Plugs

It was a balmy afternoon on the sands of Newport Beach when Valdan Mechaieh–playing hooky in the month of May, his seventeenth birthday–first sensed his ice soul.

He’d been in science class with Dr. Wall.  That bloated blimp bastard had actually tried to make him study for and retake a test Valdan had failed.  He’d mentioned something about the behavior patterns Valdan used today would be harder and harder to break in the future.  That old fart pretended to care but didn’t know a damn thing about his life.  He told the old man that he hated science because it was pointless and he would never use it in his life.  Besides, he’d show that stupid jerk: He’d make a life for himself without him and his stupid science.

Valdan had involuntarily leaked a few tears and asked to go to the locker-room restroom, at which point he grabbed his gym bag, ducked out of school and puttered his moped out to Newport.  The Pacific waves were a sedative.  Wind rippled palm leaves overhead.  A couple on the pier talked in low tones of white hills like garbage trucks.  A bus screeched to a halt on West Balboa Boulevard.  Bell chimes announced someone shuffling inside the 7-11.  Sailboats scraped their hulls against the marina.

A trickle of sweat slid down the crease of his spine.  He arched his back a little so his Black Flag T-shirt wouldn’t cling.

All sound ceased… but for a final wave clapping the shore.  Not even the slightest of breezes stirred the palms.  An icicle crept down where the sweat had trailed.  Mechaieh shivered.  He flicked icy half-pellets stuck to his forehead.  The pellets sat on his towel like the half shells of albino ladybugs.  Mechaieh had not puzzled out their essence until they melted…. Waves clapped the shore, the bus pulled away, and boats again scraped the marina.

Mechaieh lay on his towel, trying to recall what he’d been thinking when this all occurred, when he’d received this gift, this sensing of another soul.  Valdan’s grandmother, a Jew of the more Heterodox variety, once explained there were thirteen souls for humans to discover.  Was this the fourteenth?

Mechaieh sat up.  Now he had something to use against Dr. Wall!  He’d freeze time, go look up the answers and then fill out a test.  That’d show him mastery.

Nov 29
Trent
Edd
Jon
OPEN (was Jonathan)
Dan

Dec 6
David
Luc
Ken
Jen
open

Dec 13
Kat
Edd
Jason L
Jon
David

Dec 20
Rudi
open
Luc
Jen
David

Dec 27
Dan
Edd
Susannah
Trent
Jon

Jan 3
David
Ken
Luc
Jen
Rudi

Jan 10
Edd
Jason L
Jon
Trent
David

Jan 17
David
Susannah
Jen
Trent
Luc

Jan 24
Dan
Edd
Jon
David
Trent

Jan 31
David
Luc
Jen
open
open

Mars wandered through his dead mother’s house, using a data gun to tag items for storage, the estate sale, gifts. His dead parents’ things seemed to glare at him, and wished he could run out the door and not come back, have some kind of service do the work, but he knew he’d regret it if he didn’t make some kind of goodbye. He retreated to his old room, a sanctuary. He’d tag there for now. It should be easier.

His room had filled with twenty years with junk: his parents’ old holorecordings, unused craft supplies, spare curtains. The only clear surface was the toybox, which his mother had used as a bench for her sewing station. Mars relaxed, opened it, and began to sort through the items. The dusty pathos of the long-abandoned toys was easy to ignore compared to the echoes of his mother in the other rooms.

Near the bottom of the box was a stuffed bear, still plugged in: Boxer, his old teddy bAIr from before he went away to boarding school. His father’d had to run an extension cord through a hole into the toybox, because if Boxer was left out as he charged, Mars would stay up late into the night to talk to him. Boxer had been Mars’ best friend for years, but he hadn’t been allowed to bring him to boarding school, and when Mars finally began to make real friends, human friends, he’d forgotten.

“Please put me down!” said the bear. “I belong to Mars.”

Mars dropped the bear as if it were leaking acid.

“Boxer?” he said. “Boxer, have you been turned on in there this … the whole … ?”

“I’m waiting for Mars,” Boxer said. “He left me in the box. I thought up a lot of things to do with him when he gets back.”

“It’s me,” Mars said hoarsely. “Boxer, it’s me. It’s Mars.”

Boxer brushed the dust from his glassy black eyes with one paw and stared. Finally, he shook his head.

“No,” he said. “Mars is a little boy, and you’re old. Grown-ups don’t need bears for friends.”

Mars dropped to the floor, clutching Boxer, and hot tears spilled down his face. He sobbed chokingly and clutched the squirming bear, embarrassed and miserable.

“Oh … maybe grown-ups do need bears,” Boxer said in a hushed voice. “You can keep me until Mars comes home, if you want to. You don’t have to be sad.”

Mars nodded and dragged his sleeve over his face.

“OK,” he said. “Maybe just until Mars comes home.”

Archive for the ‘Jason Fischer’ Category

Private: Administrators

Monday, September 19th, 2022

Administrator volunteers

Edd
Jen
Luc
Dan
Rudi
Trent

Schedule

Jen
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Feb 18 (stories for Feb, 28-Mar. 4)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Feb 18
Check: week of Feb 14-18 daily

Luc
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Feb 25 (stories for Mar 7-11)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Feb 25
Check: week of Dec Feb 21-25 daily

Dan
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Mar 4 (stories for Mar 14-18)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Mar 4
Check: week of Feb 28-Mar 4 daily

Rudi
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Mar 11 (stories for Mar 21-25)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Mar 11
Check: week of Mar 7-11 daily

Trent
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Mar 18 (stories for Mar 28-Apr 1)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Mar 18
Check: week of Mar 14-18 daily

Edd
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Mar. 25 (stories for Apr. 4-8)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Mar. 25
Check: week of Mar. 21-25 daily

Jen
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Apr. 1 (stories for Apr. 11-15)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Apr 1
Check: week of Mar 28-Apr 1 daily

Luc
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Apr 8 (stories for Apr 18-22)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Apr 8
Check: week of Apr 4-8 daily

Dan
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Apr 15 (stories for Apr 25-29)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Apr 15
Check: week of Apr 11-15 daily

Rudi
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Apr 22 (stories for May 2-6)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Apr 22
Check: week of Apr 18-22 daily

Trent
Make sure stories are posted: by Friday Apr 29 (stories for May 9-13)
Arrange substitute stories if necessary: by Friday Apr 29
Check: week of Apr 25-29 daily

Private: Secret Schedule 2

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Mar 21
Ken
Jason L
Jon

Grand Finale

Mon
David
Luc

Tues
Rudi
Edd

Weds
Jason
Jen

Thurs
Dan
Luc

Fri
David
Ken

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