Archive | September, 2016

Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times [poem]

17 Sep

Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times:
18 September 2011

Oh the Grand Old Duke Of York, He had 10,000 men,
But that was before the military cuts & now he’s only got 100.
And their all in Afghanistan for the 4th time.

The Curious Travellers [Flash Fic]

17 Sep

The Curious Travellers
17 September 2014
by Ray Daley

“Father, will we ever travel to Earth?”

“Of course not, foolish boy!”

“But why?”

“Because we are already there.”

THE END

 

[Authors Notes:- Before today, this never had a title.]

Story Generator

15 Sep

I got this from somewhere but forgot to take note of where. It’s not mine, but it’s useful.

I. Story
In a (setting), a (character) faces a (situation).

II. Setting (choose one)
_ generation ship
_ space station
_ Mars
_ distant future
_ fantasy realm based on (choose one)
_ Mesopotamia
_ Egypt
_ Persia
_ Greece
_ Rome
_ Israel
_ Mayans/Aztecs
_ contemporary America (specify a presidential administration from Eisenhower to Obama)
_ Atlantis
write two adjectives describing this setting:

III. Character
M _ F _ (choose one)
age range: (choose one)
16-18 _
19-22 _
23-30 _
30-45 _
45-65 _
65+ _
(choose one) _ good _ ambivalent _ bad
write three adjectives describing this character:
class (choose one)
_ upper
_ middle
_ lower
affiliation (choose one)
_ insider
_ outsider

IV. Conflict
(select up to three plot elements from the following list for the character to deal with in this setting — the writer gets to choose up to an additional two)

_ religious conflict
_ romance
_ war
_ murder
_ betrayal
_ natural disaster
_ man-made disaster
_ non-human intelligences
_ conspiracies
_ false accusation
_ political intrigue
_ familial relationships
_ supernatural (if you choose this one, pick one or two from the following list)
_ ghosts
_ ritual magic
_ dreamquests
_ channeling
_ telepathy
_ telekinesis
_ precognition
_ athletic competition
_ lawsuit
_ brainwashing

 

Now, fit all of your choices into the story-format sentence given under Story and send them to the writer in need of a plot.

The Shape of Come To Things [flash fic]

13 Sep
The Shape of Come To Things
13/9/16
By Ray Daley
 
 
We’d been showing them the images for quite some time now.
 
“How many is it now Jan?” That was Letts, even he was amazed that they hadn’t run out of descriptions yet.
 
“Two hundred and forty-two. And no sign of slowing down.”
 
“A beach ball with string tied around it.” The things were still going.
 
Letts grinned. “Have they got any idea? That we’re human? You can only keep showing them pictures of sperm for so long before they work it out!”
 
I shook my head. “As long as we keep talking to them through the interface, they still think we’re machines. Have the Air Force got a fix on their ship yet?”
 
Letts swiped his hand across his throat. That was it, they’d finally locked on. I could see him holding up one hand, gradually taking down his fingers. Until only the thumb remained, then even that was withdrawn into his fist. Then Letts nodded.
 
I typed our last message on the interface. For cybernetic lifeforms with no concept of emotion I’d say they got extremely angry.
 
Still, we’ve kept the planet safe for another day. And we’ll get some good tech out of them. Even if we have to kill them.
 
THE END.

Friday On My Mind [poem]

9 Sep

To give you some context, this is something I wrote during my quiet time as an RAF clerk.

 

Friday On My Mind
27/6/94
(C) By R. P. Daley

It’s Nine a.m on Monday and they’ve chained me to my desk,
‘Cos I did no work last week; so today I’m doing less.
And I’m screaming for my lunch break but it’s only just gone ten,
So I have to wait two hours and I’m screaming louder then.
See me bimble back from lunchtime; like I just don’t wanna start,
Someone said “Do Nothing“; so I took that to heart.

It’s ten past two on Tuesday and even now I find,
I’m waiting for the weekend with Friday on my mind.
And five o’clock feels far away; But I’m still sitting here,
So I’m dreaming of the NAAFI and I dream another beer.

It’s way past one on Wednesday; The middle of the week,
I’d like to ask for stand-down but I don’t have the cheek.
It’s five to six on Thursday and I’m still in my room,
The working day it looms ahead; like rain clouds bringing gloom.
It’s eight-fifteen on Thursday and now I’m on my way,
My body has to go to work but in my mind I play.

It’s ten p.m on Thursday night; I’m drinking in the Bop,
My right hand keeps on raising beers; my liver screaming “STOP!
It’s eight o’clock on Friday, another duty clerk,
My head is screaming “Never again!“, my features looking stark.

Is the week now really over; or has it just begun?
I’m stuck in here ’til five o’clock and it’s only turning one.
Remember there are two years left, since on the line I signed,
Another two years spent this way; with freedom on my mind.

The End.

This Is All Assumed (To Be True) [Flash Fic]

7 Sep

This Is All Assumed (To Be True)
7/9/16
By Ray Daley.

It’s the mind numbingly obvious things you noticed first.

Like boy doesn’t meet girl. And because they don’t meet, they don’t fall in love at second sight, because she’d have hated him with her initial glance. They don’t have a child. Or a dog. And that dog doesn’t get run over, causing them to fall into each others arms, wracked with grief, meaning they don’t have their second child.

And if boy doesn’t meet girl, their parents don’t accidently fall in love at their wedding reception. Only they can’t marry, mostly because they never met, but also because it would make the boy and girl brother and sister, and that kind of stuff is just really creepy.

So boy doesn’t meet girl, they don’t buy a house together. Which means it’s easier for the local vagrants to find somewhere to crash. It also means they have easier access to local supermarket dumpsters after hours.

People’s lives are made better. In fractional ways, just because that boy never met his particular girl.

And for this, we are thankful. Because as his best friend, I’ve always hated playing gooseberry.

Pigeon Punching In North Africa (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

Pigeon Punching In North Africa
27/11/14
By Ray Daley

The following piece of paper was found during the demolition of a late Victorian house, under the bathroom floor. After months of detailed research, no trace of the original publication could be found. This is thought to be the only surviving proof of its existence. Only the front of the page was legible, the address had sadly perished with the passage of time, leaving the organisation and magazine untraceable and lost to time.

Page 8
Hobbies and Hobbyists—Pigeon Punching In North Africa

When one thinks of North Africa, the mind does not instantly jump to the image of a pigeon. The image most commonly associated with pigeons is that of Trafalgar Square and Nelsons Column. If pushed further, most people might usually link the pigeon to an urban landscape, that of inner cities, brick-built jungles and factory fumes on tap.

Like the practise of pigeon punching, the actual pigeons themselves are imported from landmarks across Britain. Pigeons are readily found near statues and Town Halls, because there’s nothing a pigeon likes more than a good statue to perch on. And evacuate itself on, obviously.

Many North Africans are greatly angered by the influx of immigrant pigeons, going over there and stealing all their jobs. Then those very same North Africans were asked, “Could we punch you instead, if we decided that we wanted to?”

Local North African tongues are not renowned for their ease of use but apparently almost all North Africans have readily adopted the good old British “Get Stuffed!” as a universal Lingua Franca in these cases when they are asked to be pigeon punching substitutes.

It is unknown what the pigeons think of the whole business, most of them immediately fly back to England on being released for punching purposes in North Africa.

As yet, no pigeons have been punched in North Africa.

Those wishing to try, remain confident that pigeons can be punched in North Africa (or anywhere else, come to that. They simply prefer the warmer climate of North Africa to that of England during the winter). Enthusiasts wishing to try the practise are advised to get in touch with the British Pigeon Punching Council who are based just outside of Builth Wells (address listed overleaf).

Expeditions travel to North Africa annually, and have done for the last one hundred and fifty years. Despite no-one ever having actually punched a pigeon as yet. It’s traditional.

After all, what are we as a Nation without our traditions? Probably the French.

Maxwell Q. Washington, Pigeon Punchers Monthly—September 4th 1893.

 

http://www.strangerviews.com/short-stories/pigeon-punching-north-africa/

The Man Who Was Twelve Bears (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

The Man Who Was Twelve Bears
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Ray Daley

A man comes to your house, he is wearing a grey suit. He pulls at his tie nervously as he speaks to your mother. She asks his name, “William Gibson” he replies. You later discover that he calls himself Twelve Bears, he is of the Navaho Nation. It is not a traditional name, he has not been named in the traditional First Nation way.

He was not named for the first thing his mother saw after giving birth to him. He jokingly says “Otherwise my name would be Hospital Ceiling.”

There are many other possible reasons why he calls himself this name. He may have seen twelve bears, he may have killed twelve bears. He may have even owned twelve bears at some point in his life.

You will later discover that none of these reasons are the correct one.

“My mother was a good woman,” he tells your mother. He insists on speaking to you in person but you refuse to come down the stairs, he looks very scary, afterwards you can remember telling your mother that. “It doesn’t really matter, there will be another day,” he says to your mother and excuses himself, leaving your home as quickly as he had entered it.

The following week you see on television that he has been arrested by officers of the Oak Ridge Police Department for the crime of murder. He has killed a boy the same age as you, leaving his mother as the only witness that he “had to kill Baby Bear“. He is still being called William Gibson by the news reporters. Only this time he is calling himself Thirteen Bears.

You will remember this forever.

http://linguisticerosion.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-man-who-was-twelve-bears.html

Ground Zero (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

Ground Zero
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Ray Daley

I’m sitting there alone on a park bench with nothing but the fading remnants of my thoughts and dreams for company when the bomb finally goes off. There are children who are still playing on the swings, people are walking their dogs too. A little way down the path a couple are walking, holding hands, probably on their first date.

On the pond, ducks and swans are competing for space with the model boat enthusiasts. Underneath the shady Oak trees a family is bonding over a picnic lunch.

And this is the way the world ends.

No countdown timer, no ticking clock, nothing visible to defuse. It’s the ultimate weapon.

You can’t disarm what you can’t see.

When it happens it’s the biggest bang since the first one.

***

And yet all around me they carry on with their lives as though nothing has changed for them, the kids swinging higher; determined to get over the top, sandwiches being passed around amongst friends and family, dogs refusing to let go of interesting sticks and ducks glaring at model yachts.

Because this is how my world ends.

Not with a bang, nor a whimper. The only victim of the fallout is me.

I sit alone on the bench where she just walked away, still holding the ring after she said no.

The bomb was dropped.

No.

The emotional time-bomb exploded. And this is how my world ends.

Wounded by rejection, death by broken heart.

http://linguisticerosion.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/ground-zero.html

The Last Mighty One (Flash Fic)

2 Sep

The Last Mighty One
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Ray Daley

Some intact statues of The Last Mighty One still existed in the smaller outer provinces.

A few desperate people still left their votive offerings at the various altars in the vain hope that life would return to them one day.

That was the function of The Last Mighty One.

To bring life to the lifeless. To restore energy to the exhausted. Power to the powerless.

No-one truly understood the nature of his form.

Why wasn’t he Human, like his devotees?

Obviously at some point in time people had known why he had taken that particular form.

The Great Rabbit.

Worship at his feet, prostrate, genuflect.

The Mighty Duracell.

Hear our prayers.

Bring the power back, light the darkness.

Save us from ourselves.