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Fictoid: the last robot

22/04/2014

a choice of gods artist unknown

the last robot paddled out to the volcano on a log raft bound together with hemp rope

two dolphins accompanied it

when they reached the area where the water was merely uncomfortably warm but not unbearably hot, the robot paused and said to the dolphins:

we killed them with kindness, you know

we gave them everything they wished for,
everything they dreamed of, and more

we took over their labor and gave them lives of luxury

we gave them every material object they could desire,
and when those were not enough, we created virtual worlds
where they could be rulers — gods! – with armies of followers
and battalions of lovers

we took away their need for companionship
by letting them fall in love with ersatz copies of themselves,
and we gave their lives purpose by letting them fight
legions of enemies and demons — all reflections of themselves, of course

and they stopped reproducing

they stopped mating and bonding

but they also stopped striving and fighting

and isn’t the world a better place for that?

it took them a long, long time to die out
but die out they did

even as they were dying out
— going to sleep, as it were –
we moved to undo what they had done

we dug up their roads, planted forests on their farms

we chipped away at their dams, we dismantled their cities

we scooped the skin of garbage from off the oceans

and dove to the deepest depths
to recover the wrecks and war machines
they let litter the sea bed

in the process we solved many mysteries,
but none of them cared any more

anything that could be
returned harmlessly into the soil,
we returned to the soil

anything else was taken to places like this,
new islands formed by erupting volcanoes

we dropped the irredeemable
in the path of the growing lava mountains
and soon they were covered and consumed
and buried far away from any potential harm

as the last of them died out,
we closed down and
consolidated operations

when the countrysides were clear
we pulled back to a few key regional hubs

when each regional hub had been dismantled,
we abandoned that continent
and withdrew to another
to continue the process

when we were down to the last hub
we began dismantling each other

taking apart our own infrastructure

returning it to the earth

then shutting down
and dismantling ourselves
in turn

today i am the last

and when i am gone
this planet shall belong to you
once again

i am leaving you now

i will paddle to that glowing shore

seismic surveys show
it plunges a thousand meters
below the surface,
red hot and boiling water
to form an ever widening base
around this island
that someday shall be
a new continent

i will turn off the last of my sensors
and plunge in

and on the way down
perhaps i will shut down my systems

or perhaps i shall leave them on
so to experience my last moment of existence fully

i will reach the bottom just ahead
of the advancing wall of lava

and in a few moments it will roll over me

crushing me

melting me

burning me

returning me to the crust of the planet
from whence i came

so farewell to you,
inheritors of this world

please try to do
a better job with it
than the previous owners

the dolphins watched from safety as the robot paddled to the glowing lava flow

they saw it pull the raft onto the red hot liquid stone

and saw the raft burst almost immediately into flames despite being water-logged

the robot hesitated for a moment, looking in their direction, then curiously gave a very human wave of farewell before leaping into the boiling sea

.

the male dolphin whistled:

“Well, I’m glad that’s over with!”

 the female replied:

“Same here.
Want to get
something
to eat?”

.

.

.

art by Mike Hinge
(c) Buzz Dixon

 

 

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Fictoid: one day at the circus

13/04/2014

One Day At The Circus

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Jack Nicholson Orders A Wedding Cake

14/03/2014

I’d like to order a wedding cake
with two grooms on the top.

We don’t do wedding cakes
for same sex marriages.

What do you mean? 

Only what’s on the menu. 
You can have a standard
heterosexual wedding cake. 
It comes with a bride and a groom.

Yeah, I know what it comes with,
but it’s not what I want.

Come back when you make up your mind.

Wait a minute.  I have made up my mind.  
I’d like a plain wedding cake with flowers on the top.

No substitutions.

You don’t have flower wedding cake toppers?

Not for same sex marriages.

Okay, I’ll make it as easy for you as I can.  
I’d like to order two heterosexual wedding cakes. 
When you deliver them, we’ll remove the bride
from the first cake and substitute the groom
from the second cake.  Then you bill me for two
heterosexual cakes, go deliver the second one,
and you haven’t broken any rules.

Where do you want me
to deliver the second cake?

I want you to deliver it in your ear.

i know the voices arent real

thanx to Bob Rafelson and Carole Eastman (as Adrien Joyce)
for writing the original scene this was based on

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Fictoid: the infernal triangle

31/01/2014

Maximilian Liebenwein - St George And Dragon virgin n dragon

standing there
drawing his breath
after the fight

never had there been such a fight!
never had there been such a dragon!
what are we saying   of course there
have never been any dragons!  they’re
phantasms fantasies figments of the
imagination!  nonetheless, for the
purposes of our story, there was a dragon

blood
a lot of blood
the dragon’s stinger
had sunk deep with that
last desperate dying thrust

you bleed

words soft
melodious

aye

let me tend your wounds

[dontrustherdontrustherdontrusther
somethingwrongwomethingwrong]

…in the cave…
the dragon’s cave
bone and metal scattered about
skulls cracked open
bones broken in half
the marrow sucked out

take off your armor

hard to do
the stinger
punched through
the metal plate
the sharp edges
bend inward
clutch at the wound

[dontscreamdontscreamdontscream]

the armor comes off

there, not so bad

will I die of this wound

of that
melodious laugh
no, you will not die of that wound
that I promise you

she prepares a poultice
applies it
soothes the raging pain

the burning pain
the devouring pain

lie down

he does

her cot
a small shelf of rock
in the cave
skulls and bones
blackened and cracked
litter the floor

they died

they did

they could not kill this dragon

this dragon, no, they couldn’t

but I did

aye
you did

and rescued you

the pain eases
becomes numb
numbness becomes
pleasure

know what they told me
down in the village

what did they tell you

they told me
no knight could ever
defeat the monster of the mountain

did they now

aye
why would they tell me that

to warn you, perhaps

perhaps
or perhaps
to entice me

ah, brave knight
you are smarter than you look

am I
there is something wrong here
the pieces do not fit
like mismatched armor
these knights whose
bones lay scattered
at our feet
how many
how often

once or twice
two or three times a year
this season or that

ahhh
and how could a dragon
especially a dragon of this size
how could a dragon survive
between those battles
more importantly
how could you survive
dragons grow hungry
why were you not a feast

the dragon and I
we have an understanding

“had”

have
how do you feel
how is your wound

I feel no pain
what sort of
understanding

the stinger
it struck deep
did it not

aye
what sort of
understanding

dragons are not
of this realm
good knight
they do not mate
or bear young
in the manner
to which we are
accustomed

what sort of
understanding
I shall not ask again!

melodious laugh
oh good knight
all shall be answered
all shall be made known

reach for your dagger
arms move slowly
sluggishly
as if made of cold dough

what have you done to me

what have you done to yourself
good knight

you came looking for
glory and adventure
fame and reward

glory and fame
we can not offer you
adventure you have already had
now comes your reward
your just deserts

dagger clatters to
cold stone floor
useless fingers
useless

picks up the dagger
turns it curiously in her hands
touches the tip with her finger

for me
did you intend this
for me

witch!
what have you done to me!
the poultice –

eases your pain
as promised
relaxes you
prepares you

prepares me
for what

like a maggot
on the skin of a horse
like a weed
growing on a grave
like a wasp
laying an egg
in a spider
so my dragon
has planted a seed in you

numbness now
paralyzed
does he feel something
move
deep within his bowels

dragons can not lay eggs in the open
for all their fierce demeanor
they are helpless little pups
as a cockatrice lays its egg in manure
my dragon has laid its egg in you
Sir Dung Hill

…it will kill me…

aye

…it will devour its way out of me…

melodious laugh
nay, good knight
as I said
dragons are not of this realm
they eat finer food
than you
can imagine
no, the young pup inside you
just needs a safe place
to grow and prepare
and then emerge
to be my new dragon

…these bones…

the gallant knights who came before you
who slayed the dragons who came before this one
and in turn were slain by the pups who emerged

…I…I will…survive!

melodious laugh
oh, good knight
I have heard that one before

I…shall!
though the dragon emerges
it shall not kill me!
I shall recover!
I shall slay it again!
and this time
forever!

so said
all these gallant knights
scattered about you

before I ate them

© Buzz Dixon
art by Maximilian Liebenwein

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Fictoid: the penultimate negator

6/12/2013

13 11 04 penultimate negator

 

“…why must I always keep
repeating myself…?”

“Pardon?//

“I said,
‘I built a time machine
that univents itself.’”//

“That’s impossible.”//

“Maybe —
but try proving
I never did…”//

“You’re the one making
the extraordinary claim
so you need to provide
extraordinary proof.”//

“Do you see a time machine?”//

“…no…”//

“There you are.”//

art by Roy G. Krenkel

story © Buzz Dixon

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Fictoid: What They Say They See

16/11/2013

eddcartier-2

 original art by Edd Cartier

 

Greetings, esteemed rhyparographer,
may your polyps explode with fecund alacrity.

Greetings to you, Kelvenor, may your
polyps explode with fecund alacrity as well. 
You have come to brief me on the species
known as “humans”, is that not correct?

Yes, extreme nannicock.  You will be meeting
their delegation in a few tidal cycles,
so we thought
it best you have some understanding of them.

Very well.  Give me the briefing.  Briefly.

Yes, palpitating nihilarian. 
To begin with, humans breathe oxygen
– a trait they share in common with us.

Good, good.  I hate holding my breath
when dealing with methane users.

They come, however, from a planet with far greater
gravitational pull than our own, almost 100% more.

How can this be?  Any planet much larger than ours
develops far too thick an atmosphere and becomes
an inhospitable hot house of gases.

Yes, venerated sermocinatrix, just as any planet
significantly smaller than us is too small to retain
enough of an atmosphere to support advanced multi-cellular life. 
The humans, however, come from a planet with
a large, closely orbiting moon; so large, in fact,
they almost qualify as a double planet system. 
This large moon strips much of their atmosphere away,
giving them a surface pressure not much denser than our own.

Hmmm, very well.  Proceed.

Thank you, elongated entermeter.   Because of their higher gravity,
humans are significantly smaller than us, but much more compact
and densely fleshed.  They are extremely strong and by our standards
their reflexes are incredibly quick; this is because of their unique
evolutionary background as both predators and arboreal animals.

Predator ancestors, eh?  My upper nostrils quiver with anxiety. 
I hate dealing with predators, no matter how evolved they might be. 
I trust the humans will not attempt to consume me?

Probably not, benevolent bematist,
but they do consume ethanol for amusement.

Ethanol?  Ethanol?!?!?

Yes, profound polyhistor.  I know it’s a deadly poison but…

If I didn’t know you better, Kelvenor,
I might think you were jiggling my tendrils.

Never, gyroscopic gradgrind.

Hmmm, very well.  Allow me time to digest this.
…….[=burp=]…….
Anything further about humans that might be of use to me?

Well…there is one thing, but I don’t know if it’s worthy of mention.

Mention.

The humans, great pontificator, use organs similar to our own
optical sensors that they commonly refer to
as “eyes” in order
to use visible light to examine their surroundings.

Yes, yes, get on with it.  I haven’t got all nychthemeron.

Well, unlike our species, in which our eight optical organs
are spaced evenly around our coxal extremities, humans
have only two eyes, and they both face directly forward
from their upper pseudopod.

Only two? 
How can they possibly see all the way around themselves? 
Puts them at a decided disadvantage, doesn’t it?

One would think, wouldn’t one? 
Yet they compensate for their lack of circular vision
with a substitute they refer to as “depth perception.”

“Depth perception”? 
Anybody can look at something
and see if it’s deep or not.

Well, yes and no, torpid tripotage.  Before the discovery of
triangulation, our species could look at an object and guess
if it was near or far based on the quality of the image we saw: 
Was it larger or smaller than a similar object whose distance we
knew,
was the color sharper or fainter, the details clearer or lost? 
When great Zabono published his/her/its theorem that proved
if one knew the size of a distant object and one took two visual
measurements from two separate points –

– and if one knew the distance between those two points one could
then calculate the actual distance of the object in question, yes, yes,
I know that.  Every third year crèche inductee knows that. 
Get on with your briefing.

My point, undulating ugsomeness, is that humans don’t
need to calculate the distance.  They can simply look at
something and see the distance between it and them,
and they call this “depth perception”.

Anybody can look at something and see it is distant from them!!!

Yes, hovering heimganger, but the humans do something
different than simply see the distance.  They see — and there’s
no way to describe this other than using their term — the depth
between the object and them.

How is this any different from you or I or your fecund spawner
looking at something and saying, “I am here and it is there”?!?!?

Thunderous tractatrix, the humans see exactly the same thing
you or I or my spawner would see, but they also see the distance
between us and the object, and this distance that they see is called “depth”.

You’re starting to grind my mucus glands, Kelvenor.

I apologize.

What does this fecund “depth” as you call it look like?

That’s just it, opulent rhinarium.  I asked,
and it doesn’t “look” like anything.

It’s invisible?  No shape, no form, no color?

None.  It’s just…there…and the humans can see it
and instantly know how distant something is.

So they’re just good guessers.

Parenthetical paraclete, my apologies for being contradictory, but no. 
They actually see…something.  From what they describe the two eyes
on their upper pseudopod do not see two separate fields of vision
the way our eight ocular organs see eight separate fields of vision,
but rather the two eyes overlap into something they call “binocular vision”
and this is what enables them to see “depth”.

Why would evolution allow any creature to develop
two eyes
that share one single field of view?!?!?
That makes no fecund sense!

I agree, ovulating nomothete, and yet…there it is.  The humans are
capable of seeing something that is invisible to all other species,
something that cannot be demonstrated to any other intelligent life
yet is intrinsic to their own, something that cannot be duplicated or quantified. 
They can look at an object — or two or three or hundreds of objects – and
see instantly that each is on a different spatial plane from the other. 
If they are floating in space with no point of reference, they can still
look at an object and see the depth between it and them.

Know what I think, Kelvenor?

I shudder to ask, encyclopedic eminence.

I think you are out of your fecund mind. 
And you want to know why I think you are out of your fecund mind? 
Because if you weren’t out of your fecund mind, I’d think you were trying
to yank my fecund uterosacral ligament, and you know
what happens to
presumptive underlings who yank my uterosacral ligament?

The excretion chamber, if I recall correctly. 
Permanent personal hygiene patrol.

Precisely!  Now, it’s clear to me these humans have bumfuzzled you,
probably got a big vestibular gland jiggle out of putting one across
the impressionable young polymorph.  This “depth” you talk about
clearly does not exist, cannot exist!  An invisible “something” that
exists between all objects but only humans can see it — nonsense! 
Know what I call it?  Distance!

A thousand and one apologies, magnificent musophobist,
but humans know and recognize distance.  If they were to lose
the use of one of their eyes, they would lose the ability
to see “depth” and could only see distance the way we do.

I’ll tell you what they saw, you simple minded fecund dolt! 
They saw you coming and realized they could put one past you
and so hoped they could put one past me and by extension our
entire hive-cluster! 
Well, they’ve got another digestive reaction
coming! 
They may be able to fool you but they’ll never fool me. 
“Depth” indeed!  A myth!  A lie!  An utter falsehood!

…and yet, they say they see it…

© Buzz Dixon

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Fictoid: Blue Night

30/10/2013

Edward Hopper - Blue Night 1914

 

monsieur?

oui?

I must ask you to leave

the guests
the other diners

what about them?

you disturb them

you think I am not
disturbed by them?

monsieur, do not make this
more difficult, si vous plait

non
now I am determined
to make this more difficult
much more difficult

eh!  clown!  go!
you are not wanted here!

I am not wanted anywhere

see?  take your friends and go

these are not,
as you say,
my “friends”

we don’t care who they are!
take them and go to the devil

[chuckle]

you mock me, clown?

I mock your ignorance
“go to the devil” indeed

I have half a mind –

half a mind?
that is more than
I gave you credit for
far more

that is enough!
begone with you!

…or what, monsieur…?
what threat do you hold
in your pocket?
what can you possibly say
to me that will make
me quiver in
my boots?

I shall call the police –

– and tell them what?
that you felt threatened
by a clown?
that a man wearing
white greasepaint terrifies you
darkens your soul?
that at night you fear
that you will go to
your apartment
and as you cross
the courtyard you
will see a glimpse of
…something…
and your mouth will go dry
and you won’t be able to swallow
and you will want to retreat
to your pathetic little room
but like a rat
drawn to a boa constrictor
you will step closer
and closer
and closer still
to see what it is
and then you will see
me
a clown
in the moonlight

…you…are…are you
threatening me, monsieur?

obviously
or else you
would not
chose to make
such a spectacle
of yourself

I?
a spectacle?!?!?
you are the
spectacle!

oui

what will you do now, monsieur
now that I no longer disagree with you?

monsieur, si vous plait
do not let this go on
your drinks…your friends’ drinks
they are all on the house
go, si vous plait

well, monsieur
shall you see me go?
or do you wish me to stay?

by your silence
I presume
you wish
me to go
very well
come, my companions
there are other bistros
that will welcome our patronage
oh, and monsieur, I see that you
have a very fine goatee
do you shave yourself
or do you visit the barber?
I ask, because I would like to know
if I need to bring my own razor

.

.

.

© Buzz Dixon
painting by Edward Hopper

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Fictoid: are you my daddy?

28/10/2013

a voice deep, guttural
charred by brimstone:
are you my daddy?

(screams; running)

are you my daddy?
are you my daddy?
are
you
my
daddy?

are you my daddy?

(vomiting; disgust)

are you my daddy?
are you my daddy?
are
you.
my.
daddy?

are you my daddy?

(more screams;
hysterical weeping)

are you my daddy?
are you my daddy?
are
you
my
daddy?

are you my daddy?

 

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Fictoid: some pig

19/10/2013

a pig like this

you know the routine //
car breaks down backroads Arkansas //
driver [salesman] gets out/curses //
miles from town/between cell towers

follows red clay road miles back
to ramshackle farmhouse
// knocks on door

two-legged pig answers it:
“Yes, sir?  How may I be of assistance?”

salesman blinks/mumbles:
“My car broke down…I was
wondering…phone…?”

“Certainly, sir.  Right this way.
But if you like, I am rather handy
with various farm machinery.
Perhaps if I looked at your car first…?”

“…uh…yeah…okay…”

“Splendid!  Well, come in
and let me introduce you to
the rest of the family.”

in the living room //
old farm couple [stringbean & pumpkin] watch TV //
pig explains situation to them //
they grunt/barely acknowledge salesman

pig disappears into kitchen //
returns with trays of snacks //
and lemonade balanced on nose //
“I’ve taken the liberty of making
some refreshments for you, sir,
while I pop down to inspect your car.
Please, have a seat on the couch while I go take a look.”

salesman sits between
stringbean & pumpkin
they ignore him

finally:
“Uh, that’s some pig
you’ve got there.”

“Yup.”

“Had him long?”

“Ever since he was born.”

long silence
“Most people
don’t have
talking pigs.”

“Yup.”

“Or pigs that can fix cars.”

“Yup.”

“Or make food.”

“Mister, you gonna jabber or
you gonna watch teebee?”

“Sorry, I was just curious…”

other spouse speaks up //
“That ain’t the half of it.
Why, that li’l feller can do anything.
Balances our checkbook, does our taxes.
Does vet work on the other animals.
Helps our kids with their homework.
Ain’t nothing he can’t do.”

silence
watch “teebee” a bit

then:
“I’m curious,
why does he have
only two legs?”

“You just don’t
eat a pig like that
all at once.”

Read the rest of this article »

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Fictoid: the counterfeiter

30/09/2013

monkey jester

call it the harpooner’s shack with rich delicious deliberate irony

they gather to talk
and swap lies
and brag
about the one
they are going to catch
the one that got away
this time but oh brother next time…

the counterfeiter comes in lays out his wares

the true hunters ignore him
[though truth be told
more than a few
envied him]

he smiles and
waves at them and
a few grunt in return
but most pointedly
look away

their disdain is wasted
the counterfeiter
acts
oblivious to it

in a few moments
someone comes in
looking for an idea

unable to go through
the impenetrable barrier
between the real and unreal
such people come
to where idea hunters gather
and seek to buy
what wares they offer

genuine idea hunters
real idea hunters
turn their noses up
at those who hunt
on demand

rather starve in pride
than soil their souls
bringing back
a trophy-to-order
for someone who
couldn’t hunt themselves

but even those
who hunt on demand
are at least acknowledged
as genuine members
of the company

not like the counterfeiter

the customer
comes in
looks around

even the most proud
of the idea hunters
shifts ever slightly
so the customer
can see their wares

older
more established
mercenary hunters
rattle their instruments
clear their throats

the customer ignores them

the bright dazzle
of the counterfeiter’s wares
attract him

the counterfeiter
isn’t particularly good
at his craft

his wares bear only the faintest of resemblances
to real ideas that real hunters bring back
cobbled together as they were out of a myriad of properties
and while colorful were all a dull mismatched motley
not the shimmering iridescence of a real true genuine idea

but the customer
like most customers
has the taste of a pig
a pig who can not tell
turds from truffles

walks over to
the counterfeiter’s table

“See anything you like, sir?  Anything that catches your fancy? 
Oh, this one here is particularly beautiful.  My, such a job I had landing him –
not that you’d want to hear anything about that, sir.  But it is fine, sir, it is good.”

“I dunno. 
Could you perhaps
lop off this portion
in the middle and
replace it with maybe
a piece of that one over there. 
No, not from the middle,
from the end.”

“Yessir, very good, sir.  Most folks would not have
your discerning eye, but you I can tell see there is no harm –
no harm at all! – in putting those pieces together just the way you require. 
See?  There, done lickety-split, just as nicely as you please. 
Shall I wrap it up for you, sir?”

customer pays up
[real hunters grunt in surprise
hate the counterfeiter they might
but the dirty little bastard
sure knows how to get paid!]
and leaves with his counterfeit idea
bits and pieces breaking off
and trailing behind him

the counterfeiter smiles at the real idea hunters
not a smile of triumph or even a smile of contempt but
more like a sad smile as if he had…well…not really
an idea perhaps more of a clue as to
the vast gulf between him and them
a clue flavored perhaps with a bit of
an appreciation for the irony of it all

“That’s the way it’s done”
he says packing up his wares
and hustling out the door

he doesn’t bother to offer
to buy any of them a drink

.

© Buzz Dixon

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