Vivian Anschauen spends an entirely enormous amount of her life waiting.  Waiting for people.  Waiting for things.  Waiting to see.  If our body parts were sized proportionally to the time we spend on various activities, and if our left big toes represented time we spend waiting, then Vivian’s left big toe would be down the street, around the corner, and out of sight. 

Waiting for news, waiting for orders.

In fact, Vivian sits in a waiting room right now.  This particular waiting room is at a hospital emergency facility on Signus II, a water world orbiting a very distant, very hot sun.  Signus II waits, also.  Waits for its moons to create tides.  Waits to inch closer to its star as its elliptical orbit contracts, then farther away as it recedes.  And, ultimately, the planet is waiting to die.  The sun will cool, swell into a giant, and envelope it.  One day, that star will eat this planet whole.

Meanwhile, the planet waits, and Vivian waits along with it.  She is happy.  This is peaceful.

"Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really.

"How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cannot conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty.

And yet it all seems limitless..."

- Paul Bowles

reading

You buy them books, and what do they do? They eat the paper!

listening

Forget about your seat -- it's the beat.

viewing

Television will make you dumb. C'mon and get stupid!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Short Story: The Wait

Vivian Anschauen spends an entirely enormous amount of her life waiting.  Waiting for people.  Waiting for things.  Waiting to see.  If our body parts were sized proportionally to the time we spend on various activities, and if our left big toes represented time we spend waiting, then Vivian’s left big toe would be down the street, around the corner, and out of sight. 

Waiting for news, waiting for orders.

In fact, Vivian sits in a waiting room right now.  This particular waiting room is at a hospital emergency facility on Signus II, a water world orbiting a very distant, very hot sun.  Signus II waits, also.  Waits for its moons to create tides.  Waits to inch closer to its star as its elliptical orbit contracts, then farther away as it recedes.  And, ultimately, the planet is waiting to die.  The sun will cool, swell into a giant, and envelope it.  One day, that star will eat this planet whole.

Meanwhile, the planet waits, and Vivian waits along with it.  She is happy.  This is peaceful.

more...

posted on 07/09 • fiction • (2249) commentspermalink

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Short Story: Abram and Isa

Before Isa was even born, Abram—like all fathers, probably—began often to wonder what he would be like when he grew up.  His mind tended to gloss over the early developmental years of his son’s life, skipping infancy and toddler-hood and getting right into the formative years of childhood.  Not that those years weren’t important.  They just didn’t interest his imagination. 

He knew that his baby boy would spend a lot of time in a nursery, that he would make strange sounds, that eventually his babbling would become attempts at sentences, that he would teeter around on unsteady legs.  He knew that his infant son would need attention and affection and all the things a baby needs.  But his role in that time, he knew, was at a much lower level.  Even then, his child yet unborn, Abram felt a visceral, biological imperative to care for and protect what he felt deeply to be a part of himself.  Baby needs, baby needs.

But that’s just a baby.  At a high level (he remembers these thoughts with some embarrassment), Abram sometimes regarded his own child as a lump of mewling flesh that ate, shit, cried, and did little else.  This was an “it,” not a “he,” not Isa.  He remembers resentment that on occasion overpowered his love even though his own essential need to care for his child would never wane.

When Isa began to talk, though, and learn to read and to interact with the world, what would he be like?  This is what Abram wanted to know.  Would his son be a smart child or a dim one, Abram wondered.  Would he be kind?  Cruel?

Abram—like most fathers, probably—came to find out.

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posted on 03/31 • fiction • (9145) commentspermalink

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Short Story: Seihr Sketch

This is a “character sketch” of an NPC faction in a game I’m currently designing.  Since I’ve been doing quite a lot of game design lately, and I’m still embroiled in an ongoing home improvement project as well, I haven’t had much free time to either write or explore new music.  This sketch turned out fairly well, though, and it holds up under “five elements of fiction” style scrutiny, so…what the hell!  Here it is, please enjoy.

* * * * *

  It was a day like any other when Jurgi was called to the council chamber, the moons of Sirius IV hanging over the horizon, watchful as ever while he rode the lift to the airborne Seihr Sky Temple.  Jurgi was young, especially as Seihr go, only having served for a half dozen years, and council summons still made him nervous.  A downward-traveling lift zipped past, the figure inside wearing a cloak like Jurgi’s, another low-ranking Seihr dispatched on an errand.  Jurgi wondered what kind of mission he was about to be sent out on.  The lift darkened for a moment before breaking through the clouds, and Jurgi took a deep breath and let the bright, blue sun of his home world warm him before arriving at the temple.

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posted on 02/16 • fiction • (62555) commentspermalink

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Short Story: SK8R

Trudge slumped idly on the skull of the giant, the sandstorm fading away over the western horizon behind him. His deck – what little of it he managed to hold onto – lay in ruins at his feet. He was alone. He was always alone, though, when he stopped to really think about it. But the company of others – friends, strangers, lovers—kept him from thinking about it, kept him from being lonely.

He was lonely.

He had seen Aresian sandstorms before, but none like the one that had just taken his arm.

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posted on 08/12 • fiction • (1805) commentspermalink

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Short Story: Joachim

A little, uh, contemporary fiction for you guys…

My name’s Joachim and I work at the Subway at the mall. I make sandwiches. It’s pretty good.

So okay when I was at work this lady comes up and asks for my six inch special of the day, which is kind of to my mind you know a little dirty-sounding but anyway it was Friday so that means she wanted a tuna fish salad sandwich. Some people say they want “my” coldcut combo and it is confusing to me because it is not my sandwich, it is just a sandwich, right? When you come and say to me to “give me your six inch special” it makes me wonder if I am to take off my pants which I will not do at work.

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posted on 08/04 • fiction • (6023) commentspermalink

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Short Story: Golem

A little steampunk/fantasy action for you guys…hope you enjoy.

It has been three weeks since the golem came to live at the Friedman house, and Greta Friedman still isn’t sure she likes it. In fact, she’s sure she doesn’t like it. “Him,” her husband Georg had insisted. “His name is Gob and he’s very nice and he’s here to stay, so you don’t want to offend him by using non-gender-specific pronouns, dear.”

Greta wrings her hands and frets as Gob putters, clangs, and clatters about the living room. Georg had brought the golem home one night as a gift to his wife, who complained that the task of maintaining their suburban home was interfering with her part-time work as a cosmetics consultant. Now Gob is the problem – he makes so much noise that she has twice had to postpone her weekly sales meetings until a more suitable venue could be found.

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posted on 07/23 • fiction • (1004) commentspermalink

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