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Archive for the ‘short stories’ Category

Alice - front
This was one I could not leave in the store. Had to buy!
“Alice in Pop-up Wonderland” by Jotto Seibold.
An extremely funy and detailed story of Alice in Wonderland in pop-up version with all 3D eyecandy and hidden objects you can dream of.
More sample after the break or directly on flickr.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
In 1988 the canadian band Nomeansno released a 12” EP titled “The Day Everything Became Nothing”. The B-side features two songs that run one into another nearly smoothly. “Brother Rat” is a song about brothers going out together ending in one knifing the other. “What Slayde Says” follows along the same line, where Slayde represents the brother all vile an evil as the lucid lyrics very Nomeansno-ishly mention.

I’ll never listen to what Slayde says
Slayde’s always talking, and it’s rarely nice
He’s always whispering his poisonous advice
He is secretive, ruthless and cold
He mentions just enough and leaves the rest untold
He said, “Don’t ever risk an open attack, just smile
Into their faces and then stab them in the back”

This set me off on a writing frenzy, resulting in the following short story.

§ § § § §

The last time he did not really enjoy it, but he did not dare tell him that. After all it was “him” and everyone knew you had to be careful around him. At least if you intended to be able to enjoy anything at all and still have a life to enjoy things in.

It all started that evening when he slammed into a guy while he staggered out of a bar. His first impression was that he ran into a kind of hobo. His second impression was that this then must be an extremely wealthy hobo with his Louis Vuitton suitcase and Bommel shoes. His third impression however instilled a deep fear in him. The eyes bore inside him, into his soul, staring intently not showing any sign of blinking nor averting. There was not even the smallest grain of emotion in these eyes.

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a painful reminder

something green and leafy
It was the third time that week that he passed by the place. The first time he did not recognise it, at least not consciously. However, something must have drawn his attention to the spot as the second time he passed by he was pretty sure he could see it. The third time there was no doubt. Maybe the way the streetlights illuminated the spot highlighted it with all its details. Maybe he just finally recognised every aspect of it.

There is was, outlined in the graffiti and decay of the wall. A door, invitingly open. A smell of fresh indoor air penetrated the heavy evening air which was laden with the smell of Hortensia and the damp smell of rain on hot asphalt. He knew he would enter the door. He was sure he had to enter the door. Even though a part of his brain tried to tell him that this was a solid wall. Something quite impenetrable, solid brick with only a decayed piece of land behind it.

So he entered. And as a matter of fact the first thing he noticed was a decayed piece of land. He was standing there among weed and thistles. For a second. Then his vision slightly blurred like everything went out of focus for a millisecond. When he blinked his eyes the focus was back but now he felt like seeing two scenes overlayed on top of each other. At his feet were indeed thistles, but also a rug. And he could hear the blackbird sing in the three a few yards away while at the same time he heard the rustling and crackling of a stove.

He focussed on the stove which became more real by the minute and then he started to notice activity in the house. A young woman in modern day clothing was walking around while chatting to someone invisible at the back of the house. Probably in an other room. The original eeriness and itchy feeling faded away as he knew her name and who she was. He also now heard the person in the back call him by his name. His real name. The one never uttered by a fellow human before that day. And he knew.

It had been a long time and it all had to come back to him. He felt it twitching and crawling at the back of his head. Slowly creeping onto him. First trickling in little droplets, then a full avalanche that nearly drowned him. Suddenly a sob, some snickering. The young woman looked upon him and asked him ‘is it really you? Why did you have to come now?’ she pleaded him. And he knew there was little he could say for it was not his choice to point them towards their destiny. He was just a tool, a presentation, a metaphor of life.

When he turned around to take in the interior of the house he stared at a brick wall, covered in dirt and weeds. There was no house. He turned back and did only see a stretch of wilderness, which was exactly what he expected there. While taking in the view, he grabbed the doorknob behind him and walked backwards out of the garden. When he was back on the street he closed the door and forgot.

§ § § § §

It was the second time that week that he passed by the place. The first time he did not recognise it, at least not consciously. However, something must have drawn his attention to the spot. The second time there was no doubt. Maybe the way the streetlights illuminated the spot highlighted it with all its details. Maybe he just finally recognised every aspect of it.

There is was, outlined in the graffiti and decay of the wall. A door, invitingly open. A smell of fresh indoor air penetrated the heavy evening air which was laden with the smell of Hortensia and the damp smell of rain on hot asphalt. He knew he would enter the door. He was sure he had to enter the door. Even though a part of his brain tried to tell him that there was only a decayed piece of land behind it.

So he entered. His vision slightly blurred like everything went out of focus for a millisecond. When he blinked his eyes the focus was back but now he felt like seeing two scenes overlayed on top of each other. At his feet were some thistles, but also a rug. And he could hear the rustling and crackling of a stove.

He told the girl at the stove ‘here I am, I came here’. She turned to him with a pleading face and asked him ‘is it really you? Why did you have to come now?’ And he knew then and there that it was not upon him to decide. He could do some things but the ultimate decision was not his.

He turned around and walked out of the door, carefully closing it behind him when he was back on the street. He smelled the Hortensia and the wetness of the street and forgot.

§ § § § §

He entered the street and walked halfway untill he passed by the place. He slightly tilted his head untill the streetlights illuminated the spot highlighted it with all its details. Recognising every aspect of it he hummed a tune of satisfaction.

There is was, outlined in the graffiti and decay of the wall. A door, invitingly open. A smell of fresh indoor air penetrated the heavy evening air which was laden with the smell of Hortensia and the damp smell of rain on hot asphalt. Here it was. Under a layer of decayed land.

He entered. His vision slightly blurred like everything went out of focus for a millisecond. When he blinked his eyes the focus was back. At his feet a rug, he could hear the rustling and crackling of a stove nearby.

He told the girl at the stove ‘here I am, I came here’. She turned to him with a pleading face and asked him ‘is it really you? Why did you have to come now?’ And he knew then and there that it was his decision now. This was what he had been waiting for all this time. They should not have done this to him. They probably never realised it would not end, it would only fade away in time. every visit of him would rub off a little of the story and make it more vague.

But the memories would remain. They would be buried deeper and deeper every time and a greater distance would come between him and the events. But it would not wear off. Burning, hanging and burying a man tree times in a row tends to stick to you. And the way they did it and how they did it had insured that he would come back. Of course it was never their intention. But they were ignorant, simple folk who should have stayed out of the matter.

He looked hard at them, trying to erase them from his memory and at the same time making sure he would never forget them so he could always find them back to remind them. Then he turned around and walked out of the door, carefully closing it behind him when he was back on the street. He smelled the Hortensia and the wetness of the street but could not forget.

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rabbid luck

inverse selected rabbit
He lay there on his belly on the floor. Nose to nose with his rabbit while scratching its furry cheeks and under its chin. The rabbit was grinding it’s teeth with contentment as rabbits tend to do when they’re happy, like a cat would purr. It was then that the rabbit spoke to him. It did not open it’s mouth, nor did it utter any audible words. But it clearly spoke to him and it addressed him by his name.

‘You took good care of me’, it said. ‘That is something to be rewarded for.’ ‘You surely must wish for something very profoundly?’ it asked him while looking deep into his eyes. That unsettled him because the rabbit normally avoided looking into his gaze. He knew this was perfectly normal behaviour for a rabbit since in the animal world eye contact is the ultimate insult. It basically tells the other animal it’s about to die or going to be destroyed, neither of which he wanted to bring upon his beloved rabbit.

‘I know’, it told him, ‘you feel no desire to hurt me and you radiate a feeling of deep care about me’. ‘I sense this, like any animal senses good and bad. But one thing you must understand!’ It blinked it’s eyes, and suddenly sat upright tilting it’s head slightly to the left, thereby staring into his eye intensely. ‘Good and bad are only so much as concepts to an animal’ it told him. ‘They occupy the spot of our brain that we use for self-preservation and as a result we have no moral meaning to them. We animals will not consider something evil when it will feed, nor something good when it will hurt.’

‘I understand’ he said to the rabbit, ‘cats are really great at that game. They radiate an aura of opportunism about them and will take anything from anybody, as long as they can profit of it.’

‘Indeed cats are master of opportunity’ said the rabbit, ‘but then realise we rabbits are the masters of deceit!’ ‘We may look al furry, shaky and harmless but we will mercilessly kill any concurrents in the nest and viciously fight off any danger when there is no more running. But most of all, we do not know the concept of remorse! It is or it is not and there is no other way around. We do not do morality like you humans do.’

‘That being said’ the rabbit told him, ‘I have a special for you since today is the day I can do more. Today you may ask me to fulfill your most profound wish.’ ‘But …how?’ he asked the rabbit. ‘How and why does not matter’ the rabbit said and it nudged him with its nose. ‘Now what shall it be?’ it asked him.

‘I want to be happy for the rest of my life’ he told the rabbit. ‘So it will be then, if that’s your wish’ it told him. And at that same moment he felt intensely happy. A warm silky feeling crawling under his skin, a flow of intense heat warming his inside and a feeling of relief overwhelmed him. And it was then that he died.

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