Once upon a time, there was a Stranger In A Strange Town...

black cat in a dark room

the light did not flash
its dark cells were full
so we sat in a circle
just shooting the bull

i sat there with 'mando
and his circle of friends,
who argued in circles
all day long, without end

too thick to agree
even on posting links
so I sat in the circle
and had a few drinks.

and all I could do was to
drink!
     drink!
          drink!
               drink!
so that I could read
without having to think.

and then something went BUMP!
how that bump made us jump!
we looked!
then we saw it, furry and fat!
we looked!
and we saw it!
Schrodinger's cat!
and he said to us,
'why do you argue like that?
about whether i'm here
or i'm dead or alive,
when you'll never agree,
even to save your own lives!'

'i know you have many things here to say,'
said the cat.
'but you've said them all,'
said old Schrodinger's cat.
'there's much repetition
i could point out to you.
armando will not mind at all if i do.'

then the circle of friends
did not know what to say.
with no sign of armando,
probbly hiding away.

but our brains said, 'no! no!
make that cat go away!
tell that Schrodinger's cat
you have MUCH more to say.
he's not really here.
he's not really about.
he should not be here
when armando is out.

'now! now! have no fear.
have no fear!' said the cat.
'silence is is golden,'
said old Schrodinger's cat.
'why you can all
have your last word, and then flee,
with a thing that i call
agree to disagree!'

just then the good doctor
realized with a fright
that to stay true to the story
would keep him up here all the night
so he had to find something
to reach this poem's end,
or he'd be yet more verbose
than armando's smart friends.

so he skipped to the part where...

the circles and i did not know
what to say
for the first time
on this post that has lasted for days.
  

Freaking Mad

In another time and place (when I wore a different face),
A masterservant put me down (I think he wanted me to frown),
But I didn't join the war (instead I chose to just ignore),
And so my absence from the fray (I'd better things to do that day),
U
pset him when no fight was had (it seemed to drive him freaking mad),
'Til he got bored and went away (for with him not a soul would play).
   

Mutant Monstrosities: The Maiden

She came from the four corners of the Earth*. She was at once all women and no woman, as inevitable as she was impossible. Those who sought her would never find her; those who found her had never sought her. She was as lovely a maiden as ever was, as lethal a monster as ever could be.

Her face was familiar to all, recognized by none. Her names were known to millions, yet few knew her name, a legend unheard of, as it were. A fantasy creature in a world of fables, born of  fabled fantasies in the world of creatures, she was everywhere and nowhere, for all eternity and nevermore.

But mostly, she made men go mad until they could do nothing but babble in nonsensical contradictory prose.

* - Barranquilla, Melbourne, Pomona, and Toronto
    

Larry And The Magic Eye

Once upon a time there were two wizards, who conjured up a magic eye that could find anything, anywhere. It was so much better than the magic eyes that other wizards had created that soon, everybody was using this magic eye, and merchants gave the two wizards buckets of gold to show their wares next to the magic eye.

The wizards soon had so many buckets of gold that they hired a merchant to take care of the magic eye and collect their buckets of gold for them, while they travelled far and wide bringing freedom to the people. Well, one of the wizards did this; nobody is really sure what the other wizard did, but it was surely something good.

Meanwhile, the merchant used some of the buckets of gold to have other wizards conjure up more magical marvels, and traded some of the buckets of gold for magical marvels yet other wizards had already conjured up, and all of these magical marvels attracted more buckets of gold, with which even more magical marvels were sought.

The people marvelled at all the things they could do with these magical marvels, merchants gladly gave buckets of gold to show their wares next to the magical marvels, the two wizards' holdings of both buckets of gold and magical marvels increased greatly at the hands of the capable merchant, and everybody lived happily ever after.

That is, until one of the two wizards got bored and decided that he should take care of the magical marvels and collect the buckets of gold. He thanked the trusted merchant for all that he had done during his years of service, gave him a really big bucket of gold, and sent him on his way.

The wizard then looked upon the magical marvels and buckets of gold, and realized that he had not actually conjured up any magical marvels since he and the other wizard had conjured up the magic eye. Now, the magic eye was known far and wide as one of the greatest conjurations in all of magic, and most wizards would be proud to be known for this. But not our wizard.

Our wizard had become vain, and decided that he must cast his own spell on all of the magical marvels in the shop, so that everyone would know that they were his. Now, a few of his apprentices told him that the people were happy with the magical marvels as they were, and the merchants who gave buckets of gold to display their wares next to the magical marvels were happy with the people being happy with the magical marvels as they were, but the wizard answered, "Did I not conjure up the magic eye? Am I not the greatest wizard in all of magic? Am I not smarter than the people? Do I not know better than them what they will be happy with?" 

To be continued...
   

Leroy's Dream

There was a strange town, just over yonder. The boy looked back at where it had been, wondering if it was really gone. He knew that it couldn't be, that somewhere deep in the hidden cracks of the Universe, a perfect replica was preserved for all eternity, waiting for him to find.

He also knew that he would never find it. He would come across snapshots, reminders of fading memories, but the place as it was would forever elude him. Like Brigadoon, it would remain hidden by the impenetrable mist. One day he will wonder if it was ever really there at all.

But that day is still far off, and right now what he wondered was why they had to burn it down. He understood that it had been time for everyone to leave, that the town could no longer support any life within its walls. He had been okay with that, when they had said that they would leave it standing so that he and the others could wander about the silent streets in reminiscence.

The fire had come without warning. Two years and a day after he had first arrived there, he had been taking a stroll down memory lane, thinking about what misadventures he would write about next. The next morning, it was gone, with not even charred remains to show that it had been there.

But he still knew it had been. And he remembered enough about the strange things that had gone on there to continue the writing of his strange history. And what he wouldn't remember, he would imagine. And it would become greater in legend than it was in life.

And for that, the arsonists would come to regret what they had done. And he smiled as he picked up his parchment and quill.
  

Captain Beware!

By the time the Captain made it to the upper deck to see what the ruckus was about, it was too late. The intruders had not only boarded the ship, but had taken the Skipper captive. He was soon in the same boat, so to speak. He blacked out.

When he came to, he saw that he and the Skipper had been strung up in the public square, and the crowd was out for blood. Well, really just the Wench and her Hench were out for blood, but they made a lot of noise about it. They were not so much joined as followed from a distance (and much less coherently) in their bloodthirst by a rogue slave who had managed to buy himself.

The rest of the folks seemed more interested in their cups of coffee than the rantings of the dastardly duo, while the Captain and the Skipper were hanging around, so to speak, wondering what would happen next. They were not at all surprised that it was the arrival of the Magistrate, who politely suggested, as was his custom, that perhaps there had been a misunderstanding. Meanwhile, a rather large man apparently averse to bathing wandered about the crowd asking for pictures, as was his custom.

There was no misunderstanding, shouted the Hench, speaking for the Wench, as was his custom. According to him, the Captain had committed all manner of unlikely invasions, and must be punished. The Skipper, he declared, was simply annoying, and that could not be permitted. The Magistrate, in his customary manner, did not doubt what had been said, nor did he not doubt it either.

Upon hearing the accusations against the Captain, one lady looked up from her book of crafts and said simply, "That's a load of hooey," as was her custom, although those were not quite her exact words. The Captain himself said little in his own defence, but he did point out that the Skipper had done nothing that the Wench herself had not done, to which the Hench replied by pointing out that the Captain was old.

In the end, the general consensus was indeed that there had been a misunderstanding, although nobody fully understood what it was, and the crowd went about its usual business. The strings that had held the Captain and the Skipper unravelled, and the Wench and her Hench went looking for their next misadventure.

Our heroes made their way back to the ship, where the Captain resumed crooning about his appetite for his guests, while the Skipper went about the omnipresent matter of keeping the Universe safe from stupid people.

Somewhere there is a universe where we are roaming the stars fighting whatever there is to be fought, like characters in a Heinlein novel.
  

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Written Cristmas Eve 2010

Twas the night before Christmas, when all though the Shop
Not a Blogger was stirring, not a comment did drop.
Discussions just hung on the first page in quiet,
Not even the the anas could incite a riot.

The newbies were absent, no follow-me threads,
No visions of SEO danced in their heads.
The queen in her heels, the king in the queen,
Were snug in their castle, nowhere to be seen.

The masses were huddled away in their booth,
The mood there was mild, to tell you the truth.
Giraffes did not roam, no critters were seen,
And in the pantry was nary a bean.

No caffeine was brewed, no pillow was fluffed,
No bagel was eaten, no candy was buffed.
No amps were plugged in, no cannons were loaded,
Not one cryptic post did need be decoded.

No one did start, nor counted to forty,
And there was no sign of any new shorty.
No hairy apes roamed, not one person scrapped,
No harsh words were spoken, no anger was tapped.

A couple of stragglers still wandered about,
The most interesting thread about getting ice out,
And one full of people speaking in tongues,
Without Google Translate, their goose would be hung.

When suddenly from out of nowhere it seemed,
A bad poem burst forth, on which it was deemed
That nothing was happening, the place was quite dead
Poorly rhymed references the only thing said.

The poet felt bad for those not named not for nouns,
For he couldn't include them, which might have caused frowns.
Now wondered he how he would end his bad prose.
For nothing seemed fitting to lead to a close.

Not a thing had quite happened that would lead to an end,
In this poem about nothing (he couldn't pretend).
So he simply exclaimed, as he logged out of site,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
  

"Ahoy!"

It had been relatively peaceful around the Cosho Cluster lately. The Wench and her Hench had left for parts unknown, and this in itself seemed to ease the unease that had become so omnipresent that nobody noticed it anymore. Like white noise that stops suddenly, they did notice its absence, but nobody dared speak that.

It being that point in the system's orbit when most of the training outposts were too close to a sun for comfort, the populated area was awash with novice pilots showing off their shiny new ships. Thinking themselves to be irresistible forces, many discovered, if only for an instant, what happens when they fly into unmovable objects. As always, the debris was cleaned up before all but the most observant even noticed.

There was a bit of trouble with a rogue slave who seemed to have exposed his eyes to one supernova too many, but the Skipper made short work of him and he scurried back to his obscurity, venturing out once in a while to set off the odd solar flare, but otherwise both gone and forgotten.

The Captain took advantage of the relative calm and current swimwear trends to invite a group of passengers to join him around the piano for an old favourite of his. He was just about to go into the second chorus when he heard the familiar voice of the Skipper shout "Ahoy! What evil goes there?" He knew this could not be good...
   

Beyond Epilogue

The old man did not regret having closed that book. Writing it had served its purpose, and it had been time to move on.

But there were still stories to be told, and he knew he would feel like he left something undone if he came to the end of his days without having told them.

On that thought, he picked up his pen...