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a cure for the common block

Archive for the category “twilight zone”

Deaths-Head Re-Revisited

Dear Julie & Zukie,

Stefan is writing for the both of us. Firstly, we’d never been aware of having actual “fans” before you two. We sold some CDs, we were allowed to open on a tour of another new, albeit more promising band, but you were the first people we ever saw wearing our merch, wearing our band name. The other reason we can’t possibly express how much we owe to you is that you gave us clarity.

After much stumbling, Uri is taking over our attempt to explain how much our chance meeting after the concert – and even just seeing you in the audience – changed our course. Stefan sought drummers and guitarists, and I show up with my clavichord, but he gave me a chance and something remarkable happened. By further Providence we were picked up by a label. We stayed with the gimmick and tried to make it work, but we unsatisfied with the result, the label was disappointed, and the album wasn’t a hit. Needless to say, we were in a bit of a malaise.

Then we met you. A disadvantage to an organic meeting like the day of my audition is that flaws are completely oblivious, you’re so consumed by the harmonious coalescence that you can miss faults obvious to those around you. Also unfortunately for us, those around us didn’t “get it” and thus we dismissed many critiques – even if some were unintentionally accurate. When we met you two we saw ourselves through your eyes, the best version of what we could be. You had incredible insights into our dynamic. That which was ineffable to us, you made effable.

Before that concert I had told Stefan that I could have been making more money at home providing lessons, and we spoke of ending our journey at the end of the tour. Then we stepped out to play “Our Miss White” and saw the two of you, front row, L&L blazed across your chests. The set you saw was not the set that any previous audience saw on that tour, your presence instantly revived an energy within us. We wanted to invite you backstage, but the studio did not allot us any passes.

Stefan apologizes for dragging me off stage when I attempted an encore. He had just had an idea for a new song and required my collaboration. It would become The Garden Party on the enclosed copies of our latest album The Boondocks (we assume you won’t mind getting early copies?) Thank you for not telling anyone wink.

Stefan taking over, I was trying to instruct Uri to inform you that Thank You For Not Snitching is us thanking you for (hopefully) not telling anyone that we sent you early copies.

Uri again. Apologies, occasionally my formality can distort the meaning of a message. You see, we had to self-produce this album as our former label dropped us over multiple “controversies” regarding various aspects of it. They fell hollow on me. Stefan seemed to understand, and attempted to litigate the merits (quite exceptionally, in my opinion). However, the studio wanted nothing to do with it and so we entered contract with a private producer and – due to its “controversial” nature and limited production – were not allowed to give out copies. So we gave you ours.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them, and as our friends (we are friends, correct?) we hope you will be open and honest with your thoughts.

Yours,
Uri & Stefan

P.S. Uri has just informed me that “Yours” is a contraction of “Your servant”, I wish I had known that before signing my name to it. Also, I am having Uri teach me calligraphy so future correspondence will be more harmonious.

P.S.S. Although having a distinct writing style would make distinguishing ourselves unnecessary.

We hope to hear back from you,
Stefan & Uri

#ShortShortStories #DeathsHeadReRevisited

The Purple Testament

The impeccably dressed man strolled into the bank and assured everyone that he was there to rob it, but only the bank and not a single one of the customers. Wren lacked the capacity to care about the consequences of his actions, but while others like him found joy in inflicting pain due to a dearth of empathy, Wren had an intense sense of empathy which steered him down a radically different path. He had an ulterior motive for the bank heist, he wanted to send a message and for their cooperation the patrons making deposits and withdrawals that day would be rewarded, many of whom would join Wren’s cause after he shared his message with them.

#ShortShortStories #ThePurpleTestament

A Penny for Your Thoughts

While Dorian lead the verbal interrogation Bruce was at his keyboard in another room combing through Quire’s data, attempting to bypass his security protocols. Quire was caught impersonating a citizen while voting, a crime for techflesh – people who had upgraded their minds without authorization, a privilege affordable only to the elite. Years after he was released from incarceration, he was performing maintenance on a wonky binary search tree when he found the problem was caused by a misplaced file; moving the file and restoring its data he discovered all of the family and friends he hid from the interrogators, loved ones who thought they would never see him after his arrest, loved ones he could return to safely under the new government which had released him and restored his full rights as a citizen.

#ShortShortStories #APennyForYourThoughts

Night of the Meek

Rather than the sense of pride he expected from his act of retribution, Rian felt intense pain in his knuckles after his fist made contact with Derek’s face. Also unexpected were the flurry of blows to his head and stomach as Derek jumped back to his feet, checking if Rian had managed to cause a nose bleed – he hadn’t. The two stood still for a minute breathing hard and glaring at each other, waiting for the other to make the next move or walk away. Derek did neither, instead apologizing to Rian for the names he had called him and his girlfriend, and apologizing for the punches admitting that he deserved to get hit before finally raising his arms in a gesture inviting one last free strike. Rian declined, requesting instead for Derek to pay for the blouse he tore.

#ShortShortStories #NightOfTheMeek

Two

Werner strummed his guitar playing a little ditty while watching his toddler roll around on the floor giggling, occasionally stopping to smat his hands together; he didn’t yet have the coordination to properly clap. The sunlight washed through the windows, warming them just enough on the cool autumn day. It was a day where nothing could go wrong, but Werner knew that something always goes wrong if given enough time, for him, or for Patrick, or Lauren, or their family and friends. As he played for his son he hoped that whatever came they would weather the storm and forge ahead all together, stronger. When tragedy hit less than a year later the Porters did make it through, but not all together.

#ShortShortStories #Two

Young Man’s Fancy

Seven words, two sentences, Bianca knew the story she was attempting to tell but it didn’t make any sense to Ross, and she knew that too. They had only just met and things were already going downhill at a record pace, even for Bianca; what she didn’t know was that Ross didn’t care, the same thing had happened to him a dozen times, when your thoughts are racing through a long, complicated story and your mouth just blurts out a random chunk of words. Random chance brought them together: a bump, a spill, an apology, and then a spark of conversation; he pushed forward and things were going oh so well until he locked eyes with a young woman across the bar for just a moment, but that moment lingered in his mind until night’s end. He gritted his teeth, mentally kicking himself for coming back to the same bar while Bianca watched in horror as the young woman and several other officers lead him away in handcuffs, it was a night none of them would forget.

#ShortShortStories #YoungMansFancy

What’s in the Box?

Angela Q’s heart raced as she ran scissors along the tape to open the package, she had impatiently waited six to eight weeks after sending off the box tops she had collected over even more months and she was about to finally open her prize. What Q didn’t know, however, was that someone had intercepted her payment and mailed an item more valuable than a decoder ring; she was momentarily disappointed when her eyes set upon the mechanism until she realized what it was. Angela Q never learned the identity of her Mystery Gifter, but many times throughout her life when she placed an order she would never receive it, rather she would receive something better, something that she didn’t realize she needed.

#ShortShortStories #WhatsInTheBox

The Whole Truth

Ib wasn’t very athletic, nor was he very good with math, couldn’t draw a stick figure, and was absolutely terrible at talking to other human beings, but all the things that pushed him away from making connections with people gave him an intense understanding of them, so much so it bordered on psychic. Ironically this is what finally allowed him to connect with anyone around him, knowing at a glance where they’re coming from and why they were who they were; accepting them and empathizing with them made him instantly trustworthy. For years he traveled the world making friends with everyone from citizens to dignitaries, having intimate conversations over humble dinners and grand feasts, learning about their past, present, and future, and bringing that intelligence home so his government would know who they could still trust. One of the first people Ib befriended was an agent who recognized him as a potential asset, and Ib had always been a patriot.

#ShortShortStories #TheWholeTruth

Shadow Play

Arianne took a few sips of water and then chugged it down, savoring the liquid that had nearly killed her six months earlier. A client of Mister’s pushed her off a boat to send a “message” to her family – in particular her father – and while she was an excellent swimmer she was at least three klicks from shore and unsure which direction that was. Still hundreds of yards from land, exhaustion was winning and she flailed, gasping for air and taking in gulps of water. Saved by a prodigious ten-year-old, after making it to shore she resolved to send Mister a message of her own. She bided her time staying in a family cabin through the off-season, letting them grieve her death and giving him a false sense of security. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, one of his security guards drops dead while on duty, a few days later a guard shows up dead on his doorstep, then his chef, then the client he sent after her with a note attached which read “See you soon.”

#ShortShortStories #ShadowPlay

A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain

A sound startled Orson from his slumber and it seemed as soon as his eyes landed on the figure looming ominously in the corner of his bedroom it was upon him, knees pinning down his arms and a hand covering his mouth – practically unnecessary due to the fear paralyzing him from budging a single toe let alone mustering a sound as he dreaded his imminent demise. The Watcher had killed and tortured many small animals, but Orson was his first human and would prove more challenging than a dog or cat. Orson managed to escape and learned to be more aware of his surroundings after he was told “I watched and I waited.” The city learned that there was a killer amongst them, stalking them and attacking them in their homes. The Watcher learned that it got easier with each victim; he hadn’t made a mistake, he wanted them to know, he wanted them to fear him and wonder if he was watching, just like the gazelle fears the crocodile lurking beneath the surface of the water. The Watcher was a predator and the people were his prey.

#ShortShortStories #AShortDrinkFromACertainFountain

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