Missive From ‘Merica: Syncing Spooky

Happy Tuesday, Dear Reader 😀

The latest Underdog Anthology, volume XV, is now available for purchase…

*I saw you posted the Afterword, Clicky… /lights up and smokes…*

… And in plenty of time for Halloween…

*What in the actual fuck?! …/flicks ash… Wait, Cade’s missive begins with spoo… /rolls eyes… ‘k… /drags… Seriously, what a bunch of wankers. Unvirtuous, virtue signalling wankers…*

… I’ll post my Halloween story ‘OK Charon!’ at the LoL on the day, but right now, we have a new missive from the Okie Devil in the great State of Text US. Sit back, take a load off and enjoy the wry musings of Cade Fon Apollyon…

*******

If I can achieve and maintain an erection, but my penis is not currently under contract from any outside vendors, does that make me self-employed when/if I masturbate? If so, do I owe myself money?

I'm potentially running up quite a debt here. 

Makes me wonder about the nature of ejaculation as it pertains to nocturnal emissions. Is there some dream girl floating around out in dreamland who owes me money? And what is it called when a day-sleeper has a wet dream? Is that a diurnal emission? Do the rates change from night to day?

I must know these things.
^Ben Böhmer – Promise You^

Ever operated a cash register? Ever handled cash? Most importantly, do you know how to make change? Lemme ask that again…do you, know how, to make, change.

Do you, know how to make change.

Do you know, how to make change.

Do you know how, to make change.

Do you know to make, change.

Change is all the rage, so if you don’t know how to make it, how can you ever change?

As far as that goes, if you don’t know how to make change, how can anyone else ever expect to make change? You are a knowitall, after all. That’s the rumor you’ve been spreading anyway.

^Chris Lake – Sundown (Original Mix)^

There have been a great many teachers that I look back on with a great deal of love and admiration. However, I get the feeling that I never fully appreciated them back in the day. Don’t get me wrong, as bad as I hated school, there were absolutely a few classes that I really enjoyed taking, and there were some teachers who I really looked forward to seeing them and hearing from them each day. But there was a dynamic that existed at the time which I’m fairly certain never made me appreciate them as much at the time as I now think that I appreciated them then. Meaning, yes, I appreciate them very much now for the things that they taught me back then, but back then I was too green and stupid and inexperienced to appreciate them as much as I think I did.

What’s the purpose of exploring this idea in the here and now? Respect. More than that, acknowledgment in the now of my own disrespect back then. Owning my own shortcomings, and not making my relationship with teachers past out to being something that it was not. Don’t put my finger on the historical scale simply because I have the benefit of being able to do so in the here and now, for my own gain/benefit, and I can do so with little fear of exposure for my fraud. Own the times when I was an obnoxious, rebellious, ignorant and disruptive little shit who caused my teacher(s) a fuckton of grief that they likely did not deserve. I may have even hurt some. Randomly hit one of my teachers with a smart-ass verbal twist or jab during the course of their day, all so I could stand out in the moment amongst my peers. Make my fellow students laugh. I never thought of the weight that may have put on my teachers’ shoulders. Never took a single moment to think of my teacher(s) going home that night with a heavy heart because of something I’d done during the course of their day. Never contemplated what it might be like for them to sit alone in their apartment pondering what in the hell they did to deserve that, or try and relate to their partner or roommate or whatever that a student of theirs had humiliated them during the day.

I don’t know if I can say in the very moment of me writing this that “I am sorry”, nor express myself in such a way as to relate that yes, I am indeed very sorry for always attempting to be the class clown for my benefit at their expense. But I have accepted (or am trying to accept) that these things have happened, did happen, likely continue to happen, I can’t think of a single instance when there was malice in my heart, the fact that I had no malice in my heart really doesn’t matter, but mostly I’m aware that I owe you a great deal of gratitude for hanging in there and putting up with my bullshit during my own learning process(es). Hopefully, via these experiences, you learned something too, and I’m really hoping that whatever you may have learned isn’t just and only that I’m a dry and sarcastic smart-mouth who you don’t understand and comes off as a bit of an asshole sometimes.

Not my fault you're projecting.
^N-Joi – Anthem (Official Video)^

What I was really thinking about in the previous section was the idea of me and my writing probably sometimes coming off as little more than a heckler, sitting in the cheap seats, and doing little more than taking cheap shots at those who are out there actually doing a something and making a difference or whatever.

This is not my intent. 

I realize that doesn’t matter, but yeah, my intent is not to be a someone who sits in the wings and makes clever observations for notoriety/attention. We live in a world in which virtually every arena, the information flow is one-way. We are spoken to, and rarely, if ever, are we allowed to speak. Speeches, messages from the pulpit, rules, laws, practices, instructions, procedures, wishes, spells, charms, formulas, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, newsletters, television, radio, the web, you name it…virtually everything as it pertains to any dialogue of any kind in our society of our times, is all one-way, and the time and opportunity for questions, observations, suggestions and interactions of any kind are almost nil.

On those rare occasions where we mere mortals are allowed to speak, we’re usually so traumatized by the experience/opportunity that we fuck it up completely. We stumble, stammer, our voice shakes, or we’re so afraid to say what we really and actually want to say because we’re afraid we’re gonna look/feel like an idiot, so we throw a softball pitch, or don’t say what we want to say, or change the wording, or change the subject, or worse still, we say nothing at all…in every case, it’s a fucking nightmare on hell’s wheels. We never actually get the opportunity to speak enough, to actually learn how to do it. We never get to interact enough, to actually learn how to do it. This makes us very poor at expressing ourselves and expressing ourselves well, this lack of opportunity to speak also has the quality of seemingly encouraging us to express ourselves incorrectly or perhaps even inappropriately. We just flat out do not get enough “at bat” attempts in our lives to get better when it’s our turn at the plate and we’re facing down that major league pitcher. We never get to know, who we really are, via those experiences which reveal to us who we can be.

Me? Sure, I realize that there are likely times it may appear that I’m just some douchebag of less-than-average intelligence, taking pot-shots at “known” people from the relative safety of the shadows of anonymity where I reside, but the question is…

Q: Am I?

A: ¿Am I some douchebag taking cheap shots at targets of opportunity as they arise/present themselves?

I’ve got no answer(s) for you, and you probably wouldn’t like my answer even if I had one to give. I can only tell you that I am aware of this dynamic, and more than that, I try to be mindful of this dynamic. Beyond that, I guess you’re just gonna have to make up your own mind and speak your own piece. I’m not in the business of thinking for you nor am I in the business of speaking for you. Get involved. Speak for yourself. Mix it up a bit. Learn how to do it. Take the chance of sticking your own neck out, do so of your own accord, and let your own thoughts be known. That’s what I’m doing. I’m no fucking good at it, but yeah, that’s what I’m doing.

/shrug
^Alex H – There’s No Turning Back (Dub Mix)^

You wouldn’t have any inhibitions about drinking water that came from a huge lake would you? Or water that came from a large river, or some massive glacier or iceberg? Modern water considerations and concerns notwithstanding regarding water/impurities/pollutants/etc., what I’m getting at, is that if your water came from some large, easily-accessible and popular source, would you not drink this water specifically because it came from a large/easily-accessible/popular source. Mainstream, if you will. Just wondering why someone would feel guilty about consuming a something that came from the mainstream. Like say…oh I dunno, pop music for example. If it tastes good, and it satiates your thirst, what’s the problem? You afraid someone is gonna see your ears drinking that stuff? Feel like you’re alone in a bar and sucking on the cheap swill for a cheap thrill because it’s something you like, when suddenly all your friends burst in and catch you indulging in something that is not up to their standards?

^LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock – Party Rock Anthem (Official Video)^

Pure candy. Pure ear candy. Let’s us run that Willy Wonka-esque creation through some aftermarket filters and see how the video tastes after.

^Music videos without music: LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock^
Aftertaste...blech. 

Sooooo much better with the music. In fact, that song is pretty fucking good without the video. Uptempo, good foot-tapper, anyone can sing along, it follows the “anthem song” template whilst adding enough of it’s own spice and flair to stand out in the pack, ain’t much if anything not to like about this new spin on an old dish. But then, you get added to the mix. You and you uptight and exclusive friends and all those rules and regulations and protocols and procedures governing what you can and cannot consume. Then, this song comes on…and you, like it.

What to do?! What to do?! 

Maybe this song is a signal from the universe that it’s time for you and your pals to part company. For you to go your own way. I mean, that’s the point of exclusivity, right? Go your own way and be your own thing? Now, who the hell woulda thunk one could obtain exclusivity via drinking from the big pool.

^Pharrell Williams – Happy (Video)^

When you see a tornado, that’s probably what you see.

When I see a tornado, this is what I see.

When one views the Earth/Terra from outside, we seem to have little to no difficulty rotating everything 90° in our heads. We look upon our sphere as if we’re looking out on the horizon rather than looking “down”. I guess maybe this is because our planet is nestled in the void, and something somewhere in our being lets us know that we are basically looking up, which really, is looking out. What I’m thinking about here that, from outside of our planet, we don’t seem to have as much difficulty with translation as it pertains to position as we do when we are on our planet. When one is “upright” on terra firma and/or somewhat upright, we seem to have difficulty with the notion that up is out, out is out, down is out, left is out, right is out. Everything is out. The only “in” that seems to exist is from, the outside. But even that doesn’t hold up for long once one goes deep enough. Keep going in, and eventually, in will once again become out. Some point exists in space or “a” space where everything that is, flips, and becomes everything that was. Gravity and attraction would have to play a part in this I would think, but there’s also something strange going on there with lines and curves. Hiding within that and those, appears to be some strange and unchangeable something. Some absolute. Some programmatic-ish something which exists in nature that says…

begin

if is <> is

then is := was;

end;

Maybe that’d be better stated as…

begin

if is <> is AND was = is

then do

is := was;

was := is;

end;

end;

Something weird about that tho since a something would almost need to happen, before it actually happens. If for no other reason than to ensure that both things happen simultaneously, which should ensure that the values are passed correctly with little to no impact on the system. Tachyons? Maybe also a delay in processing time, to hide the procedure from the observer/experiencer maybe? Maybe also a third heat via speed and distance in Neutrinos and some other goodies? Never can be too safe afterall and a cushion could certainly provide some insurance to ensure that the flip always and forever, occurs. Still, one would think that over time, that’d build up a helluva deficit in time. Maybe that’s how time is actually created tho. Build up a time deficit within time that can never be repaid, so to speak. Keep paying, and keep paying, expansion, expansion, etc., plenty is paid, but the original debt can never be repaid because the meter is still running, always has been, always will be.

^Lane 8 – No End In Sight / Outro^

Odd linear quality to that previous thought. Not so much an expansion as much as an expansion in a particular direction, at a particular time, from a particular perspective and/or certain perspectives. What I’m thinking about here is, imagine an hourglass turned on its side, and some mysterious force is pushing and pulling the enclosed sand from one end to the other. In our Universe, science and scientists always seem to see a balloon. I can see that, but what I mainly see is what I described above. A back and forth. Some is rushing away, some towards. Just kinda depends on where the observer is as to which direction matter and energy are running at that particular point in time. And I guess instead of a single hourglass, there could be many. I’d think there’s nothing prohibiting things moving in different directions at different times, nor that there’d a be any limits on the iterations, instances, nor any limits on the nesting/embedding. Cept maybe the aforementioned of course. That…thing…that causes “not” to become “is” whilst simultaneously, all things remain unchanged.


^Ben Böhmer – Purple Line^

Hrmmmm…I get the feeling I’m being trolled here in some way.

Of all the things I can think of to do with a pressure cooker, banging on the fucking thing whilst it is under pressure is NOT, one of them. Still, I cannot tell if the advertiser is being totally irresponsible here for the sake of advertising, or if they are just trolling me in some way.

Both are a possibility I guess.

Oh, and you’ll need to watch the video below to know what I’m talking about.

^Avery Products – Pressure Cookers vs. Avery^

Speaking of “not following the rules”, being irresponsible and/or being deceptive in making a buck, seems like more and more “the rules” are being flouted, and either A) no one is paying attention, B) no one knows that there are rules to be followed, or C) no one cares. Could be all that.

Are those Hawaiian rolls and coffee really from Hawaii?

Quite sure that packaging is supposed to indicate where a something is actually manufactured and/or where a something comes from. It indicates that there is an audit trail, which indicates nothing shady is going on anywhere along the line, and that stuff you are shoving into your pie-hole is probably for the most part safe/not going to cause harm. Of course, loads of interests out there that don’t care if gold comes from illegal mines in South America or Philippines, or if diamonds come from some war-torn country in Africa, or even if your titanium is coming from illegal purchases made from Russia by your own government…but you can’t eat that stuff, or at least none of it can hurt you.

(so you think anyway) 

But rolls? Yeah, if I go to Hawaii looking to contact the manufacturer of some rolls that had a bunch of metal shavings in them or made me sick, but the manufacturer ain’t actually in Hawaii? Well, what am I supposed to do now? Where did these phantom rolls come from? What recourse do I have? HELP!!!! I guess I have to turn to…my government.

Yeesh. 

Isn’t my government already supposed to be on top of shit like this? Prohibiting companies from operating in such a way as to be deceptive or misleading? I swear I have to do everything myself.

^Kaskade & Moguai feat. Zip Zip Through The Night – Something Something Champs [Cover Art]^

Knowing what we know, offering the vaccine “for free” isn’t much of an incentive. Hell, all kinds of products and services that offer that “free introductory service” or “free introductory time period” bullshit, and we KNOW what a scam that is.

It's a trap. 

Get you in the door, and they can treat you however they want. Always trying to up-sell you, weird charges and fees, damn near impossible to cancel, impossible to get help, and if you bitch or show even the slightest inkling of dissatisfaction, they’ll cut you off. Can’t help but think this “vaccine for free” stuff isn’t any different.

^Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes (@Spencer Brown Remix)^
Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to talk about anything objectively without looking like an idiot.
Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to talk about anything objectively without feeling like an idiot.
Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to talk about anything objectively without being an idiot.
Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to think about anything without looking like an idiot.

Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to think about anything without feeling like an idiot.

Eventually it’ll be virtually impossible to think about anything without being an idiot.

Remember, your opinion…does…not…matter.

Helluva rabbit hole there.

One helluva weapon.

Silence.
^Kalsy – Summertime Bliss^

You want signs?

Here’s a sign for you.

Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson moving headquarters, some production from Springfield to Tennessee

That there is a fucking sign and a half.

^Lumidelic – Awakening Dreams (Original Mix)^

Let’s explore some psychology on the topic of being accused of something you did not do, defending oneself, and let’s use one of history’s most famous bad guys, Al Capone. Al Capone was accused of not paying his taxes. If Al were to say “I didn’t do it”, does that actually constitute an affirmation/admission of guilt? Al is actually accused of not doing something, as such, saying “I didn’t do it” actually means “yeah I did it”. Nevermind that Al was only being accused of income tax evasion because the attempts to convict him and send him to prison on other charges all failed. You can’t get someone on the charges you want to get them on, so you get them on those charges in a roundabout way, by getting them different charges.

Sounds...illegal. 

More than that, sounds just flat out wrong. Ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, the reason you cannot get this someone on the charges you want to get them on is because they are…innocent of those charges? Lemme splain where I’m going with this. There are many groups that have vetting processes. Sometimes these vetting processes are better defined by calling them “initiations”. It is with that in mind that we should point out that these vetting/initiation processes are usually done “in-house”, but we should also note that sometimes, people can take it upon themselves to engage in these processes. “Prove themselves”, if you will, and do so without knowledge, consent, approval, nor at the behest/prompting of the group typically responsible for these processes. Some lone wolf wants in the club, this lone wolf researches/learns what they think the vetting processes to be, then they start doing these things of their own accord in the hopes of getting noticed and eventually being welcomed in to whatever circle they desire to join/be a part of.

To make this a little more relatable, maybe think of some person seeing a bunch of “punk rockers” on the street, this person decides they too want to be a punk rocker, goes out and buys a bunch of “punk rock” clothes, gets a “punk rocker” haircut, maybe pierces their cheek, gets a tattoo or two, then proceeds to loiter in the same areas/venues that punk rockers do. In our case however, we’re thinking more about gangsters circa 1930’s Chicago and/or New York, and maybe that there were “wannabes” out there who maybe started doing some gangster shit in order to get a reputation and hopefully get noticed by the mob. Maybe even get asked to join, because like, you’ve already proved yourself for this very reason, right?

With that in mind, let us take this in a bit of a different direction since “the mob” or even “gangsters” is a bit ambiguous. There are, after all, usually many more than just one faction, and these various factions within “the mob” are more likely to be at odds rather than the homogeneous/homologous something it is typically made out to be by outsiders. That’s right, if our lone wolf gets noticed by “the mob”, it is likely that our wolf is on many different radars, and no telling how these various interests may decide to handle this situation. Hell, they’ve basically got a rogue element that they can play six ways from Sunday, do so to their own advantage, having little to no culpability themselves, and maybe even take out their competition in the process. See where I’m going with this yet?

Yes? No? Maybe? 

I don’t either. Just out for a drive for the sake of driving.

^Shapeshifters – Lola’s Theme (Club Mix)^

The St. Valentine’s Day Murders have always been spun as a clear-cut case of agents acting according to the will of/on the instructions of one Alphonse Capone whilst Al himself sat it out in Florida. However, what if some rival faction actually performed this operation for the specific purpose of getting Al pinned with the crime. Al was Public Enemy #1, everyone wants his head, so, why not give one of your own enemies the knife to do it with? Hell, the US Government itself could probably rationalize and justify killing all those people just to get to Capone. Not only are you getting rid of the gangsters to be murdered, you get Capone in the process…

it's win all around. 

In thinking of pursuing Capone on things that are basically unrelated to the real reasons you are persecuting this someone, occurs to me that this is a long, dark train that has no end. Creates questions instead of answering them. It’d be like me yelling at my girlfriend for not fixing dinner, when I’m actually pissed at her because she wrecked the car and I couldn’t give a fuck if she fixed dinner or not. They may have been guilty of both, but the lack of clarity and “solving” one problem via another just seems wrong to me. Convenient for me in the moment perhaps, but it opens a door that may be difficult or maybe even impossible to close.

^Binary Finary- 1999 (Best version released)^

Don’t ask me why initiations have been on my mind. They have tho. And even tho it’s been a coupla weeks since that above was written, something damn weird just appeared on my radar…

All this talk of jab, the jab and jabbing are bad enough, but what was really strange is that it made me think of a tweet I’d seen only last night…

And of course there was this just a coupla days ago…

Not sure what to make of all of it other than 1) things appear to be getting back to normal, and 2) I guess that security bridge in Operation Bridger is still under construction or something.

Operation Bridger

The word “bridger” appears to have some interesting meanings.

“One who bridges, or connects two previously separate things.”

“U.S. fur trader and mountain man, noted for his tall tales.”

That lockdown interlude gave the world but such a brief taste of happiness, hopefulness and harmony. Now that’s ending, it’s “game on!” I guess.

As you were, citizens. 

Oh, and it appears that David Amess dude has died 😦

Sorry you died/got killed dude. Hopefully you and your party haven’t left too big of a mess in your wake.

^Gareth Emery – Long Way Home [Official Video]^

Was the final sentence in that previous paragraph totally out of line?

Disrespectful? 

Welp, hopefully nobody turns the dude’s coffin over and creates a mess of Amess at his wake. Assuming he has a wake. The dude sounds like he was more or less upright and righteous, or at least tried to be, and we all prolly know how hella hard that is to do in this wicked old world. Prolly even more difficult to do in Old Blighty, land of sin, evil and corruption.

But what I was thinking about is I get the feeling that Conservatives and Libertarians alike are quite furious at Conservatives currently. I mean sure, all this SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 stuff and some other weird shit has gotten Brexit almost completely off the radar, but no one in the UK (at least on the Conservative side) seems to be very happy about how Conservatives have been handling themselves regarding CO\ /ID. I guess at its heart, instead of opposing this restrictive and quasi-dystopian legislation, the Conservatives appear to be whole-hog for it. Track and Trace, firing the hero essential workers of the NHS who refuse to get the COVID vaccine even tho they somehow survived the entirety of the initial pandemic, social distancing and mask wearing requirements not being eased and lockdowns that last forever, difficult if not impossible to travel, all kinds of crazy shit that really doesn’t make sense from a “conservative perspective” I guess. But, they are a political party, and every political party is gonna have a mantra of “toe the line, or else”, so maybe they’re just showing their true colors? I mean, I don’t live there, so I have to wonder how “conservative” conservatives really are in the UK.

Maybe there’s some other game afoot here. Maybe the conservatives are playing the long game, and too many people are too focused on the short game(s). I know here in the US, the best way to get something banished forever, is to legalize it. Once a something is actually on the books and in the system, just about anything can be done with it. Assuming the game plan of the Conservatives is indeed to get the laws on the books via their own methods and means so they can better drive them from there, that is. Sounds risky for sure, and a helluva lotta people are gonna pay some hefty short-term prices that may really fuck them up long-term. And it’s not like the Conservatives can come right out and say “hey, we’re doing this for the sole purpose of fucking it up completely and making sure no one can do this very easily in the future”, it’s all gotta be done on the down low and hush hush. The down side to playing such a dangerous game is them getting voted out of office, the Conservatives don’t get to see it through, and all those juicy control laws are on the books unaltered and unchallenged, and just waiting for the right wrong person and/or people to come along and get their filthy mitts on them.

^Source Code – Morning Glory^

The other day some random dude followed me on Twitter. As per usual, I didn’t pay them much mind for a span to see if they’d unfollow me if I didn’t immediately follow them back. Lotta folks on Twitter appear to do that. Follow account for the express purpose of obtaining a follow back.

Trolling, for followers. 

Anyway, as per usual, I went and looked at the dude’s Twitter feed and started the brief vetting process that I typically do, then followed the dude back. I then get what I assume is an automated DM to me encouraging me to go listen to his music and “help spread the word”, I guess about his music, and him and his enterprise or whatever. No way this automated process or bot or whatever could know this, but I’d already listened to the song they sent me in the DM, and my first inkling was to reply back and solicit them to, in return, purchase a copy of the latest Underdog Anthology and maybe go read me and my friends’ blogs.

 rofl...yeah right. 

Ask a bot or automated process, to buy a book. I guess maybe I could query it as to possibly buying/reading the Kindle version? Anyway, not ragging on the guy really as much as just pointing out that, I, tend to plug people’s shit because I choose to of my own accord. If I find something interesting, I share it because there are others out there who might dig it whether it be music or movies or art or information or whatever. Like I said, I’d already listened to that song and was already gonna plug it even tho it’s not really my kind of music if for no other reason that it’s not bad and because I know that there might be someone else out there who’d like it a lot. I’d be there Bridger in this case: bringing people together. And also, there’s a bit in the video that says “MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU” which, was syncy as hell because I’d just written something for my own blog where…I make a section that is not about me, all about me. And now that I’ve done the same by making this entire section about me, me and me, here’s the fucking song. Enjoy.


(it's actually pretty good)
^Scott Krokoff – Far Too Many TImes (Official Video)^

cYa | cFa

^George Hall & His Taft Hotel Orch. – Good Morning Glory (1933)^

*******

*Do what?! …/stubs butt… Just another bunch of unvirtuous virtue signalling wankers… /sighs… Spooky…*

So, there you have it, Dear Reader. Thank you for your time and attention, and… Have a Song…

Extended CLICK5… CLICKB8: Writing A Story For Underdog Anthology XV…

Adventures in Remote Viewing: Animal Fam

Dear Reader, I have been reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, as part of the newly formed Gloom Dog Book club…

*Poppy Sweet Pea set the club up at UBU, Clicky… /lights up and smokes… I knew the story but never actually got round to reading the book… /flicks ash… Until yesterday…*

*Oh, it’s a great book choice to start with considering current political climes, Clicky…*

There’s a paragraph early on in the story that grabbed my attention because it synced with a conversation that I had with Cade Fon Apollyon on Friday evening, regarding: the 1966 movie Arabesque starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren; some randomly posted bible verse in the comments of a YouTube video of disco song that was a hit in Japan in 1977; and an unexpected  stream of swan, monkey, lion and elephant appearances to cross my path that day…

*Yeah I know. It’s a bit whacky, butt bear with me and I’ll try to explain…*

First things first, here is the paragraph from Animal Farm that grabbed my attention:

‘Napoleon took no interest in Snowball’s committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up. It happened that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were weaned, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness-room, and there kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence.’

*Okay I’m getting to it… /drags… Get arabesque to show, Dear Reader, Clicky…*

*No, the movie… /rolls eyes…*

*An outbreak of flu is used as an excuse in the opening scene and the missing cipher hidden in a sweetie wrapper, labelled 9…*

*The title of Wes’ talk is meant to be sarcastic. Actually a ‘pollock’ is also a fish… /thinks… Wait, this is syncing with the ‘lost joke’ in your recent post, Clicky…*

*Vans with ‘Cubitts’ on the side were very prominent in the movie… /drags…*

*Weird fucking movie, Clicky. Enjoyable but weird… /streams smoke… To think, we only watched it ‘cos of a Twitter convo Cade had with @monkeynutshell shortly beforehand…*

*/flicks ash… A trio from Frankfurt…*

*Some elephant tweets had crossed my twitterfeed that day…*

*Menemosyne is an aspect of the Planetary Animal Mother, Sophia, according to Gnostic teacher John Lamb Lash… /final drag… Goddess of Memory and mother of the 9 Muses…*

*An elephant would be an excellent witness to a crime, Clicky… /stubs butt…*

*Wes’ latest vid… /grins… Talk about the elephant in the room…*

Okay, I’m gonna have to assume, Dear Reader, that you followed the conversation above and employed your Clicky when cued, to perceive the synchronicities that I experienced…

… So, let’s go back to the paragraph from Animal Farm that grabbed my attention…

Nose of a Lion took no interest in Snowball’s committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up. It happened that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were weaned, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness-room, and there kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence.’

*Sorry for the spoiler, Clicky, butt those 9 puppies became Napoleon’s attack dogs, enforcing his rule over Animal Farm…*

*Yeah, it’s a lot to take in, Clicky…*

I’ve nearly finished reading Animal Farm, Dear Reader. It’s funny, George Orwell prefaced the story with ‘A Fairy-tale’, a pejorative term used to describe myths…

… Have a Song, Dear Reader… 😉

Story Time: Walk I, With You

At last! Dear Reader, Underdog Anthology XIV: The Dark Ides of March has finally been published and is now available for purchase…

*Wrong book, Clicky, although finking about it… /lights up and smokes… I did write my anthology story over the Easter weekend…*

After writing ‘What Time Do You Finish?’ and following that up with ‘Christmas Death Wish’, I’d decided I would write a third installment in what is turning out to be a ‘Ronageddon’ series. If you haven’t read those stories yet, Dear Reader, please avail yourself of the links, below…

Synchronicity provided me with the title of the story you are about to read. That and Cade Fon Apollyon: I’d been mulling over story ideas for weeks, wracking my brains for an angle, when I hit upon an idea. I was very excited and headed straight to Twitter DMs to tell my best bud, but what I saw when I arrived was a poem, waiting. One that Cade had just written for me…

*/flicks ash… And on mum’s birthday too…*

Anyway, Dear Reader, I hope you enjoy ‘Walk I, With You’. See you at the bottom of the post for a Song 😉

*******

Walk I, With You

By Roo B. Doo

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking umpteen…

God paused at the end of the first sentence on the first page of the battered book in her hand.

Umpteen?

Disconcerted yet curious, God checked the cover of the book to make sure that the title and author’s name were correct before continuing to read on.

The Grim Reaper, skull nuzzled deep within the cowl of his robe, silently glided up to the bench closest to the duck pond in Victory Park. The ‘Do Not Use’ warning tape adorning it had deterred everyone from sitting there, but not Death. The Grim Reaper climbed up onto the bench and waited.

On a tree nearby, a coloured poster, too large for the display, had been tacked up. It simply depicted an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a middle-aged man, with tousled, blond hair, baggy eyes and jowly jawline. It was one of those pictures which are designed so that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BRO IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.

God snapped the book shut and sighed.

I knew it! Somebody is monkeying about with Nineteen-Eighty-Four. Again!

She called for the fat, smug goose who administered the comings and going in the vast area known as the God Lobby.

Come with me, Brian. We need to make a site visit.

***

Spring was in the air and Victory Park was packed with people exercising in the pale April sunshine. Despite the brightness, the air remained frosty cool from both the transition of the seasons and the earliness of the hour. Death sat on a bench close to the duck pond and watched the hordes walking, running and star jumping in socially distanced formation. All their faces were dutifully masked.

Why are they torturing themselves? Death wondered as he watched a stream of hot breath pour through the sweaty face-mask of a passing jogger. They may as well be carrying a bundle of posies in front of their faces for all the protection those things give. Ah, the Black Death. Now that was a proper pandemic.

Death pulled a slim, black rectangle from the depths of his robe and flipped open the cover to reveal a bright, smooth screen decorated with coloured icons. Following the disastrous crash of the Cosmic Consciousness Neural Net (CCNN) that occurred on Halloween in 2020, God had resolved that an upgrade in tech was very much required, and the PsiPad was born. The Psion organiser, which had been gainfully employed by the Grim Reaper Service up until that point, was finally relegated to the Scrapheap of Obsolescence. There it languished alone; the hourglass having escaped the same fate by presciently forging a long-standing relationship with eggs.

Tapping the screen of the PsiPad with a bony digit, Death opened the PsiCalendar and studied his schedule for the day. He had arrived a little early for his next appointment but didn’t mind waiting. Having existed throughout all of time, Death was not opposed to occasionally killing the bastard.

Bing!

A message flashed up on the screen which simply read ‘Molly’, and although the Grim Reaper shouldn’t be able to feel anything, Death experienced a sense of apprehension and anticipation prickle his bones.

Molly Darling was the pure soul child, whose poorly spelled letter to Santa had inadvertently instigated Armageddon and had caused Death nothing but trouble. Her letter, and her sincere Christmas wish contained within it, to end war, famine and pollution for the benefit of mankind, had fallen into the hands of Satan, and Old Scratch never wasted an opportunity for some devilment. Whether or not he’d had a hand in the CCNN crash that occurred at the same time was as yet unknown. Investigations into the matter were said to be ongoing.

On the whole, Death was against the making and granting of wishes of any kind; however, he’d been manoeuvred into making a wish of his own, with Molly as the beneficiary. He’d been presented with a choice; God always provides a choice: the removal of Molly Darling from life before she could send her letter, thus averting the end of the world, or rectify the matter in some other way. Death’s ethics forbade him from taking the first course of action, so he had plumped for some other way. Death’s wish had been granted by Father Christmas and subsequently Molly Darling had been born with the innate ability to correctly spell.

And that should have been the end of the matter, but for the unintended consequence rider that accompanies every wish granted, one that practically no one considers when making one. In this case, the very act of wishing had inextricably linked Molly to Death and attracted deaths to Molly.

Death scrolled back through the years on the PsiCalendar, counting the number of ‘Molly alerts’ that littered them. By definition, Death was only concerned with the dead, paying scant attention to the living around them. Now, courtesy of the newly issued bit of tremendous tech under his distal phalanges, Death was aware of just how many times his path and Molly’s had crossed during her short life so far. It was sporadic but not inconsiderable.

He found the date of the first Molly alert: 1st January 2013; the day Molly Darling was born. She had arrived in the early hours of the morning as Death was transitioning the soul of one Barry Munroe, a poor unfortunate struck by a speeding taxi, following a night of heavy drinking in celebration of the birth of the new year. The speeding taxi had been delivering a screaming woman to hospital, who was making a rapid delivery of her own on the back seat of the cab.

Death had given no consideration to the wailing bundle of new life at the time – why should he? – but in hindsight, the significance of Molly’s place of birth was not lost on Death, as it was in the back of a taxi on Halloween in 2020 that the savage deletion from existence of his good friends, War, Famine and Pestilence had occurred and Armageddon began. Death had changed Molly’s past to affect mankind’s future, yet he still retained the memory of that terrible night. For Death, Halloween 2020, both with and without that fateful taxi ride, existed at the same time, and within the same space.

It’s like Schrödinger’s Cab, Death mused deeply.

The PsiPad had also revealed to Death what lay behind a strange incident that coincided with one of the Molly Alerts, an incident that had baffled him until now. On 16th July 2016, Death had sat on this same bench, watching swaths of people roam across Victory Park. The insufferably hot weather had done little to deter the excited crowd from hunting virtual monsters augmented with their reality; it was the latest fashion. Instead of face-masks, mobile phones and electronic devices of all kinds covered peoples’ faces, which now caused Death to ponder upon the origin of the phrase ‘Track and Trace’.

On that day, Death had been awaiting the arrival of one Davy Keith, an otherwise healthy lad of 14, except for the undiagnosed hole in his heart and an all-consuming passion for collecting simulated Japanese monsters. Death watched passively as a pudgy toddler rushed along the path toward the bench upon which he sat, a tired looking woman pushing a stroller followed in the child’s wake. The little girl had all the grace of a drunken sailor and Death had assumed her wide milk-tooth grin and incoherent babble was aimed at the sun blazing high in the sky above Death’s head. That was until she tried to hug him.

A thought which had occurred to Death in that moment, on that day had haunted him ever since. Am I a monster?

Now Death knew that child had been Molly Darling and she had seen him. Following the aborted hug, and before her mother had whisked her away, Molly’s hand gestures had been her attempt to communicate with him: ‘Hello. My name is M-O-L-L-Y. I am deaf.’

It’s augmented reality, alright, Death decided with a sigh. He closed the cover on the PsiPad and returned it to the folds of his robe. Not long to wait now.

***

“Keep it up squad. Pump those arms,” the long-legged woman barked, as she strode purposefully among the regimented lines of exercisers performing push-ups beneath her gaze. She was a colossus of female physical perfection: full, round breasts, a washboard stomach and thighs so muscular they looked capable of pulverizing anyone’s head fortunate enough to be caught between them.

Lockdown had been very good for Wanda Warren. Before the arrival of the Rona and the restrictions that ensued, she’d struggled to attract many clients to her fledgling business: Fighting Fit. Whilst it was true that the small number of clients she did have were dedicated to not only her tough methods but also to Wanda herself, she was only a one woman band and the indoor gym in town, with its flashy machines, coffee shop and showers, had attracted many more members.

Now the gym was closed due to the Rona and the only place to exercise was outside. Competitive advantage had shifted firmly in Wanda’s favour, and Fighting Fit scooped up a substantial amount of new devotees. All males desperate to retain their fitness, blow off the excess energy built up from their now enforced sedentary lifestyle, and the outside possibility of being crushed between Wanda Warren’s dangerous thighs.

She caught sight of a familiar figure across the park. “And once you reach a hundred, give me one full circuit of the park. Now move it!” she ordered, before sprinting off in the direction of the duck pond.

“Death?”

“War,” the Grim Reaper replied.

Wanda pulled down her face-mask and sprawled on the bench next to Death. The difference in stature between the two cardinal colleagues was stark: whereas War was long and rangy, the diminutive Grim Reaper was small enough to reach into all the nooks and crannies.

War smiled radiantly. “I thought it was you.”

“I see you’re building up quite an army, dear lady.”

“Pfft. Early days yet.” War punched Death on the arm. “What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you since…” Her brow furrowed as she tried to recall the last time they’d met.

Death turned to his beautiful colleague: in ancient Troy her face had launched a thousand ships; today it could launch a thousand more, all armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. The last time he’d seen War, however, she’d been ripping Famine and Pestilence apart with carnal ferocity in the back of a London black taxi being driven by Old Scratch. “I am here waiting.”

“Oh, right. Not for any of my lot, I hope,” War inquired hesitantly.

“Possibly.” Death produced the PsiPad from his robes.

“Ooh nice kit. You got an upgrade?” War snatched the PsiPad from Death, opened the PsiCalendar and read the name of Death’s next appointment. “Really? No way!”

Death pulled the PsiPad from War’s grasp. “Yes and very much way.”

War stretched her arms out along the back of the bench and flicked at a stray end of warning tape. “Pesto’s played a fucking blinder with this Rona business, eh? It’s done my little enterprise no end of good.”

Death remained silent; he was far from convinced that Pestilence had any involvement in the disease that had swept the world in the last year. He’d certainly had to deal with a rise in suicidees and murder victims, but pretty much all the usual causes of death had remained relatively stable. Certainly all the deaths solely attributed to the Rona were vanishingly small. “Have you seen Pesto recently?”

“Not since…” Once again War’s furrowed her brow.

“How about Famine?” Death asked.

“AWOL,” War snorted. “Fuck knows where he is. Have you seen how fat these cunts are?”

“Good for business.”

“Indeed, business is booming.”

War stood up and pulled her face-mask back up over the cruel smirk that marred her lips; the first of the Fighting Fit squad would be coming through soon, and as their leader, it was imperative that Wanda uphold standards for the group. “I tell ya, the buggers love being told what to do. And the harsher you are, the more they fucking love it.”

“Until pushed too far.”

“I know! Brilliant, isn’t it? A win-win,” War laughed, briefly lowering her mask to suck air noisily up her quivering nostrils. “Can you smell the resentment and aggression simmering, Death? Itsa gonna be a spicy meat ball!”

“Lacking an olfactory system, War, I am unable to concur with your assessment,” Death replied drily. “But I’ll take your word for it.”

“Ha ha. You do that, short arse,” she smirked, affixing her mask back into place.

Wanda turned her attention to the first of her squad to appear, smacking his backside as he ran by. “Attaboy, Malc. Only a mile to go.” As each member passed they received the same backside slap from Wanda, but her words of encouragement changed with her assessment of their individual performance.

The last straggler stopped and stooped over with hands on knees, gasping for breath.

“What’s up, Jimbo? Don’t you have the heart for it today?” Wanda stood over the bent back of James ‘Jimbo’ Collins and gave Death a double thumbs up sign. “Here, have a sit down, old fella. Take five and then catch up with us once you get your breath back.”

She steered Jimbo toward the bench. Despite his apparent distress, he still managed to give her righteous backside a firm squeeze. Wanda rolled her eyes at Death and saluted before sprinting away to catch up with the rest of her Fighting Fit squad and finish the circuit of Victory Park.

Death ignored Jimbo’s ragged breathing and continued to wait.

***

Jocasta Darling luxuriated in the bright spring sunshine that came as a welcome relief after the unmitigated gloom of winter and lockdown. Not that Jocasta thought lockdown would be ending any time soon, not if the government’s broken promises over the past year were anything to go by. Still it was nice to get out for a walk, and despite the cold, the sunshine was glorious and lifted Jocasta’s spirits for the first time since the start of the year.

Her daughter Molly skipped alongside, occasionally pausing to smell the newly budding flowers or point out the birds traversing the powder blue sky. The pair made their way toward the pond at the heart of Victory Park, where Molly liked to serve breakfast to the ducks each morning. Jocasta just liked to see her daughter happy. Molly had been in and out of hospital since birth with one thing or another, and it broke Jocasta’s heart at what Molly had had to endure. And now her schooling had been disrupted, all because of the Rona, which appeared to ignore kids like a bad parent. Jocasta often wondered just exactly where the blessed government’s priorities actually lay.

Although the park was busy with exercisers, the pond area looked to be empty to Jocasta, except for a jogger sitting slumped over on a bench. As they drew closer, Molly eagerly grabbed the plastic bag from her mother’s hands and pulled out a crust of bread.

“Okay be careful. Don’t fall in,” Jocasta instructed her daughter.

Molly beamed at her mother, flashing an ‘OK’ sign, and made her way to the shady side of the pond where the ducks and swans were congregated, all the while ripping the crust into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

Jocasta wasn’t sure what the government’s guidelines were this week on the usefulness of benches, but this one was still clearly marked as out of bounds. She wondered if she should go and say something to the jogger: it really didn’t pay to attract the attentions of the Rona marshals that now patrolled the park. Even the slightest infraction was pounced upon, and she herself had been lectured several times on the essential need to wear a face-mask, despite both she and Molly holding medical exemptions due to her daughter’s deafness. At her age, Jocasta was finding it hard enough to master a new language, without being hampered by half of it being obscured by face coverings; sign language was so much more than just hand signs. But try telling that to the oiks in uniforms with quotas to fill. At least Jocasta assumed the marshals had quotas to fill; everything today appeared to be run on targets, quotas and guidelines.

Jocasta approached the bench. “Excuse me. Do you know if it’s okay to sit here?”

The jogger looked up at her, giving Jocasta a fixed stare whilst the fabric of his face-mask ballooned in and out with every whooping breath. “What?”

He thinks I’m a Karen, Jocasta thought, shocked at the aggression in his eyes. “No, I’m asking if you know whether we’re permitted to sit on the bench yet. It’s still taped off,” Jocasta explained. “I’d love a sit down too if it’s allowed.”

“Oh… I see,” the jogger replied, as he attempted to control his breathing. “Yes… yes, I think so… since the start of the week… I’m sure of it.”

Jocasta smiled at the jogger; her smile was as bright as the morning but much warmer. “That is good news. I wonder why the council haven’t removed the tape yet.”

“They’ll get… around to it… eventually.”

Still, the forbidding tape unnerved Jocasta and she hesitated to sit down. “I’m with my daughter Molly. She’s over there feeding the ducks.”

The jogger nodded without removing his gaze from the floor, as he focused on this laboured breathing.

“Are you feeling alright?” Jocasta asked anxiously.

“Fine… thank you,” the jogger replied. “Over-exertion… I’ll be okay…”

Jocasta didn’t think the man looked okay at all. Apart from his breathing, he was sweating profusely and massaging his left arm. From what she could see of his face and neck, the jogger was coloured puce, and Jocasta was certain that wasn’t a good sign for a man his age. “You know it might help if you remove your mask,” she tentatively suggested.

The jogger gave Jocasta another fixed stare, but the aggression had gone from his eyes. He reached up with his right hand and unhooked the mask from his ears. “Yes, you’re probably right,” he said, sucking in a great gulp of air.

Jocasta recognised her local MP immediately but didn’t acknowledge that she knew who James Collins was. Although she had never once voted for him, he’d been her representative in Parliament for what seemed like forever. He’d also been very vocal on the importance of lockdowns, mask-wearing and, now, mandatory vaccinations. That was something else Jocasta disagreed with him over, but if James Collins was using the bench, then she felt sure it was okay for her to use it too.

Jocasta felt an icy blast at her back as she lowered herself onto the bench seat, at the farthest end from where her Member of Parliament sat. “Gosh, that feels very cold,” she said with a shiver. She felt the cold settle into her but, strangely, it did not feel unpleasant.

Fishing into her handbag, she pulled out a covered ashtray, which she placed on the arm rest of the bench, before lighting a cigarette. She dragged deeply and let out a satisfying whoosh of smoke, blowing it in the direction away from the bench. Jocasta had really missed not being able to sit down and smoke outside, and felt particularly aggrieved at the ban on sitting in public. For the longest time, outside had been the only place the public were allowed to smoke, and now she was expected to stand up to do it.

“I say… Could you put that out?” James Collins asked gruffly and gripped his left arm tighter. “Having trouble breathing… here.”

The sudden icy blast Jocasta had felt at sitting down now migrated to her eyes. She turned both barrels on her MP.

“No,” she stated, flatly.

“That’s… not very courteous…”

Jocasta took another puff of her cigarette and tapped the loose ash into the the ashtray. Again, she blew the smoke away from the bench. “We are appropriately socially distanced, are we not? I am not blowing smoke in your direction and there is no law against smoking outside.”

James Collins started coughing and waving his hand limply in front of his nose. Fat droplets of sweat poured from his grimacing face. “Can’t you see I’m… in trouble?”

“Yes you are.” Jocasta wasn’t sure what had come over her, but she felt very certain that the words coming out of her mouth were being said with the confidence of another’s voice. “You, James Collins MP, are a sell out. Not only are you a liar, a lecher and a rubber-stamp for oppression, but you’ve caused dis-ease, and I am sorry to tell you, but you will be going to hell.”

Jocasta looked over at Molly busily feeding the noisy ducks and waved. Molly waved back, tilting her head to one side with a curious look on her face. ‘Having fun?’ Jocasta signed to her daughter.

Molly nodded vigorously and signed back, ‘There’s a goose and he’s eating all the bread. Come and see.’

Jocasta chipped the end of her cigarette off in the ashtray and returned both to her handbag. She stood up, squared her shoulders, giving her MP a final withering stare. “Good-bye.”

She walked away, back along to the path to join Molly, leaving James Collins with a look of abject terror on this face.

Bing!

“Hello, Jimbo,” Death said, pulling the PsiPad from the folds of his robe.

***

“So this is Hell?” Jimbo Collins asked, as Death guided him into the vaulted expanse of the God Lobby and placed him at the end of a queue of souls. Like Jimbo, they were all dressed in white and wore face-masks. “Looks like Heaven to me.”

“For some it is both,” Death replied. “Just follow the white line. You’ll get there eventually.”

The queue shuffled forwards, taking Jimbo along with it.

Death took the express elevator up to the Office. From there he could look across the vastness of the God Lobby, and see just how long the queue he’d placed Jimbo Collins in was. It snaked back and forth, up and down and crossed itself in numerous places.

Looks like a commercial for toilet paper, does it not, Big D? All that’s missing is a great, big, playful puppy.

Death turned to the voice of God whispering over his shoulder and bowed. “It’s certainly the most appropriate place to deposit little shits, Ma’am.”

God tittered; she did appreciate Death’s sense of humour.

“I take it you were there,” Death said.

How did you know?

“Molly’s ‘Come and see’ was a dead giveaway. That and Brian’s disguise. He put no effort into it at all.”

On the reception desk Brian, who was forever eavesdropping, ruffled his feathers and hissed.

Yes, we were there. The situation looks grim.

“Indeed it does.”

God moved away from the balcony overlooking the God Lobby. Death glided along behind at a respectful distance.

“Ma’am, I’m worried about the disappearance of Famine and Pestilence. I can’t find any trace of them since…”

Halloween? Yes, it is concerning.

“War’s nose is never wrong. Without Famine and Pesto to provide balance, I fear for the future of humanity.”

Then you must find them, Big D.

“Me?” Death felt a sense of déjà vu; he’d been in this position before.

Of course. You find everyone. Eventually.

God smiled at Death and her smile was a bright as an April morning.

*******

*You fink I should feature Famine in the next one, Clicky? …/stubs butt… Maybe…*

So, please do consider buying a copy of Underdog Anthology XIV. It has 13 top notch stories and 2 poems to delight and terrify you…

Have a Song, Dear Reader… ❤

CLICK5: Quoth The Raven…

Underdog Anthology XIV COMING SOONClick for a Song 😉

A Bird In The Hand…

*Wait! Was scenario D created especially with me in mind, Clicky? …/sips coffee…*

*And what is eternity? …/lights up…*

*/drags… To know Death… /plumes smoke… Interesting… /flicks ash… And synchy…*

Welcome, Dear Reader. I’m very excited as I will be on leave next week. Not that I’ll be going anywhere – nobody is – but I will be spending my time writing…

*I need to be really disciplined about it, Clicky…*

*Indeed, I have two stories in mind. One about Death and the other about Harry…*

*Oh, it’s been totally maddening, Clicky… /smokes contentedly… Thinking about them all year…*

*Well, quite. That’s been the problem…*

*Alright bossy boots… /stubs butt… Jeez…*

…So I shan’t be about much this week. But no doubt Clicky will pop in if anything post-worthy occurs…

Have a Song ❤

Story Time: Facing Eternity

*Leggy wrote a post on nanobots, Clicky? /lights up and smokes… I heard mention of those in a new vid from Lashy just last night…*

We have a little treat for you, Dear Reader, on this cold January day. My good friend Leggy, a.k.a H.K. Hillman, has agreed the LoL can post a story from Fears Of The Old And The New, his collection of short horror yarns. It’s relatively tiny but really packs a punch 😉

Enjoy! ❤

*True – Leggy does live in the Scottish Highlands… /thinks… And he’s got swords…*

*******

Facing Eternity

by H.K. Hillman

Nigel sat at the remains of his desk, idly twirling the paper-knife in the fingers of his left hand. With a swift motion he grasped it and thrust it through the palm of his right hand. His head pressed the high back of the chair as his body stiffened against the pain, his teeth clamped shut to avoid biting the end of his tongue. With a gasp, he forced his body to relax and looked at his shaking right hand.

Bright red life oozed from both sides, running along the blade and handle of the knife and forming crimson lines along his wrist. His face set into a grimace as he quickly pulled the blade free, then he sat sobbing as he watched the wound close, the flow trickle to a stop. As the last traces of his self-inflicted injury faded, he roughly wiped the blood from his hands onto his trousers. Standing, he walked to the shattered window, wiping the tears from his eyes with a wrinkled, filthy sleeve.

It had been his invention, his own work. Why should he share it? If he had told his supervisors they would simply have taken his idea and left him behind, alone and forgotten. He couldn’t let that happen. He had decided to keep his success secret until he could announce his invention himself. He would wait until the time was right.

He had tested his invention on himself, of course. Nigel recalled that day, months ago, when he had injected his microscopic robots into his veins. He remembered that first thrill as they set to work. His chest pains had vanished as his heart was healed. He had discarded his spectacles as his vision was restored. The arthritic ache in his shoulder simply disappeared. What an invention! He would be famous, or would have been.

Nigel felt tears returning to his eyes as he surveyed the desolation of the city. Four days ago – maybe more, Nigel wasn’t sure – nuclear Armageddon had arrived and everyone had left in a flash of radiation. Nigel could recall the pain as the wave of gamma-rays had followed the edge of the blast through his beautiful suburban house. His carefully tended garden had turned into a desert of brown, twisted stalks, although still in their perfectly ordered rows in the sterile soil.

He watched as the bulging wall of a distant building suddenly gave way, showering bricks and mortar onto the dust-obscured street below. The sound traversed the distance easily, unhindered in the silence of this dead world.

The flash had killed him, but it hadn’t killed his robots. He had no idea how long it had taken them, but they had repaired him. They had brought him back to life. He had invented more than just a medical dream. He had invented immortality.

If only he had told someone else.

*******

*Fantastic book, Clicky… /stubs butt… So’s ‘is uvver one…*

Catch you later, Dear Reader… And have a Song 😉

CLICK5: Eggcelerating into 2021

CLICK5: On Christmas Mourn

Underdog Anthology XIII: Coronamas

*Woo Hoo! …/punches air… Finally…*

Dear Reader, Underdog Anthology XIII: Coronamas is now available to buy in Kindle or ebook formats…

*No, that’s a coronal mass ejection, Clicky… /lights up and smokes… Sure is pretty looking though…*

*Wait. What?*

*Oh. Butt that wasn’t caused by a coronal mass ejection, Clicky…*

*Agreed… /flicks ash…*

*So, you’re tell me that within hours of Coronamas being published, all that ‘appened, Clicky?*

*Blimey. Well, it is number 13, I suppose… /stubs butt…*

… And, for those that prefer a tangible, hold in the hand, book-shaped book, the paperback version will be available later today or tomorrow…

*Ah, blocking the space for a later link… /pats snout… Good thinking, Clicky…*

Dear Reader… Have a Song…