ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #32 [12/01/2109] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of three proofs: the biggest one, the blue one and the round one.

One of my assistants left them on my table without any identifying labels, and after this made a kerplunky little hole in the water. That’s right, she stepped into the loo bowl and sank out of sight. She never did return. Perhaps this nightmare ordeal had gotten too much. Not that I blame her.

Anyway, I had to work.

The biggest proof had more than a whiff of arsine sulfide about it. I sneezed, and placed it back on the table. Didn’t want to mess with that one.

I decided not to smell the blue proof because it looked like a dead Smurf that’d been put through a blender then snap frozen in the shape of a bow tie. I licked it instead. It tasted like… a dead Smurf that’d been put through a blender then snap frozen in the shape of a bow tie.

The dots were starting to connect.

Oh, the round proof? The less said about that the better, I guess. Let’s just say that when you squeezed it, it sounded like an asthmatic gerbil dying in an iron lung. It gave me such a fright that I nearly dropped the thing.

Did I mention that everything was becoming much clearer now?

I snapped on rubber gloves and protective goggles, took a rack from the storage cupboard, and cautiously placed the proofs upon it. Then I squelched through watery loo muck to my supervisor’s office and put the rack with the proofs on the table in front of him. He looked askance at said proofs, then at me as if I’d played an extremely offensive practical joke.

I shook my head in a helpless ‘no’, and added a shrug in case the head shake wasn’t enough. I was deadly earnest. What were these proofs actually proof of? And how did we know that they were proofs in the first place? Wasn’t the burden of proof upon these proofs to prove that they were proofs?

So, at that point I did what any sane scientist would have done: I made a kerplunky little hole in the water and stepped in. Yes, that’s right, I stepped into the loo bowl and sank out of sight as my supervisor looked helplessly on.

And the proofs? Well, no one knows what’s happened to them since.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

Open-Source Poetry Three #3

Our dearest Writers and Readers,

Guess what? Now we feel like teachers in a classroom full of naughty children! Albeit genius children. We gave you a mere few lines and you went running off with them like they were a pair of sharp scissors!

Once we showed our admiration for the poetic maverick geek that is the Great Von, you started to bomb us with your boundless creativity and flagrant disregard of the rules. Are we cross with you all? No! We love it!

BUT—and we say this with a dull tone, adjusting the glasses on our noses—you need to be reminded of the rules. Do you hear us, MiamiMagus, David Koblentz, gregorystackpole, rebel1955 (yes, you’re a real rebel!)? Your submissions were lovely, but alas we cannot accept them!

There’s nothing for it. We shall have to keep you back after class for detention. And you shall write the following line one hundred times: ‘captain ahab, hunting still, with wife and son and daughter’. As for you, Peter Pondering, you may go leave early. Yes, as the originator of this line, you get to cut class before the bell rings! Lucky boy!

Oh! But before that we need to remind you of the rules and reveal our next line. We hope you’ll be more diligent next time! (Such naughtiness!)

1) We provide the next line of the poem.
2) You write the following line.
3) You submit your line via the comments section of this very post.
4) We pick the line we like most and add it to the poem.
5) We publish every line to date in a follow-up post.
6) Steps 1-5 are repeated until we have a masterpiece!

Вензель

wet backs, sharp fangs, dangerous dolphin eyes
waves for crowns and blood in the water
they wade through utter slaughter
captain ahab, hunting still, with wife and son and daughter

their harpoons at the ready, of fearsome size

Вензель_нижний

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA, TONY SINGLERUNN1N90NEMPTY’S DAUGHTER & PETER’S PONDERING
© All rights reserved 2019

100 WORD SKITTLE // Plantocracy in Action

Tasha Quatro’s head was ready to burst. She’d spent the last few hours trying to find something unambiguous to write about, but every attempt brought only further disappointment. Pineapples weren’t fruits. Tomatoes weren’t vegetables. And now she wasn’t even sure if she was Tasha or a big, fat potato-head.

This homework was killing her. Botany was her least favourite subject, and it hung above her head like the sword of Damocles. She looked over at the nearest table where students from the law faculty worked casually on their own homework. They were laughing like crazy, discussing Nix v. Hedden and sharing sips from a flask of what she imagined was alcohol. Tasha felt a bad attack of envy.

The next day, Tasha went to the Dean’s office and handed in an application to change faculties. Botany was too vague a science for her taste. The world of law seemed much more exciting, more stable and reliable with its facts. It couldn’t be misinterpreted or distorted.

[Though this has 165 words, the case of T&T v. Common Sense decrees that it must be classified as a 100 Word Story. The court records cannot be shown because much of their contents have been redacted, but you can bet your sweet bippy that our arguments were watertight and completely valid. Ergo, this is a 100 Word Story. We’re the ones with the big wigs, fancy gowns and gavel, so what we say goes! Dixi.]

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

GUEST POST // all the trappings of winter by Robert Greig

I’ve tried
to write a poem
for the solstice
this winter come,
for the shortest day;

the beginning of the end…

I failed
to find a start
carve a middle
coup de grâce
weave a wordy way;

the beginning
of the end…

I set my traps
the night before
made all the best laid plans
I chose the bait
and lay in wait
and all seemed well in hand;

the beginning of
the end…

patience
that’s the key
so it seemed
but easy said
is rarely easy done;

the beginning
of
the end…

as light became
less light
my eyes
shuttered wide
to closed
and into sleep
I dribbled deep
from yawn to drowse
to doze;

the beginning of the end
came when I awoke
and found
nothing much to find
but pins and needles
muscle cramp
a spider hanging
from my hat
but not a rhythm
not a rhyme
nor any useful line,
nothing fine
that could be used
to light a fuse
or bold enthuse
to glean a verse
to break this curse,
not epic,
blank,
not villanelle,
not idyll,
even terse.

[sigh]

I’ve tried
to write a poem
but despite
my best attempts
I wrote
a shopping list instead:
coffee
tea
turnips
tomatoes
crackers
crisps
and cheese.

 

by ROBERT GREIG
© All rights reserved 2018

Today’s Special (March 4)

“Don’t faff around, Sally! She’s harmless, I tell ya!”

It’s a perfect spring day, shining like a new penny and smelling like a wild honey wind. On such days, sunlight reflects into people’s eyes, they’re late to work, and everyone falls in love at a glance.

Two young waitresses chirp near the back door of a little café. Cigarette smoke blends with the aroma of coffee and the smell of fresh baking. A big cat sprawls in delicate sunbeams, sharing a timeworn bench with some perky sparrows. There’s enough sun to go around!

“Hey you, young ladies! Quit slacking off! Come on, get busy!”

The manager’s shrill voice crushes this idyllic scene in the space of a clap. It shatters into a myriad of tinkling colourful pieces. The waitresses flit into the café. The sparrows scatter away like spilt sugar dragées. Only the cat continues to enjoy itself, correctly supposing that it’s busy enough anyway.

“Look! Look, Molly! It’s her again!”

Sally tugs on her girlfriend’s sleeve. Molly brushes her hand away. The new barista with his bright sapphire eyes and dazzling smile is working his magic near the old coffee machine. No one understands how he manages to get such a divine taste from third-rate beans. Every day, Molly’s all eyes and bated breath, spying on him. It feels so very close, but again and again the secret slips past Molly like a cheeky little Casper to hide in the vanilla steam puffs. The barista flashes her a wink and places some cups on a tray. Order’s up!

Molly takes the tray and rushes out into the street. She’s almost skipping. No one wants to sit inside a café on such a wonderful day!

She’s here. An old woman in a worn coat and a ridiculous straw hat, standing near an empty table. Some visitors have just left, and there are empty clay cups, dirty saucers and cutlery on the table. There’s also an ashtray with two stubs, and one of them has left a tip. The old woman carefully sweeps something from the table into a handkerchief, which she then folds and puts in her pocket. Molly looks at her. The old woman notices Molly, offers a shy smile and a nod, and walks away.

Molly stands there for a little while longer, enjoying the sweet air and its symphony of vehicle horns, then goes over to the table. She places the empty clay cups onto the tray, as well as the dirty saucers and cutlery, changes the ashtray, and drops the coins into her apron pocket. After ensuring that none of the other visitors needs her attention, Molly goes back inside the café. And just in time to see the barista grinding a new portion of coffee beans too! Another chance to distill his secret…

Sally and Molly walk down a sleepy street, eating mint ice cream and talking a mile a minute like they haven’t seen each other in ages.

“No, Molly, I can’t make it out. What is up with her?”

“Silly chickadee! I tell ya, she’s sweet. I’ll prove it to you. Let’s go!”

The girls turn into a narrow side street. It is adorned with small lanterns, sweet peas in big garden pots, and clotheslines. Sally and Molly approach a tilted shabby fence and find a hole to step through. Of course, the gate is right there—only a brick throw away—and it’s wide open, but who cares about gates when there’s such an alluring fence hole?

The old woman is here. She’s writing something on a scruffy blackboard. When she steps back, Sally and Molly see… a menu. It reads: ‘Madam Maganti’s Bird Pastry. Twenty kinds of the freshest every day cake crumbs!’

Sally stands open-mouthed. Molly smiles, pulls a small package from her pocket, and approaches the old woman.

“Twenty three, ma’am.”

Madam Maganti nods, and goes to the kitchen to put the kettle on the fire.

Day rolls under the bench, jumps one more time, and settles itself in the cozy warm dust. If you ask the cat, it tells you that the day lays tails-up. However, no one really cares.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2019