There came a startling knocking sound…
“That’s odd,” I grumbled to myself. “What the hell is that?” I looked around and it seemed to be coming from a mysterious object I had once named, at random, a “door.” Found upon the door was a piece of spherically-shaped metal which I brilliantly intuited could be used to pry the bloody thing open.
Gazing through the gaping portal I saw a most hideous thing standing on the go-away mat. “What the hell are you?” I gasped.
With an eerily familiar voice it replied, “I’m you from the future.”
My mind reeled. “How far in the future?”
“Tomorrow, to be exact.” God, it sure was ugly. It looked irritated and menacing, too. “Are you going to invite me in?”
Once inside it looked around the living room as if with the eyes of a child. “You’ll have to forgive me,” it said. “This sure brings back memories.”
By now I was feeling pretty damn irritated. My normal routine had been severely disrupted. “I’m feeling damn irritated,” I said. “You’re severely disrupting my normal routine.”
For a second it lost it’s composure. “Don’t you think I know that?!” it snapped ferociously. It took a deep breath and slowly exhaled then seemed to go limp in resignation. After an awkward silence, it finally continued. “I’m here to help you,” it said softly. “To help both of us.”
“Go on,” I barked.
“A few minutes from now,” it said ominously, “something is going to happen. Something completely out of the normal. Something disastrous. I’m here to stop it.”
Suddenly I noticed a gun in it’s hand. That’s odd, I thought lamely to myself. We don’t own a gun. What the hell had happened to me?
Bang. The gun went off. I fell to the floor while clutching my stomach in pain. He had shot our most prized possession. He had just shot our LCD 42″ flat screen TV.
“You son of a bitch! You die!” I screamed as I felt my life oozing away. “Why??”
“Poor little idiot,” he said, literally looking down on me. I couldn’t help but notice he was starting to twinkle, almost as if he was slowly dissolving away. He smiled.
He looked at his dissolving hand in wonderment. “It worked, it worked,” he said, forgetting the question that was currently pending on the floor. Then an expression of fear gripped his hideous face. “At least this time.”
His expression changed to one of resolve then went soft as if he had reached some sort of climactic decision. “What I’m about to say may end the space-time continuum as we know it, everywhere, everything, but fuck it. It might be our only chance.”
“Shut up!” he hissed. “We have very little time.” By now he was about fifty percent translucent, much like the time I had tried to Photoshop a profile image using a real picture of my own face.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said to himself, ignoring me completely. “I never watch broadcast TV. I never even turn it on. I hate the commercials. I avoid it like the plague. But I was supposed to be working. So, yeah, I guess that might be how it happened.”
He turned and looked me in the eye. “I turned on the TV,” he said. He was starting to scare me. “I did it on purpose. It was showing the CBS morning show. God help me, I don’t know why, but I watched.” I was stunned to see tears streaming down his face. “They called it ‘Note to Self.’ Oh God, why did I watch?”
He was almost gone now. He sparkled like a glinty trick of light and I had to lean and strain to hear what he had to say.
“Don’t do what I did. Don’t ever, EVER,” he hissed, “make the mistake of watching Note to Self. It’ll be the death of you.”
And with that, he was gone.
Dazed, I slowly got to my feet and swayed. Wow. What a trip. And what an idiot. How the hell was I going to watch anything with a bullet in my TV? And how the hell was I supposed to avoid doing real actual work?
More importantly, who was going to clean up that mess of ectoplasm where the bastard had been standing?
I used to think any form of growth was unsustainable. Just like a perpetual motion machine it’s one of those things that’s impossible. (One of my favorite words.) Then, just now, sitting here, one of my brain cells did something. (It can happen.) For lack of any originality on my part let’s call it my latest theory, k?
Tom’s Theory #42 – Societal Asshole Leech Theory (SALT)
The percentage of leech-based humans is growing over time. Or, the more advanced a civilization the higher the amount of leechage.
As far as we know, there is no causal relationship with the number of pirates known to exist, but admittedly further testing is required. This is a work in progress. (I was on a break.)
98% of all email is spam. Of those messages, 98% attempt to deceive or infect. (The rest merely sell growth products like Viagra, the greatest achievement of our civilization and, dare I say, the entire universe and space-time continuum.) My web server is probed and attacked by cyber-terrorists (mostly from China and Russia) 36 hours a day. There’s an entire subset of humanity that does not have jobs and produces nothing of value yet still has food, shelter, cigarettes, pets, cars, smartphones and internet access.
Is this amount of leechage really on the rise or is it merely my touchy empirical perceptions?
Continue reading →
This story is the second in a five-part series of 200-word stories for BlogFestivus, A Christmas Carol. Check out the links (at the bottom of this post) to all the participating “ghost” writers for this year’s challenge. I suspect you’re in for some dark, yet jolly, days ahead. -BD
The ghost said gravely, “Come. We go now. To the what-once-was.” Scrooge resisted, in vain, as he watched himself dissolving and becoming translucent. His eyes blurred until he was blinded and, when he opened them again, he beheld that everything had changed.
He saw a small room completely made of stone. A doorway revealed a dirty street beyond. Before him a man and woman dressed in simple robe-like garments sat at a crude wooden table.
Scrooge backed away, stumbling and demanded, “Who the hell are you?”
“You are ghost to them,” his guide replied. “You are here, yet you cast no shadow. You make no sound. They cannot know you.”
It was early morning. The young couple appeared to be exchanging gifts, modest bowls of undigested bits of beef. The soft words they spoke were foreign yet somehow Scrooge understood.
“I love you, my wife,” the man said, “but I do not understand. When will you come to my bed?”
“I’m sorry, my love,” the woman replied. “You know of my vow to remain pure.”
“Is it me?”
“No, it’s me.”
“It’s that Gabriel fellow, isn’t it? I’ve seen you together. What plans are you two hatching?”
Click on the links below for more takes on A Christmas Carol from our other BlogFestivus bloggers:
Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy
Way back in March 2011, long before the re-election of Barack Obama, I put my finger on the pulse of America and declared, “Stinky!”
Moments later, in my own inimitable manner, I also called the race for Newt Gingrich. So sorry. Thanks for playing. We’ve got some lovely parting gifts for you.
Of course Newt did not heed my portends and decided to give it ye olde college try. We all know how that turned out. It’s now part of our collective history.
Today’s regurgitated offerings are a look back at my presidential prognostication abilities. Feel free to Monday-morning quarterback my analysis all you want. It won’t change the results.
And, in a rare flash of brilliance and insight, I even made my own photoshop for the post matching current-day Newt with his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchild. It turns out that one of the women he slept with was an alien. And that led to a few problems for Captain Kirk.
I was practically infallible in the 2012 presidential race. I even did way, way better than Turd Blossom. Click the link below to revisit my humble greatness.
Hale and well met!
Beam me up!
How you doin’?
We welcome you to Munchkin Land!
Any of these sound particularly appealing? If not, what can you come up with that is better for you?
Pictured on the left is Gerard Butler from the movie Timeline. This was an excellent book by Michael Crichton that was made into a mediocre movie. Like most of Crichton’s works, the books were practically born as screenplays. Not much adaptation was needed to bring them to the big screen. But not all adapted as well as others. Timeline was doomed to be average. But even with its flaws I still enjoyed the movie very much.
Butler plays the role of André Marek who is described as a “medieval enthusiast.” When the professor on their archeological dig in France disappears, it isn’t long until they discover his eyeglasses and a note in his own hand, and in the very chamber they were currently exploring, and somehow both are about 700 years old!
What you’ve got there is one whopper of a time-based puzzle. 🙂
Marek and his friends end up going back in time to 1357 France to find their professor, save the day and bring him back. (It’s a long story.)
The important point here, though, is that Marek is happy as a clam in the past. He fits right in. It turns out that he definitely had the right hobby. In fact, Marek likes the past even more than the real life he left behind. 1357 France is the time and place where Marek was always meant to be.
Given that golden once-in-a-liftetime chance, Marek doesn’t let it slip away. After the castle has been stormed and the professor has been saved, Marek waves goodbye to his friends and embarks on his new life. It’s poignant because we all know it’s a one-way trip.
So this got me thinking. Do you think that here and now is the best “era” for you? Or do you feel you were somehow meant to live in another time or another place? Or both?
Most of my life I considered myself a “futurist,” basically one who likes the latest and greatest. Especially computers and home electronics. But over time my relationship with futuristic things, like technology, has gradually waned, and I find myself looking more often to the past, simpler ways and simpler times. And I find myself thinking strange thoughts, like maybe I wasn’t meant for the future after all.
What do you think? Are you in the right place and time? If you could choose something else, what would it be?