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a cure for the common block

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Anything Happen While I Was Gone?

Uruk opened the sarcophagus hidden away in his basement and stepped foot into the goo for the first time in over a decade, which was about five minutes after he finished mixing the concoction from a stolen recipe. He emerged from the goo like from a fog, the green substance simply moved out of his way and the journey was deemed successful when he saw the cube of ice placed next to the clock before his first test. According to the instructions, during his first travel the goo read his DNA and position in timespace; “it will feel as though no time has passed, but will take an hour” they read, “the second time will send you back 100,000 hours” with ominous implications, and finally “every subsequent visit will send you forward 10,000 hours until you have returned to your original time.” Uruk had no intention of ever returning to the time machine, but that’s the funny thing about intentions.

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Big Brother is Watching

As they sat at the family table David tore into the gift his brother had gotten for him and you could almost hear a slightly exhausted sigh escape his lips before his strangely large eyes welled up with tears. A single, red, left-foot tennis shoe almost identical to the right-foot shoe still sitting in his closet, down to the lucky Jumpin’ Jack drawn on the side – in his brother Fitz’s hand. Fitz had to make some odd trades in order to get that particular shade of discontinued red. David always blamed himself for what happened at the beach and spent days and weeks combing it, vowing to find the matching one, knowing it wouldn’t change anything but feeling broken and incomplete with just the one shoe. Fitz had never been able to convince him that it wasn’t his fault, so he hoped this gesture could succeed where his words failed. It did.

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Come Live With Me

Sela’s English was near-perfect, so near – in fact – that apparent slips could easily be taken as intentional manipulation for dramatic effect; while recounting an ordeal that had occurred years prior in another country, she described it solemnly as “utterly terrific.” Graham listened in complete rapture, intensely drawn to both her beauty and her stories, but Sela had that affect on people. She was well-educated and had a life full of remarkable experiences, from the fanciful to the aforementioned “utterly terrific”, and while she wasn’t in search of a romantic partner she did sometimes wonder if she would ever meet someone that could challenge her charisma. As kismet would have it such a woman was working in a restaurant she would visit on a whim while on vacation in Sweden.

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The Longest Good-Bye

Holly foraged through her memories in search of a nine-letter word that began and ended with a “C”, another “c” in the middle, and signified that everything was all right; it was an ironic point for her sister to interrupt with the news that their father had died. Their mother was on the other end of the phone, he finally succumbed to the cancer early in the morning and she had been updating the various services she had started setting up since they got the news that the tumors weren’t responding to the more aggressive treatment and it would be just a matter of days. Glen, though, he always broke expectations managing to hang on for three weeks. Holly smiled as her sister shared the news, recalling a moment when the doctor visited him two weeks later and, perplexed, asked how he did it, to which her father weakly replied “Her” as he nodded toward his wife, Vella.

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Peeper Two

Loc was an engineer who had joined a team to build a better camera. Their intentions were to use a specially designed crystal for the lens, as well as a meticulously coded algorithm in an attempt to create a camera that could see like a human eye, not just capture a picture but capture an “image” the way the eye sees the image. It was a spectacular failure. Most images looked fine (although not as perfect as they hoped), but any animate object appeared blurry and foggy. They assumed the motion detection in the code was too sensitive, but even after an all-night session of plastic cup debugging no errors were found, and the problem persisted even with normal lenses. It was abandoned with none them ever realizing that there was an unintentional side-effect in the code that allowed it to photograph souls.

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A Pound of Flesh

While the coffee brewed and she waited for the bread to finish toasting, George neatly arranged her preparations: plate, butter with knife ready, mug for the coffee, glass of tap water, and a single, sunny-side up egg. The toast popped up with a “clank” and the coffee finished brewing as she finished buttering the slightly burned toast. Set neatly on a tray she took the humble breakfast downstairs to her guest, making polite conversation while he ate, clearing everything away after he finished and returning to the basement for their daily ritual; shackled to a wall he would insist she was mistaken, she would ask why he did it, and the denials and questions would persist until the two were exhausted. At the end of the week George devised a new strategy, she didn’t bring him breakfast she calmly walked down the stairs and stared at him for a few minutes, making eye contact so he could see there was absolutely nothing behind her eyes: no fear, no hate, nothing, as if she was looking at a tree. She kept him cuffed but released him from the wall and walked him up the stairs, still having never said a word and ignoring his pleas for an explanation, ignoring the shaking fear in his voice. She walked him to a bedroom and forced him to his knees, kneeling forward and gazing at the floor. She said that if he told her where her sister was buried she would let him free, but if not she told him that she would do to him what he did to her sister as he felt the sharp point of a knife on the back of his neck.

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