I tried to make myself scarce, scurrying across the deck to make for the kitchens. There would be work there for sure and the cook would not allow anyone to prevent his galley from perfection. It was too late that it occurred to me I was heading in the most convenient direction possible to be chosen. It was the first mate spied me. He had been gunning for me since before we docked at Montevideo and I had walked in on him drunk with quartermaster. They were singing and in a state of undress, now his only wish was for me to disappear and be away from speaking his name to the crew. The truth be that I had never said to another soul what I had seen. I had heard stories before of men taking to one another in strange ways on voyages and it had kept me laying awake at night. Now I saw him smile at placing me in a position of dissatisfaction.
“Mister Isaacs! We have a task for you. Hold boy!”
After receiving specific instructions on Darwin’s preferred meal, (and spending a few moments below cursing the day I had ever walked in on that infernal officer,) I made my way to cook. In the middle of preparing the evening meal for the officers, he was angry enough to start throwing insults my way. I took stock of them, if only to learn new ways in which I would be able to insult those I had power over one day and smiled as best I could at the colourful torrent. Cook was not a bad man, just a fat man with little energy for anything beyond his duties. Fitzroy liked him and his imaginative talents at the table, but his opinions had sometimes cost him dearly. Only two weeks ago his comments in front of an officer had him reprimanded severely and deprived of his drinking rations. This added to the venom that he poured my way.
The food was packed a little too quickly. The meat I saw did not look in its prime and in the afternoon heat, I knew it would not stay good for long. I would have to run as if the devil were at my heels to feed Darwin without poisoning him. Cooks wry smile said it all as he slammed the food into the wicker basket for me to carry. I took it without a word back. Turning away before my face could betray the sneer of resentment I held. I was up on the deck and into the boat before I could properly take size of the challenge I had been set. Feed Darwin before the meat went bad, travel slow enough not to anger Martens, bring them back in time for the evening meal with the captain, not so soon as to be seen as a challenge to the officers and midshipmen, not so late as to be seen as dereliction of duty by Fitzroy and to give ammunition to my nemesis. Today was a challenge. As I sat in the boat watching the men row, I closed my eyes and dreamed of Rio. Girls on the harbour wall. Music in the streets. Fresh sweet fruits I never knew the names of.
The sand in the bay looked soft and white like sugar but it burned my feet through the flimsy sandals as I ran to the rocks. The basket was heavier than I had expected and I was also carrying a satchel of brushes and inks. Martens struggled to carry the easel, the sand making every step an exaggeration. By the time we reached to ragged basalt rocks that marked the end of the beach, I was breathing heavy and sweating like a heathen. Luck was on my side. Martens was not too far behind me and from here I could make out the path DeLanda had taken. Sea birds called to us as we rounded the rocky headland to see footprints in the mud. It was deep and sticky and we edged around it following the path marked out. No wonder DeLanda was exhausted. Even in the sea wind, the heat was unbearable. Flies darted around our heads, harrying Martens in his white trousers and thick shirt. I paid them no attention but they slowed him to a stop at one point. I spent precious minutes shading the basket from the sun and the flies while he dabbed at his neck with a handkerchief. His eyes were beginning to reveal that my pace was too much, so I feigned fatigue and waited until he was ready. I hoped heavily that the meat would be fine.
By the time Martens was ready to move on it was rapidly approaching half past one. Darwin could have stopped anywhere on this coastline, he could still be moving. Why they couldn’t have taken a boat to meet him he couldn’t understand? Perhaps it was Fitzroy’s way of discouraging too many of these forays into the islands. As we moved tentatively across the flats, I noticed that there were cliffs ahead. Boobies swooped and circled the topmost parts of the cliffs, which meant more discomfort. They hated intruders and would dive at us as we approached. By the look on Martens face, I could see he was thinking the same thing. We both started to look for a way inland to get over or around the back of the cliffs and avoid them.
Martens had spotted what looked like a small cave entrance on the down slope of the cliffs. We headed inland towards it and luck brought us to an archway which led through and behind the cliff tops. As we emerged there was a calmness about the valley and more luck again, perched on a large boulder was Darwin. Martens said it first, the thanks offered to the lord, so I smiled and nodded. He now took back his position of authority which he had seemingly deferred to me during our romp across the flats. We walked slowly now. Here in the shade, the air was cooler. There were no birds, only Lizards, insects and flowers. Still the air was thick with moisture making our clothes sticky and uncomfortable. This seemed not to affect our host. He sat unaffected by our arrival watching something in the pools at his feet.
Martens spoke woodenly and without conviction, “Master Fitzroy sends his compliments and something for your sustenance Master Darwin. He invites you again to join him at the captain’s table tonight. Will I send a reply?” I tried to mask the hopelessness of the situation as best I could. I was no diplomat, no negotiator. I was 18 years and no more. How would I know how to stir a man from his work whose only interest was the bugs that skated on the surface of a pool? I looked down at them while Darwin struggled with the words, forming his own response and trying not to take his mind from the sketch he was drawing. “Martens, do you notice anything about the flies in this pond? Come closer man and have a look. Do you notice how their wings are shorter than the ones we found in the southern valley?”
I sighed. I knew this was the way. Martens would not broach the question again. I would be expected to wait patiently until they were both finished talking. I took to unwrapping the food I had brought. It only then occurred that I had eaten nothing since before the sun had risen. I had been hungry before and unless offered I could not take anything. Still judging from the silver tinge of the salted beef packed by cook, I was really not that interested. Perhaps there would be a slice of cornbread left over. Laying it out on the rocks, I stood back and waited for the two men to return to the world. They were craning over the pool from the rock, neither aware of the food I had left.
After a quarter-hour, they finally stepped down from the rocks and began to share the food. As I suspected, they passed on the meat, instead taking all the cheese and bread. At finish Martens tossed me an apple and thanked me for the service although I had heard Darwin grumble about the meat. Martens bid me clear away the things now and be quiet as they talked. They walked leisurely back to the pool where Martens began to set up his easel. Darwin was an intense man, always gesticulating his arms and pulling excited expressions. Martens would listen with his hands behind his back, nodding at times and then return to his work. I finished my apple and threw the remains of the meal back into the basket, leaving the beef among the grasses for some creature to find later. As there was no need for me at present, I took a stroll around the small valley, deciding to explore the other pools.
There were over twenty different pools in the valley, all caused, (I suspected,) by some kind of melting of the land at some point. Each one carried a slightly different hint of green and blue, but none of them gave any indication of depth. I noticed a large pool at the end of the valley, on the far side were strange lizards bathing in the rays of sunlight that crept over the jagged walls of the valley. Soon the sun would drop and the air would start to cool. On the boat I knew a man could catch a chill in the sea air, but I had never spent an evening here on land. Lizards swam in the waters of the pool and dried themselves on the rocks at the far side valley wall. I could not walk or climb to them. It was my idea to distract the men with a specimen perhaps unseen and insist that they return it to the boat. I could stress that Darwin was not the designated Naturalist on this voyage forcing his hand but making life difficult in the future. Be damned with these infernal ships politics, all I wanted was to return to the boat and work until the next port.
I removed my sandals and rolled up my trousers. I could see that there was a lip of rock just beneath the water and holding to the rocks on the side, I might make my way across. The pool was greener than the others I had seen and yet it seemed more inviting in this heat. I stepped out and found the water immediately cool and soothing. My feet were refreshed and my troubles relaxed. Carefully, in no panic, I made my way to the far side of the rocks. The lizards were not bothered by my approach. They lay still in the sun, still as stone, grinning in their lizard way. Nearly upon them, I took care to move slowly. There were a choice of three that I could reach and one in particular had caught my eye. It was the spitting image of cook. What a laugh I could cause at his expense and sweet revenge for speaking to me that way. The ugly brute would make a fine skin to trade elsewhere if it were of no interest to the men of science.
It eyed me lazily as I approached it. I had caught pigeons on the streets of Plymouth when I was younger in exactly the same way. Leave them enough doubt and they will watch you to see if you are a threat. Move too quick and they run. Move too slow and they lose interest and fly away. Move just right and they cannot decide, so they just sit and watch until it is too late. Now I was that ten-year old again. Clinging to the rocks with one hand and leaning out across the pool, I raised my left arm slowly out of its line of sight. Still raising my arm, I looked into the Lizards eyes, it turned its head slowly to meet my gaze. It was incredible the likeness to cook. The same squint on one side. The grin that never left even when he was bellowing at you. I was encapsulated in its glare as I slowly placed my hand upon its back.
The name had not been shouted from the men at the far side of the valley but the creature in front of me. It called my name into my face. It glared at me as cook would glare at me and barked my name so sharply that my whole body flinched in panic. Letting go of the rocks, I felt my whole body fall backwards into the air behind me, knowing there was nothing to catch my fall except the water of the pool. I crashed into the water, my call for help stifled by the liquid that filled my mouth. Under the surface, I watched as the bodies of the Lizards swam above me idly making their way down to me. There were tiny hands around me, I could feel them on my clothing pulling gently at me, pulling me down. Exploding through the surface above me came the Lizard, cooks double, still grinning and looking down at me. It dived at me and watched as I sank down. As much as I could struggle, the hands pulled me down, held me tight.
The water was so cooling, so soothing in the heat. I did not seem to mind the tiny teeth that sank into my arms, numbing my body of its desperate pleading for air. Tiny hands wrapped around me, holding me and brushing through my hair. I remembered the girls in Rio. The rum houses by the docks where the women danced, the rooms where I had become a man. I heard the music as I sank and watched the green light from the surface move away from me and looked into the eyes of cook. Now everything was fading away. Everything was becoming darkness. The green light shrank above me and the tiny hands held me tight, refusing to let me go and the girls in Rio were singing songs about boys in the night…
Fitzroy’s Journal 3rd October 1835.
After several days of searching it is my solemn duty to record deck hand Isaacs has been declared missing presumed dead. We have scoured the islands for evidence of his body and can find nothing. On discussion with the ship’s Geologist and Draughtsman who were the last to see the man we can only assume that, having left his duties to the men, he climbed the cliff faces in search of eggs and fell to his death in the waves. The expedition will continue and Isaacs’ wages and belongings have been stowed to be returned to England on completion of the voyage. My condolences will be sent to his Mother and Father in Plymouth on our next port of call.
Additional: Cook Clovis has taken with gout and has been confined to quarters. He will be laid off at next port and new appointment will be made. The men will no longer have the free reign of the rum. Too much has come from easy access and I want no more of it.
It was a simple foolish thing and, given a chance to reflect, he probably would have settled for the Evian. Under any other circumstance it would have been a triviality but that day it was the butterfly wings and the volcano. His flight had been an anxiety fuelled roller coaster of Mid Atlantic turbulence. The air in London was dry dust and exhaust fumes compared to the hillsides of Santa Cruz. His meeting with the Telecommunication Company of Iran had been hard and difficult. Of all the simple foolish things that would happen to Carl Zuckerman that day, he had little thought for how a bottle of water would affect the future of the World.
He knew how close he was to realising his dream; owning every stream of consciousness in the world. Two thirds of everyone posted daily thoughts on his social networks. Each of them freely expressed their fears, desires, philosophies, political views, sexual preferences. The information cascading down his social feeds gave him a daily projection of the Global Zeitgeist. International decisions were made on the basis of information he sold to companies and political organisations. Today, all he needed to break those barriers holding him at arm’s length from becoming the single most important individual in history was to get into Iran.
Carl Zuckerman had never been good at tolerating religious fanaticism which is why he paid others to do it for him. Unfortunately this matter was too important and required his personal presence, even if all he was required to do was to sit and smile and nod, throwing in the odd anecdote and confirming the notions of his commercial diplomats. All he wanted; all he needed was an extension on their 5 year connection and yet it seemed his employees were going to have to defend every incident of freedom of speech that had ever occurred on his Iranian based social network servers in the last two years. This continued even though the Iranians had produced false accounts for dissidents displaying them as sexual deviants, alcoholics, ungodly and supporters of the west. He had tolerated these accounts for as long as he could and had said nothing when the original accounts had been removed without his consent by the TCI. This was taking too long. He was becoming ill.
The headaches had started after the first half an hour and gradually increased in intensity. He had taken a painkiller but when the Iranian government representative had threatened to walk out for the third time, he smiled as politely as he could and excused himself. He needed a bottle of water. Not just any water. It had to be Glacial Water, 10,000BC or one of the other brands he liked. Zuckerman wasn’t completely averse to slumming it here in London, but he was not going to settle for a plastic bottle of Evian from the dispenser in the corridor outside. Not after today anyway. Waiting at the lift, the two well-dressed security personnel he had forgotten the names of joined him and they went down into the city. For now his goal could wait a while.
Park Lane was crowded with tourists and a light drizzle was trying to coat the pavements. People hurried on with heads down and never a second glance; no-one to recognise him and start asking awkward questions. Traffic moved slowly on the main road. He checked in advance to see where the car was via the suits who spoke into their earpieces. It was stuck trying to get around Marble Arch. Some demonstration at Speaker’s Corner he cared nothing for had blocked the roads. From the offices it was a straight walk along the pavement to his designated target. According to his phone, The Grosvenor restaurant was not far from here. It was unlikely anyone would recognise him in the five minutes it would take to get to the restaurant and order his cool, soothing glass bottled water and the cold, February air would do him good. With a quick word to the men in suits, the umbrellas were up and they were moving.
Sandra Dennis, standing on the central reservation of Park Lane, knew nothing about Zuckerman. She came from Dorset, had a soft spot for romantic films, wore her blonde hair in pig tails and spent most of her waking life on her phone. She had no idea how powerful or rich Carl Zuckerman was. She didn’t really keep up with lists of businessmen and women. She had never heard his name in any of the many social conversations she regularly had with her friends using the social networks he had created. He was invisible to her as he was to most people who weren’t following his own stream of social misinformation (which at present placed him sitting in his office in Silicon Valley watching the reports of forest fires outside of San Diego.) The only people who knew his real whereabouts at any given time were his personal staff and a few high ranking military officials in the US.
It had been his idea to remain invisible to the world but not too much. It made him appear hard working to his business partners, non-threatening to his rivals and boring to those who would report in the media his every move. Years ago Zuckerman had created software to weave a completely fabricated version of his life into the streams of social feed that regularly cascaded across the worlds network devices. It meant he could be living without the constant attention of the paparazzi photographers and other lunatics. Occasionally a photograph would be captured of him entering or leaving a building, sitting in a cafe, buying a packet of chewing gum in a country he was supposed to be thousands of miles away from. Zuckerman did not let these simple foolish things worry him. Not since he had developed the worm.
The worm had taken several years to perfect but essentially would follow any publication of an image of Zuckerman which did not correspond to the computer generated persona he kept. It would trace it to every computer, phone or other device that contained it on the internet and very quietly delete, or corrupt the file beyond recognition. It was his finest creation, an adaptive program modelled on artificial life. It was his closest guarded secret. The worm had only ever been detected once. Homeland security had found it but had never traced it back to him. It made him smile to think they were now using a variant of his own program to track Chinese hackers breaking into corporate accounts.
Sandra Dennis crossed the road, glancing across at the procession of two suited men with a smaller figure dressed in jeans and a T-Shirt. She was dodging the traffic on Park Lane and couldn’t quite make out who it was. Sandra Dennis did not know about the forest fires in San Diego. She did not know about misinformation software and had no idea that her phone was infected with its own worm expressly designed to monitor communications from a Chinese dissident group called the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation. The worm in her phone (which she had purchased on Ebay at an unbelievable discount) was developed by the Chinese military and based upon a worm that they had detected inside their network sending information to American Intelligence agencies.
Standing on the crossing in the central reservation of Park Lane, she watched the two large men in suits escorting the Californian Internet Guru to the Grosvenor restaurant in order to purchase his stupendously over-priced bottled of chilled water. The phone was in her hand and poised. As the umbrellas were lifted slightly, all the encouragement she needed to snap a picture was his T-shirt. She had only ever seen it once before, worn three days ago by the lead singer of Intercaine, known to be promoting his new film debut “The Last Blonde” somewhere in London. She immediately transferred the picture to her network account for her friends to see with the tag “OMG! Danny Rampant!!!”
The moment Sandra Dennis posted the picture to her social networking account, three of her friends shared it and twenty six people immediately commented on it. By the time the worm software had implemented its facial recognition software, the picture was beginning to go viral. It had already been posted on one of the band’s fan pages and discussion was already in place debating the identity of the t-shirt wearing mystery man. People as far as Indonesia had started to share the image. Carl Zuckerman was blissfully unaware of this mistaken identity as he attempted to enter the restaurant of the Grosvenor without a shirt and tie, (which he realised quickly, would be impossible.)
In twenty nine seconds the picture was unavailable on all three hundred and sixty seven accounts it had been shared with. Instead viewers were greeted with the message “Oops! Something seems to have gone wrong. We are working to fix it.” Gradually the discussion about the image died. Later some of the global survivors would report that this was the first sign they had that something bad was happening. As they started the speculation of some kind of conspiracy, the worm spread its disinformation protocols, planting more misinformation in the threads. The worm was very diligent in its purpose and moved onto the second phase of its protocol quickly. It isolated the source of the dissemination of the image and began to pick its way into the files contained on Sandra Dennis’s phone.
The worm immediately became a little confused. It was coming into contact with what looked like its own program only slightly different. The Chinese worm reacted in much the same way, recognising some lines and not others. The two worms explored each other’s programming one with the express intention of deleting occurrences of Zuckerman, the other to copy and report everything back to the Chinese military. The two worms latched onto each other like Uroboros snakes, eating the other’s tails in a constant cycle of destruction and renewal. Neither of the worms could win. As soon as the Chinese worm copied the photograph, the Zuckerman worm would destroy it.
In Sandra Dennis’s handbag the battle that would decide the fate of the world was going on. Something had to give. Where the Chinese military had conditioned the worm to be unfaltering in its purpose, Zuckerman was much keener for the worm to be adaptable, saving him the trouble of having to re-write it every two months. It examined the several thousand confrontations with the Chinese worm and decided to sacrifice part of itself to see what would happen. The Chinese worm assuming that it was winning had begun to transmit details of its encounter back to the listening posts set up in India by the Chinese military. As the Chinese worm witnessed the death of its attacker, it was blissfully unaware that parts of its own code had been altered. It was becoming something new, a hybrid of both programs.
As Zuckerman stood in the cloakrooms of the Grosvenor selecting and shirt and tie to wear, across the world in the listening post in India, things started to get interesting. Photographs of Carl Zuckerman appeared on all of their terminals before they had a chance to stop it spreading. The new worm had taken part of the original remit of the Chinese worm to invade witness and report back to its creator but it now adopted Zuckerman’s protocol too. As it evolved, copying itself into the Indian systems, a new purpose emerged in its protocol. Send itself to every system, delete all content and replace it with a picture of Carl Zuckerman. In the ten minutes that followed, most of the devices in Hong Kong, Peking and Delhi were inundated with images of Carl Zuckerman who at that moment was about to finally enter the restaurant and purchase his precious bottle of water.
From India and the Far East, the worm began to spread itself effortlessly to every social networking account it could find, deleting itself and the entire contents of each computer and replacing everything with an image of Carl Zuckerman. The worm was undetectable by most security systems and those that did were quickly overcome and replaced with a strange photograph. Within thirty minutes, most of the Asian networks were being wiped clean. The worm had started to cascade across the world, Africa, Australasia, the Middle East and parts of North and South America and Europe. Wherever it emerged, systems died and stopped communicating.
Some tried to call ahead to international branches to disconnect the networks unaware they were already transferring copies of the worm to satellite networks and phones which instantly implanted the hybrid worm. Telephones all over the world started to receive messages as the worm duplicated and grew. Phones began to fail; most of the television networks in East Asia and Australia were now only broadcasting a picture of Carl Zuckerman. Endless tweets posted images of Carl Zuckerman to every corner of the world. Amazon now only sold Carl Zuckerman. Google found most of its listings were now corrupted to bring up servers showing an image of Carl Zuckerman which then crashed any computer that connected to them. Wikipedia was slowly being drained of knowledge of anything except Carl Zuckerman. Rapidly he was becoming the most famous man in history although most people had no idea who he was.
Several minutes later, more important infrastructure systems started to fail. The Human Genome project and SETI was wiped clean of years of data. CERN was evacuated after the programs cooling and maintaining the equipment were lost. Ambridge lost contact with the International Space Station. Power stations started to fail all over the world causing massive evacuations and wide scale panic. Ships suddenly refused to respond to helm control. Air traffic control towers fell silent and planes started to fall from the sky. In the Grosvenor hotel, several people had begun to complain that their phones were not working as the, by now, most famous person in the world sat in the corner sipping his ice cold water. Outside, police radios had died causing panic at the demonstration at Speaker’s Corner which was beginning to spill into Oxford Street. Park Lane traffic came to standstill and a loud rumbling noise began to grab everyone’s attention in the sky above them.
As the systems of the world began to fall apart, the worm turned its attention to the networks it had not yet been able to penetrate; financial, government and military networks. The new adaptable part of its programming began hopping backwards and forwards on emergency communications; connecting with secure lines, taking over encryption software and mimicking its processes. Soon Wall Street’s financial centre was reduced to chaos as people screamed at each other trying to find out what was happening along with every other trading floor in the world. With the destruction of every television and broadcast network, the worm began to unpick all of the government systems it could. Intelligence databases, census report, criminal records, immigration controls, agency reports and committee meetings. Many of the members of parliament in London were now stranded in the centre of a paralysed city with no way of communicating with the rest of the country or the world. All of this was happening as Zuckerman put down his water. Feeling better he began to rise and check his phone for news of the meeting he had left. It had shut down for some reason.
In China where the worm had first begun to work its new transformational magic, it began to infiltrate military networks. In less than forty five minutes, it had destroyed every system in China, with the exception of its missile defence grid. The soldiers who were monitoring the network had been placed on red alert. China was under attack and they were defeated. They could not communicate with the outside world. Across the water, North Korea had remained relatively untouched. Most of its telecommunication networks were analogue. When they were unable to communicate with their greatest ally, and all of the network connections with them suddenly died, they began to become very twitchy. The worm intercepted and monitored North Korean agents reporting rioting and military action in the streets of Seoul. Subtly it identified which reports penetrated deepest into the networks and duplicated them changing reports to confirm the worst fears. The west had come to war on them.
The beloved leader, seeing that his moment had finally come, gave the order to end all other orders. Missiles began to fly. At this point the worm had begun to remove many of the outside military systems of NATO. Europe had no idea that missiles were flying. NORAD was still operational as the first of the airborne rockets began to start its ascent into the sky. With no superiors to report to, NORAD followed the emergency protocols to the letter and launched the counter offensive shortly after which the entire North American military grid was erased, deleted and replaced exactly as the worm had predicted it would be. It was unaware of the implications of its actions although exactly eleven minutes later large portions of the World could be seen glowing by the three remaining astronauts on the ISS.
As Carl Zuckerman left the Grosvenor Hotel, the rain had stopped falling but it been replaced with falling planes, one of which was now strewn across the other end of Hyde Park. Smoke and flames billowed into the air. People were getting out of their cars and running to see what was happening. It was all very confusing and disturbing. The two suits were speaking into their ear pieces but seemed to be getting no response at all. They were unclipping their concealed weapons and stepping into a defensive ring around him. The world was going crazy, he needed to get on a phone, anything and find out what was happening. Around him everyone seemed to be having the same problem as him. Why was there now a picture of him on his phone? Why was it not working? People were dying in Hyde Park!
Sandra Dennis had been standing outside the Great Room, desperately trying to get her phone to work so she could take a picture of the Boeing 747 now laid out across the Serpentine but all she could get was a picture she had just taken. She was in shock and trembling as she frantically pressed at buttons. She needed to call her mum and sister. There were people on fire running around in the park. It all looked so unreal. Her hands were shaking. She didn’t know what to do with them so she shoved them into her jeans pockets, phone and all. She looked across at the Grosvenor entrance and saw the man in her photo. His security team were edging out into the growing crowd; desperately trying to get some response on their earpieces. He was just standing, looking around at the growing chaos of Park Lane as more people abandoned their cars to look over into the park. She shuffled slowly towards him, unnoticed by the two bigger men.
Carl Zuckerman was vaguely aware of the young girl now standing at his side. He looked down into her smoky green eyes. They were the same eyes his mother had looked down at him with when he was young. They were calming eyes, distracting eyes. Neither of his crack team of nameless men had even noticed the young girl move towards him. There was a static charge to the air around them and he noticed that her hair was starting to stand on end. As he reached down to flatten it for her electricity crackled through his fingers. She smiled and pushed against his hand; closing her eyes.
“Oh. Danny!” She whispered as she nuzzled against his touch.
He immediately snapped out of his little dream. Removing his hand from the girls hair, he began to become aware that something was very wrong. The world seemed to be turning into pure light around him. He closed his eyes but it didn’t help, everything was transparent, illuminated and glowing. The girl with the green eyes became a shadow in the light. The air was on fire and pain was rushing through his mind. As he lost control of his body and began to scream, the only conscious thought he had, here at the end of life and the pinnacle of his fame was a simple, foolish thing.
Who the hell was Danny?
30/04/2013 | Categories: Contemplation, Darkness, Death, Decay, Dreams, Emotions, Fantasy, Life, love, Magical, Nature, Nothing, Poetry, quotes, Reality, Science, Space, Uncategorized | Tags: anitya, Art, Black Flag, Death, Doubt, Dreams, entropy, Fantasy, images, impermanence, indie writing, Journeys, love, Magical, Nature, Poems, poetry, reality, Science, writers, writing | Leave a comment
Flash project: write 200 word story on the theme of “Mind your Head.”
In the backwater, plastic walls of laboratory 39 we tried everything to increase the activity in their brains. Aldus, with his brow permanently furrowed peered at the results of countless trials. Magda shuffled up and down, drinking while she poured over data from each permutation of the experiment. Indigo only now admitted that his initial excitement was beginning to wane. He had been convinced these were the creatures identified by the ancients. They were nothing to look upon, but a perfect match for the drawings on the steel temple.
Each attempt started with such promise and yet always produced another dead end. The subjects would show improvements; responding to visual stimulus and spoken instruction. They would develop complex communication amongst themselves. The first time I saw one teaching another to make a cutting tool, I nearly cried. Always they would start to form groups. Always they would destroy each other. Soon we would lose our window of opportunity. We had come so far to find them; across the vast emptiness between our worlds. The steel temple they sent had shown the way and we had followed, only to find their deserts of destruction; the last fruits of their mindless savagery.
24/04/2013 | Categories: Contemplation, Decay, Life, Nature, Science, Shorts, Space | Tags: Death, entropy, flash writing, History, indie writing, Nature, Science, Short Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment
From the Archives… Written in 2011.
Our relations with the objects in our houses are close. Our desires give them a life, purpose, a quest for harmony. Less useful and unpleasant objects are placed in less prominent places, sometimes banished to drawers and cupboards or at worst disposed of and discarded. We judge ourselves on our ability to manage and control our objects and our objects compete against each other for dominance within the environment. There is a certain symbiosis.
This was all explained to me by Alice Milner over coffee…
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21/03/2013 | Categories: Decay, Desert, History, Maps, Nature, quotes, Science | Tags: Desert, Detective, entropy, History, impermanence, indie writing, Maps, Nature, quote, Science, writers, writing | Leave a comment
Click here to download the full PDF version with poem panels.
Soft is the whisper of the cooling universe…
12/03/2013 | Categories: Books, Contemplation, Death, Decay, Dreams, Nature, Poetry, Reality, Science, Uncategorized, Winter | Tags: Animals, anitya, bhuddism, Death, Dreams, entropy, impermanence, indie writing, mujo, Nature, Poems, reality, Science, Short Stories, writers, writing | Leave a comment
04/03/2013 | Categories: Contemplation, Death, Decay, Nature, Poetry, Political, Reality, Science | Tags: Death, entropy, impermanence, indie writing, mujo, Nature, Poems, Political, Question, reality, Science, writers, writing | 1 Comment
04/03/2013 | Categories: Contemplation, Death, Decay, Nature, Poetry, Political, Science | Tags: Death, entropy, impermanence, indie writing, mujo, Nature, Poems, Political, Question, Science, writers, writing | Leave a comment