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  • #6117
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Well. I did it. I made my escape. I had to! Nobody came for three days and I’d run out of biscuits. Thank the lord my hip wasn’t playing up. I decided not to take anything with me, figuring I could just steal things off washing lines when I wanted a change of clothes.  I’ve always hated carrying heavy bags.  I reckoned it would look less conspicuous, too. Just an old dear popping out for digestive perambulation. Nobody suspects old dears of anything, not unless they’re dragging a suitcase round, and I had no intention of doing that. I did put a couple of spare masks in my pocket though, you can’t be too careful these days. And it would help with the disguise.  I didn’t want any do gooders trying to catch me and take me back to that place.

    I had the presence of mind to wear good stout walking shoes and not my pink feather mules, even though it was a wrench to say goodbye to them.  I used to love to see them peeping out from under my bath robe. One day I might strike lucky and find another pair.

    I’ve been eating like a king, better than ever!  I accidentally coughed on someones burger one day, and they dropped it and ran away, and I thought to myself, well there’s an idea. I stuck to random snacks in the street at first and then one day I fancied a Chinese so I thought, well why not give it a try.   Coughed all over his brown bag of prawn crackers as he walked out of the restaurant and he put the whole takeaway in the nearest bin. Piping hot meal for six! Even had that expensive crispy duck!

    Tonight I fancy sushi.  Wish I’d thought of this trick years ago, I said to myself the other day, then my other self said, yeah but it wouldn’t have worked so well before the plague.

    Not having much luck with the washing lines though, lazy sods either not doing any laundry or putting it all in the dryer. Weeks of sunny weather as well, the lazy bastards.  Lazy and wasteful!  You should see the clothes they throw in the clothes bank bins!  If the bins are full you can get your arm in and pull out the ones on the top.  I change outfits a dozen times a day some days if I’m in the mood.   I do sometimes get an urge to keep something if I like it but I’m sticking to my guns and being ruthless about not carrying anything with me.

    #6059
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    DAY D

    Everyday is now. I know, I’ve stopped the count.

    This strange book I’ve found must be for something. Had the impulse to post a picture from it on a forum.

    There were instructions coming with it, I have only started to decypher them, and my brain already feels like it will melt if I go too fast.

    Apparently the Chinese philosopher who wrote it said he was swallowed whole, then spat out from the belly of a giant fish, a kūn 鯤, months later. I know, sounds crazy, and yet very familiar. Jonas of course, but also Sinbad, —Pinocchio even… The story’s not new to us.

    When he came back, he said it was only to share knowledge. So came his book of encoded instructions.

    First instruction he said. You are in a maze, you want to find the center of the maze, and never get lost again while you decide whether or not you still want to explore it.

    It kind of struck a chord for some reason. I realized, with all the stories we tell ourselves, they abound, expand in our minds, take roots deeply.
    The thought came this morning: if suddenly I’m struck dead, and find myself in my own stories, I would be in a tight spot to escape the whole craziness. I would need a backdoor, a way back, or out.

    That’s why its first instruction resonated. It continued. Create your center of your maze. Now. Don’t delay, you may regret it. It must be pure with intent, and tell about who you are in the deepest sense. Engrave the following words around it to seal this pure memory. And put it outside in the world, so that someday when you come back to it, you’ll know.

    您已找到您的迷宮中心。現在,您完全是智慧。

    You have found the Center of Your Maze.
    Now, You Know It
    And it can never be taken from you again.

    萬事萬物再也無法奪走您的知識。

     

    I know of a memory of mine I could put in my center. It came very naturally. An illustrated book of stories, mythology to be exact. One of the first books I got, and I can still remember vividly the feeling of entering its world. My parents had given it to me as a gift at a time they had to leave me home alone for a few hours. When they came back, I was still on the same kitchen chair, deeply thrown into the book’s world, feeling like barely a minute had passed.
    It was a moment out of time and space. I know it was what being at the center of my maze meant.

    I’m grown now, but the feeling is still there. I’m going to put that out some place where I can find it in case I ever get lost again among the shadows of men.

    #6029
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Based on post #5959 in The Whale’s Diaries Collection.

    As soon as Charlton finished editing his journal entry, someone knocked at the door. It was Kady in a red dress. She looked different than his dream. For starter she was not restless and she had some kind of self-assurance that she didn’t have before.

    “Oh! Hello,” Charlton said. “Are we going to the pistil?”

    “So you got the dream I sent you. It’ll be easier. I’m not against a cup of tea. It’s been a long time since I could enjoy one in a couch.”

    Charlton made some rare Da Hong Pao Chinese tea, the one called Big Red Dress. A warm and rich aroma steamed out of the purple clay teapot he had brought from a trip in China. He thought the tea was a nice touch considering his friend’s garment.

    “So, where have you been?” he asked.

    Kady brought up the little cup to her nose and smelled the tea.

    “Oh! You truly know your shit, Charlton.” She took a sip before continuing. “The pistils, they have been around for longer than everybody think. We call it the Pistil Maze,” Kady said. She looked at him with hesitation in her eyes. “You may not believe me, but aliens put it there, you know. Who else? But most of the people they don’t understand. They don’t want to. It’s too frightening for their little comfort. People are perceiving them now because of the virus. It’s making them able to see their frequency when they weren’t able to before. But they have been there for a long time.”

    Then Kady told Charlton about an ancient alien race from another dimension that was bringing a power, a treasure of knowledge and abilities, but that current humans bodies were too weak to bear its intensity, and that people had to somehow upgrade before they could. The pistils, they were a series of mazes, a path to transformation. People had to follow it in order to change themselves and there was not just one path. Everyone had to follow their own.

    The whole story about the pistils fascinated Charlton, especially after his dream. It didn’t took him long before asking his next question.

    “Do I need to pack up special things for the trip?”

    “Actually you don’t. We’ll find all that we need inside.”

    #6026
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Dear Jorid Whale,

    My hands are shaking while I type this on the keyboard.

    I’m not sure which of last night’s dreams is the bizarrest. Bizarre in a fantastic way, although for certain people it might be called grotesque. I’m certain it has something to do with that book I ordered online last week. I don’t usually read books and certainly not like this one. But the confinement, it makes you consider making things out of your ordinary.

    It’s called The Enchanted Forest of Changes, by a Chinese artist Níngméng (柠檬). They say his artist name means lemon, but that some of his friends call him Níng mèng 凝梦 (curdle dreams), which to my ears sound exactly the same except a little bit angrier. I found out about him on a forum about creepy dolls abandoned in forests all around the world. Yeah exactly, the confinement effect again. Apparently it started with a few dolls in a forest in Michigan, and then suddenly people started to find them everywhere. I wonder if some people are really into the confinement thing or if it’s just me using that as a reason to stay home.

    Anyway, someone on that forum posted one of the picture of that book and it caught my eye. So much so that I dreamt of it the following night. So I bought the book and it’s mostly ink drawings, but they seem to speak directly to some part of you that you were not even aware you had. I almost hear whispers when I look at the drawings. And then I have those dreams.

    Last night I dreamt of a cat that had been reared as a boy. He even had the shape of one, but shorter maybe. He had learned to talk and use his paws as hands, his claws had grown into fingers, had lost most of his fur and he was wearing clothes. If I was amazed by such a feat, it kinda seemed normal for the people I met in that dream. It just took a lot of efforts, love and dedication to raise this kind of children.

    And Whale, I feel tingling in my arms. This morning you showed me the picture of a kitten! That’s not a mere coincidence. I’m feeling so excited, my hands are too slow to type what I want to write. I fear I’m going to forget an important detail.

    About the second dream. The world was in shock, there was this giant… thing that looked like a pistil and that had grown during the night in some arid area. It was taller than the tallest human made tower. Its extremity was cone shaped, and I confess that the whole thing looked like some kind of dick to me.

    Plants and trees had followed in the following days as if the pistil had changed the climatic conditions (autocorrect wanted to write climactic, is that you playing around?).

    The pistil was protected by some kind of field and it couldn’t be approached by everyone. Governments had tried, pharmaceutical companies had tried. People who wanted to make gold out of it, they were all rejected. But for some reason some people could approach. Anyone, not just the pure of hearts or the noble ones. Actually a whole bunch of weirdoes started to take their chances. Some were allowed in and some where not. Nobody knew what was the deciding factor.

    A friend of mine that I have not seen in years during my waking life, she came back and asked me to come with her. So we went and were allowed in. My recall of the events after that is fuzzy. But I get the strange impression that I will spend more time in there later on.

    [Edited in the afternoon]

    I don’t believe it! It’s on the news everywhere. It has even replaced the news about the virus and the confinement.

    Giant pistils have appeared around the world, but it seems only people who had been infected can see them.

    Crazy rumours run on the internet. Giant mass hallucination caused by the virus. Some people say it’s alien technology, spores engineered to control our brains.

    There is one not so far from where I live. Should I wait for Kady to call me?

    #5829
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    “I’m loathe to admit June, but you may have had a genius impulse, getting us out of the US.”

    “Of course, dear April.” June answered absentmindedly. She roared in laughter. “Look at the last one! Isn’t it hilarious! Fun change from the boring elections newsies!”

    The spike in humorous creativity on the network of confined friends was indeed an unexpected relief.

    “My parents are starting to worry though. I’ve got some news, and they are starting to hide from the neighbourhood, with Lump talking about Chinese virus, it’s not good being too Asian looking.”

    She pointed at the unfamiliar coastline. “And you never told us where we were sailing to? Care to explain?”

    #5626
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    When Barron woke up, he quickly realized he’d been double-crossed, or maybe triple-crossed.

    His captors were discussing loudly at the front how they could get a larger cut from an unknown bidder.
    He was incensed and almost threw a tantrum but realized it would be best to keep quiet for now.

    Suspicions were racing in his mind, who could it be? The Russians… or the Chinese maybe? His father had made so many ennemies, it could well be the nannies for all he knew. The thought almost made him giggle. These two inept nannies had been carefully chosen by him, there were little chances they would be able to concoct any sensible plan with more than an hour execution span. His parents were infuriated and almost despaired when he’d shouted, spat and cried like a devil at all the nannies they carefully selected for him. But they all looked too smart, too serious, too careful to please, there was no way his plan of escape would work with them. But Joo and Ape, well, that was something else. With them, the world was his oyster. Or Bob his uncle like the loud one liked to say when she faked a British accent. Evil sounded so much more delightful when spoken in British English.

    The van stopped. They’d arrived. Strong smells of alcohol,… and something… French? Was it rillettes? A clandestine distillery. Maybe it was the French mafia after all.

    #5615
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    June looked at the “locate my e-zapper” app on her phone and had to do a double-take.

    “Look at that, April dear; I need a second pair of eyes, yeah you look a tad more sober than I am. I must say,… I may not be at my peak performance, brain-wise and all,…” she started, her tongue rolling in vapours of the strong Chinese spirits, “but, why does it say the baby is on the move on the Interstate 81, few miles north of Birmingham, Alabama??”

    April’s hand flew to her mouth. 🤭

    #5574
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    June was impatiently waiting for the Oober, and asking April every second where the driver was.

    “You should get the app if you’re so damn impatient!” finally snapped April who had watched a video on how to stop being a crowd pleaser and start asserting herself. Might as well be with June, as she was the kind of bossy britches who would let the light shine anywhere else than on herself.

    June looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “Good, you’re learning from our dear Pdt Lump, be yourself. Have you tweeted it already?”

    “Why do you always have to make everything a political statement?”

    “Because everything is, dear! Don’t get me started on that… Look, I think that’s our driver! Whoohooo!” She waved at him in an outrageous fashion.

    “Stop that! Or we’ll have to find another ride, or worse, get assaulted!” The driver did actually look a little bit started by the two in their matching red tracksuits. They had a street dance planned with the Chinese maids from the Chinese Embassy where the party was planned during the time it was empty, due to Chinese New Year.

    “Anyway, I hope the kid is going to be fine.” April sighed a little concerned.

    “Oh don’t worry about that, what could happen, really? Let’s enjoy our Friday night out, shall we.”

    #4679
    prUneprUne
    Participant

    I could still smell the ounces of pecksniffery I got from the commiserating board during the review for the renewal of my scholarship.
    My family background did its part; I guess it actually helped wet a few eyes.

    A year ago, I was elated when I learnt I was accepted in the boarding school I applied for in secret. It is the only one in the country with an equivalence for astronaut programs. They don’t really advertise, but if you search, you can find them. Guess that’s how they select the motivated ones. I still have high hopes to get selected for the Mars program. They’re launching the first commercial travel in 2 or 3 years they say. That’ll give me time to prepare.

    Almost didn’t get the letter though, between the nosy sisters and my messy aunt. Hard row to hoe, like they say. Thankfully Mater was still strong as a bull when it comes to holding this family together.

    I guess it’s mostly for her that I come back from time to time. The fish’s still here on the fireplace, stupid as ever. I sure don’t come back for it. I think I’m missing Devan too, but he’s never kept touch. Can’t blame him, must have been hard to be the first born, that sort of things.

    I had a dream last night; Mater must have sent it. We had to entertain guests —that’s how I knew it was a dream, must have been ages we had guests in the inn. I was doing a little cabaret show, then we all went for fortune cookies at the Chinese local restaurant, like old times.

    Guess with the summer break coming, I don’t have much better things to do anyway, and bus tickets are cheap. As cheap as Aunt Dodo’s barmecidal crackers luncheons.

    #4244
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Fox ran through the city, enjoying his transient invisibility. He didn’t have to care about people, he didn’t feel the social burden of being himself. He had fun brushing past the legs of men to frighten them, biting the dresses of women to make them drop their baskets. One of them contained some freshly baked meatloaf. Fox got rid of the bread and swallowed the meat. He laughed with his fox’s laugh at the puzzled look of a child seeing the meat disappear in mid air.

    At first, Fox enjoyed being invisible tremendously. Then, he felt a bit lonely. No one was there to see him have fun. Furthermore, he had no idea how long of it remained. The woman had said one hour. His problem was that in his fox form, he wasn’t so good at keeping track of time. The fun of the invisibility wearing off, he decided to go back to the forest. He would get back his clothes and meet with the woman in his human form.

    He followed the scent of the autumn leaves.

    After barely five minutes, he noticed that people were going in the same direction. How unusual, Fox thought. He kept on running. After another five minutes, he felt a tingling feeling. Then, he heard the familiar shout accompanying his being seen.

    Fox had mixed feelings. At the same time he felt relieved —he was happy to be back into the world—, and he felt annoyed by what he considered to be an unnecessary mishap. He felt his heartbeat speeding up and prepared himself to the chase. But nobody seemed to care about the shout. People looked hypnotized and simply didn’t pay attention to him even though they looked at him running past them.

    How unusual, he thought again.

    Fifteen minutes later, he stopped in front of a fence that wasn’t there in the early morning. It was not so high that he couldn’t jump over it and continue on his way to the forest. But he stayed there a few seconds, too startled to think anything. He got out of his own puzzlement when he heard a whine. It was coming from his own mouth. It was so unusual that it helped him got rid off the spell that surrounded the fence. It seemed to be powerful enough to make people believe they couldn’t go past it into the forest.

    Very clever, he thought. Whoever erected this fence, they were no ordinary man or woman. Fox thought about the old young witch who gave him the potion but readily shook the idea away. This is something else, he decided. His nose became itchy, Fox needed to find out who created this thing. Maybe they knew about the burning smell.

    Fox left the flow of people still following the fence to some unknown destination and jumped over into the forest. The feeling was the same on the other side. A repelling spell. But once on this side of the fence, it had a different flavour. This one talked about danger of leaving the forest, whereas in the city it whispered about the danger of going into the forest. Fox didn’t feel surprised. It was simply another odd occurence.

    He took a deep breath, enjoying the rich scents of the soil and the trees. The smell of the little animals close to the ground, and those of the birds in the air above. The odorant track left by a wild boar. Among all those scents, one was quite unique and remarkable. The gentleman of the forests, Fox thought. What is he doing here? Whatever the explanation was, the wise ape and would certainly have answers. After all, he was the one who taught a little fox the art of human shapeshifting.

    Fox began to run deep into the forest. His heart beating fast at the idea to see his old master. He had totally forgotten about the dwarf and his strange companion, or about the kind witch and her potions. He only felt hope in his heart and cold winter air on his snout. Leading him to some resolution.

    #4187
    prUneprUne
    Participant

    “Sometimes you don’t know who you really are, but your story does.”

    That was a strange fortune sesame ball. Janel’s parents had brought us to their favourite restaurant in town. Well, apart from Bart’s, it was the only other restaurant in town. The Blue Phoenix had this usual mixture of dimly lit, exotic looking run of the mill Chinese restaurant. But the highlight of the place, which surely drove people from miles here, was its owner. She liked to be called The Dragon Lady with her blue-black hair, slim silhouette, and mysterious half-closed eyes, she was always seen scrapping notes on bits of paper, sitting on a high stool at the back of the restaurant, near the cashier, and a tinkling beaded door curtain, leading to probably even darker places downstairs.

    “How did you like the food kids?”
    Janel’s father was nice, trying his best. I confectioned the most genial smile I could do, not my greatest work by far, “it was lurvely!” was all I could get out in such short notice.

    The Dragon Lady must have felt something, she had apparently some extrasensoriel bullshit detector, and moving unnoticed like a cat, she was standing at our table, already not mincing words. “What was it you didn’t like with the food, young lady?”

    She managed to cut all attempts at protest from the clueless adults with a single bat of an eyelash, and a well-placed wink of her deep blue eye.

    For worse or for worst, the floor was all mine.

    “Are glukenitched eggs even a real thing?” I managed to blurt out.

    “Oh, my dear, you have no idea.”

    #4047
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Back at her desk after a crash course at zumba with the Chinese team, Connie was sorting her e-mails (meaning sending them to trash). Nothing fancy, nothing catchy, nothing to grab her attention span for more than a minute.

    The noise of the open space was making her feel drowsy. Maybe a coffee would help her wake up, or maybe if something could happen to stir the pot. Connie deleted a few more e-mails to show the others that she was a busy reporter before leaving her desk.
    Passing by the desks of her colleagues, Connie looked surreptitiously at their computer screens and saw that everyone was playing the busy game. It was sad to recognize that good news (meaning bad news) were hard to come by nowadays.

    In times like these, she had to resist the tentation to create her own news, it was not that kind of press. But still toying with the idea and making up some outrageous stories with her team was a way to make time fly away more quickly. Once, Hilda had even reused one of the titles for a real stories that sadly happened shortly after she had made it up.
    Rumour had it that Hilda’s great grand mother was a gypsy and could do palm reading. The gran even used palm tree leaves to do her reading when there was nobody, you just had to cut the leave in the shape of the person you wanted to read the future and she would tell you all about them. She was good.
    “It runs in the family,” Hilda had said. “It’s helpful to be at the right place at the right time.” And for sure she was the most prolific reporter of the agency.
    Connie sure would have used some of Hilda’s medium inner sight to know when something would happen.

    She made herself a cappuccino and with the milk drew the face of Al Pacino. Many years at a press agency and you learn a few tricks to impress your friends.
    She heard the slow and uneven pace of sweet old Sophie behind her. She sighed, she didn’t want to have to answer another of her dumb questions about the future. If Hilda could read bits of the future, Sophie was always thirsty about it. Maybe that’s why Hilda was more often in the field and not so often at her desk.

    Connie turned and almost dropped her cappuccino as the old lady handed her a Fedex envelop.
    “Sorry,” said sweet old Sophie, “That just arrived for you. I wonder what it is.”
    “I’m sure you do,” muttered Connie.
    “It’s from Santa Claus,” said the old lady with a conniving smile.
    Connie looked at the old lady, with a forced smile. Was insanity a cause to get rid of one of your employee ? She took the package with one hand. Heavier than she had expected. When she saw the address, she couldn’t believe it was real. The sender’s and city’s names were certainly fake. Jesus Carpenter, Santa Claus, AZ
    Sophie was still there, looking at Connie with a big smile.
    “What are you waiting for ?” the reporter asked.
    “Aren’t you opening it?”

    Connie considered opening the package, but the avidity on the old face was making her uncomfortable. “Nope,” she said. With her cappuccino and the package she went back to her desk. Sweet Sophie was still looking at her with that greedy smile on her face. Connie shivered and shook her head. It was obvious, the old tramp was mad.
    She touched the package, trying to guess what was inside. As no convincing guess presented itself in her mind, she stripped it open. There was an iPhone 5 SE with 64Gb memory in it, two plane tickets for Keflavik in Iceland, and a note.
    ‘If you want a good story prepare your suitcase. Bring Sweet Sophie with you. We’ll contact you once you are there.’

    Connie thought of a joke. She checked the package and no matter how many times she looked it was still her name. She looked toward the cafeteria and she shuddered. Sweet Sophie was still looking at Connie with that strange smile, as if she knew. Or as if she had sent the package herself, the reporter thought.
    “Someone knows where Hilda is ? I need to talk to Hilda.”

    #4041
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    The meeting went surprisingly fast, it was almost disappointing.
    The Indian butler with the turban told Connie that Mr Asparagus went for a trip of unknown duration to some hidden getaway, and wouldn’t be available for further questioning.

    “That rude tart!” Connie fumed to herself, she had just been sent on another wild goose chase. Although the hidden getaway did seem intriguing, but she lacked the patience to quiz the help. She’d rather squeeze something violently, which she took as a cue to a prompt exit before further damage.

    “That guy looked suspicious” Ric managed to say as they were leaving.
    Connie’s brains wasn’t performing at peak form when she was getting angry, so she only managed to roll her eyes, thinking about how everyone looked suspiciously in need of a punch these days.
    “Yeah, he kind of looked Sikh, no big deal.”

    It was almost lunchtime. She tried to bip Hilda, but got her voice message saying she was on business trip. Again… That tart had the shortest attention span Connie had ever seen. Coupled with inexhaustible capacity at marveling at stuff, it made her quite good at her job, and seeing things always with a new angle.

    It was now official. She was depressed. That was a good tentative at stepping out of the comfort bubble today.
    Then, when she spotted a few Chinese housewives doing Chinese zumba in the park at the sound of a loud music, she thought…
    Maybe she had time to push it a little further.

    #3943

    In reply to: Mandala of Ascensions

    AvatarJib
    Participant

    The jiggong meditation’s end was signaled by a silent ring of the immaterial bell in between states of mind. MJ stretched his ideas and send a shepherd to gather his thoughts. Today only one student connected to the session. MJ acknowledged his presence with a slight flickr of his crown chakra and he checked his voicemail. 1223 messages from Dispersee. He let the potential irritation dissolve as it was born into existence and prepared to respond. No need to listen to the messages, it would only delay the answer.

    He felt a nudge from the student who hadn’t dissipated as he should. Some hesitation fluctuated in the energy. He turned his attention to the void and waited. His motto was to always let people ask the questions they had if they had any, and not begin a conversation if you hadn’t something important to say.

    Master John ?

    MJ sent some encouragement to the void where the student thought he was.

    I can’t think of a question, finally expressed the student out of nowhere.
    Maybe you don’t have any question, MJ said to the void.
    The student’s energy rippled with surprise. Had he been on Earth plane, he would have had a nervous laugh.

    Master John had already been aware that the void of the student had no question but was filled with interrogations. He was desperately trying to find something to ask in need to connect, unaware that the connection already existed and required no movement.
    MJ sent an energy egg to the student. Let him play with that. It was crafted according to the ancient Chinese culture and hard to crack. With lots of mind knots and shiny curly clues. MJ let his pride of having created the object dissolve like squid ink in the ocean of his mind.

    Suddenly absorbed by the illusory complexity of the egg, the student suddenly blended into the void of MJ’s mind, replaced by the myriads of Dispersee’s messages cackling simutaneously to catch his unwavering attention. He picked one of them and followed the thread to Dispersee and to a nice pique nique in the mountain apparently. Floverly was already there, sitting on a patch of red flowers.

    You could have changed after your jiggong, she said.

    #3938
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Roberto had just heard the end of their conversation. I want to hear about dear cousin Badul, the old tart had said to the maid. Something in his brain was triggered by that name, something he had been led to forgot by his handlyer in Vegas before… his mission. Yes he remembered now that he had a mission. But still all the little tickling wheels in his brain were catching up with the forgotten memories.

    He looked inside the house. The old tart was handling what looked like a sheep skull. Was she doing some dark magic ? Was she a bruja ? He was not particularly superstitious or religious, but he had learned to fear the brujas of his village in the desert.

    “Put that on the library between Byron and Baudelaire, will you?”
    The maid looked at the skull, then at her mistress with the same rollling eyes. Oh it was subtle, so very sutble that the old lady had certainly not seen it, but he had been trained to read people’s faces… well he had read an old book of Chinese face reading that his grand mother had when he was living there… That’s why they recruited him.

    The maid left with the skull, removed a few books from the shelf and put the skull unceremoniously in between. She shoved the remaining books randomly on other shelves and shrugged.
    “I’m going to make a banana yogurt cake… without yogurt”, she said to nobody in particular.

    #3923

    In reply to: Mandala of Ascensions

    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Ascended Master John was mediwalking around the absinth lake, aka the green fairy lake, or aka oqmei oekef oekk in transluscent seal language. It was a strange lake invereflecting your own feelings. Waves as big as the pyramids in Salitre roamed the surface of the lake if your inner landscape was peaceful, and it could be flatter than the best laser cut rock if your mind had turned crazy. The trick was not to become attached to the result as focusing on making bigger waves would only make you more nervous and not have the intended effect.
    Master John decided to dive into the absinth lake. He needed some change.
    He heard a strange Chinese music as he did so. It seemed to come from under the sufrace of the lake. He looked closer and saw the wavy forms of yellow dogons (Chinese Dog Dragons) winding their way under the waves.
    Floating absinth spoons were used as surf boards by small baby monkeys. The waves seemed to lower for a moment but Master John decided not to pay too much attention and returned to his mediwalking, pushing the waves to new unseen heights before.

    #3860
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Bea decided that she needed to put herself back to sleep quickly. She had to wake up to a different external reality than loud cackles, lisps and pyramid-stealing rats with a bindle and attitude to boot.

    She was glad there was some of her sleep inducing medication left. This time apparently, they looked like Chinese medicine, gooish and blue in colour, with pungent smell of dried sea cucumber mixed with dirty alloys of slit nosed bat’s snot.

    Maybe the weird scenarios were a resurgence of the ego… She would have to meditate more on what these false egos and contrived characters appearances truly meant.

    #3789

    In reply to: The Hosts of Mars

    EricEric
    Keymaster

    When Eb woke up, there was a dozen messages left on his phone.
    He didn’t have to check to know.
    His mother wasn’t too subtle when he missed their weekly call.

    She now lived in a modest retiring home in Mississippi, spending most of her time on social networks exchanging links about anything from politics and revolution and anarchy, kittens and drugs. Oh, that, and politics too. And revolution.
    She was suffering from early stages of Alzheimer, but called it “transition” as the old-age hype advertised some decades earlier, and due to her refusal to take her prescriptions, it wasn’t improving much as time went by. But Eb’s prognosis was more like “selective Alzheimer”, as she would perfectly recall when (and how many times) he had missed their weekly calls.

    He could already hear her complain about how she was left out of the loop, that the world story would be over by the time she catches up with all the gossips they’d hidden from her. Often, she would become so agitated that Fancy, her nurse would come help her relax and stop waking up the others. Everything was much less confusing thanks to Fancy.

    After all that is said, he loved his mother deeply. She was always full of extravagant ideas and when she stopped doubting herself, she had her moments of sheer brilliance.

    Being his only son, that she’d taken care of as a single mother most of her life, he felt tremendous pressure to be worthy of her sacrifices. So talking about his job wasn’t really something he liked to explore with her. If she’d known what he did for a living,… he couldn’t bear to imagine the look of crushed hopes and expectations on her devastated face. Well, suffice to say her face needn’t any of it.
    Instead, he’d told her he was working in a tree nursery, working on pest control, with humane and eco-conscious methods. Which actually wasn’t too far off the truth. The pests were the glitches of the program, and the vegetables… well, that didn’t need much explaining.

    “Tricia speaking, who’s this?” Eb knew she knew perfectly well it was him, but the game was ever the same
    “Mother, it’s Eb”
    “Ebenezer, my dear boy, how kind of you to remember your old mother. What have you been up to? So many things happened here, with that new batch of decrepit old farts who arrived last month, so much drama. But you should tell me about you. Oh, makes me recall that stupid incident, a synch! I should tell Fancy about it! Fancy, Fancy!
    Oh dear… She’s gone cleaning up again. The last one who came in is a Chinese, and all his family is there, I bet she’s cooking some rice now, it smells funny. Fancy! Mind the rice! So well, it’s like the twins I talk with on the Internet, with funny names, Cilantro and Nutmeg, something like that, well, they have so many funny stories, like that meteor that dropped on Mars and blacked-out the TV show, they think it’s all bollocks. I told them I’d ask you about this, after all you did some studies in physics before becoming a gardener, you’ve always been the clever one in the lot, always helping with the dust stuck in my keyboard, and other IT problems. Oh dear… that was fun, but I think I must go, Fancy is waving at me, she says hello by the way! Oh, she rolls your eyes at you, how cute! Time for my siesta, … what? Oh, and change my nappies too, thanks Fancy, you’re precious, I keep forgetting everything. Talk to you soon my boy!”

    Well… If he hadn’t been so hungover, he probably would have tried to place some funny comments, or at least a well-meaning “hmmm hmmm”, to let her know he wasn’t just letting her monologue. Today was a good day notwithstanding, she hardly had a complaint. He should remember to send Fancy a card and a nice honey pot like he did every year, she was doing wonders at pacifying his mother.

    #3702

    In reply to: The Hosts of Mars

    prUneprUne
    Participant

    Today, I met Huoxing, the bank teller. Funny, you would say that they have a bank teller on Mars. The irony is not lost on him apparently, his name means Mars in Chinese. His parents did have either some special foretelling powers, or a mean sense of humour.
    In both cases, he was quite efficient at setting my account up and doing some basic transfers.
    With the latest collapse of the economy on Earth, there are mostly only banks of China left everywhere. Still, there is only one on Mars, and Mars is the teller. What are the odds?

    #3615
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Finnley?” asked Godfrey to appease the cat fight, “did you order that surprise grocery vegetable basket they just delivered?”
    Finley shrugged apathetically.
    “Well, I hope everyone here likes celery and Chinese leek, because they were generous with it.”

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