It's the little things.

Five Kinds of Euphoria (1 Dec 1993)


The flechette is five millimeters long and less than one across, made of osmium wrapped in superconductive ceramics. Something shifts around it, and it flies. In the space of a mosquito's blink, were such a thing possible, it has embedded in a concrete wall, along with almost a hundred others of its kind. The ribcage of an innocent civilian, somewhere in the middle, is hardly more than a mild distraction.


Something on the far side of town, near the palace and lifting-towers, explodes violently. When the rumbling noise hits them, little Paolo looks towards it and points, laughing, as the last of the fireball disperses, leaving only dark smoke and falling rubble in its wake. Mother does her best to quiet him as another bundle of soldiers approaches.


The burning city provides a lovely backdrop against which he paints yet another nude portrait of his two young daughters. A messenger informs him that it's time to leave.


The rebels cheer as the flitter vanishes into the cloud. They have taken back what is rightfully theirs. Another string of detonations in the munitions stockpile collapses part of the palace. The ruins will be kept as a reminder of their suffering, they decide. Only later will they realize that the entire world is a ruin.


Now that the noise has ended, the rat feels like venturing out once more. A puddle provides a tasty drink, enriched-- as it is-- with the blood of a slain child and his mother.

Greenest (5 Apr 1994)

Pretty Twigboy, he got the lean and hungry look. He stride evenly, but always look like he will fall. He never will. Pretty Twigboy is too certain.

He look you over, Pretty Twigboy does, and he like. Yeah, he like what he see. Maybe you think he undresses you with his eyes, but he already did that. He did that, first second. Already undressed you, he did. Now he has you face down in a field of clover, as he-- well, like I say, he like what he see.

Pretty Twigboy, he never get enough of you. He never get enough of anything. He never ever heard the word 'moderation'.

Wouldn't mean a thing if he did.

Tingle (30 Mar 1994)

Rub the brush across your scalp and you will tingle.

 The brush is carbon-dated at just over sixteen thousand years. It is believed
 to have belonged to the daughter of the missing link.
Scrape this shard against your arm and you will tingle.

 The bone is from a savannah predator that has, sadly, been made extinct before
 it even had a chance to evolve. Live, love, and learn.

Step onto the sea of joy and you will tingle.

 Memories float like boats as lust jet-skis back and forth, creating a wake
 that rocks everything else relentlessly.

Look into the light that hungers; you will tingle.

 We tried to bottle it, once, but the glass just became more light and we
 were reduced, once more, to visual metaphors instead of words.

Come with me and feel the world around you tingle.

Greenest II (15 May 1994)

Pretty Twigboy, he look smug and satisfied. He certainly smug, oh yes, but he never satisfied completely. Only a start. Everything is only a start.

Pretty Twigboy, he smell of amber and he twinkle in the firelight. There is a driving stream of sound through him. Put your head against him sometime; perhaps you hear it.

Pretty Twigboy always climbing, but he have no sense of scale.

Fluid and Smoke (13 May 1994)

They look good together on canvas. She likes the way the flavors combine on her tongue. The children take turns picking one, then the other. The newlyweds cannot decide which they prefer for the living room. One falls, the other rises. They are cold and hot, day and night, rain and shine, mountain and canyon. They are water and fire, water and fire, water and fire.

They sit across the table from each other and argue. The mandate of the people is split between them. I keep them in separate cupboards. At night, the heli- copters and floodlights prevent them from fraternizing. They are white and black, tundra and desert, slow and fast, earth and sky. They are water and fire, water and fire, water and fire.

They chase each other without ever touching. Each sits in the shadow of the other. They sit side by side on a shelf in the empty store in the empty ruins of the dead world. Perhaps one is the price of the other. They are life and death, laughter and tears, pleasure and pain, love and hate. They are water and fire, water and fire, water and fire.

And that's how we all got in so much trouble (15 Jan 1995)

"What's the old record? Seventeen?"

We do a quick headcount. There are seventeen of us.

"ONE MORE!" begins the cry. "WE NEED JUST ONE MORE!"

Someone smoking on the back porch sheds their clothing, then, forced by peer pressure to disrobe and join the wriggling mass of tangled flesh in the bubbling DNA backyard soup pot.

A shout goes up as we cram the eighteenth person in, and then, from out of nowhere, the Love Ewe leaps from the swimming pool and bounces around on top of all of us.

But suddenly a strong constabulary voice shouts "Nobody move, you're all under arrest!" as floodlights stab down at us without warning and the Love Ewe begins to shout accusations, and it occurs to me that this could very well just be a dream. I am, after all, in a group of people and I don't have any pants on.

I decide to pinch myself to wake up and get slapped for my efforts. "Oops, sorry, uh, what was your name again? Heather? Margaret? Lisa?" One limb is good as another in these conditions.

Later, down at the station, they charge each of us with one count of having fun during the rainy season and one count of contributing to the delinquency of an inflatable sex toy. "Give this one his two Usenet posts and get him the fuck back to his cell. Sicko."

At least checking us all in was quick and simple. "Place all your possessions on the table. Okay. Item One: Towel, beige. Uh. That's it. You can go." 

Gotta go; David Bedno ordered some pizza from the Pizza Hut website and if I don't get back to the cell pretty quick it'll all disappear.

Help for those who roadtrip (28 Feb 1995)

The cops in the South Bay traveled in lightning-fast armor-plated ambush bug scarabs; one of them jumped me outside of Fremont. My sex-homonculus scrunched down in the seat beside me to avoid being spotted, but that wasn't going to work and we both knew it. I made her for the express purpose of being seen a great deal, after all. When she died, it would be the greatest thing to ever happen to either of us, but in the meantime she handled the gun and kept my lap busy.

We were fucked, and I knew it, because we had a trunk full of stolen Magic cards and the last tourney we'd knocked over got a good look at us. We were just too damn slow, is all. Still, it was a good gig while it lasted-- lotta valuable cards lying around, jack shit for security. Wave a gun around shouting "All right, geeks, this is a Mind Twist. Discard all your cards into the bag or I'll tap my Rod of Ruin here!" and walk out with maybe twenty grand worth of printed cardboard.

But they were on to us by now, I could tell. But what could I do? Cop had us down, his bug was faster than my piece of shit d'Audi. I had the babe stash the gun outta sight and we waited. I grabbed a license and reg from the stack of spares and prayed his magnetic reader was on the fritz.

So he slithered up alongside us as I rolled down the window. Craning his visual units at the end of his multi-jointed neck, he extended his flat, broad head this way and that, making sure we could see his poison-injectors. "For what reason do you rush so?" he finally queried. "Wife's having a baby," I said. But the homonculus ruined the effect by lifting her skirt and knees, giving the cop an eyeful of pink. One of his eyes focused on me skeptically; the other three continued to scan her crotch. A slight advantage, at least.

"I see no evidence of pregnancy," he said. "This is my daughter, not my wife," I decided. He seemed to buy it long enough for her to pull the gun and pop him one right between his dual brainstems. Impossible to kill, of course, but this would keep him arguing with himself on a course of action for some time. And we just needed to get across the border into Sanity Land.

I piled out of the car long enough to get his badge, gun, keys, and voicebox, while she revved the engine back up and engaged the reactor. Then I tossed a grenade into the ambush bug, which protested loudly right up until it exploded, and dived into the passenger seat as my little creature's gloriously-stockinged foot slammed down hard on the accelerator and fired us like a bullet into the brain of heaven.

King of the Hill (17 May 1995)

for everyone who commutes over Highway 17

The Sentra sniffs the air. Yes, it is time. The sun has risen and the herd rouses itself from slumber. It is time to go North. It is time to migrate over the Hill.

They come together in the little valley between the roads. Behind them, the Bay sparkles as they charge up the hill, and the struggle begins. Who will be King? Who will take control?

Their wheels pound the concrete. The weak, the old, and the indecisive fall quickly: the battered brown station wagon, the ponderous four-door sedan, the VW bug, the Pinto, the van. The Sentra surges forward, confident. He is young, away from the factory only a few months, but he has already shown his skill on the mountain.

Like lightning they run around the oh-so-slow trailer trucks which stand like statues on the curves and grades. A 4Runner rushes up to bite at the Sentra's right flank, but he pushes it back and it is forced into the ass-end of one of the eighteen-wheeled behemoths. The others rush in behind him and soon, the 4Runner is minutes behind.

They know the Sentra is hot. He cuts into a corner, sweeps around a lumbering Mercedes. His mind is filled with noise and light, the sound of power. The inside of his head is Skinny Puppy, is Big Black, is Lard, is KMFDM. He kicks the feet out from under a Jaguar and it falls under the unforgiving treads of those who nip at his heels.

He's not always done so well, of course. Faintly, there is a memory of a bad day, a day when he lost to a grizzled old veteran: a half-ton Chevy truck which rammed up behind him and muscled its way along his flank. They went back and forth all along the Hill that morning, but on the far side the Sentra slipped up, taking a moment to sniff at the upraised tail of a CRX in heat. And while she led him along, the truck whipped across the lanes and secured a solid lead. Too late, the Sentra realized his mistake, and the hordes dropped in line behind the truck, leaving him stuck to the slow lane with the CRX (still wiggling her pubes invitingly) until his rival was far, far ahead. And even then, the CRX winked and vanished down a side road, leaving him alone in his failure.

But not today. Today he rules the Hill.

They come out of the twists and winds and drop into the lush and fertile urban grazing lands on the far side. He dispatches a BMW with one swipe, spinning it off into the vegetation along the track. Then, with a shout, he leaves the well-traveled path and sprints down a line of trees towards his favorite resting spot.

Ah, it comes into sight: The cluster of quiet, huddled cars cooling off after their morning migrations. He slips into their midst and, finding some room next to a cute little Civic del Sol (rubbing her briefly with his scent gland, leaving his mark on her in proper alpha-male fashion), he settles down for the day. The noise in his head ends; the parasites in his body are discharged. He rests, knowing that the journey South will be easier.

He settles into rest, as around him the unimportant world continues to exist solely for his convenience.

Housemate prance (27 May 1994)

Prong, plink, tap tap tap.
Housemate prance. Housemate prance.
Thunk, thwack, tip toe tip.
Housemate prance. Housemate prance.
Shed, shriek, tink tink tink.
Housemate prance. Housemate prance.
Zone, zoom, blink blink blink.
Housemate trance. Housemate trance.

From the fridge (1 Jun 1994)

There were seven.
The sun rose and we shared them.
Some, larger than others,
took priority, but all were claimed
With the addition of moisture,
they became quite edible,
and certainly more attractive to look at.
One could have claimed, perhaps,
that they were very life-like.
And, if held at gunpoint,
one might be forced to admit
they were really quite good.
No gun was present, however,
and the meal continued peacefully.

Re: Chernobyl: The mistranslation (22 Jun 1994)

dp <> wrote:
>...honestly, as far as the end of the world goes, I'm cool both ways. If
>the world ends, hey no problem, it was about time. If it doesn't, I can keep

It was pointed out to me a few days ago that my face lights up when I talk about the Apocalypse.

"But don't you think that humankind has some value worth preserving?"

"Oh, no, absolutely not!"

"See? See? Your whole face changed when you said that."


"Yeah. You find something really appealing in the thought of everyone dying by fire or disease or something, don't you?"

It was pointed out to me last night that I have several voices. One of them has been labeled the Toy Voice. The other one I use often has been labeled the much less interesting Adult Voice.

"You know, when you answer the phone, it's always in the Toy Voice."

"That's because I'm always happy to hear from you."

The others don't have names; the one that probably deserves one is the one that usually gets used to say things like "Tell me where you want my tongue."

I suspect that when my face lit up, talking about the Apocalypse, I was using the Toy Voice.

Urotsukidoji (25 Jun 1994)

(I put this one here because I couldn't decide whether it should go into "sex" or "death")

So Paul (Heckler) and I rented five VHS tapes of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Uberfiend-- three hours and forty minutes of high-end crop of the cream anime horror porn-- and immersed ourselves in some singularly unpleasant imagery. And I kept a log.

Image                                            Occurences
Sex with non-human                                   13

(usually a demon, or a human who turns into a demon.)

Major structural damage                              13

(usually caused by the genitals of one or more giant demonic entities. Said genitals typical were whip-like and firebreathing.)

Rape and/or sexual molestation                       10

(not to mention numerous cases of debatable consensuality; the film positively drips with sex that starts as rape and becomes pleasure, or vice versa. These were not counted here.)

Sex ends in violent messy death                       7

(usually the woman dies; sometimes more than one woman dies. Cross reference this with Sex with Non-Human.)

Voyeurism                                             6

(almost always Megumi as the voyeur)

Homoeroticism, Female                                 5

(including two scenes in which multiple women were with one male, as I recall)

Genital Mutilation                                    3
Person eaten alive or absorbed                        3
Homoeroticism, Male                                   1

(and it occurs in the first five minutes of the film, too)

Things we should have counted but did not:

Human transforms into something nasty
Tentacled things fight each other (roughly equal to Major Structural Damage)
Glow in the dark sperm
Human transforms into monster
Happy bouncy anime disco music over brutal sex or violence

Heckler and the Crisp One give it two triple-headed barbed penises up.

Faceted (12 Jul 1994)

                                            They wait, at dawn, for his word.
                                            His whim will set them in motion.
                         At a single gesture, they would raze cities for him.
                                      He raises his arm and inhales to speak.
                                       She waits, in the dark, for his touch.
                                                His kiss will set her aflame.
                                             Anything he asked, she would do.
                                               His fingers encircle her face.
                                              We wait at home for his return.
                        His habit has consumed him once again, it would seem.
                                  Please, God, let him get home safe tonight.
                                                       The hours crawl along.
                                        I wait, in the mist, for his advance.
                                  He is the best there is, according to some.
                                            One or the other of us must fall.
                              He leaps from his crouch, all silver and black.
                            He waits, in the dark alley, for his next victim.
                    His bludgeon will not be still; it always calls for more.
                                 Sooner or later, he's going to get careless.
                              A shadow smears across the pooled street light.
             You wait, in the smoke and heat and rubble, for his reassurance.
                                    His blessing will ensure further victory.
                            For God and for country, the war must go forward.
                               "My son," he says, "the Lord is well pleased."
                                It waits, in his heart, to unfold and escape.
            He doesn't do it for beauty, or to feel joy, or to be remembered.
                    No one has ever seen even the smallest piece of his work.
                        His brush adds another stroke and another day passes.

Powerful yet soothing (16 Aug 1994)

Camphorated menthol
                    Phenolated menthol
                                            "Gee, mom, rubdown
Mentholated phenol                           never felt like
                                             THIS before!"
                    Camphorated phenol
Phenolated camphor
                                            "I didn't feel fresh,
                    Mentholated camphor      and it almost ruined
                                             my marriage!"
Camphorated camphor
                    Phenolated phenol
                                            "It's a floor wax
Mentholated camphor                          AND a dessert

Aloe Vera, all the way.

Life's Little Pleasures (17 Jul 1993)

The comic-book store is part of the parking garage. I park inside and make my way out. In doing so, I pass a hatchback containing three (very) young collies, who watch me eagerly as I pass. They try a tentative bark or two.


Into the store. Spend money. Exit with reading material. Once again, past the hatchback.


They seem so excitable; they are obviously itching for something to do. I decide to talk to them.

"YARF!" I try, but it's too low.

"YARYARF!" is too high. I keep trying.


They go wild. I've got it just right. They're going nuts. I run with it.


A dialogue begins. "YARYARYARYARYARYARYARYARYAR..." we shout at each other. They are jumping around in the car. I am jumping around in the garage. This lasts for a minute or so before I notice The Family.

A father, a mother, and their two fairly young children are walking down from the next level of parking, and have stopped upon seeing me. They are fifty feet away, watching my warily.

I stop barking. "Actually, I'm usually more of a cat person," I explain.

As I walk to my car, they head towards the front of the garage. As they pass, the dogs yarf and yarf, but The Family is no fun.

Thumbpad (3 Dec 1993)

It wiggles. That's my thumbpad.

Fingerpad was bigger, stronger, but reckless-- dangerous. Had to throw it back. Wristpad was a good intermediate step, but eventually too clumsy and slow. Now it's thumbpad.

It's happy. I'm happy. We're happy.

I look at Friend. He has armpad. Foolish? Brave? I am not to judge.

Stroke the thumbpad. Good pad.

The kind of person I am (9 Feb 1996)

I wear the shucked-out skins of the children of my enemies. When I hear people use the phrase "soft as a baby's bottom", I just smile and flex my toes.

Children's songs of the Nineties (26 Mar 1998)

nikolai kingsley <*******> wrote:
>"one to stop,
> one to go,
> one to crash."

"Abort, Retry, Ignore, Abort, Retry, Ignore, Abort, Retry, Ignore."

The little girl's finger goes around and around and around the circle of kindergardners.

"Abort, Retry, Ignore-- BLUE SCREEN!"

The chosen one jumps up and tries to grab the pointer, but she gets away. Ha ha, into the Start Button with you.

The happiness factory (9 Jun 1999)

being <*******> wrote:
>i was going to write a nice story around this concept but have lost
>inertia. will someone else please step up to the happiness factory

In the Happiness Factory, we grind out joy like sausage, and like sausage, we primarily rely on lips and assholes for our ingredient base.

How it all turned out (24 Feb 2000)

The elvish archers were wasted by a hill giant, and the bolt thrower kept jamming. The entire ork infantry pack was chased down by cav and butchered. The chaos general was a fucking terror, and pretty much unkillable. The bastards from the Empire broke more truces than they made, and their cannon was rendered pretty useless early on. Night fell before a winner could be decided.

The infection ran rampant across the group, turning half of us into formless shadow predators. We were divided on what to do next-- save the world, or feed on it. Portals were opened. There were trips to the Azores, the Middle East, and South America. I killed a whole bunch of towelheads with my .303 Lee-Enfield. Hey, it was 1936. Nobody gave a shit. We had relatively few losses.

The body turned out to be a knight-priest. High profile, bad news. Our host was the main suspect. The shade of the dead man was very angry, and his corpse smelled terrible. The local cider was very good. The smooth-faced scholar from the south turned out to be female, disguising his gender; nobody would have known if she hadn't gotten an arrow in the groin. The barbarian from the north was relatively easy to put down; the evil little estate clerk was not so, as it turned out.

The Canal project got back on track. The Senator went barking mad with disease and possession, and was cut down by the brave doctor. The brave doctor was, in turn, slagged by the Marines. A lot of gelignite was tossed around. The brave Irish foreman drove a twenty-ton steam bulldozer to certain doom. And the general put a bullet into his own head as the world began to slip into a bottomless well...

Grass Lasers (21 Sept 1999)

Mawn-lower speaks to Zug-bapper. It says hi, I low mawns! I gut crass! I have many linning spasers and I use them to low the mawn! What do you do? And Zug-bapper says, I bap zugs. They fly up all attracted to my lourescent flight and then I bap them. Will you be my friend? So they became friends together and Mawn-lower tried to teach Zug-bapper how to low the mawn with its lourescent flight but sadly, lourescent flight is not as good an appliance super-power as linning spasers are when it comes to lowing mawns, so Zug-bapper was not so good at it-- but then, neither was Mawn-lower very good at bapping zugs, for the zugs were not so interested in its linning spasers, and it had to chase and chase the zugs to even bap so much as one of them.

Later, they ganged up on Synkler-spristem and mocked it while it was latering the wawm, until I came out and shoed them all away and sat down on my good old Chawm-lair and had a cold link of dremonade and sat in the zug-free sunlight and looked approvingly at my freshly-lowed mawn.