Thursday, May 31, 2007

The photobooth

It stood at a rundown mall on a busy street, its side stained by spilled beer and vomit. Perhaps it was the saturation of human emotion that one day made it sentient. It became to see the people who came to use it. The hopefulness of those taking photos for their passport, or their college applications, or their resume. Or the wild euphoria of the young folks that jammed into the sitting area. It sometimes wished it could tell them not to crush inside, but never found the will. It began to add little embellishments to the photographs it did, adjusting the lighting to make folks look better. It wanted to make people smile, but didn't know how. It began to get bolder, adding little embellishments to their photographs. Little flutters in one of the photographs, floating angels, even removing what it thought were ugly moles. But it never quite knew if the good that it did ever really helped.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Monster #9: The video game bad alien ship

RXQ17 wasn't too happy after hearing the instructions.
"Why do we have to fly in a sine wave pattern? Isn't that predictable? The enemy ship could just pick us off!"
"Silence, RXQ17! You shall follow instructions as told."
"But that's stupid! It's... suicide!"
"Quiet. Those are your orders. And orders shall be obeyed!"
"Look outside! That enemy ship is blowing through hundreds of us! He knows our patterns! And.. and we're repeating them! And what about not firing until we're twenty yards away? Why can't we just go in and start blasting away?"
"We must conserve ammo."
"But there are like... two thousand of us! Maybe some of us can fire earlier, some later..."
"RXQ17, will you be quiet?"
The other ship pilots were muttering. Evidently what he was saying made some sense.
"It is your turn now to fight the enemy. Good luck gentlemen."
"Luck is all we have if we follow what you say."

They boarded their ships and flew out of the spaceport. RXQ17 brushed the smell of ozone out of the air. As he entered the vast blackness of space, he could see and hear the thunderous explosions; bursts of red and yellow filling up the cockpit window. His fellow aliens were being slaughtered indiscriminately. The enemy ship's lasers were just pounding into them relentlessly. He was the third plane in a group of eight, with two in a row. They began the weaving pattern they had been told to execute.

"Watch out!" he shouted, but it was too late. The first two in front had been destroyed, their hulls torn open by laser fire. The next two were similary obliterated, exploding into cosmic dust. They weren't even able to return fire. He couldn't stand it. He pulled at the controls. His ship moved away from the rest.

"Stay your course RXQ17!" shouted the commander over the intercom.

His wing partner weaved right into the next line of laser fire and was destroyed, as well as the two last remaining ships of his squardon a moment later.

"RXQ17! You are in violation! You will be court martialed! Get back to base now!" shouted the commander.

He didn't care. He darted past the lasers, which were already blasting apart the ships of his fellow pilots. He flew closer to the enemy ship, whose technology left him in awe. He pressed the fire button and sent his relatively slow moving torpedoes at the enemy ship.

"RXQ17! Get back to base! Now!" the intercom shouted, but he didn't care. The torpedoes flew forward, and RXQ17 cursed, They were nowhere near the target. Then abruptly, the enemy ship jerked, and placed itself right at the path of the torpedoes. They smashed right into it, blowing it apart. RXQ17 let out a sharp yell.

His commander was shouting at him, but he turned off the intercom. He was a hero; he knew that, even if he disobeyed orders. The ship was now flying away from the base ship, and he realised how little power it had. Its ammunition had all been depleted as well. The sole purpose of the ship had been to attack the ruthless enemy, and its mission done, had no other purpose. RXQ17 stared into the emptiness of space, and realised how quiet it was.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Trihead

Grom, Guk and Ig were fed up of sharing the same body. Ig felt that the other two did not like him, and were constantly conspiring behind his back. Grom had recently turned vegatarian, and would ceaselessly comment whenever either of the two had any meat. "That's not healthy for the body," it would say. Guk, the mediator, tried to placate the two by just eating fish, but Ig loved the taste of red meat too much. That night, after a vicious argument, they decided they needed to seperate.

Off they went to see Joseph, the world's most brilliant surgeon. Joseph studied the predicament and wanted to help. One could get rid of housemates but in this situation, called for more dire means.

After many months of extensive research and meeting up with the monster, even as relations between the three further degraded, ("I think they're trying to kill me," Ig whispered to Joseph) it was decided to transplant the heads to other bodies. Grom wanted the body of an elephant, Guk wanted to keep the present body, while Ig wanted to be placed on a tiger's body.

Many hours of surgery later, it was complete. The three were now on separate bodies, and free to live their own lives. Ig relished the feeling of speed, after being attached to a plodding, overweight body. Guk enjoyed things as they were, and founded a home for multi-headed monsters. Grok stayed in a zoo, happily interacting with other animals and eating vegetables. After the surgery, the three had sworn to meet up again one day for tea, but it never really happened. After all, they had already spent enough time together.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The troll under Golden Gate Bridge

Yakvik the troll had slipped on a boat, leaving Norway for the United States. It had found many bridges taken, so went further west, until it found San Francisco. Once he saw the Golden Gate bridge, he was in love. He knew this would be the bridge for it, and he didn't even bother to take a toll, content to fish and swim in the waters of the bay.

However, Yakvik soon realised that many people came to jump from the bridge, and that saddened him. Unlike other trolls, Yakvik had a heart. He would never be in time to stop the jumpers, but being a faerie being, he could walk between life and death. He would ask those that died why they did so, and those that somehow lived, he would drag their unconscious forms to the shore. The dead he would tidy, ensured that their wallets or other identification stayed with their bodies, before putting them together. One day, after a great stock market crash, there were jumpers almost every hour. Yakvik was overwhelmed. The sorrow of the dead filled the waters, and even he was consumed by it. He worked non-stop; pulling the bodies to shore, the corpses drying in the sun, the souls of the dead mourning their regret and how they had lost everything.

Eventually Yakvik knew he would have to leave. He packed up his fishing pole, and took one of the boats. He sailed the long way back to Norway, found a secluded bridge that was hardly ever used, and settled there. Occasionally other faerie folk would drop by and he would tell them tales of the New World, but he never told them about the dead.

Monster #6: The bee woman

She loved cruel men, and until Henry was killed, would probably have been killed by one of them. They were in the park, and he hit her so hard two of her front teeth flew out. The back of her head hit a tree, and it must have disturbed a bees nest. The bees swarmed over her, but did not bite. Then Henry punched her again in the gut, and the bees went after him. He screamed as they stung him, and soon he was swelling up, like a balloon. The medics later said he had died of allergy, and she could not bear to see his face, as it was obvious he died in terrible pain.

The bees, however, never quite left her. They would surround her, caress her, cover her from head to toe. At first she was afraid, but she found herself enjoying their company. They started to speak to her, their antennae buzzing against the hairs of her skin. They spoke of the things they loved; the feel of the wind as they darted up, touching down on a flower, sucking pollen up like it was ambrosia. They showed the journeys they took, the miles they traveled, and she felt sad she would never travel as much as they did.

But she read of the places. The sullen castles, the beautiful mountains, the wide orchards. One day, the bees started to depart, and soon, none came to tell of their journeys. Still, she was ready. Air ticket in hand and her baggage packed, she left the house and began her own journey.

Monster #5: The Eye of Urhaz

The eye found its latest host. It attached itself to her left socket as she slept, and when the pain woke her up. Then she saw everything the eye had wanted to show her. Her husband staying back late to work at the office, but his only intention was to hump the barely 16-year old intern. The truth stabbed through her heart, and tears started flowing. The eye, its duty done, rolled away in the woman's confusion. It slipped away, rolling towards to see what it could, then finding another host to show it too. It witness murders, adultery, cheats and whatever secrets humanity hid. It fed on the sorrow of the truth, the tears and the anger that it could summon forth from those it attached itself to.

Monster #4

The Red Sofa loved a new home. The feel of the carpet beneath its feet, the odor of freshly painted walls, and hopefully, cable television. As a sofa there really wasn't that much to do, other then to watch television all day and hoping the owner would tune to a good channel. It loved cooking channels and talk shows. The only other thing it hoped for was that the inhabitants be messy enough to drop the occasional peanut or popcorn into its nooks and crannies. It really didn't require much food to survive. After all, it rarely had to move. It did remember trying to eat a cat, and spitting out furballs for about three months. It hated guinea pigs and rough children, and occasionally slyly dumped them on the floor, when no one was looking. It loved a good vacuum, and the feel of new linen over its form.

But few things last forever. After serving as the prime piece of furniture for a nurse, the Red Sofa was moved to the Salvataion Army, where it could no longer follow the adventures of the afternoon soap opera, or the talk shows. It lay there for months, before being adopted by a poor couple who paid entirely too little for it, they thought. The couple fought often, and the Red Sofa often found itself the unwiling target of pots and plates, and the pants-wearer of the family had a very bad habit of stubbing out cigarettes on it. Furthermore, they did not have cable, and the reception of their tv was akin to watching a snowstorm while being deluged by random noise.

The condition of the Red Sofa gradually plunged, as though reflecting the state of the current family it stayed with. The color paled from it, it smelled of beer and cigarettes, and there was a hole on its left side that was increasingly growing. One day, as the two had argued, and the cigarette stub once again rested on the side, it decided it had enough. It let the cigarette burn, and soon it was afire. Before long , it was burning, and the whole apartment burned with it.

The Red Sofa, however, didn't just end. It woke up, to find it was fresh and new. Blazing bright red and new, and surrounded by other furniture, even old friends from other homes it had shared. They shared time in furniture heaven, and there were even televisions there in that furniture heaven.

Monster #3

The Leviathan roamed the world, swallowing cities whole. Like most monsters that forgot to chew, it sometimes left the inhabitants alive. They would find themselves in a half-lit world, as the skin of the great beast was partially transparent, still allowing sunlight into the cities. There those that remained would meet and discuss amongst themselves, travelling between the cities, waiting for the next to join them. But soon the leviathan grew old, and it knew its time was coming to an end. It went to the desert, and waited to die. The inhabitants realised something was happening; the skin of the beast was growing duller, and light that came in was weaker than before. Beneath them, the many legs of the beast had grown slower. Soon we can escape, they thought.

And one day, the leviathan died. Within it, there was a great churning. The cities that it had swalloed found themselves thrown together. The flesh of the beast was quickly torn away, as hyenas and vultures desperately tore it apart, having followed it for months. Soon the survivors of the swallowings found themselves in a jumbled mess of a city. Great skyscrapers found themselves surrounded by hovels and huts, mosques shared land with temples and churches, bridges connected to highways and train tracks led to rivers. The inhabitants came out, looked at the mad metropolis, and wondered where to begin untangling, even as the great bones of the leviathan reached to the empty sky.

Monster #2

One day, Sarah came back, and found his dad transformed. Her father's body was now that of a gigantic black spider. He turned to her sternly and shouted 'sit down!' Sarah obeyed. He pointed to her teacup and demanded that she drink. She did as she was told, even though the hot tea burnt her tongue. Mother came in, and she looked her usual bored self.

From then on, Sarah found her dad more domineering than usual. At night he would hang from the ceiling, keeping an eye on her. When her boyfriends came, he would interrogate them. If he didn't like them, he would slowly wrap them up in his web until they were coccooned in silk, and bring them to the study room, which became cobwebbed and musky. He demanded meat at every meal.

One day, her father webbed Brian, a boy she really liked. She knew she had to free him. They would run away. She bought a big pork roast for her father, and he fell to sleep after devouring it. She then broke into the study, and carefully used a pair of scissors to free the various coccoons. Eventually she found Brian. But by now, her father was waking up. Brian and some of the other boys ran from the room, and out of the house. Her dad was very angry, and gave chase. Brian and Sarah ran, into the woods and out, into an abandoned car dump.

As she saw her dad coming, she yelled "Stop!" She told her dad this was the boy she loved, and nothing was going to change that. Her father licked his lips, then reached into himself, and realised what he had done. He guessed that he seemed better than the other boys, and since she was in love, there was nothing he could do to stop it anymore.

So Sarah and Brian got married, and ensured that her dad was kept well fed. They freed the remaining boys from the study, and some of them even came for the wedding.

Monster #1

So this all begins with a dream. I'm waiting for an elevator, with my mother and sister. My mother is carrying my nephew, and my sister, someone else. For some reason, I get a baby handed to me as well. It's an odd looking creature, with a huge head and a very small body. The elevator doors open, and just as I'm about to get in, I notice that one of its limbs is flaying about in a particular way. I realise that it's like the leg of an octopus. The other people in the lift are impatient. I get in. The baby wakes up and is crying furiously. The lower portion of its body is like an octopus, wildly flaying around. It starts to crawl out of my hands, and I desperately try to catch it, even as the baby cries cover the whole lift. Everyone around me is pressed to the sides at this sight. My hands constantly go under it, as this octopoid baby tries to crawl away again and again.