zestypinto: (Default)
Second piece I just submitted, got to work on another to think of.

There you are, minding your own business, when it hits you: hunger. You gently chide the beast, for you have tackled this foe before! Few alive still remember your virgin days against the mealtime menace back when you lay astride a wooden cage, declaring to the great heavenly mother of being ravaged by the great emaciating beast while your closest comrades, Snuggy Boobums Bear and Big Blankie were helpless to save you from your struggles! No, those days are long past you. You’re a man (maybe), and like all men(maybe), you know how to handle this.
You spot the welcoming glow of your port-of-call: a machine in black holding goods of fine vituperative properties rest within for the modest sun of pocket change. So, as you step up to the machine, you find a bag of crisped potatoes with a delightful artificial cheese coasting on it, and you count its price as your hand scoops coins. Ah ha! Just enough. With mind set, you roll three coins into its silver slot, press two buttons, and await satisfaction. Await satisfaction. Await
OH HELL NO.
Phase I – The Declaration of War
So you gave away your hard-earned money away and the machine did nothing, did it? Well you would not be the first to be cheated by the illuminated box of lies. Oh, it’s not always so bad. Sometimes it behaves, and you leave happily satiated with good food and excellent service. Those are happy times, those wonderful salad days when you believed that machines would not betray you like mechanical abominations from a postapocalyptic future.
Let’s not be too hasty. Perhaps the machine is delayed. Perhaps you need some time for it to actually fathom how important it is to provide excellent service. Maybe all it needs is one long, intent, stare into its psyche to jar some repentance into its cold, mechanical, soul before it realizes the error of its ways. One long stare and any moment it will do it. Any moment and it will relent and you will have chips. You can feel it start to relent that metal spring and it will be rightfully yours. Just five more seconds. Staaaaaaaaaartiiiiiiing…
Now. No? Now. Give it five more to soak in the moment. Now. Right about…

Phase II – FORGET IT
This is not the end. Sure, you could call that number on the side mentioning that you can reach them for maintenance issues, but that sticker is a banner of surrender and you know it and you, YOU, are no coward to petty demands! You will have satisfaction and it will come to you with a mighty taste of justice one crisp at a time!
Clearly though, this has gone beyond diplomacy, this means war! Prepare an arm to push the panel. Now, push the button. Again. Again! The LCD display will say to insert coins, but you will ignore this! Press it until it feels like it feels like giving in, you know that you are doing the right thing. Now tap the glass. Do it with all three out of five fingers. That’s right, press it! Tap it again. Feels good, doesn’t it, getting revenge? Tap it again. Now… push!
Next, look for the nearest fire extinguisher. Grab it and proceed to give the machine a light tap. Now a hard one. Harder. Watch with cathartic joy as it dents up. Now bust it open. Laugh in joy as the glass shatters with a beautiful splash of crystal. That’s the satisfying experience of revenge. Now pick up the military issue flamethrower and prime it, taking precautions as dictated by the guidelines for proper use of-
Oh wait, hold on.

Phase III – The Fuzz
You didn’t actually *do* the things I told you to, did you? Wait, it might not be that bad, it doesn’t look like security.

Phase III – Not The Fuzz
Be cool, she probably doesn’t even know what you are doing. No wait, don’t be cool, she might be trying to get your chips. Best to watch her. Watch her… no, don’t watch her that much, she might think you’re a molester! Look at the panels. Look like you’re trying to use the machine, the evil thief machine. The vending machine will play along, since it’s the original guilty aggressor to this entire crime to begin with.
Oh god, she’s looking at the machine. She might be trying to come and take the chips. You must stop her! Press the buttons some more, act angry. Angrier. Remark to yourself on how the stupid thing ate your chips. Angrier! No, not that angry, now you just look stupid. It’s okay, she’s walking away. Maybe it was a good thing to look that angry. No, wait, she’s using her cellphone, she might be calling the campus police. You were too angry! Why do you have to be so angry?!

Phase IV – FINE
You know you considered getting a second one before, maybe you can get two with one stroke. Maybe it will fix itself. Maybe this is a buy two for two scheme inspired by the conglomerate of snack item companies forced to make you buy more because they think you need to eat more. Remember that stuff about how you only needed one? Yeah, forget that, we’re going for two. Reach into the pockets, pull out your remaining change, you definitely have more than enough. Start inserting coins. Keep inserting. Hey, is that a wheat penny? Hold on to that one, that’s pretty cool. You still have enough coins? Keep inserting. Hmmm, this might run close. More coins. More. Let the hypnotic sound of the coins going in fuel your need to feed it more. Just not the wheat penny. Almost there. Wait, you really only have that much? Oh well, feed some more. It’s not like there’s a dollar slot here, but keep putting more. Wait, what do you mean there’s no more coins? Even the wheat penny? What the hell, man. Wait, how much more do you need? Five cents? There might be a way around this.

Phase V – The False Surrender
Remember that this is false, we do not give in to terrorist acts of chip withholding. No, but you will prostate before the machine. Look underneath. Ahh, that’s right, underneath there it is: a nickel. The bastard knew this would happen. Reach your hand in. Remember that scene in Temple of Doom where the lady has her hand reaching into this pit and it’s full of hundreds of multi-segmented bugs with pincers crawling all over and scrambling slowly onto her skin and into her hair she’s trying to reach for the switch? Try not to think about that as you push your hand into the unknown orifice. Feel anything that seems coin like? Okay, good. Now pull it out. It isn’t sticky, is it? That’s so gross if it is.
Now insert the nickel. If you failed to put it into the slot, then maybe the machine deserves to steal your money. Just enough. Now, press those two magic buttons to make it work.
What do you mean the buttons don’t work right? Well yeah, pressing the buttons repeatedly like that might make them act up, which was a dumb idea. Okay, try again. Press harder. Okay, maybe slowly, but firmly. Just press it like you’re trying to crush an M&M with a finger. Still not doing it? Damn it. Okay then… is there anything else that looks all right? Fine, try the chips again. Okay, is it working? How about now? Now? There’s those cookies over there, try those. They’re only one day expired, you can still eat those. Now reach in. Hey, there’s cheese-flavored chips in there!

Phase VI – Enjoy
Dig in, enjoy. You deserved it. Crack open the refreshing sound of the bag and dig in, reveling in the crisped goodness. Enjoy knowing that you have earned this pleasure as each bite crinkles in your mouth with the aftershock of each lingering flavor that comes with each bite. As you finish each one, enjoy and think to yourself only one thing: you have thirty more minutes until lunchtime.
zestypinto: (Default)
My first real attempt to writing a story in awhile, this was a second rewrite after I didn't like how the angles went. I'm still not too pleased at this story result, but I felt like it was moving too straightforward for what I'd like it to tell and tried a different angle to push some depth. Keep in mind, I'm also bound by a word limit of 1,300 words and I'm already pushing it right now.

Crime of the Year
Donald Lee


0751
“Deviled eggs,” the coroner would announce five hours later, but you could tell with one look at the stain that gurgled out of his lips, stained his clothes, and pooled into the alley as that swirling, gray-yellow mass. The beat cops think it’s heroin. Dirty needle four inches away, what else could it be, but then I asked them what he used to find the vein and they were speechless. Of course they would be. Homicide was never supposed to be easy.
Why did Denny have to pack deviled eggs of all days? Guarez would eat them because he hates to see food wasted but I already spent yesterday hearing him talk about nothing else but his nutritionist and his cholesterol. Son of a bitch never said anything about it when he was visiting Jacob and took a slice of cake, though. Needed to go back to the office and file my report.
CALL REPORTED AT 0713 FROM LARRY HESS WHILE JOGGING. BODY WAS REPORTED DEAD ON ARRIVAL AND FOUND LYING FACE UP MISSING SHOES, CONTENTS OF POCKETS, AND ANY FORM OF ID WHEN ARRIVED AT SCENE AT 0723 TO CLOSE OFF CRIME SCENE.
VICTIM APPEARS TO BE IN MID-TWENTIES WITH NO SIGN OF VISIBLE TRAUMA OUTSIDE OF VOMITING STOMACH. USED HYPODERMIC NEEDLE FOUND AT SCENE OF CRIME FOUR INCHES AWAY WITH THREE FINGERPRINTS, TWO BELIEVED TO MATCH WITH VICTIM. BODY SENT TO CORONER AT 0752 FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS.

0843
Not a lot of people up at this time that haven’t already left for work. Two people recognized the face of the victim as Roy Scholl. Owned “No Place Like Home”: the diner where he died in the alley. Never ate there, myself; never had a reason to until recently. Guarez never knew the place existed and Manny always kept thinking about retirement before spending money. If this was a cop film, he would be the first guy to get killed. If this was a cop film, we could also blame everything on the foreigner with the goatee and everybody would be happy. Search warrant request filed for his apartment and restaurant.

1018
Third fingerprint identified to a Harry Wathwick. Some reports on him involving public indecency, no assault nor drug charges. Last report was four months old, no real idea where he’s been for the last few months. Another request filed from his social worker as well as any nearby clinics where he was seeing treatment. Finally, some beat patrols checking with drug dealers for any possession issues or heroin sales.

1043
Guarez passed word that Harry Wathwick was found in a hospital. Nurse reported that it was critical condition, but his pockets had a wallet containing Roy Scholl’s ID, cards, and forty-three dollars. Found in a park passed out and was ready to be taken away until it was found his coat had blood stains on his back. We looked at each other and nodded, time to roll.

1103
“What do you think?”
“About what?”
“The Mets. You think they’ll get it this time?”
“Isn’t it early for that?”
“Oh come on, just because you’re a detective doesn’t mean you don’t get to guess.”
“I don’t know.”
“This case can’t be on your mind that hard.”

1143
Harry Wathwick was breathing through a respirator tube. No sign of consciousness. Doctor’s reports found two perforations they stitched up on the back. Traces of drugs in his blood: morphine. Not a lot, but enough for any junkie. Too little for a suicide, nor any reason. Might have been to keep the pain of the wounds down. They didn’t look like they were made with a strike, more like he was hung.
Clothes were taken for inspection, doctor couldn’t predict when the man would come back around ,but it wasn’t going to be soon. Either way, items needed to go to the lab for inspection.

1302
“She made deviled eggs, didn’t she?”
“Yeah.”
“I could tell. Let’s get a burger. Oh wait. Shit. Jake’s on.”
“What?”
“Jake Guiraldi, one and three on the top of the sixth.”
“Do you have to listen to the radio?”
“Sorry, you know me and my Mets. C’mon, let’s get a burger it’ll be my treat.”
“There some reason for that?”
“Yeah, the reason that I saw this morning’s case with you. Save them for tomorrow and let’s get something real.”

1401
Coroner found the cause of death with a 2mm bubble in the heart. Embolism. Call from the landlord, got the OK to visit Roy’s apartment.

1435
Landlord warned us that the place was a mess. He meant it facetiously. The apartment had squirrels on stringed on branches, a raccoon in mid-fight with a bobcat on a wooden table, and a white terrier that stared at the entrance of the door in a red and green Christmas sweater with a permanent toothy white smile that emphasized its canines. Landlord said he did it partly to scare away any robbers.
Everything was clean and in order. Some magazines on wild game, a couple of books on taxidermy on the shelf. No record of gun ownership on file. Everything here in whatever order this was supposed to be. Landlord said outside of Roy’s hobby, was a decent guy. Paid rent on time and never had complaints about or from his neighbors. Bedroom was immaculate, fridge strangely bare. No one else lived there. Kitchen counter had a layer of dust. Picture frame was knocked over and dusty, but no one familiar looking in the frame except maybe the dog. Trash only had basic waste, may have also been unused for some time. Landlord mentioned that he spent lots of time at his restaurant.

1452
“Yeah? Don’t know, waiting on a few things on a case tonight. I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t know. How’s Jacob? Yeah, but I just wanted to ask. Yeah. I guess so. Nothing from the counselor? I’m just asking because I want to be sure. Uh huh. Uh huh. I’m sorry. Okay, I’ll tell you when I get an idea, but today’s not so good. Uh huh. I love you too. Bye bye.”
1524
Owner of the restaurant contacted to give an OK for search warrant. Forensics blood tests found small traces of morphine, but much higher traces of doxylamine and acetaminophen. Cough syrup. Study on the body showed some sign it was under the effect of a cold at the time.

1553
Restaurant looked like a 50’s style place except modified with corduroy seats, some memorabilia of old photos of random people in random places, and a stuffed raccoon or two on a branch, staring out of the windows and dressed in Christmas sweaters. Some Christmas lights were strung up, but none of them were lit.
Back of the kitchen were some eggs and wilted vegetables on a metal table. An open counter let you see into the diner, where some of the raccoons were positioned in a way that kept their glass eyes staring into you as though trying to find something out.

1554
“Something’s stuck on a grate here.”
“Hold on.” “Uh huh? Uh huh.”
“This is 12-3 calling dispatch, we’re at 314 Johnston Ave, requesting backup to block off area.”
“What? Why did you let him do that? Yes, I trust him, but why would you let him why would you allow him to?”
“This is 12-3, there’s.” “Oh god. Dispatch, call in a coroner. Expect a few bodies.”
“Fine, I’ll talk with him. He’s all right, he’s all right. I’ll see about heading home.” “Hey, Guarez, I. Oh shit.”

1555
I went for a smoke outside. The sky outside was a mess, and in that mixture of cigarette smoke, the yellows and oranges and grays all mixed together, and made this sickly colored mixture. It was hard to breathe out the stress, like it all wanted to come out. I stared into the sky some more before I would head off, thinking how much the horizon looked like a giant deviled egg.
zestypinto: (Default)
Work of mine inspired from the D&D campaigns I used to do. Still a work in progress, but at least it's going.

Read if you can handle it. Rest is in friend only for the sake of plagiarism )
zestypinto: (Default)
a meatball in the middle of a crowded high school hallway... or a man walking around in a giant penguin comstume. or a boy who sings everything he tries to say but is incredibly tone deaf.. or a boy who lives in a place where when you order an ice cream cone you get a complimentary fish stick... or someone who gets lost in ther back pack and the avdentures they go thru to get out.. random enough? - [~HopelessRomanticMe~]

Part 1, yes this will be done in parts so leave comments on parts if you like. I'm getting into the second part as we speak... or sleeping. )

More to come in due time, just typing it as it goes along.
zestypinto: (Default)
one girl and her chicken sandwich addiction. *passes some sweets to zesty* [~*blue*~]


Thus it begins... the longest short story I ever wrote. )
zestypinto: (Default)
The world was going to blow up.

A war broke out within the world and people were getting massacred. The land was starting to break apart into space ace millions were dying. I remember running from the planes as they started to crumble and saw tanks shoot at the survivors as they tried to come there. In the end, though, all of them died. But then... the sky began to twinkle and light poured as I soon realized that not everyone was dead: the light was that of survivors that managed to get away. It was strangely comforting knowing that, that even though the world was gone, the legacy of others was not.

Somewhere along the way I looked to the stars. I was on the dark streets of a city. Heading to a street, I looked for something to drink and went to a bodega, but only saw that instead of soda, they sold natural apple juices and was uninterested since it was unpackaged and may have been contaminated. I walked around instead, though for the life of me I don't remember what I was doing. I think I was heading home, but that was when the undead came and killed, and I remember seeing it helplessly. I ran and tried to warn others.

Then it came to me looking after a colony of others. I was around an orphanage in the country, around a church with a couple of people, I tried to encourage kids to prepare and get out. It was sunset then, it was getting dark fast, and we had no lights save a torch. It was to a shelter we went, and although I didn't know what to do, I tried to stay calm though I was really afraid of the monsters possibly hurting the others. We continued down the tunnel and then left it to the outside in the wilds, safe. In time, we returned to find the house mostly in the condition it was: it still felt almost as though it was contaminated from the attack. I looked around the house for any possible problems... and then I woke up.
zestypinto: (Default)
Write about life. It's beauty and sadness. Write about strenght and weakness. Create a person and then challenge yourself to make them real. [Nicolinne]

Geez, how much more obscure can you get? Okay, here goes nothing... )
Part 2. Yeah, I'm getting carried away. )I realize this doesn't work, but what the hey. )
zestypinto: (Default)
A story about a guy who never gets the girl he wants, and his journey through life tryin to get her [Eliminate2]
Part I )
Part II )
Part III )
zestypinto: (Default)
Waiter there's an apple in my soup!
That's from a game we used for our improv troupe auditions..I figured that could stem into something...but iono...

-Random note from a Texan-
[Mushwell]
-

Hello? Hello?!
...
Terrible. Oh god, it was so terrible...

We left at 1300 from our Jumpsuit Operations and Breaching Systems into the streets. It was terrible, our stomachs ached, and I had to finger the Wartime Assault Lithium Laser Emission Taser in my back pocket. It was hell out there. We rushed through as each of us remembered: we had to reach the Critical Artillery Firing Event. We were getting pounded from above, the brightness, the noise all around... I felt my throat quickly dry as the High Explosive Anti Tank blared from overhead mercilessly against us.

"Look, over there!" shouted one of the group as he pointed over yonder while we were trudging through the mass. Yes, we found the place, and from the din of the noises, we could tell it was packed with troubles ahead. We had to wait it out until our Western Allied Intelligence Territorial Espionage Recon agent came to get us what we needed.

We stood through hell, but we were lucky: he came with that expression you'd expect all of his kind to have. Our person came for us, and he asked how many should be expected.

"Six," I stammered to him. He took it as and counted over me as though it was something rude, but we were dying out here! All of them are like that. He took us to a section and informed us of the availabilities.

I ordered a Ballistic Unguided Recoilless Gear-shift Energy Rifle. It seemed obvious that there would be some Firing Rack Intelligent Efficiency Systematic with it to help tide it over. All through my head, I kept reminding myself that we were going to make it, we were going to make it.

The Disposable Reusable Instant NeuroKilling Systems and we said a little something as they were handed around and took advantage of it. Just the using of it quenched my throat as it felt like things were starting to go easier.

But then the Multiple Entry Ammunition Lines came in, and while I was taking to what I had, one of us froze, and then we all froze as we looked down... and saw it. Immediately, the one who ordered it, Ben, looked down, and then stood up to say,

"Uh WAITER, there's an Advanced PinPoint Laser Explosive in my Synchronized Operative Uranium Phaser!"

He didn't hear. He must have put it there. Everything went wrong right there. We took what we had and started head out, but then he stopped us, and we told him what happened, and he was acting like it was a mistake. Yeah, sure, I'm sure it was! Sure.

We had to leave. He obviously knew too much. He demanded a Tactical Information Parcel, but we didn't bother, and that ticked him off further. He tried to catch us, but with what we had, we tried to get away. He caught almost all of us... except for me. I almost lost my stomach in the ensuing pursuit, but after I ducked into the Allied Living Leader EntrywaY, I was safe, though I still mourned the others. The blaring of the day continued as I tried to make it back home.

It was hell. The fact that I live to tell the tale says a lot for my luck. Whatever you do, though; take my word for it: don't do these sort of things with an full stomach; you might lose it from what you get to experience.

"Rain"

Nov. 21st, 2002 11:24 pm
zestypinto: (Default)
For those curious, I haven't been posting all my stories from FOD onto here, so I felt it was appropriate to place them here.

He looked through the clear four-panel window of his room, and as he looked, his lips pursed in disgust that it was still dank and gray. "I was told that people actually revel in this weather... how they can is-" He cut himself off and quickly shuttered the window to hide the gray and immediately switched on a nearby lamp to flood the room with golden light. While his face faced the wooden tabletop of his desk, he only felt compelled to look back at the blinds, almost hoping that he could see through it... Hoping for something that he knew would never come.

A year ago, New York City, John F. Kennedy Airport


The college student carried a framepack on his back and tugged a wheeled luggage case along the perpetually gray concrete he walked on. Looking around for a cab, the student then rummaged his paper-laden pockets and, finding what he wanted, pulled out a slip with a few names and some addressed printed neatly in Times heading but crumpled slightly from the hours of travel. He then walked over to one of the cab drivers lazily sitting in the driver's seat, the windshield just as lazily fending off the specks of drizzle that started to spatter from the dull gray darkness of the sky.


Through the trip in the cab, the drizzle that was being slowly fought off with the slowest strokes of the windshield wiper began to grow heavier in beat. Soon the rain was tossing in loud drumbeats as the driver wordlessly switched the wiper to go more quicker to fend off more of the wet drops that fell. When he paid the cab driver for the trip, he stepped out with his luggage and an immediate attack from the sky's water. He looked up as he quickly reached to the double doors.


"I wonder who's crying..." he muttered to himself in a half-second reflection before pushing through the stainless steel window pane doors.


The lobby of the dormitory was a small area with wood panel walls, a fine grain wood counter with a computer and a desk attendant, and a pigeon hole from behind. An elevator and a mailroom were not too far behind.


The desk attendant immediately took notice and shot up from her seat and stated a "May I help you?" as though he had caught her at a most embarrasing time.


"Ahh, I'm the intern from Missouri?" He tried to mat his hair a bit in the hopes of pushing the water out of his dark brown cowlicks but seemed to just force more of the water into his hair.


"Oh! Yes, I was told about you!" She reached underneath the counter and produced an index box and opened it, searched through a number of papers, and then removed an envelope "You have room 314. No noise after eight p.m. and laundry room is on the second flo-" she stopped herself as the door behind him opened and he turned around to look.


There was a girl not too much shorter than me, in a sweatshirt and sweatpants and long light hair that dripped heavily from what may have been from being doused deeply in water. There was makeup on her face, though it ran heavily and while it was prevented from running down to her cheeks, there was a fragment of a fingerprint that hinted of the wiping. She looked up with dark blue eyes with a look of disdain at the woman behind the counter.


"And where have you been, hmmm?" asked the attendant with a look of subdued annoyance.


She sneered angrily and stormed across the carpet.


"You come and speak to me when spoken to, Margaret!"


She did not listen and headed down a hallway, and as the desk attendant ran off after her, I heard a sound of a heavy metal door slamming shut behind her.



---

The student surveyed his room. The meager belongings he brought with him was barely an amount of things that seemed amazing in amount, but was enough for him to live without too much trouble. He patted the laptop on his desk thankfully and turned to the sole window that viewed outside. In the night, without a lamp light to guide one's eyes, one could see the light of a busy midtown street, even if all he saw through his window was an alley. He peered down in curiosity and saw from below a light yellow-haired girl and a pair of large men that seemed to be approaching her. He saw her turn back slowly into the wall.


He turned to his phone but then turned instead to his still half-filled luggage...

"You still owe us. Now you gonna pay or are we going to have to take?" The larger one sneered a malicious grin. His hand still was deep in his pockets, reaching for something.

The girl looked back and looked as though she was about to mouth something back, but then stopped.


They stopped when they began to hear footsteps from behind them.


A tall man about six foot four was walking this way. His hand held a long wavering sword and by his side.


"Hey, get the fuck out of here!" one of them shouted.


"Not until you do first." He replied as he brushed by his dark brown hair.


The girl looked at him with surprise, perhaps astonishment but certainly surprise.


The men turned their back "Yo, Andrew, take care of him." and he drew a switchblade from his pocket. The man was quick and quickly rushed into him, and the girl was shocked, since a rapier would have been nothing against such quickness.


The boy replied against Andrew with a quick flourish as he rushed, ducked and then dodged, and then pushed the end through the man's pits, forcing him to scream in pain as he pulled back the blade, drawing blood.


"Bitch!" The other drew a handgun and immediately as if knowing, he reached behind him and pulled out a firearm, smiling, the rapier quickly sheathing into his belt as he cocked the gun.


"Leave." Was all he said as he stared at him back.


She then saw that behind him Andrew was coming close and she screamed "Behind you!"


He turned and saw the man about to aim for his face. His reply was a quick duck and he replied with a spinning kick in reply that fell the man to the filth-ridden ground. He pulled a grin, but then heard the loud reverb of a high pitched ring as the alleyway flashed from gunfire.


...


He was not bleeding.


The girl had kicked the gunman between the legs with a fierce pull her own leg. He misfired and the shot ricocheted someplace else. He took the opportunity to yell "Leave!" to her. She did not listen though.


At that moment, Andrew got the pace on him and he felt something heavy pull him to the floor. The large man quickly pinned him to the floor. He looked up and saw the gunman, who only smiled as he pressed the soles of his mud-stained shoes into his face... and then kicked him with it.


The first blow he recoiled against. It was the third that drew blood, the seventh that drew a small scar. By the twelveth... the flashing red and blue of a police car flooded the alley.


"You should be lucky he was there to help you," Margeret's mother said as she approached the kitchen with the dull brown bottle of iodine and the cotton balls. She replied with a sulking silence as she sat in her seat. "Still giving me the silent treatment I see," she remarked as she uncorked the bottle and dabbed the ingredients. "Hold still..." and then she applied the cotton to the knuckles of the girl. She flinched slightly in her chair as it was applied.


"Later tonight, I want you to come to his room and thank him for risking his life for you."


The girl continued to glare at her knuckles.


...


Margaret looked at his door and then at her hands. She brushed her long gold hair back for a moment and then stood still for a moment in the hallway. Her hand came close and began to finger the knob of the door, the digits rubbing closely against the smooth surface. A quick pull of the wrist, and she noticed it was locked. The digits pulled close... until she felt the sting of the still-raw skin. Her hand pulled up and she pulled it back a bit before she would knock the door and-


"Hello?"


She turned and saw the man, a few rolled bandages across his face and a black eye but still walking normally. He blinked in curiosity and then his eyes widened and he gave a smile.


"Ah, it's you! Are you all right?"


She turned back to him and stared into his dark eyes. He blinked again, and she saw that despite the great bruised circle around his pupil, it was still a cool even brown.


"Is something wrong...?"


"Thank you."


"What?"


She turned around and started to walk away "Hey! Wait!"

She did not turn back, continuing to move away. His mouth pursed into a peculiar formation at the confusion.


The door opened and he went through, closing the door behind him. The sound of the phone began to vibrate its three tone verse. He reached up and picked up the receiver.

"Oh, hey babe!"

"No... no... it went well, just got a little injured, nothing too bad."

"Sure, I have some time, my internship won't be for awhile."

"Uh huh."

"Uh huh..."

"Oh."

"..."

"I'm sorry..."

"..."

"Yes, I understand... it's for the best."

"Yeah... friends is good."

"...bye."


---


"Did your internship close well?" greeted Tanya the Desk Receptionist.


He smiled back "Yeah... not as bad as I was worried it would be. Feels like time has gone by so fast... almost like I stepped in just a moment before." He looked back glancing to the rain outside, shaking his umbrella slightly as he did so.


"When do you leave for home again?"


"Tomorrow, at the crack of dawn."


She shook her head "Margaret's not going to take well to it..."


"Oh, I'm sure she has other things to think about." He said almost as a brush off.


"Haven't you noticed her?"


He shook his head "No, I can't say I have... has she been watching me?"


"She's been looking at you every day. i think she's just being shy." She smiled "I find it cute. Before she used to be outside all the time doing who knows what... and now she's a homebody always looking out the window. Will you be here all night?"


"Yeah, I've got a lot of packing to do..."


"Then I better send you on your way."


---


He returned to his room and as he began to pack away his items, he looked at a photo frame that had begun to gather dust, pulled it up and looked at the photo of him and a girl. He gazed into it for awhile, a thumb slowly reaching for the face of the girl slowly... and then he heaved the photo into the wastebasket, producing a crashing sound.


He turned as he heart a knocking "Come in, the door's open."


The door gently pushed open and he saw the bright hair and the dark blue eyes of Margaret as she quietly looked through the side of the door.


"Hey there," he said almost as though he was greeting a child "Heard you're going to be graduating to college soon. Choose a major?" She shook her head from behind the door and then quietly shut it behind her, without answering the question.


"Is... something wrong?"


She ran to him, tears falling from her cheeks in heavy drops, and her arms quickly wrapped around him. The lamp flashed and soon winked out with the rest of the world as lightning pealed crackles and the wind hissed behind it through the endless coming of falling water.


---


She was not there when he left. He looked up and thought that she may have been looking down from a window, but shook it aside.


"What could that have meant..." he muttered to himself.


"Eh?" The driver grunted.


"Nothing, nothing. To the airport please."


---


"Did this rain stop yet?" His fingers leaked open a crack, the water still falling in heavy drops was his sight, linked with a gale of winds. He sighed and looked at the laptop on his desk. A doorbell rang and he pulled himself up as he yelled out "I'll get it!"


His ears caught the endless downpour outside. "Who could it be outside in this terrible weather?"


The door rang again "I'm coming, I'm coming!" He shouted in response and he made it to the front door.


He turned the knock, opened it, and saw a girl in limp wet yellow hair, large dark blue eyes that were stained with running makeup, and a sweatshirt and sweatpants that were doused heavily from the outside rain.
zestypinto: (Default)
The news only tells as it always does: another sector lost to the aliens, another battle lost and another hundreds of lives lost. I feel sorry that of all those killed, there is not much to give them for a funeral save a cannister of frozen ashes to be shipped to their home colony for proper burial. That is, for most of them.

Captain Twelve was one of the older experiments for the Genome project. You could tell from the way he talks that there is something about him that even I could tell that shows he was an example of a more aggressive experiment. He takes his meals in liquid packets, never talks except when it is necessary, and always walks in a military fashion. Whenever I tried talking to him, he does not have much to say, except for a few pointers on my piloting that he thinks needs improving. Most of the homeworlders usually look at him with a sort of disgust. Analysis tells me it is disgust. Captain Twelve never was taught psychology for the simple aspect that he was a replaceable soldier.


From what I was allowed to read of the technology back then, the AI project was a flawed experiment. AI could be achieved for the more logical things necessary for it to behave like a living being, but sentience and a proper learning mechanism was still something that was too difficult for the engineers to manufacture. In some sense, people said the AI "lacked a soul."


To replace the great shortage of manpower, the Genome Project was initiated to breed soldiers that did not have parents. For the homeworlders, it meant more morale boosts. It did not mean fifteen years of growing and training just to see their deaths. The Genome project reduced the time to five years. The first batch were antisocial in nature and some commited suicide. Soon all one hundred and eighty one died even before being applied to combat. Captain Twelve was from the second batch.


The second batch was a correction of all the neurologists and geneticists major mistakes. Fixed of the major problems instilled into them from instinctive encouragement supplied by their natural hormone adjustments and learning mechanisms, the second batch were an extreme improvement, but not a total one. Homeworlders complained of their lack of hair growth, of the way they stared like they were of empty minds, and the way they took everything seriously as they were taught to. One of the neurologists told me that while the second batch were not to be destoyed, a lot of care was placed to make sure that they were not immersed into the outside environment for fear that their sensitive learning mechanisms would take in the wrong stimuli. Some received neurosurgery in the next few months to make sure they did not create errors and then kept in rooms to be monitored.


They were made for intensive combat unlike the others. When I was serving under him, he always repeated three things before going into battle. "Aim to cripple then finish";"Suppress all opponents"; and "Protect and learn from the mistakes of others". The new ones never understood why he said it until they saw him in combat, moving with a reaction time and accuracy unlike anything they would have seen. The homeworlders sometimes watched to learn his combat data, and talked of it like he was "something out of a horror movie." When I asked the neuropsychologists about this, they would smile and tell me not to worry about it.


It is strange when you see someone like Captain Twelve. I wonder if he is alone all the time. The records I was allowed to read stated that out of the one hundred and sixty created from the second batch, only thirty-two still exist. They are working on the thirty-fifth batch now, though batches are now done in ten thousand instead of a hundred and sixty, and are more sociable. Some are even allowed to mix with the platoons of homeworlders though they still have careful screening of what they are allowed to see.


I remember the day I was with Captain Twelve and asked if he was alone. He turned next to me, looked at me funny, and then wondered what I meant by it. I told him it was being without someone and I told him if he felt alone then it would be all right to talk about it. He looked at me, and then he saw me smile, and I think he smiled back for once.


During a battle against the forty-three assault ships the aliens posed against the platoon, I remember Captain Twelve about to destroy the last assault ship with the fifteen others. Before he could fire the last shot, the ship managed to catch his in a blast that threatened to destroy his ship. Before he died, his radio asked for me, and he told me he finally understood what I meant. His craft exploded 0.12 seconds afterwards.


His remains could not be scavanged, so I found a flower growing in the atrium of the space station and I placed it in the hangar and then opened the airlock. As it drifted into space, I felt it was fitting that I could not find something more to say about a man like him.
zestypinto: (Default)
11:00. He sobbed that night.

The morning afterward, he walked to school. There was a photo of her in his room. He threw it in the trash. The day was a dreary gray overcast as it was for the past four days. He sighed as he walked, seeing none of his friends along the way.


8:40. Appointment with the school psychologist. He rushed in at 8:42 but his appointment was rescheduled again for 2:30PM. He had to accept.


Homeroom was unruly. Chris popped paperwads at the back of his head again. He did nothing for fear of the homeroom teacher and her vigilant eye... over him.


9:00. Period 1. Chris and his friends tossed garbage over at his head from the other side of the lockers onto him. He changed his shorts for fear of getting caught by the Phys. Ed. coach as he had before.


9:50. Period 2. She was in the same class and refused to even look at him. He wanted an answer, but there was no answer.


10:40. Period 3. The teacher handed in their essays. He scored a 40 and a requirement to have it signed to his parents. She still refused to look back at him.


11:30. He ate lunch at his usual table. They didn't notice him sit down, but they talked at length about how great this movie was, how good this game was. He was still quiet until one of them, Ben, asked if he agreed, which he gave a slight smile and nod to. Ben replied to the others, "You see?? Even HE knows it!"


12:00. Period 4. His advisor's class progressed normally. He wanted to ask her something, but before he could, it was the end of the class and she recommended that he hurry to next class.


12:50. Period 5. Larry joined in shooting spitwads with Chris. He went up and tried to explain to the teacher, but he told him to be a man about it.


1:40. Period 6. The art teacher questioned his drawing of Jesus burning the other day and wondered if he got to see the Psychologist as he wanted him to. He told the teacher about his reschedule, and he looked at him strangely "This is the third day already! Are you avoiding your appointments?" He wrote up his hall pass to go to the psychologist.


2:30. They school psychologist finally let him see him. "Tell me your problems." He could really say anything that would work. He tried to explain his problems with this girl. The psychologist replied that he needs to be more assertive. He tried to explain about the bullies. He explained that he needs to be more accepting. He explained that the picture was just based off of what his parents thought of him at times when he didn't do well. It was 2:50 before he could finish explaining and he was shoo'd out of the room, given another appointment at 8:40.


When he went to catch up with his friends, they were gone again. Chris was there and he threw rocks at the back of his head until a teacher caught him. As he was halfway home, Chris reappeared again and pelted tiny rocks at the back of his head until he could get home.


3:10. No one was home. He turned on the television and saw an angry protestor wanting to kill Arabs for the World Trade Center. He turned the channel again and saw a bunch of muscular men defeat their villain with their weaponry and fists as they pummeled him to the ground. Next channel, three people die by gunshots. Culprit was sentenced to death by chair. Next channel... mother was home.


Mother came in, asked him to help with the groceries. He complied. She asked how was school. Before he could reply, she started rummaging through his backpack and quickly found his test. Mother yelled at him, wondering why he didn't do better: if the Saturday and Sunday classes weren't any help at all. She told him to go to his room and work on his homework, and he had to comply.


3:50. His mother came into his room and gave him a thirty minute lecture on the importance of education. He sighed and his mother immediately asked what that meant. He said nothing afterwards and he was grounded for the rest of the week.


6:30. His father entered the door and yelled at him, wondering what he was going to do with his life if he kept getting scores like that. He couldn't reply, and he received one hour of lecturing on the impirance of education. His father reminded him that he was grounded for the rest of the week to make sure he didn't spend any of his time with his friends.


10:10. She came online to talk to him on his computer. She asked him how he was. He had to say fine. She asked him why he didn't talk to her. She then told him about the nice guy that was better than him in every way and before he could reply, she went offline.


11:00. He sobbed that night.

The morning afterward, he walked to school. There was a key his father had that he hid under the cupboards that he had. The day was a dreary gray overcast as it was for the past five days. He sighed as he walked, seeing none of his friends along the way.


8:40. He went to visit the school psychologist. He was nervous and felt a need to speak, but his appointment was moved to 2:30.


Homeroom was unruly. Chris popped paperwads at the back of his head again. He did nothing for fear of the homeroom teacher and her vigilant eye... over him. He was still nervous.


9:00. Period 1. Chris and his friends tossed garbage over at his head from the other side of the lockers onto him. He changed his shorts for fear of getting caught by the Phys. Ed. coach as he had before. He knew he had to stand now.


"Stop..." He said nervously.


"What?" Chris replied "You want to do something against me, punk?"


Chris' friend replied "You see that? He thinks he's trying to be better than you."


"He ain't nothing." He tossed another piece of garbage that struck him in the nose. They laughed.


"Stop.." He said with a little less of the nervousness.


"You see this? He's trying to be all gangsta about it." He tossed another piece of trash at him. the others saw and they laughed at him. At him. The Phys. Ed. coach still didn't see it.


"Stop." He said it. He finally said it.


They still laughed.


Before Chris could toss another piece of trash, there was a gun aimed at his nose in the nervous hands of Chris.


"Holy sh-" he exclaimed.


"Stop." He was getting worried, but he tried to hold the gun still.


The phys. Ed. coach noticed and was about to tell him to stop throwing something... and then he saw what he held.


"Put down the gun." He said.


"STOP!" He yelled. His hands were shaking violently. He tried to hold the gun still even more.


She noticed.


Chris tried to laugh "It's... it's probably not even loaded. Who are you trying to k-"


"Chris, shut up!" the Phys. Ed. coach said to him. For once "Look, just put down the gun..." He tried to approach again. He had to turn the gun at him and he stopped. Chris took advantage by grabbing his legs, He turned around, turned the gun, pulled the trigger.


A shot rang around around the school, awakening the students, the teachers... His hands were stained in blood.


"Stop..." his arms held down the gun as he looked down with his body quivering. He felt so cold. People started crying. He started crying. The phys. Ed coach rushed for him, he turned, he had to aim, he had to-


The students were told to calm down as teachers began to go and see what it was about. Some continued with their class as it was.


He couldn't take it. He was going to get arrested. He was going to be executed by the chair. He turned around. People immediately started to rush back. She feared him, yet she listened to him yet she-


He ran.


He could hear the police sirens, even though he ran for an hour. His hands were still stained, his shirt was stained, his legs, his arms, his torso... he touched his face and found a red stain that dried onto his fingertips. He looked at the school, at the police cars that began to have officers running out into the school...


He cried one last time...


12:00. A live exclusive was being reported about a boy who commited a school shooting and then commited suicide. The reporters asked his parents about it, and crying they said they couldn't believe it since they were good parents. They interviewed a girl who knew him who cried saying she loved him, an advisor that said he told her nothing about it, a psychologist who said he knew there was something wrong but he never said it, and an entire school that said they couldn't believe it since he was always a nice boy.


1:20. "I Love Lucy" was returned to the air with another rerun.
zestypinto: (Default)
One in every ten thousand tires produced are defective. Of them all, there was one that escaped the inspection line and was sold with the other uniformly designed ones.

The model carried a mark unlike others. It was not terribly noticeable, perhaps it was from the great molding machine or the etching machines, but it did not matter: one way or the other, this tire received had a noticeable difference in the treads that almost any could see as plain as day.


The other tires soon took notice notice: it is hard not to when one is around so many tires that all seem the same.


"What strange markings! Does she actually think there will be a use in her?"


"She's a defect!"


"Defective! Ha ha! Defective tire, I bet you will pop the moment you are placed on a wheel."


When they were placed on automobiles, the odd tire found itself enjoying its grip in preparation. "I'll show them," thought the round object as it whirred playfully, almost readily "I won't pop for anything. I'll be as good as any of them."


"Oh you'll pop," chided the other tires it ran on "You'll pop and rupture and no one will help you."


As time would have it, the new car was bought. "Oh boy, now to show myself off," the tire thought with glee.


As soon as the car drove off, the tire, moved with a special affinity towards the road. Some would think that she would be different and move faster, but she knew not to show herself off too much or else it would exert the entire car. Instead, she was polite and kept up with effortlessly.


"Oh look at her, thinking that she's got the ability to survive anything. I'm waiting for that moment you pop, you defect!"


But whatever the other tires said, she did not care to notice: her love of the road was quick and beloved. For every day that the car was driven, the tire did as it performed, without a single slip or screech or a pop in the seam. The other tires eventually grew used to her and they considered her a friend. The opposing tire that once chided her now grew to be affectionate for her.


"Oh, you're better than any of us tires," the tire would whisper between the seams of its tires "that mark is almost like one of beauty. I hope you'll be my partner forever..."


She soon accepted and loved her pair as a mate beyond any. For the next few years and the next owners that came and went, they grew to love each other more and more.


And then the day happened when there was a tremendous blizzard. Snow rose and piled to three times the height of any normal tread, and it was difficult climbing through it. "Please dear, be careful! I don't want to see you pop here of all these places!" He showed genuine worry for her, but she was no concerned. No, there was something special about her tread that the others did not know. The flaw in her seam, which different, gave her a type of tread like that of a tread normally expected for the hardiest of vehicles. She dug through the snow with the ferocity of a monster truck, and when the others could not overcome the skidding, she quickly pulled them back.


"Dear! You are amazing!" he said astonishly as he watched her in action. It was what she had wanted to hear for the longest time. After the owner drove home, he looked over the car and inspected the tires and then noticed the different tread.


He quickly bought a new tire, complaining about the bad tread of the freak tire. The defective one rested in the trunk of the car as a spare, in a perpetually dark corner. As days passed, months, years in patient waiting, she hoped her friends and her love would wait for her as she did for them, remembering the cherished time they thought of her as something useful. ...when she would one day awaken at the sound of a rumble that awoken her. "What could it be?" she thought "It sounds so terrible!"


Soon the trunk opened and she saw the light of day again, and then the different person, never knowing about the new owner. He looked her over, grimaced at the different tread and then took her to the front wheel. The tire that replaced her was ruptured beyond repair. The other tires weeped in sadness and even she, the one pushed away felt compelled to shed a sign of compassion. When she came back though, she immediately saw her lover.


"My love, I have returned! For so long, I have returned!"


The tire, still crying, replied "Who are you? You cannot replace the one I lost."


"Lost? But, beloved, I am found again! I was put away for so long and how you have grown so old..."


"Old? What sort of tire are you? You are a defect! I want the one whom I cannot have anymore. She is dead right there before me."


The car soon began to move and as it reached the gas station, the defective tire realized what had happened all this time, that she had been forgotten and that she was nothing more than a stranger again. So she drove over a nail and ruptured herself.
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