton Ames before long and move to St. Cloud; Quentin would stay behind and sell Fords and Buicks to the citizens of Lake Wobegon, and once in a while he’d go back to the woods to hunt by himself and remember. It wasn’t about killing deer so much as it was about getting back in touch with nature, with his primitive instincts, and away from the world of selling cars.

    It could have been worse, and it wasn’t. That’s the thing.

    That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

  201. Pugna says:

    This is the Iliad set to the lyrics of Leonard Cohen.

    From Olympus’ lofty tops Apollo descended
    … The camp heaped with mountains of dead.

    Grieving and her eye on the prize, Juno advised Achille
    to find out why.

    A bunch of lonesome and very quarrelsome heroes
    smoking in battle council
    The night very dark and thick between them
    Each man beneath his heavy load.
    Put out your cigarette, my friends, spoke Achilles
    You’ve been alone too long.
    And some of us are very hungry now
    To hear what it is we’ve done so wrong.

    I’d like to tell my story
    Said one of them so bold,
    Oh yes, I’d like to tell my story
    ‘cause you know I feel I’m turning into gold.

    Everybody knows the dice are loaded
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.

    Everybody knows the captain lied
    Everybody knows he’s been discreet
    But there were some people he just had to meet
    Without his clothes.

    Everybody knows that it’s now or never
    And everybody knows that the Plague is here
    Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
    Return the black-eyed maid.

    Spoke the king: I came so far for beauty
    left so much behind
    Killed my daughter, left my wife
    My masterpiece unsigned
    I thought I’d be rewarded
    For such a lonely choice

    I stormed the old casino
    For the money and the flesh and I myself decided
    What was rotten and what was fresh

    I hoped that she would answer
    To such a very hopeless voice
    but rumors of my virtue
    They moved her not at all.

    And I thank you, I thank you for doing your duty,
    You keeper of truth, you guardian of beauty.
    Your vision is right, my vision is wrong,
    I’m sorry for smudging the air with my song.

    Now, if the gods demand it, let her sail
    Our cares are only for the public well.
    But the night is thick.
    I would like the clothes of a woman,
    To replace the one I would like to forgive
    In the rings of her silk, in the hinge of her thighs,
    Where I have to go begging in beauty’s disguise.

    This hand shall seize some other captive dame
    The mighty Ajax shall his prize resign
    Ulysses’ spoils or Achilles thy own, be mine.

  202. Anonymous says:

    Well, this isn’t exactly what I intended to write. It perhaps isn’t even appropriate. I was originally going to do else, but once the idea came to me and I wrote a couple sentences, I was hooked and decided I would rather write this even if it cost me the laptop. Maybe my mind just got stuck on the parallel. So here it is: (part of) the scene in David Copperfield where the hero of his tale really meets Miss Mowcher in the style of A Hero Ain’t Nothin but a Sandwich, by Alice Childress. The problem is the latter doesn’t exhibit an incongruous literary style so much as most the characters use a specific sort dialogue. Still, there are differences in style between Dickens and Childress, and even while I left in tact those parts I felt needed no change, I tried to make the difference clear.

    “Always is.” Miss Mowcher said. ” Ain’t no wonder you surprised at me bein serious.You full-grown chillun see a little thing like me an are all surprised to see me even bein human. I’m good for a laugh till you cats get bored of me, then you jes toss me aside. I’m half-sized so you figure I must only got half the feelins too. It’s how thing’s are, ain’t it? It’s how things were back in the day!”

    “Maybe for others.” I answered, “but not for me. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised to see you like this. I hardly even know you. I spoke without thinking.”

    “Lord, what can I do?” The short lady answered. She held her arms out, displaying herself to me. “Dig! I’m what my family- father, brother, an sister- ‘ve always bin. I been working for my brother n sister- hard, Copperfield- all these years. I gotta live. I don’t hurt no one. If some people be so mean, so tough they make me into a joke, what can I do but make me, them, an everythin else into a joke too? If I play that for a while whose fault is it? Mine?”

    No, not yours, I thought.

    “If I went showin myself like a sorry midget to your jive-ass boon,” the short lady continued, shaking her head at me disappointed, but earnest. “How much of his help or kindness you think I’d a ever gotten? If Missus Mowcher (who fella, made herself) went ta him or his kind cause the world’s been stompin on her, when do you think her little voice would get heard? Lil Mowcher would still gotta live jes as much if she was the meanest, dumbest shrimp around, but then she’d be dead. She’d go singin the blues for bread till she went blue herself!”

    Miss Mowcher sat on the fender again and started wiping her eyes with a handkerchief.

    “Be glad for me, if you got a good heart like I think,” she said “that I can laugh and take it, knowin what I am. I’m glad I can get by without owin nobody nothin, an that for all that gets thrown my way cause of ignorance or pride while I’m makin my way, I can give a lil back. If I don’t spend time cryin about everythin in life I’d like, well, better for me an no worse for anyone. If I’m just a toy for you giants, then all I ask is you be gentle.”

    “I gotta go,” she finally said while standing up. “It’s late. You don’t got no faith in me?”

    I met her sharp stare when she asked. It was as sharp as ever and looking at it I couldn’t honestly say no.

    “Lord!” She said as she took my hand to help her off the fender. She looked at me wistfully. “You know you’d trust me if I’d been full-sized.”

    I felt this was very true, and I felt shamed of myself.

    “You’re young.” She said. “So take some advice. Don’t think someone’s dumb just cause they look different.”

    She was on her feet, now, and I trusted her. I told her I thought she’d been honest with me and that we’d both been pawns in someone else’s game. She thanked me and said I was a good man.

  203. Anonymous says:

    Does it have to be a submission that is written in this timeframe, or can it be prior work? Must it be prose, or is poetry acceptable?

  204. miguelesquirol says:

    Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to Europa, Jupiter’s moon, to discover ice.

    At that time Macondo was a small planet of twenty low impact aluminum houses, built on the bank of a dry canal full of stones polished by an ancient ocean that now lie white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. This planet was so recent, terraformed only a couple years ago, that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged aliens would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums, that was how their language sounded to us, they would display new inventions, older than the ages for them, but new and wonderful for us. First they brought the magnet. A heavy alien with an untamed hair, two heads, and sparrow hands, who introduced himself as Melquíades, put on a bold public demonstration of what he himself called the eighth wonder of the learned alchemists of their home planet, unknown to humans and far beyond betelgeuse. He went from house to house dragging two metal ingots and everybody was amazed to see pots, pans, tongs, and braziers tumble down from their places and beams creak from the desperation of nails and screws trying to emerge, and even objects that had been lost for a long time appeared from where they had been searched for most and went dragging along in turbulent confusion behind Melquíades’ magical irons. “Things have a life of their own,” the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. “It’s simply a matter of waking up their souls.”

    José Arcadio Buendía, whose unbridled imagination always went beyond the genius of nature and even beyond miracles and magic, thought that it would be possible to make use of that useless invention to extract mineral from the bowels of this new land, valuable for the federeation, and according to him unknown back at earth. Melquíades, who was an honest being, warned him: “It won’t work for that.” But José Arcadio Buendía at that time did not believe in the honesty of aliens, so he traded his mule and a pair of goats, for the two magnetized ingots. Úrsula Iguarán, his wife, who knew that those animals where given to us for the colonization of the planet, was unable to dissuade him. “Very soon we’ll have minerals enough to move to a city in the central planets,” her husband replied. For several months he worked hard to demonstrate the truth of his idea. He explored every inch of the region, even the dry canals, dragging the two iron ingots along and reciting Melquíades’ incantation aloud. The only thing he succeeded in doing was to unearth a suit of armor from an ancient race with several arms, which had all of its pieces soldered together with rust and inside of which there was the hollow resonance of an enormous stone-filled gourd. When José Arcadio Buendía and the four men of his expedition managed to take the armor apart, they found inside a calcified alien skeleton, strange and astonishing, with a copper locket containing a human woman’s hair around its neck.

  205. maderlock says:

    Before I make use of the revolver that lies before me on the dining table, so heavy with the potential violence that promises escape from the horrors I have seen, I feel I must at least try to warn the world of the terror that is the very hungry caterpillar.

    I can scarse credit that it has been but a week since I returned home on the evening of Saturday 1st May, to find something very wrong with my one-bedroom flat. I had been at the 50th birthday-party of Professor Tobius, my supervisor in pharmaceutical sciences at Miscatonic University, and it was happily and a little tipsily that I entered my Arkham apartment. I paused in the act of dropping my jacket over the back of my comfortable reading chair, suddenly sensing a strangeness in the room that seemed to emanate from the tall pot plant by the window.

    I could not say what it was that first caused me alarm, but as soon as I laid eyes on that little egg lying on a leaf in the moonlight I felt a tremor run through me, and knew that this was the source of the my disquiet. I approached, curious of my own reaction to such an innocuous sight. The egg was small and white, about as unthreatening an object that one might expect to find. And yet as I looked at it I could feel the hair on the back of my neck rising, and my eyes wanted to sheer away from it, as if the egg existed in more dimensions than the usual three, stretching the space around it so as to suggest at non-euclidean shapes that the human mind was not equipped to comprehend.

    Straightening up, I laughed at myself for such fanciful thoughts, and yet I think I must have laughed also to bring something human back into that room which had, with the simple addition of a tiny egg, become oddly alien to me. Putting my reaction down to the drink with which the professor had generously plied me, I divested myself or the remains of my attire and made my way to my bed where from I knew nothing of this or any other world until the next day.

    In the warm sun of the next morning, the apartment had none of the unearthly strangeness of the previous night. The Sunday paper lay enticingly thick on the door-mat, and I did not recall the presence of the disturbing egg until I had put on some coffee and sat down to the day’s cryptogram. As I reclined in contented mental application, I suddenly became aware of a presence in the room, as if I was being observed by some cosmic source of violence so potent as to resemble a physical weight bearing down on me.

    Looking up, I saw that on the leaf where the egg now lay empty and spent, devoid of any greater meaning now its work was complete, a tiny caterpillar moved with the slowest of uncouth undulations. Curious, I left aside the paper and approached it. Close to, the form of the tiny creature was grotesque almost beyond the ability to put down in words. Many segmented and multi-limbed, its mottled hide was the green of long-decayed matter, making its classification as vegetable or animal less than clear to me.

    I know now that by reaching out at that moment I could have most likely crushed its little body between thumb and fore-finger, vouchsafing not only my own future sanity but that of many others that even now rave against the padded walls of New England’s over-crowded sanatoria. But the moment past all to soon, for as I stood there, the caterpillar turned its malign green head and looked at me with eyes that spoke to an insidious intelligence that was impossible ages old, greatly superior to my own, and along wholly inhuman lines. The titanic hunger in that gaze froze me to the spot for the space of several heart-beats.

    It is then that I fled out of the room, the flat and out of my own faculties for a time, only to return to myself many hours later, shaking, on a bench in Gloucester park. I spent the night wandering the streets, in too nervous a state to sleep. I could not have explained, if asked, why I did not return to my apartment, but in the clarity of hindsight I believe the truth is that I harboured a dread of having those miniature black eyes upon me again, less madness wholly consume me.

    In the grey pre-dawn hours of Monday morning, exhaustion caught up with me and I found myself at my front door, key in hand. Telling myself that I had over-reacted to hang-over induced paranoia I let myself in and bravely directed my gaze toward the pot-plant. The unwholesome caterpillar was not there. Releasing a breath that I had not consciously held, I closed the door and threw myself down on my bed.

    Waking late in the morning, and assuring myself that the caterpillar was nowhere to be seen, I resolved to make the most of what remained of the day, keeping myself busy cleaning and organising my spartan dwelling, even beginning work on writing a paper for Professor Tobius that I had long delayed due to its tedious nature; anything to occupy the mind so that it could not stray into areas from which it might not return. In the afternoon I shopped at the Monday market for fresh vegetables and fruit, feeling a need for physical cleansing and nourishment that might aid my mental state in a similar manner.

    Though I do not confess to being an enthusiastic cook, taking most of my meals at the university, I pride myself on my culinary skill, and made a particular effort that evening as I had eaten little for the last two days. As I sat down to a bacon-roasted pigeon breast, the smell of its thick steam struck me as being slightly off. I frowned and took a deeper sniff. There was certainly a foetid odour overlaying the rich scents of rosemary and seared game-meat, and I was immodest enough to assume that my cooking was not be to blame.

    I stood and prowled around the room lead by my nose like some great ungainly tracking bird. The smell was most concentrated near to the bowl that I had earlier filled to the brim with fruit and placed on an ornamental table by my reading chair. Here the stench was veritably unholy, and I felt the urge to step away as the odour seemed to directly assail the primitive part of the brain that recognises imminent peril.

    I stood my ground and examined the table. At first glance, all was as it had been, but closer analysis evidenced that a single red apple had a hole in it which had certainly not been there when I returned from the market. Leaning down I could see clean through the apple via another hole in the far side. Tentatively, I reached out and touched the fruit, which collapsed into a putrescent puddle of skin and ooze. The smell intensified such that I was compelled to finally step back and cover my face with my arm, my eyes watering despite this precaution.

    Having sought to persuade myself the whole day that the caterpillar had left in my absence, I knew immediately that this must be its work. I had felt its hunger emanating from its malevolent stare, and though it had devoured but a single apple, the precise destruction of its jaws in leaving only the skin and a single pair of holes oddly chilled me to my core. I washed my hands compulsively before sitting back down to the dinner I no longer had any appetite for. I considered that we cannot judge beasts such as the caterpillar by our human social values; these creatures are beyond good and evil, above them. Questions teemed in my head: why was it consuming my fruit; what would it consume tomorrow; where was it now; and what monstrous thing would it eventually become?

    I sat there until my food grew stone cold and then threw it away. At this rate I would starve before the end of the week, but by then I would have bigger problems to deal with.

  206. Everfrost says:

    I completely forgot to register before posting that. Mods, if you could kindly delete and not approve my previous post? (From the same email address)

    Well, this isn’t exactly what I intended to write. It perhaps isn’t even appropriate. I was originally going to do else, but once the idea came to me and I wrote a couple sentences, I was hooked and decided I would rather write this even if it cost me the laptop. Maybe my mind just got stuck on the parallel. So here it is: (part of) the scene in David Copperfield where the hero of his tale really meets Miss Mowcher in the style of A Hero Ain’t Nothin but a Sandwich, by Alice Childress. The problem is the latter doesn’t exhibit an incongruous literary style so much as most the characters use a specific sort dialogue. Still, there are differences in style between Dickens and Childress, and even while I left in tact those parts I felt needed no change, I tried to make the difference clear.

    “Always is.” Miss Mowcher said. ” Ain’t no wonder you surprised at me bein serious.You full-grown chillun see a little thing like me an are all surprised to see me even bein human. I’m good for a laugh till you cats get bored of me, then you jes toss me aside. I’m half-sized so you figure I must only got half the feelins too. It’s how thing’s are, ain’t it? It’s how things were back in the day!”

    “Maybe for others.” I answered, “but not for me. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised to see you like this. I hardly even know you. I spoke without thinking.”

    “Lord, what can I do?” The short lady answered. She held her arms out, displaying herself to me. “Dig! I’m what my family- father, brother, an sister- ‘ve always bin. I been working for my brother n sister- hard, Copperfield- all these years. I gotta live. I don’t hurt no one. If some people be so mean, so tough they make me into a joke, what can I do but make me, them, an everythin else into a joke too? If I play that for a while whose fault is it? Mine?”

    No, not yours, I thought.

    “If I went showin myself like a sorry midget to your jive-ass boon,” the short lady continued, shaking her head at me disappointed, but earnest. “How much of his help or kindness you think I’d a ever gotten? If Missus Mowcher (who fella, made herself) went ta him or his kind cause the world’s been stompin on her, when do you think her little voice would get heard? Lil Mowcher would still gotta live jes as much if she was the meanest, dumbest shrimp around, but then she’d be dead. She’d go singin the blues for bread till she went blue herself!”

    Miss Mowcher sat on the fender again and started wiping her eyes with a handkerchief.

    “Be glad for me, if you got a good heart like I think,” she said “that I can laugh and take it, knowin what I am. I’m glad I can get by without owin nobody nothin, an that for all that gets thrown my way cause of ignorance or pride while I’m makin my way, I can give a lil back. If I don’t spend time cryin about everythin in life I’d like, well, better for me an no worse for anyone. If I’m just a toy for you giants, then all I ask is you be gentle.”

    “I gotta go,” she finally said while standing up. “It’s late. You don’t got no faith in me?”

    I met her sharp stare when she asked. It was as sharp as ever and looking at it I couldn’t honestly say no.

    “Lord!” She said as she took my hand to help her off the fender. She looked at me wistfully. “You know you’d trust me if I’d been full-sized.”

    I felt this was very true, and I felt shamed of myself.

    “You’re young.” She said. “So take some advice. Don’t think someone’s dumb just cause they look different.”

    She was on her feet, now, and I trusted her. I told her I thought she’d been honest with me and that we’d both been pawns in someone else’s game. She thanked me and said I was a good man.

  207. melska18 says:

    Treelean, near the trail, from deep breath to Forks, walking and talking…

    Leaving time why, claiming meant sdlfkjsdfkljsd. Live we Carlisle if undestinired cold rolling old mechanical come. The right place. Squa squa taloot in tall. I’m no you Bella, erse human girl, that the vampyvampvamp. O here here my world for you hath iz golden and yours already. Nonononono never existed. Memory sieve and time and wounds and memorize. Gone gone gskadjfsldkfjsd.fj. jsladkfjsd. Dkjeksnpppp. Gone a lone love a sad a cried a the

    (Joyce reads New Moon)

  208. Anonymous says:

    I was beaten on a ship.
    I was beaten with a whip.
    I will beat him in due course.
    I will beat him with a horse.
    I will beat him here or there.
    I will beat him everywhere.
    I do not like Messala or ham.
    I do not like them, Ben-Hur-I-am

    JMB-Suess-Wallace

  209. Italico says:

    Big Daddy Vs Dolemite in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien

    original:http://www.lyricstime.com/big-daddy-kane-big-daddy-vs-dolemite-lyrics.html

    Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bxm-wvg5N_A

    Here goes:

    Saruman: Mmm, aye, mmm, mmm, mmm, aye
    Allow me to introduce myself as Saruman
    The most exalted of Istari
    Known as Curunir by the Quendi.

    Gandalf: Well, Gandalf is my name
    My love of Arda is my flame.

    Saruman: Aye? I say to you Gandalf
    Your counsel once held regard,
    Now I command from Isengard.

    Gandalf: Hearken, in all matters of speaking,
    I mastered all that Manwe meted .
    Ere you stuttered.
    I claim no peer in thoughts spoken,
    Give ear, I am the mouth of all Istari.
    I am also known as the relisher of Calaquendi
    In matters of grinding elven haunches
    I leave it shaken,
    As well, my loin makes it deepen.
    In Gondor I walked the other day
    An Engwar crone came my way
    Said she, ” Glad I will be to make my flesh thine,
    I shall let you taste my brine!”
    “Lady!” said I, ” Why give yourself to me?
    When I would rather ravage thee?”
    I revealed my tumescence,
    Hard as Angrist and ready to wound,
    The crone spied my splendor and swooned.
    I rammed the crone deep, and she began to implore,
    ” Heed me Mithrandir! I can bear no more!”

    Saruman: The cants you weave are ill conceived,
    Shoeless I walked from Losgar to Ered Nimrais.
    Crowned master of wenches in Imladris.
    Summoned a winter gale during Summer’s solstice,
    Slaked my thirst at Ekkaia, rendering Ulmo voiceless.
    I was conjuring ere the Valar heard the Song,
    Bested Celeborn and my savoring of Galadriel, long.
    The music of my arms snapping the spine of Glaurung was fey,
    And compelled all to proclaim, ” Regard not Aman.” And call me Manwe.

    Gandalf: You long shanked spoiler of Perrianath,
    Countless the voices that say, ” Saruman half a brain hath.”
    Among cleavers in a barrel I was born,
    Stricken on the rump with Narsil and Grond.
    Clawed by Beorn, bitten by Thuringwethil,
    I chewed galvorn and out I shat mithril.
    Into the sea I dove and scarred the sand.
    Bound lightning and flung thunder in Angband

    Saruman: Unlettered decrepit fool!
    I tell you this,
    All the laws of conjuring I proclaim,
    Verily your attempts in our skill elicit shame.
    Fell is my reign as taskmaster,
    Driving my Uruk-Hai ever faster.
    Deep in Mahanaxar is the throne
    Destined to be for me alone.
    Aye, in all of Arda I do as I feel,
    Blighted Athelas and blackened Niphredil

    Gandalf: You trembling scavanger of scorned carrion!
    I grew in prowess ere the budding of Telperion.
    Deeming your minions mindless and lame,
    And rendering Balrog king, Gothmog, the same.
    Saruman, before you vainly conspire again,
    Roast me mutton ere the journey’s end of Arien.
    Then scurry from Valinor to your hole in Orodruin.
    You must be sightless to not see,
    Your doted Uruk-Hai absconding with your palantiri.
    Have Thorondor drop you from countless leagues in the air,
    And finish your days as a smear on the fangs of Anfauglir!
    Who would be the last to remember Saruman the wise?
    Heh, bloated, writhing legions of maggots spilling from your eyes!

    Saruman: Ach! I concede defeat!

  210. Lazlo Panaflex says:

    “What’s it gonna be then, G?”
    There was my-bad-self, Lexus, and my three holmies, Pedro, George, and Dolt, Dolt being a fucking idiot, as usual, and we were chillin’ at the Asylum Cafe taxing our brains as to what the fuck to do with the night, cold as a witch’s teet but dry as a nun’s cunt. The Asylum Cafe was a ‘smoke bar’ that you might remember as the only place a motherfucker could smoke without being hassled about “second hand smoke” or “passive smoke” or “won’t someone think of the children” or some such bullshit. What you could get there was all sorts of tobacco and other smokables that were laced into the mix to help you get yer swerve on or whatever. Depending on the additives you were into, you could get lit up for yer megablast and stare at yer boot fer 15 minutes or so, babbling like a chicken head about the angels and demons. Or, you could smoke some shit that would get you all hyped to go toe to toe with the whole posse, and that’s what we were down with tonight.
    We were fully strapped with cash, so there was no need so roll some old coot in the alley or beat some sucker down in the cornershop and make off with the goods. As they say, money ain’t nothing but dirty paper, we can always make more.
    Me and my boys always looked fly, which meant black Wranglers and white wifebeaters so tight you could scope the customized Kevlar “Second Chance” armor underneath. Mine had a spider design on my chest while Pedro had a Hand of Doom and George had a fancy Death Orchid. Dolt, totally missing the fucking point, as usual, had a creepy Happy Clown chest piece that accented his man-tits. Then we had our matching trench coats covered in straps and pockets filled with shanks and small explosive ordinances. We topped our domes with a black and white striped ballcap or bandana and we had high black boots for stompin’ fools.
    “What’s it gonna be then, G?”

  211. lmm227 says:

    The Hobbit, in the style of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.

    In a dark and dreary fashion, find the plates and with right passion,
    smash the bottles on the floor, only this and nothing more.
    The chalices that do belong to one, short in stature, who they call,
    Bilbo Baggins, so easily shaken, if one mere goblet is to be breakin’,
    will loathe the outcome of the chore, of his china, nevermore.

  212. irulta17 says:

    “Seuss-ified Shakespeare”
    Romeo & Juliet a.k.a. Dr.McGrew & Joo-liyette

    Joo-liyette Capulet:
    O Dr.McGrew, Dr. McGrew, Where did you go?
    I’ve looked far and wide, high and low.
    But where you have gone, I still do not know.
    Leave your pop and your name
    You need to stop playing these silly games
    Yes, you must stop, stop you must!
    So you and me, can become an “us”
    I’ll be a Capulet no more.
    And there will be more love for you in store.

    Dr. McGrew:
    [aside to side] What is this I hear?
    Should I just stand there or here?
    Shall I open my mouth wide and speak?
    Oh, my nerves are making my knees weak.

    Joo-liyette Capulet:
    It is your name that makes me sad and blue.
    But you are YOU, not a McGrew.
    Neither this nor that,
    Nor that nor this,
    Is what a McGrew really is.
    You are not the same,
    No, you are not like that name.

    It matters not, what kind of name
    In the end, you are still the same.
    If, Spam was called a “special treat”,
    Would it not still taste of imitation luncheon meat?

    Your name does not matter,
    So what is this big chatter?
    You are still you, strong and true.
    And all of me, is still for you.

  213. gilowyn says:

    Moira, I doubt anyone was surprised that they aren’t done yet. Personally, I was just surprised that they mentioned Friday at all…. especially after that last 100-word contest! Man… BB readers sure love their literary contests! :)

    I was almost tempted to do another American Psycho meets whatever piece. But, needs prevail – my place is a mess. And I gotta paint next week. So off to pick up messiness now.

    Greetz from freezing Hamburg!
    Gila

  214. sarasara3 says:

    Green Eggs and Ham à la Suzanne
    (For best results, this should be sung aloud to the tune of “Suzanne;”
    based on Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and Leonard Cohen’s lyrics from the collection of poems, Parasites from Heaven)

    Sam-I-Am takes you down to his house with a mouse
    You can hear the trains in the rain go by
    You can spend the night with a fox in a box
    And you know that he’s half crazy
    But that’s why you want to be there
    And he feeds you green eggs and ham
    That come all the way from Here or There
    And just when you mean to tell him
    That you want to leave him in a car in the dark
    Then he gets you on his wavelength
    And he lets the goat in a boat answer
    That you’ve always been in love with green eggs and ham
    And you want to travel with him (on the hood of his 3-seater car)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that he will feed you
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

    And Sammy was a moldy-meat-and-egg peddler
    When he served his goods to all the naysayers
    And he spent a long time persuading
    From his hoisted-wood fox boxes
    And when he knew for certain
    Only one man with a black hat would eat with him
    He said, “All men will be missing out then
    Until the green eggs and ham shall free them”
    But he himself was starving
    Long before he offered his year-old last meal to others
    Forsaken, almost human
    He sank beneath your denial like a stone
    And you want to travel with him (up the trunk of a yellow tree)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that you can trust him
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

    Now Sam-I-Am takes your hand
    And he leads you up a tree for a bite
    He is wearing pointy gloves and furs
    From Salvation Army counters
    And the sun pours down–well, actually not at all–
    On our persistent Mister-Try-Some
    And he shows you where to look for green sustenance
    Among the garbage and the flowers
    There are heroes in the seaweed
    There are children in the morning
    They are leaning out for Cheerios and normal fare
    And they will lean that way forever
    While Sam-I-Am holds the forsaken eggs and ham
    And you want to travel with him (in a car on top of a train on top of a boat)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that you can trust him
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

  215. sturtle says:

    My name is Myra Breckinridge
    whom no man shall possess!
    Two hundred pages hence, my dear,
    You’ll learn what’s ‘neath my dress!
    (What’s beneath my dress!)

    Gore Dickinson-Howell III

  216. Hippocratic Oaf says:

    Lolita as War of the Worlds – after all, paedophiles are the new aliens.

    ————–
    No on would have believed in the middling years of the twentieth century that this child was being watched keenly and closely by a being more sinister than a shadow and yet as honest and vulnerable as an infant; that as her widowed mother busied herself about her various concerns she too was scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a genteel woman of advancing years might scrutinise the endless possibilities dealt in a single hand of bridge. With infinite complacency the members of this truncated family went to and fro over their little world about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their insularity from affairs of any external psyche. Playing cards might be thought of as doing the same as they are passed around the table. Neither the child nor her mother gave a thought to the older superstitions of strangers as a source of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss them as barbaric or outmoded. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most mothers fancied there might be men of mildly divergent proclivities, perhaps married nonetheless and ready to welcome conversation on the subjects of horticulture or interior furnishings. Yet across a gulf no wider than the thickness of a partition wall, a mind that is to our minds as ours are to those of purest angels, an intellect vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this child with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew its plans against her. And in the middling years of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.

    The town of Ramsdale, I scarcely need remind the reader, sits in comfortably in the shoulder of New England, and the influx of populace it receives from its mother Boston is more than enough to conceal within it a multitude of transient strangers. Ramsdale must be, if the town libraries are to be believed, one of the fastest changing towns in its corner of America’s United States. The fact that its inhabitants fluctuate in number and character from week to week makes it only a more alluring foliage in which a hungry predator might choose to lie in wait and, once certain of a defenceless prey, spring.

    Yet so naïve is man, and so blinded by his own talent for urban expansion, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century, expressed any idea that paedophilic life might have developed on Earth at all, let alone in the anonymous bustle of this unstable town. Nor was it generally understood that since such life is likely to have evolved earlier in man’s ascent from his animal compatriots, it necessarily follows that it would be more adept at camouflage among its more abundant cousins and their more palatable sexual desires.

    The moral attrition that must someday erode our entire species has already gone far indeed with this predator. Its physiognomy is still largely a mystery, but we know now that even in its most violent actions its temperament barely approaches that of our coolest moments. Its conscience is much more attenuated than ours, its empathetic faculties have shrunk until they function but to create an allusion of humanity, and as its slow moods change huge depressions gather and fold into a mind capable of the most heinous depravities but incapable of self-love. That last stage of this dehumanisation, which to us is still incredibly remote, is an everyday problem for the practitioners of Paedophilia. The immediate pressure of necessity has brightened their intellects, enlarged their powers and hardened their hearts. And looking at our society with all five of their senses, sharpened to levels such as we have hardly dreamed of, they see, only streets or houses or even rooms away from them, a morning star of hope, a warmer existence, coddled by the nurturing balm of unvengeful love, with adoration in the absence of pain, with families able to hold one another without dashing themselves viciously apart atop the sea of intermingling, interacting people.

    And we men, the creatures who inhabit the normal realms of polite society, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for reproductive gratification, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds of Paedophilia. Their minds are far gone in their degeneration and our homes are still crowded with the only people who might not reject them for what they are, who have no defence against their own distorted version of amorous desire. To carry lust childward is, indeed, their only escape from destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.

  217. comparanoid says:

    Jane Austen explores Conrad’s Heart of Darkness by way of Apocalypse Now

    “I do so love the smell of Nabob in the morning,” Fanny mused brightly. “It sets the nose a tingling in the most delightful way! Don’t you think you so, Mister Kurtz?”

    Mr. Kurtz did not think so, not in the least. He set down his cup of tea, admiring the quality of the porcelain as he did so. It was as thin as an eggshell, and decorated with a most pleasing floral design. This Fanny Marlow—who had just traveled upriver on her way from God knows where—was a most vexing woman. How dare she compare his favorite tea to that of a commoner!

    “What brings you to Stratford-upon-Avon, Miss Marlow?” Mr. Kurtz asked politely. The sooner they got down to business, the sooner she could be dismissed.

    “I am here to see about my china doll collection,” Fanny replied earnestly. “They belonged to my grandmother, and I cherished them so when I was a girl.”

    Mister Kurtz looked absently out the window and watched a white swan feeding in the cattails. It would be so easy to lie to her and send her on her way, but what was the point? Someone had to tell her the truth and it might as well be him. He reached into a leather bag that sat at his feet and pulled out a bundle wrapped in fine muslin cloth, the expensive kind that could only be found on Hyde Street in London. Mr. Kurtz untied the red silk ribbon holding the bundle together and then spilled its contents on the table in front of Fanny. “Do these look familiar?” he asked.

    A silent gasp of horror escaped Fanny’s rosebud lips. Before her eyes were dozens of severed doll arms, all clutching at the sky with white futile fingers. Who could do such a monstrous deed to her beloved dolls? Before she could even speak, however, Mr. Kurtz reached into his pocket and produced the large, severed head of her favorite doll, little baby Jane. The doll’s head rolled across the table and came to rest next to the severed arms. It looked up at Fanny; baby blue eyes wide with detached bewilderment.

    Fanny’s heart raced inside her chest. This Mr. Kurtz was an evil man, she could see that now. She could see the sickness in his graying skin and yellow eyes. She could see it in the tiny drop of foamy spittle that formed in the corner of his mouth. Here was a monster of unimaginable depravity.

    “The horror! The horror!” said Mr. Kurtz distantly, as he stared down at the doll parts. “Their clothes were filthy and desperately needed laundering. And as for the stitching on their bodies, well, it had grown weak with mildew and decay. I can repair the collection for you, Miss Marlowe, but it will cost you dearly. Two pounds per doll; that’s the best I can do.”

    Fanny’s lip quivered. This was going to be much more expensive than she had been led to believe, but Mr. Kurtz was the best in the business, a God among doll makers. At last, she looked up to him and spoke. “Well, I suppose it won’t do to get my petticoats in a bunch, Mr. Kurtz. If I loved them less, I might be able to talk about it more. But I cannot. Two pounds it is, then. Good day, Sir!”

  218. sarasara3 says:

    Green Eggs and Ham à la Suzanne
    (For best results, this should be sung aloud to the tune of “Suzanne;”
    based on Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and Leonard Cohen’s lyrics from the collection of poems, Parasites from Heaven)

    Sam-I-Am takes you down to his house with a mouse
    You can hear the trains in the rain go by
    You can spend the night with a fox in a box
    And you know that he’s half crazy
    But that’s why you want to be there
    And he feeds you green eggs and ham
    That come all the way from Here or There
    And just when you mean to tell him
    That you want to leave him in a car in the dark
    Then he gets you on his wavelength
    And he lets the goat in a boat answer
    That you’ve always been in love with green eggs and ham
    And you want to travel with him (on the hood of his 3-seater car)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that he will feed you
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

    And Sammy was a moldy-meat-and-egg peddler
    When he served his goods to all the naysayers
    And he spent a long time persuading
    From his hoisted-wood fox boxes
    And when he knew for certain
    Only one man with a black hat would eat with him
    He said, “All men will be missing out then
    Until the green eggs and ham shall free them”
    But he himself was starving
    Long before he offered his year-old last meal to others
    Forsaken, almost human
    He sank beneath your denial like a stone
    And you want to travel with him (up the trunk of a yellow tree)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that you can trust him
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

    Now Sam-I-Am takes your hand
    And he leads you up a tree for a bite
    He is wearing enormous, pointy gloves and furs
    From Salvation Army counters
    And the sun pours down–well, actually not at all–
    On our persistent Mister-Try-Some
    And he shows you where to look for green sustenance
    Among the garbage and the flowers
    There are heroes in the seaweed
    There are children in the morning
    They are leaning out for Cheerios and normal fare
    And they will lean that way forever
    While Sam-I-Am holds the forsaken eggs and ham
    And you want to travel with him (in a car on top of a train on top of a boat)
    And you want to travel hungry
    And you know that you can trust him
    For you’ve tasted his perfect platter in the sea

  219. UKMelia says:

    A Clockwork Zombie…

    “What’s it going to eat then, eh?”

    We stumbled around the local mesto, trying to munchy-wunch some lovely brains from any lewdie who happened by. Without knowing why, we were screaming our guttiwuts out, running around and not caring who we did up for a bit of the old ultra-violence. Not even when the millicents showed up did we stop making that red red krovvy flow like the finest moloko you ever did see.

    There was me, used to be called Alex before the Bolshy Disease came and brought this terrible hunger out in me, and my droogs: Pete, Georgie and Dim – Dim being dimmer than ever now.

    We’ve given up peeting the old moloko with vellocet now. We crave… other things.

    You see that devotchka walking our way? Sashaying like some bolshy cow. Once it would have been a bit of the old in-out-in-out with the likes of her but not now. Oh no. Now we’re going to pop out her glazzies and glug glug glug.

    It’s real horrorshow.

  220. Squonky says:

    i carry your mind with me
    by e. e. ellison

    i carry your mind with me (i carry it in
    my mind) i AM never without it (anywhere
    you go i go, human; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing, my vile one)
    you fear
    all fate (for i AM your fate, human) i want
    all the world (for hideous you are my hate, my spite)
    and it’s you are whatever my pain has always meant
    and whatever a hole will always scream is you
    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the pit of the pit and the end of the end
    and the dark of the dark of hope for death; which grows
    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the power that’s keeping you from the stars
    i carry your mind (i carry it in my mind)

  221. Jarmyn says:

    Update to #49, with apologies.

    The Bible as Told by God in the Style of Ice Cube (ca. Straight Outta Compton):

    Old Testament: “Fuck all y’all.”

    New Testament: “Naw, blood, we cool.”

  222. harryhood says:

    The Tragedy of Jay Gatsby

    I sit, brooding on this unbeknownst world,
    Imag’ning Gatsby’s wondrous thought on first noticing
    The shining emerald that doth mark, each night,
    For all captains o’ the sound, the farthest reaching point
    Of Daisy’s dock. Who hath come so far in
    His travels, and so close to his dreams,
    To ever fathom but hold them? He knew not
    Of their passing, of the irretrievable hope,
    Lost in the vast expanse beyond the city,
    O’er the rolling hills, under the starry blanket
    Of night’s grasp. Gatsby held faith i’the green light,
    The orgastic future that doth ebb away
    Ever as quickly as th’eternal cycle o’the globe
    Round the sun. And with each phase o’the moon we believe
    That which eludes us, be only just out of reach,
    Until one fine morning —- So we persist,
    Like sails ‘gainst the wind, fighting in distress,
    Beat back endlessly in time, unable to progress.