Author Topic: The Weekend Asymptote  (Read 2556 times)

Triple Zero

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The Weekend Asymptote
« on: April 03, 2012, 11:01:41 pm »
Hi there! Yeah I've been gone for quite a few weeks. At first I was busy with a lot of other things so I didn't have time to check the boards anymore. Then I decided to write a short story, which is what I'll post in this thread. And then it took a bit longer than expected because as things go, when the busy subsided (actually it didn't), stuff tends to pour into your unfilled timeslots rather quickly, and that stuff happened not to be checking PD, sorry :)

Anyway, I decided I'd finish the story first before I'd start posting again. Here it is!



It was one of those long, slow and late Friday afternoons. The kind that makes your mind drift to undefined places and you wonder whether to wait for one last client, or to close shop and declare weekend.

In my line of work that usually means somebody is going to knock on my door in three ... two ...

  "Excuse me, are you still open? My name is Will Jung Gibbsen and I am in urgent need of an audience with your Ouija board."
  "The Ouija board? An audience??" why was I so surprised? I get the weirdest requests all the time, "The Ouija board is more of a party game, and you're just one person. Wouldn't you rather like to consult the Tarot, I-Ching or get a psychic reading?"
  "I already know all about those and have gotten way too familiar with them. The Ouija board is the only one I still believe in. I know it works better with more than one person, so you'll have to assist me. I'll pay..."
  "Okay then..."
  "It's about my future ex-wife, she has recently ceased."
  "You mean deceased."
  "Maybe. We haven't met yet. Her name is Chanel."
 
Whatever. Wishing this bloody weekend would just get on with it and start already, I led him through the doorway into my consulting practice room, lit a few incense sticks and set up the Ouija board. Apparently Will was not too unfamiliar with the board and he knew what to do. We both placed our index fingers on the planchette.

  "I would like to request an audience with the spirit of Chanel... Chanel, are you here?"
 
The planchette moved. 
 
  YES
 
  "Great! Will, what would you l--"
 
The planchette moved, again.

  I'M DEAD, WILL
 
  "How's it feel?"
 
  IT D 0 ESN'T
 
  "Bother you?"
 
  WHAT BOTH#RS ME !S, NoTHIN* D)0#S
 
  "Chanel, would you please stop pointing the planchette at symbols that aren't even on the board? ... or in this very room?!"

  H&E%^$''&WAI^^T&$__@!BEH!N))T#3)"W@LLLLLL

And that's when things got a little bit stranger.

The seat was no longer underneath Will. Except it was still in exactly the same ... location as it was before. Instead, Will appeared to be floating and filled with white static. I could see it flickering behind his eyes, and glowing beneath his skin.

Typical. I looked around. Of course, the room had acquired a few more angles, all perpendicular but folded into eachother.

I decided to quickly take a few steps back, while "a few" was still a finite countable number and "stepping back" a well-defined operation of my state vector.

Managing to get to the doorway, I knew I was safe. The doorway was carved, plastered and inked with as many religious symbols as I had been able to find over the years. Which added to the atmosphere of my workplace of course, but it was also a safety precaution. Because I hadn't stopped there, I had made the symbols with religious zeal, and fervor, faith, conviction, ineffability, madness, dogma, I had cursed them, blessed them, sanctified them, crusaded for them, declared jihad on them, prayed to them and applied to the IRS for tax exemption. This doorway was practically made of religion. And it's impossible to get mathematics past religion, you can't get it through. In theory sure, but everyone knows what's going to happen in practice: Nothing ever really changes.

I could see him repeatedly opening and closing his mouth. Or rather, I saw him try, but it kept happening in the wrong sequential ordering and he just couldn't seem to get the genus of his face right. What came out was a crackling noise and something that looked like fractured heat shimmers. Poor guy, he must be vibrating his vocal chords in a non-spatial direction.

I recognized the symptoms.

This guy above the board had the colour of terror visions, tuned to a dead Chanel.

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Triple Zero

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 06:20:40 pm »
so, what did everybody think?

I don't write stories often--this one was partially started because Freeky told me a while back to write more stories. And I gotta say it's actually kind of fun. Unless everybody hates it, because then I should probably just stick to cartoons. Because I know, if the above story was a cartoon you'd be all over it for sure :)

Was it the pun at the end? Too much nonsense? Not enough mutant space gorillas? Maybe I should have replaced the ZALGO bit with something more Lovecrafty cause ZALGO's just a meme but Lovecraft is timeless, unutterably vast ..
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Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 07:35:40 am »
Honestly, I was expecting it to be more than the set-up for a pun.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Triple Zero

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 04:02:36 pm »
Well that's what I started with and sort of worked from there ...

Just like the one about the space gorillas and the peanut. And also in some sense the first of the Kraftwerk lyrics bits.

But, you probably have a point and I will take your advice! My next story will NOT be built around a pun! This might take ALL my willpower but I will TRY damnit! ;-) I ... can ... do it!!
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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 04:19:20 pm »
It's just that, especially here, I always feel shortchanged if I spend time reading something fairly long and it just turns out to be a bad joke and not something interesting or thought-provoking. The only exception to that was that HORRIBLE HORRIBLE joke that Cain posted years ago, which was pages long and had THE WORST punchline in the history of jokes. I didn't feel shortchanged by that, I felt beaten, raped, and left for dead in a ditch in Utah just outside of a polygamist settlement, then found, nursed to health, and forced into marriage as the youngest of 22 wives, only to see my daughters forcibly married off to their own cousins as young as 13.

“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Triple Zero

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 04:23:16 pm »
Ooh okay I see it as both. Like a Kinder Surprise Egg: You get a cool story, chocolate, AND a pun at the end!
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Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 04:33:32 pm »
Ah, perhaps I missed something. Can you maybe elaborate on what the story is meant to convey?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Triple Zero

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 06:47:32 pm »
Well maybe nothing in particular, though I did like how the idea of "you can't get mathematics past religion" kind of just turned up out of nowhere in my head. But I just started out with a pun on "The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel" and then I named the guy after William Gibson.

Next time I'm just going to try something entirely different, I think.
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navkat

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 06:52:31 pm »
It's just that, especially here, I always feel shortchanged if I spend time reading something fairly long and it just turns out to be a bad joke and not something interesting or thought-provoking. The only exception to that was that HORRIBLE HORRIBLE joke that Cain posted years ago, which was pages long and had THE WORST punchline in the history of jokes. I didn't feel shortchanged by that, I felt beaten, raped, and left for dead in a ditch in Utah just outside of a polygamist settlement, then found, nursed to health, and forced into marriage as the youngest of 22 wives, only to see my daughters forcibly married off to their own cousins as young as 13.

Please post this. I need a change in scenery, MegaBus only goes to Atlanta and Utah sounds like a nice place.

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 05:10:37 pm »
It's just that, especially here, I always feel shortchanged if I spend time reading something fairly long and it just turns out to be a bad joke and not something interesting or thought-provoking. The only exception to that was that HORRIBLE HORRIBLE joke that Cain posted years ago, which was pages long and had THE WORST punchline in the history of jokes. I didn't feel shortchanged by that, I felt beaten, raped, and left for dead in a ditch in Utah just outside of a polygamist settlement, then found, nursed to health, and forced into marriage as the youngest of 22 wives, only to see my daughters forcibly married off to their own cousins as young as 13.

Please post this. I need a change in scenery, MegaBus only goes to Atlanta and Utah sounds like a nice place.

It's on the board here somewhere. Maybe if you ask Cain he'll repost it.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Reginald Ret

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 11:29:24 pm »
I liked it.

Especially the application of metaphors outside of their normal context, it was the reverse of explaining hard science in religious terms.
Lord Byron: "Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves."

Nigel saying the wisest words ever uttered: "It's just a suffix."

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 01:32:41 am »
Zip, the story was fantastic, but I felt let down at the end.  I love me a good story pun, but I felt like this would have been too good a story to have been a pun.

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Re: The Weekend Asymptote
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 10:29:09 pm »
If you were willing to build a bit more depth to the interactions, it could go somewhere. But really, it is what it is; a writin exercise that gives an opportunity to experiment with style and hopefully add a few things-that-work to your toolbox.

The mathematics religion thing was cool, as was some of the non sequitur conversation.
If sheep entrails could in any way be related to the weather, i.e. sheep trails only originate where it rains, then you could use it as an accurate model for discerning what the weathers going to be like. Either, sheep shit makes it rain, or raining makes sheep shit. Sheep don't shit "randomly" sheep shit after they eat, it doesn't rain "randomly" it rains after water collects in the atmosphere.