When the vast armada left its dying home in search of a young one, they were infused with hope and excitement. Their elaborate biotechnology had given them fleets of huge biocraft for transport to the similar but distant planet. Travelling just under the speed of light, it didn’t seem long to them, but it was millions of generations back at home. Finally, they landed on their destination.
They were shocked to find the new world huge, much bigger than expected; unable to dominate, they stayed in their self-propagating ships contemplating their error: apparently, size reduction from near-lightspeed travel is permanent.
I knew it. I knew it would play out this way when they invented Facebook. I knew it even back when they invented the Internet. The whole network of Reality Control invented by the Defense Department. They already controlled the world the old-fashioned way: guns, tanks and bombs; now they’ll control it the modern way, through minds — for the believers, that is. But everyday more are leaving Facebook, leaving the Internet. Now they’ve walled us off with their Rainbow Barriers; as if we’re gonna be deterred because fortress walls are pretty. The damned Unicorn SS doesn’t fool us either.
“Simba, what lies over this ridge?” asked Sir Randolph of his safari head. “Might it be Where the Elephant Goes to Die?”
Simba’s eyes crinkled a smile. “Yes sir, this could be the place.” For seventeen months Sir Randolph had searched; success was now in his grasp.
He plunged excitedly ahead into a strange vista: sky suddenly black, clouds forming a tunnel to a distant star. Randolph saw no elephants as he felt himself inexorably sucked upward. In horror, he heard the fleeing Simba call from below:
“Sorry sir, this is Where People Go to Die.”
They’re tearing down my old house, the house I grew up in. I had to see it one last time. Everything looks so much smaller. Of course, my room was made smaller when they built that stud wall to divide it in two; my little sister was going to need a room. Mine was ugly, but it had the window, hers had the pretty wallpaper that I coveted. She didn’t care about the wallpaper, she wanted to see, to be, outside. When she died they kept everything the same, me in the ugly room, hers a shrine to someone else.
Le Morte d’Arthur
That bobwire roll been sitting on that fencepost over 10 years. Guess it’s a marker, like a cross, except nobody’d be putting up no cross for Uncle Art. Nobody wanted nothin to do with him, even after he’s dead.
See, he was stringing that bobwire. The fence was electric but we wanted to put bobwire on top to keep the horses from always getting shocked. Art had shut off the juice. We turned it back on for a laugh. Art was on his third sixpack; he pissed on that wire and flew like Superman in reverse. Heart attack, Doc said.
People say I’m the life of the party because I tell a joke or two. I might be laughing loud and hearty but deep inside I’m blue. See me with another girl looking like I’m having fun…
she might be cute but she’s a substitute: you’re the permanent one.
Outside I’m masquerading,
inside my hope is fading; just a clown since you’re not around. My smile is just make-up since I lost you, so take a good look at my face, you’ll see my smile looks out of place;
look closer, it’s easy to trace the tracks of my tears.
All apologies and all credit to Smokey Robinson. If you don’t, by some slim chance, know this song, listen to it, think about the difference between song and poem, and regard the greatness of Smokey Robinson.
I waited for her to come out. There were convenient benches, but I did not sit; I was too agitated. When would she come out? Would she see me over here? Would she recognise me?
I knew I’d recognise her. Her silhouette was indelibly ingrained in my mind. Baby field mice are born with bone-chilling terror at the shape of a hawk wing shadow gliding across the terrain; she was that to me.
Most men would say she was stunning, flowing hair, long legs, voluptuous, but her shape was a hawk’s shadow; the terror was imprinted in me.