The Nasty Man

June 23, 2010

Would you do something for me?

Picture in your mind the last time that you saw your family. Was it dropping the kids off at school, or perhaps saying goodbye to your girlfriend as she left for work?

Now think carefully. In the background do you see a tall thin man wearing a black hat; maybe standing in the street or staring through the window? No? In your mind’s eye take a look over your shoulder.

Do you see him now, looking back at you? If you do you ought to hurry home, because that is me… the nasty man.

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The Final

June 12, 2010

Soccer City shook to the deafening blast of 100,000 vuvuzelas celebrating the most unexpected of finals. Grey-suited dignitaries mumbled grandiose rhetoric about sport’s unique power for reconciliation. The teams stood for the anthems of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Of course, as is the nature of such things, the match was a cagey and defensive affair. Deadlock was broken in the 86th minute when Park Ji-Sung was brought down in the North Korean penalty area. The captain took responsibility and hammered the ball into the net.

Minutes later Taepodong soared into the upper atmosphere.


Dragonfly

June 7, 2010

Bobby ran down the hillside almost tripping in the long grass. With a whoop he hurled his flying machine into the air.

The little clockwork dragonfly took flight, erratically at first. Buffeted by the wind it dropped before righting itself and darting upwards; its wings an iridescent blur of blue and gold in the sunlight.

As Bobby cheered a shadow fell across the meadow. Swooping out of the sun the bat, a vile contraption of oil-cloth and barbed wire, snatched up the dragonfly in its claws and carried it away.

Even though he was almost ten, Bobby began to cry.


The Pink Pussycat

May 31, 2010

It was midnight in the Pink Pussycat and place was jumping. DJ Gustav was mashing-up eccentric beats with soulful grooves. Homeboys lounged at the bar whilst hipster chicks cut-up the dance floor.

It was then that Big Eric took the floor and began to jive. Man, you never saw a fat man move like that.

Beneath the music a syncopated stomp grew… and grew. The basement shook and the clubbers dived for cover.

ROAAAAARR! Funkasaurus was in the house.

The DJ pulled the plug, but the funk grew louder. Riding that rhythmic, unstoppable baseline the monster burst from the club.


All in the mind

May 29, 2010

Dr Miles Munroe strode imperiously down the subterranean corridor, pausing occasionally at one of the numerous security doors at which his elegant fingers would tap a security code, register at a biometric scanner or complete an elaborate logic puzzle. The security at Dr Munroe’s personal New Jersey laboratories was certainly comprehensive.

In the good Doctor’s wake shuffled his new assistant, Edward. The contrast between the two men was marked; whilst Munroe was tall with a mane of glossy black hair sweeping back from his high forehead, Edward seemed swamped by his white coat, his scalp and jowls covered with an uneven stubble.

As he walked Munroe lectured his aide.

“When I finally perfected the technique of personality transfer the eventual solution was surprisingly simple.”

At this point his paused, mid-stride, and directed an arched eyebrow at Edward to indicate his continuing surprise. Edward responded with suitably surprised look of his own, and the Doctor proceeded satisfied.

“Consider if you will the Freudian structure of the mind. We find that the id, which constitutes one’s innate lusts and desires, is embedded deep within the organic structures of the brain. Those lusts and desires are common to every human being; from the ‘average Joe’ on the street to the President of the United States of America… or indeed to the criminally insane. No offense Edward.”

“None taken,” Edward croaked.

“So what is this thin veneer which separates me from you? Freud called it the ego: the rational mind. However, as a young student in Paris, it was my greatest insight to realise that if one were to copy the ego from one brain to another you would transplant the subject’s personality.”

At this point the Doctor became increasingly animated.

“It took twenty years of research to perfect the technique. But ultimately all that one needs is a bio-electric inference scanner to read the subject’s ego, skimming the cream as it were, before over-writing the ego of the target.”

“And what about the super-ego?” asked Edward who had developed an affinity for this type of psycho-babble during his time in the institution.

Doctor Munroe waved a dismissive hand.

“Oh, that sort of takes care of itself. And now that everybody backs up their memories to the internet memory transfer is a doddle too.”

Edward nodded enthusiastically. By this point the pair had reached a door misleading labeled ‘broom closet’ which the Doctor opened with a flourish to reveal an imposing laboratory kitted out with the latest in bio-electric inference technology.

“During my experiments my success rate has been exceptional with targets accurately approximating the personality of the original subject; with very few instances of schizophrenia, personality overlap, or psychotic breakdown,” said Munroe in the manner of a insurance salesman reciting some obligatory small-print.

Edward nodded, clearly in awe of the Doctor’s spiel.

“Do you have many volunteers?”

“Volunteers? Oh absolutely! Definitely lots of volunteers,” Munroe confirmed, before fixing Edward with a piercing stare. “Edward, I am sure that you are wondering about philosophical implications if this technology.”

Edward’s slack-jawed appearance suggested that at that very moment he was wrestling with the philosophical implications of personality transfer. The Doctor continued his monologue.

“Imagine being able to hold the very essence of a person – a loved one – in your hand.”

Munroe plunged his hand into the pocket of his lab coat and withdrew a small square memory chip which he held between thumb and forefinger.

“Here in my hand I hold Charlotte, my late wife. A fascinating and sophisticated woman. She was complex, challenging and cruel… oh so cruel”

The Doctor’s face contorted as though he were in pain.

“She was my nemesis,” he whispered before descending into a pained silence.

Edward shifted uneasily from foot to foot, uncertain what to say.

“Doctor?”

Dr Miles Munroe turned slowly to regard his swarthy companion, a manic glint in his eye.

“Of course, this is where you can be of some assistance.”

Edward grinned eagerly, squirming with excitement.

“If you would just take a seat over there.”

The doctor indicated a stainless steel chair in the center of the room. It would not have looked out of place in a dentist’s surgery, apart, that is, from the heavy leather straps and cranial saw.

Munroe saw the panic rising on Edward’s face.

“Come now Edward, there is no need to be reticent, it’s what she would have wanted.”


Home Late

May 13, 2010

My return is announced by the crunch of gravel as I pull into the drive. I am late and I anticipate another row with Sandra, although in truth we would fight if I were back on time.

As I park something catches my eye though the gloom;`a white shape luminous in the moonlight. I strain my eyes to make it out, and then with recognition comes realisation.

A swan. Nailed to the door of my house. Its wings spread, but its neck broken and hanging limp over its chest.

And then I know that they are back. Oh God, Sandra…


The Reunion

April 25, 2010

On the day of his funeral Jerry sat, incognito, at the back of the church and watched the mourners.

His elderly mother looked pleasingly distraught. His brother gave a moving eulogy in which he praised Jerry’s many talents. Rather ironic since the last time they had met Simon had called him a loser.

There was even a sobbing ex-girlfriend; what right had she to be there?

He couldn’t take it any more. Jerry strode down the aisle to confront the hypocrites.

His mother and the ex-girlfriend screamed. Simon’s face blanched as he fumbled for a crucifix.

“Get back, foul beast.”