Thursday December 16th, 2010

The exercise:

Today we're: plugged in.

Because the cabin got hooked up with the internet today.

The laminate is in around the closet, leaving the rest of the bedroom to go, which is very straightforward. Kat's dad is taking tomorrow off work, so the plan is for him to get started on the other bedroom while I finish up the one that's been started. If the laminate isn't finished tomorrow, it's going to be awful close.


After a miserable day at work, James just needed to escape. An hour away from reality, that would set him back to rights. Then he could face another dinner alone, another lonely night in bed.

He tapped the entry code into the keypad outside his apartment and stepped inside after the door slid silently open. Dropping his briefcase in the entranceway, he moved into the living room and collapsed into his favorite armchair. Years of use had shaped it into a tight, welcoming embrace for his lanky frame.

James pulled the cable out of the right arm and tucked his chin against his chest. Reaching back with practiced ease, he plugged it into the jack at the back of his neck. A sigh of relief escaped his lips as his dull living room was replaced by a computer generated image of paradise.

Unfortunately for James, the sigh covered the sound of his bedroom window being forced open.


Zhongming said...

Marc - I guess that's what normally people do after a long long, stress relieve I mean :)

Plugged in

"Keep it moving, just make it scream like nobody was there." The manager pass on the instruction before he went up to the stage. He walk through the red carpet, pretending that he is invisible. There is a mix of short, large step accompany with guitar strums. He keep his head moving like he is on ecstasy. Up and down, left and right, the frequency has no fixed position however the scream volume is all the way up. 

Wake up! What do you think you are doing in broad daylight? I want you to turn it off immediately! You're causing mad disturbance to our whole neighborhood with that stupid high-volt rocker band. Have your "Shure earphone" plugged on instead! 

Greg said...

@Zhongming: that's really imaginative; though I'm not sure I really understood what the manager was doing.

@Marc: nearly there with the cabin! woo-hoo!
Yours reminds me a little of eXistenZ or the Matrix with its plugging in like that, but I like the idea that the real world is still where everyone does things.

Plugged in
I knew the world had all gone wrong
The day Dysnomia called
To tell me that she'd plugged in.
"The system works," she crowed,
"I'm having the time of my life."
I turned the wall-screens on,
And saw she was having the time of my wife.
Then static jittered and the picture blurred,
Dysnomia's mocking voice is all I heard.
"Tune in, turn on, sit down and wait,
Dynomia's coming, and it's all too late,
To save your petty little souls now.
Dysnomia's plugged in."

summerfield said...

Plugged In

Neves prances from table to table singing a karaoke of "Big Spender", her hips grinding and sometimes seductively showing her thighs through the high slit of her gown, moving in harmony with the beat of the song. When she returns to the centre of the dance floor, she finishes off her song with her head tilted back, one gloved arm stretched up, legs apart, thus showing her thighs again.

The guests clap and shout "Bravo!" and "More! More!"

Neves curtsies like a ballerina would at the end of her performance. Her audience loves her. She lives for these family parties when she can display her singing talent to their friends and people who had never met her before. She throws kisses at the guests.

She runs to Shayla's table, while she motions back to the DJ to cue her next song.

"Shay," she says, "did you get that on the video cam? I think I was splendid, wasn't I? Did you get a close up of me like I asked you to? Did you?"

Shayla does not look at her as she fiddles with some wires connected to the video camera mounted on a tripod next to her.

"Shay, my mom would like to see this performance. She has a friend who works at the TV station. Make sure you got that first one, okay?"

"Huh?" Shayla asks as if waking up from a deep sleep. "What did I get?"

Neves eyes bulge and her mouth falls open. The intro to her next song has started. "Did you film me when I was signing Big Spender?"

Shayla stares at her with a blank look.

"Did you?"

"Er, no! The camera's not plugged in yet!"

Marc said...

Zhongming - I'm with Greg on this one. Intriguing but a little confusing.

Greg - ah, Dysnomia reappears. Most excellent. Liked the life/wife bit :)

Summerfield - ah, always an important detail to confirm - whether or not it's plugged in :)

Heather said...

The ending is very weak, but the oven timer was going off and the three kids were begging to be fed.


The walls felt strange. They were harder than I imagined, cooler to the touch, and they seemed to vibrate. Still, I dragged my hand slowly down the hall measuring my fear of these new sensations. As I rounded the corner, I was met by several eyes. Most were half shut. The ones that were open seemed surreal, the colors vibrant and glossy. The rest were focused elsewhere. The corner of the room, on the owner's knees, out the window, or on the box with flickering pictures.

The eyes drifted away. In their place were the sounds that had ceased only moments before. The rocking chair in the corner creaked. A couple of people were shuffling cards. I could hear someone humming. In the distance I was sure someone was screaming. They were loud, these everyday sins of living.

There was music, soft music coming from the other side of the room. A song, I was sure, from my childhood. Something my mother use to sing to me perhaps? I made my way between the noises and shapes and surreal eyes. I expected to find a gramophone. I hadn't seen one in a few years. I started to smile, looking for the little gold box with red velvet lining and spinning black discs.

What I found was a large box, tipped as if on its side. Inside the box were black and white shapes that danced as if they were human between quick flickers. One of the shapes masquerading as a gentleman called to me. He bid me to sit down before picking up a guitar and sitting down himself. He began to play a song. It was jarring. The sounds from the box that I found reassuring only a moment ago sounded jarring now. Fast sounds with lewd words.

I could feel my skin heating up unpleasantly. The eyes had returned. The screaming that once seemed distant felt as if it were right behind me. Everything in the room now felt hard and cold. I wanted to go home. I wanted to feel safe.

"Come on Gladys. Let's go back to your room. Henry will be waiting for you."