December 30, 2006

On the Seventh Day

Thread: Game

Graham fiddled with the joystick and hit its red button a few times; the button replied with the sound of weary springs under load. The electrical contacts inside the stick had worn down considerably since he had picked up the Video Computer System and the trigger didn’t always respond these days. Especially in particularly hairy moments when Dog was about to blow away a hundred years of his work. Moaning aside, he was happy with how the game had been progressing. Life was just coming onto the scene and they’d be at the Garden of Eden stage soon; Graham would have to be on his guard.

Dog was always rubbish during the first billion years. He got bored with building ecosystems, it just wasn’t his thing. He’d let Graham do all the hard work, all that boring “resource management” as he called it, only to pounce when the first humans appeared on the scene. He’d encourage them to think that the planet was real and not just a game. When they forgot about the game, they took things all too seriously and started to worry about living for the moment instead of seeing the bigger picture. The bigger picture was that Graham could lose.

His bum was sore, a natural reaction to not moving from the sofa for a billion years. He’d left his special cushion that comforted his tail bone in the wardrobe, next to his Kevlar vest. He couldn’t even spare a moment for a toilet break as it was getting all very tense. Graham averted his eyes from the phosphor glare of the television for a moment and saw that Dog wasn’t even in the room. His joystick lay discarded on the floor like an unwanted Christmas toy. Graham considered abusing the situation and…

Pow! Pow!

Graham looked down to see the white garb over his breast stained with a couple of patches of blood like the bite of some dim-witted vampire.

“Not… again…” he lamented and collapsed to the floor, his final thoughts revolving around a forgotten Kevlar vest.

Dog lowered his pistol and removed the silencer, smiling. Watching for movement, he observed Graham’s still form resembling a pile of bloodied towels heaped on the floor. Dog wasn’t even sure why he used the silencer, it wasn’t as if anyone was going to come to his aid, but he liked the cool snick-snick sound it made.

The phone on the pedestal by the door rang.

Dog turned towards the phone and wondered who it could be.

The phone continued to ring.

Dog hopped over to it, crouched on the floor and snatched it down from the pedestal with his bony, crimson fingers. He couldn’t help smirking as he answered with the lofty voice of a butler, “Yes, hello, this is Graham’s residence.”

The voice on the line was familiar. “Is Weldon. I want to speak a’Dad.”

Dog held the receiver as far from his face as possible as he guffawed into his free hand.

“Allo? Is Weldon here.”

Calmer now, Dog replied, “Yeah, hi Weldon. Uh, Dad, yes. He’s… he’s in the toilet. Yes he is.” Dog shouted in the direction of the sofa, “Graham, it’s Weldon on the phone. Shall I tell him to phone back later?”

The pile of bloodied towels divulged nothing.

“So-rry, Weldon. But the old coot is doing a number two.”

“Is Dog speaking, yes? Is Dad okay? You shoot him again?”

“Good God,” Dog wailed, “how could you say such a thing? I shall tell Graham you said that as soon as he’s finished his dump! Horrible! I am mortally offended!” Dog threw the phone aside as a powerful gust of laughter blustered out of his system. He farted while he did it, a nice wet fart. He hadn’t laughed like this for a while. He’d been bored shitless by evolution, it was so booooringly slow – he’d like to have shot Graham in the head for that wonderful invention. God only knows why someone in his position couldn’t just rustle up a planet with a click of the fingers.

He picked the receiver up again and heard Weldon drowning in a stream of threats. “…sonofabiitch, I fukin kill you Dog. You kant. You fukin kant. Sweet fukin bastard, I kill you. I kill your family. ”

“Now, now, calm yourself. You are my family, you twat. What you going to do, kill yourself you stupid asshole? Go ahead, see if I give a crispy rat’s ass.”

Weldon fell silent.

“I’m waiting.”

“I will fukin kill you.”

“Oh you never killed anybody in your whole life, Wellie. See ya.”

Dog hung up on Weldon, thinking that the boy needed to get himself a decent job. He thought nothing more of it, though, and leapt over the back of the sofa into the old man’s space. He kicked Graham’s corpse closer to the television so that he could stretch out his legs.

Scooping up Graham’s joystick, he grinned. Ah, shit, this was going to be fun. First stop, the Garden of Eden.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2210

December 21, 2006

Paradise Tossed

Thread: Uncategorized


god, what is your bidding?


i understand this truth


i understand this


yes, lord, i understand


i am ready. please tell me the task that i am humbled to receive


i listen with open ears, an open heart, an open mind and a willing spirit, lord

:: whisper whisper hysterical chicken biscuits ::


:: GO NOW ::


:: YES ::

i am sorry, i do not understand. could you repeat the words for me, lord?


but the wording of the assignment was not as… clear… as i had expected


but, lord, i do not understand what the assignment is


my place in paradise?

:: OH DEAR :: A SHAME ::

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1434

December 11, 2006

The Promise in the Cellar (12 of 12)

Thread: Mission

“I am Professor Plum with the candlestick in the study,” said the curtain. A cat behind her continued to growl.

Mizzy replied, “Uh, okay.”

“I am Reverend Green with the rope in the library.”

“Uh, look…”

“I am Lizzy Borden with the axe.”

Mizzy began to back away, noticing in the gloom that a pair of shoes was poking out from the heaped curtain on the floor. A cat attacked her leg, screeching. She yelped and kicked the creature away, which raced off into another room.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, they say,” said the man behind the curtain who stepped out into view. “What did you leave Kansas for Dorothy? The lion’s courage? The tin man’s heart? The scarecrow’s brain? You had them all, didn’t you? You already had them all. This is your tragedy. It is the criminal tragedy of Western society, having everything and crying as if you have nothing.” He repeated one word in a menacing tone, “Criminal.”

She couldn’t make the man out clearly, a silhouette against the dull glare of the dirty windows. He wore something over his head, muffling his words and obscuring his identity. What had she walked into? She had told everyone her problem and one of them had turned it against her. A trap!

“Julie beat you,” the hooded stranger said as he advanced. “She beat you and took your man. She then took his child. Maybe they were happy in the end, you never thought of that did you? Little Miss Worst Case Scenario, aren’t we? What have you contributed? You helped an old man make tiramisu that no one ate – was that the sum total of your good works?”

She tried to turn around quickly but fell backwards over another cat onto the hard floor, slick and wet. Mizzy was frightened and felt alone and abandoned. There was no god here. She was on her own, betrayed by her own dream. Stupid stupid stupid! Blind!

“You are on your own, Mizzy. Betrayed by your own dream. This is what God is, he is Reality TV. Prizes for a few lucky ones, and to the gutter with the rest. Doesn’t that make your mad? Doesn’t that get your goat?”

Mizzy scrabbled backwards into the dark corner of the room and she knew there was no escape, pinned there. Heart thumping, sweat pouring, a few tears emerged and slid down her cheeks. “What is it you want… God?” she asked, hoping that there was some way out. The stranger was looming over her and she saw that something like a potato sack was over his head, with cut-outs for eyes and mouth.

“I am not God, Mizzy. You should have asked me for my name. But let me apologise, little lost Michelle, this isn’t really about you. This is about a greater good. This is about the abandonment of mankind to its own devices. A confrontation must be provoked. You are my first – he will be my last. This, I promise.”

Gloves reached down and tightened around her throat. Unable to speak, whining through constriction, struggled, legs lashing out slipping across floor, scraping out arcs. Cats stood by, watching, light fell, world sinking losing. Tighter, legs more slowly. Then smaller arcs. Smaller still. Then short, rapid twists of feet. Sunk, lost. No movement.

Click stop.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 2305

December 7, 2006

The Promise in the Cellar (11 of 12)

Thread: Mission

In her minimalist, inebriated awareness, Erica understood that she was lying on the couch. She called out for her daughter and demanded more to drink. Today was going to be a long day. Everyday was a long day. Life was one goddamn long day without end.

Michelle did not reply. Michelle should have been home by now and was probably playing a game, deciding to teach Mom a lesson. That little bitch. She could have been Mom’s little running angel and the talk of the town. What a waste. What a waste of her time. It would have been better if they had aborted the tramp in the womb like Erica had wanted instead of turning her life upside down to become a mother.

“Michelle!” she shouted and then started coughing. Her throat was dry and hoarse, more proof that she needed a drink. Michelle didn’t appear. She held up the stopwatch straight up into the air and clicked it a few times, thinking it might get her stupid daughter’s attention.

Her husband called out from another room, perhaps the kitchen. “For God’s sakes, she’s gone to England. She’s back in a few days. Can’t you think of anyone but yourself? Goddamn, if only divorce wasn’t so expensive. Christ.” There was a pause and then he shouted again,  “Chriiiiiist!” He did nothing but moan about how divorce was so expensive. She was sure she’d heard him say once that contract killings were actually cheaper in the long term, even if you took compound interest and inflation into account. He was spineless; words that would come to nothing. She was still interested, though, in seeing the spreadsheet where the calculation had been done.

Erica cursed. It could only mean one thing, she’d have to go down to the basement and grab a bottle herself. That useless daughter never did anything. Thanks a lot Michelle, thanks a goddamn lot, you stupid, brainless girl. Erica got up off the sofa and then noticed she was lying on the ground. Something had happened between the two states, but she couldn’t recall it.

She pulled herself to her feet and lurched over to the basement door, buzzing with the kind of warmth that only the finest wine can provide. More drink, yes, was needed. Erica tugged at the door a few times and, as it didn’t open, she tried giving it a shove. The door yawned open and something slipped from her grasp, bounced down the stairs, sparkling in the half-light and clattered against the concrete floor at the bottom. She couldn’t think what she had been holding and rushed down the stairs to find out. She had intended on using her feet to descend the stairs but the first step shifted position as she aimed for it and she fell, sliding down the wooden steps on her butt instead.

As Erica rubbed her butt on the basement floor, she spotted what she had dropped down the stairs. The stopwatch lay there, smashed, bleeding cogs and springs. Erica reached for it and scooped up its shattered body. She tried starting the stopwatch, but nothing happened. No clicks, no rotating hands. Lifeless.

Suddenly, tears streamed from her eyes and Erica found herself crying with heaving, painful sobs. She hugged the stopwatch with an emotional intensity that she did not understand, weeping with loss that could not be expressed in words, only in choked cries of despair. She doubled up, howling and whooping, tormented. She slapped the floor with several cries until the palm of her hand became painful and red.

Her husband was standing over her and shouted, “What is it? Are you okay? Did you hurt something? I told you to quit drinking, I told you.”

Erica looked up and could barely see him through the film of tears that stung her eyes. “She promised,” she screamed, holding out the stopwatch’s remains. “She promised to get me a drink, she promised!”

Larry knelt down and held her without asking any questions. She sobbed in his arms for a long time.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 0041

December 3, 2006

The Promise in the Cellar (10 of 12)

Thread: Mission

At first she couldn’t see anything at all inside but gradually objects and borders coalesced from out of the darkness, giving the interior form. The smell of its squatters overpowering her, Mizzy covered her face with the arm of her sweater and began to make out feline blots drifting across the stone floor in furtive, wary movements away from her.

One blot hissed; another wailed. The hissing blot pounced on the wailing blot and together became one liquid cloud of blackness, spinning and bouncing off the walls. The black cloud screeched and bubbled with energy and Mizzy wanted to back out – there was no way she would be able to find the stigmata-cat in this darkness.

“Mizzy,” a powerful, albeit muffled, male voice called from an adjoining room. He knew her name. She should have been frightened, but she was now more sure than ever that she had been right to follow her heart. Faith had carried her through. She was a little perturbed that God was British, though. She identified British accents with big movie villains. It just didn’t seem fitting.

“Who’s there?” she replied.

“The maker of all things is everywhere,” the voice replied. “Come.”

The cloud continued to seethe and howl, but Mizzy ignored it, advancing to the next room.

The next room stank just as much but better illumination had endured through the muddy, brown windows at the back. She could make out the cats more clearly in this room; one growled at her, warning her not to approach. No furniture was evident, just bits of cardboard and broken wood were scattered around in almost deliberate disorder making it resemble pretentious, modern art. A curtain of some kind was draped over half the window, designed for a much taller frame, its excess heaped upon the floor.

“Welcome,” the curtain said with the same muffled voice as before. “I am what you have sought.”

“God?” Mizzy asked, unsure whether that question was perhaps too direct for the mighty creator of the Universe.

“The maker of all things is everywhere.”

Mizzy felt deflated. After all this wondering about the meaning of her vision, this did not exactly match up to her expectations of a revelation. A scummy old house, full of city cats that churned out rivers of piss. Congratulations, Mizzy, the prize is behind door number three.

She could only think of one question with which to challenge God. “So, you’re a curtain?”

“Is this so different from a burning bush? I am everybody and everything. I am the meaning that is sown into the fabric of the sub-atomic. I am the hymn that sings in the wind of hurricanes sweeping the land to clean it of Man. I am the bullets in the gun that assassinate Kennedy and create myth. I am the HIV virus that lurks silently within, justifying sexual purity. I am the planes that kiss the World Trade Center and nudge the world over the edge into the precipice of insanity.”

It was a nice, lengthy answer and Mizzy thought on it. After weighing it up, she said, “But… a curtain?

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1928