Friday, 24 July 2015

Slit Slot Aperture Gash Vent Perforation Shutter Foramen Chink Cleft Peephole Outlet Eye - Friday Flash

Seephole: He rang the door buzzer. While he waited for footfalls on the other side of the door, he weighed up the buzzer tone as to whether it was like that of a quiz contestant jumping in to answering a question, or the production team blazoning an incorrect answer. Or even just calling time. He saw the cover of the peephole being moved aside as the light changed and he fired his pistol straight through its glass as to where the target’s eye and a bit further back his brain, would be. The mark had got the question asked by his executive producers entirely wrong according to their way of thinking. It was not ever a question he could have answered entirely to their satisfaction, but a better answer would have seen him fire the gun through the letterbox and into the groin. Scarcely a consolation prize, but you would get to live to fight another day. Blood started to seep out into the hallway from threshold. That could do with sealing by a door sweep he thought to himself as he turned and left.

Pea Shooter: The archer stood pressed invisible against the arrow-slitted casement, raining his shafts down on the heads of the besiegers. They in turn brought up their bombards in the shape of church bells and chamber pots and prised him out of the masonry like shelling whelks.

Concentration Camp: The perforations of the leaves’ stoma were gently respiring, when along came the aphids. Their stylets shot forth through the vent of their rostra, as they proceeded to puncture the vessels of the plant and siphoned the liquid sugars under the pressure of the breach. In marched the legions of ants to palpate the aphids to release the concentrated honeydew from their rectal orifices. Any aphids that threatened to sprout wings to secure more lebensraum for themselves, were stripped by the vigilant soldier ants and held in place.

C Camp: Her smile was permanently imprisoned behind her brace’s steel bars, only ever seeing the light of day in the exercise yard of a yawn.

Convex: He could prescribe the sitter’s emotion, for he was the lord of light. At his whim he determined the shutter speed of his camera, shining the light on this aperture of their life they had exposed themselves too in this one fleeting moment. He himself had no chink in his own emotional makeup, shuttered off and shadowy as befits the omnipotent. 

Collide-o-scope: She was dilatory. For a full two seconds after the metal screen had juddered clear there was nothing on the other side of the window. Finally she mooched in and started rubbing herself. He tried to fall in step with her rhythms, but found her motions too laggardly for his own pace, more listless than lingering. And then the screen guillotined her display. He struggled for coins in his pocket and then to penetrate them into the slot. The screen began its withdrawal, revealing her feet planted firmly on the floor and slowly exposing the rest of her body in stasis. Like corroded clockwork she rose up from the chair and began her slow coursing over her body. He found himself quickening all the while, contending not with her rhythms but against the dread drop of the shutter and the one-armed fumble for money to put in the slot. He was timed out again. 

Catherine Wheel: Sputum was emitted from the gash of his mouth like a girandole. But it wasn’t being showered in spit that concerned her. Nor was it the amount of perspiration welling up from his pores and running in rivulets down his skin. She remained unperturbed by the imminent discharge of semen from the blinking meatus of his member. No, she was anxious about the stork-bite vein bulging in his forehead that it might burst and cull him. Not that she would be upset over his grand mort following on immediately from his petit one. She was alarmed by the prospect of his deadweight crashing down and fracturing a rib or two. Adam’s revenge finally assuaged by Eve’s forfeiture in kind. 

Bar None: What he had come to realise was that it wasn’t a stork which delivered your family’s lot, it was the slot machine. The never so aptly named ‘One-Armed Bandit”. That which stole away your adult life so effortlessly, it was as if it did indeed have one arm tied behind its back as it prised away your pleasures and spited your future happiness. Unless you hit the jackpot with your offspring. Three ‘Lucky Sevens’, and you might, just might land the perfect, undemanding, self-sufficient child, but the odds are just about that, seven times seven times seven, or seven cubed,  one in every 343 of your kids turns out like that in your drop bucket. Three bells, that’s a doozy winner too right? Not if she’s female, more like Hell’s Belles as in Macbeth’s three witches all rolled up into one. A couple of cherries and you got a nymphomaniac on your hands when she hits teenage. The watermelon? Don’t tell me that don’t look like a woman’s pudendum? A lemon, well I don't have to tell you what that means… It’s also called a fruit machine for a reason, if you catch my drift. Chances are good, or bad, you may end up with a son who goes a different way through the catflap. What? Yeah, me and the old lady will give it another spin I reckon. Our last chance saloon. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Interrogation - Flash Fiction

We’ve seen you… caught red handed in the act… got you on film… we just need the names… Who’s that? Who did you just say? Stay with me now. What was that name again? … Damnation! … We’ve lost him again… Revive him! Oh not now! Who’s that? Oh hello Sweetie… Yes… yes, not now love… I’m conducting an interview… I’ve asked you repeatedly Sugarplum, please don’t call me at work… Wipe that smirk off your face… No, not you Love, just talking to my colleagues here… They seem to find something funny about the situation… What? For a job yes… Um, a secretary… No not it’s not a woman… Categorically not… What? You’re joking? No alright, alright, I’ll do as you say… Bring him round! … No I was talking to my colleagues here… What? Well um he’s sat the other end of a long table, so he needs to come to the phone doesn’t he? … Well yes, I suppose I could go to him… Hang on then a sec, I’ll go give him the phone… I’m just walking over there now… It is an awfully long table my pet, we’re in the, um boardroom… Loosen the bindings… I was talking to the interviewee Baby Cakes. Just how we’re um prepared to be a bit flexible on the terms of his contract… What? Oh that was just me snapping my fingers… To um, turn off the, um video recorder… They don’t need to hear our conversation… Yes, we record all interviews for training purposes… I know Dear, I’m a model interviewer and my technique is used throughout our organisation… Sit him up a bit… What? No, he’s slouching in his chair. I’m afraid your call has rather broken the mood of the interview… No, I wasn’t criticising you my Honeybun… What? yes, I’ll put him on the phone now… Say hello to my wife Mr Timpson… What was that? What? … Yes I know Cherie… Grunts yes… But you could tell they were male grunts right? … Well he was just er helping my guys move some things… His hands were full… Big heavy boxes full of files… Well we want to get an idea of how he responds to orders don’t we? Whether he’s a team player… No I can’t just bring the guys over to our house to help us shift the lounge furniture around… It’s unprofessional… And an imposition…Well yes, I have the authority, but in truth Angel it’s a bit of an abuse of power… I will do it, I promise I’ll get round to doing it… Yes I swear on our children’s lives… My Treasure, was there a particular reason you called me? I really must get back to work… What? No that wasn’t a whip you heard… Knock it off you clowns… No, just my colleagues having a bit of fun at our expense my Dumpling… See this is why I prefer it if you didn’t call me while I’m at work. There’s no privacy here… What? We’ve got a leak? Just call a plumber. Or get hold of the Water Board, tell them it’s an emergency… No! No! No! Take the towel off him. It’s too much! Turn the hose off! … What? No, I wasn’t talking to you there Lambchop. Towel? Um yes we had a spill here too. A cup of um tea… Don’t want it staining the carpet… You’ve had to put towels down too? Yes that is a bit spooky… Do you know where the stopcock is Kitten? … That’s not funny boys… The electrodes, with all this water around are you mad? No not you Frou-Frou… Look Buttercup, I really need to hang up now. Just I’m right in the middle of this thing… You fools, you loosened them too much! That bang? I think one of the boxes of files just fell on to the floor… Pick it up would you? Set it back on the um table. Bye bye Button, I’ll see you tonight as normal…

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Review Of "Terminator- Genysis" movie

I'm a huge fan of "Terminator" so much so I paid homage to it in one of my novels. "Terminator 1" would be in my all time top-ten movies. "Terminator 2 - Judgement Day" had a few flaws, but the Terminator (the new improved T-1000 that could alter its own molecular structure to flow as well as move like a solid) itself was an extraordinary imaginative creation. "Terminator 3 - Rise Of The Machines" put some more meat on the bones of the backstory, how SkyNet arose in the first place to start the war of machines against man. "Terminator 4 - Salvation" was pretty poor in the same way as "Godfather 3" let down the side after its supreme two prequels.

And now we have "Terminator 5 - Genysis". A pretty redundant exercise in every one of its aspects. It brings nothing new to the franchise, in terms of plot, world-building, visuals or characters and some of these I believe has actually made a retrograde step. The film ostensibly tries to knit together narrative strands of all the previous movies into one coherent story across the timelines inhabited by those films. But what it ends up doing is a sort of "best bits" mess of a movie, plucking familiar tropes and scenes and referencing them in a way that isn't lazy so much as unimaginative. For example when the protagonists travel through time they are encountered by three street punks as in "Terminator 1". But there is no confrontation, and the naked time travellers come by clothes without having to battle anyone for them. 

The time travel paradoxes are never really explained satisfactorily, despite the brining together of all the various timelines of the other movies. Not only that but the original terminators, the T-800 (from T-1) and the T-1000 (from T-2) seemed to have become really weedy in the interim and both are dispatched really easily by pretty unremarkable guns. This movie does see a new breed of Terminator, the T-5000, which is pretty similar to the T-1000 in its powers (and nigh on invincibility), but is more of a human hybrid than its predecessor. I won't spoil it for you by telling you which human populates its character. But again there is the issue of what it's doing while the human characters take a time out in the movie to stock up on guns and discuss their tortuous personal family relationships made complicated by time travel. One can only assume the T-5000 is oiling itself or filing its nails or whatever Terminators do on their down time. 

But most jaw droppingly scandalous itself are the characters. Gone is the Amazon warrior Sarah Connor played by Linda Hamilton in T-1 & T-2. instead we get someone who looks like she breezed in from "Twilight" or "High School Musical". She might posture hard, but disturbingly there is more sexual chemistry between her and Schwarzenegger's friendly Terminator who she calls Pop and basically reared here as a child in this version of history, than between her and Kyle Rees. Utterly unbelievable no matter how much belief you suspend, considering he is 67 years old and she looks like she's 21. This Sarah Connor has lost the spur of doing anything to protect her son and instead is looking after her old Dad, who happens to be a Terminator and reasonably adept at looking after himself. It just doesn't work.

The film also references either visually or in idea films like "Speed", "Bladerunner" and "Avengers", when the "Terminator" series has always thrived in its own visual and imagistic presentation that makes it stand out from other films working in the same arena.

So this film has nothing to recommend it to either die hard fans, or those coming to the franchise new and wondering what the fuss was all about. Save your money, watch "Terminator 1" on YouTube and read my novel "Time After Time" instead. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Memoirs Are Made Of These - Friday Flash

He didn’t know where to pitch his personal statement. He could legitimately tilt it to the depths of impoverished misery, but if he overplayed his hand then that might be cause for refusal. What did it matter where he had come from anyway? The whole objective was to shed that burden and to start a new life here in the new world and to build up a new story and a new being wholly from scratch. But then he remembered the grainy satellite reality TV shows he’d siphoned back home and how the back-story perennially counted for more than the talent being displayed.

This wasn’t any story he recognised, not least his own. The monks were offering him words and when he pursed his brows trying to find any familiarity bearing to his life, they clenched their straps and made his whole body pucker with agony. Under such a preceptorial regime he learned the intricate details of the rituals he had partaken of, the blood and the babies, the bestiality and the sacrifices. Laid prone there on the rack, he saw himself stood attending the Sabbats, a whole shadow life he must have previously sleepwalked through. But then he had always struggled to recall his daily activities because they seemed so unremarkable.

He narrated his story in tattoos. Each year he had another chapter inked to his flesh. It took him twelve months to compose the layered image that would encapsulate all the nuances and dilemmas of the event he was indelibly marking. But the scroll of the parchment of his own body meant that, unlike most pictorial scripts, his tale was non-linear. And only ever fully revealed to a lover abed. Nor ever complete, unless his embalmer cared to append the epilogue to his skin.

‘Good sense of humour’, which supplicant at the font of dating agencies would fail to proffer that? Even when it wasn’t true. The worst ones are those who proceed to try and be amusing and fall flat on their unfunny faces. No, maintain a level and even tone. In keeping with his claim to ‘professional’. But there again that epithet could conceal a whole host of sins. A professional darts player, or a professional sanitation engineer actually translated as a good old fashioned dustman. This was so damned hard, one hundred and fifty words to describe himself clinchingly without lapsing into cliche. Didn’t really matter, it all came down to the photo anyway.

Their surveillance meant that they had infiltrated every aspect of his life. Names, dates, places of meetings and supposedly sub rosa communications. Every forensic link and association with just about every activity he’d ever been engaged in, was laid out before the rest of the village. These sessions were called ‘Self-Criticism’, but it was just a forum for peers to lay into one verbally and break the spirit. Based on time-honoured  jealousy, greed and petty vindictiveness rather than any more lofty ideals. They constructed a treasonous, deviant persona that he couldn’t recognise as himself, but which by the end he had to admit to and then recant. Which was a pity, as he found himself drawn to such a person.

The composite that the online data capture  had constructed of him, made for a veritable Frankenstein’s Monster. An ethical environmental consumer with a huge appetite for sweatshop and non-renewable sourced products. A technological Luddite with a penchant  for electronics. A proud Baby-Boomer militantly cynical about the 1960s and 70s. A vagrant homeowner. A pet-owning misotherist. From the cradle to the grave contradictions. Arrhythmic algorithms. Capitalist umbilical cord and monstrous Long Tail both conspired to clamp around his neck and constricted the life out of him. 

He had been charged with delivering the notes for the Priest to compose into the eulogy. The Priest had never met his late father, so he could get absolutely anything past him. So long as it conformed to customary bounds of taste and respectfulness. Taste and respect, yes this would not be a speech admitting to any great passions. Whatever his own feelings towards his father, the priest would not be able to lamintae any of his own. Any whiff of ardour conveyed by the Priest could only be a sham, a performance on his part. Like an actor reciting his lines, lines written for him by a playwright. He was now the dramaturge, He could make this funeral ceremony take any course he decided. For now he, not his father, was the great Director in charge,