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    Cheung Lok gave a look at the arched back massaging his feet. There was nothing enjoyable about it, he thought, unlike what many of his friends who loved a good foot massage said about it.
    It was hurting like being trampled by a million wild rhinos, and the release of pain was even painful enough to not be enjoyable.
    He had no choice, it was part of the social acts expected from him, and in that precise moment also a cover to get some particular piece of information.

    An ugly person wearing outrageous make-up arrived on the seat next to him, making it crack like a pack of cheap matches, the arms of the chair protruding in the middle of the enormous waist.
    Without a word spoken, he received the key, and was thankful that he didn’t need to stay longer.

    He paid the boss with some cash, and left silently in the turmoil of the city.
    He signalled the driver he’d walk to the office. Another peculiarity, as usually officials with his rank would never walk unless under extreme necessity, which was the same as saying never. But he enjoyed walking in the Chinese parts of the city, there were all sorts of smells and activity, it was never dull.

    He had too laugh at the insane number of beauty parlours and salons. For all he could tell, either there weren’t enough of them, or they weren’t doing a good job.
    For once, it had little to do with the robots replacing human attendants; massage and beauty parlours had been the most resistant to change, and for now, most still employed human personnel. That meant, there was still a large market share escaping the Corporation, and the prototype that Irina stole was supposed to change all that. He had to retrieve it by all means.


    “Pierre is following us”, said Mirabelle.
    “Well, good for him”, retorted Lisa, “he’s been on the lazy slope lately. I’ve been worrying about him.”
    Mirabelle and Adeline gulped.
    “He’s not been so lazy, he’s been helping Fanella with her granite box”, said Adeline, thinking it might distract Lisa from the W-word.
    “A box ? What box ?”
    “It looked more like a stone coffin”, said Mirabelle always picky with words.

    Lisa stopped. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t been aware of Fanella’s latest fad. She turned, facing Pierre who unconsciously slowed down his pace. His face showing uncertainty.

    “The girls told me you were helping Fanella with a box”, said Lisa when Pierre was close enough. He looked at them and down to his feet.

    “She said it would help her relax”, he mumbled, “maybe she’s just taking a nap in her box”, he added, his voice trailing off.
    “That would be a hell of a nap! Show me.”

    Pierre took the lead and showed them to Fanella’s atelier. The tools were still there. The granite box was empty. Near the box was a tray with a cup of tea, full, and a few toasts with cheese. The tea was cold. The toasts untouched.


      “Madame, a message from your mother. She’s waiting for you in her room.”

      Linda Pol, ensconced in a lumpy chair at the hotel bar, got confused at the mention of her mother. She had forgotten for a moment that it was the code for her meeting with Amber Graystone. The boy was wearing the hotel livery, the fur was a perfect fit on that young body. He must have been eighteen, at least, it was illegal in most states to employ underage personnel. He was presenting her a folded paper on a silver plate. That was so cliché, the Management should keep up to date with the latest unusual methods.

      She took the paper delicately. Thick, three hundred grams at least. Grainy yet satin-smooth. She thought the Management had money issues. She opened it and saw a single number inside. 88857.

      “There must be a mistake, mon ami. Certainly your hotel is big, but it doesn’t have so many stories.”
      The boy smirked.
      “Please follow me, I’ll show you the way. Oh, and keep the card with you.”

      Linda Pol had become cautious with age, but she had to admit the thrill of adventure and mystery was exciting. Especially presented on a silver plate by such a gorgeous minion. Something she hadn’t felt often lately.

      She smiled, stretched her left arm and fluttered her fingers. Those chairs were so deep that you could’t get up without looking like getting out of the armpit of a gorilla. The boy helped her out, a surprised look on his face when she appeared to spring on her feet like a young damsel. Those morning fitness sessions were paying off after all.

      “Show me everything”, she said with her best doe eyes.
      Come on, Pol. He could be your son, she thought. The youngest, added her mother’s disincarnate voice.


        After they’d jumped in the robot (which had shapeshifted into a sand buggy big enough for them), they had to cling tight to the railing of the light vehicle, as the robot was driving recklessly into a jungle of unexpected leaves and green vegetation tentacles.
        It wasn’t long before they were back on the gorgeously rugged Hawai’ian beach, taken on an unexpected dune racing along the coast.
        The queens looked exhilarated, but Sadie was a bit overwhelmed, especially after what the Techromancer had told her.

        The wetsuits fitting session passed in a blur, as the breathable elastic material was made to adapt to their bodies. Really, the only thing left to choose would have been color, but it was able to change itself at will, with very little shades it couldn’t replicate to perfection, even the Bollywood shine and twinkle that was all the craze in the 2019s.

        “But we’re in the 2222s now!”, Maurana had voiced her disapproval of her choice of glittery fashion. Little did Sadie care about it. Her mission seemed to stretch to sidetracks and unneeded distractions on her path to Great Happiness.

        All four of them clad in their fancy bathsuits and looking more like hippy frogs than sassy mermaids, they followed the robot on the miles-long deck that led to the horizon.

        After half an hour of walking on the narrow bridge, they were at a good distance from the coast and Terry started to pant and breathe heavily in her green sardine scales costume.
        “Stop! I got to catch my breathe, how long it’s going to be now? We were promised a soirée! Not a walk on the wild side!”

        The robot, rolled back a few steps, and turned briskly.
        “Actually, Sir, this is a perfect spot for your whale training”

        And before they realized, the robot had opened the deck under their feet, plunging all of them in the ocean screaming.

        Thanks to her excellent training and natural sharp reflexes, Sadie was the first to realize a few things.

        • They were all alive
        • They were able to breathe underwater
        • Their suit enabled them to talk and understand each other in what sounded like whale-speech.
        • A looming shape was quickly closing on them, looking dangerously like that of a giant toothy white shark.
        • Her mind was a mysterious thing.

        Why? Simply because the previous thought was coinciding with another one which was saying unequivocally that she still hadn’t found a proper dragqueen’s name for herself, and yet another one, even more funny than all others, saying in between bursts of infectious laughter that her last words could well be whale speech, and would make a hell of an epitaph.

        She floated for a time moment stretched into an eternity, weighing all the rippling probabilities and wondered what her next move would be, as she was in the void of creation, hovering under a vortex of thoughts, with a sea of twinkling stars beckoning her further down the ocean’s clear bottomless depths.


        The door creaked open and a shy Igor entered with a big rainbow conch.
        Mirabelle, I have come back for you!”

        Igor! How, what …” Mirabelle and Adeline gasped, lost for words.

        “I jumped overboard the ship after I stole this miraculous conch and swam back…”

        Before he could say the rest, Adeline jumped on her feet and slapped his face.
        Then Mirabelle’s turn, three times.

        The door creaked close like a laughing seagull.


          A long deck was stretching and unfolding from the shore into the ocean, passing above the shallow plateau of sand bathed in aquamarine waters, and the coral reef.
          After stretching for about five miles and six feet, it was seemingly above open waters where schools of colourful fishes and placid turtles where swimming blissfully.

          The submarine broke the surface of the waters on the evening of January 18th, at precisely 17:56 HST, Hawaii local time, a handful of seconds too early (or a minute too late) for fetching a prized synchronicity.

          Jonbert soon realized that, as usual, it could only mean one thing: others were late, synchronistic timing notwithstanding.
          Of course, other being late meant timing couldn’t be synchrone, and all figures couldn’t align properly.
          The first mate robot reported back to him on the top deck where he was sipping his scotch and enjoying the late sun after months spent underwater.

          — “Dear sir…”
          — “Oh forget about the blasted dear, I’m nothing dear to you, you ingrate piece of rubbish”
          — “Of course sir. If I may”
          — “Blurt it out, goddammit! Where are they?”
          — “Their signal doesn’t register at the resort we have booked for them.”
          — “What?! And where is it now?”
          — “The ezapper have been geolocalized at 5.56 miles inland, sir”

          That darned missed synch again

          — “Then, bloody go fetch them!”


          Huhu dived in an unexpected move and snatched the key while tittering in a manic parrot cackle.
          “So long floaters, and thanks for all the fish.”

          Obviously it wasn’t by mistake that a parrot was lurking in Versailles biding for its time.


          Meanwhile, a cucumber free Irina was trying to get the hang of the commands of the new p-box that could allow for entering the minds of animals.

          On the empty box lying at her feet, one could read the usual side effects caveats, especially for the birds section: Birds are very tempting, but a p-boxer may soon lose contact to the mundane things of earth, and want only to fly.


            Her wig got stuck on Terry’s heel,
            As she vanished below the street;
            You’re pulling me down, she said with a squeal.
            Your wig is dragging my feet!

            F LoveF Love

              flower synch! but her mind was dulled with tiredness and she could not explain, although they questioned her relentlessly.

              “Just align with whatever path you are on… it is by far the easiest way” she whispered as she dropped off to sleep.

              She woke to find herself on a path. It was dark and only the ground directly beneath her feet was visible. It was hard to move forward under these conditions and she desperately wanted to see more. She fought with the darkness until, eventually, she realised the darkness was an illusion. With that realisation she took hold of the darkness and it fell away in her hands revealing a stage.

              The stage was bare, other than an old boot and a plain wooden chair. She sat on the chair and looked around.

              “This is a bit gloomy” she said. “I want flowers”. And deep crimson wild sweet peas appeared. “I want lots of flowers! And I want blue sky and sunshine and a few fluffy white clouds and a gentle sun shower for me to dance in and a rainbow to fill the sky with wonder.” And as she wished, the bare stage was transformed to a landscape filled with a vibrant profusion of colour and life.


              Evangeline Spiggot put the phone down, and turned to old Flanigan, the cleaning man. “Another request to investigate the death of Ed Steam! Three already, and it’s not even lunch time. I think this is a case for Blithe Gambol.”

              “Lift your feet up, will you, I’m trying to make a clean sweep here” Flannely replied.

              Evangeline obliged and put her feet up on her desk, and put through a call to Blithe. After a few pleasantries, Evangeline explained the case. “So the question is, is Ed Steam really dead, or not?”

              “I can tell you the answer to that right away,” replied Blithe. “Yes, and no.”

              “Er….thanks, I think…”

              “You see, the difficulty with facts these days is that none are true, and all are real ~ well I know you know that dear, but it becomes something of a problem when clients want to know the Truth. Probable realities are pretty loosely woven these days; now, I can stitch together the case, and give you a more definitive answer. Or I can stitch together the case differently, and give you a different answer. The question is, really, what is the answer you want to hear?”

              “I’ll confer with the clients and call you back.”


              When she began to focus her mind to the place on the map, something weird happened. The parchment began to wave under her feet, she almost lost her balance and her concentration. But she managed to hold her focus. She didn’t know what could happen because she knew nothing about the place. But she had done that before, just for fun. She was not one to go by the most elementary rule of teleportation : “you never go where you have never been before, lest you end up a part of a rock.

              She felt in her body the ripples of the focus, it was still wavy and unstable but the necessary vortex was begin to form.
              “Bee, help me”, she squeaked to her friend.
              Bee, who was still in Vincentius’ shorts, managed to get out, making the god giggle and blush under the disapproving look of Arona.
              She fall down just near her friend and took her hands.
              “Where are we going ?” she asked.
              “I have no idea”, said Mari Fe, “But I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Hold tight, I feel the flush coming through!”


              Arona felt something was wrong. The invisibility cloack was moving on its own. She looked around and met Vincentius eyes. He seemed as puzzled as her. Actually, the cloack was moving upward. She looked behind her and gasped. Yikesi was almost as tall as herself. Actually, it seemed now that he was a bit taller than her, and he was still growing.

              Pearl screamed. She just saw what looked like feet appearing from nowhere, and legs were growing on top of these feet.

              Janet fall from Vincentius’ lap, the cloack was now only covering Yikesi’s head, which was big.
              Vincentius let the teapot fall on the floor, where it broke into hundreds of pieces. Bee and Mari Fe were upside down, and in all that confusion, the cat who was very specific in his vision spotted them. Despite his intelligence and his other dimensional quality, his instincts, reinforced by thousands of years of habits, influenced him deeply into the natural feelings of the hunter. He began to hiss and prepare himself to jump on his preys. But Arona was pushed by the still growing Yikesi and fall upon him in a ouch.

              Mari Fe, totally oblivious to what could have happened with the cat saw the gigantic body of a baby missing its head. The cloack was still big enough to hide it from sight.

              “Rats”, she said, “He ate all the jelly babies, we’re stuck into miniatures!”


              Yikesy, who had been quietly observing the assembled gathering, gave a whale-like shout. Fortunately, he had remembered to wear his voice-muter gadget, and for most of those gathered in the room his shout was nearly imperceptible.

              Sanso, who had his voice-muter-deactivator turned up full volume, leapt up in alarm. In the process, poor Janet went flying, landing on Sir Ed, who had been starting to stagger unsteadily to his feet. The impact of Janet’s ample frame hitting him full-force caused Sir Ed to lose his footing and, in his descent, he knocked his head on a charming wooden replica of a Tahitian dancing girl. (This was actually the same one which had earlier been mistaken for a hippopotamus.)

              “What is the matter, Yikesy?” asked Sanso, managing to keep a clear focus in the midst of the ensuing chaos.

              Yikesy smiled smugly. “I knew there was something strange about this map, and I have cleverly worked it out: there are 257 place names and all of them, except 12, have 5 letters and start with the letter E.”

              “Of course, I should have spotted that!” exclaimed Sanso. “Well done, Yikesy.”


              In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                Through her tears Sue Flay caught a glimpse of the sun flashing on the shiny foil purple party hooter lying at her feet. Curiosity halted the sobs that were vibrating the wooden decking under the cafe terraces, much to the relief of several dozen Italian tourists, who were busily mopping up the coffee that had sloshed over their cups and onto their buns.

                Who sent me this purple party hooter? Sue asked, blowing her nose on Fray Mentos’ white loincloth, providing the Italian tourists with an eyeful of Fray’s crown jewels which were momentarily exposed to the salty marina air.


                In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                  Tal turned on the invisible-izer, and smiled as he enjoyed the idea that his spaceship would never be noticed by any human or animal alike.

                  He exited the ship, walked a few paces and then suddenly halted in his tracks.

                  Directly in front of him was no other than a large sink hole.

                  What the Kraken? he thought. There must have been some major Earth changes since his interstellar space traveling. Good thing he didn’t land a few feet to the north.

                  Tal clicked a small button on his nifty zinger-space-belt, which enabled the detection of any Earth anomalies.

                  The gauge was reading off the charts!


                  In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


                    Luigi, preoccupied with worried thoughts about Flinella who he still hadn’t heard from, didn’t see the eu de nil motor scooter haring round the corner until it was too late. The scooter swerved, avoiding a head on collision, but clipped his shoulder, spinning him around. Luigi crashed into a signpost and fell to the ground. Shocked and dazed, he lay sprawled on the ground, unable to get to his feet. The narrow street was deserted, apart from a couple of tourists strolling along, looking upwards, as tourists so often do in foreign cities.

                    “Stupid irresponsible motorscooters, they should watch where they’re going” Luigi was saying, “Knocking old men to the ground like that, they should be more careful!”

                    This caught the tourists attention, so they stopped for a moment to look at the old man lying bruised on the ground. “You shouldn’t blame the motorscooter you know” said the woman. “You created that yourself”

                    “What are you talking about?” Luigi replied. “Please give me a hand, I can’t get back on my feet.”

                    “Well you created it, chum. I’m not going to give you a hand until you stop blaming the motorscooter and admit that you created it yourself.”

                    “Oh piss off, you vacuous fuckwit” replied Luigi, looking desperately around to see if there was anyone more helpful in the street.


                    In reply to: Strings of Nines


                      Of course, it wasn’t Mandrake, but a stray snakipooh, lured by the magical properties of Aronipooh’s feet that had started to lick her toes while Mandrake was away chewing on his pride. Arona had a split moment of pleasurable intensity before she came quickly to her senses to realize Mandrake wouldn’t do such an odd thing.

                      Arona wondered if the snakipooh would make a nice boa round her lovely shoulders, but then thought it would be a tad too daring and quite unecessary given her natural allure. She quickly shooed it away, searching in her magical bag, among the sabulmantium and her other belongings, for a bottle of Nhum.


                      In reply to: Strings of Nines

                      F LoveF Love

                        “W-a-t-e-r-f-r-i-n-g-i-n-m-e-l-o-n … yes still way too short!” Yikesy wasn’t really the party type and felt ridiculous wearing a bowler hat. While the others were engaged in general merriment precipitated by the arrival of the champagne, he surreptitiously removed the map from Minky’s backpack.

                        He scanned the map till he found what he was looking for.

                        Meanwhile ….

                        Arona giggled. “Look at that sign! Waakaawaakawaawaawaawaawaawaawahuhun! I want to go there!”

                        Mandrake raised an elegant eyebrow. “I suppose it is as good as anywhere, considering we have no idea where we are going.”

                        “I will run ahead and make sure it is safe.” announced Vincentius melodically. “You rest Arona, and eat these delicious sandwiches I whipped up earlier.”

                        “And shall I lick her feet for you while we wait?” asked the sarcastic Mandrake.

                        “Splendid idea. Thank you Mandrake!”


                        In reply to: Snowflakes of Tens


                          Everything was white, from the sky to the ground and the limit between them was not even discernible. Despite the lack of visibility, he felt confident that the house was near. His small feet were making crunchy sounds, and at times, between two gushes of wind, he could almost see the fur at the top of his boots.
                          At a distance, some woolly beast, a yak maybe, was making a muffled sound that resounded in the landscape, and like the beast, he was feeling strong against the elements. On his left were some black shriveled trunks of some small deciduous trees, and it looked like the only life around.
                          This was far from the truth; even if most of it was frozen in a deep slumber, there still was a lot of life underground.
                          He had been chasing a few rabbits, and though he had to compete with the lynxes at that game, he had managed to get one. That was why he was feeling so strong and proud. He could feel the still warm little soft creature against his belt, dangling at each of his steps. Soon he will be home…



                            Dear OW’s and Favourite Daughter,

                            I had a dream last night. It went like this . . . . I was in the garden when I noticed an alien space ship coming down from a great height above me. It was humming, humm, hummm, humming. Like that. There was a smell of old cabbages and kitty litter.

                            It landed a few feet away from me. It was like a saucer and coloured olive green. A door opened on the underside and a ladder lowered. The ladder was made of wood, which surprised me. The aliens started down the ladder. They had no arms or legs. Just heads. They came down the ladder using their lips.

                            There were eight of them. The leader (at least I took it to be their leader as he had the biggest head) approached me. He said “Where can we get some hats ?”

                            Next thing I remember I was in the back of a pickup truck eating a prawn cocktail. Next to me sitting on some old sacks was the head alien slurping down uncooked carrots direct from the tin.

                            He said to me “We would like you to make a tv commercial for us”.

                            Then I woke up.

                            I’m afraid to report this encounter with the third kind to the authorities in case they just laugh at me.

                            I need your advice on this one. What should I do ?

                            Uncle Garnet

                          Viewing 20 results - 101 through 120 (of 164 total)