Categories
Speculative Fiction

Fleece

“The original book cover of the Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? a Science-Fiction by Philip k. Dick inspired me to write Fleece. The theme for this story was the word ‘abattoir’, and this sheep simply inspired me.”

Lolly quickly took her habitual notebook and recorder, engulfed a piece of coconut bun, sipped a mug of warm sweetened milk tea, before rushing till her car to drive for about three hours till the next town found on the other island. She was already very late, and she didn’t like crossing the bridge on these moonless and starless nights, for all of that dark and wide space that surrounded this lighted passageway gave her terrible anxieties… because deep inside, she knew that this horrible gigantic creature of the night eyed at all passers-by.

Lolly was a successful worldwide blogger of the paranormal realm; also the author of Dancing With Ghosts and Fiona The Sad Spirit. Having herself witnessed and experienced many strange phenomena since she was very little, Lolly decided to become a private investigator who deals with all things paranormal, and created a blog with articles about her investigations. She also wrote two best-selling horror books that were inspired by the supernatural she encountered in her everyday life. Her paranormal blog Uncanny World was one among the most read website of the Internet, and she poured all her heart and soul in every article she wrote about all of these strange and frightening phenomena that some people witnessed and experienced – where most of them, Lolly often thought, lived a strange life too.

Recently, when she was investigating on site about a talking bird that the inhabitants of SD Town witnessed, she met Ranpal, a burgeoning mystic who often filmed some of the paranormal phenomena he was drawn to. Instantly these two clicked, and both decided to associate as to investigate on the various paranormal activities that people informed them about. Lolly mainly interrogated witnesses, wrote and posted on Uncanny World, while Ranpal examined the area or subject that was under their loop; did the necessary research, filmed and edited the videos to accompany Lolly’s blog posts.

Thus on that day Lolly was going to the small village of Ini so as to investigate on a series of slaughtering that took place after woolen domestic and reared animals strangely disappeared from their shelter at night. The day before Oley called Lolly for help as soon as she noticed that her cuddle pet that slept on her bed strangely disappeared in the middle of the night. The disappearance of her sheep Woolley affected her badly. At the end of the line she wailed and screamed, seemed confused and was worried sick. There was so much heartache in her voice, that Lolly decided to help her right away.

“Your hair looks like Woolley. Can I touch?” Oley asked Lolly.

Not at all estranged by the situation Lolly said yes.

“Yes… your hair is sheepskin, wool and fleece… curly black fleece… just like my friendly bud Woolley… you need to find her Lolly… please, find her,” Oley said as she achingly sobbed.

“I will,” Lolly said, intrigued by all these strange disappearances.

“You will never guess what happened last year in this little village, Lolly,” Ranpal said enthusiastically.

“No… I am unable to play the guess game right now… I am way too touched… that girl is an emotional wreck,” Lolly sighed.

“Well, in the local journal archives I read that a small meteorite fell around here… and the man that found the rock speculated insanely about this event, and I thought that it would be a good idea to go visit the guy.”

“Let’s take my car, and while I drive you’ll continue the story,” Lolly said.

“The guy’s name is Ulder, and one night while walking his dog Ully, strangely a poodle, a rock of the size of a fist fell from the sky right in front of him. The next day he told everyone what he discovered, but nobody took him seriously. Only a local newspaper covered the story, partly, and while they interviewed him three weeks later, it seemed, as detailed by the newspaper, that he was another man – he seemed tensed and paranoid every time his dog ran in the room… he insanely said that it was spying on them… that a parasite came with that rock, and professed that we were all doomed… and you know what? They wrote the article as if it was a humorous speculative fiction.”

“Well… very interesting finds… I’ve never worked on alien things, only on ghost-like things… spectral and ectoplasmic, untouchable and translucent. It’s a little village, and everyone knows everything about everyone, and are even perhaps very close to each other… so I guess that they lightened the story so as to make the guy seem less crazy.”

The front yard of Ulder’s house was in a very neglected state, as if nobody lived there anymore. The front door was not locked, and inside it did not smell of roses. On the table lay notes filled of nonsensical scribbles and newspapers from other parts of the world, all opened on the miscellaneous section with the same date that this meteorite fell down from the sky. On one of the newspapers Lolly and Ranpal read an article about people that witnessed a bright flare in the sky, on another one speculators talked about the explosion of a secret space lab, and the last one they read talked about an unknown organism that could have been released during the explosion of that space laboratory.

“Of course, this is all speculation… made up stories from insane minds… denial upon no proof,” Ranpal said.

“That’s why we are the fact-finding committee who tries to shed light on these shady issues… though we are much more incline towards what’s paranormal, I guess we could also help lift the veil upon these conspiracy theories.”

Suddenly a panicked black sheep ran inside the room, followed by a hysterical man with a saw. Immediately Lolly gently caught the frightened sheep, Ranpal took out his electroshock weapon and shot an electric charge on the man’s arm. He fell down, and Ranpal instantly took his saw and threw it away.

“No…” the man said painfully, “don’t touch that sheep… don’t touch it… your hair… your tuft curled woolen short hair…”

“Who are you? Are you Ulder? Are you the one that slaughters all of these innocent animals? Are you crazily insane or what?” Ranpal asked calmly.

“Yes, I am Ulder… I killed all of these animals so as to protect us all… they were all infected by something that only lives on living things that have tuft curled woolen coat or hair… it’s the first time that it will inhabit a human hair… I don’t know what it will do… we can’t let it leave the village.”

“I have already called the cops, Ranpal. Our work here is over. Just lock him up in the other room. We need to return the sheep, and then I have to write, and then you have to edit the film,” Lolly said as she walked the sheep till the car.

“Look! Have you seen that? She is not the same anymore… this is not your friend… it’s that thing… listen to me, there is another meteorite that fell from the sky that same day… this, is a she, because she only takes on females, so, there is a possibility that the other one that fell is a male… and if they mate, we are all doomed. They feed on iron things, but also on human and animal blood.”

“Surely we will find a right explanation for all that you claim… and know that my friend is not anybody else… she is Lolly, she is tough, she fought a demonic entity so as to set herself free from its possession… so don’t think that an alien species bred on a space lab can make her cower, nor make her lose her mind… she’ll fight till her last breath, she’ll fight that thing with all her might.”

Lolly stopped the car on the well lit bridge and stared for a long time at the void.

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. An interesting quote by the philosophical man called Nietzsche… what do you think about that miss?” Asked the man who suddenly appeared from nowhere, and who strangely had the same type of hair as Lolly.

She smiled, and said, “I do think that the man was right, because from his point of view it seems that we are all puppets on a string that are unable to think from the bottom of our heart.”

“Yes. Little houses and hosts and strings.”

“Tell me, do you like coconut buns and sweet tea with milk?”

He strangely and confusedly stared at Lolly, trying to discern the depth of her eyes.

But Lolly immediately said, “O! Let me rephrase my question. Would you like a glass of thick red wine and a piece of juicy raw meat? And I’ll also invite a dear friend of mine.”

He nodded with a satirical smirk on his face, knowingly that they were both going to eat the world.

And Lolly smiled on the inside, knowingly that she was going to give to her readers one of her best articles.

Categories
Speculative Fiction

Paradise Echo

To write this story, for which ‘deserting’ is the main theme, I inspired myself from the book catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I tried to imagine why the author described war as being absurd, or even, why he wrote an absurdist fiction.

“24 January: I am still looking for it – for that hidden paradise where streams pure water; where grows trees and plants that give abundant fruits and seeds, while the sea that surrounds it is forever replenished with seafood. There are also many grottos on which creeps morning glories whose leaves and flowers are as large as a hand. It’s all stated in this carnet I found buried under a large rock. Since I read this notebook, my night dreams are filled with things of great beauty instead of ruby red nightmare. Everything seems so splendid. I know that it exists. I am sure that true paradise exists…”

Suddenly the echo of atomic waves blasted the surrounding. Pace grabbed the old leather notebook, entered his craft, and flew away as quickly as possible. The scenery offered was a desolate and bleak one; of death and misery. He knew that he had to save his life; deep inside he felt that this war was not his, that he had been enrolled by force. And then he coincidentally discovered the notebook that had been written in another time by two other soldiers like him – two different handwritings, two different epochs, one began and the other one finished. They were both like him, asking the same questions, wanting to desert that cursed place, this hopeless area of war. And this serendipitous finding he made amidst the chaos, the incomprehension, and the absurdity of war, strengthened his want to set himself free from such horrible duties, and confirmed his belief about the existence of a peaceful place.

He wrote, and Pace read: “I am not a lesser man if I refuse to make war on other men like me. Instead, I am more of a man, with a heart and empathy… I am the novel man, a civilized man.” Everyday Pace read some lines, and everyday he dreamt of evasion.

“That’s so strange, Pace, we have technological advanced devices that talk directly to our mind, and you are still doing that outdated activity. How do we call that again?… O yes… reading.” But Pace did not reply, instead he watched the sky, the only place that was not stained with blood.

“6 April: I think I know where it is, paradise. I found a strange man who had only large dried leaves on. He seemed in a neglected state, but seemed healthy. I think when he saw the carnet in my hand he knew then. I followed him till the vast cemetery of old combat vehicles… this infertile land of weaponry. But suddenly buzzing drones appeared in the sky, right above my head, and they ordered me to leave immediately this restricted area. Fortunately they didn’t search me, for they would have found the notebook, the inkwell, and the quill pen. That’s where I think that this strange wild man disappeared amidst this vast ocean of dead vehicles that lounge the horizon. Paradise is there. I know it’s there, I know that my last records will close the final chapter of this notebook. Has the previous soldier been able to reach Elysium? Perhaps… and I won’t stop writing for you to find.”

That night, intrigued and thrilled by what he had read, Pace quietly went to the restricted area, that sinistered cemetery of dead vehicles. He wanted to see that place with his own eyes.

But suddenly the buzzing drones appeared. “Name and grade, soldier,” commanded the robotic voice.

“Pace Paze, soldier Pace Paze,” he replied nervously.

“And what are you doing in a restricted area, soldier Pace Paze?”

“I thought that I saw the enemy, thus followed them quietly till this area. But apparently it was only my imagination… I think that I had a delusional moment,” Pace replied, though he never saw who they were really fighting, and why this war has been going on for fifty years.

“Okay then, soldier. But don’t forget to go see the doctor tomorrow morning.”

“26th of July: to go there you need to wear dark clothes and dark glasses, and don’t forget to pour antistatic oil on your body, so that the drones won’t be able to perceive you. I found it, I am writing this last part from here. I made it, so shall you too. This story is such a strange one. This war is only an absurd thing, a joke, a trompe l’œil. When this war started sixteen years ago, many soldiers didn’t want to form part of this war. Amidst, there were many great thinkers and builders who have set up a plan to forever live in peace and harmony some miles away from the area where war raged. That place was still untouched by evilness… it was an area of purity, and they did everything that was possible to keep it so. They created a barrier with the loads of destroyed vehicles, and also created automated drones that stopped fighters from approaching the paradise they made. But they also made sure that there were always invisible enemies that attacked this side, so that they could remain safe at the other side. And as time went by, the cemetery of vehicles became denser, it became a vast ocean that stretched till horizon, and automated machines created automated drones, while people didn’t even question why there was a war going on, they just went to war.”

On the same night Pace read those lines, he headed valiantly till the restricted area. The drones did not notice him, for he followed the instructions faithfully. He walked on a seabed of dried bones that cracked and became dust; crossed large vehicles that were riddled with holes, stained with dried blood and destroyed in the worst ways. And suddenly a dreadful feeling of guilt overwhelmed his senses. He stopped and questioned his deed. “Shouldn’t I tell them what I found? Shouldn’t I help to cease this hoax, this war that makes no sense at all… will I be able to live in paradise when I have a guilty conscience?” He had walked for eight hours and the sun was going to rise soon, he needed to make a quick decision. Thus he continued his way, but promised to himself that he will make the others change their mind. He was going to tell the truth.

At daybreak he arrived at a very high wall that lengthily stretched as far as his eyes could see. “It’s all true. Paradise is just behind this wall,” he said out loud. Keenly, he pressed the bricks of the wall in a set of specific sequences, same as instructed in the notebook, and instantly there was an opening in the wall. He entered a wide shady noisy factory that was automatically making drones – lots of them, piles of them, there was not a single human in view. He continued walking, eager to pass that door that would lead him towards the freedom from war. But that’s where he made a horrible discovery. There, in a small dusty corner filled with cobwebs, he saw a skeleton. Its hand was on the operating motherboard, and a large hole could be seen through his head. Panic-stricken and filled with dread, he ran for his life blindly, until he arrived in front of a forest. He continued to run through that wild realm of various trees and plants while shouting insanely: “where are you all… I found the notebook… at last I found your community… I am in paradise.”

But unfortunately he cried in vain; nobody answered his desperate calls. The area was completely desert, only nature subsisted. And there, suddenly, at the foot of a grotto, the imagery of sheer horror sent an immense shock-wave throughout his whole body. It was a mountain of dried bones imprisoned in the strangling embrace of morning glories.

Pace Paze had his final answer. He knew then that this war would soon be over, and that finally, after so many years of conflict, life would surely look like the paradise described in this notebook.

Categories
Speculative Fiction

Rooted Out

Four long years of work, of researching, of thinking what to write next – all of it buried in that thick muddy soil found next to the river bank. Why? Because he told her that she had written a miserable story that nobody would ever want to read, that it was a literary abomination, and finished his murderous speech by telling her that she should definitely smother the writer in her.

His words killed her that day.

All along the way, under the pouring rain, she achingly sobbed while holding tightly against her heart the leather bag that contained the depth of her thoughts, the realm of her imagination. She cried so much that an excruciating pain struck her heart, where suddenly everything looked broken – the pavement, the surrounding, her dreams, her self-esteem, her self-confidence as a writer. Nothing remained in her heart and head; she was empty, devoid of dreams and faith in life.

That’s where overwhelmed with disappointment and a nameless feeling of emptiness, she tore each page from her manuscript and buried them in the thickened muddy soil. Afterwards she stood under the heavy pouring rain, where her mind wandered back in time, right when she started to write that story. Her mind recollected every bits of happiness and pride she felt after she had been able to finish a chapter; and remembered as well those silent nightly hours where she only had for companion the sounds of leaves rattling with the breeze, and the sight of the moon and stars through her broad and wide window, all the while she wrote till the break of day.

As her self-confidence slowly returned, she suddenly realized that she had made a mistake. Instantly she fell down on her knees and started to dig the muddy soil with bare hands, in search of her treasured manuscripts. But unfortunately, due to the heavy rainfall that soaked the soil, all the thin papers had already dissolved in water. Shocked, she suddenly had a brutal seizure, while at the same time a strange and paranormal phenomenon happened. The rain stopped, and all the ink from the book manuscript that had dissolved in water suddenly emerged out from the thick mud as droplets that floated till her body. The ink covered her skin, and little by little it morphed into the words that made up her story. Her body from head to toe became the book that she had written, where each page she had torn to bury now tattooed her skin.

Suddenly she felt light as a feather; the rain fell again, but this time she didn’t get wet; it was as if she was surrounded by a transparent bubble. She felt the strange sensation of floating without a body, and in the blink of an eye she was in front of the house of Mr.Feith, that same vile writer that had been so rude to her earlier. He was sitting by the window, writing at the light of a large candelabra. And as soon as she wanted to know what Mr.Feith was writing, she instantly found herself perching at the back of his head, looking at what he was doing. That’s when she understood that Mr.Feith was busy copying word for word the story from a copy of her own book manuscript. He omitted nothing. Enraged and out of her, she knocked down the candelabra, whose candles set fire to the papers that were on his desk; then right after, all of the words that were on her body materialized in human shape in front of a terrorized Mr.Feith. It strangled him brutally, then released his neck right before he stopped breathing. Horrified, he ran away screaming insanely, while hungry flames devoured his house. Everything burned down quickly.

One month later Wri Wright slowly and painfully opened her eyes on the bed of a hospital. They said that passers-by found her unconscious by the river bank, soaked wet, with both her hands buried in the mud, alongside a leather bag.

“Hello Miss Wright,” said the man with a pleasant face. He sat next to her, a book manuscript in his hand. Her manuscript. “I was one among the passers-by who found you by the river, a little bit messed up you were. Anyhow, I gave myself permission to read your story… you are the one who wrote that, is it not? That book manuscript was in a leather bag beside you.”

“What! The manuscript was still in my bag? But!” She tried hard to remember what exactly happened to her on that day, but only blurry images of heavy rainfall, mud, and tears came to her. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember what happened that day, but I am the author of that story.”

“Well then, let me introduce myself, I am the chief editor of a well-known publishing house, and I can tell you that you are a very talented writer who wrote a very unique and captivating story… and I want to publish your book, and as well launch your career as an author… is that okay with you, Miss Wright?”

Wri Wright was suddenly overwhelmed with an immense feeling of joy and gratitude. “Thank you so much… thank you one thousand times. Yes, I heartily accept your proposition. You are making my dream come true.”

“I was on my way to see Mr.Feith when I stumbled on you… have you ever heard of him?”

“Yes, I heard that he could help me with the publishing of my book… I even had an appointment with him… but I don’t remember when,” she frowned, trying hard to remember.

“Luckily you didn’t put your book manuscript in his hand… he is a fraud and a crook. For years now he has been submitting to my publishing house plagiarized works. We were not aware, until recently, when an article appeared on him, and where our publishing house suddenly lost its good reputation… Anyway, that same day we found you, people picked him up in the street… he seemed terrorized, they said, raving mad about the devil being after him… he even burned his house.”

“Well, that would have made a good horror story,” she said dreamily.

“You bet,” he responded keenly.

***

P.S: It has taken me two weeks to write and edit this story, so practical and constructive criticism are welcomed.

Categories
Speculative Fiction

-Revival-

Theme: the folly of loss
Tagline: The sentiment of losing someone, or even something, can cause the kind of torment that’s hard to surpass. And everyone deals with tragedy in their own way, even those from the paranormal side.  

He left her, in silence, in the midst of a deadening night; a dark and cold night that only her heart could feel. Yet there was thunder and lightning that covered the sound of her devastating pain and loud cries. She sat in the chair that faced a print art by the famous painter, Toulouse Lautrec — which he always professed as his first existential love at first sight. And she felt more sadness and ache crushing her poor little heart. That night, her tears were unstoppable.    

“Why he covers their eyes?” He once asked her, fascinated by that painted silhouette. “Strange, who will ever know what’s germinating inside of a restless mind, same as you… same as when you brought me back to life on that night.”  

She had no answer for him. She couldn’t even remember what was the catalyst to her own folly, all that she remembered about that night, was only the feeling of need to cut through her pain of loss. She sat there, in silence, with the rain pouring hard. The spell was not for him, not for that stranger that came back from the dead, but the spell was to bring back the one she dearly loved, and still did.  

What went wrong. Where was her heart back then. Could heartbreaks lead to a folly of that extent. These were all the questions that kept her awake in the middle of these sleepless nights, where still, no answers whispered back to her.  

“He seems good where he is, he didn’t even heard your call, but I did, and I am here… why are you crying, because he didn’t come back for you? He is good where he is, much better than around, and when we find better, we never want to go back to what’s downgraded… so dry your tears now, for he is good where he is.” Since that day all of her was ruined. It was an evil thing that took possession of that dead body — his body, the now empty vessel of the one that cared for her. A silly and unconscious action that she utterly regretted.  

“Only servants bring back what’s lost. Thus, you are my servant from now on, and you will do whatever I’ll say. I am your master, and you will always address me as such. Before, I was a powerful imperator, before being beheaded by a horde of my own people… after all that I did for them… all, ungrateful.” But what she wanted to tell him that day, was that he really was a tyrant, a heartless tyrant, a spectre that sprouted from the realm of nightmares.  

She had served him, staying quiet all along, pitying her own self for shaping her own tragedy. Then, it happened, his body started to decompose. His skin peeled off like leaflets, his hair fell down, even his bones became flask. “What are you waiting, prepare the spell for my rejuvenation.”  

“Yes, master, I am working on it.” She bandaged his whole body like a mummy, and patiently waited. He, became weaker and weaker, where he couldn’t even emit any sound, imprisoned into thick cloth from head to toe — she, became stronger and stronger, where she could feel life again, freed from her own spell.

Categories
Speculative Fiction

Webinstrospec

Log Entry: My sister sent me a documentary video about the negative side of the web; and as always, I was inspired to write my thoughts in a creative way.

When the web becomes an inspiring tool

I sit in front of my screen and wait. I wait for the likes and for the shares and for the positive comments. I had uploaded a selfie of mine earlier — perhaps to show my joy, or perhaps to have some celebrity love, or perhaps . . . I don’t even know why I do that! It became so mechanical over the time . . . now that I think about it . . .

The trees and the flowers they change colours and withers through the changes of the seasons, and I, I don’t even bother to look at their beauty anymore. The book covers on my shelves are clothed of smoky dust with aesthetic words that seem to get lost through the days, and I, I don’t even bother to read the pages. My pen . . . oh! you should see my pen, it sits lonely into the dusty pot with dried ink on its tip, and I, I don’t even care to let my words flee into the world. And the papers . . . well, they are all wrinkled now, and I, I don’t even bother embellishing them.

But still, I sit here and wait for the likes and the comments that will shatter my heart to pieces and hostage my mind for the days to come — or perhaps . . . thrill me with joy. But what kind of joy? Not natural, not true, fake, not mine . . . not mine.

Who sees me through my mirror? A mirror through which I can’t seem to look at myself anymore, and a mirror that my eyes skip so that others might give me value. What have I become? . . . Instead of valuing my self-worth I let others rate my own likes and dislikes. I have assassinated my own being and left my body and my own existence into the hands of others . . . careless, and not even being able to know their own self-worth through their own mirror. My soul, it cries — it cries for it has been scattered into every places and spaces where time seem to alleviate everything.

Was it loneliness? Was it a feeling of being misunderstood? Was it for frenziness? Or was it for escapism? But why and for what? And I wonder, I wonder why I wandered into this virtual space and lost my balance into this process of wandering into a web area where everything seemed new to my eyes, and where walking on web threads to reach a stranger nest for exchange seemed so thrilling, and I blame myself for my stupidity and ignorance, for no perfection exists. Chaos . . . chaos through my own ignorance.
But what if . . . what if I write about it into an online carnet . . . how do they call that again? . . . a blog, I think so . . . I love to write and I love to read, and I love everything visually aesthetic that triggers positive vibes in me . . . Oh these good vibes, how bad I miss these inspirational ambience. I think that perhaps I haven’t done it the right way, I was not enough balanced and mature, perhaps a broken piece lost into space and ghostly floating without purpose and meaning . . . ignorance. It hates chaos and likes order, sequence, process. But do I process . . . do I.
Look at the shadows of light dancing upon the ground as the wind blows away the window curtain. And the birds, hear how their singing echoes right straight to your heart. Oh the sun upon my skin . . . it warms me up. What are we without the beauty of nature? I have always wondered.

Process, sequence, action, reward.

But wait a second . . . just wait there, what if I created my own little creative webspace — there I will use the tools given, so as to show things of inspirational essence, things to inspire others to tap into the show off of their skills and purposes, and thus, we will all step into a winning system far away from the regression effect. I better invest myself into designations that will level me up towards higher purposes.

I will shed this horrible feeling of dissecting myself so as to make sense of who I really am. I will use this space wisely and integrate my own system to it so as to collide into a digital synergy on which I will be able to focalise positively.

. . . How uneasy it is to think of an idea, not saying difficult. However, it has to take place into mind . . . everything starts in the mind. Well now, let’s stop the daydreams and start the process of gestation, because if the subject of eternity can wait on its own, here, concrete time would prefer to devour us, so to speak.

-Eiravel-