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Posts Tagged ‘weird’

When I heard her scream I knew my secret was out. With a roll of my eyes to the heavens I pulled myself out of my seat and down the hall to where she stood. Shivering and clutching her coat as though it were the only thing she could rely on in the universe.

She turned to me, wide eyed and shaking and spoke, her voice quavering. “There… there’s a monkey in your cupboard.”

I peered around the door into the cupboard under the stairs. Bobo looked up to me from his laptop and gave me the thumbs up. I turned back to Emily, spread my hands, trying to be placatory and I tried to explain. “Well… he’s more of an infinite number of monkey…”

“Like the Shakespeare thing?” She at least had some control of her wits. I was glad. I closed the cupboard door gently and I lead her away to the living room. Sitting her down on the sofa and going into the kitchen to make her a cup of tea.

“Sort of, you know the principle right?” I called back over my shoulder.

Still clutching her coat she sat, pulling at the fabric nervously, trying to remember how it went. “Isn’t it that, if you had an infinite number of monkeys, typing away on keyboards, eventually by pure chance they’d come up with the complete works of Shakespeare?”

“In essence, yes.” I called to her.

“But… there’s only one monkey.”

I poured hot water over the teabag and squished it gently with the spoon, bringing it out with me and sitting down next to her again. “That’s why I said an infinite number of monkey. And well, technically he’s a chimp, not a monkey. Monkey’s don’t have enough brain mass for it to work.”

“I don’t understand.” She said, letting go of the coat and gratefully clutching the tea.

“It’s really quite simple,” I explained. “he is just one chimp out of an infinite number of potential chimps from subtly different universes that stretch in all lines of potentiality in all directions. So, while he is one chimp he is also, in effect, every possible chimp at one and the same time.”

“But,” she trailed off, clutching the mug though the hot water must have been hurting by now. “what is he doing in your cupboard?”

“You’re always asking me where I get my ideas. I don’t. I have the chimps come up with them for me.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You’d believe me if I told you an infinite number of quantum chimps was the source rather than deep thought, consideration, influences and yadda-yadda-yadda? I don’t think so.”

Later, I asked Bobo the best way to get rid of a body.

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Ourobouros

John was startled awake by the sound of screaming. His eyes jumped open and for a moment he was blinded by the light. Then things began to swim into view. A hospital room, no surprise there, a smell of blood and antiseptic in his nostrils and then he realised it was him that was screaming.

It sounded wrong.

This was not his aged, croaking, earthy voice, it sounded like a cat or a girl. He wasn’t screaming though, he was startled, upset, but he was not making his mouth open or his lungs empty in that shrieking cacophony. He tried to lift his arms to stifle his mouth and they would not obey him, nothing would.

He felt himself lifted, as though he weighed nothing. The nurse seemed like a giantess, cartoonishly enormous, but even his eyes wouldn’t obey him as the world span and twisted about him. All was confusion, fear, vertigo as he tried to fathom what had happened to him. Had he become paralysed? Was he hallucinating? Were these the tortures of some hell that he had never believed in? The visions of a dying man.

The room span and twisted again and the vision changed. A young woman, holding him in her arms, but who was she? It took him a moment, a long moment, racking his memory until he recognised his mother. Not as the old woman, light as a bird in his arms as she gave her final breath, not as the fierce matron who had raised him after his father died, no. This was his mother as he’d never seen her, young, pretty, red-faced and sweaty, eyes out of focus from pain and drugs, cradling his tiny body against her bosom.

He was an infant again.

Or was he?

He couldn’t speak, he couldn’t move. All he could do was mutely watching from behind his own eyes through the cringing embarrassment of sucking his own mother’s tit, of shitting and pissing himself helplessly. He was trapped, imprisoned in his own body and he went mad.

He screamed against the walls of his consciousness, metaphorically tearing with his nails at the fleshy coffin in which he found himself, looking for a word, a twitch, anything that showed he was having any impact at all upon this body, this new and old life.

When the madness passed he tried to think. Was this reincarnation? Then why was he himself again? He’d been an artist, not a scientist, not a priest, not a philosopher. He’d heard people talk about space curving back in upon itself and space and time being one. Was that what had happened? Had time curved back upon itself as well? Was he some ghost of his former life playing back over itself again, an echo? There was nobody he could ask, he couldn’t speak. All he could do was stare out through his own eyes and listen through his own ears when something was seen or said that had some bearing on his situation, though that was still limited to the things known in his lifetime.

There were no answers to be had.

A black depression descended as his life unfolded before him. Every mistake, every glory coming into being with relentless predictability. Every mistake he’d ever regretted, every triumph he’d ever had. The missteps anticipated and dreaded, the wonders dulled by repetition.

He felt the tarmac under his knees as, broken hearted, he cried in the street.

He cursed himself as a clumsy fool as his fumbling teenage self haltingly tried to make love.

He scowled from behind his own face at the mawkish grins and self congratulation at the birth of his son, who would later hate him.

He shook his head in resignation as he saw his marriage collapse through his own, ill-considered affairs, dulled by drink and mediocrity as he sought sensation and freedom.

Then the worst came. He felt his body grow feeble, ill, old. He felt the tremors come, the cough and the blood. His eighty years had come and gone for the second time while he watched it fly past, a mute and imprisoned spectator. Now he could barely see, barely hear, his prison was beginning to crumble around him as the sound of the softly beeping machines and the flicker of the fluorescent lights faded out.

Perhaps now, perhaps this time, he’d finally be free.

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Hello everyone.

I’ve been heavily involved with the Red Phone Box¬†collaborative¬†novel that has been organised by the delightful Salome Jones and which will include a story by Warren Ellis amongst a whole fistful of other authors, including myself.

We’re getting closer to the publication date now and you can get on the pre-order list. So please do!

It’s a whole bunch of stories of the weird and the strange, all situated around a particular red phone box that seems to be a juncture in space, time – and mind.

Pre-order information is HERE

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