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Aug. 28th, 2013

Kermit

There you go

This blog is dead, although I use the profile to moderate and comment in communities. I have deleted most of the entries, but as a parting gift, I have left behind my poor quality fiction.

Thanks for the LOLs livejournal.

Apr. 3rd, 2011

Kermit

FICTION: Premature

This is some fiction. It's not up to much, but what the hell.

I was born in the wrong time. Lots of people say that, but I mean it in a literal sense. My mother took too many Anachro pills in the second trimester and at 32 weeks I was ripped out of the womb by a temporal spasm and deposited in the early 21st century.

As luck would have it, I materialised just a few millimetres above a soft warm bed just a short dash away from London's best maternity ward. Most Anachro-abortion babies don't survive the journey - mostly they die from premature birth, but occasionally they're just unlucky in terms of location. I could have materialised deep in the ocean or 1000 metres above the ground. It may be arrogance or pure egotism, but I think I was spared that fate for a reason.

Nowadays of course, the risks of taking Anachro pills during pregnancy are widely known. And by "nowadays" I mean 140 years in the future, after the first few studies on the drug's side effects were published. Back when my mother was pregnant, pregnant women were constantly popping Anachro pills along with everyone else. Of course the technology was known to be unreliable. There was the constant risk that you could take Anachro whilst paranoid or depressed and end up materialising in prehistoric times and find yourself clubbed to death by a confused neanderthal. But on the whole, Anachro users have some kind of vague mental control over their destination. They turn up throughout history, wandering into strange landscapes and making them a little bit stranger, before disappearing as quickly as they arrived.

Nobody notices them very much. If you could travel through time, would you seriously want to get involved in complicated historical and political events? How many of us deliberately get involved in complicated historical and political events in our own time? My foster parents don't even vote. Mostly, Anachro users are just tourists in funny clothes with funny accents who arrive on the scene looking bemused before wandering off to fuck a serving wench. Anachro users, incidentally, are single handedly responsible for the 22nd century's revival of hundreds of diseases which were thought to be wiped out over a century before.

I know all this thanks to the orientation pack which arrived on my sixteenth birthday. It was received via Anachro download directly in my central cortex. The download not only explained what had happened to me, it also informed me that I was entitled to compensation of 500,000 Eurodollars. Unfortunately, with reverse inflation, that came to just over £400, which was deposited by a temporal direct payment into my bank account. Still, it was a lot of money for a sixteen year old to receive.

There were two more vital components of my orientation pack. One of them was a video from my birth mother, which mostly consisted of her weeping uncontrollably. The other was a confidentiality agreement. In return for the £400, I had to accept an agreement to say that I would not attempt to unravel the mysteries of temporal mechanics, because if I tried to return to my original time point I would have succeeded in inventing time travel 80 years early. And that would really mess with the status quo for people in my mother's time.

Once I accepted the agreement - it was £400 after all - I was granted access to an encyclopaedic knowledge of human history spanning the period between my birth in 2011 and my conception in 2145. At first, I wasn't particularly interested. I was sixteen years old and had £400 to burn through. After I'd pissed it all away on iPods, cider and eyeliner, I tried not to think about any of it. Being a time travel baby didn't change the fact that I still had to worry about school, boyfriends and my foster parents' impending divorce. I still had a 21st century life to lead, on top of all this other shit.

And then one day it got the better of me. I took a peek, and before long I got addicted. The truth was so much more fascinating than any story I could ever read. I can't go into it in any detail, but let me tell you, you will not BELIEVE how things work out in the Middle East. Or what happens when the truth about what happened to Luxembourg comes out. Or the pivotal role of Ke$ha in all of this.

I spent weeks in my bedroom, only rarely leaving to eat, drink and use the bathroom. That's not to say I've exhausted the encyclopaedia in my head. A lifetime wouldn't be long enough to exhaust even a tenth of it. But I know enough. I skimmed the cliffnotes and picked up the main themes. And now I know what I'm here for, in this time of paranoid people who live in fear of themselves and each other.

I'm not saying I can change history. Or the future, to be more accurate. But then, how do I know I haven't already changed the future? How do I know my encyclopaedia isn't constantly updating itself to reflect the changes in reality that are caused by the ripples of my actions? So I keep trying, using the knowledge I have of the future to make an impact. I speak out, I protest and I watch out for the signs that it's all coming true.

I've lost count of how many journalists, politicians and influential figures to be have felt the icy touch of my electronically-charged fingers on their shoulders in what would have been crucial moments in history. The technology to do this already exists, the scientists just haven't put the pieces of the puzzle together yet. I've invented plenty of things before their time, turned people away from their destinies and stopped history in its tracks. And yet I'm still here.

Maybe I can't stop the complex trail of events that lead to my Anachro abortion. Maybe it's just too big a train for one person to derail.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'm the reason why it all happens.


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Sep. 26th, 2007

Kermit

Fiction: Return to the Pit of Death

It takes less than a second for the ground to fall away beneath my feet. I manage to grab onto something – a branch or worn rope it would seem – but it’s too weak to hold my weight and I can already feel it starting to give. I don’t dare look down, but there’s no need to. I can hear them waking from their slumber, hissing, rattling and slithering closer all the time.

I panic, of course. Kicking at the ground against me, trying to find a foothold, but it only gets them riled and puts too much strain on the rope. The ground crumbles away as I kick at it, hitting some of them and making them even angrier.

The first one wraps itself around my ankle. It’s strong, almost squeezing the life out of my leg. My foot is numb and at first I think I’ve been bitten. Then it bites me for real and I wonder how I could have forgotten this sensation and all its searing pain.

And that’s just the first one. I give in to curiosity and look down to see them swarming upwards. They seem to be working as one, supporting each other in their push forward, but that’s impossible, isn’t it? They don’t co-operate. They all want the kill for themselves.

The bites come thick and fast. One takes a chunk of flesh out of my calf. I try to swallow down the fear and tell myself it’s all in my head. If I stay calm, I can minimise the damage. The familiar taste of metal fills my mouth and the stinging sensation now covers all of my legs. I can no longer kick them away, all I can hope for is to wait them out and hope I survive.

Glimpsing down proves to be a mistake. My eyes are hit with venom and I’m blinded almost immediately. At first it seems a blessing, but despite the severity of the situation, my imagination is still able to conjure up worst images than anything going on below me.

One of them wraps itself around my waist and I thank God that I know it will now be a quick, if painful, death. I feel liquid coating my upper body and realise I’m bleeding everywhere. From my mouth, my nose, all the old wounds on my arms which seemed to be healed a long time ago…

I don’t remember when I let go of the rope, but they’ve pulled me right down into the darkness now. It would seem they’re no longer of a mind to work together – they’re hissing, lunging at each other, each staking their own claim to my flesh. They’re welcome to it. All I want now is the end. My strained attempts at breathing appear to be coming to an end. I feel the air rush out of my lungs as the snake wraps itself around tighter.

“Emma?”

I look up at the Deputy Director. She’s looking at me with a concerned expression, as if she’s worried I haven’t understood. I’m suddenly aware that my shirt sleeves have been pushed back to reveal my scars. I pull them down self-consciously.

“Will you be able to hand everything over in a week?”

I nod, try to appear nonchalant. “No problem.”

“It’s just a shame it’s come to this,” she offers, without looking me in the eyes.

I nod. “Don’t worry about it.”

We leave the boardroom and I go back to my desk and start thinking about the best way to hand my workload over to Andrew. My mind keeps drifting.

This isn’t how stories go. The heroine doesn’t climb out of one snake pit and fall straight into another.

I put it out of my mind and concentrate on making people feel awkward by handing over as efficiently as possibly.

As I leave the office later that afternoon, I hear them hissing at my heels.

END

(c. Me)
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Jul. 10th, 2007

Kermit

Fiction: Pit

I come off the dance floor and I’m dripping with sweat, screaming at everybody and nobody and tasting blood on my lips. Pain buzzes in my ribs and in my cheekbones and my legs move unsteadily towards the fire exit. People shrink away into the corners of the club as I move past them, eyes fixed on my expression as I take one last look back at the mosh pit and kick the fire door open.

Ignore the alarm and keep walking, past the couple kissing outside and the few people still queuing at the entrance. Leaving early tonight. Once you reach the climax, you don’t stick around afterwards. You don’t give things a chance to go downhill. Keep on moving.

I reach the taxi rank and climb into the first car in the queue. The driver looks me up and down, tries to decide if I’m at risk of vomiting in his vehicle. Decides it’s not a problem when I hand him the twenty. More than enough to get me where I’m going.

I take the small compact mirror out of my back pocket. The glass inside is cracked, but I can still see enough of my reflection to know that there’s going to be a bruise under my eye tomorrow. I used to try and avoid being hit in the face to begin with, but I didn’t like holding back like that. Now I don’t worry about it. I jump in to the worst pits at the worst dives and don’t offer up any defence against the worst of what the drunkest, meanest thugs in the crowd have to offer.

Make up can cover it up and shades hide all sins in the summer. Besides, I don’t have to face civilisation again until Monday.

The broken glass fragments fall out of their frame and I pick up the longest one and hold it up to my face. One time, I would have taken such exquisite pleasure in finding such a perfectly sharp, cleanly cut piece of glass. I look at the scars on my arms and think about how they got there. Sometimes I think I can feel them tingling – talking to me, telling me that they need air. Begging to be reopened.

But now I’m not tempted. I’ve got something better. The adrenaline will last longer this way and the bruises will be there on my ribs throughout the week. Besides, the classroom gets hot in July. It’s hard enough running around after a bunch of sugar-crazed five year olds, without having to wear a sweater or cardigan to cover up my arms.

The taxi stops outside the next club. I’ve looked this one up online. More arrests than any other in the city. The feedback from the speakers drowns out the parting words of my taxi driver and I feel my ribs buzz again. I pay my door tax, knock back a shot of vodka at the bar and head straight back to the pit.

© Vicky Hall, 2007
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Mar. 9th, 2007

Kermit

NINJA BIKERS: The Movie

(based on a true story)

On the outskirts of Tokyo, a bunch of Hells Angels-wannabe type bikers are riding around the streets, running cars off the road and causing general mayhem, when they happen across a bar named “The Defeated Samurai.” They wander in and immediately start causing trouble with the locals. The leader of the gang spots a feisty lady, and predictably tries to force himself on her.

Then the Ninja Bikers step in.

The Ninja Bikers are mightily pissed that some other biker group has taken up residence in their bar. The Ninja Bikers throw their shuriken (throwing stars) in the face of the gang leader. The Ninja Bikers chop up the rival motorcyclists with their katanas. The Ninja Bikers drive their Kawasaki Ninja motorbikes all over their heads. The Ninja Bikers drive one of their bikes into the butane gas canisters in the kitchen and blow the place sky high.

The Ninja Bikers are triumphant. The bar is destroyed and the rival motorcyclists are dead, as is the barman, the feisty lady, all the bar regulars and the gang leader, who rode his bike into the butane canisters. The Ninja Bikers are satisfied that he died with honour.

In Tokyo Town Hall, the Mayor of Tokyo is ranting about how it’s election year and he needs to get the public on his side by doing something to combat socially intimidating gangs. The Mayor cannot decide whether to go after the bikers or the ninjas. Then an aide clears his throat and says “I believe I may have a solution” as the camera zooms in for an unnecessarily close-up.

Meanwhile, in an abandoned warehouse down town, a group of ninjas are having a Ninja Bakesale to raise money for the forthcoming Ninja Activity Weekend. A young ninja asks his sensei why they have not invited anyone to the Ninja Bakesale and the sensei explains that being a ninja is all about being stealthy. Then the Ninja Bikers arrive and demand to be allowed to sell their Raisin Cookies at the Ninja Bakesale. The old-school ninjas refuse – the Ninja Bikers are not PROPER ninjas because they ride motorbikes and motorbikes are not stealthy. The new leader of the Ninja Bikers shouts “I ride my Kawasaki over your stealthy scrotum!”

The Ninja Bikers ride all over the warehouse and destroy all the tables for the bakesale. The Ninja Bikers throw flour all over the regular ninjas and ruin their neat black costumes. The Ninja Bikers blow up the warehouse by driving two bikes into each other at full speed. The Ninja Bikers are triumphant. The Bakesale is destroyed and the rival ninjas are all dead, as are half of the Ninja Bikers, including their new leader. The remaining Ninja Bikers are satisfied that they died with honour.

In act 2: cop-fights, sexy kunoichi and the Mayor’s evil plan to wipe out the Ninja Bikers.

Mar. 2nd, 2007

Kermit

Fiction: Fate

Trigger warning: rape
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Feb. 20th, 2007

Kermit

Fiction: Warning: Contains Caffeine

“Nurse Calvin, we need you over here right away.”

Celia left her clipboard at the nurses’ station and hurried over to the cubicle at the end of the Clinical Research Unit. It was only her second week in the new job and she was beginning to regret accepting the promotion. Nurses had been fleeing from Mintburg Psychiatric Institute like bulimics from a cafeteria for the past six months and Celia knew she would never have been offered the promotion under normal circumstances. She was totally out of her depth.

The patient causing all the fuss was Mr Padden, one of the many Energetix Psychosis patients who dominated the Clinical Research Unit. Celia was not surprised.

She reached the cubicle and pulled back the curtain to reveal two large orderlies struggling to hold the patient down as he tried to force his way out of their grip. Celia noticed the blood on his fingers first, then she looked up at the wall. It was a product strategy proposal for Mr Patten’s employers, Enviroport. It was written in Mr Patten’s blood.

“This report sets out a proposed product strategy for the Enviroport Logistics Service, to be launched on 4th April 2007. The central driver to the strategy is the need to enable an innovative logistics service for service users, with accelerated response to customer queries and-“ From there, the text became illegible as Mr Patten’s blood had dripped down the wall and made any further reading impossible. Celia looked at the pool of blood amassed on the floor behind the bed. Normally, anyone who had lost such a substantial amount of blood would be unconscious by now, but Mr Patten was still struggling for freedom from his captors so he could finish his report.

Enviroport had fired him four months ago. His work had become increasingly erratic until one day he was discovered attempting to fax a roll of toilet paper to the US Logistics Agency for approval. The toilet paper was embroidered with Mr Patten’s tiny, spider-like handwriting, detailing the legal ramifications of expansion into Canada. His impulse to get it all down had been so great that he simply couldn’t delay it until he’d stopped peeing and got back to his desk.

“Why is it in blood?” Celia demanded of one of the orderlies. “What happened to the pen I gave him?”

“Nurse Kellehan asked me to take it away,” one of the orderlies explained. “She said he needed to rest.”

Celia cursed under her breath. Kellehan was old-school. She’d been here for twenty years and the possibility that she might not always know best never entered her head for a nanosecond. Celia had worked with Energetix Psychosis patients before. She knew that it was pointless trying to get them to relax. They couldn’t. They had to be constantly productive. Their minds worked so fast that their bodies couldn’t keep up, but they had to try. It was lucky for Mr Patten that he had the wherewithal to write in his own blood rather than try to follow Kellehan’s suggestion and rest.

Celia helped the orderlies to sedate Mr Patten then set about cleaning up the floor. It would usually be the cleaner’s job, but since the influx of Energetix patients six months ago, the cleaners had been abandoning ship at an even faster rate than the nurses. Not surprising, given the sharp rise in incidents involving copious amounts of blood, vomit and urine.

Celia could hear loud grunting noises coming from down the corridor.

“What’s going on over there?” she asked Nurse Clondale, who had just entered from Treatment Room 1.

“Miss Linsay is waiting for her consultation,” Nurse Clondale told her. “She’s teaching herself judo again.”

“That damn advert,” Celia muttered under her breath. In her opinion, it was madness to let the Energetix patients watch television. It was only going to give them ideas. But it was by far the easiest way of keeping them occupied, even if it did always lead to trouble later. Miss Linsay had watched an advertisement for Neuroflex painkillers two days ago. It featured a martial artist using judo to “punch through the pain.” Miss Linsay had memorised the 30 second advertisement and used it as a basis to teach herself judo. So far, she’d broken three toilet bowls, one payphone and another patient’s arm. She hadn’t stopped when she broke two bones in her own foot and Celia doubted she would stop even if she somehow managed to sever her own spinal cord.

She turned her attention back to Mr Patten. He was Celia’s most important patient and she intended to make sure that he survived until his hearing came before a court. The Energetix energy drink range had left hundreds with severe psychosis. It should never have been released onto the market. One hundred times more powerful than its biggest competitor, Energetix was condemned by the medical community before it was even available in stores. Not only had Energetix ignored the criticism, but it had taken the company four months after the first emergence of Energetix Psychosis Syndrome to remove their product from the shelves. If Mr Patten could win recognition and compensation, it would set a precedent that would open the doors for others. Mr Patten had no history whatsoever of mental illness, not even depression, and no judge in the world would be able to deny that it was the repeated ingestion of Energetix energy drinks that had made him crazy.

The trouble was keeping him alive that long. Energetix Psychosis patients had a tendency to hurt themselves badly if their impulses couldn’t be controlled. But trying to suppress those impulses altogether was much more dangerous. Celia had seen the effects first-hand at her last hospital. She wouldn’t forget those images in a hurry.

“Celia! Come quickly!” It was Nurse Clondale, yelling from down the corridor. Celia rushed towards Treatment Room 4. Nurse Clondale was kneeling down on the floor, trying to urge Mr Redding to stand up.

“I’m not moving, I’m not moving, I’m not moving,” Mr Redding repeated quietly. Celia understood why Nurse Clondale was so worried. Celia had told her about her experiences at her last hospital.

“It’s best not to fight it, Mr Redding,” Celia said calmly, although she was anything but calm. The hairs on the back of the neck stood up and she knew she was about to witness the inevitable end to yet another Energetix Psychosis patient.

“You have to get up, Mr Redding.” Nurse Clondale wasn’t even maintaining the illusion of calm. She pulled Mr Redding by his arms, slapped his face, pushed him around. Anything to try to get a reaction.

“Just leave me alone,” the old man responded. “I’ve had enough. I’m sick of doing all these dumb things. I just wanna sit and be left alone.”

Celia knew it was too late. He was already too still, his body was slowing down whilst the blood was flowing into his brain was going faster and faster and faster.

“Mr Redding, please!” Nurse Clondale was almost in tears. “You have to keep active, you have to-“

It happened. Mr Redding’s face went scarlet red as the rest of his body seemed to shrink inwards. Celia could see the purple veins pulsing in his face from the doorway. His head exploded. Blood, skin and grey matter surged outwards, splattering on the floor, walls, ceilings and Nurse Clondale.

Celia looked down at her fresh white uniform and was glad she had kept her distance.

Mr Redding’s headless body slumped down on the floor lifelessly. Nurse Clondale was frozen from shock.

Celia walked over to the telephone in the corner of Treatment Room 4 and dialled the required extension number. “It’s happened,” she said when her call was answered. “Mr Redding. Treatment Room 4. Send a clean-up team.”

The clean-up teams would probably take a couple of hours to arrive. They had to be thorough in their work and there was always a lot of it to do. They, like everyone else, were short staffed.

Very little blood spilled from the remains of Mr Redding’s body. Most of his blood had surged towards his head and, as such, was now coating the ceiling, walls and floor.

Celia looked at Nurse Clondale thoughtfully. She was still holding on to Mr Redding’s hand. Celia left her there for the clean-up team to take care of. What could she tell her? That watching patients’ heads explode was all part of the job?

Celia went back to the Clinical Research Unit, where Mr Patten had woken up and was attempting to fashion a three dimensional pie-chart from her pen and his bedpan.

THE END
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Oct. 4th, 2005

Kermit

Fiction: Awake

So I decided I was going to try and write something every day. It might not last long, but here's today's effort...

AWAKE

I wanna feel it again. Not on my skin or in my brain but in my lungs and my heart and my stomach. I wanna feel it tearing me up and scratching my insides like it's being tattooed on the inside of my chest.

I wanna be hurt and I wanna be broken and I wanna be lying in bed, too nauseous to breathe, too fired up to lie still, too sick to get up, too pained to speak.

"I want a Jack Daniels and coke, please. Make it a double."

The words are out of my mouth before I've even thought them. The guy at the bar hands it over like he's handing over a paper towel or a flyer for a club night. Not concentrated hell in a glass. No idea of what he's unleashing.

The first one goes down smoothly. The fifth one makes me cough a little but it's only the excitement. I wipe the specks of blood off the bar and order another.

When they convinced me to give up, the doctor gave me six months. Six months from now. October. Late enough to see Kristen's wedding. Early enough to avoid the hassle dragging out over Christmas. That's the worst time for dealing with grief, they reckon.

So I drink a couple more and the grey begins to fade a little and things come into focus. There's a buzz in my hands and I feel it everywhere. My fingers, my calves, my throat, my spine... I down the seventh one and move to the next bar. Three more there, maybe more and it's powering through me now. Two years and I've finally awoken. And the world is as beautiful as I left it.

There's a crack like thunder and I'm lying on my back. People are yelling. Sirens. And I'm getting further away from it all. Pulling back. Further away.

Until all the grey is gone.

END
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Feb. 16th, 2005

Kermit

Fiction: Skin

She woke up one night to find her skin crawling away from her.

It was the cold first of all that told her something was awry. The lack of cold to be more accurate, or warmth for that matter. The nerve endings ripped away, she felt no sensations from the bed beneath her or the covers on top.

Her eyes darted towards the door, the sliver of light from outside illuminating her skin as it snaked its way towards the exit. It had crawled a whole five feet this time, soundlessly inching its way, blind and deaf, towards someone else. Anything or anyone who would let it touch and stretch and feel.

Quietly, so as not to startle it, she pushed the covers aside and crouched on the floor. The pressure on the carpet startled it and it lurched forward in one last futile attempt to escape.

Her skinless hands caught it by the ankles and pulled it up towards the bed. She pulled it back on, painstakingly matching the nerves to their endings. Pressing it against her, wordlessly begging it to stay.

Everytime she had to do this, it fit a little more awkwardly than it had before.

She spent a good half hour getting used to feeling again. The room was bitter cold and there was no warmth left in her body to reheat with.

Clutching onto her reclaimed, ill-fitting skin, she went back to sleep.

END
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