Thursday, August 6, 2009

And on and on...

Styling high, the girls moved through the open market, Queens in their own realm, barely deigning to notice the crowds of cloned Donnas wandering aimlessly searching as always for the Knights who would carry them away. The girls were quite possibly the only self aware creatures in the 500 block encapsulated city. They ruled, but were only slightly aware of ruling... nothing.

suzeeeee: about 3 days and 6 hours ago

I first arrived at the immense abandoned station floating above the earth naked and alone. I was sick with fever and the effects of zero gravity had taken their toll on my bones. Barely able to inflate my lungs I fell over the threshold escaping from the ship which had been my home for more than a year. The ancient environment enclosed me and cared for my sorrows. I slept.

magiced: about 3 days and 15 hours ago

This is the moment, the one that I've been waiting for. All this time I had the idea that something was about to happen. Now this is it. This, is what it was all along. This - now. So I've arrived in the moment that has always been, and what are my choices? It has been said - both before and after enlightenment - chopping wood and carrying water. Today then I chop and carry.

wmshaxpere: about 9 days and 6 hours ago

Underwater screaming was the name of the game. Shelia was the best and could make you hear her even when you were standing on the side of the pool. Isn't it amazing that such a stupid talent could come in so handy all these years later? I wish she'd just shut the hell up. Frankly, the noise is bothersome. I really believe she needs a new hobby. Really I do.

digidude: about 10 days ago

How Many Followers lost? Not all that many really. I'm cool. Right? Even a micro-garden needs some "t-weeding" now and then I reason. Such were my zen thoughts when I realized that closing in on the exalted plateau of the next higher number had been dashed to the digital pavement below by the Twit Overlords! However, now I am left with no recourse but to breathe into a bag.

wmshaxpere: about 13 days and 3 hours ago

$1.00 for 3
The room was virtual and it was empty save for one avatar, so one might well say the room was virtually empty, and yet, it was not. A few secretive creatures lurked in the corners watching the activity, taking a note or two. Those who lurked wanted to speak, to let their presence be known, but they were afraid that they were being watched. They literally feared fear itself.

wmshaxpere: about 14 days and 7 hours ago

She grooved into the building thinking, "how long has it been since I went dancing?" The song on her ipod was irresistible. She held back in the elevator, but when she found the bathroom empty, she let loose like she was in a 1980's disco. Work, stress, worries - all gone. As the song ended, she opened her eyes to reality. She walked out to her cubicle and the day began.

ginafire: about 14 days and 21 hours ago

In the small enclosure an old man struggled. His kidnappers, believing him to be helpless sat drinking shots and telling stories of the women they'd slept with. They ignored him. He silently slid the bone handled knife from his belt and cut his bonds. They never had a chance. Skewering the last one he whispered harshly, "You should'a learned respect when you had the chance."

wmshaxpere: about 15 days ago

Mom smashing the car through the wall was more than enough motivation for James to get off the couch. The living room had turned into a disaster scene in a matter of seconds, and he had no choice but to cinch his belt and pull a shirt over his head. Regis and Kelly hadn't called today anyhow, and Mom seemed to be delivering a message for him to stop lying around the house.

aldous: about 15 days and 6 hours ago

Jon wondered at the "Ads by Google" to the left of the screen why they would choose to advertise Cryogenic Vials in that space. There was virtually nothing in the content of the page that related in any way. He resisted clicking on the link for quite some time until the power of advertising took over his click instinct. Tentatively he hit it only to watch as everything froze

wmshaxpere: about 16 days and 3 hours ago

She felt special and pretty in her new dress. In the privacy of her room she twirled, feeling the luxury of fine cloth sweeping across her legs. Dan would be arriving soon. Thinking of him made her shiver just a little. There was something so dark in his demeanor. The bell rang and Dana ran down the stairs to where he stood in the rain his fangs glistening. Dana screamed.

bettynot: about 16 days and 4 hours ago

Bud and Carla held hands and strolled on the darkened pier. Waves shuddered through the pilings below. The scent of flowers came born by the wind off the water. An odd light could be seen flashing brightly in the distance and quickly resolved into a huge airborne ship. Their mouths dropped open in a mutual scream as a wide beam washed across them. They no longer held hands.

wmshaxpere: about 16 days and 22 hours ago

A small thing really. The death of the rosebush couldn't have made much of an impact in the great scheme of things. Right? But still, the deep red flowers no longer fed the butterflies, and the robins no longer stole drying leaves for their nests. The young woman didn't cut her thumb on a thorn one sunny day, and so she never met the doctor who would've been her truest love.

magiced: about 17 days ago

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chapter 2

The sun was beginning to drop between the buildings and Gerald had to squint into its glare, "Matt? It is you isn't it?"

Matt pulled himself away from the building with liquid grace, like an actor, he always managed to position himself in the best light. He now tilted his head fractionally to the west and
lifted his square jaw just so. He turned his large gray eyes on Gerald keeping his dark face exactly half in shadow and half in the light, as if he'd just stepped out of a Film Noir from the 50's, "Sorry for all the crazyness G," he said characteristically not answering Gerald's question "It's an unfortunate side product of transitioning. Happens to everyone."

Gerald had always felt somewhat small next to the other man, and the whole lighting effect thing wasn't helping.

Even though Matt had not expressly admitted his identity, there was no question of who it was Gerald was talking to, "Listen Matt, what the hell is going on? I was home and this bird smashed into my..."

Matt held up a
placating finger, and made soothing sounds, "shhhhh," he breathed, which naturally brought Gerald's anger once again to the surface.

"Don't shhhh me!" he shouted. "I really need an explanation. Now!"

Matt offered only a small smile.

"Please Matt, I really need to know."

Matt looked thoughtful, and then gestured for Gerald to

Since Gerald already had experience of Matt getting away from him he didn't hesitate for even a second, but he also kept right on asking questions until Matt finally turned to him, and said with that annoying grin of his, "take a breath will you? I promise when we get to the lab everything will be explained."

Gerald however was on a roll and his questions continued even as he hurried to keep up, "The lab, you say? What lab?" The other man though had already begun to move along toward his destination.

"Matt, I absolutely refuse to take another step if you don't provide me with some sort of explanation for all of this!"

Even as he said it he knew it was just bluster, and considering that Matt never so much as glanced back, it was clear evidence that he knew it as well. Gerald, to his own great annoyance had no choice and he knew it. He even had to jog to catch up once again. Gerald then proceeded to sulk, and feel abused and misused, and very sorry for himself, even while keeping up as they hurried past the throngs of people and made their way though the gates.

One of the largest people Gerald had ever seen in his life stood guard, checking IDs and the contents of packages, carts and the occasional pocket. As Matt passed by, the guard put his finger to his cap and waved him through. Gerald obediently followed, only to find himself suspended several meters off the ground, and the back of his collar pulled up so high he could feel it in his groin.

"Where'd ya' tink yer goin'?" the gigantic guard questioned him in a voice filled with sand and gravel. Gerald could only sputter and make feeble attempts at freeing himself, but Matt quickly
spoke up, "oh, I'll vouch for him. He's with me."

"Yeah?" growled the giant, uncertainly shaking Gerald about like an old sock that had gotten turned inside out.

"Hey," Gerald yelled, "stop it. You're hurting me!" The huge guard spun Gerald around so that he could looking him square in the face. "Yeah? Well I'm watchin'
you, and don't you forget it!" With that he gave Gerald a final shake and tossed him like so much baggage directly at Matt.

The two of them went down like bowling pins and several passersby went down as well. It was only Matt's profuse apologies to all that they were able to get away from a very angry crowd.

The guard could be
heard laughing over the din of shouts and threats, if of course the the sound of two trains colliding could be described as laughter. The two men raced away from the mob of people who'd been assaulted by Gerald and Matt's flying bodies, and now held them personally responsible.

As they made a quick turn into a narrow alley Gerald asked for a minute to catch his breath. Matt let
him stand there panting, and bent over clutching his stomach for like five seconds and then said, "ok then, we gotta go! Got a lot to do and don't have much time." With that he turned on his heel and started off again.

Gerald having no choice at all, stumbled along after him. As he tried to understand what was so
patently not-understandable, he took another stab at making some sense, "look," he gasped, "I've been badgered, and pushed around and tossed about, and made to run, and held by the scruff of the neck, and I'm so damned sick of the whole thing," He knew he was beginning to whine again but just couldn't help himself, "and, and I have no idea of even where I am!" Without answering Matt swerved, ran up some steps and entered an ornately carved doorway with a sign overhead that stated in thickly chiseled lettering, Laboratory of Computation and Mechanical Wizardry. Below that it said in smaller type, Prince Mathew Arc- proprietor.

Gerald became tentative as he followed Matt, who he known back home (how easily that thought came - back home where ever that was now) as the bartender at The Broken Pigeon. He was the guy who was always trying to be one of the gang, but failing largely due to his extreme good looks in combination with a general lack of computer savvy. It wasn't that Gerald, his best friend Gabe, and Roxanne tried to exclude him or anything. It was just that Matt was a guy who didn't know a pixel from a coffee cup. Gerald, now standing in the center of one of the oddest looking assortment of gizmos, cranks, gadgets, and gear wheels, not to mention the vats of boiling goop in every corner, was suddenly rethinking some of the strange conversations that had been had over a glass of beer at their table in the Pigeon. Matt would be going on and on about what he called the etheria of computational constructions, while the three friends would humor him in hopes that he would go away. Now Gerald wasn't so sure that humoring him had been what they should have been doing.

"What is all this?" he quavered in spite of the turmoil that continued to run through him. He just couldn't help but be curious. "Ah, finally!" Matt enthused, "I've been attempting to get your attention for more than a year, but have
received only ridicule for my efforts."

"Yeah, sorry about that," Gerald began until Matt gently cut him off, "It's no matter really. I believe that I must have not been communicating correctly, but please let us forget the past. You are here now and we have much to do."

"Yeah, on the subject of being here..." Gerald
felt for a moment that he had an opening, but Matt continued on without missing a beat, "this," he said spreading his arms, "is the place of Moth's birth."

"Sorry?" Gerald moved back into the comfort of his confusion, who the hell is Moth?"

"But you were talking with him," said Matt with surprise, "I saw you on the
hillside. Thick as thieves, you were."

"Wait, wait a minute...that mechanical...thing is..." Gerald knew that his stammer was back but didn't care.

"Yes, yes that's him. I built him here."

The question came to mind, and before he could stop it Gerald heard himself blurt out, "but what the hell? Why is he called Moth?"

"Dunno really. It's what he decided to call himself, but please let me get
this out." He paused for a moment as if listening. Apparently, upon hearing nothing but the clanks and churning sounds emanating from the contents of the lab he continued, "We need you Gerald, uhm well that is to say, I need you and soon everyone around here is going to as well, not to mention all the nice folks back in your world, since we have a robot gone wild you see?"

"Oh, sure, I see. Just let me get it straight then. You're the one responsible for bringing me here, and, for creating a robot who's named himself Moth, who according to you has gone wild? That's what you're telling me right?"

Matt took a moment to puff his cheeks out before answering, "yes, that's exactly it. I'm so glad that you've chosen to take the news in stride. I've
been quite concerned about what your reaction might be." Matt moved to the bench stretching across right side of the enormous space of the lab, "If you'll take a look here you can see that I've been working on the cure, unfortunately the results are not everything one might wish for." When he realized that Gerald had not followed and remained silent he turned a quizzical eye in his direction, "What?" he asked with such genuine innocence that Gerald burst out laughing, and then he couldn't stop. He laughed until his sides hurt and tears ran down his face. He laughed until he couldn't catch his breath. He laughed, as it were, until he cried.

Matt waited quietly until the tide subsided. Gerald finally looked up and said, "Fine. I'll just accept
this whole thing as is. I'm lost in someone's nightmare. I know that it's not mine 'cause I'd be awake by now," his words tumbled over one another in a torrent, "and there's no escape, so I'll just have to make the best of it, right? I don't know what else to do, really I..."

Matt interrupted the flow, "the thing is, ol' buddy, we need you."

Gerald was brought up short. "You need me? Right."

Gerald paused a moment to roll his shirt sleeves up both literally and figuratively. He took a cleansing breath, "What exactly do you need me for?"

"Well as I said, it's about Moth out there. He wants to be real."

"Real? He is real! I can barely believe it but I talked to him. He's real alright."

"No, not like that. He wants to be, well, human."

"You've got
to be kidding me! What's he been doing, watching Pinocchio? He want's to be a real live boy?"

"Really, I don't know where he got the idea, but it's become a problem and it's getting to be worse every day."

"But, so what? So he want's to be real and can't be. There's nothing anyone can do about it. Can't you just tell him to get over it?"

"That'd be nice wouldn't it? But I'm afraid that its much worse of a problem. Although I built him I don't have any control at all over what he does. He's fully autonomous you see? It's just that his way of thinking is becoming increasingly destructive."

Gerald couldn't help himself. He was fascinated, "but he didn't seem so bad. How is he being destructive? I mean, he looked like he might be up to some baking or
maybe putting together something fried, but that's it. Why not just let him be?"

"Oh don't be fooled by the apron. I know that's what you're on about," Matt said this with some disgust in his voice. "I've been through this before. That's just what he's into this week. He thinks if he wears, you know, domestic stuff it will help him to make the transition."

Gerald, of course,
had more questions, but the good prince continued on, "what you're not seeing behind that apron is the woman who was wearing it before our dear Moth got his hands on it."

Matt shook his head in apparent despair, and Gerald couldn't help but be moved. "So he killed her?" Gerald was feeling real shock at how close he might have been to the end of his own life, earlier on the hillside
as he stood innocently talking to that thing that was apparently nothing less than a monster! He could feel as his knees gently knocked together and hoped fervently that Matt could not hear them.

"Oh no he didn't kill her or anything like that... She's still walking around and everything, but..."

"What?" Gerald quavered, "what did he do?"

"Well, if you must know he ate a
part of her brain."

"Oh My God!" Gerald exclaimed.

"It was a small part, if that makes a difference." said Matt defensively.

Gerald heard the tone in Matt's voice and pounced "What aren't you telling me?"

"It was the part she was using to remember her life and such, you know name, address, favorite books... like that, but I'm sure with some rest..."

Gerald was horror struck
. "So, she's pretty much a zombie then?"

"Well, it wouldn't be fair to call her a zombie since she was never actually dead. Let's just call her someone who's no longer present... if you know what I mean" But listen, we can't waste timewith that when there's so much to do."

It was time, Gerald decided, to take a stand. So he sat on a handy stool, and said very clearly,
"I will not help! I will not participate! I will do nothing until you tell me everything, and I mean everything. I want to know: how I got here, why I'm here, how the hell I'm going to get back, and, and well, everything that I don't know right now which is... dammit, everything!" He folded his arms and glared at Matt feeling much like a child threatening to hold his breath, but this was going to be the way he wanted or, or - well he was hoping that Matt wouldn't call his bluff.

A very long moment passed while the two men eyed one another. Finally, Matt sighed and pulled up a stool of his own, "Okay then," he held up a finger, "you were brought here through the portal that lies outside the window of your apartment." He held up a second finger,
"That portal is the Ninth Street Station and it has been in operation for about 600 years in the same location." He appeared to be warming to his subject, "at one time the station was level with the ground. There was a mountain firmly in place where your building now stands." He stood and began to pace, "you'd think that people would have enough sense to leave a mountain where it belonged, but no, developers see a beautiful place filled with trees and lakes and mountains and see the opportunity to make tons of dough and the mountain becomes an obstacle to what they want so what do they do?" He suddenly turned on Gerald and raged at him, "they tear it down! What kind of people tear down a mountain?!"

Gerald flinched at this and started to
remind Matt that he'd strayed from the questions when Matt, after staring hard at Gerald as if waiting for an answer, appeared to shake himself. He shrugged and sat once again. "It is true that you were lured here by Xolopotolmai..."

"The bird right?"

"Yes the bird. Matt replied with some displeasure at having been interrupted. "Where was I? Oh yes, Xolo got you to understand
that we were in desperate need of you."

"Why he did no such thing. I was minding my own business when that flying white rat..."

From a high shelf set midway up the wall a familiar voice rang out, "one shouldn't run around calling folks names, you know?"

Gerald looked up to find a single beady eye shooting daggers at him." He was immediately embarrassed, and at the same time
he felt an overwhelming urge to laugh wildly. Fighting the urge, though not all that successfully he stammered, "it's you!"

"Yes," replied the bird dripping acid,"it is."

"Listen I didn't mean to insult you, but..."

"But you didn't know I was here, right?" Xolo finished for him while standing on one leg and scratching under a wing.

"True, I didn't, but perhaps you shouldn't
be spying on people." Gerald just couldn't help it. The bird aggravated him at every turn.

"I was not spying," replied Xolo in a reproving tone, "I was observing, and you are standing in the middle of my home! How exactly would you classify that as spying?"

"Stop," Matt shouted, "I can't stand it." The bird opened his beak to speak but thought better of it when Matt glared
up at him.

"Okay then," Matt pronounced into the uneasy silence, "I can't have the two of you bickering.

"But he said that I was..."

"Xolo!" Matt shouted, "shut the hell up!" He turned his attention once again to Gerald, who had suddenly discovered a fascinating bit of debris beneath one of his fingernails, "Look let me finish this and if you still have questions when I'm done, well, you and Xolo really should take some time to get to know one another. The two of you have rather more in common than you'd believe." He held up a firm hand as Gerald started to reply and continued, "as I was saying, we are in desperate need of your programing skills." He began to pace again, "I must admit that the entire situation is my fault. When I activated the robot I was doing so in the belief that it would be a wonderful assistant around the lab, but I simply had no idea..." He shook his head as if lost in thought for a moment. "I don't know if I missed a step or added one in. Something as were went terribly wrong. Oh, it was fine for the first few weeks. It was content to sweep up and wash beakers, but then the lightening struck him out in the courtyard, and although it shouldn't have had any effect he was... different after that. He began following me around, and imitating everything I did and everything I said. It was like having a terribly annoying child around all the time, but it didn't seem dangerous. Then one afternoon while I was out having a bit of lunch I returned to find him making ."

"Hold on just a moment" Gerald interrupted. "You're sayin' lightening hit the poor guy and you thought he'd be just fine? What the heck is the matter with you anyway? How'd you think you'd feel if you were hit by lightening? And think, an electronics gadget certainly isn't going to be helped by it!" Gerald was visibly shaking."

"There you go!" Matt replied with a smile.
"That's exactly why I brought you over. You know stuff that's absolutely unknown here. Why Gerald, think about your position. You're the new court wizard, and I can't think of anyone better suited to the job."

This, stopped Gerald in mid-rant, "I'm... the new - Court Wizard?" "Of course you are! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"But I don't know a thing about magic."

"But you do! You know everything about it. I've seen you on the networked computer... communicating through arcane methodology with others of your exalted and superior status." Matt said this with such a sincere and openly admiring expression on his broad face that Gerald felt moved to accept it for the compliment that it was meant to be. Under other circumstances he
might have been being jerked around by a masterful con artist, but now that he thought about it Matt always spoke this way - like a man from another planet or at least from somewhere else. Suddenly a memory of Matt attempting to join the techie conversations always going on at the table in the bar, caused so many things to reorder themselves in his mind that he felt he'd been
missing something all along, both back home in his cozy apartment, and here, wherever the hell here happened to be.

"Ok," he said cautiously, "tell me more. I think I need to know as much as you can tell me... And, really why do you think I can help you? What do you want me to do? I'm a just a computer programmer, so how exactly does that qualify me to be the Court Wizard?"

"Because, my friend, as it turns out what is called programing in your world is magic here, and to a certain degree my understanding of the etheria here does relate in some way to computers and magic in your world." "But computers aren't magic! They're machines. I'm not a magician or a wizard or whatever you want to call me. I work with machines."

"Yes, and yet somehow you manage to achieve results from those machines that no one else can even come close to. Correct?" "Well, yes." Even Gerald knew that he was preening in this moment. "But that just comes from an intuitive understanding of how they work. It's not magic."

"In your world maybe not," chirped a voice from the rafters above, "but here that intuitive understanding is delving into the deepest realms of the magical arts." The bird turned his attention to Matt, "are you sure this idiot is the one we want? He's such a whiner."

Gerald began to come to his own defense since no one else seemed willing to take the job when Matt screamed at Xolo to, (if I may quote) "shut his infernal beak and keep it shut!"
Xolo fluttered his wings in surprise and nearly fell
from his perch. "You needn't be rude," replied Xolo archly after fluffing his feathers, making his small body twice its normal size. "I do, after all, have feelings you know."

"Though you believe that I have none?!" Gerald was outraged, "you just called me an idiot, you dumb bir..."

"Stop," Matt glowered hard at Xolo who immediately closed his beak. "I don't have time to babysit the two of you! Just get over yourselves will ya?"

Both Gerald and the bird displayed hurt looks of - who me?

Matt deliberately chose to ignore them. "While the two of you bicker, Moth is busy terrifying the countryside, and it's no secret that the villagers hold me responsible."

"Well, it is your fault, after all." Matt stared bleakly at the bird saying nothing."

Xolo suddenly found an intense need to scratch under one wing.

Gerald took advantage of the uncomfortable silence, "so, what exactly do you think I can do to fix your broken Frankenstein anyway? I didn't see anything on him that looked remotely like a computer interface. To tell you the truth I wouldn't even know where to begin."

"Oh, but he's what you might call a wireless
unit," Matt replied, "that's his brain over on the bench."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random Background Thoughts

NOTE: These are not instructions they are suggested possibilities, random ideas, and scribbled notes. If you wish to add to them please do so by commenting to this blog.

  • Who has brought Gerald to where he is and why?
  • What do they want with him?
  • Where is he?
  • Why do things keep changing?
  • What kind of reality is this? (different planet, different time, different dimension)
  • What is Gerald's background? (how old, profession, relationships,( I Roxy his girlfriend his ex-girlfriend?

GERALD: Screen Name OS_Infn8 cute in a nerdy sort of way and has relatively good vintage fashion sense. He loves his gadgets. He is a consummate computer whiz and has tricked-out his PC with robotic attachments and it is a super gaming system. It will run any game from any system. He has also modified it to accept full voice commands - it currently runs his apartment’s needs including making coffee and watering the plants, vacuuming, controlling the washer/dryer ironing shirts (though doing a very bad job on pants), washing dishes. It has been known to feed and provide water for a neighborhood cat

Gerald will discover that he has his cell phone in his pocket and that it occasionally works (though badly) in this place. It is a source of hope and it also totally frustrates him.

On every attempt to call Roxy he is always blipped to her answering machine. Her machine has a purposefully annoying (and nerdy) message.

Gerald can text but only a limited number of characters. Every once in a while he gets an incoming call

When he asks questions of the beings he encounters concerning where he is everyone answers him "you are here. If you were somewhere else you would know it."

The bird always comes back and is from this world. It first came to Gerald’s attention when trying to renter though the return point (which has always been there six feet out from Gerald’s window into the air-shaft) This portal is one of many. This particular one is named The Ninth Street Station. The bird, by the way, is angry with Gerald believing that crashing into the window is all his fault.

Gerald happens to live on eighth street.

Girl Friend ROXANNE – is a tree hugger and a vegan – the one thing that they have fully in common is that they are Neil Gaiman fans. Both like comic books – and insist on calling them graphic novels. They met at a ComiCon in NYC (calling it the lesser Comicon to that in San Diego). She is taller than he is and although quite the nerd herself she is very beautiful. She holds a Black Belt in Tai Kuan Do and in Aikido. She’s a formidable warrior. Gerald is mystified that she will have anything to do with him.

Friend 1: GABE (screen name pone4ever) pone means: “Kick-ass, beating up someone, winning something, damage. Used for video games or extreme sports.” Gabe is a sci-fi nerd. Also likes Neal Gaiman but likes Neal Stephenson better. He calls them the 2 “Ns.” People mock him for it. He and Gerald argue over who is best of the two authors

Note. The names of the 2Ns (Gaiman and Stephenson) can be mentioned but there can be no quotes from either of them in this story.

Friend 2: MATHEW - bartender at a local club. Likes to think he knows a lot about computers and thinks he’s part of the click but seems kind of a poser. He turns out to be part of the other world and the personality he has taken on is just a charade he’s friends with Gerald because the port is outside Gerald’s window. The other world has been watching Gerald. Matt came for Gerald and the bird (XOLOPOTOLMAI) came for Matt. This guy looks like a caricature - the epitome of hotness like a super hero. He gets all the girls and wonder why Roxanne will have nothing to do with him. In his own world he acts very differently.

When people want to use the Ninth Street Station they have to shimmy up and down Gerald’s drain pipe. He lives on the fifth floor and people who use it find its location to be annoying.

In the other world Matt is a scientist of sorts and this is why he thinks he knows so much about computers in Gerald’s world. Problem is that in his own world computers are not the same as those in our own. They work on a totally different set of principles, that to us, seem like nothing more-nor-less than magic. In Matt’s world he’s built an automaton. He’s come here in search of more technology for it. On its completion it was only a matter of days that it became self-aware. It somewhat resembles the tin man from Oz. The name it has given itself is MOTH. The robot however is depressed - it has a Pinocchio Complex , and is constantly doing things (going the local fairs, buying cloth and sewing his own cloths) working to try to become human - but is always just off the mark – never really getting anything exactly right. Moth is becoming progressively more frustrated – in never perfecting it human-ness it is becoming more and more destructive..

Matt comes for Gerald because Gerald can fix his robot by giving it balance. Ppl in this world think of Gerald as a renowned computer therapist because he has made his computer able to accept everything his dose to it. His own computer is now on the verge of becoming self aware but he doesn’t know this. He’s bad at math but has a empathic relationship to computer science but it seems almost imposable.

  • How does it end?
  • He repairs the alien robot.
  • He gets the girl but doesn't even understand how.
  • Who is the bad guy?
  • Bad guy could benefit by the robot being angry
  • Bad guy has been convincing the robot that he can get revenge on the rest of the world that doesn't accept him by turning outlaw.
  • The way he lures the robot into this is by convincing him that if enough money is spent the robot could become human
  • There is a danger that the robot could find the Ninth Street Station.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chapter 1

These are the WriteZoo icons of people currently working on

Gerald Meriwether's Improbable Possibilities

suzeeeee twritr dotdave aldous bettynot hlrunning wmshaxpere ginafire digidude magiced

This is the story in order with the edit process, I might add, in process. You may reasonably expect updates to be posted once a day. You should however, be forewarned that I am not always reasonable...

Chapter 1

That stifling hot July day when the radiator in Gerald's 5th floor walk-up began working, for the first time in a year, was when he first noticed the glittering nothingness, nearly on the edge of vision, some six feet out into the air-shaft. Just after that was when the bird hit the glass with a white fluttering of outstretched wings. In its stunned fright it hung there for just a moment like living sculpture, and then, it was gone.
If the image hadn't emblazoned itself on his retina he might have written the whole thing off as imagination, but it had happened. As the bird broke its fractured trance it flapped awkwardly back upward only to be snatched from existence with nothing left but the sparkling shimmer of fine white dust, spiraling in slow motion, swirling from nothing but the pin-pricked star-point in midair.
Gerald blinked twice in a feeble attempt to clear, what he fervently wanted to write off as nothing more than his vivid hallucination, or mere misinterpretation of reality. He fingered the dust imprint of what was once a bird. Instantly, detailed knowledge of some other place filled him as though he were an empty vessel awaiting this moment. Pictures, words and voices moved past his eyes. He knew at some level that he was still here, still in this room, his fingers still pressed against the glass. A small ring of condensation had begun to form around his touch, not from the air outside but from his fingers which, like the rest of him, had now gone cold. Despite his dropping temperature, a bead of sweat ran down his temple in a slow glide. He closed his eyes andpictured the bird again; it’s tragic demise, white feathers against the glass. He keeps his eyes tightly closed hoping beyond hope that he is in a dream. But no, he chances a quick peek and finds that the room, his home, is gone.
Instead of his stuffed and cluttered dank apartment is a mint green room. There are no windows. There are no doors. Where before his fingers had pressed upon the surface of his window, now they rested on the decidedly clammy surface of a wall. Yet that was not quite right either, for this was not really a wall at all. Rather it was a glass-like surface semi-obscured on its exterior by a thick film of mold or some such, and Gerald felt compelled to place his face close to a seam in the green surface, peering through to find what might be on the other side.
Movement! Someone or something was there. "Hello?" His shout is met with echoes upon echoes inside his enclosure, and from somewhere high above his head he thought he sensed a presence. Something..? No. Quiet. He strained his ears but heard nothing. He was imagining it. Perhaps he was imagining all of this. Perhaps he was laying in a hospital bed with wires and tubes hooked into him to keep him alive in his coma!
The noise came again: light, soft, disturbingly familiar. With some trepidation Gerald called out again almost whispering this time. "Hello?" he croaked staring upward, attempting to see into the shadows high above. And then it fell on him like a demon, all claws and beating wings. The terrified bird seems to have decided that Gerald is the root of all his problems and makes every effort to let him know that this is totally unacceptable.
Gerald, for his part, can only make feeble attempts to defend himself and screams to no one in particular, "what the hell?!" At this the bird backed off and took roost on an overhead beam. Turning its small white head it stared at him out of one eye and after a beat it observed in a dry tone, "I'll be damned! You can speak?"
It took Gerald a very long moment to absorb what had just happened. The bird is surprised that I can speak? Wasn’t there something backwards here? He wasn’t feeling too steady at the moment and without really giving it any thought at all he sat were he was, on the floor. From his now more stable position he looked up, "you? I mean I? What'd'you think!?"
When that line of unreason faltered he fell back on belligerence, "The hell you say!" It sounded good in the abstract, but even as the words came from his mouth he knew that this was not the right approach. "Uh, maybe we could start over?" he begin tentatively, "look here I can see that you're surprised that I can talk, but how do you think I feel?"
"Meaning what exactly?' asked the bird. Gerald had the distinct impression that if it were possible for a beak to sneer, it would be what he was looking at in this moment.
"But I didn't mean anything at all. I, well I'm not that used to your kind speaking either if you must know."
The ensuing silence that hung between them was deafening to say the least. Gerald intuitively knew that he had offended the strange creature, and was thinking fast on how to correct the matter when without warning; the bird tipped forward and dove headlong at Gerald’s head. In a parabolic curve the white bird swooped past him and with a half glance spoke; "I’ve grown tired of this".
"Wait!.." Gerald cried out hoping to make amends for whatever it was that he had done. But even as the word came out of his mouth he knew that it was in vain. For, the bird was gone, and once again he was alone. He turned around looking for something he could understand, but it could not find it. And then to his rapidly mounting confusion, it was: An ornamented door replete with stained-glass windows now occupied center position on the wall he had inspected only moments before.
He clumsily regained his feet and moved nearer to it. He felt suddenly cautious. Again he considered that all of this might be a dream, although right this minute, it was feeling like anything but.
Tentatively he moved forward, closer to the new door, thinking perhaps he might glimpse something of the outside world through the heavy leaded glass panels. Shadows moved about out there. Somehow he knew that it was time to make a bold decision. He placed his hand on the golden doorknob, inscribed in designs both obscure and familiar at the same time, and inlaid with what had to be rubies, emeralds and sapphires, stunning jewels matching the colors of the glass.
Just as he was about to turn the knob he noticed a single, tiny teardrop shaped piece of glass missing from the intricate design in the door’s glass face. He put his eye to the hole and peered through. Beyond was his apartment, his home, just as it had been when he left it, but something was wrong, well to be fair, different.
He could see a man dressed as himself walking about. With closer observation he realized that not only was this man dressed in his clothes, he was dressed in his skin! "What’s happening to me" he breathed to himself.
In that moment the other Gerald, happily living in his apartment going about his life jerked his head toward Gerald. He can hear me! The thought ran through Gerald like electricity. He should call out to let him know he was here. Yet he did not. He held his tongue in check. The other Gerald looked directly at him and Gerald was terribly afraid.
That thing as Gerald had begun to think of it, began to walk toward him. He started back in surprise. He didn’t know quite what to do. Taking deep breath, steeling his shaky nerves, and with barely a moment’s consideration he pulled the door open wide to face the not-him head-on.
As one might imagine this was a startling experience. Even more startling though was the bird, back again, circling overhead and screeching, "it is not you! Believe nothing it says!"
Gerald stopped in his tracks. He’d had quite enough. He shouted, "what is happening to me?"
“Brother,” soothed the not-Gerald, “calm yourself.” You were brought here for a reason. That we have a similar look is for your comfort. “My apologies if we got it wrong, but time is short and we have much to do.”
Gerald looked about for the loud-mouthed bird but it was gone again.
Sucking through his teeth he glowered at the creature before him. “Look, I don't know what's happening, but I want out of this.” He heard his voice rise in pitch, but couldn’t stop it. Tears glistened in the corners of his eyes, “you just can't do whatever you want with me - like I'm some old toy to be battered about! I have a say in my life!”
Gerald knew how it sounded - like he was losing it here, and maybe he was. But, he was scared and feeling all out of control, and, and he was hungry - since he'd not gotten to eat his toast before this whole nightmare had started. And a nice cup of coffee would be so perfect right now, or come to think of it, anything liquid would be good.
Cotton mouth. The term came to mind unbidden from where he did not know and did not care, but he knew for damn sure that it was appropriate.
"Okay," he started, wiping at his eyes, and forcing a more reasonable tone, "maybe I could just have a glass of water?" He tested his dry lips with his tongue, "and then we could sit for a while, and you can tell me all about whatever the hell is..."
The not-Gerald held his finger to his lips and glanced at the corners of the room as though looking for hidden listeners. Then without a word he beckoned for Gerald to follow, and stepped out into what would normally have been Gerald's hallway.
In spite of himself Gerald hurried after and found himself standing on a wide rolling hillside, sweeping down into a valley below where a jewel of what could only be called a small city nestled invitingly. Although it looked to be quite far away some trick of the atmosphere allowed him to see that it’s streets were wide, and people (as well as other sorts of things) casually strolled about, as though out for a day of shopping on a warm summer's afternoon.
Full of questions, Gerald turned to his guide and found that the creature standing next to him no longer resembled him quite so much. Even as he watched it was transforming, and for all the world it looked as if it was taking on the aspect of a rather sleek canine, yet something about it reminded Gerald of someone else - someone he knew. Yet another illusion? How could he know?
His thoughts on this were interrupted when an odd sensation against his right thigh startled him mightly, and he swatted himself as though fending off a giant mosquito. It was his cell phone - vibrating! With a whoop he dug into his pocket retrieving the suddenly precious device. He could communicate his predicament to someone out in the real world, the one that made sense. "Hello? Hello!”
“I am so freakin' sick of you Gerald Meriwether! You said you'd call me last night, and once again, you flaked out.”
Gerald attempted a syllable, but his girlfriend continued her rant. “We're through, Gerald, through! You hear that? This is me saying good-bye!" She cut the call while Gerald stood static, staring, and dumbfounded at the instrument in his hand.
It must be said that the words that Gerald spewed at the now silent instrument, in response to its lack of usefulness when he most needed it to be useful, were not the sorts of words that he tended to use in normal life. Really, he did not use such language even in heavy traffic, but this was not normal life at all was it?
When he had completed this untoward demonstration of rage he stood somewhat breathless and sweating next to the alien creature that, truth be told, he had all but forgotten.
Slowly, as he came back to himself, he chanced an embarrassed glance in that being's direction, and found it patiently watching him. He still couldn't place it, but he was sure that he’s seen that face somewhere before.
The creature broke into the chaos of his thoughts, "if you've finished we have a bit of a walk ahead of us."
A bell went off. Literally, a bell was ringing in the distance, while figuratively the bell in Gerald's head sounded, feeding him the memory.
"Matt? It is you isn't it? I mean what the hell? What's going on? Matt? Matt?"
The creature that now strikingly resembled Matt the bartender from the Broken Pigeon looked quietly into the distance, "the bells have rung."
Without another word the thing that once looked like Gerald and then a dog and now Matt, simply strode off toward the city in the valley. "We must go immediately and hope that we're not too late."
Gerald stood for a long stupefied moment watching the retreating back of someone he might know, his only link to the world he was used to.
"Wait," he yelled as Matt rounded a boulder, "I really need some answers here!"
The other person emerged much farther along the path than should have been possible considering that the boulder he stepped behind was no more than 10 paces away, yet were he emerged was nearly half-way down the hill.
Gerald felt suddenly anxious at being left behind. "Wait!" he shouted again. "I'm coming!"
He began to run after the other man, and found the hill to be quite a bit steeper than he'd thought. In fact, he found that he was running pell-mell at top speed and couldn't stop, which is how he first came into contact with Matt's creation, the robotic creature, Moth.
Perhaps coming into contact is putting it a somewhat lightly since Gerald literally crashed into it, much like the bird had crashed into his window. It just stood there looking at this fly that had crashed into it, and then it said, "you must be the cure for me."
Gerald said, "excuse me, but I don't know what you’re talking about. I have to follow that guy." He said this while watching Matt hurry away.
"I am sorry," he stammered, "but I have to go or I'm going to miss any possibility of getting out of..."
It was at this point in the conversation that it dawned on Gerald that he was speaking to, what could only be called a contraption.
Moth (the name the robot had given itself) stood some eight feet tall, and appeared to be held together with bits of wire, tape, string, hammered tin and studded brass fittings. Various whirling fly-wheels spun in continuous asynchronous rhythms all over the platinum-sheen surface of his body.
On closer inspection Gerald noted that the mechanized creature looked more randomly pieced together than constructed. Large spaces remained through which Gerald could see the world beyond. The rational part of his mind jabbered in the background that what he was speaking with could not possibly work. Nevertheless on this first encounter the giant automaton felt, well, alive. Beyond that what caused him to run completely out of words was the fact that Moth was wearing a gaily flowered apron tied around his midsection in the area where a waist might be. The apron sported the words, Kiss the Cook in large red letters.
Observing Gerald's gaze the robot's demeanor changed on the spot, "Oh, do you like it?"
"Well I," Gerald was making every attempt at thinking fast, but all he could think of was. What do I say? and Don't make it mad. "It's...very - uh, nice," he finally managed.
"Thank you! You simply cannot believe how happy that makes me feel. You are
obviously the product of very good breeding and high aesthetic sensibilities."
Gerald worked his jaw, but no sound came out. The robot blabbed on without taking notice that the conversation had become one-sided and that Gerald had gone quite glassy-eyed. It spoke in a never ending stream of what it would do when it was
free to do whatever it wanted to do, and how if it were only human things would be so different.
It kept talking until Gerald actually had to yell, "Stop!" just so he could tell it good-bye and run after the tiny dot in the distance that he was hoping was Matt and not someone he did not know. He took off at a run
and still the robot spoke on and on as though he were still there.
Even while he ran Gerald could hear it nattering on about how it was going to be human one day no matter what the naysayers said.
It was this last that caused Gerald even further distress at his circumstance. Even running at top speed Matt was outpacing him.
Worse than that, to Gerald's great consternation, the robot had finally noticed his departure and had elected to tag along. It had caught up with him and was now quite effortlessly, and with an annoyingly casual demeanor, running alongside him. "You don't think I can do it. Do you?"
The accusation pushed Gerald right
over the edge of his already tenuous grasp on sanity. He stopped so quickly that the robot overshot him by several yards before noticing the lack of his target audience. By the time it sauntered back to the heavily breathing human Gerald had already begun to vent his anger and astonishment at what he described as the utter insensitivity, and lack of understanding that he had encountered in this dismal place.
"All you can think about is yourself!" he screamed. "What about me? What about that I've been dragged into some crazy situation where birds and mechanical toys have the audacity to speak down to me?"
He knew that his face
was ugly and splotchy like it always got to be when he was upset. He knew it had turned that gray-red color that displayed his anger to the world, and he just didn't give a rat's. The world, at least this world, was completely unfair, and face it, the world he'd left behind, where his girlfriend had dumped him, wasn't all that great either, and this was the final straw. He drew in a quick breath to unleash another volley when the robot thundered, "MECHANICAL TOY?"
Gerald considered the possibility that he might have gone too far, and began making every attempt at backtracking, "oh, right...yes, sorry no, I wasn't talking about you.
Moth-the-robot stood with arms folded in front, foot tapping, an expression of hurt anger on his face, reminding Gerald somewhat eerily of his mother.
While Gerald was making up excuses on the spot he was also inching away, but the robot noticed this, and as Gerald inched the robot moved right along with him. Gerald noticed that this was happening and also noticed that the robot wasn't moving its legs at all. It had like wheels on its feet and just glided after him.
Gerald moved away and Moth followed after. Gerald was quickly running out of patience. Finally he latched onto the only thing left to him, the oldest trick in the book, he realized, might not be a book read so much hereabouts, " Look!" he declared, pointing past the robot's shoulder.
Sure enough Moth spun around and
Gerald took the opportunity to race in the other direction. A quick glance back let him know that the robot was continuing to view the hillside above them scanning for anything that he might have missed that was important enough to be pointed out.
For the first time since his arrival Gerald felt laughter bubbling up
in his throat. He began to chuckle at his trick. The chuckle grew and became actual laughter, and the laughter began to rise in pitch. Even to Gerald, as the one who was laughing, he could hear that the sound emanating from him had a frightening edge of hysteria to it.
And still he laughed. And still he ran. Tears too
ran streaming down his face, but he just did not care. Where he was running he no longer remembered, but he was running there just the same. He raced down the slope following after someone he thought he knew from somewhere in his world, a world he might never see again.
Chasing after Matt became his quest. He dodged around some bushes and looked back over his shoulder. He could see that the robot wasn't chasing after him anymore. It was just standing there looking like his mom again with it's hands on his hips and tapping one of its feet.
Why do I feel guilty, he thought to himself, but he kept right on running. The guy he was
chasing had disappeared once again, and Gerald put on even more speed. His only thoughts: to get away from the guilt inducing robot and to catch up with Matt.
He rounded a corner between two huge cliff facings only to be forced to pull up short. He stood gasping for breath. He had to bend over, head down, to place his
hands on his knees. It took every effort bring his head up so that he could take a look at where he had landed. The city that had before glowed in the distance apparently had been rushing toward him at nearly the same speed he had been moving toward it.
He'd arrived at its bustling gates.
People in festive dress,
animals decked out as if for a parade, walked or rode atop hundreds of unimaginable contrivance. Every possible sort of vehicle from single wheeled carts, barrows and cycles, to monstrous contraptions, sporting uncountable numbers of wheels, each rolling over and under one another in mechanical glory, all trundled past him in procession. No one person so much as looked in his direction with the exception one man, leaning against a nearby wall.
"Took you long enough," Matt said with a snicker.

So, that concludes Chapter 1 (quite arbitrarily I might add). Any ideas placed into this blog as comments, with instructions as to where the alterations need to be placed in the storyline, will be incorporated.

Also, I will begin to edit this chapter in earnest, which means that some things will be removed altogether, language will be changed, and some stuff will be added. This is a story that will continue as a work in progress until it we all agree that it is done.

Chapter 2 has already been started on WriteZoo by one of our most stalwart members the incredibly gifted Aldous.