Tomorrow is Robert Burton’s 438th birthday / Memorable Fancies #1107

       Robert Burton was an Oxford scholar and writer. “I have heard that nothing could make him laugh,” a friend wrote after his death, “but hearing the barge-men scold and storm and swear at one another, he would set his Hands to his Sides, and laugh most profusely.”        Burton’s fancy-ful prose style is ... well, here’s a sample: “Give me but a little leave, and I will set before your eyes in brief a stupendous, vast, infinite ocean of incredible madness and folly: a sea full of … [Read more...]

“Quandary” / Memorable Fancies #827

       William’s actions in quelling the recent revolt are rewarded with a virgin of his very own, a woman from one of the newly repressed tribes, the gift of a grateful nation.        But he’s worried: if the authorities find out what he’d really done on the battlefield, how he wasn’t a hero at all but a coward, they’d probably want their woman back. Still virgin.        Now he’s afraid to touch her. Every night he makes excuses to her impatient beseeching. <END> THE FRIDAY … [Read more...]

“Henry Is Alone in His Room” / Memorable Fancies #820

         Henry gets into a brawl in a cheap bar, kills a man, and flees. Later, he is alone in his tiny apartment, sitting in a straight-backed wooden chair, facing the door. He expects police to burst through the door at any moment. He does not plan to resist.          Henry, having a long criminal record, is sentenced to thirty years for the deadly brawl, and is granted parole after serving twenty.          Henry is alone in a tiny room provided by the social services people, after his … [Read more...]

“Shadow of a Doubt” / Memorable Fancies #814

       As a courtesy, when our shadows and those of a great public official intersect, we say that their shadow is on top of ours, not the other way around. Failure to announce this promptly and emphatically is to leave us subject to doubt and suspicion. At least. <END> THE FRIDAY 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 Trees of Malice” – a … [Read more...]

“Face” / Memorable Fancies #807

[“The head he turned toward me wore a face of mine.” – W.S. Merwin] That face! – I was sure it had been destroyed when I went to all that trouble and pain, when I changed my appearance to escape the authorities. But here it was again, my face now on someone else. He looked friendly enough, but I knew not to trust him. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a face like that. <END> THE FRIDAY PITCH If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here, in … [Read more...]

“Friendly Skies – I” / Memorable Fancies #789

     The Occasionally Friendly Skies have announced a new policy to enhance frequent-flier delight: computer-matching of passengers to seats.      Based on personality assessments, fliers are assigned to aisle, middle, or window seats. Not everyone can be an Aisle or a Window, of course. Aisles and Windows consider Middles odd, or sick, or perhaps impoverished and dangerous. They speak with each other in front of, or behind, or over the heads of their Middles.      All the Middles can do … [Read more...]

“Honeysuckle” / Memorable Fancies #783

         The robot sex doll trade-named “Honeysuckle” was heavily advertised, and sold for a great deal of money. Modular, its parts could be rearranged to assume any desired configuration. Its motor could make any combination of motions and sounds by means of a simple digital interface that could be operated with one hand. Honeysuckle’s mouth could utter any speech, in any language or accent, or be otherwise employed.          The top of the line version of Honeysuckle was indistinguishable, … [Read more...]