Prose/Shorts

As of Yet, Untitled

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This is a preview of something I’ve been working on for a while. It’s going to be a story of some length, probably a novella. I’m just curious as to how the writing style will be received. Let me know what you think, and keep in mind, this is a bit lengthy. The plot will eventually turn into a sci-fi story…

Meredith was sitting by herself in a large room with a cup of un-fizzy root beer and a deflated bag of off-brand potato chips. She was wearing a red t-shirt and black blue jeans. (An internal debate raged for some period of seconds in the author’s head on whether the word “blue” should be included; the decision was reached after the brain cells who loved spontaneity, smart cars, and abstract art defeated the ones who valued rationality.) The girl was sitting on a couch, and the matching floral pattern that covered the floor must have caused nightmares in many small children, but Meredith didn’t care about floral patterns or small children right now. The TV was blaring in the other room, but she didn’t really notice that either. All she paid attention to was the light bulb hanging from the ceiling. A fly eyed the root beer with considerable envy.

She watched the light bulb and expected something great to happen. Why she expected this, she didn’t really know; she just liked the shape. The lightbulb was one of the new curly contraptions that the government had recently promoted on account of the old round ones being “too boring.” Some people are entertained very easily, and politicians love those people.

She sat on the couch and watched the lightbulb and sipped her root beer. The question briefly crossed her mind as to why the drink had a slight insect-y crunch to it, but she didn’t look down to find out. She was mesmerized by the bright spirals, and she imagined herself sliding down a glowing slide with lots of liquid mercury splashing around her as she descended. Root beer fountains surrounded the slide and potato chips comprised the skies. Large, headless flies buzzed around her head as she landed on a huge carpet of ’80s-styled flowers. She was dreaming.

This rest of this story has nothing to do with Meredith, liquid mercury, or lightbulbs. In fact, this short story has nothing to do with the rest of the story. If you are one to be entertained by curly lightbulbs, liquid mercury, or floral patterns, you may be entertained by the rest of this story. If not, you should read it anyway. Maybe you’ll learn something about everyone else.

~~

The documents that lived on Kenneth’s computer were all very bland ones. All the compatible files would sit in their directories and talk to each other about the desktop wallpaper. (As every geek knows, that’s a computer file’s equivalent of talking about the weather.) Invariably, the conversation would go something like this:

History_Paper1: “That’s nice collection of blue pixels, isn’t it?”

History_Revised: Indeed, a most fine compilation.

“I wonder what it is.”

“I would imagine it’s something magnificent.”

At some point, a know-it-all photo-editing or encyclopedia program would butt in on the conversation and start talking about file compression and fancy internet stuff, then Kenneth would realize that the old file wasn’t needed anymore, and the trash bin would claim another victim.

Kenneth Anderson was a manager at a local barbecue restaurant in a very small town. It wasn’t an exciting job, although every once in a while somebody would choke on a bone and file a complaint. Sometimes, on rare occasions, the leaky faucet in the back would start dripping faster than normal. Then the plumber would have to be called. That was a change in routine, too.

The most exciting thing, as far as Kenneth could remember, was when Al let his apron fall in the oven. The greasy fringe ignited brilliantly, and Al went running through the kitchen, yelling about the Creator and everlasting punishment. The apron smoked so badly that the smoke alarm went off and half the town fire department (which consisted of two pickup trucks, one tractor, and a bicycle) showed up. The fire chief lectured Al on the dangers of men wearing aprons, and Kenneth had to fill out a few forms saying that he wouldn’t hold anyone responsible for anything and that the company would pay for the firemen’s time.

After the excitement from that event died down, life settled back into its well-worn path. The mailman continued to drop the mail in paper box, and the paper delivery boy kept throwing the newspapers into the driveway.

“Well George, I think the days are getting longer.”

The little bulldog watched Kenneth in some manner of anticipation, for dinner time was coming up pretty soon, and Kenneth had a bag of barbecue scraps in his hand.

“Nothing exciting happened today,” Kenneth continued, “I unlocked the building and gave Jeffery yesterday’s meat.” (Jeffery was a homeless man whose history nobody really knew. He showed up in town one day with a banjo sporting two broken strings, an old army rucksack containing seventeen potatoes, and a cat that had only three legs.)

“Then I mixed the sauce, turned down the smoker, filled the….” His voiced droned on into the seemingly interested ears of George, and the faithful little dog thought about food.

They grew old and died of almost completely natural causes, and the restaurant was bulldozed to create a skyscraper that served 72 different types of waffles. Waffles were a very sought after commodity in those days.

~~

Not far away, but quite a long time later, in an equally quaint (quaint is a polite way of saying small and uninteresting) little town, a new guy had walked into Wilson’s Cafe. Wilson’s was one of those places that’s been around since the beginning of time. When God created Adam and Eve and finished the business with the snake, He came on over to what would eventually be Cornersville in Southern Virginia and made Horace J. Wilson Sr.

Mr. Wilson, seeing the need for a cafe, started a small venison stand. Native Americans frequented his restaurant, and everyone exchanged recipes and told fish tales. It is usually taught that the Indians supplied Plymouth Rock with a lot of the food for the first Thanksgiving dinner, but what isn’t commonly known is that the tribe had Wilson’s cater the meal. At risk of starting a cliché mob, Wilson’s Diner really is older than the hills.

But anyway, a new guy walked in. For an old restaurant, Wilson’s really doesn’t have too many visitors,  so any new faces are always a welcome change. He walked up to the counter and ordered a coffee and omelet. The coffee maker whirred its response and the robot grumbled something about bore of working in a restaurant. Oh, yes, in case you were wondering, almost everything is run by robots now (except for the Amish colonies in Pennsylvania, they’re still using computers, electric cars, and other archaic instruments). The year is three-thousand, five hundred and thirty-two.

That’s all I’ll post for now, folks. Hit the share button if you think you know someone who’d like to give feedback. =)

~Chris

 

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The Man Who Could Not Win

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This is a demotivational story, designed for people who really don’t need encouraging. If you want to be encouraged, go look at kittens or something. If you want to be amused, keep reading. If you’re hungry, eat some popcorn while reading this. If you’re lost or you mistakenly clicked on this link, read this anyway. 

Marvin walked out of his door and into the weather–more specifically, the bad weather. It was raining buckets, and he had left his umbrella at home.

“Luckily,” he thought to himself, “I have this spare umbrella.”

Marvin never had any luck. Not the good kind of luck anyway. He opened his spare umbrella. Out fell a dead mouse. If you’ve never had the experience of opening an umbrella and receiving a mouse, I can assure you it is not pleasant. After brushing the rodent off of his shoulders, he looked up at the sky–through the shredded umbrella. Unfortunately for the umbrella, it was allergic to mice. Unfortunately for Marvin, so was he.

Marvin shrugged. He didn’t really need to stay dry, anyway. He walked out into the pouring rain. That’s when he realized that his laptop case was unzipped. He reached down to zip it up, but he was in such a hurry that he ran crookedly into a telephone pole. (Most people run straight into things, but that’s far too easy. Marvin never did anything easily.)

When his brain received the message that his head had attempted to knock down a telephone pole, it decided to shut down all systems and make sure everything was ok. In an effort to resolve the situation quickly, his body decided to test the functionality of gravity. In short, Marvin blacked out.

When the systems were all deemed operational, the lights were switched back on, and Marvin found himself lying in the middle of the sidewalk with a strange ringing in his ears and an invisible vice on his brain.

He looked up and found that the sun was shining, and the ground all around him was steaming from the rain. He looked down and saw that he was laying in the middle of an ant hill. He tried to jump up, but in the process he dropped his laptop case, out of which spilled a fizzled laptop, a tangle of cords, and a soggy dead mouse. He bent down to collect his belongings and muttered to himself something about misguided anchovies (he still wasn’t thinking quite clearly).

Once he finally repacked his laptop case and chased most of the ants from his clothing, he started down the sidewalk again. He walked three blocks before he realized that he was heading in the wrong direction. He turned around to head towards his home and was hit in the chest by flying ball of donut dough.

In Marvin’s town, the people have a peculiar habit of throwing uncooked donuts at passersby. The reasoning has still not been worked out, but local superstitions take most of the blame. Most people wouldn’t have been too upset at being smacked in the chest with a donut, but along with being allergic to mice, Marvin also broke out with a rash every time he touched chocolate. Strangely enough, this was a strawberry donut, and it seemed his luck had actually come through. The original donut throwing culprit seemed to be having a slow day, though, so he threw another donut just for good measure–a chocolate one.

Marvin finally arrived at his house. He panicked momentarily, for he realized that he had locked his keys inside, but he remembered that he had left his windows open. His landlord had noticed, though, and closed them, but not before the rain had drenched everything inside.

Marvin was much too tired to remember his spare key, so he broke one of the window panes, cutting his hand in the process. He opened the door just as his roommate showed up with the second key.

Marvin walked in, noticed that the water was still running in the sink, and found out the hard way that the stove burner on which he had placed his jacket was still on high.

“You know what?” He said rhetorically to his roommate, “I just can’t win. I’m going to try to lose. Maybe I’ll fail at that, too.”

So he played chess with himself. He tied.

The Incomplete Plenary of Obfuscation

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The atmosphere was one of light-hardheartedness and general mirth. Small talk and generic persiflage tickled the ears of passersby; the ubiquitous red shirts and old-style, ripped blue jeans that comprised the uniform of the shopkeepers might have been distracting, had the scene itself not provided a multiplicity of foreign and wild distractions. The floors were scattered haphazardly with tiles of multifarious shape and style. The mad colors blended with the dull grout and otherwise quotidian construction of the old building. Indeed, had those employed been dressed in naught but their essentials, the newcomer to this exhibit would have thought it none the stranger nor less fantastic. The walls held hand-painted murals and glass mosaics of nefarious looking poultry and graphic demembrations of various fowl. Many have pondered the state of consciousness of the artist from whose mind these images came: demented, insane, inebriated?

The establishment manages, somehow, to escape giving the impressions of a spurious or dubious nature. The real danger lies in the posterior of the curious shop. The clandestine–nay, even surreptitious–operations of those who work behind the visible operation. Indubitably, the operations were properly sanctioned through the various and customary routes of authoritarian government obtainment of permissions, yet when one was allowed into the cookery, the crushing reality of the atrocities committed therein were brought to light. Composed of the organization was this verse of undoubted truth and verisimilitude:

‘Twas a scene so foul, In the indeterminable bowel,
Of that terrible, queer, and violent store.
The place did give, of its own derive,
A feeling and aura, reminisce of Pandora,
Hidden behind that deathly door. 

For whom did it open? For what was within?
What could in the dreadful unknown be?
There behind that door of metal,
Wrought from pan, pot, and kettle,
There work the ones who peddle,
The lovely fried goodness, we call, KFC.

Salutations distinguées,
XanthusKidd