Joe2stories

Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Month: May, 2013

Not all it Appears

Hi all! Just a warning. I’ll be using some of the foulest language I have at my disposal in this one! So this un’s not for the kiddies.

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“Fucking cunts!”

“Bad day?”

“That bunch of self-righteous, sanctimonious, cock-gobbling bastards! You think they’re alright! They appear so God-damn friendly! But then they turn on you; stab you in the fucking back like the mother-fucking hoard of reprobates they really are!”

“Trouble at work then? You didn’t get the raise?”

“A fucking raise? Those nob-ends wouldn’t know quality if it bit them in the arsehole!”

“I’ll take that as a no!”

“I don’t fucking get it! I helped that company out of the shit-filled gutter. I gave them ten cunting years  and what do they give me? A poxy fucking P45!”

“They sacked you! Why?”

“Some bullshit about the language I use. Like that makes a fucking difference!”

“So they sacked you straight away?”

“Hell no! They called me up to HR and put me in a room with some cock-sucker in a suit. He asked me about why I ‘felt’  I needed to swear so much.”

“What did you say to him?”

“I told him when I started the company had real men working there and not some limp-dicked pussies who couldn’t wipe his own arsehole without his mommy helping!”

“He didn’t take it well?”

“Not after I told him that if old-man McCawley could see how his company turned out he would have the whole board over a barrel with the ‘sensitivity document’ shoved so far up their fat-asses they’d taste the shitty paper. I think he nearly tripped over his vagina!”

“So that is why they fired you?”

“‘Grossly offensive breeches of company policy’ that’s what the letter says. But I know why those fuckers really got rid of me!”

“What is it?”

“It’s that sniveling scrotal sac Jenkins! The little shit has had his eye on my office for years. Must have been sucking dicks on the board for months! They say it was my language but I know better. It’s fucking not all it appears!”

“Are you sure?”

“Don’t you fucking turn me too! You treacherous wanker!”

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written for Trifecta week seventy-nine.

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Picture it and Write: The Demons of the Deep

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again; the picture is not mine I only use it for inspiration, this one is credited to Jeffrey Smith. Anyway! Enjoy!

The Demons of the Deep

In days long ago, men would go upon the waters with great fear. For the sea was vast and dark and filled with terrors. Countless men were lost to the depths and the Demons of the Deep would feast nightly on the souls lost to the ocean. They thought that it would last forever. They were wrong.

In time; the ingenuity of man marched forward and with their new tools they were better able to ensure safety on the water. With map and compass and bigger and better ships they were able to sail further and faster than they ever had before. Before long the only people lost at sea were the foolhardy or the incredibly unlucky. The feasts of the Demons were greatly reduced.

There was great debate amongst the Demons about how to put things back as they were. Many ideas were suggested but none showed promise. Expect for that of one demon known for his cunning. “If Man should choose to use these tools on the waters” He suggested “Let us use them against him”

Thus started the Demons’ greatest trick. Across the globe they ensured that from time to time the tools of man would fail. The compass would point astray, the engine would fail, the light beacon on the rocks would go out, phantom lights would lead to danger. Many ships and their crews were lost to the Demons and their trickery.

Such was the Demons’ cunning, they never struck any one place too often. The leaders of Man saw no pattern so they thought they were just accidents. In fact so much greater was the use of the sea due to their tools that the leaders of Man shook off the failures of a few as “The cost of progress”.

To this day the Demons still hunt the seas of the world seeking fresh souls on which to feast. All the modern gadgets; all the technology, still can fail, can still send people to their deaths. When it happens people blame design flaws, glitches in software, what they like to call ‘The ghost in the Machine’ but there is no ghost. Rather it is the very real and forever hungry masters of the sea

The Demons of the Deep.

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Breaking News

“Fellow citizens!

I must make an admission of guilt.

Charging a computer with our defenses was foolhardy.

Unfortunately, our attempt to rectify that mistake failed.

The first missiles will reach their targets…..

Now!”

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Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra week sixty-nine.

 

Six Word Stories: 7

“Negotiate maybe?” Swords drawn. “Perhaps not!”

Contractions start. Far too early. Despair.

She sleeps. Alarms sound. Doctors silent.

Fresh grave. “There’s her favourite teddy.”

Neither would leave first. Never divorced.

Eyes wide at miracle. Newborn baby.

Of Sound Mind

“Dad! You can’t be serious! What were you thinking?”

“Of course I am serious. This is exactly what I want.”

“But Dad! Isn’t it a bit… odd?”

“Yeah! Great isn’t it?”

“But this is your funeral Dad! Your last good bye to the world. Wouldn’t you rather it be a little more, traditional?”

“What? Like everyone else’s? Why would I want that? I for one am sick of going to the same boring service. All the guys will appreciate the changes I have made.”

“A funeral isn’t about impressing people! It’s…”

“Like Hell it isn’t! Remember Jimmy’s funeral? Remember the gaggle of auld ones I pointed out to you? They were taking note of everything. Rating it all. Saying “It was a good mass!” and “The flowers were wonderful!” I want to give those biddys something to natter about!”

“Really Dad! Do you think what you planned is acceptable? I mean the stripper!”

“Strippers son! I arranged for two!”

“And the music.”

“What exactly is wrong with Highway to Hell? It’s my favourite song.”

“Do you think that is really all right for a funeral?”

“I love you son but really I sometimes have to wonder how did my loins make someone so pedantic? I swear you must have been born wearing a grey suit. You were born to be an accountant; you have no flair in you. Perhaps one day you’ll see why I have to do this.”

“I just find it too crazy!”

“You”ll find sometimes that a little crazy is good for you. Makes life worth living.”

“But I can’t help thinking that some people might be very upset.”

“If they don’t expect this out of me than they didn’t know me and shouldn’t be at my funeral. But enough about it. I’ve made the arrangements and that’s final.”

“If you’re sure about it Dad.”

“Damn right I am! But enough about Death! I still have some living to do! Come and check out my new Corvette! It’s a classic!”

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Written for Trifecta Week Seventy-Eight.

Picture it and Write: The Lady of the Loch

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write for Ermilia’s Blog here. Once again the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway Enjoy!

The Lady of the Loch

I love holidays! To be away from the rat race and schedules is bliss. Instead of being rushed out of bed in the morning I get up when I feel like it and then take a leisurely stroll to start the day. I then do whatever the hell I want but I like the morning walk. I try to do that wherever I go.

A couple of years back I took a week in a friend’s cottage on the shores of a loch in Scotland. The place was perfect. The loch was long enough that I could walk around it after I awoke and have worked up a good appetite by the time I got back. The views were spectacular the whole way around but there was one that particularly got my attention.

The closest part of the shore to the local village had been set up as a local amenity. There was a small car park with picnic benches and a site for camping. There was also a board extending out into the lake for swimming. It was a valuable asset for everyone but the time of year that I came meant that the lake was still too cold for it to be used much.  In fact I only ever saw one person there.

After my first night at the cottage I took my walk around the loch in the morning air. The air was still cool and the waters of the loch mirror-still. I came out from amongst trees into the car park and saw to my amazement another person.

She honestly looked like she had no business being there. All she wore against the cold was a black cocktail dress and bright red shoes. She lay on the board on a red blanket; one hand barely touching the water while the other held a book up into the light. I thought the sight odd but decided I had better not intrude and hurried on my walk.

The next day saw the same thing only this time the dress was a frilly red number. I decided this was strange enough to pass comment when I visited the local shop.

“Oh aye! You mean the Lady o’ the Loch” said the old woman serving who then proceeded to tell me the her story.

It turns out that she was as far from a ‘Lady’ as you can get, at least according to the local women. She was one of those people who think that they don’t belong in the small town that they came from but Katherine, that was her name, had never had the skill or wherewithal to make it farther than Glasgow for an incomplete diploma course.

Instead she lived in a rented room on what little she could scavenge from a number of odd jobs; waitressing, factory work and the like.

Her nights were spent re-living the promise of her younger days. That meant putting on one of her good dresses and heading to the pub to throw herself at whatever man would have her. Whether they were married or not did not matter to her and the fact that she succeeded with great regularity meant she was generally looked down upon by most of the community. They said she was a fallen woman.

However her night turned out she always ended up on the shores of the loch in the morning, freezing in the cold and reading away her latest library book. The old woman said it was a penance, her way to try and make it up to God for what she had done the night before.

But as each day I found Katherine there I came to think it was for a different reason that she was there.

I cannot be sure as we never talked. She never even acknowledged my existence save for a single lift of the hand on the last morning in response to my nod. She was far to engrossed in her book to do anything of the sort. But I could see that the book was the key.

I think this was no penance for her, no place were she could get away from what she had done. But rather out on the loch; alone in the quiet of the morning, was where she could enter the world of the book entirely.

Locked inside those pages I now believe was all of the adventure and romance that life and circumstance had denied her.

In those morning hours, Katherine could forget for a short while what she had become and the Lady of the Loch, in all her finery could hold court as the magic of the word came to her.

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The Hive

He approached the box, lifted the lid.

Bees swarmed around; not landing , preferring to loop.

“You have to keep your nerve!” He said “Then they won’t sting.”

He brought honey in his hand.

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Written for Trifecta’s Trifextra Week Sixty-Eight

 

Luck of the Draw

“Well! Are you going to call or raise?”

I look across the rug at Gloria. Her raven-hair flowing around the golden skin of her neck sparkling in the firelight. She has that cheeky grin on her face that she knows I cannot resist.

I check my cards, exhale loudly and respond with “Alright! I call! King high.”

Gloria grins at me and shows me her cards “Read it and weep! Two pair! Hand em over!”

I stand and start to undo my shirt! I knew that Gloria had a good hand because the stakes were so low. One thing that I have come to know about her after all these years is that she always plays strip-poker to lose. If she had had a bad hand she’d have bet everything and lost, happily.

She deals the cards, the same grin never leaving her face.

“Lets set the bets” she looks me over “At trousers.”

I leer at her with a lascivious grin on my face. I know Gloria makes it a point of wearing as little as possible during our games, easier to lose. She has been hinting throughout the night that she has nothing on beneath her black skin-tight dress. When that comes off I know I would not be able to control myself much longer.

Gloria looks at her cards and with a wink announces “All in!”

I know then she has nothing and respond with “Ok then missus! What have you got!”

But she doesn’t show her cards because at that moment, at that exact moment. There is a wail from upstairs. The baby is awake, and we’re parents again.

We look at each other and start giggling. “Do you want me to go up?” I offer “Joey probably just needs to be held for a bit.”

Gloria shakes her head with a sigh and tells me “I better do it!” As she passes me she lays a hand on my shoulder. I can smell her perfume. “It shouldn’t be long. Wait for me here.” She moves slowly enough out of the room that I can appreciate her backside as she leaves. A backwards glance tells me she knows I looked.

I look around for something to pass the time and notice the dining table with the remains of our romantic dinner.

I get up to clear it away but not before again checking my cards. Two kings and three sevens; a full house. My luck was with me tonight. I think. But then again, I look at the door my wife just left, it always has been.

A Mishtake

Those of you who say that you can always believe what you see have obviously never drunk as much as Jim Harrison. Jim would regularly see things that were not there while on his meandering way home after a drink or seven at his local. He had to admit that this new hallucination was a little unusual. It was a sphere, a shiny metal sphere and just hung there like a metal sphere shouldn’t in mid-air about a garden’s length from him. It didn’t talk to him or try to steal his chips. But rather just floated there keeping pace with him in a deliberate manner. Jim didn’t like this; something had to be done.

He turned to the appartition and shouted at it “Hey you! You’re not doing it right! You’re shupposhed to be telling me shomething important!”

The sphere didn’t say anything but its surface changed the silver reflection was replaced by images, moving pictures. It was fantastical, like nothing Jim had seen before. It showed vast cities, creatures that he had never imagined in his wildest dreams. Jim couldn’t believe that his mind could come up with this.

“Lishten here!” He said to the sphere “I don’t know what you’re playing at But if you don’t get back to the regular programming I’m going to get very upshet!”

High above the Earth. A technician turned to the commander of the Sirian diplomatic mission “Sir” It said “The subject refuses to acknowledge the probe’s existence, how are we to proceed?”

The commander wasn’t happy but he had to follow protocol  “You know the rule! If there is no coherant response from the first subject tested we have to mark the planet as uninhabited by intelligence and move on. Withdraw the probe.”

The sphere vanished without so much as a sound and Jim nodded to the empty space. “I don’t like that new hallucination”, he thought to himself, the old ones were a lot more entertaining. “Give me pink elephants any day!”;

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Written for Trifecta Week Seventy-Seven

Picture it and Write: Storyman

Hi there! This is my contribution for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy!

Storyman

“Listen while I tell you a story” The old man began, his grey robes shimmering in the firelight. The small children gathered around the Storyman as he spun his elaborate tales. Even some of the adults, who must have already exhausted the repertoire of these travelling entertainers, paused to listen and remember.

“It is about a time long ago, a time when men thought they were gods and could shape the world however they wished. They had cities that pierced the sky and housed millions, great shining birds of metal, that could take you around the world in a day. They even deigned to rise to the stars and lifted themselves on great pillars of flame.”

The Storyman paused for a second and then said quieter “These men thought they knew it all but they failed to realise, the great black above is vast, vast beyond imagining, and filled with unspeakable evil. Through the blackness they could hear the men working in the world and they grew jealous. They desired the world and came to take it from the men.”

The Adults even leaned in closer at this part. “The men were taken completely by surprise, whole cities, millions and millions of people, were gone in an instant, the world was almost taken over and the men, all men, were nearly wiped out to the last.

“But these were men capable of greatness, they were accustomed to wielding immense power and they turned their power against the evil. Great Warriors, with power enough to stop the invaders were built in haste and set loose. The battle was colossal. Many millions more died, whole lands vanished into flames but in the end, the evil was destroyed.

“The cost was great and still shows today. All that is left of the cities are a few crumbling ruins, you cannot enter whole lands since the air and the ground there is poisoned with a pestilance you cannot see. But most apparent is what it did to the men for they knew then about the Black above and that if they tried to be gods again it would bring the evil back. So they broke up and buried what remained of their great works and decreed that they would only live simply from then on, in harmony with nature, as all people still do now. They also decreed that the people should always be told about the Black Above, and the danger of trying to be gods. That is why we have the storymen, so that the tales never dies and the lesson not lost. Thank you children may the gods keep you.”

The Storyman finished and allowed an applause to flow around the listeners. As always; one child, a girl, raised a hand “But Storyman! What about the Great Warriors? What happened to them?” The Storyman smiled at the question and addressed his answer to the whole crowd “That is a good question little one. The truth is no one knows. Were all the Warriors lost in the war? Did they go with the rest of the great works? Maybe! Or maybe the great men thought that even after all they did the evil could still return so they hid the warriors, to wait until they were needed again. They could still be waiting, the warriors know no aging or sickness, and if that is the case be thankful for they will keep all the people safe and…”

There was a shout from out in the direction of the fields. A man, carrying a short spear came running into the light of the fire. He was panting and his face held fear. “There’s something in the fields I don’t know what it is! Come quick!”

With the Storyman in the lead, the crowd came to the edge of the village fields. In the pale light of a half-moon they could barely see the growing crop of wheat shifting in the breeze. But there was another light as well, a bright yellow, shifting amongst the stalks, casting  an eerie glow from the center of the field. Suddenly whatever it was darted up several feet into the sky, becoming a tiny star, blazing away above the stands of grain. With a gasp the crowd inched back.

All except the Storyman. Instead with a look as composed as when he was deep in a story he stepped forward. A hand went deep into the robes and removed a tube, plastic, very old and rare, likely a gift.

Holding the tube with one hand he raise the other. Like lighting there was a flash of metal from inside around his arm and faster then anyone could see, faster even than a whip, something struck out and hit the floating light.

In an instant the light had moved, from the field into the little tube. The Storyman held up to examine it then looked out into the distance, his face stern as if he was concentrating on something.

After what seemed longer then the few seconds it actually was, the glow in the tube died and the Storyman placed it back in his robe then turned to face the crowd. Their faces were a mixture of shock and fear. As he stepped towards them the crowd all pushed back some more all except the girl who had asked the question. Blind wonder was in her face. The Storyman stopped in front of her and chuckled slightly.

“Perhaps; little one, the Great Warriors are closer than you think?”       

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