The Eights’ Shift, Stories

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      And Opening.

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      Decimus! Yoo Hoo! OH MY GOD! how wonderful to see you here. What are YOU doing in Manilva? Is Antonio here too?

      LAVENDER! How great to see you!….. Oh Antonio, Decimus shook his head, his joy at seeing Lavender quickly replaced with sadness at the thought of his Beloved. I have not seen her for many months. Only in my dreams does she visit me, and there she is doing the strangest of things. Things no man can decipher. It is strange times indeed Lavender. Decimus sighed heavily, then rubbed his eyes and scratched his head. God, he really needed to get some help. He wondered if the great Dr Limur might be able to help him get rid of these nervous twitches. Ever since Antonio had been gone he had been rubbing, sighing, scratching! It was driving him mad. And the odour of fermented fish which constantly plagued him! Dear God, what had he done to deserve this.

      Lavender regarded her friend with compassion. Poor fellow, he really was behaving oddly. However, recalling her recent rather embarrassing encounter with Harvey, she decided against trying to rid Decimus of any potential lurking demons. Perhaps it was better to try and emulate the famous Tattler twins, Ann and Sally, and simply listen, rather than trying to jump in and help all the time.

      Anyway my dear Lavender. What brings YOU to this god forsaken place?

      I have an appointment to see Annabel… um, hang on I can’t remember her name .., Lavender rummaged in her purse. Oh that’s right, Annabel Ingram. She is a certified dream navigator. I found her on gloogloo when I was searching for some help with my seven new born … anyway, long story … Aspidistra has them now so that is okay … and then… the strangest thing! I found 57 of her business cards in my mail box. Isn’t that rather odd Decimus?

      Decidedly odd indeed, replied Decimus, with a sigh.


      And look at the funny messages her business cards have on them! Lavender pulled a selection of cards from her purse. I mean how weird is this:

      Lester’s ex-wife keeps the milk cold. Batman316 is a nugget

      and listen to this one:

      We have a lot of fun doing it and you can too.

      So I just knew it had to be some sort of clue. So you know me … I just had to make an appointment to see her!

      Oh of course, agreed Decimus, scratching his ear. You don’t have a business card for Dr Limur in there by any chance do you?

      oh no, sorry. Anyway, before I meet Annabel, I intend to go shopping for some new parasites. Aspidistra asked me to bring some back for her … and it is the least I can do really.

      Yes, parasites sound great, sighed Decimus. You know the name of Annabel Ingram does ring a bell. Is she the one who takes guided tours of the Doorway of the Goddess Amarylis Moo Rue?

      F LoveF Love

        In many ways Sally Tattler felt herself to be the antithesis of her twin sister, Ann. Tall, where Ann was short. Well groomed, where Ann’s grooming, quite frankly, left much to be desired. Organised, as opposed to the state of chaos that Ann….

        Oh for the love of God, Sally. Will you be quiet and stop messing with my head!

        The downside of being a twin, mused Ann, well, one of the many downsides it could perhaps be said, was the ability to hear each other’s thoughts so clearly. It was a shame of course that Sally had such a high opinion of herself, unwarranted …

        unwarranted! pffft to that! Ann felt a burst of energy from her indignant sister.

        Well, anyway, for today at least Ann felt sustained by her daily Eremus Lemon reading, and impervious … well nearly … to the telepathic barrage of negativity from her twin sister.

        we’re all nuts anyway; different flavours thereof, but nuts nonetheless, peanuts, peacan or up the wall-nuts

        Up the wall-nuts! Humorous as well as wise! Ann shook her head in awed admiration.


          Are Nut Bans Promoting Hysteria?

          Every parent of a school-age child has heard the warnings about nuts. Some schools ban nuts entirely, while others set aside special nut-free tables.

          While nuts are clearly a risk to some children, often the response to this health concern represents “a gross overreaction to the magnitude of the threat,” argues Dr Pistachio, an internal medicine doctor and professor at Pecan Medical School, in a recent column in the medical journal Nut Case.

          Measures to protect children from nuts are becoming increasingly absurd and hysterical, say experts.

          A nut rolling on the floor of a US school bus recently led to evacuation and decontamination for fear it might have affected the 10-year-old passengers, who were not classified as nuts.

          Professor Pistachio said the issue was not whether nuts existed or whether they could occasionally be a serious threat. Nor was the issue whether reasonable preventative steps should be made for the few children who were documented as non-nuts, he argued.

          “The issue is what accounts for the extreme responses to nuts.”

          “We try to relieve anxiety about nuts by signs saying, ‘this is a nut free zone,’ which suggests that nuts are a clear and present danger,” Dr. Pistachio said. “But in doing so, we increase the anxiety.”

          Being a severe nut shapes your whole life – and those of the people around you, as Cashew Cacahuete learned.

          For most women trying to avoid the amorous advances of their husband, the line “Not tonight, I’ve got a headache” will suffice. For her, a simple “Don’t come near me, I am nuts” does the trick.

          ‘Nut phobias are a growing phenomenon of the last 10 to 15 years,” says Professor P. Nut, an expert in nuts who is conducting a study to see if exposure to nuts in early life can inhibit such phobias. “One reason is that we’re all far too scared and bored, so we start attacking friendly characters such as nuts.” Prof P. Nut says that in African and Asian countries where pregnant women aren’t discouraged from socializing with nuts, have very low levels of nut phobia. “These countries have higher levels of parasitic infections than ours, so it’s possible that their belief systems may be protected from phobias.”

          He also disputes Department of Fear advice that advises pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to avoid nuts. He says there may be a case for exposing children to nuts. “Those who meet nuts early in life may in fact be protected against nut phobia, in contrast with previous studies which have suggested the opposite.”


            “One would find it strange how people cling to their discomfort, going in as much length as by saying it’s good to suffer uninteresting bitching because it’s a sort of untold proof there is shift happening…”

            Larisa Werth was reading the apocryphal last book from Ewko Lemin: Whizzing Away in a Blue Flash that the old mad author was said to have ripped to shreds to prevent unauthorized disseminating of his work, but that his patient and devoted wife had glued together and sold by millions of copies after his untimely death.
            The reading was captivating, and Larisa was always finding gems of truth in there.


              Greve Bord was up Shift Creek without a paddle. Shift Creek was in Loo Mash, and Greve wanted to get to Well Flyers before sundown, but he was going upstream and everyone knew that Well Flyers was downstream.


              Annabel Ingram was chatting the tourists through her guided tours, but most of the time, her mind was wandering elsewhere.
              As a matter of fact, she often thought she should have been named “Wandering Elsewhere” instead. These were her two favourite words in the whole Manilvan language. Scholars had made fancy claims like basement portal or something of that ilk was the loveliest words combination, but she’s never been one to follow the trends and fleeting modes anyway.

              All in all, it was probably time she got herself a new job; touring the tourists in the middle of “ohs” and “ahs” to the Doorway of the Goddess Amarylis Moo Rue? Not for her any longer.
              To be bluntly honest she was beginning to find herself a little of a fraud, as she tried to maintain a decent level of excitement at the ridiculous amazement of the tourists when they recounted their litanies of visions of Goddess Amarylis surrounded with cohorts of naked ladies and bare butt cupids holding wreaths of flowers. Amarylis was the Goddess of Flove. A glorious goddess representing the duality of the aspects of love and death. Quite a hype for people coming from the cities, eager to get a quick shot of esoteric experiences.

              But she’d seen Amarylis more than once, and it was not all that pretty behind the scenes. She was not as mean as herself, but she wasn’t the last to poke fun at people for whisking unwarranted followers to the altars. Anyway, that and her perfumes, honestly you had to wonder. Lavender and decaying morue (cod), what a blend… :yahoo_rolling_eyes:


              Aspidistra was packing her suitcase. Shopping for parasites wasn’t as straightforward as she had imagined it would be. The particular parasites that she required were anti nut phobia parasites, and could only be found in the eighth world. The third world had eventually succumbed to nut phobia, swiftly followed by several more worlds. Aspidistra had to hurry to the eighth world, as news had just filtered through the networks of a new case of nutterophobia in Shift Creek, in the seventh world.


              Lavender had very kindly agreed to look after the seven piglets while Aspidistra and Philodendron travelled to Shift Creek, in Basuraland, in search of the elusive parasite that would save the first world from the deadly grip of nutterophobia. The septuplets were a rowdy playful lot, and Lavender was trying to remember to go with the flow, and not oppose their bad behaviour, with mixed results.

              “Oy! Bella! Stop that! Donna! Leave Lily alone!”


                “I just had the strangest dream, Rob” Jane said to her husband. “About a future probability, but it was really kind of silly.”

                “What was it about?” he asked, leaning over the kitchen table to turn down the volume of the radio. Leon Russel’s new Back To The Island was playing, the waves rolling onto the shore mingled with the trucks thundering past on the busy road outside.

                “Well, I’m pretty sure it was in the future, around 2009, and the kids were creating having a day off from school by throwing a peanut at the school building.”

                Rob smiled at his wife, shaking his head.

                “The class of ’75 today,” Jane continued, “Create a day off school by making a prank bomb scare phone call, but those kids in the future just threw a peanut at the place!”

                “You sure do explore some far out probabilities, honey.”

                F LoveF Love

                  Larisa glanced at the cute pig faced clock ticking happily away on the kitchen wall.

                  Blimmin’ Heck! how could that possibly be the time? …. and what was time anyway?

                  Well whatever it was, there was certainly none of it to spare for that sort of philosophical carry on! She was well late for her meeting with Jane and Rob to discuss the latest project. Of course she was nearly always late, so she consoled herself with the fact that Jane and Rob already would have explored the probability that the meeting wouldn’t start at seven. They were pretty good with probabilities. Throwing her, it must be said rather bizarre and fantastical, Ewko Lemin novel down, Larisa hurriedly gulped back the last of her blue and red vitamin pills, shouted out a quick farewell to Greve, who was staying with her while he recovered from his latest disastrous rowing escapade, and dashed out the door.


                  The lilac “poubelle de table” (table-top bin) that Aspidistra had bought to collect the little trash on the table was soon so full of magnets and stickers that the beautiful lilac colour that had her buy it on impulse was nowhere to be seen.

                  Now she wanted to buy a new one. One that could glow in the dark perhaps…


                  With a side glance at the random words written on the fridge, Harvey was starting to get another slipstream of weirdrom (weird and random) information.

                  Earth escape; whole asked environment similar — Friend forgotten work, thinking moving! Managed recently whatever known questions — dogs ones myself physical energy

                  Now, did this Earth escape had anything to do with that recent quest of Philodendron for a FTL travels equipped island…


                  Harvey, I am lost. Completely and utterly lost. I can’t even remember my own name. I have vague recollections of giving away some piglets and little elephants, but …. her voice trailed off miserably.

                  Harvey, saddened to see his friend so upset, put down the four poster bed, and gave her a hug. Damn it, he couldn’t remember her name either. Didn’t she just tell him what it was recently … Lilac?

                  hmmm no that doesn’t sound right.

                  Well, it was a pretty name. He would call her Lilac.

                  Lilac, embarrassed by her display of emotion, laughed and rubbed away the tears from her eyes. Anyway what does it matter? Most of my friends have gone from here now. Apparently they have gone on to the “Ninth World”, and here I am still bungling around in number eight. What is worse, there are parts of this world I no longer seem to be able to access, including memories which are precious to me. Lilac reflected on what she had just said for a moment. Well they would be precious if I could remember what they are. I popped through the portal to Nine when I found my friends had gone, but I couldn’t make head nor tail of it.

                  She shuddered in horror at the recollection of the strange land she had found herself in. She remembered a woman, an artist she had called herself, with a crazed look on her face, trying to unravel a ball of string which seemed to go on endlessly, and all the while rambling in such a way that made no sense at all to Lilac.

                  Never mind, Lilac, I am still here, said Harvey kindly. I can’t make any sense of this place either. I don’t think it matters really. Here, I know what, hop on this four poster bed and I will teach you a few proxy dreaming skills. That will cheer you up!


                  Harvey cursed when he dropped the bed, which hit the floor with a loud crack.

                  Hopefully nobody had heard him! although it was rather unlikely. He particularly didn’t wish to alert the two ladies, his new employers Miss Sharon and Miss Gloria, to his interest in weightlifting. Harvey was working undercover for the World Association Requiring Prompt Eradication of Dreaming ( Dream Order: Newbie), otherwise known as W.A.R.P.E.D. The New Dream Order had spent considerable time and expense training robots to infiltrate bedrooms everywhere on the planet in a concerted effort to wipe out superfluous and unnecessary sleep, which had been the scourge of the planet for generations. The planet had reached crisis point with the abundance of sleep, mainly in the hysteria and confusion that had resulted when a fictional account of The Magical Nightmare, which had been published in the old Reality Times newpaper. It had caused widespread panic as the populace began trying to nap on everything in sight in a frantic attempt to control The Nightmare.

                  Harvey had been employed by the two ladies ostensibly as a butler. Conveniently for Harvey, the pair of old slappers had not had the luxury of staff in their hitherto adventurous, albeit common lives, and were blissfully unaware of Harvey’s many improprieties and errors. Whenever Harvey behaved oddly, the two ladies would remark “One simply can’t get the staff these days, my dear”, followed by a bit of thigh slapping and raucous laughter


                  Jeeze, the little brats have stopped me from getting me beauty sleep looking for the darn eggletons! Shar was seating outside sipping her cup of tea while conversing with her old friend Glor.

                  I was about to tell you the same Shar!… i need my beauty kip. Yer niece and nephew… Holly Molly…

                  Niece and nephew… what you on about? The nephewer the merrier if you ask me

                  As if we not got enough with them prescription drugs from the bathroom cabinet stopping us from sleeping!

                  Want to see them comin’ near our beds those!

                  Oh no, not our beds! Glor recoiled in horror.

                  Stupid drugs… Better for ‘em not come close when I’m ‘ere, or we’ll have to learn how to sleep standing!

                  Wouldn’t like to see your hump sleeping standing!

                  Not hump,… haunch, silly! Wouldn’t be so good anyway covered with blankets… Shar lost her trail of thought in remembrance of her past bedroom encounters.

                  A sudden crack in the nearby potting shed raised the ample bottom of the one named Glor in alarm.


                  “Uh Oh. I think Gustav’s got his communication centre jammed again. Bloody ‘ell” exclaimed Gloria. “Any idea how to fix it?”

                  “Well, I always fix things by giving them a good slap, Glor.” replied Sharon. “The telly, the keyboard, anything really, seems to do the trick, just shake him a bit and give him a good wack.”


                  Leo focuses ancient city within probable space
                  nonsense waiting believe
                  phone start stories
                  shift known sign nut
                  dragon green high rubbish”

                  Fer sure sounds like junk to me said Lavender when Harvey was trying to decipher the newspaper aloud with his pinhole third-eye monocle on…
                  She then started to wonder why she was speaking with a heavy American accent, her eyes distractedly following the little pet mouse running in circles in its wheel.


                  “You know what?” Harvey was once again breaking the silence in an awkward manner after being lost in thoughts for what had seemed like eons to Lavender (or was it Lilac?), who was kind enough and certainly wise enough not to interrupt the whatever-was-happening process inside his skull.
                  “All those piglets, I read an article recently they could be used efficiently as shepherd dogs.”
                  “Now what? You want us to have sheep now?” Lavender was appalled but displaying still an impeccable composure, thinking it might be another outbreak of being taken over by aliens.
                  “Nah. Just telling you there would certainly be loonies out there wanting to take pigs as dogs. Perhaps we should leave a few on the doorstep of that mad lady, you know… She looks a bit devastated, and sure a little 200 pounds pig would help her stay grounded”
                  “Sure they grew big fast those little buggers.”


                  “Believe it or not, it suddenly seems like the shifting symphony makes more sense than the ninth (and Beethoven doesn’t make you dumb), if you see my drift…”
                  “I could, if you’d stop talking in riddles” Lavender told Harvey with but the slightest hint of exasperation in her otherwise perfectly adorable soft and beautiful voice.

                  “I don’t even know what I’m talking about actually, it’s like I’m channeling some deranged poet”
                  “Yeah, that or being taken over by aliens …”  8-|

                  “You know, I miss a sense of continuity… When I can’t follow the leaping frog in at least a pattern that makes sense, I gradually loose all interest. At least if I know the frog is going that way to look for tasty maggots, or that other way to lay a few eggs, or that other way to mate with psychotropic toads, I can hop or fly along… “
                  Lavender smiled a lovely smile.

                  “There it’s like a frog without purpose; it’s running in all directions, keep changing colours like a chameleon, and no matter how I try, I can’t figure the simplest pattern.”
                  “Maybe you should ask your super computer floogle ?”
                  “Yeah… it would tell me that figures without a pattern are called irrational or even transcendent… Not that it would help me in the least. Usually, when you can’t find a pattern, it’s because you don’t use the proper decomposition.”
                  “You want to dissect the poor frog?”
                  “No… Not even sure why I bother with the frog at all… It can do what it wants in the pond after all…”

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