July 18, 2007

Thy Peeping Tom Will Be Done

Thread: Uncategorized

Kasia looked upward, the bed pressing against her back and Douglas pressing against her front. Noontime sunshine leaked through a gap in the curtains, dappling the undulating sheets. She wanted to reach out and pull them shut, to hide what she was doing.

She tried to hold Douglas close, but he resisted, preferring to prop himself up on his hands as if on the starting blocks of a race. Ready to sprint away.

‘When will you leave her? When? Ohhh.’

Douglas was taking care of something else, staring at the wall above her. ‘Mood, Kass sweetheart darling angel, don’t droop my mood.’ He panted hot, garlic breath all over her face yet kept staring ahead as if he was having sex with the wall.

Metal scraped her side. ‘Couldn’t you have taken off the ring? I feel like she’s in bed with us. Ohhh.’ She shuddered. Mother said she shouldn’t have come to England.

A voice said, ‘Excuse me, darlings. Um, hello?’

Kasia screamed. Douglas whimpered as his mood drooped and his arms crumbled, his chest tumbling into hers. She grabbed him to shield her nudity from the probing eyes of the stranger – a spindly man wearing a black leotard was sitting on the opposite side of the room. He was perspiring as if fresh from a workout.

‘Out! Get out!’ Kasia shouted at the leotard man.

‘Ow Kass sweetheart angel, that’s my ear your shouting into. And you’re strangling me, if you don’t mind,’ Douglas said. Kasia did not relent.

‘Yes, sorry for interrupting, I just wanted to check if you two knew exactly what you were doing,’ said the camp, cheerful stranger.

‘Get out!’ Kasia screamed again. Douglas fought against his temporary imprisonment in her arms, but he was no match for her fight-or-flight response.

The stranger clicked his fingers and vanished.

‘He’s gone!’

Kasia released Douglas. He turned around, a little dazed, and asked, ‘Who was he? Who was there?’

‘Oh I’m still here,’ a voice echoed. The stranger then re-appeared sitting down again. ‘I’m the Man Upstairs.’

Kasia disappeared under the sheets with a squeak, just peering out over the top, trying to reach out sideways for her clothes. Unfortunately, they had been scattered far and wide. It was just Douglas and the sheets for now.

Douglas took it in his stride. ‘The what was that? The Upright Man? That’s a fictional character.’

‘Oh it’s a euphemism, dear.’ He clapped his hands, grinning. ‘I’m the Big Cheese. The Writer of All Things.’ He seemed like he was itching to burst into a dance routine any second. Not in our hotel room, begged Kasia.

‘You’re a writer from upstairs?’

He clicked his fingers and reappeared in the bed beside Kasia. Two gleaming rows of teeth two inches from her face said, ‘Call me Lordie!’

Kasia screamed again and the stranger transported back to the chair.

Douglas scratched his head. ‘Oh! You’re like, what, God? Prove it.’

Lordie seemed disappointed with that question, his mood also drooped. ‘Look, peo-ple, I just wanted to check whether you guys really knew what you were doing here. I mean, this is a sin, right? Tell me I’m wrong, go on, tell me.’

Kasia was staying put and staying silent. The sheets felt too thin and transparent.

Douglas said, ‘Well, it’s all perfectly natural, you know. What goes between a man and a woman is the most natural, beautiful thing in the world.’ He turned around to face Kasia and smiled, patting her head. What is this? I am a pet?

‘Yes,’ said Lordie, ‘that’s very, very interesting. But you belong, of course, to another?’

Douglas held out his hand, his wedding band having mysteriously disappeared. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, this is au naturale. This is love you see here, my friend.’ He patted Kasia again, but wasn’t looking at her this time and smacked her nose. ‘I am a free agent. Nothing to see here.’

Lordie creased up, emitting a staccato burst of giggles, animated as if tickled by some unseen force. ‘You, Mr. Douglas, sir, are what we call in the trade a jokester! Oh you are so silly!’ He clapped, but with his whole arms as if flapping hard enough to fly.

Kasia said, ‘Douglas, you idiot. He’s God. He can see everything.’

Lordie jumped out of his chair and thrust out a finger, pointing at Kasia. ‘Bingo! Oooh, she’s good! You’re marvellous, darling!’ He relaxed a little and continued, ‘Bon-jour? Of course I can see everything. Every time you meet in this, frankly, filthy room, I’m sitting over here watching. Waiting for you to, well, finish your business.’

‘Ugh,’ said Kasia, letting her lips emerge over the top of the sheet. ‘That’s… that’s horrible.’

‘But if you cats are knapsack happy with what you’re doing, please just continue. Keep up the good work, people. You happy?’

‘Yes!’ shouted Kasia before Douglas could get them into any more trouble.

‘Okay, darlings, carry on. Just pretend I’m not here.’ He returned to the chair, adopting a pretentious pensive pose. Then he started humming.

Douglas asked, ‘You’re just going to… sit there?’

Lordie did not respond, playing with the melody he was humming.

Kasia looked at her watch on the bedside cabinet. Lunch hour was almost up. This usually wasn’t an issue, due to Douglas’ skilful ability to cram lovemaking into an action-packed 38 seconds.

‘I’ve lost the mood,’ said Douglas, coughing.

Kasia stared at Douglas and then at Lordie. ‘Me too. Not really in the mood now.’

‘Oh for shame! Don’t let little old me, put you off,’ Lordie said. ‘I’m always here, whether you see me or not, darlings.’ His jovial smile revealed an edge of menace as he leaned forwards towards them. ‘I’m always here.’

That was when Kasia knew that she would never, ever have sex again.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1042

July 1, 2007

The Identity Operator

Thread: Equation

‘Hmm, something is a-bothering me now, buzzin’ around in my head like a hornet’s nest.’ Earl stood up. ‘So off you go and make, well, everything… but you tie your hands like you say, promising not to get involved. Things are set in motion because that’s all they needed, like, a gentle push.’

He hesitated; he didn’t like to challenge God, but God seemed to be doing his best to actively encourage this sort of behaviour. ‘And so, well, there ain’t no evidence of your existence. That rule you mentioned – Occam’s razor – it then says you don’t exist.’

God was unperturbed. ‘Occam’s razor is a logical device, Earl. It means don’t assume any more than you have to. I don’t need to explain the choices of your life with an assumption that the number of cookies you’ve consumed since birth totals 732, but it’s true, nonetheless. Occam’s razor doesn’t dispute truth. It keeps things simple, melts things down to the bare necessities.’

‘Will you stop with the cookies?’ Earl was tired of the cookie metaphor, but couldn’t ignore the count. ‘732 cookies? Are you sure? Can I demand a recount?’ He pinched his side, checking for fat. There was plenty there.

‘Fact and logic never disagree,’ God replied, ‘but sometimes they won’t see eye to eye. Anyway, you should ask yourself the real hard question, here, Earl. Why would I bother putting in obvious evidence of my existence before you good people have reached your peak? That, pardon my language, would pretty much screw things up.’

The hornets were in a frenzy. Earl was moments away from the question, the one that had been sizzling away like a barbecue steak ever since God had made his first appearance. ‘So you’re no believer of divine intervention?’

‘Absolutely not. Intervention would be an almighty mistake. And the Almighty does not make mistakes. Did you ever see the end of Quantum Leap? Dean Stockwell was really good in that show like he always is. Spoiler alert, Earl. It was revealed that Sam was leaping around in time fixing God’s mistakes. Can you believe that? Holy son of moley, I make mistakes?’

‘Well, sir, pardon me for saying, but what we have right here in this shed is intervention.’

God pulled down his NY Mets cap, as if about to catch a little shuteye. ‘You’re catching on fast, kid.’

The question came out, reckless and uninhibited. ‘Why, sir, are you here talkin’ to me?’

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1944