They watched the filmstrip mutely, lulled into strange, lazy eroticism by the gentle repetitive bing.
Charlie Immer, Dinner Time, https://www.charlieimmer.com/
Susan opened the door with menacing, haughty abruptness. Something would have to be done about the inspection. Perhaps they would accept his golf clubs as a bribe.
Julian Montague http://www.montagueprojects.com/
Preview heuristics were radically insufficient. It spread quickly. He sat in his car, mindlessly chewing on a Yum Incorporated Deluxe Bar.
Diorama No. 8, “God’s Universal Form.” https://www.bgmuseum.com/
Willm walked through the lanes created by the haphazardly placed cars of the caravan. Some tents had been put up. Stands that had been pulled behind cars and trucks were opened. He smelled weed and piss and campfire. Behind him there was a shriek, then an outbreak of laughter.
Most of the stuff caravans sold was shit. Jerky made from roadkill. Weird, abrasive fabric recycled from who knows what. Religious items, roadside reliquaries. Curiosities and hokum. Home cures. Questionable dentistry services, raccoon teeth implants or a quick spackling job. Doctors that might have once been certified, now chain smoking mercenaries. Bad legal advice and fortune tellers. Pain givers and pain takers. Delectable and rare tidbits—at least that was the pitch, along with all the other pitches, delivered with practiced verisimilitude. Every caravan was mostly the same caravan, more or less the same cast of characters, winding their way across the country, trading for what they could and providing some entertainment wherever they stopped.
Willm liked the caravans but they weren't without friction. He knew the sheriff got his cut, but sometimes the town became confrontational and they were told to leave. When they were here naturally business at the market was off. This bred resentment, yet everyone went, and everyone denied it.
He slowly poked around. He was looking for ReeLs they sold in caravans, the oddities, rejects, occasional classics. The hardware might be antique, and hit or miss, but now and then you'd find something great. Once he'd picked up an old experimental ReeL, if you'd call it that, which must've been made with a first generation rig. It was full of strange non sequiturs, moments of disparate, unexpected beauty. At first he didn't know why the ReeL hadn't been overwritten. Maybe other people had watched it the way he watched it, and had formed a similar connection with it—the story was no story, it was like spying on another person's dream. He knew someday he'd grow tired of it, lazily deciding it wasn't worth recycling, and it would end up back in a caravan.
Then Willm turned a corner and saw Bug. He was talking to one of the sellers, standing next to several large bins full of electronic and mechanical hodgepodge. Bug had a few things in hand already, and was haggling. His eyes were made absurdly large and distorted by his corrective goggles as he swiveled his head back and forth, thoroughly, over the items in the bin. As Willm approached he saw the parts Bug had collected more closely and was positive they were for making drones. Very illegal. Not that Willm hadn't done precisely the same thing too, although not in a long time. It was fun but wasn't worth the hassle if you ever got caught. And these days the gov seemed more aggressive about enforcement.
What was Bug doing making drones, he wondered. Before he walked up he studied Bug for a moment, bargaining with the owner, he watched his posture, he watched his minimal but effective hand gestures. These were techniques he'd seen Bug develop when they were growing up, if they could call themselves grown up now, as if Bug were refining a tool. Because of his odd appearance Bug had learned to become intimidating.
"Bug," Willm said.
Bug looked up, saw Willm and executed as close to a smile as Willm was likely to get, then continued the task of looking through the bins.
"Willm," Bug said blankly, "help me find one more receiver."
"Sure." Willm began routing through the opposite bin.
"I remember you were good at this," Bug said, flipping over a corroded, cracked electronics board, "you still good?"
"I don't think I've forgotten anything," Willm replied.
"Interested in some work?" Bug asked, "I've got a project that could use somebody like you."
He’d been told the problem wasn’t uncommon. But in total isolation all he could do was sprinkle the dust around and hope the situation improved.
beeple, reboot, http://beeple.tumblr.com/
The war was over and they had no idea what to do. Rows of birds perched on the electrical lines, monitoring their every move.
Daniel Martin Diaz http://danielmartindiaz.com/
The train car was sitting on a forgotten extension off the end of the line. He'd found it by accident. One cold, gray day he was hunting rabbits with the old rifle. He wasn't having any luck. He went farther into the forest, farther than he'd ever been. He thought he saw a rabbit bolt over a sparsely wooden hill and he followed it. When he emerged on the other side he saw the train, vines covering one end, on rails which emerged intermittently from ground cover, that curved away off into the woods. He could see the weather-beaten roof from where he was. And yet the windows were unbroken. He could see remains of decorative embellishments on the dark, red lacquered sides. There were accents of gold, and chrome, now tarnished. The wheels were covered in rust. He approached cautiously, although he wasn't quite sure why. The train car was a strange, ancient outgrowth. It was part of the forest now anyway, he thought. But the beauty of it intimidated him. A rabbit darted past, he ignored it. He walked to the back of the car, which had broad, rounded windows, and he grabbed the now dull brass hand rail and pulled himself up to the first step. The door was equally ornate, and finally faded by nature. He grabbed the door handle and turned it, seeing hints of the dimly lit interior through the cloudy window. He stopped short before entering. He had the sensation he was violating a law, but he didn't know which law. The inside of the train car was musty. The long, thin room was lavish, the furniture, the decorations, all were faded but undamaged. He lingered. He felt as if, in some sense, this had been prepared for him—or, at least, it had been carefully placed in order to be seen. He didn't sit down. He looked out the window into the trees. It was a painting to him, a dissection of the essence of the forest presented with specific intention. The silence was hypnotizing. He stopped thinking about who may have left it here, or why it was abandoned. He could feel the oriental rug under his shoes and the hardwood below that. The stained glass lamp made from a thousand hand cut pieces was indelible, the silver fixtures next to it extensions of this interior. It was his. He placed the old rifle, with its clumsy, cracked wooden stock, into the bucket meant for umbrellas. This was his now, and he did not have to leave.
Why 'Slaughterhouse-Five' Resonates 50 Years Later - The Atlantic
Fifty years have passed since the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s the same age as me. And the older I get, and the more lumps fall off my brain, the more I find that rereading is the thing. Build your own little cockeyed canon and then bear down on it; get to know it, forward and backward; get to know it well. So I don’t know how many times I’ve read Slaughterhouse-Five. Three? Four? It never gets old, is the point. It never wanes in energy. This book is in no way the blossom of a flower. Slaughterhouse-Five is more in the nature of a superpower that the mutant author had to teach himself to master—and then could use, at full strength, only once.
He considered it a fun weekend project. He stacked the wood carefully, reflecting on how deeply he would need to dig and what he might find there.