The Eights’ Shift, Stories

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    And Opening.

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    “I wonder how high
    Is an ostriches eye…”

    “Yes” replied Flipswitch, somewhat obscurely.

    Ann was encouraged to continue, notwithstanding the enigmatic response from the professor.

    “Ellen Melon went to town
    To shop her felon hubby…”

    “And he said, Lovely Jubbly!
    I have no time
    to make this rhyme,
    I’m fishing with a zebra.”



    Sha and Glo were looking at the Aerial Pond of Cloud Fishes in their blobby glowing spectral form.

    “A shame we’re dead… That school of fish is sure somethin’”
    “You’re thinking what I’m thinking Shar?”
    “Well, of course; we’re dead and psychic, bloody hell Glor!”

    Glor was glad that she was dead sometimes, and this was such a time. She’d found Sharon’s usual rude rebuking was far easier to handle in that state.

    “Well, I would love to dive in that pool too, like in that documentary…”
    “Exactamundo! Have the school of fishes eat dead skin and give it back its young fresh and peachy glow.”

    “I think we better find some quick way to get back in Shar…”
    “Not to bloody worry Glor, it already looks like our subliminal sex enticements have worked very well; would be a shame no one would get preggers with all that fornication going around!”
    “I’m starting to wonder what it would be like if that’s the nine-titted alien going first though… I’m told their pregnancy is quicker than human’s…”


    That unexpected call from the Dean had put the Fisherman in abyss of perplexity.

    The fishes weren’t really his prime concern. He only needed to paint a little red nose on one of the cloud fishes to stir the others out of their unerratic routine. :fish: :yahoo_clown:
    The matter wasn’t really worth his coming back to the Worseversity, but he and the Dean knew better. If the fishes had snapped into that randomless routine, it was most probably a protective reflex to anticipate some trauma.

    Trauma hadn’t really been seen in ages —in fact, not even once since the Great Shift, which had been an orgiastic experience of trauma of all kinds for people prone to indulge into this emotional drug. The coincidence had not been lost on the two old men. Of all the Worseversity’s, there were very few true artifacts remaining from before the Great Shift; barely a handful of them. Most of the known artifacts were in actuality clever re-creations from older designs, but not the “real” thing. And for good reason actually; most of the laws of physics had changed since, and made almost all of the older designs broken and unusable.

    The pool was hiding one of these few artifacts that had mysteriously gone through the Great Shift without decaying. Furthermore, this very artifact was quite old, and signed by the visionary architect Rumbold the Pale boasting in carved letters which had once been golden, now mostly erased by the passing of times: “The real game is only played whence it started”.

    That fishy omen seemed so dire that it couldn’t help but put the Fisherman out of his lifelong passion questing for the great Trouts of the Universe.


    Yann had been working on a transcription all the afternoon, only accompanied by some mysterious musicians using pneumatic drills not so far outside.

    Though he had managed to make it flow quite easily most of the time, the attention and the tension required to make it possible were now getting on his nerves… he had one more pass through the audio to do. He was wanting to do it now in order to get it over, but he realized he was pushing his energy…

    A weird thought… he would enjoy diving into a pond full of little fishes that would massage his skin.

    ;)) he chuckled thinking of that, imagining that the fishes were some kind of imagery of his energy field.


    For her new course, Pr. Moose was a dolphin.
    It was a fancy-dress course entitled: ‘Act out your characters’.

    Pedro was naked, and when she asked him in what kind of disguise that could be, he told her “I’m the Universe”. She was, a moment, hypnotized by his so blue eyes that she’d forgotten her question. She gulped, speechless and looked at him more closely, appreciating the physique of his body…

    — Is it real? she asked.
    — It’s the Universe.
    — Well, ok then, go get a seat and let’s begin our course.

    Following him with her eyes, or more precisely following his butt with her eyes, she also noticed a few other students. Ann was wearing a nine-titsed alien costume and there were two glowing ladies with fishes stuck to their ghostly bodies…

    This butt, she thought again, her attention distracted from the other students.


    The summer Holidays were nearly over, or the Hollow Days, as they were known to some. The last days of summer had been a bit hollow for Ann at any rate, rattling around inside her own head, not really knowing whether it was full or empty. Ann had spent most of the summer sleeping, and with virtually no dream recall, it seemed as if half of the summer was missing. Probably just as well, what with it being such an odd summer. She wondered if she would simply sleep through the shift, like Ned Young slept through the mutiny. Didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

    “Normally” the Worserversity students started rolling back towards Poubelleville round about now, but the word “normally” was becoming obsolete. What was normal, what could be expected? Ann didn’t know. She packed her coloured pencils, her detachable hand and her wooden men, and fished out her homework assigments for the holidays that she had only just remembered.

    Alliteration. Bugger bollocks and blast, blimey but what a bother, too bloody hot and bored.

    That’s a bit bloody depressing, she muttered to herself, try another letter.

    Sweltering summer of sweat and sand, sleeping and sleeping, sublime surruptitious snooze, sail away in the sunset swell, sunrise surrender, ships ahoy!

    Fan the flames, far sighted fellows! There’s a flash in the funnel for fast falling fishermen. Far flung, fun fueled, oh fast fleeting fantasies, follow the folks with the flags! Flounder not, fresh fishies, for fun feels fantastic!

    Ah, wallow in wisps of wordless wonderings, weather the winds of wandering whispers, while weighty wells of wishes work winsome wonders, woven with worn wool and worrisome white weathered windows. Whether we will, whether we won’t, who will win, what will work, will we watch it water the weeds….


    Ann sighed. She suddenly realized that she’d spent the summer time travelling, back to the Summer Before the Great Shift Trauma. She’d completely forgotten that the Worserversity was Post Shift. Oh well, she would write a historical account of The Times Before The Great Trauma Started.

    “What Great Trauma?” asked Monica, who had been reading her mind again. “There was no Great trauma in MY shift experience.”

    “Really?” Ann was momentarily puzzled. “There wasn’t in mine either.”

    “If you’re going to write about trauma, you’ll have to make it all up.” Monica replied.

    “Why would I want to do that?” Ann was still puzzled.

    “For the fun of it?” Monica suggested.

    “Oh yes, of course…for the fun of it…”

    Ann was still puzzled.


    Lavender was a little peeved she did not win the trip to the Worserversity for her fine limerick. She was wondering if she may drop out of Gubby’s course and enrol in one of Prof Moosy’s underwater dolphin experiences.


    Lavender sneezed. The underwater experience hadn’t been such a good plan.


    Harvey had enjoyed tremendously the underwater experience with the air bubble blowing dolphins and orcas


    “Oh well, the problem is Harvey, I can’t actually swim”, Lavender confessed. “So I didn’t see the dolphins blowing rings. But thank you so much for the movie. I think it was probably lying around in the rain pretending to be a mermaid which got me this cold. Last time I am doing one of Moosy’s daft classes”.

    Lavender rolled her beautiful eyes and sneezed again.


    “I never knew anyone have so many haircuts!,” Becky said huffily to Tina. “I suppose your latest one is okay though, it has that sort of casual, sexy … I just got out of bed and can’t even be bothered combing my hair look.”

    Tina smiled kindly at Becky. Poor old Becky, her hair never really grew back properly after all the stress of the wedding fiasco.

    “Well, we will both need new haircuts if we are going to Paris in June for the Be Free, Be Me! conference”, she said cheerfully.


    “I didn’t know you couldn’t swim, Lavender. Oh!” Ann exclaimed. “Lavender sync! I left one of mothers Yardley English Lavender soaps in the car, and it’s great for covering up the smell of smoke.”

    Lavender rolled her eyes.


    Tina, I did not say that huffily!” Becky retorted.


    “… huffily”

    I think you forgot to add that word in your last sentence he said to the writer.


    Privately, Lavender was thrilled to find she knew Ann! She couldn’t remember when she had met her of course, however that was nothing unusual these days. Everybody seemed to know each other! It was really quite a thrill. Maybe she would go and have coffee with her new friends Becky and Tina, after she had been to the hairdressers of course.

    hmmm, it can’t be a thrill, thought Lavender, The “writer” has already used “thrilled”.

    The writer wondered, huffily, how to strike out text. The writer wanted to write “It was really quite a blast”


    The writer wanted to write, full stop. The problem was that the writer’s desire to write was continually interrupted with things in brackets assuming monstrous and all comsuming proportions. Endless chains of things in brackets that always seemed to have priority.

    “You could always write about the things in brackets, Ann,” remarked her new friend Lavender. “Might be fun. A thrilling blast, even.”


    Obviously, when Ann had taken those Wows of Continuity within the hoity-toity (so said the writer) Sisterhood of Continuous Universal Meditation, it had been one of those flimsy whims which were probably only a clever (so she thought) way of putting her friend’s continual fretting at ease.

    But more secretely, she’d joined the Sisterhood as a way to be closer to the closeted founder… Walter Crumble.


    Walter, I am so releived to see that you’ve finally seen how flimsy continuity really is,” Ann said, and flung her arms around him.

    “Steady on!” he gasped, trying to extricate himself from her clutches.


    Luckily for Walter, Ann realized she was late for her Flimsy Unravelled Continuity Knowledge class.

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