Author Topic: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS  (Read 10723 times)

Lies

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #90 on: September 30, 2010, 05:40:30 pm »
All very great stuff here.

Just as an FYI RE: my stuff, if you can see the artwork as being somehow usable in greyscale, go for it, otherwise, don't worry about it, hopefully those other two rants I posted should be good enough for what you're after.
Standing above the crowd,
He had a voice that was strong and loud and I
Swallowed his facade cuz I'm so
Eager to identify with
Someone above the ground,
Someone who seemed to feel the same,
Someone prepared to lead the way, and
Someone who would die for me.

Will you? Will you now?
Would you die for me?
Don't you fuckin lie.

Cramulus

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #91 on: September 30, 2010, 05:41:11 pm »
and also, submitting The Showdown: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26944637/The-Showdown

in the next few days, I'll have a copy on my blog which is easier to C&P from


edit to add: voila! http://cramul.us/2010/10/the-showdown/
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 03:56:15 pm by Cramulus »

Adios

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #92 on: September 30, 2010, 05:44:16 pm »
and also, submitting The Showdown: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26944637/The-Showdown

in the next few days, I'll have a copy on my blog which is easier to C&P from

I love your stuff from cramul.us too!

Doktor Howl

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #93 on: September 30, 2010, 06:14:06 pm »
Ever notice that even paleontologists get everything wrong?  I once read an article on Neanderthal man, and the scientists expressed puzzlement of why Neanderthals hog-tied their dead upon burial...a question that could easily be answered by anyone who has ever seen a George Romero film.  Oog the caveman falls over in a catatonic fit, the other cavemen figure he’s dead, and buries him.  Then he wakes up, walks out of the sacred burial cave, and gets stabbed about 30 times, tied up, and jammed back in his hole.  Cavemen probably took the idea of the walking dead very seriously.  If they’d been more serious about dealing with those uppity Homo sapiens, instead of fucking off making cave paintings, they’d probably run the joint today.  But they didn’t, so we killed them and ate them.

I’m The Good Reverend Roger, and there’s nothing I like as much as Monkey Sandwich.

Now, there’s no reason to believe that paleontologists will be any smarter in the future, either.  When they dig up our remains a few thousand years from now, they’ll wonder why we used such big goddamn boxes to bury our dead.  That’s because, of course, they’ll be looking at the dried and crusty skeletons or dust outlines, not the huge mounds of blubber that we shoehorned into the casket with a hydraulic jack.

Yes, the sad fact of the matter is that the sum total of 3 billion years of evolution is a morbidly obese Wal-Mart customer riding a Rascal scooter with an oxygen bottle underneath that fat thing they have drooping between their ankles.  Eventually, we’ll have to bury these people, and the joke will be on archeologists, and we can take comfort in the fact that they’ll screw it up as bad as we probably screwed up the whole Egypt thing.

Fact is, our engineering skills have outraced our brains.  We CAN build an atomic bomb, so why the hell not?  For the lulz!  Also, shitty addictive food, television, and other Pink-taming drugs.  Our species should have an epitaph, when we finally wheeze off stage left, and that epitaph should be:  “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Or Kill me.
If you listen to nothing else I ever tell you, listen to this:  Never run a mirror through a scanner.

Payne

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #94 on: September 30, 2010, 06:37:04 pm »
Quote
I have seen your smile. I've seen it before on many faces and in many places.

It's the kind of smile that involves mostly teeth. The lips, usually more given to a plump and fleshy arch, resemble a rictus. Hold firm, that you do not allow movement to cause irreprable damage to your facade.

It's the kind of smile that never truly reaches the eyes, at least not in the unconscious sense of muscles arranging themselves like so many eels over the orb of hardened and largely dead bone we entrust the day to day safety of our brains to. No. If it reaches the eyes, it's by more malevolent and rationalised ways.

It's that kind of expression you will see on the hedge fund manager's secretary as her boss opens the window, 24 floors up, and prepares himself for the final crash. And she wills the bastard tyrant on with a will bordering on the physical. It's the kind of shit Goya used to paint on his walls, but seen from the other side.

People will see it and hurry by. They will take the superficial politeness and avoid looking deeper. There are things, Sally-Me-Lass, things under that rippled surface that man was not supposed to have knowledge of. And sure, you can hold that smile for a day. For a week. For a month. But it will end. Something will crack it, and the sheer horror of the collapse will unleash something terrible and dark from behind your brain cage. From behind even your brain. From somewhere so deep that imagination is enough to cause you vertigo.

The witnesses will talk e'ermore about the laughter, Sally-Me-Lass. And they will shudder as they contemplate the depths from which it rose. They'll buy a ticket to anywhere. Perhaps to Tucson...

Payne

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #95 on: September 30, 2010, 06:52:45 pm »
You think that's gravity, do you? No son, that's the world sucking so hard that you're stuck to it like that bit of paper that clogs up the pointy end of your vacuum cleaner. This world is just so much busting your back cleaning a filthy manky house, top to bottom, just to find some fat ass parked in front of the television watching "How Clean Is Your House?" or "Grimefighters". They turn to you and say "See? It could be worse, right!" and you know as soon as your back is turned you're going to have to clean the god damn place again.

And then again. Forever.

Except it won't be forever. It'll just feel like it. No son, it's more like 80 years, give or take a few. In that time you'll be born, grow up, grow up some more, grow up some more (it takes a while, you just never notice how long it REALLY takes), do some menial factory schooling where you learn what it takes to "get by" in this world from school yard bullies to classroom bullies to bullies who you MUST tack a Mr. or Mrs. to the front of their name, then you go out and get yourself some menial factory job (possibly in a menial factory, but just as possible are Graphic Designer, Insurance Salesman or Postal Delivery Operative. All this and MORE could be yours for just 200 hours a month!) and then you stop working. And then you die. I mean, it could be worse, right? This is the plan people! Stick to the god damn plan!

Ah yes, the plan.

Now some would have you believe you are an oppressed minority. Some would have you believe you are the silent majority. They'd sell you your own dreams back to you to make a buck and make a name for themselves and all that Hollywood crap. I know you know the type. I know you have never been suckered by them. NEVER. You're too smart for that shit, right? Okay, so sometimes you have to fall back onto ideology, but everyone does that so it can't be all that bad. And sometimes you HAVE to decide between two evils, but hey that's just how the world is! So we're left here with imperfect people running imperfect Governments presiding over imperfect nations and spreading their shit around so that everyone who doesn't matter can take a bite, but it could be worse, am I right? LEMME HEAR AN 'ALLELUIA!

Praise the motherfucking Lord, asshole. Praise him, or sooooo help you God.

Now, I have no beef with God. He ain't never done nothing to me, and as long as it stays that way, we're solid. I DO have a problem with his lunatics though. Fuckers all up in my face leaving mental graffiti with their spiritual spray paint. You know, the kind of assbag who has no problem telling a newly bereaved mother that her child is going to hell. But hey, they have their free speech too! Too fucking right they do, but so do you Son and I ain't never seen you tear a strip out of this self righteous prick. So they've never actually tried to come and intimidate, cajole, harass and brainwash you and yours. They've never tried to bring hell upon you to show you the error of your ways. No sir, that's always one country, one state, one county, one town, one street over. If it's happening to other people, it could be worse, right? I mean the fuckers, if they had their way, wouldn't even let you know about gravity. They'd have you believe a tiny angel was holding you down or some shit. They'd never let you believe it was the world sucking so hard.

And so I leave you with some thoughts:

Play as hard as you can, work as little as possible to make it happen.

People in positions of power, believe in their power. You don't always have to.

Idealism before Ideology. If you think the world can be a better place DO something about it. Don't consult the fucking manual.

When you have a choice between 50 flavours of shit sandwich, that's not freedom. That's 50 flavours of shit, and everyone will demand you take a bite. Pack your own sandwiches.

You will never be able to defy gravity (that's how much the world sucks). You can however defy your own expectations, but only if you're willing to face up to the illusions they really are.

Dysfunctional Cunt

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #96 on: September 30, 2010, 07:15:53 pm »
I am so tired of the excuses the world is giving people today for what is really their own stupid bullshit.  Adults are obese because fast food restaurants sell fattening food.  Children are obese because of video games.  Why are they no longer just plain fat and they sit on their asses too much.  Instead of putting down that double quarter pounder and super size fries and walking around the block a time or two, they blame advertising and the world.  Parents don’t make their kids go outside to play, they sit on their ass, eat cheetos and play the fucking game.

People are no longer retarded, they are challenged or special or we have come up with a myriad of names for their various diseases.  Children are no longer mouthy little shits who need a good swat on the ass; they have ODD (oppositional defiance disorder).  They tried to tell me my son had this, after being grounded for almost a year and getting a few harsh lessons in how to respect ones elders, he was miraculously cured.

Now we have everyone saying that the economy and the “bad” neighborhoods and the gangs are turning our youth into thugs or killers or whatever word they decide to use.  My question is this, WHY THE FUCK are these kids out on the fucking street at 2 in the morning with guns to begin with?  Where are these kid’s parents?  Why didn’t they take some parental control? 

This generation has done nothing but give excuses for things which used to be unacceptable.  Things for which every effort was made to change them.  Now we don’t make people change, we just give them a name for whatever fuck up thing they have ALLOWED themselves to become.  I’m fat, it’s my fault.  I know that krispy kremes make me fat, I still ate them.  So instead of blaming anyone but myself, I stopped eating all the bullshit and lost a hundred pounds.  Without Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or any other bullshit.  It’s called self control. 

I live in the crappiest neighborhood in the inner city of St. Louis.  My kid is not out on the streets at 2 am with a gun, because I took control of that as well.

It’s time we started making people take responsibility for their own fuck ups and quit giving them excuses or naming their issue and making it a disease, disorder or issue!

Until we do, when we wonder why the world is in such a shit fuck state, give it a week, they’ll come up with a name for that!


Dysfunctional Cunt

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #97 on: September 30, 2010, 07:33:39 pm »
Quote
It really wasn’t that hard to figure out.  It is one of those things that is so glaringly obvious you just keep on missing it until it smacks you upside the head.

What is this jewel of wisdom you ask….  It is very simple…..

Nothing will make them happy.

You know who they are.  There is one or sometimes a few in every type of group you can possibly conceive.  And because of them, there will never be a simple solution to anything.  Why?  Because there is always someone or some group which has to bitch just for the sake of bitching.  Those who will find one point out of thousands to nitpick until the whole project gets the shitcan because the arguing has cost more than the actual results would have.  And these people are everywhere.  You all know one or two personally.  You’ve all wanted to smack the shit out of them on more than on occasion

They say they want to be treated like everyone else.  They don’t.  It’s a lie.  They only say that so they look like they are trying to be cooperative.  They say that equality is essential.  They just don’t mention that it isn’t essential for everyone.

So now we come to the issue of, how the hell do you deal with people like this?  I have found a way that has been working for quite a while now.  You repeat back to them what they say and make sure you add “Just to clarify” or something along those lines.  For example, you present to the PTA a fundraising idea that could bring in a lot of money.  Requires no effort on the school’s part.  Just the selling of a few raffle tickets…  Of course Mrs. Fuckerupper in the front row raises the first objection. 

“I don’t think this will work, we’ve never done anything like this before. “

Your response would be….  “Let me clarify Mrs. Fuckerupper, because we’ve never done this before you don’t think this will work, and as a result of that thinking we should just shit can the whole raffle and not try and see how much we can raise.  Knowing that other schools in the district have raised $$$ amount?”

See what I mean?

My grandpa used to say “Some people would bitch if they were hung with a new rope”  It took me years to realize it didn’t mean they still should be hung no matter what kind of rope was used.

Dysfunctional Cunt

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #98 on: September 30, 2010, 07:51:28 pm »
I have to give him credit.  It took some serious nerve to do what he did.  I mean the man must have had balls of steel.  Especially on the spur of the moment the way it went down.  But in one fell swoop he pissed off every fucker in the neighborhood.  ONE FELL SWOOP!!

The call about this last prank came on Saturday, May 22nd.  It had started out like any other normal Saturday.  We all had a bit of a lie in.  Had gotten up, made breakfast for the monsters.  I find it’s best to stuff them good in the morning; it makes for a quieter day.  (Remember the Southern Belle rule of thumb; keep ‘em fat and happy).  Anyway, I’d just sat down with my coffee to smoke a cigarette when the phone rang with a withheld number.  I don’t answer those.  I figure if they really want me they can leave a message right?  Well, they did…..

I need to mention the cats.  There were 3 you see.  The officer who made “the call” said there was only one, but there were three.  The one went to the animal shelter.  Since no one believed me about the other two….  Well they were left in the condo. 

I couldn’t get a flight until Monday which was for the best since I had to board out the two youngest and every damn kennel in town was full so I pawned them off on my girlfriend.  We had a 4 hour layover in Dallas.  Who the fuck wants to hang out in Dallas for four fucking hours?  Eh, it is what it is right.  I bought some fire roasted habenero chili sauce for my boys.  We ate some lunch, walked around and around about 30 times. Then got on the flight to Florida.  It was completely uneventful and we landed 30 minutes early and had the added bonus of bullshitting around yet another airport.  My sister picked us up and we went to her house.

Now please note, at this point it has been about 48 hours since the call.  I am doing my damndest yet my phone has been blasting every 30 minutes or so with someone else wanting to know when I was going to be in Florida.  I never realized how popular the call was going to make me.

So early the next morning I drop off sis at work and kids at school.  Went back and picked up sis who took the day off and we set out for the condo.  I’ve been receiving calls since 7 that morning being told I needed a police escort to go into the condo, then the police telling me no, I didn’t.  It was a bit insane.

As we pulled into a parking spot, before the car was in park, the vultures descended.  Are you Michelle?  What are you going to do about the condo?  You know it has to be a health hazard.  You need to get that taken care of right away.  Not once did anyone ever say they were sorry for the loss or anything like that.  It was about this point when the decision was made to tell everyone I was sedated and not able to have a coherent conversation.  The tears pouring down my face and the shaking from the fear of having to walk into the condo and see what was left on the floor of my father helped a whole hell of a lot.

So we go in, sis covers up the kitchen floor with a drop cloth, I grab the insurance info and we start the great kitty hunt of 2010.  Cannot find a single cat.  So we leave.  The vultures are incensed.  What are you doing?  Aren’t you going to clean up the mess?  What about the smell?  That is definitely a health hazard.  I’m calling the management company.  You were supposed to get that cleaned up.

I just got into Dad’s car and we drove away.  I had a cleaning crew there first thing the next morning.  Well they were there at 6:30 but condo rules say no work until 8:00 so they left and came back because the vultures went crazy.  You can’t do any work here until 8:00 am.

Now these are the same people who are giving me total hell all this time and now they want the cleaning people to wait?  I’m glad I hadn’t found the guns yet.

So by Thursday you could go into the condo and the smell, while still there, was considerably better and you could handle it if you put a bit of Vicks beneath your nose. 

I’m packing what little is left that is salvageable.  The man really just survived since my mother died and barely at that.  He didn’t want to shoot himself, though he had enough firearms to do so with a variety of bullets, so he stopped all medication and started drinking.  Every day for what looks to be all day.  Hey it’s 12:00 somewhere right?  Leaving the empties behind, well that was just an added bonus.  Took us hours to get that shit thrown away.  We had to haul it ourselves because the vultures wouldn’t let us use the dumpster. 

MEOW…..  MEOW….  I fucking told them there were more cats.  We found JC, my daughter’s cat so named because her name is joy and it is her cat… JC get it? Yeah well she was 5 when she named her.  Cat is so damned fat she can’t do more than meander along.  Scared to death and starving.  So we take her to my sisters and get back to the condo.  Got everything moved into one spot to take with me and left.

Fun side note, my house in St. Louis was robbed at some point on Thursday.  They came in, grabbed my TV (32” plasma that Dad had bought me xmas of 08) and the surround sound system that came with it. 

Now here is a note.  Naples has a sushi buffet called the Blue Fish.  If you are ever down there YOU HAVE TO GO!!!  They have a cooked bar as well but the sushi was top notch and for $16.99 per person affordable as can be.  The green tea ice cream and the red bean ice cream were awesome too!!!  There you have my highlight of the trip.

So we head back on Friday to start packing because I originally planned to leave on Saturday.  Problem is, I’m still waiting on the crematorium.  They finally got me the box late Friday afternoon.  I didn’t get everything packed so I decided to leave early Sunday morning. 

MEOW….  MEOW….  MEOW….  There you go, I did mention there were THREE cats right?  I find my Hemingway Tango and her fur is so matted up she can barely walk.  I make appointments for both cats to have baths and for my Tango to be shaved the next day.

While the cats are being prettied up on Saturday morning, we go pack the car.  Now the vultures are wanting to look into the condo because they have a sick need to I guess.  Like driving by a terrible care accident and looking for blood.

Packed and closed up, we pick up the pampered kitties and head to my sisters.  Left the next morning.  We get to just south of Leesburg and we realize the kitties won’t use the litter box in the car.  So we stop at the Wal-Mart and buy a $3.00 leash so they can do their business outside.  Now this leash it attached to the cardboard backing with 7 zip tie things.  In the process of removing those….  Blood spurting, not stopping and getting a bit dizzy…..  YAY a trip to the Leesburg ER.  Leesburg, FL.  Home of the great civil war reenactment and ummmm they have an ER?  Can we all say redneck?

Four hours later back on the road and making decent time.  Didn’t get to my sister’s outside Nashville until 12:30, just a little late, but we got there and she had us set with good conversation and a soft bed.  I don’t remember ever sleeping as well.  Next morning we were seen off with a hearty breakfast and we were off.  Rain, rain and more rain but we made decent time and rolled into St. Louis about 2:00 pm.  Completely exhausted, but alive.

So here is to my dad.  It took nerve to die in your kitchen from a massive coronary and then not let anyone find your body for a week.  Turning off the air conditioning and shutting everything up.  Sweet move dude!  Having and entire community wanting to stone your daughter!  Sheer genius!  Cheers you cantankerous old bastard!

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #99 on: September 30, 2010, 07:56:04 pm »
Quote
Hey Dok, frankly I don’t give a ……..

Let’s talk about the south and the “southern belle”.  Many people see movies like “Fried Green Tomatoes” or “The Secret’s of the YaYa Sisterhood” and think that is what a modern southern belle is.  They couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The south doesn’t want their daughters raised like Scarlett, they want Melanie.  Sweet, gentile, compromising, forgiving, enabling, the very picture of southern grace and charm.

Grace and charm…… grace and charm…. sounds like cake ingredients doesn’t it?  A pinch of grace and a dash of charm and stir.  What are little girls made of?  Sugar and spice and everything nice?

And this, these ideas, these archaic beliefs that women are fragile and unable to stand up for themselves, that women are stupid.  Where do they come from?  Well we all know where they originated, problem is few people realize just how much they are continued in the south.  Yes even today. 

They teach you that you know.  In charm school.  And yes it is called charm school.  You start when you are in the first grade.  The first things they teach you is how to sit, stand, walk, talk, what to do with your hands during any situation, how to shake hands, how never to cross your legs at the knee, but to tuck them to the side crossed at the ankles.  Then they move into meals and tables, how to set a table for 1-12 courses, 5 to 500 people.  What piece of cutlery goes with what food.  When to have finger bowls and when not to. Menus and music for any size event.  What to wear and when to wear it because no self respecting southern girl wears white shoes after labor day by god and won’t put on a pair again until Easter  Sunday. 

Then, starting around 4th grade, they start with the how to be stupid classes.  Well not how to be stupid, just how to make everyone around you think you are.  Well not everyone, just men.  And they tell you it’s to keep the men happy.  That way they can feel all big and macho taking care of the “little woman”.  You learn how to avert your eyes and laugh a little when asked about something you know damn well how to do, but it’s a man’s job to do it.  They teach you how to appear interested in what “the man” is interested in.  They give you just enough information on a variety of topics to make you either dangerous or stupid.  Then they show you how to turn it to stupid.  You learn how to be touchy feely.  How to lightly place your hand on the man’s arm or shoulder to keep his attention because men are physical beings you know.   As for taking care of your man, well now why do you think we all still cook the way we do?  Keep ‘em fat and happy!! (wink wink)

And so many women don’t know how to be strong, or that they are even allowed to be.  They are scared and many are miserable and in miserable situations because they don’t have any idea what to do on their own.  Mothers and friends will tell a woman with a cheating husband to be “more generous” in the bedroom.  They will tell a woman who has been beaten by her spouse to avoid the things that set him off and to make the home a safe, quiet place for him to come home to.  If they even hear about the abuse at all because in the south, what happens behind closed doors stays there.  God help the person who breaks that sanctity. 

I’m not in a position to talk.  I didn’t leave the bullshit behind closed doors.  My dirty laundry was all over for the world to see.  They didn’t actually come and take away my “southern belle tiara” but they may as well have.  Nobody and I mean absolutely nobody can do the “shunning” better than the south.  Once that door is closed, Robert E. Lee back from the dead couldn’t open it.  I’m like that divorced cousin everyone wants at their parties to liven up the party but doesn’t want to stay the night.

And then we come to today.  I haven’t lived in the south for a couple of decades but I know they still offer these classes because if nothing else, southerners are serious about their roots and their traditions.  There are still cotillions and sweet 16 balls.  And because I get a letter every year letting me know that they are still holding a place for my daughter and it’s never too late to start.

But what have these idiotic ideas of how a woman should act, talk, walk, dress, speak affected the women of the south?  Well actually it is not as bad as one might think.  Why you ask?  Because we learned the pretend to be stupid thing really well.  Very few realize just how smart we are!  And as for my generation, they won’t learn it from us!  Because as long as you keep on thinking I’m stupid, I can keep on surprising you!

As for my daughter?  Well I keep trying to convince a certain hero of mine to start her own version of “Charm School” that will teach my daughter to kick ass and take names and wear whatever fucking color of shoes she wants year round! 


Eater of Clowns

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #100 on: October 01, 2010, 02:23:47 pm »
Statues and Cliffsides

  In the Traveler's world no place has a name.  Destinations are necessary as beginnings and ends to journeys, for resting or restocking his supplies, for anxious leisure while not feeding insatiable desires for new sights.  Home and place of birth exist separately, the latter forgotten to decades of wandering and seeming eons without speaking, the languages of men and other blended to ambiance of new surroundings, both brick and mortar to empires raised on words, some hollow and some awesome.  And the former is where the pack rests beside him that night, the sky perpetually taunting him with its infinity above.  Tonight they would offer no such humiliations, their merry eyes and innumerable grins, their hints of grander meaning falling on the uncaring tiles of a standard fare inn.

    His road ended shortly ahead at walls that seemed to dance in the waning sunlight.  They rose tauntingly before him, covering only the half of the city not resting upon sheer cliff side.  Rumors told him to arrive at twilight while others claimed twilight never ceased so long as the sun fell on the city, the beautiful city, its irrelevant name etched as the only mark upon the high walls.  There was no welcome in addition to the name, no title or claim to supremacy, merely a declaration of its being.  With similar function the guards stared at this path worn man, the filth of his lengthy wanderings seemingly more than the accumulated filth of the entire city could be.  They watched him pass and watched the soles of feet that seemed to have seen more miles than the world has seen years disappear on cobbled streets more immaculately tended than most palaces.

    Business of the denizens appeared to be dwindling with the hour, the city's squares emanating a foreknowledge of desertion.  Men and women were perfect here the Traveler saw.  As his gaze rested from face to face in awe a plethora of the same passed by without his notice, each attractive in unique ways.  Looks began to be thrown at him of concern and distaste and in his shame he realized how he much look to these people.  With effort he averted his eyes to the architecture of the place.

    Nothing about the place was uniform, no two buildings alike nor even very many symmetrical, yet it was all so perfect.  He sat for a moment on a bench that clearly belonged precisely where it stood to find the breath pulled from him by his shock.  Shocking eyes that had seen so much he marveled briefly, the thought interrupted by his notice of a pristine fountain his seat faced.  A child with clever eyes knelt on a stone pedestal with a smile hinted on her lips as her arms lifted a circlet to place upon her brow.  It was a snake engulfing its own tail.  Clear water cascaded from the serpent and splashed to the rest of the pool with a shifting chime.

    After marveling from his spot for some time he rose on tired legs with excitement, the exploration of a new place at hand.  He mastered the skill of finding the shy sights, the ones which hid themselves from prying eyes and appeared only if one knew they were there.  In cities they were discovered only by following the kind of person who looked as though they might find themselves where one wishes to go, a skill that takes a keen eye.  But he found none like this here.  Instead he set to his life's work of letting his whims guide him.

    Darkness fell before long, marked by moonlight shimmering on the streets and none to see it but him.  His footsteps echoed across the lonely alleys in an ethereal music.  Down one street or another he might find flickering light playing upon the edges of a closed door, laughter inside like any other tavern in any other city.  But the tones were richer and the light more pure somehow.  Eventually he found one such doorway from which slow music drifted and the light seemed feeble and the laughter was not real but only an idea that had once been there, a memory imprinted on the spot by those who would frequent it.  Here he stepped inside.

    Lovely people sat dejectedly about the place, their features no less striking for the almost determinedly sullen mood.  He sat at a bar of oily wood, rich smelling and spotless.  A mug was set down before him in a silent gesture from the rough looking man tending to the customers.  With a nod he turned to a woman crooning before a fire, her voice sounding as though it might catch aflame by the sparks popping intermittently.  He became slowly infatuated as her tune carried him through histories and tragedies.  These were not the words of a mortal, or if they were they were not meant for mortal ears.

    His drink was sweet and heady and as he turned for another the bar man lingered a moment longer, the act so foreign to the man as to make him visibly uncomfortable.  As though he knew the question forthcoming.

"What does the lady sing?" the Traveler asked.  It was the first he'd spoken since arriving; he awaited the reply nervously.  Thus far his beaten appearance had made no impact on the folk but he feared to be ostracized.

"The day's events, in town at least," came the reply.  The man's tones lilted in gruff song not unlike the lady's own.

    The Traveler listened more closely, catching the rhythm and understanding her at last.  Expecting to hear of thefts and politics, of deaths and religious figures he instead learned gossip.  The grocery boy was in love with a nobleman's daughter; a visitor had entered the city gates and has been seen exploring its streets.  He perked up at what might be about him, but there was no more.  His presence was known and evidently unremarkable.  He motioned to the barkeep.

"Do you have rooms available?"

"We do, and baths and food if you'd like more than drink."

"I'll have the lot of them," he said.

    The man showed him to the upper floors of the building, where narrow halls belied spacious rooms and opulent beds.  His own was decorated with flowers.  He laughed a little, unnoticed by the exiting innkeeper.  It made him forget a disturbing image while he left the basement lounge, a slight vision that chilled him.  On the railing leading upstairs his hand passed over a gouge in the wood otherwise polished smooth by both care and years.  It was the first imperfection he'd seen since arriving, but with those delicate flowers in view it seemed a mistake of his own senses.

    A bath was drawn shortly after, happy looking attendants filled it swiftly without seeming to break their own paces.  In it he washed the filth of miles, the dust of roads caked so firmly upon him it seemed a part of him.  It stayed there in the basin, now a cloudy unsavory stew that drew his mind again to that rough spot on the railing.  He fell asleep with it in mind.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

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the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #101 on: October 01, 2010, 02:24:08 pm »
  A gentle ray of sunlight found its way to his resting eyes then opening to a second day in the city.  The quality of the day was unmatched already, he could tell, and he bounded from his rest in eagerness to further look upon this strange place.  The thought that he might find the streets paved in clouds or gold passed him briefly, but going down the stairs his mind turned back to the railing.  Slowing, he let his hand rest lightly on its surface, focusing his efforts on letting his calloused and leathery palm detect that groove again.  It was there.  And more accompanied it.

    The door to the inn was open, light pouring through it and catching on a heavy dust in the place.  The innkeeper nodded to him from the bar, his face a little more careworn than the Traveler could remember, the lines of age a little more pronounced.  The bar was stained and scratched in places.

    He left the place behind, anxious to see the remainder of the city that day in a light unlike his previous explorations.  This time of the day shops were open, their doors ajar to welcome the cool air and the sounds of the sea far below.                              Looking down the cliff side of the far side of the city was an experience he'd saved for daylight, the eerie moon of the previous night not being adequate to see to the very bottom.  Residents were walking about between stalls and shops seemingly delighted and he saw they suffered the same degeneration as the innkeeper, their appearances no longer beautiful as the night before but marred slightly as though years of age came upon them as they slept.  Or perhaps his fascination with the new place clouded his vision, that and the twilight sun.  Surely that must be it.

    Spray from the sea grew thick as he neared the far end of town.  The cliff was terrifying in its height, the city a risk-taking child playing upon the edges unaware of the death waiting below.  He wanted to pull it by its gates, its hands, and drag it further from the drop to safety.  The Traveler reassured himself of his footing and peered down to see deep blue waves crashing on the rocks, spraying and foaming as though in jubilation of their freedom.  There was no railing here, no caution of any sort, nor were the city folk loitering about.  He was alone and he pondered briefly jumping, the air inviting him and assuring him he could fly.  This was, after all, the perfect city.  He shuddered and stepped back to the safety of land but even that was precarious, a weighty few bodies away from crumbling into the hungry ocean.

    The first steps back to the city proper were light at first, as though unsure they would fall on firm ground.  The feeling departed after some time and before he jaunted almost merrily as he had at the day's beginning.  No people were along the road back to town.  He wanted to run until he saw one, the thought manifesting itself in a hastier stride while he looked about anxiously.  The road ended at the cliffs again.

    This time the breaking waters sounded like music and the air felt more invigorating, the mist looked solid enough to step on and walk across, an ethereal bridge to, well, somewhere even more beautiful than this place.  Perhaps it was the city closest to the heavens.  He could find out if he climbed the stair that he was now sure solidified before him; it would carry him to gods and their ilk, a whole new realm to explore unhindered by the dust of roads he'd come to know.  His feet were so weary from the years but he could not stop, maybe this bridge would cure his sore heels.  One foot hovered just above the first stair, one short gesture shy of shifting his weight to trust the vapor.

    Bells rang in the distance, the mid day signal from the city square.  Their ringing was drowned and hushed at first, his ears following the sound to bring clarity with each successive clang.  It was foreign to start but grew into reality and regularity.  Finally he understood their meaning and their origin, regaining his senses, becoming suddenly aware of his foot hovering above the sheer drop.  Rational thought would have told him to ease back slowly, let his foot touch ground again.  But it was so far down and he was so close, he leaned the wrong way, his solidly planted foot shifted dangerously, the other foot flying about wildly, joining his arms in the struggle for balance.  It ended an eternity later, with his eyes wide and his back against the street.  Reveling in the feeling of ground beneath him for some time, he turned and kept his wits about arriving back in the city proper, pushing the cliff from his mind lest he find himself facing it again.  The remainder of his wandering he did with trepidation for fear of losing his way and arriving at that dreaded end of the town.

    He found himself again at the fountain of the young girl.  Small chips of the stone had worn away, leaving the girl pocked and, as it occurred to the Traveler seems to happen, hollow around the eyes.  Her smile was faded.  The water seemed cloudy, dirty like the bath water of the previous night.  And the snake had unfurled.
    He hastened back to the inn, trusting the man at the bar more than any other in the city.  Few others had spoken to him.  There he was stationed, behind the bar now more marred with the day's passing, as much a piece of the room as the fireplace.  A rag dragged futilely about against the onslaught of dust so absent the previous day.  He looked old, now, not just older than the night before but old.  The Traveler sat at the bar, directly across from him.  He was handed a drink without requesting it.

"You seem unnerved," the man said to him.

"Tell me about the cliffs," he said immediately, relieved to be able to ask.

"What about them?"

"They seemed to be calling me over.  The first time was a pull but when I walked away they brought me back and I stood ready to step over the edge when I heard the bells."

    The man seemed to ponder this for a while, a darkness playing with his features while every piece of that information came together for him.  "I don't know what you mean," he lied at last.

"How many are lost over those cliffs?  Why isn't there something to stop people from going over them?"

"Only seems to be the occasional foolhardy visitor.  None of the city folk bother with them much and when we do we know better than to skip about their edges.  I don't suppose such sense is ingrained in all."

    The Traveler ignored the comment.  This man would not be giving him any more information he wanted.  And he knew the kinds of attitudes outsiders would bring in places like this.  He drained his glass and settled his drinks and room with the innkeeper before meeting the remainder of the day.  Exploration previously so important to him was now forgotten, he only sought to know about the cliffs, but he dared not investigate them once more.  He found a bench along the street leading to them as close as he dared to go, and he waited, taking in the city as the sun drifted low in the sky.  None came to the cliffs.

    Not wanting to return to his room and trying to avoid the innkeeper he decided upon another place shortly into the evening.  The air here was merrier, the song less a lament but still informing them of the day's events.  He listened more closely to this now.  Little concerned him but the small gem nestled in the center.  Yesterday's visitor narrowly escaped a fall over the edge of the cliffs on the far side of the city.  Now he knew there were several ways that information could be around.  People talked in this city, to each other if not to outsiders.  The innkeeper might have passed the news on following his earlier visit.  Someone might have seen his ordeal, meaning someone neglected to help him in the moments before he was able to stop himself.  Or the city simply knew.
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EoC makes creepy worse.

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the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #102 on: October 01, 2010, 02:25:15 pm »
    Not wanting to return to his room and trying to avoid the innkeeper he decided upon another place shortly into the evening.  The air here was merrier, the song less a lament but still informing them of the day's events.  He listened more closely to this now.  Little concerned him but the small gem nestled in the center.  Yesterday's visitor narrowly escaped a fall over the edge of the cliffs on the far side of the city.  Now he knew there were several ways that information could be around.  People talked in this city, to each other if not to outsiders.  The innkeeper might have passed the news on following his earlier visit.  Someone might have seen his ordeal, meaning someone neglected to help him in the moments before he was able to stop himself.  Or the city simply knew.

    Not a single patron looked to him while the song played though they all must have known of whom the news regarded.  They resolutely watched the singer, looking dirty to him now, thinner and almost sickly pale.  Things were changing here as he stayed.  The buildings were worn, the people were worn, and that statue.  It had shifted somehow.  Dancing flames in the fireplace were more ominous, the sun even at its zenith harsh in its light but cold in its effect.

"Another visitor to the city came through the gates," came the next line he heard.

He motioned to a woman serving drinks.  The stuff here was not crisp and sweet like the night before, it was muddier, harsher.  She attended to him with an air of discomfort.

"When did the other visitor come in?"

"Twilight," she responded.

"Where might I find him?"

"She is at the fountain right now," the server told him.

    The Traveler decided he didn't much like the people in this city.  They were cold.  He paid and left the place, ignoring the remainder of the day's song, instead walking to the fountain.  Like the previous night, none were on the streets.  His footsteps echoed across seemingly the entire city.

    She sat at the same bench upon which he pondered the fountain the day previous.  She was young, pretty, and seemed to be composed entirely of eyes.  They were a delicate green that seemed to shine in the moonlight, made more vibrant by the vague semblance of shadows attempting to cross them.  She smiled at his approach, at peace in this city where he could only find dread.  He sat beside her.

"You and I seem to be the only outsiders here," he informed her, gazing at the fountain.  Had the statue's features changed?

"I could tell, you don't look like you're one of the city people," she replied.

"They do have a presence about them, don't they?"

"Not just a presence, no.  They all share similar features.  Look at their noses, I notice noses, they're practically the same.  Even this statue.  And their eyes.  Not the color but the shape.  What brought you here anyway?"

"I go everywhere I can.  It's been my whole life.  What about you?  You seem too young for such curiosities."

"I like new places, too.  But mostly it's because I'm a baker, I like finding new recipes so I come to strange places for them."

    It occurred to him to warn her of the cliffs just then, and just as quickly it left his mind.  He'd forgotten why he sought her out at all, really, other than to converse with someone willing to talk back.  His visits to civilization were rare, and one part of it that he missed was easy conversation.  Sitting next to this girl, though, in silence for several minutes, he began to think it was the city that killed talking.

"Well it was a pleasure meeting you, young lady, but I'm off to the inn.  Perhaps I'll see you about town tomorrow," he said.

"You very well might," she smiled, watching him return from where he came before paying close attention to the statue.

    He stopped at the bar before going to his room, looking directly to the innkeeper behind it, saying nothing.  He studied the face he'd come to know more closely than the others in his two days here.  His nose matched that of the rest of the patrons, and the baker was right, the eyes did as well.  Now the Traveler knew his gaze did not deceive him in the bar man's features having degraded.  His age was more pronounced, his hair grayer and wilder.  The bones seemed less sharp and he'd grown sickly spots.  The Traveler said nothing and went upstairs.

    His room overlooked an alley and the ocean side of the city.  Behind the hundreds of houses and other buildings, which now looked decrepit and neglected, were the cliffs.  Even knowing they were there, they seemed to call to him.  He stared for some time.

    The sun was high when he woke up.  He had no recollection how or when he got to bed.  The shutters were drawn but filled with holes.  They hung loosely from their hinges on rotted wood, the curtains on them tattered and yellowed from neglect.  He hesitantly opened one side, afraid the wood would crumble from his lightest touch.  It opened, squealing like death along the way.  Sickly light poured in, throwing itself on thick dust inside.   Rooftops of the city were before him now, with shingles missing and shredded as though by clawed by the icy fingers of winters.

    His room, nor the bar upon his leaving it, fared much better through the night.  Were the mirror less smudged he would have checked his reflection to see if the effect carried over to him.  With great reluctance he looked to the man behind the bar.  He was still strong, still clearly the same man, but his degeneration was wretched.  He was thin and pale enough to look dead, skin hanging from his bones in a similar fashion.  The few remaining wisps of his hair drifted in some breeze he could not feel.  If he was aware of his transformation he gave no sign, moving along the frail bar just as though it were the rich wood of two days ago.  The man nodded to the Traveler as he passed into the sick day.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #103 on: October 01, 2010, 02:25:39 pm »
    Perhaps this place declined in his vision along with his estimation of its character.  Where he once thought it warm and pretty it had been, now where he thought it dying in insular it has become so.  But then there was the cliff; it came back to the cliff somehow.  Shortly after it he had been afraid, very much so, not only of the seductive pull of the place but of the people's hiding of its true nature.  There was danger there, yet following his experience the city did not become more frightening.  Its people remained cold and polite as always, their features degrading, though never changing overtly.  He wondered if he watched them, would they change before his eyes?

    Dirt and refuse were caked between the stones of the street, replacing the ones that were missing and making his walk less than comfortable.  Still the people went about as though nothing had changed.  In some time he arrived at the city square before the fountain, the fountain spouting brown and stinking water.  The young girl had changed little as far as the quality of the stone.  Her face was still pocked and all pieces of the statue chipped as before but her expression had altered.  The circlet of serpent was not a gift, she did not eagerly anticipate being crowned.  Her mouth was wide with silent fright and her eyes frozen open, unable to fight the snake's strength.  Its fangs were drawn, sharper than stone could possibly be, its mouth open and so close to her face.  She held it back now, as best she could, but she was so young and it was so wild and unpredictable.

    The Traveler did not intend to stay the following day to discover whether the snake would strike.  He set to fill his pack and restock before moving from this place, perhaps forever like so many places before it, though not always under such distressing circumstances.  He felt like the little statue girl felt; he struggled to fight the snake from poisoning him but with time it was inevitable.  Time was something he did not intend to give it.

    As he left the grocer he saw the young baker woman walking about, hunched over as though in ward of something.  He met her stride and she slowed to allow him nearer.

"So you've noticed the people, then," he said to her.

"How could I not?  I saw the city was a bit worn when I arrived yesterday but there's been a huge change.  Not just the people, the buildings, I mean, have you seen the buildings?"

"Of course I have.  You know when I arrived the day before you I'd never seen such splendor.  It was so rich here, the people so beautiful, the streets shining as though made of gold.  I felt hideous by contrast, an aging man beaten by heavy skies.  But now..." he trailed off.

"I'm glad to know it isn't just me.  I have what I came for, or at least I know I won't be employing any new techniques at my own shop.  I intend to leave today, as soon as I explore a bit.  I haven't seen the cliffs yet."

    The cliffs.  There was something about them, something so clear, something he knew instinctively.  He struggled for it vainly, a fleeting feeling so much like deja vu that could not be caught again.

"I'll be leaving myself today.  I hesitate to think what the city will look like tomorrow," he thought of the snake, the little girl, "with how quickly it's all deteriorating.  We might very well wake up in rubble."

    Their path took them closer to the cliff.  Dread filled the Traveler just as wonder filled his companion, though neither could think why.  He broke from her side.

"I have a few more things to do before I can leave the city.  Perhaps I'll see you again before I go," he told her.

"Maybe I'll join you," she said hopefully.  "I'd like to see a little more before I return home, to come back at least with new ingredients if not a new technique."

"I think I'd like that," her told her in earnest.  Companions were not foreign to him, but they were rare.  Those whose interests were struck by his life were at first enthralled by the seeming romance of it all.  They also became quickly tired of such a living.  The unsure, the discomfort, the loneliness, the weather, and the walking.  The endless walking with no destination.  The Traveler was rare in that case, in not needing a destination.

    They parted on this idea.  She drew nearer to the cliffs while he meandered away.  It seemed with each step the severity of her investigation came back to him.  Cliffs, he thought, stairways of vapor, promises of other worlds, danger, death.  He froze, now in the city square.  How did he get here so quickly?  In turning to race where he came did he see the statue again?  Had the serpent finally struck the girl?

    It was rare that he ran but he did now, his strides great and heedless of the uneven road.  The forever long road, stretching before him to the cliffs.  He seemed to go nowhere even in his great speed, to be running against a steep slope or swift waters.  Onlookers paid him no mind, nor did they determinedly ignore him.  They faded to nothingness behind him, voices silenced by his footfalls and deteriorated faces blurring in his vision.

    The cliffs were in sight now, the woman's back to him, her hair whipping wildly in the sea winds.  She was so close to the edge, and he was so close to her.  He thought to reach her; to pull her back like none pulled him back days ago.  He thought to shout, having no name by which to call to her he tried to say stop or wait or anything but his breath was suddenly gone from him, stolen by the thick ocean spray.  She was an arm's length away now but seemed to be getting further, further outward and so quickly.

    Briefly he thought he saw her foot land on something solid, as though that stair of mist held fast beneath her.  If it had, it did not for long.  She fell forward, turning with her other foot as though to grasp onto something.  His hand perhaps.  He reached for hers, their fingertips touching for what seemed like forever before they slipped away.  She did not scream; he did not cry out.  He collapsed on the solid ground, his forehead in the soil in a bow to her loss.  Somehow he expected to look below and not see any trace of her but the risk of what he would see was too great.

    Dimly aware now of his need to leave the cliffs behind lest they sway his own mind again, he turned his back to the tragedy.  His pack.  He needed his pack, now filled, dropped in the town center while he broke for his run.  The road was short again, time swift again.  He was by the inseparable piece of equipment in such a short time, eyes never peeling from the horizon.  A horizon he intended to meet that day, out of the city, with the stars above him again.

    Were they to have faltered from that spot he may have noticed the seemingly pristine stones in the road, the conspicuous absence of grime citywide.  He may have noticed the buildings in such a lovely state, catching the light and playing with it just as they had that first day, every house and shop, the walls all undamaged.  He may have seen the people changed, again beautiful but without the noses and eyes the young baker woman pointed out to him.  They would be young, pretty, and composed almost entirely of delicate green eyes that would appear to shine in the moonlight, made more vibrant by vague semblances of shadows attempting to cross them.  He may have caught the fountain, the girl humbled again in placing the circlet upon her brow, again a snake engulfing its tail.

    But his eyes were frozen to that horizon.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: The Audio Book of the Dead, Chapter 1 SUBMISSIONS
« Reply #104 on: October 01, 2010, 02:26:17 pm »
That was all of it.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.