Story Time: The Imagination Virus

LAST TIME AT THE LOL

*Apt image, Clicky, considering this is my second Stranger Things post… /pats snout… well done…*

As promised, Dear Reader, a second post about the hit TV show ‘Stranger Things’, but this time in regards to a short story by my friend Leggy. H.K Hillman has a rare talent for writing tales that linger long after you’ve finished reading them. His tale ‘The Imagination Virus’ also ‘synced’ with an experience I had in 1985 when I was 17. I mentioned it to him when we first became friends in 2014…

Roob emails Legs of her experience

… So it was weird to see something similar played out on ‘Stranger Things’. Another ‘sync’…

Will Sync Stranger Things

*Yeah, it was like that, except purple, Clicky…/lights up…*

… Another ‘reality’ appears…

Will Sync Stranger Things Upside Down Reality

*/drags… Yeah, I could smell the difference, butt couldn’t see it… /stream smoke… And it was strange when JLL decoded ‘tonsils’ in his Mandela Effect investigation…*

tonsil terror.gif

… So I asked Leggy if we could reproduce his story here at the LoL. He agreed, so settle back, Dear Reader, and enjoy ‘The Imagination Virus’. Meet you for a Song at the bottom 😉

*******

The Imagination Virus

by H.K. Hillman

As Dale walked beside Julie, his nurse, he saw the other world again. The crisp, white hospital walls faded into the damp, mould-encrusted bricks he had come to know well. The flicker of tallow candles replaced the bright fluorescent lighting, their odour wiping out the smell of disinfectant. He didn’t want to look at Julie. He knew what he’d see; he knew how she would look to him now.

“Dale, are you all right?”

He stopped walking, the muscles in his face twisted in disgust. Julie put her hand on his shoulder.

“Dale,” she said. “What is it? Are you seeing it again?”

“Yes. It’s awful.” He couldn’t help looking at her. He shuddered at the patchy grey hair, the hunched shoulders, the sore-ridden, wasted body clad in soiled brown cloth.

She smiled, showing her few remaining teeth, black and rotting, and he could smell her graveyard breath, the breath of something that had feasted on decay. He closed his eyes, tight. “I don’t want to see this anymore,” he said. “I want to see the real world, the clean world. Not this – this monstrosity!”

Julie took his arm. “Come on,” she said. “I’ll guide you the rest of the way to the doctor’s office. It’s just a little further. The doctor will know what to do.” She led him as if he was blind, slowly moving forward until she stopped him with a hand on his chest. “Dale,” she said, “open your eyes. What do you see now?”

“I don’t need to look,” he said. “I can smell the candles, feel the damp. I know I’m still hallucinating.”

“Look anyway. For me.”

Dale opened his eyes. “I can see a doorway, in a wall of cracked plaster, showing bare bricks. A battered door is hanging in the frame and I can see light through the gaps in the boards. There’s a symbol, a cross, drawn in red on the centre of the door and some markings below it, which I can’t quite see…”

Then, abruptly, everything changed. He was facing a white-painted door with a frosted glass panel. The light showing through the panel wasn’t flickering, it was the focused light of a reading lamp. The tallow-smell had gone, replaced with the ubiquitous disinfectant smell of the hospital. He looked at Julie and smiled. “You can see the hospital now?” she said. He paused before replying, savouring her long black hair and perfect smile, the crisp white uniform that showed off her shape so well.

“Yes,” he said. “Everything is fine now. I see the door as it really is, clean and white with a frosted window.” He drew a long breath as Julie knocked, then released it slowly as she opened the door.

The doctor stood, smiling, then walked across to Dale, his hand outstretched. “Dale,” he said. “How are you today? How’s that other world of yours?”

Dale winced. These attempts at humour always sounded flippant to him, as though his condition were some kind of joke. He knew the doctor meant well, but sometimes Dale wondered if the doctor believed a word he said.

“The other world is Hell,” he said, not accepting the doctor’s handshake.

The doctor’s brow creased into a frown. “Had another visit recently?”

Dale nodded.

“Just a moment ago,” Julie said. “His hallucination is consistent, he always sees the same things in the same places. Where there’s a door, Dale sees a door, but it looks very different to him.”

The doctor looked at Dale. “And it’s always the same?” he said.

“It depends where I am,” Dale said. “It’s always the same for a particular place. It’s as if the hallucination is overlaid on reality, permanently, and sometimes I can see it.”

He thought for a moment. “You know,” he said, “I’ve been trying to remember what things were like outside. Before I came to the hospital. I can’t. I can’t even remember what I used to do or where I used to live. It’s as if I never existed outside here.” He buried his face in his hands.

“Relax, Dale,” the doctor said. “You did have a life, you know. You lived over on the West Side, alone, and you had a job. I’m afraid it wasn’t glamorous. You were a cook in a small cafe. It’s the virus. It’s affecting your brain, causing these hallucinations and amnesia about your previous life.”

“Can it be cured?”

The doctor smiled an indulgent smile. “We’re doing everything we can.”

“But can it be cured, or not? How long will I be here?”

“When you see the hospital all the time, and don’t see your Hell at all, then you’ll be ready to leave,” the doctor said. “You’re already seeing it less often. Only once today.”

“So far,” Dale said, curling his lip.

“That’s good enough,” Julie said. “The day’s nearly over.”

“That’s right,” the doctor said. “Time for Nurse Davis to take you off to bed. We’ll meet again tomorrow.”

Dale started to rise, but stopped halfway. He looked at the doctor. “Is it contagious?” he said. “It’s just that Julie – I mean Nurse Davis – and the other nurses spend a lot of time around me. Are they at risk?”

“Not at all,” the doctor said. “The virus is very hard to catch. The nurses are safe with you. Now, off to sleep with you.”

Julie led Dale back to his room. He climbed into bed, and she handed him his sleeping tablets and water. He had taken them every night without question, but tonight he felt like a change. He wanted to think, not to sleep. Dale didn’t want to offend the nurse so he put the tablets into his mouth and took the water. Instead of swallowing, he trapped both tablets between his cheek and gum, throwing the mouthful of water back as usual.

“Well done, Dale,” Julie said. After her routine of fussing with his bedclothes, she left the room, turning down the light.

Dale picked out the tablets with a finger and put them under his pillow. Sure, the staff would find them in the morning and they’d be annoyed with him, but so what? He was a patient, not a prisoner, after all. He lay back, enjoying the warm, clean sheets of the bed, and tried to remember his life before the hospital. He had been a cook, so if he could think of something, a recipe perhaps, maybe something would come back. Still trying to think, he drifted into sleep.

***

He was woken by the creak of a door opening. His bed was uncomfortable and his sheets felt rough and dirty. He could hear voices, talking quietly as if to avoid waking him. He opened one eye, just a little, and saw the doctor and another man. Both were wearing rough sheets of brown cloth which were draped around them like cerements.

Both were hunched and looked malnourished, both were covered in sores and stinking of decay. Oh great, he thought, another hallucination. He closed his eye and pretended to be asleep.

The doctor was speaking. “He’s making good progress. He sees the clean world most of the time now, he only sees the decaying world intermittently.”

“Good,” the other man said. “When will he be ready?”

“A matter of days.”

“The fundamentalists haven’t found out?”

“No. As far as I know, they don’t even know about our work.”

The unknown man grunted. “We have to be careful. They have spies everywhere. They won’t approve of what we’re trying to do here, they would consider our work blasphemy. Interference with God’s punishment, or something like that.”

“I know,” the doctor said. “Our staff are carefully checked, and no visitors are allowed.”

“Very good. What about the others, are they seeing the same things?”

“Yes,” the doctor said. “The other patients all show the same hallucinations as Dale here. We’ve kept them separate so we can be sure they’re not comparing notes. They all report exactly the same visions. The virus, it seems, works the same way on everyone.”

There are others, Dale thought. Others like me, with the same virus, the same hallucinations. Dale squirmed on his bed. It felt as though he was lying on a coarse sheet laid directly on the bedframe.

“Careful,” the doctor said. “Best not wake him.” The two men left, closing the door quietly.

Dale opened one eye. All clear. He opened the other. Bare-brick walls surrounded him, lit by a single guttering candle on the far side of the room. He put a hand onto the mattress – there was no mattress! He sat up, examined the bed, and found that it was no more than a few planks of wood with a coarse blanket thrown over it. A similar blanket covered him. His pillow was a sack stuffed with straw. On an impulse, he lifted it, and saw the two sleeping tablets he had put there earlier. So they were still

there, even in his hallucination. He hoped that was a sign he was getting better, that small pieces of reality were filtering through his nightmares.

As he held the pillow, Dale noticed his arms, bare in his filthy, coarse night-shirt. His skin was grey, his muscles wasted, and red sores oozed pus that dripped onto the bed. His left hand was missing two fingers, their stumps black with infection. Feeling an itch on his right forearm, he turned his arm to look at it and screamed. A large sore had burst, purple flesh was exposed and maggots wriggled in the wound. Still screaming, he beat his arm against the bed.

The door opened and the hag he knew was really Julie came into the room, followed by the doctor. Pushing him back on the bed, the doctor held him still while Julie tried to calm him. “Think, Dale,” she said. “Think of the hospital. Try to see it.”

“Why is he awake?” the doctor said. “Didn’t he take his pills?”

“Yes. I saw him take them. Dale, come on, concentrate.”

“Maggots,” Dale said, his voice a childish whine. “In my arm. Maggots eating me.”

“No,” Julie said “Don’t see them. Look at me, Dale. You can do it.”

“Yes,” Dale said. “Hallucination. Virus. Not real.” He stopped struggling, closed his eyes and tried to control his breathing. He waited until he could smell disinfectant, then opened them. Julie smiled down at him, long black hair covering part of her face. The doctor released him and stood up.

“Feeling better now?” the doctor said.

“Yes,” Dale said. “It’s gone.”

Julie was looking at him, her brow furrowed. “What happened to your pills?”

With a sheepish expression, Dale lifted his pillow and brought out the two white pills. Saying nothing, he handed them to Julie.

“I thought as much,” she said. “I’ll get you some more.” She left the room.

“You really should take the pills,” the doctor said. “We can’t have you screaming all night, you know. You have to get some rest, and so do the staff.”

“I know,” Dale said. “I haven’t done this before. I don’t think I’ll do it again.”

The doctor smiled. “With luck, you shouldn’t need to for much longer. We think you should be okay within a week.”

Dale looked up, hopeful.

“There are other patients with your virus. Some of them haven’t seen the terrible world in days. If you follow the same pattern, one more week should do it.”

“That’s great news. So I just have to hold on for a week?”

“No guarantees, but I hope so.”

Dale lay back on the bed, grinning, just as Julie returned with a plastic cup and a glass of water. “Here you are,” she said, holding out the rusted tin mug. No! Plastic cup, plastic cup, concentrate! The mug wavered, became the cup again. Dale took it and swallowed the pills even before Julie handed him the wooden goblet. Glass! Glass of water!

“It’s starting again,” Dale said.

“Don’t worry,” Julie said. “The pills will take effect in a moment.”

Dale looked into her clouded red eyes and fell asleep.

When he woke, Doreen sat beside his bed. With her red hair in a tight bun, her lips in a tight smile, she was pretty, but nowhere near as pretty as Julie. Still, at least he could see her, at least he wasn’t seeing some rag-clad monstrosity.

“Good morning, Doreen,” he said.

“So you’re awake. I’ll get your breakfast sent in,” she said, standing and walking to the door. She paused as she opened it. “I hear you refused your medication last night. I hope there’ll be no such nonsense on my shift.”

As if he would dare. “No,” he said. “I’ve learned my lesson.” He had a fleeting vision of her as a twisted, infected horror as she left. Damn, he thought, the hallucinations are strange today, flashing in and out. That hasn’t happened before. He would have to ask the doctor about that, ask if it had happened to the other patients, the ones who had recovered. An orderly brought his breakfast and he sat up to eat.

Doreen returned just as he finished. “Up you get,” she said. “The doctor wants to see you.”

Dale’s eyebrows rose. “So early? He doesn’t usually see me until the afternoon or evening.”

Doreen pulled the sheets back. “Well, today it’s the morning,” she said. “Don’t ask me, I just do what I’m told.”

Dale slipped his legs off the wooden bed and climbed into the sackcloth garment. He clutched his head. Mattress. There is a mattress. I’m wearing jeans and a shirt. He took a deep breath and followed Doreen out of the room, along the white bare brick corridor. Gloss-white paint overlaid damp, mildew-covered stone. Fluorescent lights fought tallow candles for illumination. Dale shook his head.

“What is it?” Doreen said. “More hallucinations?”

“Worse. I’m seeing both now, one on top of the other, like a double exposure.”

“We’d better hurry along to the doctor.”

Doreen propelled him along the corridor, past white-uniformed staff with faces ravaged by infection, past roughly-made wooden doors with frosted glass panels, into the doctor’s room. She hadn’t knocked. The doctor looked up, surprised.

“He’s seeing both at once,” Doreen said, guiding Dale to a chair and pressing him into it.

“Oh dear,” the doctor said. “This could be serious. You’d better get a sedative ready.” Doreen nodded and left the room.

“What?” said Dale. “What’s serious? What’s happening to me?”

The doctor frowned. “Stay calm,” he said. “It’s the virus. Your body is rejecting it, cleaning itself. How are you feeling?”

“Scared. And confused. You said I used to be a cook. I wasn’t. I remember – something. I remember a laboratory. I was a scientist, wasn’t I?”

The doctor played with a pencil then put it down abruptly. “Yes, Dale, you were.”

“I worked with viruses. This virus. I was infected. What was it, an accident?”

The doctor stood, his crisply-ironed sackcloth flashing white, then brown, his strong, wasted frame striding, limping, to the window. “It wasn’t an accident.”

“What do you mean?”

“It wasn’t an accident, Dale. You infected yourself deliberately.” The doctor turned to face him. “You infected the others first, then yourself.”

“No!” Dale stood, knocking over the wooden box he had been sitting on. “No. You’re lying.” His hands bunched into fists as he faced the doctor, then he felt a sharp pain in his back. Turning, he saw Doreen holding a syringe, her red hair becoming a mottled grey as his consciousness fled.

He could smell iodine. Forcing his eyes open, he saw that he was lying on straw, damp and foetid, in a bare room. With a groan, he stood and walked to the door. It was barred from the outside. “Hey,” Dale shouted, banging on the door. “Let me out.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible.” The doctor’s voice came through the door.

“Doctor? Is that you?” Dale paused. “I remember. You’re Simon.” He spoke slowly, dragging the words from the deepest pits of his memory. “Doctor Simon Morgan.”

“Yes, Dale, it’s me.” The voice wavered.

“You’re my brother.” Dale leaned against the door. “You didn’t tell me.”

“It would have interfered with your treatment. Your memories have to recover on their own.”

“Why am I locked up like this?”

“For your own safety.” The last word was choked off by a sob.

Dale could still smell iodine. He looked at his arms. They were thin and grey, the red welts oozing pus. The wound on his right arm, which had been full of maggots, had been cleaned and was stained yellow. That was where the iodine smell was coming from. Why had they treated it? It wasn’t real. He banged on the door again.

“Let me out, Simon,” he said, “I’m hallucinating again.”

There was a long silence. “No, you’re not.”

“Yes I am. I’m covered in sores and this room is vile. There’s only stinking straw to sleep on.”

Another long silence. “It’s not an hallucination, Dale. This is the real world.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. This is the rotten world of my hallucination. The virus—”

“The virus causes illusion and forgetfulness. Those infected don’t see the real world any more, and don’t remember it. They see the world as it was before the war.”

“What war?” There had been a war, he remembered vaguely.

“The final war. The chemical and biological weapons war. You were working on antidotes for the weapons, but you were too late. The war took us all by surprise. So you worked on a new virus. This one.”

“Yes, yes, I know. The hallucinations are all my fault. I need help now, Simon. I’m stuck in my hallucination.”

“No, Dale, you’ve lost your hallucination. Your body has rejected the virus, so you don’t have hallucinations any more. You’ll start remembering more soon.”

“What do you mean?”

There was a deep sigh from the other side of the door. “This is it, Dale. This is reality. The war killed most people and those few of us who survived are dying slowly, hideously deformed by the weapons that were used. Your virus is our only hope. It won’t cure us but it gives the illusion of normality, of cleanliness, of life before the war. The other patients are fine, they believe they’re in a clean, wonderful hospital in a beautiful world. We’ll begin injecting more people with the virus soon.”

“What about me? Why not just inject me again?”

“It won’t work, Dale. You’re immune now. The virus won’t work on you.”

Dale slumped against the door. “So what next?”

“Soon we’ll all be seeing the clean world of your hallucination. Thanks to you, your work, your virus, we’ll all be able to enjoy life again. Oh, life will still be short, but it’ll be better.”

“You mean everyone will see the illusion of a clean reality.”

“Yes. Well, almost everyone.”

“Almost?”

“Everyone but you, Dale. Everyone but you. That’s why I’ve hidden you here, to stop the authorities killing you as they did the others. Those who the virus failed to infect. I can never let you out. You represent too great a risk, the risk of remembrance.”

Dale sank to the floor, sobbing, as his brother’s footsteps echoed among the drips from the damp walls.

*******

fearcover

*That’s a cracking collection of short stories, Clicky… /smokes… sum times I fink the man’s on a nuvver plane…*

Dear Reader… Have a Song ❤

Story Time: Jackanory Jackalope

Welcome, Dear Reader, to Easter at the LoL…

*You’ve already lost me, Clicky…/lights up… I’m gonna post last Easter’s Underdog Anthology ‘Harry’ story…/drags…*

*Not crying, Clicky, just not sure what your Reggae Sets have to do with my Easter Eggs… /streams smoke…*

*******

Jackanory Jackalope

by Roo B. Doo

“Harry!”

I thought I heard my name being called but dismissed it; only my best friend Lol knew I would be here and he was standing right next to me. We were on one of our regular pilgrimages to London to see Mamma-Mia, a shared passion that we felt fuck-all need to share with anybody else. Besides, there were plenty of people about. Any one of them could be called Harry.

“Harry! Lol! Over here!” a familiar voice bellowed over the hubbub of the hot and sweaty, but very happy Saturday matinee crowd streaming out of the theatre alongside us, and into the fume-choked, twilight air. Oh shit!

Lol spotted him. “Oh Jesus! It’s the Fat Kontroller,” he informed me with a sharp jab to my ribs. “Look! He’s waving at us from across the street.”

Indeed he was. The founder and driving force behind the company I work for, F.A. Kontrell – my boss – was trying to get our attention from the back seat of a sleek, black Mercedes S-Class parked on the other side of the road. He saw that we’d spotted him and waved harder. “Over here, Harry!”

I considered feigning deaf, dumb and blindness, but Lol was already striding confidently toward the car. “Bastard! Can’t I get a bloody day off?” I mumbled to myself, but followed in his wake.

“Farnsworth!” Lol greeted the Fat Kontoller and shook the plump hand proffered through the open window of the car. “What a nice surprise,” he lied jovially. Lol’s a bank manager; it’s a skill that comes naturally. “What are you doing in town?”

I knew exactly what The Fat Kontroller was doing in town, having ordered the nice wheels and driver for him. But never in a million years, in a city the size of London, did I think that I would bump into the old boy whilst he was entertaining clients. Just my fucking luck!

“Hello Mr Kontrell. Is everything going okay?” I asked, dodging a cyclist that stared malevolently at us as he zoomed past.

“Fine, fine. Get in before you’re flattened,” The Fat Kontroller ordered. A suited figure emerged from the driver’s seat and rushed round to open the rear passenger doors. Lol took the front, leaving me the rear, which looked to be already occupied by a pair of long, shapely legs sheathed in a gossamer shimmer. Hello! I thought, as the legs shifted over to make room on the back seat. I jumped in.

“Dana, this is Harry Egg my assistant and Lol Williams. He’s our bank manager,” The Fat Kontroller introduced us to the owner of the shimmering legs. “Lol, Harry, this is Dana Cossetti, VP Europe for Clovis.”

Clovis, F.A. Kontrell’s biggest customer, had recently been bought by an American conglomerate, and the Yanks were visiting to see exactly what they’d bought. Of course I knew that too as I’d arranged a dinner for them in another part of town. What the fuck are they doing over here?

I dragged my gaze from Dana’s luscious pins, up and over the thick, gold rope chain that disappeared between her swollen breasts, until it rested upon her smiling face. She had twenty years on me, but she didn’t half look good on it. I resisted the impulse to ‘Yee-haw’.

“Hi. Have you guys been to the theatre?” Dana asked with a Texan drawl that made the hairs on my neck stand to attention. “I love that show. Have you seen the film version?”

“Yes,” I replied dumbly, transfixed by Dana’s firm jawline and the absence of wrinkles. Botoxed? I idly wondered.

Lol twisted in his seat so as to face us. He smiled warmly but I recognised the mischievous glint in his eyes. “Harry had a spare ticket and dragged me along,” he said as if he’d been doing me a favour.

“You asked your bank manager to go to the theatre with you?” Dana asked me directly. Her eyes were piercing blue, like my own, and her gaze steady. “Are you guys on a date?”

“No, no,” Lol blustered. “Harry and I are old friends from university. It’s just lucky happenstance that we have F.A. Kontrell in common.”

The corners of Dana’s mouth curled in answer, but she refused to shift her stare from me. Crikey! I thought, that’s what it’s like to get a shot of piercing blue.

The Fat Kontroller, who’d been sitting quietly now piped up and broke the silence. “Lol, are you two going anywhere in particular now? I’m taking Dana for a drink at a fun, little place I found in Spitalfields. Can you join us?”

“We were thinking of getting a bite to eat first and then go for a drink,” Lol started to reply.

“Oh no, please join us.” Dana turned to The Fat Kontroller. “Does the place you’re takin’ me to serve food?”

“Oh yes. You can get something to eat there,” the Fat Kontroller replied mysteriously.

Lol puffed out his cheeks and looked to me for direction, but instead caught sight of Dana’s slender left hand resting lightly on my right thigh. “Yes, I think Harry and I can join you,” he said turning back to The Fat Kontroller and nodding vigorously. “Thank you, Farnsworth.”

“Good, good. Artillery Lane, E1, please driver.”

The car pulled out smoothly into the traffic and sped away.

“Where are you from, Dana?” Lol asked. I could tell from the tone of his voice that inside he was laughing his bollocks off; it’s not every day his best friend attracts a cougar, and he was going to make the most of it. “Is that a Texas twang I hear?”

“Yes. I’m originally from Dallas but I’ve lived and worked all over the world,” she replied.

“Really? Are you moving to England?”

“No, I fly back tomorrow evening.” Dana crossed her long legs, giving me an eyeful of shimmering thigh. “But I hope to come back soon. England is a beautiful country,” she said gently squeezing my knee.

“It is that,” The Fat Kontroller interjected, oblivious to Dana’s wandering left hand. “You worked in the States for a bit, didn’t you Harry?”

Dana hardly needed any further prompting. “Oh where was that?” she asked huskily. I swear her skirt had ridden up a further inch.

As much as I was enjoying her attention, I was also acutely aware of Dana’s status as a client. And apart from my occasional bouts of lustful longing for Josie, F.A. Kontrell’s goddess of a HR Manager, I tried not to mix business with pleasure. I couldn’t deny though, that it felt good to be the prey for once.

“In New York. It was only for a gap year. I was working for an AIDS charity.”

“That seems very altruistic, Harry.” Dana smiled at me, raising her eyebrows. Not botox then.

“Admin mostly,” I said with a sheepish shrug. A year licking envelopes, being sent for coffee and sucking jelly out of doughnuts; I’m a fucking humanitarian, me. I gave her my best benignant smile and was rewarded with the soft crush of side-boob, as she shifted her position imperceptibly closer.

The traffic thinned out as we entered the City of London. The Saturday streets were devoid of office workers, but a few tourists congregated in their place. Chatter in the car continued amicably, as we passed St Paul’s cathedral and Guildhall until we at last reached our destination: a bright yellow door along a narrow side street.

“Here we are!” The Fat Kontroller said, as he got out of the car and held the door open for Dana. She gave my knee a final squeeze before unfurling her long legs and exiting.

“The Breakfast Club?” She sounded distinctly unimpressed. I could understand why: apart from the jolly legend – ‘Today is going to be a good day’ – emblazoned above the windows, it appeared that The Fat Kontroller’s “fun, little place” was in fact a workmen’s cafe. Through the window I could see wooden chairs and tables, topped with centre pieces of ketchup and HP Sauce bottles.

“Are we at the right place?” I asked after The Fat Kontroller had told the driver to come back in an hour.

He laughed and tapped the side of his nose. “Follow me.”

Once inside my first suspicions were confirmed: it was a cafe. A very nice, clean one, but cafe all the same.

“Farnsworth, I fear I may be somewhat overdressed,” Dana said worriedly.

Now that we were standing, I could fully appreciate exactly how long Dana’s legs were. She was wearing a little, black dress that shrieked “Money!” It clung to her firm hips and slender waist, accentuating her ample bosom. Sod overdressing. I’d like to see you undressed, I thought lecherously.

“No, this is the place,” The Fat Kontroller stated firmly and approached the counter. There was a small queue of people waiting to give their food order, but he managed to get the attention of one of the staff. He leaned in conspiratorially. “We have an appointment with the Mayor.”

The staff member gave a brief nod of understanding and asked us to follow. He led us toward a large American style fridge.

“Oh smeg!” Lol laughed at his own joke. The staff member gave a tired smile – he’d obviously heard that particular joke before – and opened the SMEG fridge door, ushering us inside.

“Good heavens, Farnsworth. It’s a speakeasy!” Dana laughed.

The Fat Kontroller beamed with delight. “Welcome to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. I was brought here myself a few months ago. I’ve been dying to reveal it to somebody else. What do you think?”

We were stood in a small bar with bare brick walls and wooden floor. The room was intimately lit and a few patrons sat at tall tables made of heavy wood, sipping cocktails. At the back of the room the bar was backed by brightly lit shelves housing an array of spirit bottles. I felt like I’d walked onto the set of Bugsy Malone.

“It’s wonderful, Farnsworth,” Dana enthused.

We found an empty table and perched up on the high bar chairs. Except for The Fat Kontroller – he remained standing, ready to go to the bar. “What’ll you have?” he asked.

I had nabbed the seat next to Dana, and we scooched together to peruse the cocktail menu. She casually placed her hand on the backrest of my chair, and I could feel her fulsome breast pressed up again my arm.

“I think I’ll have…” Dana paused as she scanned the list. Her protruding tongue flicked over her lips whilst she decided. “A pear and cinnamon sidecar, please.”

“Harry?” I was still mesmerized by sight of Dana’s probing tongue, and basking in the heat of her touch.

“Harry?” the Fat Kontroller repeated again, this time somewhat louder. “What would you like?”

What I’d like is for that pink and glistening beauty to flick over me, but I didn’t say; that would be impolite. “I’ll have the same thanks, Mr K,” I replied hoarsely. My throat suddenly felt quite dry.

“I’ll give you a hand at the bar, Farnsworth,” Lol chuckled, standing up. He dropped me a surreptitious wink before he left.

“So, Harry,” Dana drawled. She turned to face me. “Your folks called you Harry?”

“No, they named me Harriet but everybody calls me Harry. Actually so do they now.” I could feel myself blushing under the weight of her naked gaze on me. I delicately coughed to clear my throat. In for a penny, in for a pound. “Unless of course I’m very, very bad. In which case they call me Harriet.”

There was a pause filled by the muted sounds of the bar around us. Dana raised a quizzical eyebrow then smiled slowly, revealing predatory teeth. “Well, I look forward to calling you Harriet,” she growled softly.

Ding dong! I’ve pulled! Then another thought crossed my mind, this one not so euphoric. There’s something not quite right. “Dana, would you excuse me for just one moment, I just need to have a quick word with Lol. I’ll be right back.” I gave her wrist a comforting squeeze, then slipped down from my chair and started for the bar. I nearly bumped into The Fat Kontroller who was his was back with our drinks.

“You’re not off already, Harry?” He looked concerned.

“No, I just need to see Lol. I’ll be right back.”

I collared Lol at the bar. He was sipping on a syrupy concoction through a straw. The cocktail glass was laden with umbrellas and fruit.

“Lol, quick question: did you know that The Fat Kontroller and Dana would be outside the theatre tonight?” I gave him my sternest look.

He didn’t answer straight away, preferring to suck harder on his straw. I waited whilst the liquid drained from his glass.

“That’s brilliant! I’m going to have another one of those,” he answered at last.

I breathed out hard. “Lol. Did you and The Fat Kontroller conspire for them to bump into us tonight? It’s a simple enough question.”

“No, of course not, Harry,” he laughed uncomfortably. “What do you think we are? Pimps?” He turned away quickly and asked the bar tender for a refill.

You bastards! I thought. You set me up! “Oh Lol!”

“Look, Harry,” he said calmly, placing his hands on my shoulders. “We just thought it would be nice for you and Dana to meet. She’s an important client, new in town. You don’t have to sleep with her or anything, it’s just a drink.”

I looked over towards our table. The Fat Kontroller and Dana were deep in conversation. I was torn between outrage at the actions of my best friend and my boss, and lust for the lusciously lanky Texan. I watched her swing her shimmering legs and my mind loitered on the thought of them wrapped around my head.

“Come on, Harry. We’ll get something to eat after this and go home, okay?”

Lol grabbed his drink, telling the bar tender to put it on The Fat Kontroller’s tab, and steered me back toward our table.

“What are you two talking about?” Lol asked when we returned. Dana turned and smiled at me as I climbed back onto the bar chair next to her. I sipped at my sidecar and smiled back.

“Jackalopes,” The Fat Kontroller boomed.

I placed my fingers to my mouth to stifle a burp. “Jacka-whats?”

“Jackalopes,” Dana replied, “They’re ubiquitous in Texas and the most fascinating creatures.”

“Rabbits with antlers?” Lol asked sceptically.

“Oh their antlers are poisonous. If they ram you, it injects poison,” Dana answered drily.

The Fat Kontroller took a swig of his drink, a single malt doubled – his favourite tipple; no fancy cocktails for him. “Jackalopes sound extremely dangerous.”

“Oh they are, Farnsworth.” Dana was warming to the subject. “Their fur is also poisonous. Each hair is like a barb on a sea-urchin or porcupine, and that poison is more toxic than the one produced by their antlers. Not only that but the hair has barbs, so the more that the fur touches you, the more attached the Jackalope becomes. It’s not uncommon in Texas to see a hunter running around screaming with a Jackalope stuck to them.”

She paused to take a sip of her cocktail and her eyes flicked between us, as if to gauge our reaction. Rapt attention, as far as I could tell, but I was still miffed at the situation I found myself in.

“So they’re pretty poisonous, then?” I asked blithely.

Dana suddenly grabbed my arm and turned me sharply toward her. “You don’t know the half of it, Harry,” she said with complete seriousness. “Their claws are also poisonous, but this poison has a more osmotic delivery mechanism. They will climb on the back of a horse, and if it refuses to give the Jackalope a ride, to wherever the Jackalope wants to go, it will slowly release poison from their claws.”

Her piercing blue eyes danced delightfully as they stared into my own. Underneath the table I felt Lol give me a friendly kick.

“The Jackalope saliva is also poisonous, but they spit that at their target. The spit ball is encased in a corrosive acid that eats through the victim’s skin, allowing the poison encapsulated in the spit ball to enter the bloodstream. A Jackalope can spit the poison spit balls accurately for up to 1/2 mile which is..?” Dana looked toward The Fat Kontroller.

“Oh, almost a kilometre,” he replied mirthfully.

Dana nodded to him. “Thank you, Farnsworth. The poisonous saliva makes Jackalope turds toxic, Harry. Toxic, but not fatal. That’s why there are so many college kids out looking for Jackalope turds. They collect the Jackalope turds, then eat them.”

“Eww!” Lol laughed. “Well, I suppose that’s better than eating Tide pods.”

“True,” Dana continued with a straight face. “The toxins in the turds causes the kids see really weird stuff. Of course they won’t see anything as weird as seeing a bunch of people out picking up Jackalope turds just so they can eat them, but they’ll see some pretty weird stuff. Or so I hear.”

She sat back in her seat and took another gulp of her sidecar, the level of which was getting dangerously low in her glass.

“Dana, is there any part of the Jackalope that isn’t poisonous?” I asked sweetly. This is fun! Not only is she smoking hot, but she’s fucking funny with it.

“Only their bite, which is odd considering the toxicity of their saliva. Science never could figure out why. But the bite still hurts like a mother fucker.”

Lol guffawed, nearly choking on his drink, whilst The Fat Kontroller slapped the table. “Have you ever been bitten by a Jackalope, Dana?” he asked, his ruddy face shining with amusement.

“No fortunately. The Ancient Americans thought that someone getting a Jackalope bite, without dying, was a sign of good luck. But what the heck could they possibly know?”

Dana laughed a long, throaty chuckle at our amusement. Once again I felt her hand on my thigh.

“Gentlemen. Harry. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go powder my nose,” Dana said, stepping gracefully off her chair. She craned her head in search of the bathroom.

Lol stared at me with widened eyes; The Fat Kontroller contemplated his empty whisky glass. “Oh, I think they’re near the bar, Dana. Hold on, I’ll come with you,” I said sliding off my chair. “Shall I order another round while I’m up there?” I asked The Fat Kontroller.

“No, we’ll need to push off soon if we’re to meet the others for dinner on time,” he said looking at this watch. “The restaurant you booked is on the other side of town.”

I followed Dana towards the bar, drinking in her swaying figure from behind: her sensuous shoulders, slender waist and flare of her hips. Not to mention those long, shimmering legs. She’s really not that bad for an old girl, I thought.

I caught up to her when she stopped at the bar to ask for directions. “Dana,” I said, sidling up next to her.

She snaked her arm around my hips and left it hanging there. “Harry. It’s been a truly wonderful meeting you. I’m just sorry that we didn’t get to spend more time together on this trip.”

“Me too.” I really meant it.

“When I’m over again in couple of months, maybe could take in a show together?” Dana shot me other blast of piercing blue.

“Yes, I would like that very much.” I could feel the grin plastered across my face. “Mamma-mia?”

“You betcha!”

Yee-HAW!

*******

*A jackalope and aliens? …/pats snout… Nice one, Clicky…*

 

 

Story Time: Exchange Students

Welcome, Dear Reader, to Easter at the LoL…

*Wait… /rubs eyes… didn’t we start yesterday’s post with that tweet from Cade, Clicky?*

*Ah, okay. Thanks, Clicky…/pats snout… Gotcha…*

Today we are delighted to be able to present for you one of Cade’s stories from the latest Underdog Anthology, ‘Transgenre Dreams’. Enjoy! ❤

*******

Exchange Students

by Cade F.O.N. Apollyon

The days have lost their darkness. Like all of the seasons, Spring brings many of its own wonders. Some we like, some we don’t. Some we notice, others…not so much. One of the wonders that Spring brings, at least in this part of the world, is the erasure of the embedded darkness in the days.

Many seem not to notice, but it is there. A hazy, embedded darkness in each and every Winter day, that keeps Sol’s heat at bay so that Winter can do her work. Spring carries a key to releasing the grip of this Winter darkness. It usually happens over the span of a single day in late Winter, each year, and for those who are looking, it is very easy to see.

Today’s date is the 22nd of March in the year 2019 CE, and by my own accounting, the darkness first started to be released a week or so ago. You can tell, because the shade of the sky is…different. Brighter at a certain time of the day than it was at or around the same time on the previous day. That embedded darkness will not return until Fall and Winter return. And, there will be several more increases in the light over the coming months. The brightness will reach its peaks in the months of July and August; the months in which here, the temperature will usually rise to oppressive levels. Day after day of a sweltering and inescapable heat. No embedded darkness to shield us.

Why am I writing about all of this darkness and light business, you might ask? Perhaps you are one who enjoys seeing wonders, and never knew that such a thing even existed. This phenomenon of a change in the sky’s opacity and luminescence is not something that you can actually sit, wait and watch to happen. You just need to be mindful of it. If you watch the sky enough, you can train yourself to notice variations in the shades and colors of the skies.

Today, I am sitting out back, banging away on the laptop, and thinking about the sky I am currently seeing. Thinking about the skies I’ve seen. Comparing those skies in my mind to what I am actually seeing in real time. All the while, taking some notes.

It occurs to me to suggest that this darkness phenomenon is akin to seeing the sky go dark, then turn light again during a solar eclipse. Winter brings an embedded darkness to our days, ands Spring bri…woah!

Apologies for the interruption, but something just flew in front of the Sun; a plane I’m guessing. There was that rapid change in the Sun’s brightness that lasted for but a fraction of a second. I suppose my heart is beating so fast and my mind racing because I am, ironically, writing on just this very topic.

Um…it just happened again. That blip of a rapid change in the Sun’s brightness, and it happened in less than a minute after the previous. I know a bit about aviation, so I know enough to know that aircraft are spaced further apart than that. A bird perhaps? Circling vultures or some large bird of prey? They are quite common here. Busy airways in this area, so there are many possibilities at this point.

There is a high, thin layer of cloud today, but the Sun is still very bright, and plenty of blue sky. I only mention this because that blip just happened for a third time, then almost immediately a fourth. I see no planes, I hear no planes, I see no birds. Of course I am stopping my typing occasionally to observe, and I know that I am somewhat straying off topic, but this whatever it turns out to be is interesting to me. I have observed this phenomenon many times before, but never with this frequency. Not even close.

It is still happening, and I’ve now lost count of how many times it has happened. I cannot look directly at the sun, but I certainly cannot see anything on the perimeter of the Sun’s disk that might be causing this. The frequency is too often. Something very odd happening here. Almost like someone waving their hand rapidly in front of the light bulb on a lamp. But in this case, I cannot actually see what is causing the Sun to be blotted temporarily.

My heart is beating out of my chest as I write this. The frequency and duration have both dramatically increased, and I suddenly feel I’m at some weird daytime Rave. I’ve experienced some weird shit in my life, but this is completely fucking new.

WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK!!!

OMG!!!

I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I AM SEEING!!!

Gotta stop writing.

Be right back…I hope.

***

I just had…the weirdest fucking conversation…that I have ever had in my entire life.

Um…give me a second to get my bearings so that I can accurately relate the completely fucked up shit that just happened to me. My heart is pumping hard in my chest again, but it’s only because I’m trying to figure out what in the fuck to do at this point. How to try and grasp the meaning of what happened and how to relate it. Perhaps even if I should. If so, to whom?

OK…I’ve already dismissed the urge to contact MUFON and file a report. Police? Not a fucking chance. The military? Yeah right. A friend? Fuck no…I have no friends, not for something like this. Local government? NASA? Ghostbusters? Who in the fuck do you call? What do you do?

This is something, that in all my years of watching Bigfoot, UFO and other weird documentaries, I have never considered before now. Now what? You wanted the experience, you got it, now what?

The fucker is now gone, but as you may have guessed, yes, I just saw a goddamn UFO. I’ve seen plenty of UFOs in my lifetime, but there are only a very few of my own personal sightings that I cannot explain. This fucker, just landed in my back yard, no bullshit. I seem to be able to explain this one just fine…or maybe not. Digress.

I’m sitting outside in one these fucked up sun-chaser outdoor recliners, typing all that bullshit above about the sky changing, then all that weird crap started happening. I stopped writing when I finally saw what was dancing all wiggly in front of the sun and causing that rapid “micro-shade” or whatever it might be called. Just when I thought I was going to have a seizure from all that flashing, this purple and green…ship…came into full view. It descended down from right above me, and plopped itself down in this tiny-assed backyard of mine.

Weird, because the fucker looked HUGE in the sky, but the closer it got to the ground, the smaller it got. No idea how it fitted in this tiny yard. Made no sense whatsoever, and I don’t want to speculate about the shrinking and growing possibilities at this particular junction. None of this shit makes any sense. Least of all…that totally bizarre and completely fucked up exchange between…us. I have no idea what that was. But yes…us.

***

I am sitting here, hands shaking, trying to get my head wrapped around all this crap, what to tell and how. But holy SHIT…all I can think about is that conversation I just had. Yes, an “alien” got out of their spaceship, and they fucking talked to me.

You know what? Fuck this noise. I’m gonna play transcriptionist here, and try my best to make an accurate record of the conversation while it is still fresh in my mind.

My mind…my fucking mind.

Jesus H. Christ…where in the fuck is my fucking mind right now?

***

Alien: Where is your mating orifice!?

Me: ???

NOTE: I said nothing of course. But if ever in my life there was cartoon bubble containing question marks floating over my head, it was precisely at this exact moment in time.

Alien: Do you speak?

Me: Yes, I speak.

Alien: Then you likely also have the capacity to hear. Where is your mating orifice!?

Me: Um…I don’t have a mating orifice…that I am aware of.

Alien: All beings having mating orifices! Where is yours!?

Me: At work?

Alien: At work. Ah, so it is already currently active in a utilization sequence?

Me: No, not that I’m aware of. It better not be anyway.

Alien: Is your culture one that speaks only in riddles?

Me: Not…always, no.

Alien: Then explain how your mating orifice can be in an active utilization sequence when you do not know where it is located!

Me: I was thinking of my girlfriend.

Alien: You think of others while your mating orifice is in use?

Me: No, I don’t think of…wait. I, do not have a mating orifice. I think my girlfriend does though.

NOTE: It was at this point in which I realized, that my childish desire to please had suddenly taken a turn. Am I, completely by accident, about to inadvertently pimp out my girlfriend to an alien?

Alien: I have traveled the length and breadth of the great void and seen it’s many wonders, and I tell you, that I have never encountered a being that does not have a mating orifice! Where is yours!?

Me: And I’m telling you, that I’m pretty sure to an accuracy of almost 100%, that I do not have a mating orifice. I was simply thinking that I may know where one is.

Alien: Where is it? And why it is there and not here!?

Me: My girlfriend. Your unusual request initially made me think of my girlfriend. She’s at work.

Alien: This girlfriend has a mating orifice?

Me: Maybe. Before I came to my senses, it had occurred to me to perhaps call her.

Alien: Her?

Me: Yes, her. I’d thought to call her.

Alien: Call?

Me: My girlfriend.

Alien: Girlfriend?

Me: On the phone.

Alien: Phone?

Me: At her job.

Alien: Job?

“Me: My girlfriend, she’s at work, I’d have to call her, on the phone, at her job, to verify the mating orifice…status.”

Alien: WHY ARE THERE SO MANY INTERMEDIARIES BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR MATING ORIFICE!!!

Me: Now that I think of it, that’s a damn good question.

Alien: If this query is in fact good, why have you not obtained an answer to it!?

Me: That’s an even better question.

Alien: Where do you currently stand in your quest to obtain these answers!?

Me: Your questions keep getting better and better. Keep this line of questioning up, and you could probably rule this planet in the span of a week if you wanted.

Alien: I have no desire to rule your planet! I seek a mating orifice!!

Me: If anything, that’s one point we both seem to be clear on.

Alien: You are trying to deceive me with your riddles in order to hide your mating orifice?! Immediately remove your veils for verification!!

Me: !!!

NOTE: Now, I admit that I’d been sitting outside in the sun, nothing on but a t-shirt and jogging shorts, not wearing any underwear, and it occurred to me that it would be real fucking simple to answer a whole lot of questions and possibly solve a lot mysteries if I were to simply pull my shorts down posthaste and forthwith. But there was no fucking way that I was going to drop-trou just because some alien shows up, looking to get laid, all whilst experiencing some gender confusion in this particular quadrant of the galaxy, then demands that I present my junk for their inspection. And so, at the speed of light I might add, that’s exactly what I did.

Alien: Ah, I see. Not very well, but I do see. You are Pleggbah. Equipped with doingy doinger…like Muuk!

Me: If there is a God, I pray to them now, that you are Muuk?

Alien: I am Muuk…The Pleaser.

Me: Pleased…er sorry, to meet you…Muuk…The Pleaser. I’m not sorry to meet you, was just going to say “pleased to meet you” and kinda got tripped up.

Alien: A simple “greetings” would have sufficed in this exchange.

Me: Noted protocol for future reference. My name is Phillip. You may call me Phil if you like.

Alien: Phillip called Phil, you are in fact not equipped with doingy doinger like Muuk.

Me: I’m continuing to make mental notes of the pertinent details whilst dealing with the flood of data. Some contextual clues are beginning to form some pictures for me though.

Alien: While making notes, do not again use subversion to covertly ask Muuk about the existence of God.

Me: Noted…no religion, and I’m guessing no politics either?

Alien: Guess all you care to! Met God once or twice. Unpleasant type. No sense of humor.

Me: That revelation would not surprise me in the least were it not for the bullshit that is currently going down right here and now.

Alien: Going down like veils that previously concealed Phillip Phil’s doingy doinger?

Me: Among other things.

Alien: Save your existential riddles for your institutions of higher learning!

Me: Will do. And, for the sake of clarity, a “doingy doinger”, I’m guessing, is in fact this thing right here between my legs that I’m about to go to jail for unleashing in public even though I’m in my own back yard?

Alien: Correct. Muuk has many doingy doingers.

Me: Ironically, I sense a monologue in my very near future. With no pun intended there.

Alien: Many mating orifices exist in the void. Many dimensions to cover, many needs, much work, and there is only one Muuk. One Muuk has many doingy doingers for many occasions.

Me: You have many of these things? And before you respond, I’m going to take what you tell me as gospel truth at your word. I don’t require visual confirmation of any kind whatsoever, even though I admit that a video camera would come in really fucking handy at this precise moment for all kinds of reasons.

Alien: Muuk, known as The Pleaser, evolved many a doingy doinger over many cycles of time to please many a mating orifice through the ages.

Me: I could see where that might come in handy for the right… Pleggbah? I think it was?

Alien: Being with doingy doinger is Pleggbah. Muuk is Pleggbah. Phil…is…slightly above the curve according to initial rough estimates.

Me: I’m going to sleep the sleep of angels tonight in that knowledge.

Alien: Muuk has utilized my ship’s surveillance units during conversational exchange to take the dimensions of your doingy doinger. Will craft duplicate. May come in handy for Muuk.

Me: My dimensions sometimes come in handy for me.

Alien: Muuk may encounter being that desires displeasure or dissatisfaction.

Me: Thanks for that exclamation point on the matter.

Alien: My pleasure. Hararar rarah! That was humor since pleasure will be Muuk’s.

Me: You laugh at your own jokes. I have that problem too.

Alien: Laugh at own jokes is only problem Muuk have. Phil have Muuk at numerical disadvantage in the category of problems to have.

Me: That sleep of angels coming tonight will be haunted by nightmares of demons shitting on every second of it.

Alien: Displeasure is need like any other.

Me: I’ll spend the rest of my days knowing an exact replica dick of mine is causing displeasure and dissatisfaction all over the Universe.

Alien: Everywhere but here.

Me: What?!

Alien: Everywhere but here…Phil.

Me: Uh…I…

Alien: Utilization. Proper utilization of available supplies or components. Old universal parable… ”It is not the dimensions of the craft, but the vectors of the matter.

Me: We sorta have that same saying here… “It’s not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean”.

Alien: You say tomato, I say vincherapine.

Me: I guess I can relate to that…somewhat…eventually perhaps. Maybe after some heavy cycles of Thorazine and Quaalude therapy.

Alien: You will recover without medication cycles. Take your time.

Me: Another note to make in what is now likely to be my psychiatric journal.

Alien: I must go, and now.

Me: So soon?

Alien: No mating orifices to be found here.

Me: Well, there actually are some to be found here. You just need take your time. Maybe heed some of your own advice?

Alien: Noted. Farewell Phillip called Phil.

Me: See you around Muuk.

Alien: It is assured you will see me again.

Me: Great. I mean, yeah. Great.

Alien: Muuk serious. Will return.

Me: Seriously?

Alien: Yes. Someday, Muuk The Pleaser will return to Phillip. But not for Philip. As in…

Me: I think I get the gist Muuk.

Alien: Going now. Be back later.

Me: In that case, I’ll see you when I see you. Travel well Muuk…be safe.

Alien: Will try. Earth orbit treacherous. Much junk. Many debris. Approach and departure risky.

Me: We’re actually working on that, believe it or not.

Alien: Stay on it. Outlook currently grim. Now, Muuk go get lost in void. Find orifices to please.

Me: Later Muuk. Good luck with the ladies.

Alien: And Phil, retract your garment to it’s original configuration and/or placement.

Me: Thanks.

***

And so, that’s it. I just had an honest to God, UFO + extra-terrestrial close encounter of the you-gotta-be-shitting-me kind. In my own yard. In the broad daylight.

I was left standing there in my backyard, mouth agape, shorts down. Wondering what chance there was that a video of this event was going to somehow materialize and wind up on the Internet, and if so, what I would think about that. I just had the most bizarre exchange of my life in a “what the fuck” moment of epic proportions, involving an alien being of some kind who I guess was looking to get laid.

I pulled my shorts up, watched this weird looking spacecraft lift-off into space from my backyard, and started to contemplate the weird fucker named Muuk who was piloting it. A space cowboy with a bunch of penises. Then I sat down, grabbed the laptop, and I’ve been at it ever since.

Thinking about it now, my penis has multiple dimensions…sorta. Something like multiple penises, except in a single package. It get’s bigger, it gets smaller, lots of dimensions between here and there. Interesting. Digress.

I do wonder if he and his fabled many doingy doingers will actually be back. Not that I care about the bouncy bits. Hell, they may not even exist. I didn’t see a doingy doinger, let alone many. Maybe he was some interstellar perv pulling some intergalactic prank for some channel on the Milky Way’s version of YouTube? Fuck. I feel like a complete dunce all of sudden.

At least I didn’t get the “industry standard” type probing.

Just gave an alien the full Monty in the Spring sunshine.

Full frontal nudity.

Or thereabouts, in my case.

*******

😀 We hope you enjoyed that, Dear Reader, and suggest you invest in a copy UA8 ‘Transgenre Dreams’ if want read any more of the fabulous stories contained within it. Clicky and I will be back tomorrow with an Easter Sunday Shambles, but until then, have a Song 😉

Missive From ‘Merica: Rawr! What Is It Good For?

😀 Underdog Anthology 8 is now out and available to buy, Dear Reader…

…And if you ‘click’ on FREE PREVIEW, just above, you’ll be able to read my story, ‘BOGOF’ for free…

*Indeed the deal is pretty fuckin’ sweet, my lovely dolphin shaped assistant… /lights up…*

*Oh and Leggy posted one of his entries for free reading, Clicky… /drags… Excellent. That’s the sort of story you can’t stop thinking about. It does actually explain everything…*

*Aww, thanks, Clicky…/pats snout… When I chose ‘Tyger Tyger’ to mutilate for the Afterword, I had no idea what ‘orses were running in the today’s National… /streams smoke…*

…And now, Dear Reader, here is a missive from Cade. His stories in UA8 are particularly awesome reads…

Enjoy! ❤

*******

Heilig Glockenspiels Fledermauskumpel!!!

Deutschland is contemplating rearming themselves!!!

WITH NUKES!!!

^New nuclear weapons in Europe – The return of the Cold War? | DW Documentary^

Lemme know when your tits stop jiggling from the shock of that revelation, and we can then discuss the matter in a serious manner.

Deutschland is contemplating rearming themselves!!! WITH NUKES!!!

See what I did there?

I like the way you move baby.

rawr

But seriously, it seems the shoe is on the other foot. Has The USA already forgotten what lost the USSR the “Cold War” in the first place? Not that I personally think The Cold War ever ended, but it was said that we bankrupted them. Is us spending fucktons on weapons a smart thing to do? If The US and Europe has to endure another Cold War, it’s our own fucking fault. But can we endure another one? Is the US and a lot of the NATO nations prepared to lose this next Cold War? Are you ready to lead another Cold War? Are your citizens ready to fight another Cold War?

You reap what you sow?
^Exceptional Engineering – Harvesting Giants^

I’m not trying to stir your shit up. Seriously, for realz, I’m not. Just wondering what it is that we’d be fighting about. Before it was Democracy (Capitalism) vs. Communism (Socialism). But what is it now? Russia has an axe or two to grind. One, being beaten, and two being snubbed after being beaten. What do we in the West have? On what grounds do we stand? The fact that Russia may have an axe to grind? I would imagine they’d only be interested if we put them in that position.

 Digress

Lots of nations kinda lucked-out with WWII in that they were able to acquire all kinds of territories during the course of the war. But currently, we have no war. None where any real lands can be acquired in such a way that you can plant your flag, claim it as your own, and your citizens and/or allies will nod in agreement. So with that in mind, where in the fuck is this land that countries are wanting to make a grab for? Where could they be?

^The new battle for North Pole supremacy – VPRO documentary^

Yes…those are some extremely long documentaries. Yes, I am an unemployed loser who has nothing better to do than to sit around all day becoming educated and informed on things. No, I am not an authority on anything. I guess that makes me an authority on nothing. Heh…heh…heh. Wait, did I lose you there?

Q1: Without a nothing, how can a something be defined?

A1: ???

Q2: What is this razor that shaves this line from a nothing into a something?

A2: ¿¿¿

We in our Age tend to rely on the presence of certain things in order to determine was is/is not. The big one is certification(s) via established bodies.

Degrees

From Associate Degrees to Black Belts, we like to use particular foundries to temper the knowing from the non-knowing…the learned from the unlearned…the known from the unknown. Some kind of something to reflect a prowess or a deficiency in a certain area. The standard logic is that knowledge gives you smarts, and experience gives you wisdom. But what if one were to spend their life trying to avoid knowledge? And I’m talking about a person who has the ability to absorb and understand knowledge, but for whatever reason, they personally feel a need to stay away from it.

Lemme guess…a loser. A slacker. A chickenshit. A waste of space. Void. Ichabod.

^MC 900 Ft Jesus – Talking To The Spirits^

I realize that I prolly sound like Darth Vader above.

“If only you knew the power of the dark side.” – Darth Vader

Cept in my case, I seem to be espousing the power of dumb. Which I guess is also dark since everyone seems to equate knowledge with light for some odd reason. Welp, think of it like this, we in our time are hung up on causality and causal effects. We really don’t seem to give a flying fuck about what happened, and spend on our time on why a something happened. The key is, the time and timing. After. We care after. Why “before” has different motivators prior to than after. Chance. We’re willing to take chances. Play the odds. Hedge our bets via someone else’s game(s). Hide truth and truths, then roll the dice.

Me? I wanna know what’s going on in that dark.

^The Prodigy – Voodoo People (Eskimo Remix) (HQ)^

From the time I was quite young, it was drilled into me “to know God’s plan for me.” Problem is, that practical applications of this approach never seemed to work real well. The better I did, the worse off I seemed to be. I’d get to the top, only to find that this was not good enough.

WTF? 

I’m exactly where you said I should be, and yet this is not good enough? My reward is scowls and contempt?

Wait...one...fucking...second here

What if, “God’s Plan” for me personally, was for me to be “a little bit dirty, and a little bit clean”? I suck at being bad, and I suck at being good. What if I’m supposed to be good at being indifferent? I mean, to be completely honest, if “God” has a plan for me, doesn’t that mean that “Satan” or “Lucifer” or who the fuck ever has a plan for me too? I’m sick of walking the edge on these two fuckers’ sides. I’m sick of always being in peril no matter which side I choose.

I know…I’ll put a foot on each side, and see how that goes. Maybe I’ll better understand both of these dipshits, and that’ll help me better understand my own dipshitty self. That may make zero sense to you who are reading this, but it makes perfect sense to me.

But enough about me
^Todd Terje – Inspector Norse Best Live Version^

Space and spaces of all kinds is where war is headed. We gotta figure out how to do it here if we are going to figure out how to do it there. At ground level, above ground level, underground, under water, under water underground, macrowar, microwar, you name it…the current void and voids is where it will be. Gonna be smooth as fuck, and I personally cannot wait.

^DEMOU – Like Velvet^
!!! HAPPZY FRIZDAY FUCKERZ !!! 

Wrote that shit yesterday, and what was the very first fucking thing to appear in front of my fat fucking face on this fine Friday?

Paul Craig Roberts: Where Is The World Headed?

Some freaky female from a far afield felt the need to tweet that out, and it hit my eyeballs as soon as I opened Twitter this morning.

Coincidence?

“The fulminations and threats from Washington against Russia brought forth new Russian weapon systems for which the US has no match or defense, weapons that demote the US to a second-rate military power.”

What is this “fear of second”? Oh wait, we’re talking about war here.

Second = loser

But that’s not really what interests me. “The Russians” were ahead of The US in just about every way back during The Cold War, so as best I can tell at this point, is that this is prolly more about a race to Mars than it is about shooting wars. But there is The North Pole to consider. And of course Antarctica. Which speaking of, when I opened YouTube to start listening to music? Guess what was waiting for me there.

^What Buzz Saw In Antartica Frightened Him So Bad That He Tweeted These Words…^

What…Buzz…saw.

rofl

Buzzsaw. That’s funny. Not as funny as Ali G calling Buzz Aldrin “Buzz Lightyear” to his face, but funny.

Digress

Um, I admit that I’ve pondered Buzz Aldrin’s comments about “evil” for some time now. Seeing something you do not understand is likely going to immediately cause one to qualify it as “evil”. Especially if you are seeing some things that I’m assuming that he saw.

EX: If you are looking at a flower with the naked eye, and you suddenly start seeing the genetic makeup of that same flower from the beginning of time to the end of time, you are likely going to be confused as fuck as to what you are seeing. And I’m talking about every genetic mutation/variation that took place from the beginning of time, that led up to the creation of this particular flower, and every genetic mutation/variation that will take place from now until the end of time.

So yeah, you see the entirety of eternity through the window of this one flower, and you see it in a very short period of time. Like running a movie backwards and forwards at the same time, on fast forward both ways, and you see the entirety in the span of a few seconds.

Now, if you have some context, some of what you see may make sense. Like say, you’ve seen this particular movie before, you may be able to pick out some things that make sense, but overall, it’s a fucking mess. But what if you’ve never seen this movie before? Yeah, it’s likely that none of it will make sense. Especially if this is not an experiment that you personally have setup.

It’s something that…just happens…while you are looking at a flower. Or maybe looking at some something in Antarctica. Or looking for some something in Antarctica.

^Nine Inch Nails – Down In It lyrics^

I know…you prolly think it impossible for someone to see anything like what I just described. Even tho I just described it, and I personally see it, you still think it impossible.

Q: Are you possible?

A: ?¿?

I’mpossible too.

^Republica – Ready to Go (Official Video)^

If there is a God, you really think this fat-headed fuck wants to throw people into some place of eternal suffering forever? I mean yeah, they prolly wanna throw me into some place of eternal suffering for calling them a fat-headed fuck, but I’m talking about your average person. Just wondering, if God is wanting to damn them, why in the fuck are you trying to save them? More than that, why aren’t they trying to save themselves? Are you prepared for “the tough questions”? Or you just gonna shrug them off. What about the tough answers. You ready for those? Yeah, I dunno either.

I guess we'll see
^empirion – The Dark Inside me^

Maybe your own warlike state and warlike inclinations are what keeps you from this enlightenment you seek?

/me shrugs
^The Prodigy – Funky Shit (Live At Red Square, Moscow – Russia 1997)^

Does this list piss you off? Not complete enough? Too subjective? Too many omissions? Includes shit you don’t agree with? Wanna fight about it?

^Evolution of Electronic Music – 1955 to 2017 (V2)^

cYacFa

^The Avalanches – ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’^

*******

*No idea what you mean… /stubs butt… Could you fetch a Song to finish with, Clicky…*

Until next time, Dear Reader… Have a Song 😀

*Hmm… Underdog Anthologies are the perfect loo reads, Clicky…*

 

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Book Reading…

On Thursday last week, Dear Reader, I was booked to read one of my short stories at the Metal/Essex Writer’s House literary festival…

*I was so fucking nervous, Clicky… /lights up… I’d never done anything like that before…*

…Unfortunately, when I got there, the place was closed and my spot had been cancelled due to a leak in the ceiling…

*No, that was a leak in the sealing, Clicky… /drags… plus it ‘appened the day before…*

… But fortunately the open mic slot for Saturday had become available that morning, so I re-booked to return at the weekend…

*Good thing that creative writing class broke for food when they did… /smokes… It was nice to have an audience, Clicky. I hope I didn’t put them off their lunch…*

… Thank you for listening, Dear Reader, and have a Song…

Missive From ‘Merica: Doodlebugging

Dear Reader, the release of Underdog Anthology 8: Transgenre Dreams in imminent…

UA8 Cover

… At 230 pages it’s a bumper edition and, fingers crossed, will be available to purchase later this week. Butt for right now… Cade F.O.N. Apollyon, who has written two wonderful stories – one of which made me pee myself laughing; the other made me sob – and five lively poems for the latest anthology, has sent through a lovely missive. To tide us over 😉

Antediluvian Animals Ark.gif

*Know ‘er will be the next post, Clicky… /pats snout… Patience…*

*******

giphy

THE PROSECUTOR: Tries to get them in.

THE DEFENSE: Tries to get them out.

THE JUDGE: Tries to get them to where they need to be.

Is that right? Am I right on that? Notwithstanding corruptions of all kinds, is that the basis of a legal proceeding? It just occurs to me, that any competition is always a minimum of 1 v 2, not 1 v 1. Kinda 3  on 3, ‘cept, just 3, battling for 1.

So confusing
^MS MR – Hurricane (Official Video)^

What? You don’t get it? Well fuck me runnin’…you can’t have a contest without a rule set, rule sets, or some kind of governing body of some kind. Without that extra layer, there can be no contest, right? What happens if both competitors show up, all juiced up on steroids and blasted out of their minds on cocaine?

Yeah...the law...it wins.
^Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law(1966)^

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Yeah, Brexit is on my mind since March 29th has come and gone. See, here in Texas, we have these things called Antlions. I included a pic at the beginning of this whatever.

Antlion

An ant or some other creature wanders by, they fall into the pit these Antlions construct, and the more the wayward creature struggles and tries to escape, the more the pit collapses in on itself…keeps the hapless fucker trapped. I mean, who the fuck would go to all that trouble of creating a capture infrastructure that also lets individuals come and go as they please?

^Hee Haw Where Are You Tonight^

giphy-2

Today I learned that April Fool’s pranks cannot be played after noon. I actually think I’ve heard that before, but I’ve never adhered to that rule because I’ve a weird clock. Seriously, if I work the evening shift, I may not see many of my friends until sometime after noon. How can I participate if there are all these conflicting rules? Not only that, but what does it say about the current structures of the modern workday(s)? Do the modern modalities and stipulations with respect to employment leave any room for the employee?

Or is that too much of a stretch for you?

Holidays, work, nah…not related in the slightest.

^Pixies :: No. 13 Baby :: Extended Version (not official) :: with lyrics^

Ever heard of something called HTA? In 1971, Esso had “three new fuels” with something called HTA in them. I guess some kind of additive to reduce engine hesitation via fuel performance.

Q: Is it possible to find out what products a company had available at a specific time, and if so, what those products contained and why?

A: ? ¿

I’d like to know what kinds of materials a pair of socks contained back in the 1970’s, but it would appear my quest is akin to finding a needle in a stack of needle-stacks.

Digress

Esso

Nope…no mention of “HTA” there. Let’s go straight to the source.

Esso

Hrm…it would seem that for North America, Esso only has retail locations in Canada now, so I’d imagine that any 1970’s products and their components would likely not be mentioned. But, let’s give it a whirl anyway.

Esso Canada

Nope. Went to the search function, searched for “HTA” (without quotes), and “no results found” was my reward. I know! Let’s us try this!

Exxon

FUCK! No mention of HTA there either. OK, so, let’s go the corporate route.

ExxonMobil

“Your search returned no results for HTA”

/me scratches head

OK…so…let’s just go to Google, and see if we can search for “what is HTA in gasoline”, and see what we can find via that.

High Temperature Accelerant Fires

Shit…just took a turn…for the surreal. But what’s this?

Improved Fuel Distribution-A New Role For Gasoline Additives

Le sigh

You can read the article for free, but you have to create an account to read the article.

^Esso (Exxon) Gasoline Commercial (1971)^

On my last gasps here, it appears that The EPA has a list of all registered gasoline additives.

List Of Registered Gasoline Additives

I guess “registered” is the key word. No “HTA” on that list either. But, there’s hope I guess…

Uneasy Rider: The Interstate Way Of Knowledge

To be honest, my Google searching has so fucking many HTA’s, and these HTA’s mean so goddamn many things, no telling what in the fuck HTA was…or is…or will be…

Dennis Klein’s Gas Engine Water Additive

But what’s this? Can it be? Have I finally hit…paydirt?

Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design: Volume 2 – Additive to Alpha

Seems that some someone somewhere invented some something called “HTA”, and this some something is

“a mixture of nonpolymeric amines”

which are

“said to minimize wetting by gasoline of the intake system metal oxide layer.”

And so, we’ve possibly got our “HTA stuff” figured out, and what this HTA stuff does, but this is where shit really gets interesting, because the author goes on to possibly tell how it does it.

“Rather, small droplets are formed which tend better to be entrained in the air stream, thus reducing maldistribution due to a high inertia liquid film.”

OK, so, “polymer” is mentioned in a “nonpolymeric” context, and what immediately popped into my head was stringy, springy stretchy things, and “bubbles”. “Misting” of fuel(s) is usually required in order to get a particular fuel to burn the way you want it to. But gasoline is already quite unstable, so it’s usually a case of keeping it from burning until you want it to. Are they trying to keep the gasoline from creating bubbles/droplets and create “sheets” instead? There’s mention of film, and more than that, a high inertia liquid film. I wonder what that could mean?

Film – a thin skin or membrane

God does not play dice?

^Prodigy fans line the streets for Keith Flint funeral | ITV News^

giphy-3

Braintree? Keith Flint and Prodigy were from Braintree? Stephen King had a “Braintree Texas” in his book/movie The Stand.

Weird

Braintree is not a real town in Texas btw. Neither is Arnette. But there is an Arnett, TX.

Local time: Monday 11:33 AM

Weather: 49°F (9°C), Wind NE at 5 mph (8 km/h), 55% Humidity

That’s the weather for Arnett, TX on this fine Monday of April 1st.

How are you today?
^Primus – Too Many Puppies^

There was something in the news recently about churches and roller skating/roller skaters. I guess there were a couple of assholes brought swords to the party, one took the other’s sword away, and some motherfucker wound up getting cut because one of the swords was a shade more “swordy” than the other.

Hebrews 4:12?
^Chvrches – “Now is Not The Time”^

giphy-4
So back to the HTA crap, um…where were we?

Nonpolymeric
Polymeric
Polymer
Polymer

K, so, they are indeed trying to keep some stretchy and stringy things from forming, but what is this “ amines” crap?

Amines
Amine
Amine
Ammonia, eh?

Ammonia has been appearing on my radar a lot lately, but you don’t care about that, so let’s keep going with whatever in the fuck HTA is, how it works in gasoline, and why it was there in the first place.

Sheeting
What is Cascade’s sheeting action?
Wetting
Thin Film
Wafer (Electronics) (Redirected from Thick Film)

You think any concepts like these are applicable in…the spiritual realms? It’s just, I’m about to have to wander off into concepts like detonation, pre-ignition and all kinds of abnormal combustion that you prolly have no interest in.

It's sapping my will to read/type
^CHVRCHES – Lies^

Here’s the thing, earlier today, there was some more nonsense about “junk food” and it causing cancerous advertising or some such nonsense, and it really got me to thinking about my own relationships with sustenance. I don’t think some people realize what kind of razor blade I sometimes have to ride with respect to eating. Or maybe, they do, and they just want me to buy their junk food instead of someone else’s. Or maybe they couldn’t care less about me and my needs. That said, it has occurred to me from time to time that there are those that are well aware of some of the cancer dynamics, but ain’t saying nothing.

Like maybe, that there is a structural societal cancer build on top of disease that is so embedded, that removal of the disease is likely to be fatal to these systems that our societies function in and upon. Google is telling me that there are 18 million healthcare workers in the US alone, and there’s no real qualification as to what that means. Is someone who manufactures the sheets that go on the beds of an MRI machine considered “a healthcare worker”? Irrespective, I doubt very seriously that 60+ million healthcare workers worldwide are ready to be out of work. What does junk food and shaving have to do with Newtonian physics and HTA gasoline additives from the 1970’s?

I dunno yet. Working on it tho
^’Zdarlight’ DIGITALISM by Åbäke^

giphy-5

Meh…this Brexit shit has me down.

I'm leaving
^White Magic^

halfenchantedchrysomelid-size_restricted

cYa | cFa

^Tangerine Dream – Love On A Real Train (State Azure Cover)^

*******

Roo B. Doo Chalkwell Hall

*I told you, the next post, Clicky… /sigh… Come on, we need a Song to end…*

Have a Song, Dear Reader ❤

Trans-Genie Dreamy

The wait is near over, Dear Reader, and I’m not talking about Brexit…

UA8

*/lights up… Hey! That’s not the cover, Clicky… /drags… Leggy’s still working on that…*

*/smokes…*

… With the window for submissions closing fast, Underdog Anthology 8 has so far attracted 10 authors with 18 short stories and 11 poems, not including my mutilated offering in the Afterword

*So far on the Dead Poets Page, I’ve managed to… /counts on fingers… stitch up Shakespeare, ravage Routhier, lacerate Lazarus, willingly torture Wells & Tormé, wanker Wheatley, pillage Poe and obliterate Oliphant… /flicks ASH… About time I butchered Blake don’t ya fink, Clicky… /smokes contentedly…*

So, Dear Reader, with a hat-tip to Dr Seuss – never mess with Seuss – the LoL is pleased to present my perverse verse for Underdog Anthology 8 from Leg Iron Books. Of course it’s about Brexit…

crouching tiger hidden dragon 1

The Creeps (that stole Brexit Brexit)

by Roo B. Doo

 

Brexit Brexit, MPs blight,

In the politics of Fright;

What immoral Hansard lie,

Could frame their shameful skimitry?

 

What the distant Creeps despise,

Disbelieving of their lies?

In Labour town & Tory shire,

People chose Leave as their desire?

 

And what bluster, for their part,

In twisting syntax off the chart?

And so the Creeps began to cheat,

Safe in smugness, if not in seat.

 

“What the horror? Why the pain?”

“The People didn’t know thy brain!”

“What the oldies failed to grasp,

It’s not long ’til their final gasp!”

 

When the Creeps threw down their sneers,

Made amendments, with loud jeers,

Did they smile their work to see?

Do they know they’ll have to flee?

 

Brexit Brexit, MPs blight,

In the politics of Fright;

What immoral Hansard lie,

Could frame their shameful skimitry?

crouching tiger hidden dragon 2

*/stubs butt… Those fuckers are gonna rue the day, Clicky…*

Until next time, Dear Reader… Have a Song…