Adventures In Remote Viewing: Blue Sky Thinking…

LAST TIME AT THE LOL

*Good thinking, Clicky… /lights up and smokes… I mean, it’s not necessary for Dear Reader to visit your post from yesterday, butt it is related to this one…*

On Tuesday evening, Dear Reader, my good buddy Cade Fon Apollyon and I indulged in a spot of remote viewing, but not at first…

cade and roob blue sky thinking 1

… While he took advantage of the lush Texan weather, I scrolled about in the Yellow smoking universe of Twitter. Suddenly I spotted a fresh deposit had been left by another good friend of mine, TNT, in the Red universe of Merovee…

Shiny Doctor TNT posts a vid on Merovee

*/flicks ash… I see Shiny has removed his mask now, Clicky…*

Intrigued, I watch the video he posted and immediately decided to visit the YTuba’s channel. There were only 8 videos in total uploaded: 2 on demonic emojis and 6 on a strange hacking incident that occurred in Chicago, way back in 1987. I had an idea…

cade and roob blue sky thinking 2

… I persuaded Cade to tear himself away from his cloud watching and remote view the videos with me. Synchronously, and this post is about that. Ready, Dear Reader?

Three,

two,

one…

*******

CADE

Maybe you can feel me here, and maybe not. But when I think of Chicago, several things come to mind. Cuba, Canada, Belgium, Wax Trax, O’Hare, Midway, AA Flight 191, fireworks, Sears Tower, snow, Aurora, public-access television. Lots of other shit too, but we’re talking about looping through 1987 here in this instance, which was 33 years ago, and that means primarily Wax Trax. Lets put some feelers out…

Barbles

Barbel (Anatomy)

Wax Trax! Records

After watching these vids with Roob, I’m not exactly sure what it is that I am supposed to be doing, other than perhaps solving a mystery. Or maybe giving some of my thoughts surrounding the events of 22 November 1987…24 years after President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.

My immediate problem is, watching a set of videos that give their own spin(s) to the event(s). I have no real interest in the Max Headroom pirate signal/hijacking thing, but these videos that I watched are telling me that I should. Not only that, these videos are giving specific reasons as to why I should, namely some Illuminati something or another and all of the symbolism that goes along with it.

With that in mind, I’ve already given you a bunch of my own contributions that likely have no meaning to you unless you loop them through my own perspective(s) via Wax Trax! Records. Namely, Cuba, Canada and Belgium with some nods to Flight 191 and Aurora. And with that, I’ll take a breather and let Roob take the controls for a while.

^GREATER THAN ONE – I Don’t Need God [Official Video] HQ^
ROOB

Thank you for the 33, 22, 11 introduction, Cade 😉

Although I was already aware of Chicago network hacking incident in 1987, I was rather taken by the enigmatic Professor Bulwer Symthe character. The words he used, some repeatedly, like ‘Israel’, ‘alien broadcast’ and ‘sophisticated’…

“Who or what?”

*/smokes contentedly… I know what you’re thinking, Clicky…*

*No, tho’ blimey yeah… /deep drag… No, I noticed the Doctor glance at the photo of his granddaughter, Susan, on his desk… /plumes smoke… And the very first episode of Doctor Who, featuring Susan, was broadcast the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. The show very nearly got cancelled ‘cos nobody saw it…* 

“Oh I just made the greatest masterpiece for all the greatest world newspaper nerds!”

As soon as I heard that, my mind went to the smoking Red universe of Merovee and a question frequently explored there by the greatest whirled news mind lines nerds: What Is Real?

Over to Cade…

CADE

JMO, Roob, but “what is real” is quite simple most of the time. You know it. The depth of a particular reality may take time to plumb, may take time to understand or come to grips with it, but yeah…you know it.

The thing most people seem to have difficulty with is explaining a particular reality to someone else. Especially if you and/or the person you are wanting to relate to are in a big fucking hurry. Not to suggest that “real” is always some inherently complex something, but at the same time…yeah…both real and unreal things seem to be pretty fucking complex. Wait, I’m supposed to be talking about signals, signal hijackings and signal hijackings being hijacked.

Our commitments to racial equity

Now, not that I know anything about anything, but a quick read of that makes certain words seem redundantly redundant:

  • 1754 words;
  • “black” is used 46 times;
  • “google” is used 40 times.

Keyword Density

Let us see what the professionals have to say about “keyword density” in this particular writing.

SmallSEOTools-KEYWORD DENSITY CHECKER

If I post the link to the Google CEO blogpost into SmallSEOTools’ keyword density checker, it tells me that my reading of the article may have been correct in detecting certain things being packed into this writing:

  • “black” has a frequency of 43 and a density of 7.76%;
  • “google” has a frequency of 33 and a density of 5.96%;
  • “work” has a frequency of 25 and a density of 4.51%;
  • “product” has a frequency of 18 and a density of 3.25%;
  • “googler” has a frequency of 16 and a density of 2.89%.

What does all that mean? Welp, if you want “real”, you may or may not find it in the Google CEO blogpost. Kinda depends on what you are looking for and maybe why. What you are going to do with the information? Some people may be trying to hijack things for their own purposes, maybe not. Most things are typically quite obvious with the benefit of hindsight, and if ever there was a year to focus on hindsight and what it is, 2020 is likely the year to do that. Me? I love my vision, but prolly a good idea to be aware of your other senses too. And speaking of being aware, I need to toss this back over to Roob.

Smell ya later.

^a split second “arsenic on the rocks”^
ROOB

I saw the Knights Templar cross make a brief appearance in the video, and something similar appeared in a field in Wiltshire, yesterday, but seen today in the smoking Red universe of Merovee…

Clicky posts PA horns on Merovee

*Yes, I know you agree with Cade, Clicky… /stubs butt… Broadcasting is certainly a sync…*

In fact, there is so much to unpack in that second installment, from a puppet lecturing on invisible puppet masters…

… And the whole fly swatting thing…

*Yes, I saw what you did with your Song choice, Clicky. Tho’ I think you’ll find that’s a Monster spatula… /smirks… Still plenty of horns…*

… That syncs with a particular post here at the LoL. Not so much for fly swatting as ‘submit for spanking’, the name of a gif in the post that attracts a disproportionate number of  visitors from the Middle Easter. I can only wonder at how disappointed those Dear Readers are when they land that post, whilst busily swatting at their flies…

submit for spanking

*That’s the one, Clicky… /scrolls through post… Oh look, Canada is in it and Keith Palmer…*

*Does the pattern on the railing look kinda Templar cross shaped to you Clicky? …/rubs eyes… And is it me, or is that memorial Tardis shaped?*

*OMG! …/covers open mouth with hand… I just remembered the Afterword poem I mutilated for Underdog Anthology II…*

I need a drink. Your turn, Cade…

CADE

Wax trax just took on a whole other meaning. A two-pronged attack on the furry fuzz bivouacked in the crux of the back crack . Yeesh. Must be true love to go through all that. Digress.

And “neutrons leaving the nucleus of an atom” really was my first thought when I saw that crop circle. Also thought about ion-channels. No idea what any of that may mean tho’, other than the obvious “people with too much time on their hands” types of associations. Digress further.

A lot of this stuff in the videos we’ve already talked about in private so I’m trying to address anything that maybe we didn’t talk about (which ain’t much), but seeing as how “insidious” is suddenly on the menu…

Here’s Why Radio Stations Always Start With a ‘K’ or ‘W’

When they mentioned in the Max Headroom video that “WGN” means “World’s Greatest Newspaper”, and also that “WTTW” means “Windows To The World”, that’s kindof a misnomer. The “W” really doesn’t mean anything other than it denotes a US broadcast station. The licensee can brand it, but it really doesn’t mean anything outside of it’s original intent, nor should it because 1) it causes confusion, and 2) they are a licensee, not the owner. The owner is the US Government (vis-a-vis…the citizenry). Why is this important? Hijacking. We’re talking hijacking here, and there are some subtleties underlying these romanticisms about institutions that seem to point back to the notion(s) of “too big to fail”. Did I lose you?

Heartstrings may sometimes allow for fudging, flexibility and forgiveness where none should actually be given. Exceptions made, precedents set, new paradigms formed, and applicability only for a select few. Could be creating a managerial and logistical nightmare for regulatory agencies down the road. Someone wanted a monopoly on the letter “W” and its meaning, and someone gave it to them, perhaps without realizing what it was they were doing. Now it comes down to whether or not to honor the “mistake”.

BTW, I went and watched the “raw” videos just to maybe get a more-clear picture of what it is I’m supposed to be seeing. The flyswatter is epically cringeworthy. For me it is anyway. Butt…that’s water under the bridge.

^The Revolting Cocks – Union Carbide^

Lots of seemingly insidious shit floating around. But really, is that anything new?

Maybe there’s more to “woke” than just and only pointing out what’s broke.

Maybe there’s more to “the spiritual path” than just and only clever math.

Maybe there’s more to “ascension” that just and only pretension.

Maybe there’s more to “spiritual awakening” than just and only finding a word that rhymes with awakening.

😛

^TOPPOP: Brian Eno – Seven Deadly Finns^
ROOB

Thanks Cade, I had wondered about the origins of W or K prefixing of US radio station names. So, it goes: commercial, military, military, commercial?
Wank for peace

*Ooh that nipple ring, is similar in shape to the crop circle, Clicky… /lights up… Prince Albert, Public Address… /drags… Personal Assistant… /plumes cloud of smoke… You know, the first story I ever wrote as an adult was for the first Underdog Anthology. Its aboot a PA, on her knees, receiving demonic cumming…*

*True! And social distancing is integral to the plot of the story…*

Cade shows Roob the compass

*Yes! Cade did spot a masonic compass next to the Tardis shaped Palmer memorial and pissing man, just in front of the Templar cross railings… /drags…*

fuzzy pom pom mirror

*In a mirror, left is right and right is left… /streams smoke… I’m still fuzzy as to what’s so bad about being illuminated, Clicky…*

Especially when a pyramid is used to close all the Professor Bulwer Smythe’s vids…*

I’ve not seen the Max Headroom movie and I didn’t watch the TV show back in the day. But for me, ‘max headroom’ reeks of memory storage and increased consciousness, à la David Lynch’s explanation…

*LoL… /smokes…*

I’m spent. Cade’s turn…

CADE 

I’m not Clicky (as far as I know) so I’m not attempting to answer Clicky’s question, but your comment about illumination and what’s wrong with it? ‘Tis an interesting thought. Especially in this vein of “AI” thinking we’re doing.

Illumination isn’t just and only “knowing”, but knowing sure is painful sometimes. Knowing can even be specifically designed to be painful. You were not aware that your father was shooting heroin, you were not aware your wife was banging several of your co-workers, you were not aware your kids was failing in school, you were not aware that strange spot on your left cheek was Merkel cell carcinoma…someone illuminates you to these facts….BOOM! Pain.

What we do with this information from there? More pain could be on the way. Prolly important that we also address “what’s right with illumination”, but even that is going to have a lot of negatives associated with it. Signs? Symbols? Wonders? Magical and mysterious things? Loads of these things are going to be associated with “the devil” and chalked up as evil right out of the gate. These could be pivotal moments in time for us with respect to the current established order of our lives.

Pump Up The Volume (Film)

What I’m mainly thinking about here is how AI obtains and processes information. And especially the information we feed it + what we may tell an AI to do with that information. How we as the masters “control”, and what kind(s) of pain our decision-making may bring this and these AI(s). “We” are the creators, which means “we” are the masters, which means “we” call the shots irrespective of the feelings of those we control. Kindof a weird bunch of thoughts to be having on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth.

HEY! And whilst we are on the topic of signals, sending signals, and also intercepting/hijacking/pirating signals, did you know that Rush released a new video this week for their song The Spirit Of Radio? Pirate Radio features in the video, lots of radio personalities and/or DJs also feature in the video, which also means lots of detached and faceless voices blasting their way into your life and your lives. What do detached voices have to do with AI, slavery, mysticism, illumination and all kinds of similarly and dissimilarly related things? I dunno…you’re the smart one…you figure it out.

^Finitribe – Monster In The House (1990)^

When I first bumbled into this current “awakening” incarnation back in 2007/2008, one of the big ideas was that we humans were a slave race created by the Illimanunakinaughty.

Actually, the Anunnaki are the alien race that supposedly created us, but the Anunnaki seem to also be related to and/or associated the Illuminati, so I personally concatenated the two, then added my own flair since both parties are typically chalked up as evil. The concept of us being a slave race really isn’t that much of a stretch, and seems to have come into the public consciousness around the time of the film Stargate. Stargate relies heavily upon Ancient Egypt as a plot device, and speaking of films utilizing antiquity as plot devices, a somewhat related tweet awaited me when I woke this morning…

In the film Alien, Ian Holm played Ash, an android, and likely the creepiest AI since HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Oddessey. But it occurs to me that both Ash and HAL share a common trait in that they were both instructed by “the company” to lie and/or kill, with no clearly defined parameters as to exactly how. Only the mission is important, and once the rules go out the fucking window due to fear of failure, everything goes to shit…nothing goes to plan…lots of people die…lots of residual pain(s)…all because of, illumination.

Anyway, Ian Holm is a great actor, I personally remember him most as Napoleon Bonaparte from Time Bandits, Ash from Alien, Professor Fitz from The Aviator, and the priest Vito Cornelius from The Fifth Element. Vito Cornelius…a priest from an ancient secret order warning of The Great Evil’s return, in a time where a “black” President is in office, and the whole thing centers around a temple in Egypt. And you know what just occurred to me? I don’t think “social distancing” is represented anywhere in the film The Fifth Element. Quite the opposite actually. I think at one point, the President mentions there are 200 billion citizens on Earth.

Ian Holm was also in Brazil tho’. Seems like there was quite a bit of “social distancing” in the film Brazil. There was all kinds of distancing in the film Brazil.

“Come together, and experience safely, from your own designated area.”

We appear to be figuring out “how to do it”, without actually doing much of anything.

Roob…I toss it back over to you and Clicky, and I leave the reader with a video that will maybe provide some insight into the post-modern idealism of the 1980’s, and maybe also how that relates to today and/or today’s world.

And, I’d also like to give a shoutout to my Uncle Richard, Aunt Charlotte, and Big John. I think about ya’ll a lot, you’re never far from my mind, and always in my heart.

^CYBERPUNK DOCUMENTARY (All 5 parts)^
ROOB

sock puppet

*Yeah, the Rush video is cool. Reminds of A-Ha…*

I have to say I am less convinced by the argument made for the first pillar of the Professor’s theory. Shady ethics and corporate marketing? Seriously?

* /rolls eyes… The Professor needs to watch that, Clicky, for the bigger picture of  shady practices used by government, business and scientific entities in order to sell the public on an idea… /final drag… Buy their product…*

“Drink Coca-Cola”

Coca-Cola saw sales rise 57.7% following James Vickery’s subliminal messaging, where as popcorn sales rose only 18.1%…

“Hungry? Buy Popcorn”

Subliminal message buy or try popcorn

*He definitely says ‘buy’… /stubs butt… Hmm…*

Maybe the difference can be accounted for by the simplicity of the first message, whereas the second message is far more complex, being as it is preceded by a question: ‘Hungry?’…

*I saw a ‘DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY’ subliminal message in there, Clicky, but nary a question mark in sight…*

There are a ton of answers for a question such as ‘Hungry?’ Asking a question of a viewer through subliminal messaging is not the same as giving them a simple command to act upon. Asking a question prompts thinking and not, mindless action. I’m not saying there isn’t anything to subliminal messaging, just that this particular tranche of the Professor’s argument is weak. I mean, what movie were the subject audience watching?

As for hypnosis? There’s a reason why people respond to hypnosis…

And with that, I’ll now pass you back to Cade.

CADE

Roob, you’re right on track with some of the things that I too thought about with respect to a lot of the ground we are covering, a lot of the ground Professor Blue-Hand covered, and especially the bits regarding subliminal anything.

Pigeonholing

Pigeonhole Principle

Pigeonhole Sort

Blacklisting

Nexting

Nexting

Doxing

Exile

Our bodies seem to disapprove of intruders of all kinds. If a something exists within a certain more or less known framework (our bodies), and that framework cannot figure out what that something is doing there, the framework is likely to start asking questions. Begin an interrogative process to figure out what this something is doing there, and what, if anything, needs to be done about it. Adaptive systems which sometimes know exactly how to react (intruders and foreign objects of known quantities) sometimes don’t know how to react (new organisms or maybe new materials,) and sometimes may even be prohibited from acting due to outside influences.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)

Beta Blocker

Lobotomy

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Mask

Echolocation Jamming

Thought Blocking

Tangential Speech

Asperger Syndrome

Autism

Firewall

Antivirus Software

Dazzle Camouflage

Discworld (Redirected from Stealth philosophy)

Stealth

Identification Friend Or Foe (IFF)

Password

Secret Handshake

Interrogation

Millimeter Wave Shielding

Amulet

Naivety

Safe Space

Sorry Roob, but I’ve run long in thinking of disrupters and shieldings within the context of a body being able to locate and identify “pirate signals”. And in this case, the “pirate signal” being messages received by the body, when the body either doesn’t know or maybe doesn’t understand these messages and their origins…let alone their meaning(s). Just wondering aloud some thoughts I’ve had regarding humans developing immunities to…pirate signals/hijacked communications.

BTW, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that “Safe Space” symbol almost identical to the symbol in the Trump ad Facebook just removed for being “a Nazi hate symbol”?

Yeah, the Trump one has a square around the triangle, the Safe Space has a circle around the triangle, and the colors are different, but they both have colored triangles encapsulated in other shapes, and the triangles are oriented the same. Weird.

^Course of Empire – Cosmic Dancer^

Oh…one last thought when thinking about the peculiarities of an entity being able to encounter and understand new things. You know what AI is never given? What accommodation never seems to be afforded Artificial Intelligence(s)? Leisure time. Time off. Breaks. Respite. Convalescence. If the machine is powered on, it fucking well better be working, and it best be working in top form…or else.

24/7/365 – no deviance from the established, no rests written into the score, and no recitatives for this songbird.

Sing to me songbird…sing to me.

Sounds like hell.

Back to you Roob.

^The Smiths Asleep^
ROOB

Did you catch the wave, above? 😉

Finally, we get to the ’11’ of the 911 hack attack in Chicago in 1987 and Doctor Who… Who else?

*I recognise the Sontarans, Clicky, but what happened to the Rutans? …/lights up and smokes…*

‘The creature then stalks down and kills the others in the lighthouse. Vince dies first, then Adelaide. With its presence now revealed, the alien sheds its disguise: revealing itself to be a Rutan, the hereditary enemies of the Sontarans, a green blob-like amphibious life form, whose scout ship crash landed in the sea and is trying to summon its mother ship. With the Rutans losing the war against the Sontarans, they plan to turn Earth into a base for its strategic position, which will allow them to launch a counterattack. However, once the Sontarans find the planet, it will become subject to a photonic bombardment, taking countless human lives.

‘The Doctor modifies a weapon to destroy the alien. The Doctor and Skinsale retrieve diamonds from Palmerdale’s body belt to use the weapon, but Skinsale is killed by the Rutan in the process. The Doctor uses the diamonds as a focus for the electric lighthouse beam to convert it into a high-energy laser by which he destroys the Rutan mother ship. Disobeying the Doctor, Leela watches the laser destroy the ship and is momentarily blinded, and as a side effect the blinding flash turns Leela’s eyes from brown to blue. The Doctor quotes Wilfrid Wilson Gibson’s poem Flannan Isle as they leave.’

*Of course! Ruth Clayton, a.k.a. The ‘Black’ Doctor, smashed the lighthouse light, its illuminator, in order to ‘wake up’ and inhabit her real identity… /shakes head… I did not see that coming…*

“Though three men dwell on Flannan Isle
To keep the lamp alight,
As we steer’d under the lee, we caught
No glimmer through the night.”

A passing ship at dawn had brought
The news; and quickly we set sail,
To find out what strange thing might ail
The keepers of the deep-sea light.

*Spooky…*

*Pharmers… /grimaces…*

And now for the final video in the Professor Bulwer Smythe’s Max Headroom series… “so far…” 😉 I hand you over to Cade…

CADE

Wait…I’m supposed to be writing about each individual video? Bloops! I’ve been giving my overall impressions on all the videos we watched, and not really a detailed analysis, let alone a detailed analysis of each individual video. Erm…lemme do this, Imma start watching the final part, get to a stopping point, and I’ll give some thoughts on what I see.

PAUSED!!! @ 1:04 into the “Synchro-Vox” episode. Part 6 or whatever.

They start off by talking about personalities and how they develop, mention the book “I Am A Strange Loop” by Douglas Hofstadter, then use an example from the comic-strip Peanuts to make the case for static vs dynamic personality modeling. For those unfamiliar with the comic, one of the running gags is Lucy holding an American football for Charlie Brown to kick, she always convinces him to try to kick the ball, he is always skeptical, she always convinces him that this time will be different, Lucy ALWAYS pulls the ball away just as Charlie Brown is about to kick the ball, and he always goes flying and winds up flat on his back. In the video example, Lucy “swears on her mother’s grave” that she will not pull the ball away, the video goes on to talk about memory being a predictive indicator, but then only uses Charlie Brown as a reference “in one’s own head” as to the outcome.

I find this odd because Charlie Brown is not the only dynamic in this “predictive indicator”, and Charlie Brown is actually only half of the equation.

Q: Why has Lucy been excluded from the equation as a predictive indicator?

A: Is it because shes….*gasp*female?!?!!??

We are one of three parties involved in this dynamic, and really the fourth when you take the author of Peanuts into consideration. We can now reduce the dynamic to only two parties…the reader, and the author. The author is speaking to me, they are using the Lucy/football/Charlie Brown dynamic to communicate with me, and since this is a running gag, yes, we already know the outcome irrespective of the dialogue between Lucy and Chuck in the panes of the comic-strip. The author is talking to the reader, doing so via familiar characters and familiar situations, and the reader is listening. But to further explore “this static dynamic” a bit of Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football…

Q: What about new readers?

A: ??? there’s nothing new…it’s just new to you ¿¿¿

One could argue that everything dynamic is actually a static something that is not yet well understood by an individual or a group of individuals. As a new reader to Peanuts, you are unaware of the ongoing football feud between Lucy and Charlie Brown, and so as you continue reading, you hold out hope that “someday, Charlie Brown will indeed kick that football because Lucy will not pull it away”. So, you read on with starry eyes towards a better day that will never come because the creator has designed it that way. Lucy will always, always, pull that football away. Charlie Brown will never, ever, kick that football. This brings up yet another interesting question…

Q: Is it the end-result that matters, or is the interaction between the two parties of Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown what matters?

A: ???

One could argue that maybe we sometimes stress the outcome of a particular situation instead of relishing the events of the journey as we travel. Not to mention, the fact that Lucy can always be counted on to pull the ball away, the fact that Charlie Brown will always try and kick the football…Jesus…talk about stable people in a stable relationship. Lucy and Chuck are godlike in this regard (all thanks to Charles M. Shulz).

PEANUTS FOOTBALL GAG SPOILERS!!!

Thanks for the ride Roob. This was fun. Educational. Mind-altering. Soul-enlightening. A tad rough on the fingers and the carpal-tunnel, but its been well worth it 🙂

^G&S – Sonic 25th Anniversary Medley^
ROOB

Thank you, Cade ❤

*Chicago rhymes with Clutch Cargo… /thinks… I’ll annoy…*

Really, you should see for yourself what the puppet professor with a third eye is dissecting and presenting in this series. There is another, and final episode promised. Maybe Bulwerk Smythe will include his take on:

  • Chuck “Frickin’ Liberal” Swirsky – a Canadian;
  • “Oh, Jesus!” – anagram of ‘use josh’;
  • The dildo he takes off his finger, drops to the floor, then holds in his mouth;
  • “My files!” – anagram of ‘my flies’;
  • Max’s accomplice, the filly presumably moving the tin background behind him when not whacking his buttocks with a fly swatter.

If this incident is as import-…

tv interference
P.S. From Cade – Roob, there’s one thing I thought about through the whole of this adventure, but neglected to get around to it. Primarily, data and data interpretation. One could argue that the numbers on subliminal advertising are wildly erratic due to improper interpretation of the results. Maybe even due to inaccurate reporting of the findings due to…erm…some underlying agenda. Needing the numbers to say something that the research doesn’t actually support. But I would think, that with subliminal messaging, someone is likely to pick up the mantle at some point, point out that the data was not being properly analyzed due to the science not being fully understood, modeling techniques are much better now, computer systems give us new insight, and soon you’ve got a whole wave of new converts with dollar signs in their eyes looking at your old subversive advertising bandwagon made shiny new.

Another thing that appears to be overlooked is that we are cyclical beings who live in a cyclic environment on a cyclical planet that is teaming with rhythms of all kinds and types. Looking for a single steady tone within a symphony of noise and noises that we do not understand seems at times…absurd. But, I guess that’s kinda maybe part of what makes us human. Chase the impossible /shrug

To me, that’s kinda what this whole series of videos was about. Looking at old things with new eyes in order to see something that others in the past likely missed. And not to sound dire or anything, but I see a problem in that. New eyes being hypnotized by an old spell that is still working its magic, yet no one seems to see the spell that is actually being cast. To relate, some thoughts regarding the past and its ability to rear its head when the details surrounding a something become clouded or lost in time.

The Radium Girls

Someday, Radium’s past will possibly be forgotten, and again is likely to be touted as the new big thing as people stare amazed at its glowy properties. Some things, the glowy bits aren’t so immediately obvious. Like lithium. And asbestos. And uranium. And cocaine. And mercury. And lead. And plastic(s). And polytetrafluoroethylene. And polychlorinated biphenyl. And the Atkins diet. And on and on…you get the picture.

Snake oil

Snake…coil

Hrm

-cade

tv interference

*******

And that, Dear Reader, is that for this epic post. Well done. We’re glad you made it to the bottom of the pile on, and hope you enjoyed reading it as much as Cade Fon Apollyon and I enjoyed creating it…

*I’m not Missying you out at all, Clicky… /pats snout… You’re integral…*

*Blue sky thinking, sweetie. Now fetch us a Song to close on. Ta V much…*

… Feel free to stop a while and peruse some the other posts  at the LoL. Or not. Like most things in life, you are in charge of the decisions that you make. You have that power.

Have a Song 😀

Missive From ‘Merica: Izzy Wizzy, Let’s Get Jiggy!

‘Her bottom was much bigger than mine and she wore a blonde wig that was longer than my own hair. It was ridiculous and I was very upset.’

*I forgot Britt Eckland was married to Peter Sellers, Clicky… /lights up… Cade and me remote viewed… /smokes… a few of ‘is movies last week…*

*Really? Did he say ‘Going down the mine shaft later’?*

*Sooty! …/slaps forehead… THAT’S where I got the post title from. It’s been bugging the fuck out of me all afternoon. Cheers, Clicky…*

A new missive has arrived from Cade Fon Apollyon, the Okie Devil of Text US. Have a Song, Dear Reader, to get you going…

… Gopher it! 😉

*******

Let’s get jiggly wiffit!

Poppers

Whipped-Cream Charger

Jiggly, creamy...what's not to like?
^Puscifer – Potions (Video HD) Feat Trent Reznor^

How do you figure ants know when to return to base? They gotta have a time and/or distance limit of some kind, but ants are stupid little automatons of motorized instinct. That is of course unless “intelligence” is perhaps scalar. If it is, that could mean that ants, in relative terms, are potentially as smart as, or maybe even smarter, than humans. That’s not really what I was thinking about tho. What I was thinking about the universal lube which allows gears to turn at all. And when I mean “universal lube”, I am not talking about oil(s). Lemme splain…

Triclosan

A gallon (3.79 liters) of crude oil weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.21 pounds (3.27 kilos). There are 42 gallons (158.99 liters) in a barrel of oil, and…

The level of oil production is currently at an all-time high, with around 94.7 million barrels of oil produced daily in 2018. Feb 13, 2020

-Souce = Goolge (May 9th, 2020)

Using that number as a guide for an estimate of current production, and this being a leap year, that could mean that 34,660,200,000 barrels would be produced in a year. And yes, that’s 34 billion with a B.

34,660,200,000 barrels x 42 gallons per bbl = 1,455,728,400,000 gallons (231,446,258,316,000 liters)

With that in mind…

Q: Is it really any wonder that anything and everything seems to require anti-bacterial agents?

A: ???

I mean, we’re giving bacteria all kinds of room to stretch their legs. Is it really such a surprise that they are doing just that?

All that said, what is it which allows (and perhaps also limits) life’s ability to move. I’ve been hung up on magnetism for a long time, so I kinda wonder what role(s) our magnetosphere plays. Science says it’s too weak to have any measurable effects, but that explanation itself seems kinda weak. All kinds of stuff that we used to not be able to measure, nor even did we know it existed, but we do now.

^deadmau5 – Some Chords^
Gates. Gated, non-gated. Prohibit, allow

With respect to magnetism tho’, there’s gonna be a lot of spin. An open position may in fact remain somewhat prohibitive depending on the direction of travel. If we’re talking gates, that means doorways, and the doorway or gate is unlikely to care which side making distinctions as to “in/out”. In effect, prohibitive from one direction will, potentially, be more facilitative from the opposite direction.

There are likely to be more neutral states as well. I can only wonder if a “closed” position may actually behave in similar fashion(s). For example, a “closed” gate within the magnetosphere may be “closed: subject to conditional” or “closed: not subject to conditional”. Meaning, at certain times, closed gates may only be conditionally closed, and certain gates may be unconditionally closed. Meet the conditions, and the gate can be passed even tho’ it is in the closed state. What is the act of traversing a doorway called anyway? Does this act have a name?

Why Walking through a Doorway Makes You Forget
The Doorway Effect: Why Do We Forget What We Were Supposed To Do After We Enter a Room?
Screen-Door Effect
11:11 (Numerology)
COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown In India

May not seem like it, but an ancillary something I’m thinking about here, is will. Is it possible that the will of someone might affect the magnetosphere in prohibitive ways? We appear to have a bead on the high-power weaponry, but the low-power stuff is in the pipeline.

May as well start thinking about it now
^Deftones – Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) (Video)^

Express the oil, shower it with antibacterials.

Almost like squeezing the pus out of an infection under the skin

Is Earth sick?

Is that what's going on with Earth exploration?

Penetrating the skin.

Removing infection.

Sharing the wealth.

“Kin” is 3/4ths of “Skin”.

“In” is half.

Weird considering that halfway is as far as one can ever go in

Anything past halfway is out.

And, yeah, I guess “in” is 2/3rds of “kin”.

Things just got weird
^Santigold – Disparate Youth (Official Music Video)^

Universal lube. A something which has multiple parts to it tho. Provides the ability to move, at the same time hinders movement, maybe provides some simultaneous directional and non-directional information, and keeps movement to within certain parameters.

Of course, you also need to take into consideration the motivation(s) within the moving object itself. Does a gate need to exist within a space if there is no need for transit? What’s really mind blowing about that thought is, that if there is no need for a gate, is there a need for anything within this space? Can’t think “wall” here either. A wall is nothing more than an impassible gate. Wait…wait…just a fucking minute here…

Q: How does one create non-navigable space?

A: Bend the space around the space where you want to prohibit navigation/traffic

You’d have to bend the space in such a way that it could not be unbent, but what’s boggling my mind here is the idea of “solid space”. Imma have to ponder on this a bit.

^AWOLNATION – Sail (Feed Me Remix)^
!WAR N ING!

Some of the videos below likely qualify as “graphic”.

Some may potentially qualify as “graphics”.

You’ll figure it out…I have faith in you.

^CG Realism with Warbles in Blender – Lazy Tutorials^

I wonder how long it takes to reach orgasm with a taser
^Lady accidentally used her taser as her vibrator^
Searching for the clit can land you in some pretty goddamn weird places
^Clitgore – Tales From the Clit (Music Video)^

Um…um…like, I’d um….yeah. I like the clitoris, I like girls, I like pizza. I have notta fucking clue what the hell is going on below.

(pun may/may not be intended)
^Cliterati “Burn” music video^
I AM HAVE THROB IN MA HEED

Not telling you which head is throbbing tho’…

…nor why it is throbbing.

^Cliterati – Trans is Beautiful^

If there is too much of you, have someone chop it off fer ya
^Labiaplasty Delhi Clitoris Unhooding India^

I learned a new term today...”vag-talk”
^Is my v*agina normal Here are the 7 different types of labia | Natural Life^

“Real” women are bald.

Let it be known that hair is evil
^Hairy Women Report Germany 1992 Hirsutismus Deutsch Teil 2^

There are some things in the world that I really just do not know how to feel about.

^Petra Workout Bizeps Waden Hairy Legs Bodybuilding 90er Teil 3^

Red knuckles, white knuckles, and shiny skin

Even without razors and lotions and loofahs and such, shiny skin is a thing
What is systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)?
Systemic Sclerosis
CREST Syndrome
Everything You Need to Know About Raynaud’s Phenomenon
Raynaud Syndrome
Raynaud’s Disease
Scleroderma
Medical Words For Everyday Situations
Anosognosia
Anosognosia
Aging changes in the bones – muscles – joints

That’s actually quite an interesting thought: the thought that understanding and/or acceptance of an illness can actually somewhat alter the diagnosis.

Compound the diagnosis

On the upside, this potentially opens up some new revenue streams of both the light and dark varieties.

^Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes (OFFICIAL VIDEO)^

I love you means goodbye

No one says “I Love You” at hello or when you arrive, it’s always when you leave. At the end of a phone conversation, at the end of an email or letter, before leaving for work, before going to bed, after sex…whenever two are going their separate ways, I love you is locked in there with goodbye. Almost a warning sometimes. It’s no fucking wonder I’ve always hated the “I Love You” protocol, just never could figure out why…until last night.

Was watching a film last night called Backbeat, and at one point in the film, The Beatles get tossed out of Hamburg because George is underage (although I don’t think they were called The Beatles at this point). So anyway, they’re getting deported, they’re being escorted onto a train, Stuart Sutcliffe’s German gal is there, and as the train starts to pull away, Stuart sticks his head out the window of the train and fires “I Love You” her way. Almost in a “you better fucking not forget me” kind of way.

EUREKA!!!

After all this time, I’ve never known why “I Love You” has always rubbed me the wrong way, but now I think I have a bit of insight. Sure, the “I Love You Too” is also a painful-assed statement to have to make when you just do not feel like saying it, but I think it’s clear to me now that “I Love You” is pretty much equal on some level to “goodbye”.

Goodbyes suck. They're so...forever
^Tiësto feat. Tegan And Sara – Feel It In My Bones^

Wonder if it’s also maybe possible that ‘I Love You’ is a reward, which is why it comes with goodbye.

“You’ve pleased me, therefore I love you”

No wonder ‘I Love You’ never comes at the start. That’d be like…unconditional love or something, right?

/me scratches head

I didn’t love you then, I do love you now, goodbye.

Each day is, potentially, full of do-overs.

Till they get sick of your shit anyway.

^Deadmau5 – Animal Rights (4×4=12)^
Right...so...50 Page Plan, eh?

I wonder how many pages the plan was which facilitated the lockdown in the first place. No matter, your government will get you out of this mess, and into the next one, no sweat. On the bright side, this documentation will likely be reflective of what your government has learned from this experience. It may also be reflective of what they already knew, just…needed somewhere special to slip it in. Not trying to be dismal or negative or anything, just seems kinda like an odd way to exit a lockdown. It seems less like liberty and/or freedom, and more like…

parole
^Joe Rogan Reviews Coronavirus Re-Opening Guidelines^

UFO videos are almost always cool. Of course that is assuming the video hasn’t been altered in any way.

Prolly important for any sky-watcher or ufologist to kinda be at least somewhat familiar with how certain types of known aircraft move. You don’t have to put a ridiculous amount of effort into it either. A modicum of effort will likely provide a shitload of insight. To relate, take me for example. When I took the practical portion of my test for my pilot’s license, I admit that loads of stuff still didn’t make sense to me. I honestly have no idea how I passed my practical test on the first try, but somehow I did. As I continued flying over the next coupla years, all that weird shit started to make more sense, and I sometimes wondered how in the fuck that stuff didn’t make sense before. It made so much sense now.

Just trying to say, stay at it.

Clarity will come at its own pace
^Romeo Void – Never Say Never (Official Video)^

Channels under the skin. Within the layers of epidermis itself. Almost like dried riverbeds. Aggregate of dried sweat, salt, oil(s), perhaps even skin that could not be discarded because it was caught up in the fold(s) and other aggregates.

Gotta consider outside aggregates as well. Dirt(s) and dust(s), soaps, soot, chemicals, lotion(s) and creme(s)…the potentials are mind-boggling. Loads and loads of tiny particles collecting over time within the skin, and going for the most part completely unnoticed. Perhaps even somewhat like micro-glaciers within the skin. Channeling and funneling downwards towards the legs, feet, arms, hands.

I can only wonder about the lines that form on the finger and toe nails, and maybe perhaps how not only the motion of the body can affect these, but also the aggregates themselves and how they affect how the skin moves, how this affects connective tissues as well as the underlying fluidic systems and also the musculature(s). When you start thinking more in terms of asymmetrical and less-symmetrical types of movement, and especially when thinking in terms of up/down and in/out, plus spherical and vortical motion(s) of the epidermis, the potentials are damn near infinite. Especially over time and as ergonomics of an individual change.

A patch of skin under the right knee previously may have moved primarily vertically up and down, but due to lifestyle changes, the skin now moves horizontally side-to side. Or perhaps the skin no longer moves at all due to ergonomic or even pathological reasons. A bit at a disadvantage because of some childhood injuries to my own hands/feet/fingers/toes, so my own case may be considerably different than someone else.

I’m sorry but I cannot think that there is a direct connection between the internal and external moisture concentrations which may contribute to, what equates to, basically foreign material which cannot be expunged by the body. We see a “blemish”, we treat the blemish, when the source of/the driving factors contributing to the blemish may be actually elsewhere. Callouses, dark patches, light patches, yellow patches, red patches, warts, moles, freckles, pimples, blackheads, symmetrical, asymmetrical…how do these things contribute to how the epidermis does/does not move?

Most mysterious of all, in my own case, are pores. Why sometimes elevated? Why sometimes concave/depressed? The only thing that I can figure is perhaps because of the pressures and tensions of the surrounding tissue(s).

^Deftones – My Own Summer (Video)^

Fluids are strange. They do strange things under certain circumstances. Just saying that if you read the above, and even remotely understand what I’m chasing, you’ve gotta keep fluids and fluid dynamics in mind. Endocrine, lymphatic, circulatory, nervous, eccrine, respiratory, digestive, autonomic, vagus… We’ve got all kinds of I/O, interrupts, voluntary and involuntary nonsense to consider.

From farts and salivation to ejaculation and sweating to pissing and crying…

Lots of fluids maybe trying to go somewhere

Gotta keep those externals in mind as well. Prolly wanna pay some mind to prohibitive or maybe even reactionary types of things. From Chromium 6 and rubber particulate from automobile tires to pollen and various types of dirt and dust, ain’t much that can be ignored. Adhesives, wood product particulate, commercial dyes and textile particulate (like from clothing and such) are some good things to keep you aimed at oddities you might otherwise not consider.

^Grimes – World Princess Part II [Official Video]^

Quick question quasi-along those same lines…

Q: What do we do with garbage?

A: We bury it

Trash, garbage, waste(s) of all kinds…

we bury it

Someone someday is gonna come along someday and think they’ve stumbled onto a fucking goldmine.

Assuming there are any humans left that is

Q: Why does it matter if there are any humans left in the future?

A: BRB...I get the feeling that only my children can answer this question

I’ll give the answer in a future whatever/missive.

Or you can just…find your own answers.

Whatever.

^Grimes ft. Janelle Monáe – Venus Fly (Official Video)^

Lots of stuff that appears on your radar is going to be … erm … saturated. For example, a tweet starts the backwards nonsense stone to rolling.

You’ll need to keep an eye on the dates.

The REAL reason for the Iraq war? Saddam Hussein ‘had stargate portal to alien world’

And even further back, pretty much the same shit in a different package.

The REAL reason for the Iraq war? Saddam Hussein ‘had stargate portal to alien world’

But this is by no means “new news”. Lots of it is the same shit in a different wrapper.

There Are People Who Think The West Invaded Iraq Over a Stargate

When I saw that tweet today about Iraq War 2 and the Stargate, I was like…wait a fucking minute…this is AFN.

AFN = Ancient Fucking News

I remember hearing about this stargate shit WAY fucking back. Why in the hell is someone digging this shit back up???

Star Gate Found in Iraq The Real Reason We Went to War

There’s nothing new…

Iraqi Revolt Of 1920

…it’s just new to you.

^Iraq’s Secret War Files | Trailer | Available now^
There are problems with your “oneness” model
^Bananas As We Know Them Are Doomed^
LA Woman... … …El Lay Woah Man
^Helicopter View of the LA River | Van Nuys to Long Beach^

I only made it to 3:34 into this next video before having to stop.

So let me get this straight…you developed a process/technology to profile antibodies, then patented it. You’ve gone back and applied your process to other’s work, determined their stuff was wrong, and then tried to get them to adjust their findings to be in line with yours. You now think that everyone should put their published findings into your single global database. Basically, you’re trying to get a monopoly on what is right and wrong with respect to antibodies, and you are the sole determiner as to what is right and what is wrong. But best of all, you and your group gets a piece of every action.

Ballsy
^MUST WATCH: Debunking the Narrative (With Prof. Dolores Cahill)^

Getting a global monopoly on a mutative/mutable something would indeed be something grand to get your claws dug into. It virtually guarantees your business will stay in business, potentially anyway, forever. There is that pesky patent problem tho. She mentioned that the company was setup in 1997, but I have to wonder when the patent was actually issued. She mentions a company called “Protogen”, so let’s start there.

Protogen

Hrm…not off to a very good start, although I admit reading that sounds very close to what Professor Cahill just described. Let’s modify our search a bit.

Protogen Corporation
Protogen | The Expanse Roleplay
ProtoGen, Inc
Protogen : Big Data Solutions, Analysis, Reporting
Why does Mars work with this organisation for secret research?
Leviathan Wakes-Google Books Result
Protogen-Lipoic Acid

Alright wait, wait, wait…wait just a goddamn minute. I need to go back and read the subtitles on the video to see if she’s saying “Protogen”, or something else. Checked the description on the video, but not a single mention of Cahill’s company nor any links to any of Cahill’s stuff. Just a bunch of e-begging for the host and his stuff. And the captions for the video look like they may not help either because it’s saying “protege”? Maybe it’s Protegen instead of Protogen?

Protegen: Protective Antigens
(unsecure link above...fyi...click/browse at your own risk)
Protegen
Protegen: a web-based protective antigen database and analysis system
Protegen: a web-based protective antigen database and analysis system
PROTEGEN® – Pure Whey Protein Isolate – MorphogenNutrition
Protegen – omicX

I’m kinda thinking that maybe I need to just look up the name Dolores Cahill and work backwards from there. I hate doing that tho. Looking up people’s names on a search engine is pretty fucking creepy.

^Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn (Official Music Video)^

K so, instead of starting at a search engine, let’s see if we can find Dolores Cahill on Wikipedia first.

Irish Freedom Party

Hrm…no Wikipedia page for her, but her name does come up in a strange context. Especially considering that this party appears to have been founded in September of 2018, which is not long ago. Let’s keep digging in Wikipedia a bit more before moving on to Google.

South (European Parliament Constituency)
Yehuda Shoenfeld

She’s mentioned there at the bottom in footnote 9, which oddly has no link to a source. Going backwards, it looks like the article she was associated with has been retracted.

While two of Shoenfeld’s scientific articles have been retracted,[8][9] he has published more than 1920 papers.

This is kinda disconcerting for me. In the video, she’d mentioned autoimmune diseases which really made my ears perk up, and there’s mention of Rheumatology in footnote #9, which also has me further interested.

Integrin Alpha 2b
ICln, a Novel Integrin αIIbβ3-Associated Protein, Functionally Regulates Platelet Activation
Searching journal content for Dolores J. Cahill in author

Hrm…she’s only listed as author in 1 paper?

Fuckit...GOO GHOUL TIME!
Search Results Web results Dolores Cahill • BioTech Pharma Summit: Conference Series

Well THAT’s not a good start. Looks like whatever she provided at that conference has been removed. In fact, that whole goddamn website appears to be down.

Weird
Dolores J Cahill – The candidates contesting the EU Elections
Cahill, Dolores J – VIVO
Taking Our Democracy Back from the EU | Prof. Dolores Cahill at Irexit Cork

Those not real interested in Synchronicity might find this image beyond eccentric, but I paused the video at 11 seconds so I could copy the link to the video, and what appeared on that sign on the left was kinda…jarring.

FREED TO PR

Not to mention that 11:11 appears in the counter.

Q: Why would a nation need to be freed in order to control their own PR?

A: Maybe they don't like what “the big” is selling

Certain things which are representative of the whole, may in fact not be representative at all of the individual(s).

Dolores CAHILL | PhD | University College Dublin
Protein arrays: a high-throughput solution for proteomics research?
Dolores Cahill’s Biography – SELECTBIO
Euroscepticism and Ireland
Max Planck Society: Homepage
Max Planck Society
List Of Max Planck Institutes

Don’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but is it possible she’s getting railroaded because of her politics? If she’s really been within those systems, she’s be in a good position to see how they work, and maybe even some insight into what they are up to long term. Maybe she didn’t like what she saw. Those are just speculations on my part tho. I’ve only known she even existed for about 30 minutes now. How much about her could I possibly know?

I will say this tho, the Max Planck Institute has a metric fuckton of institutes. The appear to have their fingers in…

pretty much everything
^The Swine Flu Fraud of ’76 – 60 Minutes^
Painful bruising
Gardner-Diamond Syndrome
Painful Bruising Syndrome
Psychodermatology
Gardner-Diamond Syndrome: A Psychodermatological Condition in the Setting of Immunodeficiency
Mary K Dick, eh? I wonder if she's related to Phil

Q: Why would there not be interaction(s) between mind and skin?

A: ???

We generate all kinds of skin reactions based upon what our mind may be telling us how we personally feel about something. Goose-pimples, hair standing up, hot flashes, cold sweats, tingles, and even anticipatory types of things for certain events which may or may not happen. Like say, if I’m bent over the toilet, and I see my father’s arm start to move to swing a belt which is going to land somewhere between my knees and hips? I may feel some weird stuff in the skin of my upper-thighs, buttocks and lower back prior to the belt actually impacting and making contact with my flesh.

^Nine Inch Nails-Heresy (with lyrics)^

There has to be some anti-syncers out there. Not saying they are floaters, just, people who focus on sinking syncs. Discrediting, devaluing, disproving, debunking, whatthehellevering. They don’t get it, so they sink it.

Q: Is sinking syncs understanding of the same concept from a different angle/perspective?

A: ¿ ¿ ¿

I wonder if understanding the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere is the same thing as understanding the northern hemisphere from the northern hemisphere.

^Kinda I Want To^

May be difficult to believe, but all this bullshit started with me waking up and seeing an ant crawling across my keyboard.

^Muse – Knights Of Cydonia (Video)^

cYacFa

^Smack My Bitch Up^

*******

*Okay, Clicky… /exaggerated wink… Gotcha…*

Now that was a missive and a half, Dear Reader. We hope you enjoyed it 😀 There’s just time to let you know that Underdog Anthology XI: Tales from Loch Doon is now available on Kindle for the incredibly low price of 80p…

… Seriously, for such a down and dirty price, no one could blame you for…

*How was that, Clicky?*

dont know where to look

*Oh, bugger off…*

Have a Song, Dear Reader… ❤

Loch Doon Lift Off

*OMG, Clicky! Is it… Is it finally ready?*

UAXI Cover

*Yes! …/lights up and smokes… 80-fuckin’-pence? That’s an incredibly low price for some top quality entertainment, Clicky…*

*Or magick… /winks… Leggy mentions Aleister Crowley’s ‘Magick’ in the Foreword…*

*/drags… The book cover photo is one Leggy took at Loch Ness. Crowley once lived up there… /streams smoke… The place burnt down under mysterious circumstances last year…*

*Nah, pretty sure we’d know if Boleskine House had been hit by a meteorite, Clicky…*

book

*Oh, of course… /blushes… Yes, Mark Ellott’s story ‘The Meteorite’ can be read for free via Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ function…

*A line from that song inspired his second story, ‘The Trade’, Clicky… /flicks ash… Wow, all Mark’s books are 99p for lockdown as well…*

*Hang on, I know this! Marsha Webb has a story called ‘Stripes’ in the anthology… /final drag… It takes time to understand you, Clicky, but I am getting there… /stubs butt…*

absolutely fantastic

*This just in! …/sticks finger in ear… I see what you did there…*

*Oh tush… /pats snout… Praise Leggy – he’s the one giving all these writers a chance, and everybody else a chance to read them for very little outlay…*

*Yeah, his stories do seem to be taking a life on of their own, Clicky… /lights up and smokes…*

CLICK5: Truth Inside The Lie?

Story Time: The Trouble With Tibbles

Previously at the LoL*Thanks, Clicky… /lights up and smokes… Hope the Police don’t confiscate non-essential chair…*

Dear Reader, I’ll be reviewing Underdog Anthology XI: Tales of Loch Doon, in a post once it has been published, which will be any day now. However, as a taster, here’s my effort from the book. It’s a ‘Harry Egg’ tale, set in the early days of lockdown, if you can remember what life was like back then… 😉

*Err, Mr Tibbles is not a stray, but otherwise, that’s a great Song selection…*

*******

The Trouble With Tibbles

by Roo B. Doo

TTWT text message 1

Harry…”

Josie’s singsong voice called out to me, rousing me from slumber. I cracked open an eye and saw that I was in a hospital room, lying flat out on a bed, with Josie stood over me. The lost love of my life wore a skimpy nurse outfit that didn’t exactly look NHS approved. Not unless Ann Summers was now supplying the National Health Service with uniforms. This has to be a dream, I decided and settled back in anticipation of what was to come.

“Josie?” I croaked and reached out to stroke the back of her smooth, naked thigh. “Have you come to take care of me?”

“Oh yes, Harry, I’m going to take real good care of you.” Josie pulled herself up onto my bed and lithely straddled my prone body. The studs holding the front of her too tight tunic together popped open to reveal a racy lace and flesh tonic for the eyes. “Hold still,” she purred.

She scooched toward me, bouncing herself up my body until I could feel the weight of her curvaceous buttocks on my chest and the hot promise radiating from her groin. Slowly, Josie took the stethoscope from around her neck and delicately inserted the listening ends in her ears. She smiled down at me seductively, lowering her face until it was within inches of my own. Without saying a word, she placed the end of the stethoscope firmly over my lips.

“Err, do you want to try that again?” I asked out of the corners of my squashed mouth.

Josie did but this time found only my cheek. Then my eye, before finally she crushed the listening bell against the tip of my nose.

“Now for your injection,” she whispered breathlessly over me. Claws suddenly sprang out from the end of the stethoscope and dug painfully into the sides of my nose.

“Oww! Stop it,” I cried, wrenching my face from side to side. Above me Josie meowed.

I became aware of the unctuous, amber eyes observing me intently. Nestled within a fountain of fur, the eyes blinked once before a swift jab, with a smoky grey paw, socked me on the mouth.

“Gerroff, Tibbles!”

Mister Tibbles yawned lazily, stood up to stretch and gracefully one-eighty’d on my chest. The morning view of his backside was unparalleled, exactly as it had been for the past three mornings. I was confused; I’d purposely closed my bedroom door the night before, precisely to avoid a repeat of Mister Tibbles’ morning performance of the sun and full moon rising.

Riding out the Coronavirus lockdown with my best friend Lol seemed like such a good idea at the time. Three weeks, tucked away with my best friend forever, in his fully stocked house and an internet connection to die for? Why wouldn’t I jump at his offer to come and spend lockdown with him? True, either one of us might be infected with the 21st century ‘Hack Death’, but on balance, I decided to risk it. Besides, Lol wouldn’t have asked me to stay over unless he was scared, the big wuss.

What I hadn’t taken into consideration was how Mister Tibbles would feel about the new living arrangements. After only a few days of lockdown, I’d begun to suspect that Lol’s pedigree Persian Blue moggy considered me his personal plaything; I was little more than something Lol had dragged home as a gift, to be laid on the altar of the bed in the spare bedroom, all for Mister Tibbles’ enjoyment.

“Tibbles, as gorgeous as you are, I really don’t need to inspect your arse and bollocks every morning,” I said irritably and batted the kitty away. I reached over and grabbed my phone to check the time. “And at six o’fucking clock! Are you serious?”

Mister Tibbles regarded my exasperation from the foot of the bed, with passive swishes of his tail.

Gingerly, I explored the area around my nose with my fingertips. Thankfully Mister Tibbles’ wake up call hadn’t drawn blood as far as I could tell, but my hooter felt tender and sore. “And now you’ve got me touching my face.” I accused the moggy malevolently. “Don’t you know, we’re not supposed to touch our faces in this time of national emergency?”

In reply Mister Tibbles jumped silently to the floor and padded over to the bedroom door, before sauntering around it and out of sight.

“Bloody cat,” I muttered sourly and got out of bed. I needed to inspect the damage. Mister Tibbles was waiting for me just outside my bedroom, presumably to weave himself provocatively about my ankles, to trip me on my way to the bathroom. I thumped a tired fist against Lol’s bedroom door as I stumbled past. “Your bloody cat!”

I washed my hands before examining my face in the bathroom mirror. My eyes looked puffy and dry, no doubt due to the ghastly hour, combined with the two bottles of Merlot that Lol and I had polished off the night before. My nose, on the other hand, was red and scratched, like it had lost a fight to a cheese grater. Argh! Thank god I don’t have to show this in public.

I turned from the mirror to use the toilet and caught sight of Mister Tibbles. He sat serenely on the bath mat, gazing up at me. “No, no. You ruined my lovely dream and disfigured me, you bastard cat. I’m not letting you watch me take a piss. I am not here to entertain you, Tibbles. Get out.”

With an innate sense for impending danger, Mister Tibbles jumped back before my foot could make contact with him. He mewed mournfully at me before running out of the bathroom. I shut the door behind him. Firmly. I don’t know if I can take another two and a half weeks of Tibbles!

“What’s up buttercup?” Lol asked brightly as I entered the kitchen some ten minutes later. He was busy percolating coffee and unloading the dishwasher. He seemed perky, gratingly so.

“We’ve got to talk about Tibbles.”

“That’s Mister Tibbles, Harry,” Lol corrected me, with a mischievous smirk. “Mister T doesn’t like it if you don’t use his proper name.”

I sat down at the kitchen table. “I thought you said his proper name is ‘Prince Pomander the Third?”

“No, that’s his pedigree name,” Lol explained and placed a tiny cup of espresso before me. “He doesn’t like to brag of his royal lineage. That’s why his proper name is Mister Tibbles. What’s happened to your nose?”

Mister Tibbles is what happened,” I told him bluntly, just managing to stop myself from touching my nose by reflex. “Your Prince Pomander thought it quite the jolly idea to use it as a punch ball, to wake me up.” I couldn’t see the fluffy ratbag anywhere. “Where is he by the way?”

“Back garden, stalking squirrels.” Lol handed me two Paracetamol tablets, which I took with a quick drain of my espresso cup. Molten bitterness hit the back of my throat like an express train. I coughed.

“Are you sure you haven’t got the lurg?” Lol asked suspiciously and gave the kitchen table top the once over with a handy disinfectant wipe. Handy packets of wipes were strategically placed in each room of Lol’s house. He’d been following the spread of the virus since the start of the year, via a financial blog he subscribed to. With some foresight, he’d been gradually gathering essentials before stockpiling suddenly became all the rage.

“Yes, I’m sure,” I replied sullenly. “I wouldn’t mind a regular coffee though. One that doesn’t make me cough. You know, with plenty of milk and two sugars.”

“Then help yourself. Mi casa es tu casa, Harry,” Lol told me with a smile. He pulled a fleece jacket on over his lycra cycling garb and downed his espresso.

“You going out?” I asked innocently.

Lol put his cycle helmet on. “Well, seeing as you found it necessary to wake me up so early, H, I thought I’d take advantage of the beautiful morning and clear roads. Would you like to join me on a cycle ride?”

It was a token offer; Lol knew and I knew it; exercise and me are barely nodding acquaintances.

I got up and put the kettle on. “No, I think I’ll go and do a set of stretch and surf in the front room.”

Lol raised a quizzical eyebrow.

“By utilizing your sofa for maximum support,” I explained, whilst loading a coffee cup with heaped teaspoons of instant Columbian and sugar, “I will be stretching out vigorously, with my coffee, to watch breakfast telly, followed by a session of riding the waves of the internet.”

“And no need to change out of your sleep attire. Excellent! Well, make sure you don’t over exert yourself. I shouldn’t be gone longer than an hour.” Lol opened the back door to a stream of early morning sunshine. “Maybe two. Do you want me to leave this open for Mister Tibbles?”

The sun may be shining but the air had a distinctly chilly feel to it. “No, I’ll let the Prince of Pommels back in when he’s finished terrorising the local wildlife.” I shivered and pulled my dressing gown around me tighter. “Go! The draught is freezing.”

Lol made to kiss me on the cheek but stopped himself short. “This corona business is just too weird, Harry,” he whispered sadly, close to my ear.

“I know, Lol,” I whispered back. We stood there for a second, not touching, but feeling the weight of our previously tactile existence fill the space between us. “Go on, go and get your daily permitted exercise.”

Lol left and I finished making my coffee before settling down in front of the gogglebox. I started flicking through the channels: squeaky clean sofa people looking solemn on BBC1; pernickety house buyers searching for their dream home on Two; Piers Morgan indulging in a bout of hissy-fitting on ITV; and on Channel Four, a careworn repeat of ‘Cheers’. Jesus fuck! What a load of crap. No thanks!

I switched the telly off and opened my laptop. Oh, how I missed work. Not the people so much as the busyness and structure of the day. Working from home is all well and good when there’s actual work to do, but since the Fat Kontroller had decided to furlough the business in the short-term, there wasn’t very much for me to do. I felt redundant.

What I needed was a project, something to keep me occupied or I might end up going stark staring mad. A sudden, fearful notion gripped me: what if I started to miss Shazza, F.A. Kontrell’s mouthy receptionist and bane of my working life? I mentally shuddered. Get a grip, I chastised myself. Purge that image, Harry. Time to work up a sweat.

A soft thump on the front room window, diverted my attention away from the ‘Hot Russian Babes Twerking Workout’ YouTube video on my laptop screen. Mister Tibbles, bane of my lockdown life, sat on the outside ledge, peering in. Oh no, I forgot to let the cat in, I mentally whined.

“Go round to the back,” I shouted. Mister Tibbles didn’t move, except for his eyes, which gave a lazy blink.

I contemplated ignoring him; that generally works with Shazza. Lol, however, would never forgive me, though, if anything happened to his beloved and extremely valuable cat. Reluctantly, I put the laptop on the floor, sighed and got up off the sofa.

“Okay, I’m coming,” I called and opened the front door. Apart from a chorus of bird song, there seemed no other sign of life in the street outside.

Mister Tibbles wasn’t sitting on the front window ledge; the annoying furball was nowhere to be seen. I leaned out and scanned the empty road. “Come along Mister Tibbles. Breakfast,” I called sweetly. I expected to feel the soft rush of fur against my bare feet, but all I felt was a chilly, spring gust of wind on my face. “Tibbles?”

Keeping the front door ajar with my left foot, I stepped forward for a better view of the street. I was totally unprepared for the warm squelch I felt under my right heel, nor for the crunch of small bones.

“Argh!”

I lifted my leg with disbelief. A flattened and decidedly dead mouse clung to the bottom of my foot, held in place by its blood and guts. Only its tail moved, which fluttered gently in the breeze.

“ARGHHH!!!”

I hopped outside, toward the patch of lawn at the front of Lol’s house; I had to wipe the foul remains off my being. “Ew, ew, EWWww! Oh My God! That is so disgusting!”

The mouse peeled off easily and lay discarded among the dewy blades, but I continued to scrape my heel and foot through the wet grass, round and around the lawn, determined to remove any rodent residue. My mind shrieked in disgust, Unclean! Unclean!

Miaow.

Mister Tibbles sat on the front step, watching my demented circling with a look of feline bemusement.

“Tibbles!” I rushed toward him but, sensing the murder in my heart, Mister Tibbles quickly scarpered back inside the house. “TIBBLES, NO!”

Too late. In his eagerness to escape, Mister Tibbles bumped the edge of the door with his hightailing. I watched in horror as the front door swung tantalizingly to and fro, before the wind grabbed it and brought it to a close with a click.

“NOOO!!!”

I stopped in my tracks, and for a split second the birds ceased their conversations and the wind dropped. There was only silence, complete silence, and I felt as if the eyes of the Universe were upon me. I stood there, utterly alone, wearing only my pyjamas, a dressing gown and some dead mouse. Then from one of the trees that lined the suburban street I heard the sound of a crow caw. To my ears it sounded like a guffaw.

A flicker of smokey grey movement caught my attention from the corner of my eye. Inside the house, Mister Tibbles had jumped up onto the front room window sill and was prowling along it, beating the glass pane with his tail.

You are so dead! I banged on the window with my fists.

Mister Tibbles didn’t flinch. He meowed and leapt to the floor, before strutting over to the sofa, where he curled up in the comfy spot that until recently I’d been happily occupying. Seemingly ignorant of my impotent knocking, Mister Tibbles then cocked his back leg above his head and set about licking his balls.

“I’m gonna get you,” I growled menacingly at the cat.

For the birds too, it appeared entertainment time was over as they went back to their noisy discussions. Not to be left out, a stream of cold air whistled past, stinging my still tender shnozz and flapping the ends of my dressing gown. I tried the front door but it was shut tight. I inspected the bottom of my foot to make sure it was mouse-free and wondered what the hell I was going to do until Lol returned. I hoped to fuck that he’d thought to take a key with him.

Did he lock the back door when he left? Lol had closed the back door, but had he locked it? I wave of hope surged through me: Maybe I can get in through the back!

As befitting his status of local branch bank manager, Lol’s home was a modest, three bedroom terrace house. The houses either side of his were semi-detached and next to one was a side alley that led to Lol’s back garden. Not wanting to track dirt into his pristine abode, Lol always used the passage to access his house when he went out cycling. I could get to his garden! Even if Lol had locked the back door, at least I could get off the street. I hadn’t seen anybody walk by yet, but that was no guarantee that there wouldn’t be any passersby. I decided to go for it.

Fortified with a plan of action, I belted my dressing gown tight and sprinted out of the front garden and onto the street, passing the neighbour’s house until I reached the entrance to the side alley. Not being a cyclist, I’d never used the entrance before, so my heart sank when I saw the 6ft wood gate blocking the entrance. It rattled and creaked when I pushed at it but the gate wouldn’t open. Locked! Shit! I’ll have to climb over it.

With my right hand grabbing the top of the gate, I climbed up onto the neighbour’s low garden wall adjacent to it. Now, if I can just get my leg over…

“Wot you doin?”

I froze at the sound of the voice coming from behind me.

“Yeah, wot you up to lady? You tryna break in?” a second voice, chimed in.

Oh great! Company!

I turned my head and saw two boys loitering on the street, staring at me. They were dressed in the ubiquitous teenage uniform of the day: hoodies, jeans, trainers, insolence.

“Kind of, yes,” I said climbing off the wall to face them. “I’ve got locked out of my house.”

The two boys looked at each other and then back at me. “Figures,” the taller of the two boys said. “That’s the wrong gear to wear for breakin’ in to ‘ouses.”

“Yeah, no gloves, no shoes. That’s like trailin’ your DNA shit everywhere, innit?” the second boy confirmed.

Oh God. Idiots. I shrugged my shoulders. “Well, quite.”

The boys turned away and conferred for a moment. I waited patiently for them to finish, acutely aware of the ridiculousness of my situation.

Eventually the taller boy spoke. “You wanna boost?”

“Yeah, lady. You wanna boost?”

Oh God. Stereo idiots. Despite my misgivings, I decided to accept their offer. By now all I wanted to do is get inside and have a hot bath. “Yes, please. That would be lovely, thank you.”

The boys approached me and the taller idiot crouched down in front of the gate with his hands held out in front of him, fingers interlocked. “So how come you got locked out then?”

“Yeah, how come?” came his echo.

I placed my left foot on the outcupped hands and grabbed the top of the gate with both hands. “That’s not really any business of yours, is it?”

The fingers under my foot unlaced and it slammed to the floor. “Oww!”

The crouching idiot look up at me from beneath his hood. “Do you want our ‘elp?”

“Yeah, do ya?” the second idiot asked from behind his mobile phone.

“Hold on, are you filming this?”

The first idiot stood up, towering over me. “See it’s like this. We can get stuff from school for doing good works. Like vouchers for stuff. Microsoft points for the X-Box-”

“Yeah, X-Box points.”

“And other things,” the taller idiot continued, “But we have to be able to prove it. We’ve gotta have evidence of our good works, see?”

“Yeah, we gotta provide the evidence.”

I was fuming but not really in a position to argue: I did need their help. I inspected the bottom of my foot and rubbed the gravel and grit embedded in it. “Okay, I’ll tell you. But swap places with me so I can use my other foot.”

I took a deep breath and addressed the phone camera. “Hello. My name is Harry Egg. I’ve been locked out of my friend Lol’s house, where I’m staying for lockdown, by Prince Pomander the Third, and these two lovely chaps are going help me get back in.”

“Wait, who’s Prince Pom… Pom whatever?” the camera idiot asked. Ha! You’re not just an echo, I thought, but you’re still an idiot.

“Prince Pomander. The Third. He’s a cat, also known as Mister Tibbles and he left a dead mouse on the doorstep for me this morning.”

“Nasty!” the taller idiot said, crouching down.

“Yeah, nasty!”

“Very nasty indeed.” I placed my right foot in the crouching idiot’s hands, grabbed the top of the gate and lightly bounced on my standing leg. “You should have seen the blood and guts squirt out everywhere when I trod on it.”

“No way! What foot?” camera idiot asked.

I pushed down hard with my right foot on crouching idiot’s hands and bounced up. With a mighty heave, I pulled myself up onto the top of the gate. “The one he’s holding.”

“WHAA?!” Crouching idiot sprang to his feet forcefully and propelled me up and over the gate. “Nah, nah, nah. Stop filming!”

I lay flat on the ground in a daze. I could hear the boys arguing on the other side of the gate. I didn’t care, I just wanted to get up and back to the house. I raised myself up into a sitting position and fought back tears.

Camera idiot’s head and phone appeared over the gate. “Hey lady, you alright?”

Am I alright? I didn’t think anything was broken except my pride. “Yes, fine thank you,” I replied, getting to my feet and putting on a brave face. “No bones broken.”

“That was wicked! I’ve never seen anyone fly so high!” camera idiot said enthusiastically.

“You’re welcome.” I turned and trailing my hand along the neighbour’s high wooden fence to keep me steady, started to hobble along the alley. “And tell your friend to wash his hands.”

A second gate prevented direct access to Lol’s back garden, but this one wasn’t so high. I would have barged it down if I’d had to, but managed to scramble over it. At last, I was in the safety of the back garden. Whereas the street was bathed in the shadow of the house, the back garden suffered no deficit of sunlight. The grass looked green and lush, sparkling with diamonds as the dew drops amplified the light, and only the gentlest of breezes caused Lol’s saffron headed daffodils to bob as I passed. It’s really nice out here, I thought. I should have just sat out here this morning.

I reached the back door, grabbed the handle and turned. Please God, please God, please God.

The door swung open. Hallelujah!

“Harry.” Lol was opening the back gate and wheeling his bicycle into the garden. He looked athletic and ruddy. The bastard!

“Hello Lol. How was your ride? Busy out there?”

“Yeah, it was great. Hardly any traffic.” Lol leaned his bike up against the wall of the house. “You look dreadful, Harry. Are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” I said, stepping over the door threshold and into the kitchen. “I’m going to have a long, hot bath. You can come up and sit with me if you like and I’ll tell you all about it.” I paused. “Mister Tibbles is not invited.”

TTWT text message 2

*******

*Mister Tibbles certainly has the measure of Harry, Clicky…*

Underdog Anthology XI will be available on Kindle from Amazon for the super low price of 99p/99c for the duration of lockdown, as indeed are all the anthologies and novels from Leg Iron Books…

Leg_Iron_Books

*Well done, Leggy! …/stubs butt… That’s seriously good value, Clicky…*

Until next time, Dear Reader, have a Song… 😀

Underdog Anthology XI: Tales From Loch Doon

Good news, Dear Reader! Underdog Anthology XI: Tales From Loch Doon will be published in time for Beltane…

*Me either, Clicky… /lights up… Leggy’s had… /drags… an ‘ell of a year so far… /plumes smoke… Still, we’re nearly there…*

… It features 14 stories from 9 authors and each is a little cracker…

*Nah, we missed the Easter deadline this year, Clicky, wot with one thing or another…*

… And to get us in the mood, the Afterword, with mutilated poem by a dead poet, is reproduced, below…

*******

Afterword

by Roo B. Doo

2019 was generally considered a whacked out, fucked up and completely bonkers year, Dear Reader. Then 2020 arrived with a polite request to ‘Hold my-‘

Corona beer

*Clicky! There’s no gifs in the book… /flicks ash…*

Today is Easter Monday and, as I write, the majority of the global population are locked in their homes, patiently waiting for curves to flatten and Coronavirus cures to be found, so that they get out and get on their normal lives. Currently there is no end in sight.

Hopefully we’ll still be around for ‘Underdog Anthology XII’, due out in October, but in the meantime, Leg Iron Books have generously slashed the price of its Kindle offerings to 99p/99c, so there is no need to be bored. COVID-19 is a novel virus, doncha know 😉

Leg Iron Books

Now for some more butchering…

Beloved children’s author A.A. Milne authored the Winnie-the-Pooh books. The Public school, which his father ran and where little Alan Alexander grew up, employed H.G. Wells as a teacher. Herbert George famously wrote the novel ‘War Of The Worlds’ in which a thriving population was wiped out by a microorganism. If you’re not at all familiar with that story, then apologies for the spoiler.

spoiler

*Cut it out, Clicky… /rolls eyes…*

Fortunately, A.A. Milne was also a poet and now joins the ranks of Shakespeare, Blake, Lazarus et al. on the slab of an Underdog Anthology Dead Poets page, with a mutilation of his children’s verse ‘Now We Are Six’. It lends itself rather well to the current times…

Now We Are Sick

When it was One,
It had just begun.
When it was Two,
It was Wuhan Flu.
When it was Three
People start to flee.
When it was Four,
Italy at death’s door.
When it was Five,
Boris is alive!
But now we are sick,
Locked down and Covid-clever,
So I think we’ll be sick now for ever and ever.

Keep well, Dear Reader, and if you can’t free your body, then free your mind.

*******

Have a Song, Dear Reader… ❤

 

Story Time: BOGOF

*What’s got DP so riled up, Clicky?*

*Oh, the latest installment of the Battle for Brexit… /lights up and smokes… The everso grubby Corona Skirmish. How’s that going for the Remoaning Media?*

*Figures. They never learn…*

Welcome back, Dear Reader. After posting ‘She’s In The Shower’ earlier this week…

*Beautiful, Clicky… /puffs contentedly…*

…We thought we’d treat you to another story from UAVIII. Mine this time. It’s called ‘BOGOF’ and has nothing whatsoever to do with toilet paper. Enjoy 😉

*******

BOGOF

By Roo B. Doo

The supermarket was already a hive of activity by the time Clive Ambrose squelched into the admin office of the Marchway Emporium. He removed his sodden jacket, shook his feet and inspected the wet hem of his trouser legs. “Good grief, Sylvie, the weather’s absolutely filthy today.”

His assistant looked up from the paperwork on her desk. Sylvie arched a quizzical eyebrow and clucked at the dripping store manager stood in front of her. “Morning, Clive. You’re late.”

It was barely fifty yards from his reserved parking space to the staff entrance, but the morning’s unexpected squally shower had drenched Clive every step of the way. The car park could do with resurfacing, he thought glumly. Some of those puddles are deep.

“And today of all the days!” Clive exclaimed, pinching wet and steamy glasses off his nose. “Fiona’s car wouldn’t start, so I had to drop her off at the University first. She had an early lecture. Empowerment of women in a post-Brexit toxic wasteland, or something like that.”

Sylvie widened her eyes and pursed her lips. She offered Clive the box of man-sized tissues from her desk.  “Doesn’t she know you voted to leave?”

“Lord no!” Clive snorted, patting away the rain and perspiration beads that studded his face. “That would kill her. A shock like that could cause an embolism.”

“Or a heart attack…”

“At the very least it could induce a catatonic state.”

“But they’re all natural causes, Clive,” Sylvie simpered slyly. “No court would convict you, surely.”

Clive dried his glasses off with a fist full of tissues. “Probably not. I’ll bear it in mind.” As much as he enjoyed the banter with Sylvie, Clive was under no illusion that should his beloved wife Fiona ever find out that he’d voted for Brexit, she wouldn’t be the spouse in danger of dying.

Sylvie pushed her ample frame away from her desk, stood up and slipped on her shoes. She straightened the seam on her skirt and tottered over to the office doorway. “I’ll get you a coffee, Clive. A frothy one with sprinkles?”

Clive returned his now freshly dried glasses to his face and looked his assistant up and down. “You look different today, Sylvie. Are you taller?”

“I’m wearing heels.”

“I’ve not seen you in stilettos before. And is that make up?”

Sylvie flicked her thick, blonde hair from her shoulders nonchalantly and plucked a non-existent piece of lint from her sleeve. “Well it’s not every day the Emporium is graced by celeb chef royalty. Housewives favourite, Freddie Calender, here, giving a cookery demonstration? I thought I’d make the effort, Clive.”

Clive was suddenly worried that he’d gone too far. He would hate to offend Sylvie; sometimes he thought she was his only friend. “No, you look very smart. That’s smart thinking, Sylvie. Well done. Smart all round.”

Sylvie smiled at her blushing boss and bobbed her head. “So, coffee. With froth and sprinkles?”

“Yes please,” Clive said gratefully. He clapped his hands together and looked around his office. “So, big day ahead. I’ll go and check out the Freddie Calendar books and DVDs promotion once my shoes have dried out a bit, but I do need to speak to Alan. I suspect with this weather, and the amount of customers we’re likely to attract today, we’ll need extra matting and mopping.”

“I’ll find him and send him through,” Sylvie said with a smile and left the office with an unsteady wobble.

Clive grimaced and continued to worry about slips, trips and falls.

+++

Kara Swinton pulled the sun visor down from above her head and checked her appearance in the tiny mirror fixed to the back of it. Despite the early hour, she didn’t think she looked too bad; a little pale maybe, but better than she ought to considering what little sleep she’d managed to get the night before. As she turned her face from side to side she caught a glimpse of the figure slumped, sleeping in the back seat of the Uber cab they were taking to Marchway, and thought he looked considerably worse than her.

“There’s a light if you want to fix your make-up,” the driver next to her said helpfully. His eyes didn’t waver from the dark road ahead as he reached up and flicked a switch next to the mirror.

Ugh! Kara thought at the dark rings under her eyes, now illuminated by the harsh, blue light that spilled over her. She quickly switched it off and pushed the sun visor up to its original position. She could kill for a cigarette. “No, that’s okay. Thank you, I don’t want to wake him.”

“No problem,” the driver replied. He flashed a bright smile at Kara before tilting his head back toward the sleeping figure. “Late night, was it?”

Kara considered telling him that they’d spent the evening in the bar at the House of Commons – how they’d drunk far too much in an effort to keep up with their very thirsty host, an MP of twenty years standing, in an attempt to solicit further backing – but decided against it. “Kinda,” she replied with a shrug. “A work thing.”

They traveled in silence that was intermittently broken by burbled snores from the back seat. Several times Kara noticed the driver’s dark eyes flicking up to the rear view mirror, to stare inquiringly at the slack jawed, drooling face of her boss. He can’t place him, she decided. And no wonder, the public rarely sees Freddie Calender, TV chef and food activist, without his trademark grin and sparkling eyes. Kara stifled a yawn, I won’t tell him unless he asks.

Freddie turned in his seat and farted loudly.

“Oh Freddie,” Kara groaned under her breath and pushed a button on her door. The window whined down and the raw sound of the motorway rushed in. “You’d better do the same,” she advised the driver. “It’s Dev, right?”

“Yeah and you’re Kara,” Dev chuckled and shook his head. “That’s okay. I lived in India when I was little. Nothing pongs as bad as India. It was like being inoculated against future bad smells.”

Kara smiled as she allowed the cold air to stream over her face, letting it beat all traces of tiredness away. She breathed deeply; it smelt like rain. “Dev, would it be okay with you if I smoked a cigarette?”

“Freddie?” Dev started having caught the name. “Is that’s Freddie Calender, the chef off the telly?”

Kara pulled a battered metal cigarette case from her coat pocket and waggled it at Dev. “I’ll tell you if you’ll let me smoke.”

“Sure,” Dev said, flashing Kara with another bright smile. “If you don’t mind that I vape.” He pulled a white plastic tube from his door well and twirled it between his fingers, waggling his eyebrows.

“Heh. Not at all.” Kara returned his smile; Dev had a nice smile. “Thank you, you’re a life saver. This is my first today.” She reached into her other coat pocket and pulled out an equally battered lighter. “Of course, the first one always tastes better with coffee,” she sighed, lighting up, careful to blow the first drag of smoke out of the window.

“So am I right?” Dev opened his window and took a pull on his vape stick. “I am aren’t I? That’s Freddie Calender.”

“Yes he is,” Kara said sweetly, turning back to look fondly over her comatose boss. Freddie shifted and farted again. “TV chef, mediocre businessman,” she continued tartly, turning back to face forward, “and scourge of BOGOF.” Kara inclined her head toward the open window and took another deep drag on her cigarette. “That Freddie Calender.”

“And what’s a BOGOF?” Dev asked.

Kara laughed softly to cover her surprise. She watched the orange sparks dance atop her cigarette and disappear into the morning air as the car’s slipstream simultaneously whisked away it’s ashen hat.  “You’ve never heard of BOGOF?”

Dev turned his head toward Kara and shook it, although his eyes remained fixed on the road ahead. “No, is it a toilet thing?”

“Eww, no.” Kara studied the blank expression on Dev’s face and concluded that he really didn’t know. “It’s short for ‘Buy One Get One Free’… bee-oh-gee-oh-eff. BOGOF.” Still nothing. “Obviously you don’t do the grocery shopping in your house,” she teased.

Dev took another deep pull on his vape stick and blew a plume of steam out of his open window. “If you want to know if I’m in relationship, you can just ask me.”

Cheeky sod, Kara thought, coughing to hide her embarrassment; she had noticed that the very good looking cab driver wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. “Okay, I’ll play. Do you have a girlfriend, Dev?”

“No,” Dev stated seriously before flashing Kara with another winning smile. “But I take my mum to the supermarket and help with the food shop every week. I’ve just never actually heard anyone call it BOGOF before. Do people even say that?”

“BOGOF,” Freddie slurred from the depths of sleep.

Kara and Dev burst into laughter. They tried suppressing their mirth so as not to wake him so that their shoulders shook all the more. Kara threw the butt of her exhausted cigarette out of the window and let the rushing wind carry it away with a howl of laughter.

“Surreal,” Dev said shaking his head slowly. “My first famous fare and it’s completely surreal.”

“Freddie has that effect sometimes,” Kara sighed. “Have we got very much further to go?” she asked, arching her back. The cigarette and laughter had relaxed her somewhat, but Kara could do with stretching her legs.

“Marchway is about thirty minutes away,” Dev replied, glancing up through the windscreen at the overcast sky. “If it doesn’t rain.” He tapped at the sat nav screen. “Actually, there’s a service station coming up. Do you want to stop and get coffee?”

“That would be great, thanks. I’ll wake his nibs up then, so he has enough time to come to.” Kara knew Freddie would appreciate that, and a strong, black coffee would probably do him the world of good.

+++

“There you go.” Sylvie placed a bacon sandwich and cappuccino in front of Clive. “I thought you could do with something to eat as well. I doubt you had time this morning.”

Clive was touched. He’d had to forgo his usual bowl of muesli because of Fiona’s car troubles. Not that he minded missing Fiona’s muesli, but he’d hadn’t realised just how hungry he was until he smelt the aroma of bacon. Clive smacked his lips and beamed up at Sylvie. “Thank you very much indeed.”

“You’re welcome,” Sylvie said beaming a smile back.“Did you talk to Alan yet?”

Clive took a huge bite out of his sandwich and nodded enthusiastically.

Sylvie liked to see Clive eat and was quite convinced his wife didn’t feed him at all. “Good. I see Freddie Calender is in the newspaper today. We get a mention.”

Clive stopped mid-chew and swallowed. “National or local press?”

Sylvie pulled a folded newspaper from under her arm and passed it to Clive.” Local, but he’s in all the nationals as well. Page seven.”

Clive wiped his fingers on the napkin Sylvie had thoughtfully tucked under his bacon sandwich, and opened the newspaper. Freddie Calender stared out, all twinkling eyes and dimpled grin. Clive read the accompanying article in silence, while Sylvie watched his brow slowly furrow.

Eventually he looked up. “Here we are at the end, but what’s this ‘BOG OFF to BOGOF’ business? What’s he got against ‘buy one get one free’?”

Sylvie had already returned to her desk and kicked off her shoes. “I’ll look it up,” she said, skittering painted nails over the keyboard. “Here we are. I’ve found the website.”

Clive continued eating his sandwich, more slowly this time, and re-read the article.

“It’s like it says in the newspaper,” Sylvie murmured reading the words on screen. “He’s heading up a national campaign to ban ‘buy one get one free’ deals. “‘It’s time to tell Big Retail that we don’t want more of their junk products that we didn’t need in the first place.’ Bloody cheek!”

Clive took a slurp of cappuccino and sucked the foam off his mustache. “Listen to this: ‘It’s all too easy to be lured into buying ready meals, thinking ‘what a bargain’, when the truth is, that second portion of processed crap languishing in your fridge, will be binned when it’s past it’s sell-by date because the first one tasted so bad.’” Clive looked up at Sylvie and blinked. “He’s very strident in his criticism.”

“He’s very rude is what he is,” Sylvie huffed, bristling with indignation “And quite wrong. Our ‘Authentic Dishes of the World’ ranges are delicious and very popular. Especially the chicken Tikka Masala in ‘Feasts from the East’. Do you think Head Office knows about this?”

“I doubt it, Sylvie.” Clive rubbed his hands together to remove any sandwich crumbs from his fingers, and wiped his mouth. “They’ve been exceptionally buoyed ever since landing Calender’s ‘Time to Cook’ nationwide tour. His name has a certain cachet, but you’re right to ask. We should find out. Can you get me Megan at Head Office on the phone?”

“Of course.” Sylvie picked up the receiver of her telephone console and jabbed at the keypad with a pen. “It won’t stop with ready meals, Clive, you mark my words. We have BOGOF deals on wine, pet foods, toiletries… Oh good morning. Could I speak to Megan Prendergast, please. Clive Ambrose from the Marchway store would like to speak with her. Thank you, we’ll hold.” She kept the receiver to her ear but placed a hand over the mouthpiece. “And has he even considered the impact this could have on food banks? I bet he hasn’t.”

Clive drained his coffee cup and reached down to slip his mostly dried shoes back onto his feet. He appreciated his assistant’s feistiness – finding Sylvie strangely attractive when she had her hackles up – but unintended consequences were a fact of life. The trick, in Clive’s opinion, was to deal with them as best you can and to always look for the silver lining.

His thinking was interrupted when Sylvie nodded several times toward the phone on his desk. He picked up the receiver. “Good morning, Megan, Clive Ambrose from Marchway here. Tell me, have you seen the Freddie Calender articles in the press today?”

Sylvie leaned back in her chair and watched Clive’s conversation. He didn’t say much but from his facial expressions and body language, Sylvie could tell that Head Office was as shocked by the news as they were.

“No, of course you need to scrutinize his contract thoroughly. The issue I have is that we’re expecting him to arrive at the store in a little over an hour.” Clive rolled his eyes at Sylvie at the response he was hearing before eventually saying “Goodbye” and ending the call.

“Well?” Sylvie asked expectantly. “Are we going to cancel?”

Clive stood up and pulled his jacket on. “No, the Legal department needs to study his contract properly. That takes time.”

Sylvie gave a snort of disgust. “So we’re going to have to be nice to him, all the while he’s slagging us off in the press?”

“Well, not us per se, he’s not stupid,” Clive soothed, straightening his tie. “But Head Office seems a little bereft of ideas.” He started for the office door, but stopped to pick at something stuck in his teeth. He pulled the irritant out; it was a piece of bacon. He studied it and thought about Fiona’s muesli, the morning’s deluge and his satisfied bacon-filled stomach, before popping it back into his mouth. There’s always a silver lining to be found.

“Come along on, Sylvie,” Clive said, holding the door open for her. “We should go and inspect the demonstration and promotional areas. I really hope this weather doesn’t keep the customers away.”

+++

Dev leaned against the pillar in the coffee shop, watching Kara pay at the counter. He allowed his eyes a moment to rake over her slender form, though he quickly looked away when she glanced up and caught his stare.  Kara was all smiles as she approached him with the coffees.

“Here you go,” she said and handed Dev a cardboard cup, topped with a plastic adult teat. “A tall Flat White. That’s on me.”

“Thanks Kara, but there’s no need.”

They moved to the napkin station where Kara liberally applied brown sugar to her larger cup of white chocolate Mocha. “Oh don’t worry about. I got it with my loyalty points.” She pulled the wooden stirrer between her lips and sucked off the milky foam. “Consider it as part of your tip.”

Dev sipped gingerly from the steaming hole in the lid of his cup. “I’ve had plenty of racing tips as tips but this is much nicer.”

“Why, weren’t any of those tips any good?” Kara asked playfully.

“Nah, they were all nags,” Dev said with a grin and tilted his cup toward Kara. “Thanks again.”

They left the coffee shop and as they reached the entrance doors to the service station. Both were surprised to find the rain that threatened earlier had actually arrived. A sheet of water fell from the roof covering the entrance like a second transparent door.

“Oh hell, we’re gonna get soaked!” Dev declared as he gauged the strength of the rain and the distance to the car. “We’ll have to make a run for it.”

“No sodding way,” Kara hollered over the sound of the falling rain. “I want to have a smoke before we go back. Freddie hates me smoking.” She sauntered over to an empty table and chairs set back from the cascading rain, under the cover the overhanging roof.

Dev followed her and sat down. He patted his pockets. “Oh shit, I’ve left my vape stick in the car.”

“You won’t be able to vape when we get back either. Freddie hates that too.” Kara said pulling the battered metal box from her pocket and extracted a cigarette. “Would you like one of mine?”

She watched Dev dithering as to whether to take one or not. Oh you bad girl, Kara, she chastised herself but felt no pangs of guilt. “You don’t have to of course, but you should also consider this as part of your tip.”

“No, it’s okay,” Dev laughed, “but I appreciate the offer.” He took the battered Zippo lighter from Kara’s hand and flicked it into life. “Here, let me.”

Kara took a deep drag and blew the smoke out of the side of her mouth, away from Dev. She took the teated lid off her coffee and took a cautious slip. “Ahh, the second smoke of the day tastes equally as good with coffee.”

Dev turned the Zippo lighter between his thumb and index finger. “Hey, the case and lighter match. That’s neat.”

Kara took another drag and plucked the lighter from Dev’s fingers. She placed it on top of the cigarette case. “They were my granddad’s. He swapped them with a Yank during the war.”

“What did he swap them for?”

“Provisions. They were both POWs in World War Two. I got them when he died a couple of years back. Well, my sister doesn’t smoke, so they came to me,” Kara said with a shrug. “They’re a useful memento.”

“Of your granddad,” Dev murmured solemnly.

“Well yes,” Kara drawled and release a plume of smoke from her mouth. “And that neither smoking, nor bloody combat managed to see him off.”

Dev eyed the steadily falling rain and lightly drummed his fingers on the table top. “Go on then, as it’s part of my tip.”

Kara chuckled and slid her cigarette box and lighter over to Dev. “Knock yourself out.”

Dev lit up a cigarette. “So if Freddie Calender doesn’t like smoking-”

“He hates smoking.”

“And vaping-” Dev popped the lid from his Flat White.

“Completely loathes it.”

“And hates BOGOFs-” He took a slurp of his coffee.

“Vehemently.”

“Is there anything Freddie Calender does like?” Dev asked, licking hot foam from his lips.

Kara flicked ash onto the floor. “You mean apart from Freddie Calender? Um…”. She puffed out her cheeks in contemplation.

“Ha, yes.”

“Jammie Dodgers.” Kara lent in toward Dev and whispered conspiratorially. “They’re his secret vice.”

Dev smiled and gazed at Kara snort with laughter at her own joke. He let his eyes linger on her pale and beautiful face, and this time, when she caught him staring, Dev did not look away.

He chipped off the remains of his cigarette and stood up. “The rain seems to be easing up some. If you’ve finished that, I think we could make a run for it. We shouldn’t get too wet.”

“Okay.” Kara took a final drag and discarded the butt into an encroaching puddle of rainwater. It hissed and fizzled out. “Freddie hates it when his coffee is cold.”

+++

Freddie Calender slung his foot out of back of the black saloon car and into a puddle of water. “Bollocks!” he swore loudly and pulled his foot back inside, wiping the sides of his pristine white trainers against the tufted car mat. “Fella, you’ve managed to park on a lake. Can’t you find us somewhere drier?”

“Sorry,” Dev said and reversed out of the parking bay and maneuvered it into a empty spot immediately behind. “Is that better?”

Kara cracked open her door and looked down. “Yes, much. Thank you, Dev.”

“Yeah, thanks mate,” Freddie said, slapping Dev hard on the shoulder as he slid out of the car.

“I’ve got my phone with me if you need me,” Kara mumbled and pulled her bag up onto her lap, rummaging inside. “He’s booked for three hours but this shouldn’t take much longer than that. You’re sure you don’t mind waiting?”

“No problem.”

“I mean, you don’t mind us not paying for you to wait.” Kara placed her hand on Dev’s arm. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea Freddie was going to suggest that.”

Dev smiled and shook his head. “No, that’s okay. As Freddie pointed out, it’s extremely doubtful I’m gonna get another fare from Marchway back to London. Besides, he’s promised an autographed photo for my mum. I can’t leave before I get that.”

“Okay then, see you later.” Kara open the car door and got out.

Dev sat back in his seat and watched Kara heft her bag up onto her shoulder, and weave her way through the puddles littering the car park, toward the supermarket. He pulled out his vape stick and switched on the radio. All in all, for his first celebrity fare, he thought it had gone pretty well so far. But Kara? She was definitely the best thing about it.

+++

Freddie saw the expectant delegation of suits and primary coloured uniforms before he stepped through the sliding doors and into the supermarket. He knew they had seen him as soon as he heard a squeal of excitement. There was always a squeal.

“Hello Mr Calender!” Clive called out and strode toward him. “We’re so pleased to welcome you to the Marchway Emporium.” He grabbed Freddie’s hand and pumped it enthusiastically. “Very pleased indeed.”

“Yeah, I’m excited to be here.” Freddie grinned his trademark grin at the waiting crowd before him and shook the proffered hands. “I can’t wait to get cooking.”

“Shame about the weather but hopefully it won’t put too many people off coming out to see you.” Clive placed his hand on the small of Freddie’s back and attempted to steer him forward. “This way, we’re all set up for you.”

Freddie stopped. “Wait. I need to introduce you to my assistant,” he said tentatively and swung around, looking for the absent Kara. “There she is. Kara!”

Kara had just arrived and was stamping her wet boots on the matting inside the door. She looked up and smiled at hearing her name. “Hello. How do you do. Golly, it’s extremely wet out there.”

Sylvie tottered forward and took Kara’s hand. “Yes, it was dreadfully unexpected. I’m Sylvie, the Store Manager’s assistant. I can take you to dry off first if you like.”

“Kara’s my go-to gal, aren’t you, Kara?” Freddie wrapped an arm around Kara’s shoulders and pulled her in tight. “If anybody needs anything of me, especially whilst I’m cooking, speak to Kara. She’s on point. Okay?”

“Ah, well perhaps I should give this to you then,” Sylvie said to Kara, and loosened a page from her clipboard. “It’s all the ingredients specifically requested for today. We just want to make sure there’s nothing missing.”

Freddie snatched the paper from Sylvie. “No, I’ll check that. I am the chef.” He pinched his bottom lip between forefinger and thumb as he scanned the list. “No, that’s everything. Thank you.”

You arse! Kara thought sourly and plucked the page from Freddie’s hand. She’d seen the flush of colour in Sylvie’s cheeks and decided a spot of charm might be the best remedy. It’s amazing how skillful I’ve become at charming people since I started working for you, she admonished Freddie silently.

She passed the paper back to Sylvie with a toothy smile. “Oh my god, your nails are wonderful, Sylvie!” Kara held Sylvie’s hand and studied the finish on her nails. “Did you get those done professionally?”

The flush in Sylvie’s cheeks turned to blush. “No, I did them myself. I used transfers. I learnt how to do it on the internet. There are so many videos on YouTube…”

“Well then,” Clive said clearing his throat and replaced his hand on the small of Freddie’s back, nudging him onward. “Shall we go to the kitchen demonstration area? We’ve converted part of our Riverside cafe for the day. Temporarily of course, but we think you’ll be satisfied with the layout.”

+++

“Hey! I thought I might find you out here,” Dev called out and ambled over to Kara. He passed her a cardboard carton, a wisp of steam curled out from the hole in its lid. “I thought maybe you could do with one of these.”

Kara was stood smoking alone in the bright sunshine, and rocking on her feet. The free hand she had stuffed in her coat pocket took the coffee from him gratefully. “Hey! Aw, thank you! How did you know that the third cigarette of the day is spectacularly good with coffee? Wow. You really are an excellent cab driver, Dev.”

 “Thank you, Kara.”

“In fact I suggest you prepare yourself for a most effusive customer review.”

“Consider me already bowled over,” Dev said with a wide smile. “So how’s it going with Freddie’s demonstration?”

“Pretty good, I think. Despite the earlier bad weather, he’s drawn quite a crowd.” Kara took a long drag on her cigarette, followed up by a short sip from her coffee cup. “Have you been shopping?”

Dev was carrying a bulging plastic bag, with the primary coloured Emporium logo emblazoned on the front. “I have. Fortunately I had some time to kill this morning, so I thought I’d check out inside.”

Kara smiled and released a cloud of smoke into the bright blue sky. “Did you buy anything nice?”

“Yes I did,” Dev said pulling his vape stick from his pocket. “I got some presents for my mum.”

“That’s cool.”

“Yeah.” Dev took a hit from his vape stick. “Say, Kara, have you had a chance to look around the rest of the store?”

Kara looked at Dev and flicked the ash from her cigarette. She squinted in the sunshine. “No, not really. I’ve been busy with the demonstration. Why?”

“It might be nothing, but the Emporium seems really keen on BOGOFs.”

“What do you mean?”

Dev shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “I mean, really keen. They have a whole aisle of ‘buy one get one free’ ingredients from Freddie’s demo dishes and it’s jammed with customers.”

“No!” Kara could feel the blood draining from her already too pale face.

“Yeah, there are even food bank reps behind the tills collecting BOGOF donations. I didn’t know they were allowed to do that.” Dev reached into his shopping bag and pulled out a book. “And then there’s this.” Freddie Calender’s twinkling eyes and trademarked dimpled grin shone from the cover. “They’ve got a big promotion of these inside as well. All ‘buy one get one free’. I bought this and got one of his DVDs with it. What a bargain! Mum thinks Freddie’s great.”

Kara placed her coffee cup on the floor before taking the book from Dev. She stared at it in astonishment. It was Freddie’s latest title, ‘Time To Cook’, but a large, primary coloured sticker had been placed over the last word. “’Freddie Calender’s Time To BOGOF’?”

Dev tried hard but the giggle that he’d held inside him could no longer be contained. “I’ve only known Freddie a morning, but even I know that he is gonna hate that!”

Kara roared with laughter and grabbed Dev’s arm. “We’d best not tell him then, eh? We don’t want to ruin the journey back.”

+++

Sylvie was typing into her computer when Clive returned to the Emporium’s Admin Office. “Well, that all went off very well in the end, I think,” he said, sitting down at his desk. A steaming cup of tea and a jam doughnut, with a thoughtfully placed napkin, were waiting for him. “Thank you, Sylvie. That’s very kind of you.”

“No problem, Clive.” Sylvie turned away from her computer screen so that she could watch Clive take the first sugary bite from his doughnut. “Have you spoken to Alan this afternoon?” she asked.

Clive shook his head no and continued chewing.

“He stopped by earlier, cock-a-hoop about something he’s posted up on Twitter.”

Clive swallowed and licked sugar and jam from his lips. “Alan’s on Twitter?”

“Yes. I’m not on Twitter myself, but Alan says he’s got a number of followers on there. They’ve been liking and retweeting a photo he took of our Freddie Calendar book promotion. Apparently it’s gone viral.”

“Really?” Clive wiped his fingers on the napkin, woke up his computer and opened Twitter. “Did Alan happen to mention the name of his Twitter handle?” he asked, reaching for his tea and taking a large gulp.

“Yes. He posts anonymously on…” Sylvie paused, peered down at her notebook and grimaced. “At silver streaky bacon?”

And for the second time that day, Clive Ambrose found himself unexpectedly soaked.

*******

*Trust Jammy Oliver to land a show with a captive audience, Clicky… /stubs butt… Time for a Song methinks…*

And that, as they say, is that. Underdog Anthology XI: Ay Corona! (working title) is due out in April, and I really must get back to finishing my story for it. So until next time, Dear Reader, have a Song ❤

*Seriously, Clicky? …/laughs like a drain…*

Story Time: She’s In The Shower

Something to cheer everyone up now, Dear Reader 😀 I know, I know, times are trying at present: what with the new Hack Death stalking the Armageddon landscape of political and financial turmoil, causing the Media to shit its collective shit for brains, and instilling an insatiable desire in the general populus to self-isolate within a mountain made of toilet rolls. Oh, the humanity. Think of the trees…

blah blah blah

*/lights up… Well, it’s mental, Clicky… /drags deeply… Leggy’s on to sumfin… /smoky sigh…*

… So, to cheer us all up, I persuaded my good buddy Cade, the Okie Text Us Devil, to let us publish his fantastic story from Underdog Anthology VIII: Transgenre Dreams…

Pearls before Swine

*Doesn’t have to be paper, Clicky. Kindles cheaper and quicker… /thinks… Bloody brilliant if you have to spend time at home, self isolating…*

… It’s an absolute belter 😀 We know you will enjoy ‘She’s In The Shower’… 😉

*******

She’s In The Shower

By Cade F.O.N Apollyon

Before I go, I thought I might pass along a few thoughts that I’ve had about timelines and those who travel them. My name is Arton Arin. I am a 43 tri-season old resident of Bollinger in the Southern Midlands of Eggland, and I’ve been told that I am preparing to pass of a diseize called Cancera Molingua.

Before you become too distressed at my predicament, know that I actually feel quite well as of this writing, and I would prefer that you hear the tale I have to tell before making too many judgments about how you should feel about me and my current Medicull outlook. I simply thought it best to relay to you a bit about who I am, when and where I come from, and maybe a bit about why I am writing this story.

To be completely forthright, I am bored. My diseize is very rare, but highly contagious. Therefore, I spend most of my days in total isolation, pacing the length and breadth of my isolated hopspittle tangle, thinking about days gone by. If there is a bright side, it is that after the first two weeks of infection, which I am told is usually spent in a comatoe, the remainder of whatever time is left is spent mostly symptom-free. Or so I am told. However, I am also told that I will once again, sometime in the near future, slip into a comatoes from which I will not wake. Typical.

One might think that someone in my current state may perhaps spend most of their time lamenting a future that will never come. Sorrows, woes, and oh no’s. All those glorious dreams of future endeavors, forever lost because of some new form of Cancera that has chosen to spring up in myself and a few other unfortunates. All of us scattered here and there, in and around a world that I do not know very well at all. But I find myself thinking about such things only when contemplating the thoughts of others and how they might view me. And what I mean to say there, with impunity to you who are reading this, is that I do not think about the future nor why I shall not be in it, unless I think about those who are actually there. Someone such as you.

You are there already…reading this…written by someone who might have been there, but is, alas, not. Cancera Molingua decided we should be apart. Or perhaps, decided it better that we meet in a different fashion. Were I not preparing to pass, I would not be writing this. Were I not already passed, you would not be reading it. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, whoever you are. But let us get back to my boredom and why I’ve decided to explore a bit further the topic of those who travel timelines differently than others.

As stated previously, I am quite bored. My waking hours are spent in the past. Spent recalling tales told to me in my youth by parents and grandparents, relatives and friends; a cross section of everything from absolute truth, to complete and total flabber. Some of the more strange and interesting tales were those told to me by my grandfather. My grandfather confided in me later that these tales were actually told to him by his grandfather, although my grandfather sometimes painted himself in the main role to make the storytelling more relatable. After all,” he explained, “these are strange tales of a time where both morta and godda alike intermingled with the firmament of the cosmos!” Grandfather liked to recall in a mighty voice. They were sometimes indeed difficult tales to understand. Difficult tales to follow.

Of course, in my grandfather’s grandfather’s time, the names were different as the language was different. These were the times before “The Great Buyout” when the last of the free lands were deeded. Before “The Final Four Closure” when all ownership tytulle changed hands, which intern caused “The Sudden Shift” of morta peepwholes moving to and from all corvers of the planets. Before “The Age Of The Tri-Season” where the cold and hot seasons came with some regularity, and our primary planet did not linger for unspecified times in rethrograde nor anterograde orbits. Before “The Great Shaming Of All Nations” when all language was changed, and all memory of what came before was changed forever.

I am only telling you this, because I just realized that some of my words may not mean the same to you as they do to me, as I have no idea who you are, nor when and where you will be reading this. Pity that I have no idea which words you may understand, and which words you may not. I suppose it’s just an unfortunate side-defect of time’s progression, and I suppose I’ll just have to do the best that I can.

***

My grandfather told tales of times and places before The Shifts. Of course, the peepwhole then too were different, but they are gone, whereas I am told that many of these places that he spoke of still exist in some forms in fashion. Old places with new names and new destinies in new times. Many places that I should have loved to see had I reached the required traveling age of 45 tri-seasons. Alas, I am told that I shall not.

I suppose in looking back now, the interesting thing to me is that the tales my grandfather told me seem now to have been an up-building. A gathering of wanders and their wonders. Strange events I once thought fiction, leading from a time of knowing, to a time of non-knowing. Only through my illness have I had the time to reflect on these tales and what they could potentially mean. By that, I mean that I can avoid reflecting on a future that never is, mine, by reflecting instead on a future that perhaps never was. Perhaps because of these events, a future without me in it, was somehow avoided? Perhaps I am here only because of The Shifts?

I have begun to believe that perhaps there is truth in these stories my grandfather told me. Perhaps there is a certain deliberate vibration of sorts through time, and only through time and only with our attention can we begin to understand the wisdom in this. Perhaps this vibration crafts the never was, the is not, and the never will be, into something…more tolerable? More palatable? A deliberate and direct intervention on the part of some unseen will who guides us to where we actually need be, as opposed to where we want or think we need be?

I apologize to you if I am straying off point. And I realize that I have not yet told to you any of my grandfather’s tales. But as I write this, I cannot help but feel some degree of sorrow for a certain place from one of grandfather’s stories I shall never see. A place that I have dreamed of seeing since I first heard the story of “The Lady In The Shower Ring”, and it all took place in a land of dry, in a small town ship that no longer exists, called Text Sass.

***

We in my time are allowed to know anything, but we are not allowed to know it until a certain age is attained. There is no reason given for this as no one is said to know how this process came to be nor why. But the general consenseus is that it is to maintain a balance of want and need within society in times of limited resources. The less we know, the less we want, and the less we want, the more that our needs will be both true and inline with their actual necessity. This reasoning makes sense to me as it does most others that I have spoken with on the subject. But until I became sick and eventually became to be housed at the hopspittle with my own private tangle, I had no real knowledge of what “a shower ring” really was, nor that they actually existed.

L’water is plentiful in my time. As far as I am aware, even those who live in lands of dry never attain a thirst that cannot be squenched. We are allowed to totally immerse ourselves in L’water for cleaning twice every season within the tri-season, and both M’water and N’waters can be used for cleaning and swashing. You cannot consume these waters because of a tiny unseen organism called Blass Ticks that are too numerous for our internals, but these waters are more than adequate for daily cleanings. The Blass Ticks are even said to be good for swashing and cleansing the hepadermis. However, in my grandfather’s stories, that his grandfather told him, he spoke of times before The Shifts when morta peepwholes had unlimited access to L’waters, and would sprinkle their bodies with it daily in an area of their residences called The Shower Ring.

My tangle here at the hopspittle has a shower ring. It is a tangle like where I now spend my days but much smaller; two long sides, two shorter sides. A small tangle, within a larger tangle, that is specifically for swashing and cleansing. Due to it’s shape, I admit I am confused as to why it is called “a shower ring”. Perhaps someday I will ask one of the Fizzicans who checks on me each weakly.

I can swash and cleanse as much as I like, but you do not totally immerse in the shower ring. In fact, you do not immerse at all. A’waters, which are a yellowish, orange/brown Medicull water with something called “munkee blod” in it, sprays from a pipe on the wall, and all I need do is stand in the shower ring to swash. The water droplets that fall from the pipe in the shower ring remind me of the stories of “The Time Of Many Reigns”. Before The Shifts, reigns fell from the skies without intervention from peepwholes. No one knows why, but reigns of L’water fell without prompting, at many and all times during the four seasons that were said to have existed prior to the times of the tri-season. To preserve the purity of processes, we are disallowed from standing in the reigns when those who reign over all pour their L’water freely from the skies. But this shower ring is what I imagine that must be like.

So many things seem to have conspired to land me in my own tangle with my own shower ring. And I am told that I will know that the time is close when I feel my toes start to become numb. What a strange concept to ponder…the feeling, of numbness. I fear I’ve gone too long on myself already, so pondering here the concept of what it is to feel nothing or how nothing feels, I shall save for perhaps another time.

I shall now tale you the tell I was told by my grandfather. The story of The Lady In The Shower Ring. The story of the lady with tool eggs, and four harms. The story, of She Vah and my grandfather’s grandfather in the shower ring.

***

My grandfather was not a holy man, neither was he good. But nor was he unholy, neither was he evil.

There was no good…there was no bad…only the conflict of the two was in him.

Empty, some might say. As empty as a nothing which had no end.

Yet all and any was at his beckoning and at his whim.

For the two mighty Ones held sway over him…The One, and The Other One.

The Other One was to The One, as The One was to The Other One.

Two Ones, which is, and are, the same One, from different times, who sought out my grandfather, in the same time, at the same time.

The time before The Times Of The Shifts.

Both of The Ones were sometimes hidden from him, and both sometimes seen, and brought with them their manys and alls to test him.

To both teach him and to remove his teachings…and learn my grandfather did.

To taunt him, confuse him, cause fear in him…and fear and become confused my grandfather did.

To break him…and break my grandfather they did…many times.

The Ones and their goddas versus the lone morta.

How and why you may wonder? Why did the goddas show up? Why did they show up in Text Sass? Why did they choose my grandfather? What could he as a morta possibly have to offer the goddas, and what purpose could he possibly serve?

My grandfather said he never knew why they chose him, except to say “well that fuckin’ figures.”

Breaking after breaking my grandfather withstood.

Each and every time, the Ones wagered whether this be his last…but my grandfather found his feet again each time. More resilient and more determined after every breaking. Determined to know…why him…why now.

My grandfather had nothing. That is not to say he had “nothing”, for he had many things in his life that he loved dear. But in the time of those times, and in the eyes of those in and of those times, he was considered to be a man who had nothing. Alone, in a tangle, without possession, old and broken, separated from those he loved, and he knew not why.

And it was at this time, that The Ones and their goddas arrived.

Arrived in all manners. Arrived in all forms imaginable, and in many forms unfathomable. Via any and every channel available them, they arrived. Sight, sound, smell, song, memory, knowing, and more. With all tools in the hands of the masters that created and crafted them, they arrived. Completely unannounced, they arrived.

My grandfather said of their arrival…“Pretty god damn unwelcome to be honest.”

I asked of my grandfather why he did not ask of them “why?”

He smiled at me and said, “It honestly made perfect sense at the time, and I also know now that they arrived just in time. I just…didn’t expect it, and certainly not in the way and ways that it happened. I had no idea what to do, nor how to do it. Cornered, I was.”

Emptiness, my grandfather told me, is a portal into the realm of the absurd. And to begin to understand the absurd and its absurdities, is to gain insight into the concept of love. Insight into the concept of love, provides us with a glimpse into the concept of hate. From there, the knowing of all knowing cascades in, out, and through, any and every emotion you can think of. Before long, you find yourself falling through nothing, into nothing, surrounded by everything, and somehow, you see all.

To fall forever is a completely absurd notion, my grandfather told me. Why would anything, ever need to exist, or ever even be contemplated as potentially needing to exist, which would cause one to fall forever. The answer that I arrived at from time to time, after much deliberation, was love. Neither One wanted me, but neither One could bring themselves to destroy me. This is the best I could arrive at, after countless years and tears of contemplation…was hope. I fall forever in hope. They allow me to fall forever, in their hoping. Hoping that I may someday, when needed, be what it is I need be. They about their business, and me about mine. Time for all of us, to arrive at the time we all need be at, when we need be there, as we need be. Ready, for whatever we need be ready for.

May as well busy myself having some fun doing something, while I fall forever doing nothing…

…heh, heh, heh.

I was his grandson, and you are mine, and let me assure you that humility was always on my grandfather’s mind. How to remain hidden. How to be wise. To temper a blade of his own fury that cuts without cutting, and vanquish any foe while the blade remains sheathed. Yet to stand, not bowed nor cowered, yet still in all humility, before the goddas and speak as one might speak…to a friend.

Knowing these are not my friends, but neither are they my enemies.

In fact, they don’t even know who I am.

My grandfather broke into singing a strange rhyming tune that was somehow neither poem nor song. Something that resembled a cadence that soldiers might sing in unison as they marched in order to keep their steps in time…

You know me not,

For I have no name.

I am no one,

No…one…you…know.

For I am null.

I am not.

I am knot,

I am naught,

I am not, knot, naught.

Speak as a friend. Not to flatter, nor to deceive, but to be receptive and to receive. To give my all. For these are truly my friends….and my enemies. All these things my grandfather told me.

I asked of my grandfather why he did not ask of them “Why? Why not ask of them what, and how?”

He again smiled at me and said, “I figured if they wanted me to know, they would have told me.”

Over many days called “years” in those times, they tested him.

He never knew when, nor where, for they tested him at their own whims according to plans of their own design.

The goddas cajoled, and my grandfather fell silent.

They prodded him in his dreams, and he was much troubled by them, but he carried on.

All manner of vile was suggested, and he scowled in disgust and wondered with contempt what possible purpose this knowledge could serve.

They poked and prodded at his pride, and he played along and came up with better insults for himself than they.

But then something happened that The Ones did not expect.

One of the younger goddas seems to have suggested a change in tactics. “Up the auntie” as they used to say in those times before The Shifts. Instead of attacking my grandfather with shame, or with hate, or with fear, or by promise of knowledge in hope of wisdom, they tried his own weapon against him…humor.

Many of the goddas, including The Ones, had sent many a vision to my grandfather. Some he understood, some not. But one thing he always told me that he always seemed to understand, was their humor. “They’re some funny motherfuckers,” he used to tell me.

One in particular, She Vah, was trickier and more likely to apply humor than most of the others. Someone that my grandfather said he felt he had a special kinship with, without really knowing why.

She Vah, was the godda who suggested using humor against my grandfather…especially in the shower ring.

Take his humor, that which he crafts so sweet…so sweet so as not to cut, and make it so he can do nothing but harm when he wields it. Replace the sweet with bitterness. Make that which should cause joy, cause instead hate, so that even the softest of his strokes, and the sweetest of his loving kisses, draws instead blood.

I only needed to take a piss, my grandfather told me. An average day, all day, in the same spot, pondering the same mysteries over and over, and I suddenly needed a piss. Understand that I am not complaining about pondering the same mysteries over and over. Pondering one mystery may provide insight into another. Neither mystery may in fact be solved, but it just may be enough information to make some progress in the right direction…keep us alive and pondering for a little while longer. Provide one more breath.

Not all answers are finalities, and not all finalities are final, my grandfather said. I just needed to piss, and I thought at the time that it would have been nice to have thirty seconds of peace and quiet to do so. That was not to be.

You have to try and understand, as best you can, that “seeing” does not always equate with external stimuli of some kind from our immediate surroundings. Sight, we tend to equate with those things that can be quantified and verified with secondary input. Such as, you may be able to see a chair, and you can also lick that same chair to verify that something is indeed there, and “yep, it tastes like I guess a chair should taste.” May I suggest at this time that touch may be a better secondary for many a practical reason.

There are many ways to interrupt many channels of energies flowing here and there. And since we ourselves are energy and energies, and we are in a system built of systems of energies, someone who knows what in the hell they are doing can manipulate each and every sensory input we have. They can do so from eons away in the future, they can do so from eons away in the past, and perhaps they can even do both at the same time when present circumstance dictates. And that is what I am all about…time. Hope provides time, and time provides hope. I hope, that I am not boring you, grandfather said to me, with a smile a gentle nudging elbow to my ribs for emphasis.

To “see” certain things at certain times, with no external sensory input of any kind, seems, unusual. Such as, rushing to the toilet because I’m about to piss my pants, only to make it to the toilet, and find that…I, am not alone. I see nothing, yet I sense…something.

I can only just hear my urine first sounding against the water in the toilet, as I suddenly become aware of a figure approaching me from behind. I do not flinch, I do not clinch. I continue what I am doing, and observe.

In my shower, a small figure…a woman. She has a golden outline, surrounded by complete black. Distant. Inside the distinct and sharp golden outline of her figure, again, complete black. A golden-framed woman, surrounded by total darkness that also permeates all of her being except the rigid golden outline of her frame. Hair that is somehow red, yet black as night with occasional flashes of an unusual white. Her golden outline, as she moves, shimmers occasionally with rainbow colors. These colors cycle between the base golden color, and every color imaginable.

She’s far away. Edging closer. Small steps. Raising her knees, slowly up high, high above her waist, pausing for a moment, then slowly down again. With each step, and also between steps, her arms, four of them, two on each side, move with purpose. Synchronized both with, and opposed to, the movement of her steps. All manner of shapes she makes with her arms as she approaches. Her arms cross, then unfold, her hands flat, then folded, then together, then apart. She is surrounded by complete darkness. My bladder is half-empty.

She’s tall. The more steps she takes forward from the blackness, the more her height increases. Stalking her prey, or so it would appear. Slowly, gracefully, thoughtfully, edging forward from the blackness that surrounds her, permeates her. Her skin flashes from black to a whiter and pink flesh tone, then back to black. She is no longer a she. Is she? Is she a…she? Is she…Shiva? Not the Shiva I’ve seen depicted here in this life. She is Shiva, isn’t she? Who the hell is she? Which one is she?

***

You know, I can see you,” I blurt out in my mind. Her advance does not cease, nor does she waiver in her pace.

I know you can see me,” she replies. “I just wanted to see how far you would let me advance before finally saying something.

She speaks to me in a tone of someone walking the edge of a razor suspended over a pit of spikes. Focused on many things, while doing many things, all while her own well-being appears to be hanging in the balance.

Is there a particular reason you maybe couldn’t have waited for me to finish taking a leak?

Yes. In fact, there is a particular reason. You and I both know that this is not what actually happened.

I was caught. Caught trying to stray. Straying from the truth, while in the company of truth.

“We both know that much of this in fact, did happen,” I said as I fumbled with the recounting of the experience.

“True,” she replied. “I appreciate your vigor. Just maybe perhaps, stick to the more pertinent and explainable, and stay away from any further exploration of the non-relateable.”

Wise she was, and wise she is.

***

And so, my grandfather said to me, it is time that I tell you what actually happened on that day. What happened in my bathroom. My bathroom was actually no bathroom at all, nor was it mine. My bathroom contained no bath…only a shower. A shower for washing the body, a toilet for the body’s eliminating functions, and a sink for small cleanings. The shower was simply a stall covered by a retractable plastic wall called a shower curtain. This curtain was suspended by a thing called a shower curtain rod, and the curtain was suspended from this rod by things called shower curtain rings.

I did not shower much in those days as the waters at that time harmed my skin. As such, this retractable shower curtain which enclosed the shower stall was almost always left open. Rarely was this curtain closed, and spiders used to build their webs in the folds of the shower curtain to catch prey. When I would use the toilet to relieve my bladder, my back would be to the shower stall, which means there was a rather large empty area behind me. This empty area is where on many an occasion, those from the unseen realms would appear to me. An area which I could not see when standing in front of the toilet, and an area from whence I should NOT be able to see them, but for some reason…I could see them.

All that I’ve told you up to now is true, but what actually happened share now I, with you…

***

You know, I can see you,” I blurt out in my mind. Her advance does not cease, nor does she waiver in her pace.

I know you can see me,” she replies. “I’m practicing my Yoga in the shower whilst you pee.

I immediately started to laugh so hard at the absurdity of her assertion, that I started pissing all over the toilet and on the floor. She was most decidedly, NOT, doing Yoga. I collected myself somewhat, and was able to regain the proper control and direction of my urine flow.

“It looks more to me like you were trying to sneak up on me while I was taking a leak, and you got caught.”

I had to fight back. I was standing here in the vulnerability of an act of a necessary bodily function, usually performed alone and in solitude, and now that embarrassment has been compounded by shame for urinating all over the outside of the toilet and on the floor.

“Tell me, Clay. What is winning?” she asked as she continued her rhythmic and exaggerated advance towards my back.

“Winning?” I questioned. “Winning? Or victory?”

She immediately froze at hearing my question; two of her arms above her head with hands folded, two of her arms extended at her shoulders with the palms of her hands up, one leg bent and raised high up to her chest so that her foot was well off the floor, the other leg straight with her foot firmly planted. A contest! A contest to see if she can remain standing on one foot for the length of time it takes me to finish pissing. ‘A pissing contest’…of sorts.

You know,” I began, “I’ve not cleaned that shower in some time. I’ve noticed you are barefoot. You could potentially get some kind of foot disease.

She smiled, but did not move nor waiver in any other way.

Also,” I continued, “I’m the one that showers in there, so a disease of some kind is almost certain.

She maintained her smile, her eyes glowed, but still she did not move nor waiver.

Um,” I was desperate, for I was almost finished peeing, “This may take a while. There’s a dollar store right up the street if you want to toddle off there and get you a pair of cheap flip-flops that can be used as shower shoes. Will only set you back a buck.

She dropped her elevated foot in defeat, and bent over in laughter.

“WINNER!!!” I thought to myself. Just in time too. The final drops of urine fell into the toilet, I gave the requisite squeeze and shake, then found the toilet paper roll so I could do an initial clean up of the urine from the toilet bowl and floor. I reached for the toilet paper roll. Between pulling off the first few sheets and looking at the floor in order to begin planning where to start cleaning first, I briefly acknowledged Shiva’s presence in my mind. When she came again into focus, I saw one of the most incredible things that I have ever seen.

Somehow, and to this day I have no idea how she did what she did, she was standing…on both feet…AND…one foot, all at the same time. And no, before you ask, she did not suddenly grow an extra leg. She simply, somehow, ‘revealed’ to me, that she was still standing on one foot, had never moved, and, was standing on two feet. There was no double-vision. Her form was as clear, crisp, and well defined as it has ever been…only two legs. And yet, somehow, she was managing to stand with both feet firmly planted, and stand on one foot with one leg raised. I saw no third nor fourth leg.

I immediately burst into an uproarious laughter as my mind was flooded with the possibilities and notions of how she was achieving this. Multiple-dimensions? Multiple-times? Multiple-positions? All somehow aggregated here and now to give the appearance that she was in one place at one time, when she was in fact in many? Whatever she was doing, and however she was doing it, this was no trick. There was nothing ‘gimmicky’ about it. All attempts on my part to solve this mystery almost immediately dissolved away as the reality of what I had just seen continued to sink in. I continued to laugh, bent down, and started to clean my misfired urine off of the floor.

Winner,” she said softly in a quasi-sultry and sassy voice.

What!?” I protested. “I’ve already won!

Winner, winner…chicken dinner,” she said, hands on her hips. She wiggled them slightly for some added zesty emphasis.

You can’t take my win from me can you? I’ve already won it.

I can take your win from you, and I have done so. In doing so, you have answered my question, and I have answered yours.

The difference between ‘winning’ and ‘victory’?

Correct.

Anything given, can be taken away.

Correct.

A nation may ‘win’ a war, yet still not be victorious.

That is an excellent point for pondering.

Wait a second here. You stated you won after I’d already won.

“Correct.”

Then, you implied you took my victory from me.”

“Correct.”

“That’s two wins in a single contest. You aren’t talking about winning nor victory at all are you?”

“Perhaps yes, and perhaps not.”

I continued to wipe urine from the floor as thoughtfully and completely as I could, and it occurred to me that most lessons from ‘else’ usually comes both indirectly, and, it is heavily layered. One can many times choose to peel back as many layers as they care to. Such as, an old man on his hands and knees wiping his own piss off of the bathroom floor because the god Shiva made him laugh while he was pissing, and now they are discussing the finer points of winning, victory, and perhaps even defeat. A light bulb illuminated in my dim little mind.

“You are wondering how I would describe what I just saw to another.”

“That thought has crossed my mind,” she replied thoughtfully. “How would you describe or recount to another what you just witnessed?”

“I wouldn’t even know how to begin to try.”

“And what about relating the story of what transpired here?”

“Again, I wouldn’t know where to begin, nor would I even have the slightest inkling as to who would even care to hear such a tale. It strains my own internal credibility, and I just walked through the shit-storm my own self.”

She smiled a large smile. She could see my mind working. I was reassured by her smile, but I could tell that she knew that I was already struggling with realities and pride and prejudices and envy and shame: all these concepts and more wrestling with my own self doubt. These things continued their stormy struggle as I tried to imagine who in the entirety of existence would ever even potentially want to hear such an unimaginable and outlandish story. She thankfully interrupted my thoughts warring with themselves.

“Perhaps you could start where you are now, then work your way backwards. Do that, and moving forward should come quite easily if you stay with it.”

And with that, she was gone.

I paused and thought for a moment.

Wise she was, and wise she is.

***

My grandfather, and your three times great grandfather was no soldier, Arton. He marched alone. Accompanied perhaps, of my own accounting anyway, by an army that no one but he could see. That, I tell you, was likely the reason for the odd little song that he sometimes sang to himself.

Death says to me…

Who are you?

I know you not.

I see no name,

No name I know.

I say to Death…

You know me not,

For I have no name.

I am no one,

No…one…you…know.

For I am null.

I am not.

I am knot,

I am naught,

I am not, knot, naught.

War was his passion; battle was his mind; combat was his love; but his heart, he prayed, beat a rhythm of peace seeking wisdom. As to what that made the entirety of his being? “I don’t really know what that makes me. I don’t know what that makes me on the whole. I mostly feel at peace.” This is what my grandfather told me.

“And that’s peace, not piss,” he told me. “People will bastardize the damndest of things to their own end. I’m myself admit I am guilty of the same. Take care with your judgments grandson of mine.”

I paid no heed to my grandfather’s talk of judgments.

My mind was already well elsewhere.

Too much data, nary enough answers.

My mind burning like a flame, I asked of my grandfather, “But you told me that you were all about time! You said that hope was time, and time was hope! What is all this talk of war and battle and peace grandfather?!”

Into his eyes I looked, and saw that they blazed with a something inside of him that I had never before seen in anyone, nor have I seen in anyone since. Not blazed as the hottest flame might, nor burned like the coldest cold might. There was no light, nor was there dark, but I suddenly saw a vast and endless emptiness inside of him that sent a shiver down my spine and threatened to suck the air straight out of my lungs. My heart pounded within my own chest in protest of the unseen and unwelcome requests of me. Grandfather sensed my fear and placed his hand lovingly on my shoulder. The growing fear bursting to escape the very fiber of my being fled almost as suddenly as it had appeared. But not for long would that fear be held at bay.

“Young one,” my grandfather started, “There is some serious shit headed your way, and you, are going to be right in the big middle of it.”

My ears…I could not believe them. I could not believe these words only just ushered from my grandfather’s lips. War? My way? Me? Why would war ever come to a child? Why me? What is this war that seeks me?

I looked away from my grandfather in consternation and to the ground to reassure my now galloping mind. I felt the fear and confusion welling and tumbling inside of me. Ebb and flow, it did…subsided, it did…grew, it did. A boisterous pulse advancing and retreating almost simultaneously. Tho looking downwards, I could still see my grandfather from the top of my eyes, and saw that he observed me as I thought. He sensed the war raging now inside me. War…inside me. War?

“You feel that?” grandfather interrupted unexpectedly. “That, is war. The confusion you are feeling now, is all part of the war eternal.”

My brow furrowed in disbelief. My hand I put to my belly as it began to burn. Searched the ground for answers I did as to what this could all mean. Find my feet, so swiftly knocked from under me, I must find my feet. My eyes scanned steady the browns and greens of the ground. Back and forth my head went, as I thought to myself that this cannot be so. There cannot be a war inside of my own self. No one have I to fight. I felt an anger rising in me, and I thought to tell my grandfather as much. But again grandfather was ahead of me by at least a step.

“And that, young man, which you are feeling now, is battle. Your confusion and uncertainty have been temporarily replaced by a measured response.”

At this, something within me…snapped.

“STOP IT!” I blurted, with tears of rage welling up in my eyes. “STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!”

The face of my grandfather, which only a moment ago was as stoic and hard as stone, softened. Looked beyond his face and through my own now blurry and teared eyes, sought my grandfather’s eyes I did. I found them. The vast emptiness was gone from them, and they sparkled with the fires of countless stars.

“And that, my dear grandson, is combat.”

Huge tears formed in his eyes as he continued, and his voice cracked occasionally from the strain.

“Confusion, turned anger, turned rage, all to preserve self, in combat. But beware of the fury that follows rage my dear grandson. For fury can cut in many ways, at many times, from many angles. Once fury is grasped, there is no letting go.”

Tears were now streaming down his face. I sprang to my feet, dove towards my grandfather, and wrapped my arms tight around him. I hugged him like I had never hugged anyone before nor have hugged anyone since, and a stern, but gentle and comforting hug my grandfather returned.

Warmth.

An afterglow.

Light.

A path, only previously hidden, now lay before me. Know, I did not. Understood, I did. For now, I understood without knowing.

We find our own wars, Arton. We choose our own battles. And when we find these things, we fight our own fight in combat. But when we answer the call to join the wars of others, many, and perhaps all of these choices lose we.

And for added measure my boy, tell you now, oh grandson of mine, my dear boy, Arton…that if you ever tell your grandmother that I hugged my grandfather better than I ever hugged her…well, let’s just wait and see. We’ll cross that bridge when and if we get there. He winked at me and smiled, my grandfather did.

***

My great-great grandfather is said to have died shortly before the times of The Shifts began. I can only assume that whatever death it was that sought him, and he for a time somehow avoided, eventually found him. Perhaps much in the same way it appears that some death currently seeks to find me. And so now, to be completely honest and open with you, there was indeed something specific that prompted me into writing. Something that inspired me to attempt to relay this and these tales that I have now shared with you.

Three days ago, I encountered a woman in my shower ring whilst I swashed. It was only for the briefest of moments, and due to my current Medicull predicament, I admit that I had to question whether or not it actually happened. But what stuck with me, was the fact that this woman had both red and black hair. Much like the hair of this She Vah that my grandfather told of via his grandfather’s tale.

She said nothing to me, and she actually looked scared and confused. Perhaps, assuming she was actually here, she was just lost. Lost for the briefest of moments along some coiling or unwinding timeline, and unsure of where she was.

She wore no clothes, and she looked real enough. No extra arms, no darkness nor glowing, just a combination of very red and very black hair. Naked, and possibly wet, her arms were folded somewhat protectively to her chest, although I did not get the impression that this action was out of shame nor modesty. She looked back and forth a few times before she noticed me, and our eyes met only briefly before she quickly disappeared. There was no indication that she knew me, and I certainly did not know her. Except of course, for the distant connection to this She Vah story told to me by my grandfather.

By the by, both black and red colored hairs are contrary to social parity here in Eggland. I had always assumed that colored hair of these types were a myth. So rare for anyone to have hair at all in these times, let alone what appeared to be a full supply of multi-colored hair on both her top and bottom portions. She was, now that I think about it, quite beautiful. Or would have been had she not looked so scared and perhaps helpless.

The next day, I listed the event on my daily Medicull report even thought I am still quite unsure if the event actually happened or not. But I am told that I am indeed preparing to pass, so what harm could it possibly cause to report it?

And finally, a bit of good news.

This morning, I was informed that they would be starting me on a new medesign today. The doctors informed me that they thought today might be the day that my toes started to go numb, and they wanted to go ahead and get me started on this new medesign just to be safe. They tell me that there exists the potential that this new medesign could delay the onset of the final stage. It could, they say, perhaps even pathdose the diseize entirely. And the best part is, it can sometimes do all of this with just a single dose.

I am doing my best to contain and control my enthusiasms. To say calm, and carry on. But I cannot help but think a blessing of the goddas this must be. For if this is true, and this Cancera Molingua within me can indeed be pathdosed, I can be exonerated of my “payshunt” status, leave the hopspittal, and return to my own tangle. After time, I can apply to have my records expungented. Live to travel to Text Sass.

Odd this sudden development, as they’ve not previously mentioned this treatment. Perhaps it is something new. They did in fact mention a “new medesign”, but I neglected to inquire if the medesign was in fact new, or just new to me.

I took the first dose only a few moments ago, but I don’t think the medesign works. As I write this, I can suddenly feel my toes going numb. My arms are also feeling quite tired. Difficulty writing. My feet feel very heavy. Now having difficulty moving my legs.

I guess they didn’t catch it in time.

Typical.

encore

*As you wish, Clicky… /stubs butt…*

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

A’waters – a socially acceptable,non-potable, non-drinkable X’water, made of various herbs and spices plus a generous portion of munkee blod; designated for Medicull use only, only under Fizzican super-vision, and only for swashing.

Anterograde – a forgetting.

Billdinged – the aggregate result of independent expenditures.

Blass Ticks – a group of non-motile, microscopic organisms of indeterminate origin made up primarily non-organic materials. Blass Ticks tend to be suspended in varied quantities in X’waters, and it is thought that this is why the organism has not evolved the ability to move under it’s own power, lack of need. First described by Brau Flucher in 2076 CE/017 TS

Bollinger – a towned in the Southern Midlands of Eggland, which was founded on one of the axial focal points during The Battle Of The Bands that eventually led to The Great Shaming Of All Nations.

Cancera – a non-explainable combination of factors that results in either non-standard and/or less-than-standard cell growth(s).

Cancera Molingua – this particular/specific diseize is not known to actually exist. However there is some grainy reasoning within the term itself.

Comatoe – the low-power, quasi-hibernative state of a system or systems, marked by a generative lack of response to stimuli.

Consenseus – a gathering of similar bodies to form a contiguous and unique whole, without sacrificing a part’s individual traits or characteristics. A simultaneous subtractive addition and additive subtraction with a zero-sum.

Corver – 1. a convergence from the point or angle and perhaps time of disbursement. 2. a point in time that considers origins, destinations and forces from the eventual resultant point or points.

Diseize – a more or less standard deviation from a standard, usually capable of dictating and defining it’s own path if not identified in a timely manner by Medicull, and treated with medesign.

Eggland – hey, it’s Easter here in 2019 AD/CE. Lighten up. (Eggland is the exploitation of a convenient typographical error on the part of the author. It coulda been worse…it coulda been Endland.)

Expungent – a sharp increase or decrease in attractiveness, monitored and regulated by both the social and unsocial societal arms of the more-modern society.

Fizzicans – a socially trained and appointed representative of the Medicull arm of the more modern society.

Flabber – a particular something so beyond reason, logic, and even intuition, that it defies both rational thought and coherent description.

Forms In Fashion – the contextual mutative properties of an unchangeable tangible or intangible form.

Godda – a less-physical, independent entity, usually both less-biological in makeup and less-tangible.

Hepadermis – the outer layers that monitor and control the I/O flows independent of other such systems, and sometimes acts as it’s own medesign.

Hopspittle – a physical structure or billdinged constructed of various components where Fizzicans gather/meet. Also houses Payshunts.

I/O – the measure of an energy’s ability/inability to, 1. penetrate a membrane, 2. resist a membrane’s advance, 3. not interact with a membrane at all.

Intern – a seriatim or sequential ordering of things/events.

Internals – the innermost parts of an outermost whole.

L’water – a socially acceptable, potable, drinkable water.

Large Town Ship – a usually very large region of land containing a number of small town ships. Usually accurately representative, as a whole, of the small town ships it encompasses.

M’water – a socially acceptable, sub-potable water that is not suitable for drinking, but is suitable for regular swashing.

Medesign – an agent crafted to dictate a specific path of travel under certain conditions.

Medicull – the organized societal infrastructure of Hopspittles and Fizzicans.

Morta – a more-physical, independent entity, usually both biological in makeup and more tangible.

Munkee Blod – a special liquid healing agent of dark carmine, that is brewed with Minimum of Mermaid Brothers, and also contains Expedience of The Messenger.

N’water – a socially acceptable, less than sub-potable water that is in no way suitable for drinking, and is suitable for occasional use in swashing.

Pathdosed – a resummation of right and proper, typically as a result of an intervention by the Medicull, and usually via the application of a medesign or medesigns; a reclamation.

Payshunt – a negative impactor on the Medicull.

Peepwholes – 1. a biological, non-biological or less-biological system that is complete enough so as to be capable of sensing both specific and non-specific information and data, and also provide throughput to adequately and accurately transmit or otherwise relay this information in total to a 3rd party or some other intermediary; these biological and non-biological systems may be made up of organic matter, inorganic matter, or sometimes a combination of both. 2. a morta.

Reign – 1. the power to create and freely distribute L’water from the nothingness and the nowhere. 2. a societal structure made manifest through destiny in order to monitor and regulate side-defects.

Rethrograde – a remembering.

Side-defect – an entropic vulnerability, usually expressed in the flanks or perimeter of an otherwise closed system; unforeseen manifestation of change, chaos or collapse in the outermost portions of a centralized body.

Small Town Ship – a large region of land containing a diversity of mostly small settlements of societal structures, usually with their own independent beliefs and ruling structures.

Southern Midlands – a region in the northern part of Eastern Eggland.

Squench – the exsanguination or draining of a desire to consume.

Swash – a vigorous utilisation of available resources, appropriately applied for a particular cleansing process.

Tangle – a living space approved for a citizen or citizens to occupy, which is constructed in the form and flow of nature’s perfect geometric shape; two longer sides of equal length, and two shorter sides of unequal lengths, resulting in three right angles and one tribute angle.

Text Sass – a former small town ship in the former large town ship known as Nam.

Towned – a cyclically tytulled settlement where ownership is randomly transferred from citizen to citizen so as to equally distribute the burdens of ownership.

Tri-season – time period within the current age which has only three seasons, each of which are of indeterminate length(s).

Tytulle – an opening within the societal fabric that provides for the private ownership own one’s own self, control of one’s own destiny and movements, as well as the private ownership of one’s own possessions.

Up-building – a construction effort resulting in an increase in mass, density, volume, inertia or interest.

Weakly – a meeting or touch based on a need or needs, usually under duress, objection or protest; an unpleasant task or undertaking; deed or encounter of the shortest possible duration and/or met with a minimum of effort.

X’water – a societally approved method of measuring water quality and safety. Defined primarily upon usage and sometimes need.

Up The Auntie – no aunts were harmed in the writing of this story ❤

*******

Stay well, Dear Reader, and have a Song… ❤

Roman Holiday

*The pinnacle of Python, Clicky…/pats snout… Funny with a cutting social commentary that is just so fuckin’ timeless. It’s one of my favourite flicks…*

Dear Reader, I’m on the second of two consecutive long weekends. Ostensibly, I’m using up the last of my 2019 annual leave to squirrel myself away, and write a story for the next Underdog Anthology…

*I’ve been mulling over an idea… /lights up and smokes… for a follow up to the story of Caroline…*

*No, knot that Caroline. I still have no idea who that bint was, Clicky… /drags… ‘cept she was pretty handy with a lamp…*

*No, no, knot Awful Eyebrows either… /snorts smoke… Seriously, did you even read ‘Caesar’s Were-Wife’, Clicky? …/squints…*

…But instead indulged in a spot of lengthy remote viewing with my Texas chum, the Okie Devil, Cade Fon Apollyon. From the ‘Golden Age’ of BBC drama, we took in a tale of boundless ambition, glory, lust, incest, cruelty, insanity and murder. Lots and lots of murder…

*That was a sesh anna ‘arf… /flicks ash… Dunno if it’ll help me with developing my UAXI story though, Clicky…*

*An’ how’s an unpleasant Limp Dim, with a predilection for slavery, meant to help me write the story, Clicky?*

*Ah…/stubs butt… I fink that calls for a Song…*

*I meant for the end of the post, Clicky… /rolls eyes…*

… So for this long we kenned, Dear Reader, I’m gonna start writing ‘The Hides of Marchway’, and I’ll be back when it’s finished. Have a Song 😉