By David Myers
The page is blank. The page is blank and the internet explorer icon lurks at the bottom of the computer screen. It beckons him into a world of information. A world of news, of social networking, of blogs filled with random thoughts, short films, online dating agencies and pornography. Whatever he could possibly want to know, watch, stalk or wank off to. All at his finger tips. The answer to all his free time.
But when he is done, the page will still be blank.
He closes his eyes, and it’s all there in front of him. A world, no a universe untouched and unknown. A strange land filled with strange places and strange people – all of his devising.
He been here before, has been visiting this world for months. Whenever he has needed to escape from work, he closes his eyes and is there. It keeps him smiling when he is wedged between fellow commuters all riding the train to work. It is joy in an otherwise mundane existence. It is a world that he could share with others, if only he can find the words.
He opens his eyes. The page is blank.
His hand moves to the keyboard and he begins to type.
By David Stewart
Saturday nights in that shared house were the best nights of my life. And it’s all thanks to Robbo, Dougie, Meat, our drug dealer and the ghost that haunted our house.
We’d start the evening with some dope and put our feet up on the coffee table. This was just our way of warming up and annoying the ghost who we quickly learned was a stickler for decorum and hated feet on furniture. Eventually she’d get really riled up and you could sense the psychic energy in the room. That’s when we’d take a hit of speed and get ready. We called it Poltergheist Classic Catches. She’d fling items off the bookshelves and we’d practice diving one-hand grabs and speccies over each other’s backs. One of the greatest moments of my life is still shouting “Cazaaaaly!” when I leapt on Robbo’s shoulders and pulled off a magnificent grab to haul in Dougie’s golf trophy before it hit the wall.
Usually she’d run out of things to throw just as the amphetamines were wearing off which meant we’d take a hit of Ecstacy and wait for the shrieking to begin. An anguished howl of “Begone from this place!” really goes off when your veins are pumping with E and by the time she moved on to her later hits (“I bring damnation on your souls!” “Death death deaaaath!” and “Oh why don’t you cretins ever listen to anything I’m saying? Sometimes I don’t know why I bother”) we were all pumped to the max and hugging each other like idiots.
We knew when she killed the lights it was time to drop a psychadelic and hold on for the ride of your life. Sometimes she’d manifest herself and sometimes I just hallucinated that she did and sometimes things got even crazier, Lights, walls dripping blood, you name it. She made out with Robbo once although that might have been just something I dreamed or else Dougie got really confused one night. Anything is possible. I was sure she spent one night dressed as Michael Jackson but then I thought it must have just been weirdness in my head until I found a single jeweled glove behind the couch one morning.
They were great nights and they’d go until all hours and only stop when Meat had to find his clerical collar and go take a mass on Sunday morning.
By David Stewart
“It’s fate. It’s fate telling me that there’s no escaping who I am. See I’ve had these urges for as long as I can remember. I’ve wanted to do things… bad things. And I know they’re not the sort of things my momma would approve of. She’s passed now. But she raised me right. And part of that raisin’ was not hurtin’ other people, and hurtin’ was just the start of what I wanted to do. So I decided to get away. I got in my pickup and I drove. I didn’t have no place in mind I just drove. I wasn’t drivin’ to anywheres I was drivin’ away from something. But then fate stepped in. I got a message from fate telling me who I really was. This song came on the radio. Johnny Cash. I love Johnny Cash. It was Folsom Prison Blues. I know every word of that song and so when I heard the line it was like a bolt outta the blue. “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.” I knew it was coming and I sang along and as I was singin’ those words I looked up and the sign said “Welcome to Reno.” Reno! What are the chances of me driving into Reno, even though I had no idea where I was, just when Johnny sings that line? It was fate. And then I saw you wearing those croc shoes and I HATE THOSE FUCKING SHOES so I had to follow you down this alley and shoot you… to watch you die…in Reno. Fate, it’s Fate. …what? What do you mean? San Remo? Really? San Remo? Near Phillip Island? Actually that would make more sense since I started driving in Melbourne and Reno is in America. I never thought to question that. Just like I never thought to wonder why I had an American accent all of a sudden. So the sign didn’t say Reno at all? Well I guess it wasn’t fate then. And now I come think about it the radio was playing an ad for some carpet cleaner and not Johnny Cash at all. Oops. Well this is embarrassing. Oh and I see you’re actually wearing boots not crocs… oh dear…. um…Look I’m going to shoot you again now so I can watch you die quicker.”
By Jason Geary
It is after our third date and I’m sitting in my car just having said goodbye to the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met. Spending time with her is effortless. I’m doing everything I can to stop myself falling head over heels for her to soon. It’s hopeless, no, I’m hopeless. I can’t help reading everything I discover as a sign, sign that we were meant to be together.
We like the same bands but disagree about their best albums.
She dislikes Utes and the men that drive them.
Although she’s right handed she holds her knife in her left hand. “It’s more comfortable.” she says.
Her favorite Muppet is Beaker because she “… Just wants to make him better.”
Her smile makes me catch my breath.
I’m on the edge of falling for this girl. Teetering precariously. It’s ridiculous, no, I’m ridiculous. Why must everything be a sign?
I notice it’s her car in front of me waiting to turn right. I look to her mirror and see her looking back at me. As our eyes meet, I see them change shape and I know she’s smiling. She looks to the traffic light in front of us and I look to the rear of her car. Her indicator is flashing a wonderful array of reflected orange light back at me. Then I realize that our indicators are in perfect sync.
Not just for a moment as the patterns align, but are blinking together in the same pedestrian rhythm. They pulse on, off, on, off as one for twenty seconds.
In perfect sync.
The makes and models of our cars are completely different. They have no right to be so together. This is a sign.
I look back to her mirror and find her looking back at me still smiling, as always it makes me catch my breath. The light in front of her turns green. She waves and to my surprise I blow her a kiss.
She mimes catching it and places her hand to her face. Then drives off into the night.
Damn, I just fell.
By Rik Brown
By David Stewart
I’m not crazy. People think I am because I mutter to myself and I shout a lot. And I’m homeless and I don’t wash much. But I’m not crazy.
The problem is the wireless. It’s all about the wireless. When you’re at your computer and you send information over your wireless connection it travels through the air to get where you’re going. But not just through the air it travels though things as well. It goes through walls and whole buildings and anything. It goes through people. Remember that next time you’re sending an email. That information passes right through someone who passes by. Most of the time they don’t notice because they don’t have the kind of gift I do. It just passes through and they don’t care. But special ones like me and lots of others in asylums all over the world can hear the information. When it passes through our heads we can hear it and understand it.
That conversation you had online with your friend in Starbucks? I heard it all.
The online newspaper you visited? All that information passed through my head.
Your facebook status updated in my mind.
When you told people what you had for breakfast on twitter you told me even though I don’t’ know who you are.
I saw those pictures you downloaded (I quite enjoyed those) and even the ones you’re boss downloaded (I’ll never get them out of my head but I’ll keep trying).
And not just you, everyone around you. All that information passed through my head and sometimes it comes out of my mouth and sometimes it makes me scream. That’s what causes madness.
In the old days it was prayers. Everyone’s prayers passed through the air and some people could hear them all. But today it’s wireless. It’s information passing through the air and straight through my head.
But today I realised something new. Not only can I hear the information, I can send it too. I’m no longer just a receiver I’m a transmitter. I’m not just hearing petitions, I can answer them as well.
Tomorrow I’m going to start broadcasting. To everyone. Tomorrow I’m going to talk to the world. Tomorrow everyone else will get to find out what I had for breakfast, and so much more. Tomorrow you can all have a turn at the madness.
By David Stewart
It’s against the law to wear a top hat while drinking tea in public in Watson Ohio. Not only is it against the law but the fine is $400 American. And the law is actually being actively enforced. I know this because myself and three of my friends recently paid this sum to the police officers of the town of Watson while I was there on holiday.
“You can’t seriously be fining me for this?”
“Yes I can son. And I am.”
“But it’s a stupid law.”
“Then it’s an even more stupid person that breaks it. Look on this as a stupidity tax.”
“But it’s just an old law left over from years ago that nobody had bothered to repeal yet.”
“Nope. Not true son. It’s a new law. We wrote it up ten years back.”
“Well son it’s like this. We thought if we passed a really stupid law then really stupid college kids and tourists would think it was hilarious to come out to Watson to break it. And sure enough here you are.”
“Wait, are you telling me you do this deliberately?”
“Yup. Every town in the US has a law like this now. It brings in the tourists and raises a fortune for us in the police department. We’ve made nearly 10 grand this year alone from you numbnuts.”
“I can’t believe I’ve been scammed.”
“Why do you think every shop around here sells top hats?”
“I was wondering.”
“Well now you know. Here’s your hat back. If you’re thirsty there’s vending machine in the main street. Sells a mighty fine darjeeling.”