Friday, March 31, 2006

It's safe to get back into the shower! The amazing Inspector Poirot has solved the mystery, so we can all rest easier knowing what really happened to Little Bar of Soap. Incidentally, this has to be the most impressive post I've read in ages, I'm talking on a divine level, seriously (and no, I'm not Poirot).

I am also going to end my period of mourning and start posting again. Tonight I will post a photo for the weekend, for another round of weekend stories. I hope all of you regulars and not yet regulars will have time to contribute stories!

Postscript: According to blogger, this is my 400th post! Of these posts, 349 have been stories in the Indeterminacy series. I began this blog in mid-August, 2004. Some incidental synchronicity: today was the day of Dddragon's 350th post. I wonder if this is a sign...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I think there will soon be a breakthrough in the mysterious case of Little Bar of Soap. Apparently there is subliminal evidence hidden at the Barofsoap Website. But I am just a layman at this, so I am waiting for Inspector Poirot's opinion.

Meanwhile, I have studied the photos I downloaded on the night of the Bar of Soap tragedy (March 22/23) and have discovered several suspicious irregularities. These are in the form of highly disturbing images, images of soap orgies, bathers in various stages of soapiness, boys and girls frolicking in sud-filled tubs, etc. I am turning these images over to Inspector Poirot in the hopes that they may shed more light on the set of circumstances surrounding this strange case.

The first one of these photos depicts a blob of soap suds in a hot tub. These suds are in a form that suspiciously matches the physique of Little Bar of Soap, as it has been described in happier days at her blog. Notice the callous, grinning smiles on the faces of the bathers, and try not to shudder. It is very distressing to think of Little Bar of Soap having ended this way.

The second photograph I downloaded on the night of the murder depicts a lather orgie, such as would certainly have made Little Bar of Soap faint, had she lived to witness it. I find it difficult to look at this picture for more than a few seconds. The inhumanity of it is more than I can bear.

The final photograph of soapy abandon is this especially shocking image of boys and girls together in a pool of soap suds. I do not like to think of what happened next for fear of sullying the memory of our beloved Bar of Soap, who is no longer here to tell the Devil to get thee the hell out of me.

Looking at all three of these horrific images, I relive the entire shock of Little Bar of Soap leaving us, whether she left us forcibly or of her own free will. But I trust that each of us, in our own way will finally come to terms with the horror of it, and find some way to go on living. For indeed, life goes on, even without soap.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I have been extremely distraught since learning that A Little Bar of Soap has "died in her home", as posted at her blog. The shock has left me unable to write, which is why I did not post a story today. But it now seems that there is more to this than meets the eye. Could LBOS have been murdered? Is she still alive? Or worse? An international investigation is now underway by Inspector Poirot and a team of Miss Americas and psychics to uncover the details of this horrible crime and apprehend the perpetrator(s). Suspects have already been interrogated at their blogs, and I suppose we will soon learn what has happened. Agatha Christie is a great writer.

I wish to assist Poirot with the investigation and have therefore minutely examined the obituary notice. This examination has uncovered various discrepancies.

If you look closely at the obituary newspaper, you see print in the background. This would obviously be the article on the other side of the page. If you look closer, however, you see that this print is not mirrored as one would expect and that it furthermore spells nothing but gibberish. I have circled what is clearly the letter "C" which is not backwards as it should be.

If this were a legitimate scan of a newspaper, this lettering we see in the background would have to have been reversed, and would have to form recognizable text, which it does not.

An investigation of the newspapers of Topeka, Kansas turns up further discrepancies. There are two newspapers in Topeka. The main one, "The Topeka Capital-Journal", uses block print and not the gothic lettering of the forgery. Here are variations of that newspaper's logo:

The other Topeka newspaper is "The Topeka Metro News" - an independent newspaper which emphasizes the Metro News in its title, and also uses a different lettering.

It goes without saying that Little Bar of Soap would not be caught dead in an Independent Newspaper.

I find no similarity in the "newspaper" of the alleged "obituary" to any existing Topeka, Kansas newspaper. Furthermore there is no "Evangelical Church of Christ" listed in Topeka, Kansas - the church where the supposed services have been held. Nor is there a "Reverend Arthur Schutz" (0 hits in Google).

Taken together, this proves conclusively that the obituary is a cheap fake, as is the memorial service. If these were expensive fakes, someone should demand a refund. All of this gives me the hope that I may one day be able to write again.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

To hold you over until the next story, I have made a repost of last Tuesday's story, the Girl at the Blackboard, because there were two really great story contributions and I want everyone to be able see them. The first story is from GPV and the second contribution was anonymous, but wonderfully written, and strangely erotic, as well.

You may read the stories here. Note to anonymous: please tell us who you are. I would love to read more of your writing.

This raises a disharmonic point that I have to clear up. During the course of the blog, I've always reposted the weekend stories, but occasional contributions lay scattered throughout the weekday stories. I don't want these to be lost, so I intend on locating them all and reposting them at Indeterminacies.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The metropolis: a smothering jumble of towering facades, sullied air and noise. There I was, trudging through it when I wondered how pleasant it would be if it were a peaceful Japanese meadow instead. In the honk of a city horn, my entire field of vision blurred and I was strolling through just such a land, but it was considerably more elaborate than I had expected. In the distance loomed a massive volcano, and across the grassy plains loitered a modern Japanese maiden, giggling mysteriously at something. At me? At the mountain? Or some secret? She stopped and fixed her gaze in my direction.

"Why are you dressed in pink?" I asked her.

"My clothes were blue a moment ago." she stated enigmatically, and giggled again.

The sky was blue, but her clothes certainly weren't. I decided not to press the matter, choosing instead to engage a new subject, "Could you tell me about that volcano in the distance?"

But she continued giggling and finally answered not the question I had asked, but the one I was actually thinking of, "I'm not really a Japanese girl, I'm that cloud over there.

I took this as slightly presumptuous. After all, this was my day dream, and not hers. I looked at the cumulus formation drifting high by the mountain's peak, and wondered if the volcano itself might have puffed it into existence. It looked to me like a sage poring over an ancient volume, a dictionary perhaps. But not a young Japanese girl! More giggles.

"April fool!" she exclaimed, causing my thoughts to trip backwards and fall flat, if thoughts are capable of such a thing. "I'm not really that cloud over there, I'm Doug, Doug! Don't you know me? You do recognize me, don't you?"

Then I did recognize him, and that we were standing on a Los Angeles street corner, waiting for the light to change. "What an odd happenstance, meeting you here," I told him," I heard you were down in Guatemala."

"Oh, no. Not anymore. I came back."

Then the light flashed green and he was off before I could ask the most important question. I called urgently into the moving masses, "Did you find Ambrose Bierce!?" but not a single person looked up.

And that's how I met Doug. But when I was home something happened to make me wonder whether I had simply imagined my imaginings. I recalled quite lucidly that I had never in my life been to Los Angeles, nor had I ever seen Doug or spoken with him in person.

Story #349

Afterword: I suppose there are some people who have never heard of Ambrose Bierce or Doug Pascover, who blogs impeccable modern-day versions of the Devil's Dictionary entries. Bierce, author of the original Devil's Dictionary disappeared in Mexico in 1913. It is my opinion that Doug doesn't need to search for Ambrose Bierce. He's already found him. Doug has recently posted a five part account of his travels in Guatemala, a wonderful excursion into the real and the imaginary, which were the inspiration for this story. It's well worth reading/listening to: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. Also, these and more of Doug's audio stories are collected at

Story contributions have been reposted at

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Class, last night I finished grading the animals you all built. But there were mishaps and I think we need to discuss them before I return the assignments. Clara, your animal was huffing and grunting continuously, and ran everywhere licking things! I finally had to lock it in the cellar, where it went on licking - the entire night! Too much reflex, no reflection. Please pay more attention next time! Douglas, your animal began running around in circles. Then it started jumping and tumbling about until finally smashing through the window and thumping into a neighbor's house. We must be extremely cautious about the amount of adrenalin we add to the mix! Mistakes like these make our animal very hard to subdue. Ben and Bela, I'm afraid it was all I could do to keep your animals apart. At first sight they wrapped limbs and rolled here and there, and off into the sunset. Quite a sunset hanging over the road by my house, and they rolled right into it. Next time don't use parts from the same dish. They instinctively try to reunite. Harvey, your animal just lay there. Please try harder next time. The rest of you, I finally had to lock your animals in separate closets to keep them from acting out their lust instincts. Some did, however, manage to burrow out and vanish to parts unknown. Please keep an eye on the newspapers and blogs these weeks for anything unusual.

So, due to the loss of a large portion of our animals and the time we will lose correcting the ones that did not get away, we must double up in teams. I will assign boy-girl project teams at the end of today's session. Also, I'm afraid we will have to omit material due to the time lost. In particular I've decided to dispense with the lecture on how to build sexual organs. We simply do not have the resources to deal with further complications.

For the next session I would like you to add a digestive system to your animals, which will enable them to absorb nourishment, and hence, enjoy an extended life span. After that, we'll work through emotional fine-tuning, and, in the concluding session, learn how to decorate our animals. Despite the glitches up to now, I feel you will soon arrive at the point where you may take your destiny into your own hands and create animals whenever you like.

Story #348

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The first time Agnes used sunglasses was at a late-night party. Usually she felt stiff and uneasy when the shades were passed around and slipped over the eyes, but now she felt a strange thrill of attraction. Misgivings dashed aside, she thrust her face into the hug of the ebony arms, pressed the frame into her vision. Her eyes darted excitedly about through dark fields blackly lit with moving blurs and distant voices. She swam in echoes of music, sensed dancing figures around her, glided in and out among the traversers she saw, seeking hands, grasping and tracing her fingers in outlines of the bodily shapes they offered. Her lips slid against lips and her tongue sought the caress of the other tongue. Long it lasted, as she molded herself to form after form in unlit encounter, each inhalation intensifying the nearness. The taste of man and woman alike filled her perceptions. As her lips quivered in exhaustion she tumbled, landing on the soft cushions of a sofa. She removed the glasses, turned her head about to notice the remainder of the party standing stunned, their eyes on her, awestruck, all of them, at her dance with the shadows reflected on the wall.

Story #347

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Manuela stood staring at the blackboard. Should she write out her love for him? It was the chance, the perfect chance to proclaim for all and him the feelings in her heart, ready to ignite in wild, cyclonic emotion. She grasped the chalk in her fingers, twirling the dry cylinder to feel the transference of surface. If he were this piece of chalk, I would reduce him to dust with my kiss, to fine, white dust, and immerse myself in him. With one puff I would totter him into a cloud of manly chaos, ready to erupt in a geyser of passion to my cyclone. Her fingernails scratched the chalk, causing snow-like flakes to scatter to the floor. I have so much to tell you, she told him in thoughts, imagining his reaction. About us. All about us. Yes, I will tell you. And how I will tell you!

"Go on," the teacher admonished. "It shouldn't take that long."

"I was just thinking," she said. "I'm not sure of all the words." The tip of the chalk met the blackboard, and she wrote out the first lesson: "- Wie ist das Wetter? - Das Wetter ist schön."

Story #346

Postscript: While I'm at it, I think I will dedicate this story to

There were two great reader contributions to this story, so I decided to repost them at

Monday, March 20, 2006

In a tersely worded announcement, "Coming to a shore near you!" the aliens declared their arrival. It worked better than any advertising slogan known to man. And why not? These were superior beings who knew how to sell a product, e.g. their flyover. Everyone turned out for a look. Despite the rush, no one was trampled in the massive conglomerate of humanity that collected on sea, lake and river shores all over the world - though a few were mistakenly baptized in the glowing water. The alien vessels traced a leisurely levitation along the shores - so slow you could see the beings standing at the portals, shadows waving with stilt-like arms to those down below. Of course the people on ground waved excitedly back. How happy they all were! Until they returned home and saw that their computers and televisions were gone, whisked away into outer space. It was amazing how fast civilization collapsed after that.

Story #345

Thanks to everyone who contributed! It turned into an interesting set of perspectives, though all of the stories had something spectacular, apocolyptic etc. as an underlying theme. All contributions have been reposted at

Monday, March 13, 2006

There are some who believe our world is nothing more than a huge pumpkin carted around the universe by an even larger girl-like deity. They believe further that the universe itself is an infinite maze of supermarket aisles and shelves, each item on the shelves a world of its own. How could anyone prove that one way or the other? You might enjoy endless night-time hours of pumpkin pie and coffee, philosophizing with your friends about it, and never reach a satisfactory conclusion. And when the pie and coffee ran out, you'd have to go to the supermarket and buy some more. That's what happened to Eugene following an especially intense debate on these matters of deeper magnitude. He wandered off, slightly unbalanced, to arrange for a continuation of caffeinated drinks and bites of pie. When the girl with the pumpkin idled into his path, he bowed humbly before her and offered her his grocery cart.

Story #344

These stories have all been reposted at Also: read Mushroom's story. It's impressive.

Postscript: I've published a new translation of a remarkable Tucholsky text, called "What If..." at the Tucholsky blog.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sophie's eyes and Troy's eyes never met when they saw each other. Troy looked at Sophie, admired her hair resting on the shoulders, hair of dark auburn he wanted to touch, admired the arch of her back beneath the clothes. But Sophie wasn't looking visibly, though she may have smiled. She may have known, even felt the thoughts of Troy. Troy dreamed, gaze unfocused, wishing wishes of Sophie. Sophie felt his eyes gone elsewhere, drifting to his dream distraction. Then she studied him, admired angular shoulders, hands to grasp her, wistful wonderings of a kiss she herself might borrow from his lips, then wondering more, ending when the bus came to speed her away. Close behind came Troy's to carry him off. Two dreams dispersing like the tide from a shore - until tomorrow.

Story #343

Note from Indeterminacy: Virustwitch has posted an excellent story at Another Galaxy!

Further footnote: This story was written while listening to Nico's "Chelsea Girl" (1968).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today is International Women's Day! So to all of my visitors who are women, I wish you a very happy time today! You're all invited over to my place, and I'll sit you down on the couch and bring you a fresh cup of cappuccino and some conversation.

My post on the Indeterminacy Girls has been accepted in the Tenth Feminist Carnival How does that happen, you ask? The answer is, I hid my beard. Stop by there and have a look at the great content they've collected.

Now I'd like to share something cool I've come across with you. It's called, an offbeat and interesting place to find music, films, movies and people that might be on your wavelength. I signed up there a few days ago and already got a few messages including one from this intriguing lady: Mela. She has just begun a series of podcasts she's entitled Melafestos. Her regular blog is here. All I can say is I think it would be fun to start a revolution with her.

Postscript: This has been a wonderful day with lots of synchronicity in the air, so I thought I would add this. I came across a newborn blog, and I have a feeling it might be worth keeping an eye on! An Altered State of Consciousness

Monday, March 06, 2006

"That ought to be an easy picture to write to," I thought to myself as I pulled the photo out of my directory of stand-bys. It depicted three persons on top of the Empire State Building, a man pointing out at something, and two girls, one staring off to the side - but not at the view, and one staring straight and somewhat impertinently into the camera.

Sunday night came, then Monday, and still no story. Sure, I'd written stuff down, but it was, all of it, lame: some nonsense about spirits of concrete having to leave their building after it had been demolished, then deciding which high-rise to move into next. Who would believe such a thing? I thought of writing a story about how hard it is to write a story, but I remembered from a writing class that this was the one topic authors should avoid. Nobody wants to read stories about how hard it is to write. Besides, I'd done one of those already. So you see the torment of my dilemma.

Monday drew to an end, and still no story. The worries pursued me into my sleep. My ideas formed into lame, limping gremlins parading before me, sticking their tongues out as they passed. Then I was falling, tumbling endlessly through dusty urban air. I looked above and saw faces everywhere peering from the rooftops, pointing and leering as I toppled. When I awoke I knew what had to be done: slip into that photo and find out what those people were really up to.

I merged into the scene from behind the camera, and stood off to one side, so as not to disturb the harmony of the actual photograph. But it went badly. The transition unsteadied me, causing me to slip and bump my head against the tourist telescope. The loud bong attracted her attention. She looked straight at me, smiling at some secret idea. My head turned to her like a magnet and I was so stunned even my thoughts were stuttering.

"Say, you two," she called to her friends, her captivating gaze never leaving me once, "Who says we have to possess a building? Let's possess him."

Story #342

The contributions have all been reposted at

Original post: Should I try for five stories next week, or switch to three a week? Do the stories turn out better if there's more time between them? Does it make it easier to follow the blog if posts aren't as frequent? Was it better when I was posting a story a day, seven days a week?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Artie went out looking for the snowman he remembered building the night before. He pulled the scarf over his face as the blast of constricting coldness slapped him like dry ice onto a thaw. Never had he known it so cold. As he forced his eyes to turn in the slicing wind he felt his frozen breath adhere to his pupils, blurring his vision. He blinked slowly, holding his eyes shut long enough to unfreeze the oval surfaces. When he opened them again he saw the girl. A girl in the snow. In a bikini.

"What are you doing in that bikini?" he uttered in puzzlement to the smiling beauty in snow.

"I'm not wearing a bikini," she giggled through a grin flexing from slight to wide as if to tease with its warmness - by no means were her lips frozen.

"I don't understand," he spoke in baffled whispers to himself, "A moment ago I was in the house, drinking hot chocolate, looking out at the summer season. But the night before I'd built a snow man..." None of it fit. None of it made sense, and he knew it.

She smiled livelier than before, as if humoring him. His world wobbled. With trembling tongue and shivering lips he parried frozen words at her, "Icicles entwine you! Snowballs untan you! Coldness upon your feet!" but the syllables failed their affect. He didn't know why he'd said it all.

"I love crystallized speech! Give me more of those candies!" she cooed.

His vision clouded again and he saw snowflakes before his eyes. When he came to he perceived that he was stiff, stiff and standing in the snow, arms weighted by his side, eyes fixed on the feminine apparition in the snow.

"You're confused," she told Artie. "Your mind's wandering. You babble on about walking around in that house. And summer. And bikinis. Then you act as if you never saw me before. What's gotten into you? You're a snowman, Artie, and don't forget it. And I'm a snowgirl. Snuggle up to me Artie, and cherish the cold."

Story #341

Check out Will Brady's story for the photo!