“Fast-Forward Your Life” / Memorable Fancies #1181

[“While waiting, I kill time as I may.” – Hubert Benoit]       Waiting for that damn meeting to start, the one that’s been postponed three times now, I decided to "blank" for a while. Killing time, that vivid expression: just fast-forward your life until something interesting happens. I set the e-timer for thirty minutes, interruptible if my device decided that some other device needed to break in. I clicked “on” ...       OK, back again. Anything interesting happen in that time? Nothing, … [Read more...]

“Watching” / Memorable Fancies #824

[“…they must never be seen watching themselves…” – Ben Marcus]        They watch others, and report what they see. They watch others, and lie about what they see. They do not watch others, and lie, saying that they do watch others.        They watch themselves, and lie about what they see. They do not watch themselves and lie, saying that they do watch themselves.        Using the latest technology, they watch temselves watching themselves watching themselves. They lie about this, … [Read more...]

“A Danger of Shadows” / Memorable Fancies #817

[“In the island of Wetar there are magicians who can make a man ill by stabbing his shadow with a pike or hacking it with a sword.” – Frazer, The Golden Bough]      We protect our shadows at all costs. Walking toward the sun is dangerous, because our shadows are then behind us, and magicians are everywhere. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and … [Read more...]

“Secrets” / Memorable Fancies #793

[Reminder: on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 7pm, I will be reading/signing my new short story collection at One More Page Books, Arlington, Virginia (onemorepagebooks.com). Complimentary wine, fun, fiction, and friends!] =======       We keep our secrets to ourselves. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, isn’t it? But, one way or another, we always end up telling someone else our secrets. Otherwise they’d never know we had secrets worth keeping, would they? <END>     … [Read more...]

“Every Tuesday” / Memorable Fancies #787

         Pretend you’re my secret lover. Pretend we make frantic and exhausting love every Tuesday afternoon when our spouses are away. Somewhere each usually goes every Tuesday afternoon. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in Facebook, or on other social websites. AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon and other outlets: “The Seventh Effect” – a cyberspy NSA-themed techno-thriller by Terence Kuch, published by Melange … [Read more...]

“The Fifth Book of Curses” / Memorable Fancies #780

[May the maledictions of Lousyfear fall like nettlerash” – Finnegan’s Wake]      The Liber Maledictum Quintus is a very long book. Having been hand-inscribed in the seventh century, the ink is faded and some of the pages are grey with monkbreath. Only a few curse-clinicians have persisted in reading past the first thousand pages; perhaps only two or three in each century.      Even these, finding newer handwriting and cleaner pages near the end of the work, have not stayed to read these … [Read more...]

“The Clever Fellow” / Memorable Fancies #773

       Zog has invented something he calls “Language.” He taught Language to several of us; that’s how I’m able to tell you what a clever fellow Zog is. It makes communicating a lot easier for us than waving our arms and grunting incoherently.      There’s a lot more to learn about Language, Zog says. Starting tomorrow, he’s tutoring us on something he calls “Lying.” Clever fellow. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment … [Read more...]

“The List” / Memorable Fancies #766

       Oscar keeps a list of the people he has a grudge against. Some of them owe him money, perhaps as little as a few dollars. Others merely look different from Oscar’s ideal, or perhaps their English is not up to Oscar’s standards.       Already, Oscar has informed on several of these people, found one or two listening ears even though he had to make up a few grievances, or intensify a slight.        The authorities have found Oscar’s grievances – not plausible, of course, indeed … [Read more...]

“The Tool” / Memorable Fancies #759

     Yesterday, gathering firewood in the forest, I found another adze. Until last month I didn’t know what kind of tool an “adze” was, but then travelers told me that one had been found in the next country, as the land gradually eroded. And then another was found, then many, these relics of an ancient people we never knew existed.      We have begun using these adze-tools ourselves: they fit the hand nicely and can be used for digging up tubers, scraping fat from animal hides, defending the … [Read more...]

Five Briefs / Memorable Fancies #752

[“...liberates things from the bondage of utility.” – Walter Benjamin] The blender retires from its career of making frozen margaritas. Idly, it wonders whatever happened to the salt shaker. # Without clocks there is no smallest unit of time; everything is continuous. Now that we have clocks, time is. chopped. up. and consumed like a bad cut of meat, one grim bite at a time. # [“...‘thinking of him’ is as it were nailing him with my thought. – Wittgenstein] Yes, I have him now. … [Read more...]

“Book” / Memorable Fancies #745

[“Things don’t know their names.” – George Oppen] “Book,” said the book. “Book,” said a second book, adding “and I’m the real one.” “Book,” said the first book to the second book, “is my name. If you want to be Book as well, you will have to be ‘Book-2,’ or some less consequential number; or perhaps just ‘Pamphlet,’ if you don’t shut up.” “Library” said the second book. <END> THE TUESDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, … [Read more...]

“Mothers” / Memorable Fancies #738

[“The original’s fate is of no relevance for the copy.” – Stanisław Lem]       Over the past century and a half, hundreds of imitation “Whistler’s Mother”s have been painted; seldom for fraud, often for study or pleasure. These paintings realize that they have almost no value, no matter how skilfully executed, how well they bring out the spirit of poor Anna Whistler, tired of sitting and wishing that her son would just get it over with.      At their convention, the imitations plot to … [Read more...]

“I Dream of Jeannie” / Memorable Faicies #731

John was an enthusiast of dreams. He remembered them all, wrote them down the next morning, bored everyone around him with their fantastic plots. Then, one day, a co-worker said “John, all those dreams are about you. Do you know how egotistical that sounds? No wonder you never get invited anywhere. I’ll bet if you dream about your what your friends do, and then tell them about those dreams, they would be flattered and might even start to like you. How about Jeannie, for instance. I’ll bet you … [Read more...]

“The Insanity Program” / Memorable Fancies #724

     From the ceiling, from the walls, came the soft voices. Occasionally, Matthew recognized a word or two, important words that reeked of meaning: “...almost too late for...”. “...do you know what he...”.]      He strained to hear the voices, but the more intently he listened, the quieter they became. It was driving him crazy, he thought, hearing something he couldn’t hear.      “SPEAK UP, FOR GOD’S SAKE,” Matthew shouted, but the voices continued softly, calmly, unperturbed. He stuffed … [Read more...]

“Comes Around” / Memorable Fancies #717

     “And how can you be sure that your memory of what happened wasn’t just a pass-along?” the detective asked, “a memory sold to someone, and then that person sold it to someone else and then maybe someone else again and then to you? And perhaps it was your memory all along and it came back to you at tenth-hand, like a game of ‘telephone,’ so altered by now you don’t realize that the memory is of your unrecognizable self?” [from the novel See/Saw; see … [Read more...]

“Through the Microscope” / Memorable Fancies #710

     Through the microscope I examined a few drops of pond scum. There was life, moving at odd angles, mindlessly flagellating their way across my vision. But then into my sight swam a vicious tiny monster. It was chasing and eating the others. Excitedly, I followed its adventures. I prayed that I would become, like it, the conqueror of my world. Gradually I became smaller, and smaller yet. I sought out a pond swarming with life. There was the monster. It was not me. <END> THE … [Read more...]