Eight seconds until the end of everything. No Earth, no galaxy, no existence…
Tag: Artist: Bo Kaier Page 3 of 7
Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books. Such a lot the gods gave to me – to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken…
John was born with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, and he often wondered why. But as a boy, it was simply wonderful to have those abilities. He could lift his father’s tractor overhead before he learned to read. He could outrace a galloping horse. He couldn’t be cut or bruised or burned. He could fly…
This week, we listen to Jay Lake’s “Over the Walls of Eden.”
If you listened to Clown Eggs and thought, “I need more stories like THAT,” you are in for a treat. Stick around at the end and hear a brief discussion of the story the author.
“Why do you remember the books?” he finally asks.
She smiles again. “O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere, Till pride and worse ambition threw me down…”
Drabbleclassics 2 – Over the Walls of Eden (133)
My boss, Danny, liked to brag that El Corazon was the best Tex-Mex restaurant just off the Vegas Strip. “Because of you, Bescha,” he’d say to me. “You keep the customers happy. You keep me out of trouble.”
I won’t say which part of my job was harder. I kept an eye on the help-wanted ads, in case something better came along.
Author Jay Lake knew about the devil and he knew about the clowns. When his story, Clown Eggs, first appeared on the Drabblecast, listeners said things like “This might be, hands-down, the weirdest story I’ve ever heard on [The Drabblecast]. I think I’m going to have nightmares forever. Can I send my therapy bills to you guys?” (Thanks, Talia)
In other words, people loved it.
Since then, the Drabblecast has produced three other outpourings from Jay’s singular vision of the world (or a world – or some worlds, but hopefully not our own). In fact, Jay’s last professional sale was “The Goat Cutter,” Drabblecast 321, the story from last April about the Devil in Texas. You remember that story- you can’t forget it, even though you’ve tried.
Jay lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 1, 2014. In tribute to Jay, we’re kicking off Drabbleclassics with several weeks of Jay Lake’s stories.
And now: Episode 115, Clown Eggs, first published May 25th, 2009.
The spring tide rolled across Momus Beach, tossing the flaccid corpses of clowns like so many torn balloons. Weathered to a dispirited pallor, they twisted in the foamy surf with the eternally surprised expressions of the dead..
The Drabble describes either an apocalyptic event, or a simple machine. The feature introduces us to old “bull” clown Uncle Swarmy. It’s not just another day at the beach. Learn more about the clown life cycle than you’re comfortable with!
1. The Tree
And so it came to pass, in the years past reckoning, when I served as a scribe in the court of the king, that there stood the last and only tree.
It is not known how this came to be the only tree. For a time there were disputing theories; it could hardly have happened by chance. As for me, I favor a hypothesis rooted in the fallacy of infinite halves. For in the strange world where we lived, it was once widely known that if you cross half a distance every day, forever and ever, you shall never reach your destination. Thus, if you consume half the riches of the world, every day, forever and ever, you shall always have some riches left. This truth was a fallacy. It is not possible to cut down half a tree.
A man in a wrinkled, black suit entered the fairgrounds. He was tall and lean, his skin the color of drying leather. He wore a faded sport shirt underneath his suit coat, white with yellow stripes. His hair was black and greasy, parted in the middle and brushed back flat on each side. His eyes were pale blue. There was no expression on his face. It was a hundred and two degrees in the sun but he was not perspiring.
If you could shrink tiny, and drop down your own throat
Like the tiniest of captains on the tiniest of boats
I bet you’d be shocked at the things that you saw
In the dark and the damp of your damp and dark maw.
Your body’s a marvel, it’s one of a kind
Which is why countless scary small things live inside!
They can’t live in houses, as most of us do
So they climb inside people– like me and like you!
Do you hear the band playing– that merry old song?
While the horns play the chorus and the crowd sings along?
Down Main Street they march, that gay promenade
Which float is your favorite in the Parasite Parade?
I spent last summer crawling through The Big Thicket with cameras and tape recorder, photographing and taping two of the last ivory-billed woodpeckers on the earth. You can see the films at your local Audubon Society showroom. This year I wanted something just as flashy but a little less taxing.
Perhaps a population study on the Bermuda cahow, or the New Zealand takahe. A month or so in the warm (not hot) sun would do me a world of good. To say nothing of the advance of science. I was idly leafing through Greenway’s Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World. The city bus was winding its way through the ritzy neighborhoods of Austin, stopping to let off the chicanas, black women, and Vietnamese who tended the kitchens and gardens of the rich.
The squid is a solipsistic psychopathic God with a lust for submarine hull and a mandate from Ronald Reagan branded on its hunting tentacles. It sweeps east from Iceland in the cold under the
thermocline, alone in the dark, solitary lord of a solitary place.
The grass is cool against my skin. A nice contrast from the burning hot sun hanging in a sky the color of pale skin, sickly and suffocating. I’m naked but I think I’ve always been this way. There’s a moment of comfort, like everything is going to be OK, before I remember that nothing is going to be OK, and everything is fucked.
Testimony of Witness No. 5671 before the Special Presidential Investigative Commission. Leonard Drucker, thirty-one years old, unmarried, of 238 West 10th Street, New York City, Borough of Manhattan, employed as a salesman by the Har-Bern Office Partition Company of 205 East 42nd Street, New York City, Borough of Manhattan. Witness, being placed under oath, does swear and depose:
Well, I don’t know, the telephone woke me up about eight A.M. on that Wednesday morning. I grabbed at it, half falling out of bed, and finally managed to juggle it up to my ear. A girl’s voice was saying, “Hello, Lennie? Is that you, Lennie? Hello?”
Tim already had his bag and overcoat on and his keys in his hand and was about to leave when Diane stopped him at the door.
“I just got this thing working. You have to come and see it.”
“I have a bus to catch.”
“You can get the next one.”
“They’re every half an hour,” he objected. “This had better be good…”
The place was dark and dusty and half-lost
In tangles of old alleys near the quays,
Reeking of strange things brought in from the seas,
And with queer curls of fog that west winds tossed.
Small lozenge panes, obscured by smoke and frost,
Just shewed the books, in piles like twisted trees,
Rotting from floor to roof—congeries
Of crumbling elder lore at little cost.
I entered, charmed, and from a cobwebbed heap
Took up the nearest tome and thumbed it through,
Trembling at curious words that seemed to keep
Some secret, monstrous if one only knew.
Then, looking for some seller old in craft,
I could find nothing but a voice that laughed.