Monday, June 26, 2006

How I had entered the blue realm I could not explain - at first. I was dizzy and had no memory. But it all gradually returned to me. The world would end in a matter of days, and all the scientists were put to work in a frantic, desperate, and futile effort to conquer time as a means of escape. We expected it to be about as effective as "duck and cover" had been - but embraced it as our last straw of hope. My experiments with light diffraction had ejected me from that reality, and transplanted me into another. I wandered, confined in a spectrum of blue, kept company by those incomprehensible beings, childlike in appearance and inaccessible in attitude. None taller than the heights of preadolescence. I studied their features, saw the innocent faces of youth transplanted onto something ancient, heard them speaking in whispers, rushing about, soft footsteps indistinguishable from the whispers. Occasionally they stopped to glance into one of the glowing, mushroom-shaped fixtures that seemed to show them something. The beings appeared genderless to me, some hybrid beyond the distinction of male and female, but I had no way to be certain. Had I found the future? I tried speaking to a being who glided near me.

"Where? Where is this?"

The being began its vocalizations of which I could recognize only isolated syllables: ".....slowly.....understand.......the last day......"

It was like a voice heard on a radio tuned side to side, never quite finding the center of the signal. I tried bending the words into some coherent meaning, but my puzzlement must have signaled to the being that I could not understand.

"........echo........destruction........" I heard said to me, then the being gave a slight shrug, and rushed away towards the nearest mushroom of strange, non-organic origin.

I watched as the being peered into the fixture, and felt intensely eyes unseen trained upon me. Suddenly the meaning of what had been said to me surged into my memory. I had been transmitted as an echo to this distant era, a time in which intellect was relatively advanced. I was like a child to them and could therefore understand only fragments of what they told me, as a three year old might understand the ideas of an adult. But now, as the being projected its own intelligence onto mine, it became lucid, clear as a starless galaxy: how the world might still be rescued.

The figure straightened, then turned towards me with a gesture of farewell:

"Return now, return to your time, and rescue our future."

For some reason, at the utterance of "future" I glanced at my watch, but the glance lingered into a stare. I saw that the second hand was moving backwards, and with the intellect of those beings still projected upon me, I understood that I was at a point so far into the distant past, that it merged with the future.

Story #363

All stories will be reposted at Thanks for all the contributions!

Original post:

So now things are back to "normal": Fridays I will post a photo and Mondays I will post my story, and between Friday and Monday I'll suffer greatly wondering whatever it is that story might be.

Also, I may post something during the week telling about cool things I've found in the Internet. Like, here's a place where you can download every avant garde film and sound recording ever made or this blog offers intelligent discussions on the golden age of radio, recalling the classic moments from a modern perspective, and exploring issues in the writing and conception of radio plays as art. Stuff like that.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Margot was daydreaming when she ran into a solid brick wall, alcoved out of a fixture of stone. She seated herself in the unyielding impression, wondering what had become of her daydream. She waited and listened and heard but the limbo of a wind, caught between the border of an exhale -- and an inhale. Unseeable friends from childhood times paraded by the place she rested: lavender dwarves in floppy red hats, kangaroos in sloshy old boots, juggling ice cubes that melted as they spun, pink kittens waving their jolly claws at her. These were the amiable apparitions she thought she should imagine. Unable to cast shadows or echo the light, they obliged as best they could, and when she closed her eyes quickly, she was certain she could see their afterimage.

Story #362

To all my regular visitors (and new ones): Sorry for posting this story on Sunday, when I promised Saturday. The part of me that makes up these stories wasn't being cooperative. For the new phase of the blog, following the initial offensive of 360 stories I have some questions for all of you:
1) Which day of the week is best for weekly posts?
2) Would it be bad if I posted my story first, and anyone (who wanted to) contributed their own story afterwards, instead of in reverse, as we have been doing?
3) A list of two questions seems somewhat meager, so what question did I forget?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Breakfast Time!

The Belle of the Brawl, Sar, had me over for breakfast at her place, and said I could bring a few friends, so drop what you're eating and stop by! P.S. I intend to post the next story by Saturday - even though it hasn't been written yet.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Kuhle Wampe

My thanks go to E. J. Campfield who generously shared the text included below. It is his translation of a key scene from the German film Kuhle Wampe (1932), English title: To Whom Does the World Belong? cowritten by Bertolt Brecht, Slatan Dudow and Ernst Ottwald. Please note: This translation is under copyright, so if you do wish to reference it elsewhere, please do so with proper credit / permissions.

[The topic of the discussion in this scene starts out as a rant over a newspaper article reporting the destruction of South American coffee for the purposes of price-fixing.]

MAN IN OVERCOAT explains his viewpoint to a FAT BALD MAN

You see, we don't need all that coffee. We Germans are a frugal people. The point is, we have to make ourselves independent of foreign countries. We need to grow our own coffee here in Germany, you see. Instead of producing so much wine in the Rhineland, we should be growing coffee! You see? We could buy the wine from France. And then there'd be peace in Europe, you see!?

The Fat Bald Man misses the unintentional humor in this.

Yeah, but the two of us, we're never going to change the world.

That's right... You two won't change the world.

A close angle on Kurt.

And that lady there...

A close angle on the Woman with Coral Necklace.

...She won't change it either. And that man...

Close angle on Old Man with Glasses, sleeping.

...he won't either...

Close angle on Kurt.

...much less...

Close angle on Man with White Hat.

...a politically apathetic guy like you -- not ever.

Close angle on Kurt.

And this gentleman here...

Close angle on obviously Well-To-Do Man.

...he won't be changing the world either. You all like it too much the way it is.

(each word boldly, antagonizing) And just who is going to change it?

A very close angle on Alice.

(boldly, separating each word) Those who don't like it the way it is!


Happy belated birthday to Alice!!! of, one of the most politically conscious bloggers I know, not only at but also at Teambio and about Darfur. I honestly think she will change the world. Really, Alice, you didn't think all I was going to do was send you a lousy e-mail, did you? Happy 21st! (Note: The girl in this scene was originally called Gerda, but that's poetic license for you.)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Nefi saw pyramids everywhere she walked. Big ones, small ones, square ones. Such was her power of fancy. She'd turn to a tree to find a goddess in stone, pause at street corner temples to bow to high priests in somber robes, follow the shadows of ancient cats thousands of lives old. On paper she doodled hieroglyphic graffiti while persons queried her in pharaohic tones. She'd glance up suddenly to marvel at scarabs and ankhs dangling on golden chains those mummies wore.

"Why do you see these things?" - they'd say to her then - "All that is over. All that is gone."

She answered, "Yes, I know it's only office buildings and billboards and plastic before me, but -" and then she hesitated.


"But I'm quite willing to share with you everything I see."

"We'd like that," relief, surrender, hope in three syllables.

"All right," she said as she smiled, "Just step back, look behind me - and tell me what color the sphinx is..."

Story #361

As always all story contributions (see comments) will be reposted at Indeterminacies, along with a link to the contributor. This story has a vague relation to the story which began the blog.

Postscript: Thanks everyone for all the stories and captions! I've enjoyed the time off - I pretty much ignored my blog the entire four weeks. Today's a busy day at work. I'll read all stories on the way home and comment on them tonight!