Saturday, February 26, 2005

Girl's Face in Shadows

Mushroom's story
Astrid was a heavenly body. Wherever she went, the poets would bask in her light and become inspired, young lovers would sit together near her and spoon, and animals you normally do not see during the day would come forth and be seen on the periphery. She was never quite sure how she got to be such a luminary, but she always realized that it was a gift from the heavens.

She hoped some day that a man in a suit would come to visit her, to touch her face. This would be a small step for a man but a giant leap for her. She was so... alone, far away but not so distant she couldn't be found, and spent her nights watching the world in silence. What sort of craft would it take for someone to reach her? She waited patiently, always facing the world with a new face, for the eagle to land and splash down in her life, hoping this dream wasn't all just lunacy. Her loneliness was visibly beginning to eclipse her.

Michael's story
I never take a single breath without her, the light falling cooly across just one side of her face in the twilight. Somehow, either just before the sun rose or maybe just after the moon fell behind the ridge, my eyelids were caught open while dreaming. It was just as I was hiding from the tractor-trailers on the freeway, who still looked like hungry tanks meaning to devour me. She visited me briefly but just for a moment, and I knew it was her when her hand touched my shoulder.

The bitter taste of our endless flight, the sound of one helicopter much too close above the trees, the stab of a flashlight's beam against my wide-open eyes, and the sound of frightened voices all rushed up inside my ears, and with them came the warm irrepressible surge of fainting.

With her left palm she made a whirling movement before my face, touching first my forehead, and then my throat, and then she was gone--along with the cold, the numbness, the broken glass, all of it was missing-- even the cuts on my hands were gone. I still cannot remember who they were or why we were running, and instead of those unbearable memories, she left me with the talisman of her form, etched across my exhausted, blinking eyes. If I close my eyes she appears to me now like a half-moon in the darkness, telling me to say her name if ever they come again for us. Her words are strong, fearless, and warm.

They cannot call her now, only those who have walked upside-down in the darkness have the voice to be heard, if you are one of them remember her name always in case you might need aid, whisper to her fearlessly and directly into the wind: "Aradia"

Robyn's story
Sylvia loved the old classic films. She often spent time in an old run down theater in the "bad end" of town watching film festivals. She had seen them all; the Hitchcock Festival, The Spies and Lies festival, and of course the Private Eye movies.

This week end was a little different though. The new owners of the place were a little different. They were introducing The Classics of Horror this weekend. She had gone only because they had promised the whole weekend would be comprised solely of black and white films.

Sylvia had drifted off during The Curse of the Mummy. She was so looking forward to the Dracula films though. She loved the sexual symbolism in the films about vampires. They had always been her little secret pleasure.

When she woke she was no longer in the theater, but in a large velvet and satin arrayed bed. Her mind reeled. She heard her voice spoken an a soft male voice with a distinctly Romany accent. She sat bolt upright and looked around the half dark room. She wondered who the new owners of the theater were anyway. She heard her name again, "Lucy, come to me", and though but my name is .... Lucy was the only name that rang through her mind.

M.P.'s story
"She was there all alone in the dark, looking at her half reflection on the mirror right in front of her. How could it show such a devilish half of her??
She was terrorized as she could not believe in what the mirror showed to her.She had always tried to act like an angel, doing what she was expected to, without rebelling against any rule or imposition set on her.
Her anxiety was such that she stood stuck in front of that half image of her self! All she could do was utter a scream-like pray which made the mirror blaster into little shatters, thus destroying the hideous image.
But what to do now? She could not go on existing with one only self half! Human beings have good and bad features after all.
She got out of that room and looked for another mirror. She had several spread all over her place.
Standing in front of the first one she managed to find, she screamed once more and the mirror got all broken into little pieces again .
She picked them all up, put them into the bag where she already had the other ones, went to the lounge to try out the solution for that jig-saw puzzle that would give her a brand new self."

Cori's story
"A triple scotch please," she said to the bartender. "That’s the heavy stuff, right?"

She saw her own reflection in the mirror and stopped to stare at the seamless golden lines of her rebirth. She had led a life of chastity and blessed reverence up until now, and look what it got her.

At the other end of the bar, beyond the smoke and filtered glow, Joseph downed his whiskey and sighed a breath of relief. He never felt quite right until that second beer and that second shot. Cheers to the big numb, and the loss of the past, cheers to forgetting- he lifted the empty shot glass, motioning to the awestruck bartender for another. He contemplated his index finger, thumb and the transparent emptiness of his life- lifting the shot glass up to his eye, peering through it toward the only source of light in the room- that is when he saw Mary for the first time.

Abby Taylor's story
The relationship was over. She stared at her half-face.

Ann wasn't so sad about the ending as about having to cut her ex-boyfriend out of her favorite picture of herself. In fact, this was one of the reasons it was over. Sam just always stood in front of her, either literally or figuratively.

So now as she thought about her future, Ann focused on how she'd have to get a picture of her next boyfriend positioned in exactly the same way in front of her so she could cut him out of the new photo and paste him into this photo.

As she planned her future in this way, she never once had the thought, "Freud was right."

Anonymous story
They called her Moon. Nobody could explain her condition. As a child, she was photographed, filmed, analyzed. Ph.D. theses were written about her. Her picture was on the cover of magazines like Nature, Scientific American and People. Later in school, she was a loner. The kids didn’t even laugh at her, because she frightened them. So they left her alone, and she didn’t mind that at all. Her parents tried to give her a life as close to normality as possible, but sometimes, when they thought she was asleep, she could hear them talk. There was only one day every month when she could go out on the street like a normal person, when nobody stopped and stared at her. On those days, her face was complete; it had two eyes and a full mouth and round cheeks like everybody else’s. She was happy for a few precious hours on those days, when a full moon shone in the night.

My story
It began the first night of the new month. The head appeared and followed him everywhere he went, eyes trained firmly upon him. His attempts to turn away from it saw it intrude again swiftly into his line of vision. The head caught the light and shadows such that he could never tell with certainty whether it was disembodied or not. And those unblinking eyes continued to stare. That was the worst of it, that the eyes never blinked. It made the head seem unnatural and threatening. Try watching TV under those circumstances! At each new eruption of disquiet inside him the head seemed to increase the mad boldness of its demeanor. It was always just out of reach, intensely focused eyes staring into him with a resolve that could smash stone to rubble. Even in his sleep he could not escape the ghastliness of it. It watched near his bed - the eerie illumination forced its way through his eyelids and entered his dreams at will - and looked at him. By the third day he cracked. He went directly to the collection agency and payed his overdue installment on his new state-of-the-art high definition widescreen television, upon which they called off their patented Neversleep Reminder Head™.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Two Couples on a Bench

Retarius' first story
new, from the secret company of evil creative minds who flood the market with large styrofoam fingers, huge chess pieces for lawn chess, and ludicrously sized hamburgers, comes "teenage double date," incredibly large, lifelike bookends. these whimsicle bookends conjure up images of awkard college doubledating, including hours trying to figure out what to wear, feinging interest and false smiles, and loads of hair product. incredibly oversized books not included.

Retarius' second story
when they were young, brothers chad and chet made a pact that they would only date girls who wear scarves. once they got into college, they met rose and marie, sisters who were both adopted from different parents and decided to only date boys who wore pants with lines going up the sides. as a foursome they were always together and decided it was fate they met. they also decided each girl would marry both guys, and all four would live in one house, and start thier own commune, freely sharing each other and each other's clothes. unfortunately, they broke up one month after this picture because each person found a totally different person who was far more interesting and attractive.

Mushroom's story
Jenna and Barbara always thought it would be cool to date vampires. They were always concerned about finding real ones, rather than those Goth pretenders in facial powder and eye shadow who only wanted to get drunk and screw to The Bauhaus. Josh and Jeremy were just the men for them, because they didn't advertise and they didn't dress differently than other people. The girls felt special, like they had some prize other people only dreamed of. They were gentlemen and kind of fun to be with. Never completely taking leave of their senses, no matter how far they'd go with the boys they always protected their necks -- some folks thought they were hiding hickies, but it was quite the contrary: they were hiding from getting hickies.

Abby Taylor's story
The odds of being chosen were phenomenally low, so when the kids got the letter they couldn't believe their good fortune! Only six months in the queue before being chosen by Vladimir, the world renown writer whose secretive nature only added to his own popularity and to the popularity he was able to bring to his randomly selected short story subjects.

Indeed, others chosen by The Vlad, as he was called in private, had gone on to fame and fortune beyond their wildest imaginations. The legends of former story-subjects were well known... many landing supporting roles on popular sitcoms, later spin-offs to their own prime time shows. Still others became famous spokesmodels for popular products such as the Genie automatic garage door opener and the Princess cruise lines. Of course, there was also the case of the now defunct Little Boy in the Balloon Body Wash, but no one liked to dwell on the negatives.

Saturday, February 12, 2005 was THEIR DAY... their moment to shine, and the start of all things good for the four kids from the small town in the heartland! All the expected calls were made to family, friends, agents, and the local news media. They couldn't wait to see what The Vlad had in store for them.

At 12:01 AM on the designated day they, along with the entire population of their hometown, logged into the famous website to have their date with destiny. But as they read their excitement turned into horror.

Out of town for the weekend? Substitute writers?!?! It just couldn't be! This had to be some kind of joke!

After the initial period of shock, Gary and Elaine erupted into an argument of volcanic proportions. Apparently Gary had never really believed in Elaine's dream of becoming the next Suzanne Somers, but he had to admit she did have great thighs so he stuck it out. But now he was publicly humiliated, and he blamed Elaine.

Vivian tried to take the news with her usual cheery demeanor, but deep down she knew that she was now destined to wait tables all her life at the 24 hour diner. Stephen truly loved Vivian, and he promised to be with her until the end.

Which, as fate would have it, occurred at 3:08 PM on Valentine's Day, Monday, February 14, 2005, when Vivian, always the drama queen, took three fistfuls of pills and drank a quart of vodka. A hastily scrawled note found by her bed read, "Substitute writers, my ass."

M.P.'s story
"Their gathering had been set like some secret mission. Each of them had received an invitation-card for a mysterious party at a place named Blogger and their host was Indeterminacy.

Although this Blogger place had no real precise geographical situation, they found it with no apparent difficulty due to their common professional formation - computing.

Once there it wasn't difficult to spot where the party would happen: as the invitation-card informed, the party would be in the laptop shapped building right in Blooger city-centre and there was no other builidng like that over there.
They really enjoyed every party little detail. Everything had been carefully planned and thought over. However they found it strange there were no other people to join them and the fact the host hadn't yet arrived at that late hour (it was already dawn!).

They thought they'd better wait outside to wait for their incognito host to turn up. And so they did!...After a while they saw somebody at the garden gate! They just couldn't believe their eyes... It was him!

He came closer holding a digital camera and snapped them.
He took them again into the lapetop shaped building and arrested them forever in his blog!"

Livinia's story
Much line
Curve of hip
Boys and girls
One Armenian
Close, close, closer

My story
Bill, Bob, Yvonne and Yvette were out for a Valentine's day walk. They happened to be sitting on the bench when the Cupids arrived. First, one Cupid came strolling by, then there were several and soon the park path was flowing with an entire phalanx of Cupids, all marching towards the make-out point located at the end of the strategic lane. It was to be a surprise attack, which was why they weren't flying. Bill, Bob, Yvonne and Yvette were obvious targets for the impish little love soldiers overanxious to shoot off their arrows of amorosity, tips anesthetized so as to postpone the pain of love. With so many thousands of arrows there were bound to be mistakes made, especially with Yvonne and Yvette sitting so close to one another. The two girls sat now fully charged and would show someone the time of his life that night, as soon as they could work out who to leave with.

Mushroom's sequel
There was some debate on the way back to Yvonne's apartment about how things should be parsed. The legion of cherubim couldn't have been wrong to want to get these people together, that much they knew, but in the confusion it was unclear how to couple up. With a little bit of discussion and a few failed games of rock/paper/scissors, they decided that they should vote. They each got a piece of paper and a writing utensil, wrote down their name and who they wanted, and hoped that there would be a meshing. The end result was as such, and it became evident that the girls had indeed been sitting too close when the attack occured:
• Bill - Yvette
• Bob - Yvonne
• Yvonne - Yvette
• Yvette - Yvonne
At first the girls' eyes widened because that wasn't how they were paired in the park. But then they decided that since since there was only one couple that mutually voted the same way, the two girls, that would be how things went. The guys had no problem with this as long as they got to watch.