Thursday, December 29, 2005

3: Storyline 1.3

Staircase. A case of stairs. Much like a pencil case, only instead of holding pencils, it holds stairs. I whistled while I climbed. It was a fantastically wide staircase, and dimly lit, so that I couldn't see the edges of the staircase on either side. The stairs simply faded into obscurity. On a whim, I started climbing at an angle, moving to the left a bit with each step upwards, to try to find an edge. I did this until my knees started to hurt, but there was no edge to be found.

When I shifted to climbing straight forward again, my knees continued to hurt. It occurred to me that maybe climbing crooked didn't have anything to do with my knees hurting, and it was the climbing itself that was the problem. I decided to rest.

I stopped climbing, turned around, and sat down on a stair. Looking down the stairs was much the same as looking from side to side; they simply descended down into darkness until they could no longer be discerned. I glanced upwards, but there was no visible ceiling and no visible light source.

I decided I would leave these stairs.

I removed my right pinky finger, retrieved my fire axe, and went to work. It took several minutes, but I managed to chop a man-sized hole in the stairs. It was dark in the hole in the stairs. I was filled with fear. I put my fire axe away and took out the mysterious glowing orb that had been given to me by my great uncle. As the light gently warmed my hands and face, I felt my fears subside. I let go of the orb and it floated slowly into the hole and revealed what appeared to be a field of strawberries. I crawled into the hole and left the stairs behind me.

Friday, December 23, 2005

2: Storyline 1.2

On the way to work, I saw part of a broken bottle lying nestled against the curb. At least, I assume it was a broken bottle. For all I know it could have started out life just as it was, a narrow tube flaring out to a cylindrical body ending in an uneven jagged edge. Perhaps it was designed to be a weapon in hand to hand combat. Maybe it was a sand sculpture that was crystallized and fused in a nuclear explosion. Maybe it was an artsy monument built by tiny people to commemorate some heroic figure.

I can see it now. The crowds of tiny men, women, and children gather around the monument, a big red ribbon spanning its jagged maw. There's a camera crew towards the front, and a guy steps up to a podium. The guy is wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a red tie, and his penis is vast. It is immense. Books have been written describing just how mind-shatteringly huge this guy's towel hanger is. Anyway, he says some stuff, about how this site will commemorate which-and-such by whose great courage and blah blah blah. A big ludicrous pair of scissors is produced, and with a big exaggerated snip the monument is open. As the tiny people surge forward, the camera crew turns to film the first attendees approaching the monument. But then there's a disturbance in the back. A tiny man, ragged looking, hollers, "Not so fast! I've got a few things I want to say." Turns out he's the old partner of the guy being commemorated by the monument. He raves for a few minutes about how the guy isn't all he's cracked up to be. In fact, it turns out he probably didn't deserve that monument after all. The camera crew wraps it up halfway through because the guy doesn't look very good. The crowd sort of wanders past him, into the monument, except for one little girl. The dude is all broken up because no-one will listen to his story, and he sits down on the ground and leans against the podium. The little girl approaches him and asks if he'd like a piece of candy. "Thanks, little girl," says the tiny man. Then they go tour the monument together and have a really nice time.

But I digress.

When I saw the bottle, I leapt upon it and ate it immediately, in the hopes that there would still be some tiny people inside for me to devour. I was voracious.

And then a strange thing happened. I was just swallowing the last bite when my body floated up into the air over the center of the street and then exploded in a radiant ball of light as shards of broken glass shot out of my abdomen in every direction. I floated to the ground with an abdomen full of holes, but I didn't bleed a drop.

And then a stranger thing happened. Wherever one of the pieces of glass had landed, a portal to another dimension opened up. Each portal was circular, about the size of a pancake, and they shimmered and whibbled like a special effect in a movie. And out of each of the portals came small dogs of indeterminate breed. Oddly, they didn't bark at all. Soon the weirdly silent small dogs filled the streets. I lay down on my back, staring up at the fish in the sky, and let the dogs crawl on me. They sniffed at the holes in my abdomen.

I could tell it was going to be one of those days.

After a time, as the dogs grew thicker, it seemed prudent to take my leave of these goings on. I stood up, brushing wayward dogs off my arms and chest, and waded through the now knee-deep mammals to the nearest door I could see. The sign on the door said, "Stairs." I opened the door and sure enough, there they were. I entered and began climbing, shutting the door behind me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

1: Storyline 1.1

When I woke up, the sky was full of fish.

I got dressed and went downstairs, and Matilda had breakfast on the table.

"Not the way you expect the morning to start, is it?" She commented from the kitchen as I sat down, picked up a piece of toast, stabbed a knife into the quivering pile of jelly in the dish, and smeared the red sugary paste on my dried bread. The faint scrape of the metal blade over the rough surface was pleasing to my ears. Then I remembered that Heather had said something.


"I said, 'Not the way you expect the morning to start, is it?'" Sara replied as she emerged from the kitchen and sat down opposite me. She gazed pointedly at me.

"What do you mean?"

Gertrude gestured impatiently to the window. "The sky," she said. "It's full of fish."

I didn't answer. The rest of the meal passed swiftly in silence like the rest of your life.