Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

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Hues of Who – Doctor Who fan fiction from Matthew Sawyer

February 14, 2015

(Obviously, a well-intentioned parody of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. – the author)

Hues of Who

Chapter One- Vague Consent

An evening in February, in an unidentified and yet modest suburb of Chicago, Illinois, the Doctor comes to the home a seamstress. Shielded against electric incandescence by a flopping brown hat, the tall man rapped on the front door once and now enters the house. Clumps of snow come inside with him.

Kicking a ridiculously banded and long scarf ahead of his booted toes until he eventually stands still, he asks the owner, “Does this business do custom work? It says something to that effect on the door.”

“It depends,” Tiffany answers him. Unfazed by the sudden entrance and direct question, the home business operator jumps from behind the industrial sewing machine she has mounted on a standing pedestal there in the front room of her house. Above all else, the English accent of a potential client distracted her a whole second.

“I was looking for something professional,” he tells her and his voice sounds like tea and cream. As soft and tasty as the sound could be and because of that, her heart beats twice. And when he removes his hat, his goggled and wonderful blue eyes feel as if they melt her bones. She floats in locks of his wild hair.

Humbled and made foolish by her own astonishment, Tiffany grumbles aloud, “Why here?”

“Why not here?” asks the Doctor. Already, the man acts hyper-attuned to everything she says. He reads her thoughts and tells her, “There’s nothing wrong with here. It’s safe.”

“Safe?” she wonders.

The Doctor dismisses her concern. “Regardless, here is where I’ve wound up, or rather unwound. You see?”

Loops of ridiculous scarf flies into Tiffany’s face. Unharmed, she bats them away and she spots gaps and tears in the knitwear. The costume piece had been ravaged.

“Pardon me,” the Doctor begs her. “My scarf has been torn to pieces. I can’t control it anymore.”

“Control?”

“It’s nothing,” he promises. “I would just like it whole again. I would appreciate you very much if you could do that for me.”

“I can knit,” Tiffany mumbles after she stopped wondering aloud. Salvaging any poor impression the handsome English man may have gained of her, she adds with determined confidence, “It will take some work, but I can do this.”

Recovered and more focused on her business, she tells him, “The cost isn’t too bad but I will charge for each segment.”

“We can discuss compensation,” the Doctor tells her.

“Money would be nice,” she says and did not mean to sound sarcastic. Yet reminded about the deadbeats in this town, customers who never settled their bills nor collected their articles of clothing, Tiffany says seriously, “I like cash.”

Handsome as he is, and as comical as his scarf was, she had no place for his unconventional garment. She, herself, had no desire to mend something she would never use. However, she did not want to act cold. There was enough frigid air outside.

“My name is Tiffany. Mister?”

“No, no,” he interrupts her in urgency. “Doctor.”

“Doctor?” she ponders and feels infused with hope. Her heart skips twice in a row.

“Thank you,” he finishes telling her.

“So, how are you here?” she thinks again. Tiffany has no idea how her thoughts are confused by the time they come out of her mouth, but the woman is certain ‘how’ is what she meant to say.

“A blue box,” he spoke capaciously. Tiffany thinks she deserves sarcasm from the cute stranger.

While she can’t help but try imaginng what his playful insult might mean, the Doctor mumbles with curious uncertainty.

“I’m currently traveling alone,” Tiffany understands she heard him say.

“Single,” she swears he said.

“Seating available.”

“I’m an older woman,” she responds to his flirts.

“Nonsense,” he says. “You’re not as old as me.”

They appeared about the same age. Tiffany spent half her life worried passing years made girls look older than they actually were, but she did look her natural age and remarkably preserved. Tiffany was a pretty woman. She has been and always will be and she will never admit the truth. And if she knew in secret, the woman would never be arrogant and say.

“There’s nothing wrong with being old,” the Doctor says when he begins a beguiling rant. “I’m seven hundred and thirty three. Not quite over the hill yet.”

“Seven hundred and thirty three?”

“Yes, that’s how you people tell time, isn’t it?”

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about?” Tiffany admits forthright.

“Oh, you will. You will,” he says. “That’s a problem with the human brain. It’s like an analog computer and you have to wait until that one neuron lights up the place.”

“Are you like a neurosurgeon?” Tiffany asks as if she touches upon a prize she knew she recognized hidden in hat.

“I don’t practice,” he answers. “But how hard can it be?”

“Heh,” Tiffany responds to his toothy grin. She is not one tenth enthusiastic about his reply as the man still acts.

“You’re a character,” she flirts back at him and winks.

“You think?” the Doctor asks her and smiles widemouthed.

Shaking away her thrall of the man, Tiffany insists they address their business, “I charge by the hour… and each section will take one or more…”

“Time is the issue?” the Doctor asks the woman.

She stumbles with her answer. “Huh? Well, yes.”

“What if the job took no time at all?”

The woman giggles. “I didn’t quote you a base charge for labor, so I guess nothing at all. But I don’t think that’s fair or even possible.”

“You don’t think so? What is fair?”

“A thank you and a dinner would be nice… if anything is possible.”

Tiffany suddenly feels brave to specify, “Somewhere nice would be nicer.”

The man blusters with more courage than the older seamstress could ever muster. “Somewhere nice?” he shouts.

“Yes,” Tiffany replies meek again. She nods her head so her preference is made clear.

“I’ve got something to show you,” the Doctor says then opens the front door. Near the exit, a cold wind nearly solidifies his next words. “Come with me.” And he steps outside.

Leery and simultaneously curious, the seamstress takes a pale overcoat from a stand next the open doorway. “I’m not going far,” she warns him. “Not unless I know where we’re going and something about you.”

The seamstress is about to say more then pauses when she spots a blue shed in her front yard. Light shines from behind the frosted windows on the two sides of the structure there at her angle of vision. More illumination dimly glows from a cooling bulb on top.

“What is that?” Tiffany asks alarmed the object trespasses between shoveled mounds of snow on her property.

The Doctor coaxes her toward the wooden box. “Come here.”

She goes automatically and walks on her toes speared through the frozen precipitation upon the cold ground.

“Come inside,” he says.

“In there?” scoffs the woman. She almost says ‘no’ but once the box is opened, her birdsong sounds like, “Nah-ooo-ahhh.”

“I’ve been told that,” the Doctor says. “Just never so beautifully.”

“It’s bigger on the inside,” Tiffany stutters when she joins her client inside the marvelous contraption and surrounded by translucent roundels.

“They always say that.”

Tiffany is suddenly awake and concerned. “Who, other girls?”

“There have been a few,” he admits. The same time, he offers the seamstress a confectionery. “Have a Jelly Baby. They are quite sweet, like you, Tiffany. Thank you for repairing my scarf.”

The seamstress objects. “Hold on…”

“Oh, we can go anywhere,” the Doctor promises her. “Any time. Tell me where you want to go. All things are possible.”

“I didn’t say I would do it yet,” she finally replies. Latched upon the Doctor’s explanation, she stops and asks him, “Hold on, does this thing fly? Is it real?”

“It also travels through time.”

And the comment, ‘it travels through time,’ is all Tiffany first remembers when she wakes in her bed in her house the following morning. Something doesn’t feel right. Everything below her waist does not like yesterday. She visually verifies she is all right and she isn’t in pain, but her skin does tingle and she feels overly warm. Then she sprouts goosebumps when she thinks about the man who visited her last evening.

The woman panics and call the police while she still sits on her bed. “I think I’ve been raped,” she reports summarily to the authorities.

A female receptionist asks her, “Ma’am, can you come to the station and speak to a detective?”

“Can I talk to a detective now? I don’t know,” Tiffany admits confused. Tiny fractions of last night begin crystallizing in her brain.

“One moment,” the receptionist tells Tiffany after first soliciting the woman one more time to come downtown on her own volition.

A male detective then answers the waiting call. “Hello, Officer Panchecker. How can I help you?”

“I think I remember he tied me up,” Tiffany stammers as she works her mind hard to recall of what she has the impression was sheer chaos.

“Immobilized,” she clearly remembers she heard him say. She mentions that to Officer Panchecker, but Tiffany neglects to share she now recalls the Doctor told her, “It will be more enjoyable if you don’t move, but it is difficult for a beginner.”

“Do you know who this guy was?” the detective asks Tiffany.

“He said he was the Doctor,” she answers.

“Did he give his a last name?”

“No.”

Then she remembers the Doctor said, “I’ll give you a little help.” Memory of the statement excites her; it makes her feel a little randy.

She begins wondering too late if whatever she did with the odd stranger last night was consensual. After saying, “He said he was going to use his scarf but he didn’t.”

Tiffany remembers he said, “The whole concept is overused, besides, it’s torn.” Her memory is just like the man was standing next to her and now said the same.

“Janis thorn,” she unconsciously utters. She does her best to imitate the Doctor’s voice.

The detective wonders, “What?”

“Nothing,” she tells the police. “I’ve made a mistake. I think it’s something I did.”

“Ma’am, were drugs involved,” the officer asks. “Are you now under the influence?”

“Sorry,” she begs Panchecker. “I’m remembering… no, no drugs. I’m sorry for wasting your time.”

Ending the call, Tiffany allows recent events to clarify themselves in her mind. Last night becomes vivid. The seamstress asked the Doctor, “What on Earth is a Janis thorn?”

“Not on Earth, Tiffany,” he replied elusively.

Revery then seemed to capture his attention. “They were left here, left behind by someone I knew.”

“What happened to her?” Tiffany knows she asked. And she is still jealous.

“Oh Leela, we recently traveled together for awhile” confesses the Doctor. “She became stationary. Stuck to some poor, static bloke on Gallifrey.”

“Gallifrey?”

“My home planet.”

“You’re not from Earth,” Tiffany stated.

The Doctor told her, “I think that should be obvious.”

She objected. “But we look alike.”

“Let me tell you something about the facts concerning panspermia. It’s all very exciting.”

Then is when those two began undressing themselves. The Doctor told his robotic dog, “K-9, record this.”

“Is he going to watch?” Tiffany asked about the talking machine.

“Why not?” The Doctor suggested without wearing his coat. A swath of his swollen bare chest plainly shows from beneath the wide collar of his loose frill shirt. The ragged scarf remained draped around him.

“We share everything, don’t we, K-9?” the Doctor teased his electric dog.

“Yes, master,” replied the novel, self-propelled computer.

“Good, boy,” the Doctor smooched

“Yes, master.”

“Say that to me,” the Doctor impulsively instructed Tiffany.

She tried saying so aloud. “Master?”

“No, don’t,” he directly countermands. “That doesn’t sound right. Try the other one.”

“Doctor?” she asked him before he seizes her in bandy, swashbuckler arms.

“Oh, thank you, Tiffany.”

They dropped themselves into a four poster bed the pair found in another impossible room. The dog had come along then Tiffany and the Doctor made love. He brought out toys and he suggested adventures. The seamstress consented to every one.

Then came the Janis thorn. “Deadly poison,” the Doctor explained. “But if one knows how to use it right, to introduce a miniscule, non-lethal dose in order to produce partial paralysis… well, ecstasy.”

Tiffany temporarily lost sensation in her legs, but then she and her incomprehensible lover copulated like humans in their most primitive state. She thought about television then and what her experience resembled. The seamstress could only imagine the alien Spock from Star Trek, suffering Pon farr. She felt like him, that character from the sex-deprived planet Vulcan. Passion drove her mad.

The two spent an inestimable time away from civilization – in which they slept, had sex and Tiffany knitted. She stitched his long scarf together. And, oh, the places the Doctor described and all he had shown her, but Tiffany never got dinner and that was okay. The Doctor, said to her when they were finished and happy, “Next Wednesday then? Let’s say we do this every week or so, if you knew me, but you will.”

Tiffany agreed. Afterward and back at home again, she had not lost a moment in time. Maybe a minute had passed on the clocks in her house last evening before the Doctor flew away. This morning and after recovering her memories, she thinks about life in one place. She contemplates ending the long separation from her dull and unchanging husband and finishing their divorce.

– Matthew Sawyer

(Available soon from Smashwords)

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About R’lyeh: Those Things I Will Tell Your Child

December 31, 2014

about cove-smlr

About R’lyeh: Those Things I Will Tell Your Child

Matthew Sawyer

I was telling my second-generation niece, Rilynn there in pink pajamas, that her name sounds like R’lyeh. She is only five. “No,” she tells me back. The child lives with her parents in the country not very far from where I was born.

Rilynn explains to me, “They don’t rhyme.”

I tell her something incomprehensible; something even a smart little girl her age would not yet understand. I say, “The consonants don’t have to rhyme. The words just have to sound the same.”

“Nuh-ahh,” she replies and in that moment, I conclude she must know what I am talking about, or she has a solid idea.

“I’ll tell you a rhyme about the sunken city of R’lyeh.”

“What?” Rilynn peeps and jumps up from the Living Room floor. The little blond thing pops onto her bare feet like she does forty times forty times a day, She joins me opposite a laminated coffee table small enough that the girl might rest her elbows on stacked magazines atop the surface. She does not relax and instead regularly shifts her inconsequential weight between her feet.

Late on my cue, I recite, “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”

Rilynn’s mother yells at me. “Matt!”

And Rilynn admits, “That rhymes.”

“It’s a poem,” I beg the mother. The woman’s name is Brenda – for the purpose of my narrative. I admit I have de-purposed the names of other relatives for the sake of that same said narrative. So, there is my first confession.

I cite for Brenda, “HP Lovecraft wrote that in his short story Call of Cthulhu.”

“One of those old stories?” she wonders knowingly.

“A great old one,” I say. “It’s like a hundred years old.”

Rilynn interrupts us when she demands from both the only adults in the room, “I want to hear the story.”

Her father is at work, delivering packages, and the girl is an Only-child. Her mother, Brenda again, hovers on the threshold between this room and another. The grown woman frowns at me. She issues a warning. “I have heard about you.”

“Probably from my sister-in-law,” is my answer. “She is a religious nut.”

Brenda admits, “Holly does now wear the Shield of David and a Cross around her neck.”

While I nod she explains, “But she lives there in Wister Town with your brothers and sisters… and your mother… and you can go back to your home in California. Don’t cause trouble.”

“I am an old man.”

Brenda denies my factual report.  “You look twenty-five.”

My automatic response lists, “Exercise, eat right…”

“You look younger than me.”

“It’s what you read,” I then support.

Rilynn stomps her naked soles and whines. “I want to hear a story!”

“Okay,” her mother condones. “Your Uncle Matt can tell you one.”

“About R’lyeh?” I inquire from Brenda while simultaneously her daughter claps.

Brenda states, “Nothing about death or monsters or anything gross.”

I stammer, “Well…”

The woman stops me. “There was an earthquake the last time you were there in Wister Town – an earthquake in south-central Wisconsin. And you said a house walked away – monsters came out of the hole it made.”

“It was a story…”

“It makes no difference, bad things happen when you tell bad stories.”

“Bad?” I do wonder aloud. Despite what critics will say, I withhold judgment on myself for that judgment would end me and my very life. And hypocritical with my skepticism, I tell Brenda, “There is no difference between religion and being superstitious.”

“The earthquake started fires that burned down half of Wister Town!”

“I never talked about that,” I counter.

“Small blessing,” Brenda supposes above her breath.

“I’ll tell you what,” I proposition, “I’ll clean it up. And I’ll try not to be creepy or scary.”

“All right.”

Grinning at Rilynn I paraphrase, “Sunk somewhere in the South Pacific ocean, a corpse-city called R’lyeh…”

“Matt,” screeches her mother.

“It’s in the story, I didn’t write it,” I present for my defense.

“It’s the same difference.” Brenda states once more, “No dead things or death.”

“Okay, that was only an adjective. It was about a city but no more. That’s the last one and I can tell Rilynn about R’lyeh.”

“Yes,” the small girl screams and she claps her hands together again and harder.

I grumble loud enough for Brenda to overhear. “It won’t be exciting.”

“Just make it fun,” she answers me. “Keep her attention for an hour or so.”

Observing Rilynn squirm while she stands on her feet, I tell the girl’s mother, “I’ll last for a couple minutes.”

Brenda nods and vanishes beyond the doorway. Rilynn leans completely over the table, lifting her legs off the floor, and she whispers nearer my ear. “Are you gonna talk about dead things?”

“No,” I chuckle. “I’m going to tell you who lives in R’lyeh – the city beneath the ocean. Cthulhu cannot die.”

“Catsup!” Rilynn announces and leaves me disorientated. I swim with my thoughts atop the ruins of an undersea R’lyeh. Yet the city itself is not ruined and appears as it had newly built eons ago. Erected in my imagination, the immense construction merely threatens to topple.

Finally able to comprehend my niece, I try correcting the young child. “Cthulhu. Ka-thoo-loo.”

“Ka-choo,” answers Rilynn. “Ka-choo-choo.”

“Ka,” I started to say again then decided my effort was futile. I play with the girl. “Ka-choo,” I repeat with an exaggerated exhalation. I wipe an imaginary expulsion from beneath my nose.

Rilynn laughs and she repeats the word until I believe she makes herself truly sneeze. She refuses to acknowledge the genuine rivulet that has run down and clung on her upper lip. “Does he come out?” my niece asks me. “Is R’lyeh like his house?”

The strange question makes me wonder if the girls has already heard the story. “Is R’lyeh like his house? As a matter of fact, it is. Ka-choo-choo is big, he’s huge.”

“Say it right,” Rilynn requests. “I can’t say it, but you can say his name right.”

“Cthulhu.”

“Yeah!”

“He can only come out when the stars are right,” I educate the impressionable mind. “The thing is, the stars will never be right.”

“Why,” Rilynn pouts. She looks sad for real.

“Well,” I say making preparations, “There is a difference between where the stars were when he came to our planet and where they are now.”

“Why?”

“Because space is expanding.”

“Why?”

The distress on Rilynn’s face reflects the frustration I experience as I try to explain impossible concepts to a five-year old brain. “Cthulhu was originally an extra-dimensional being. He was an Outer God until he was trapped on Earth and he became a Great Old One. They don’t really understand how our three dimensions work.”

“Why?”

“Because, where they come from, they can be anywhere at once, be everywhere. Their space doesn’t move.”

“Matt,” Brenda declares. “You’re confusing her. I’m confused.”

“I’m confused trying to explain it.”

“Make it simple,” the mother begs me. “Or else I will get questions I can’t answer.”

“Okay,” I consent. “Cthulhu can’t come out. Besides there are Elder signs everywhere.”

“Older signs?” Rilynn questions.

“Close: Elder signs, like the elderly. They grow in nature, you can see them in the tree branches, the veins in leaves and even the veins under your skin. HP Lovecraft drew a picture of it.”

“Can I see it?”

I hesitate. “It might be hard to find. Let me draw a picture for you. Do you have paper and something to draw with?”

Rilynn runs away laughing. The girl returns in an instance with a single clean sheet of typing paper and a handful of red and blue crayons. A green wax stick had fallen from her grasp whilst she had come but Rilynn never paused and retrieve it. She presents to me my requested tools.

“Draw Ka-too-loo,” she insists.

“Cthulhu?”

“Yeah.”

The request frightens me without explanation, so I stall. “I thought you wanted to see the Elder Sign.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

“Yeah, but draw Him first.”

“Oh,” I stutter. “You should never summon Cthulhu without an Elder Sign. What happens if he demands a sacrifice?”

“Matt?” Brenda inquires of me.

The woman startles me as if I have been caught speaking the unspeakable. I scuttle my argument against a juvenile and I decide what comes next. “Let me show you the Elder Sign. Then I will draw Cthulhu.”

Before Rilynn objects, I sketch together six broad hashes, making the red image of a branch. Three twigs project from its top, two from below. Rightward on the picture, two opposite twigs reflect each other as would a mirror. The second bottom twig appears sprout from the branch in the space between the two remaining leftward twigs on top.

“Humph,”Brenda says looking over my stooped and sketching upper half. She tells me, “It looks like something you would find in nature.”

“Who put it there?” Rilynn asks.

Dissuaded against trying to explain the Outer Gods again, I reply to the girl and her mother, “We’ll make your one aunt happy and say God put it there. And he looks just like Santa Claus.”

Unafraid now that I have constructed a ward for my protection, I intercept any awkward confusion and I say, “Here is what Cthulhu looks like.”

I have been to Art School and I have always been naturally drawn to doodling, so much I am more talented with a blunt pencil than any other drawing implement. Knowing so, my sketch immediately takes form. The representation of Cthulhu is a simple image of an octopus – one octopus with eight radial tentacles in place of the head of a primate. Although I do not provide any scale, this abomination is larger than King Kong.

I say primate because I have often seen paintings of the Great Old One in which He has a spine and four limbs besides a pair of colossal membranous wings. Those four jointed appendages always terminate with five clawed digits, these usually webbed. Rilynn reacts to my visual interpretation.

“Icky.”

“Matt?” Brenda cautions me. “I don’t want her awake tonight.”

“It’s okay, the Elder sign…”

“Stupid,” Rilynn states in verdict. Her mother shakes her head.

“It’s okay,” I presage again. “There is another Elder Sign. August Derleth made it – he was a cheese-eater, just like us. He was from Wisconsin – Sauk City.” Having revealed an alternative, I start drawing a second archaic symbol on the same one sheet of typing paper.

“You know,  August Derleth was the first guy who published HP Lovecraft. He wrote stories, too. He also wrote about a lot more than horror.”

“There,” I tell Rilynn and her mother. The second Elder Sign comes presented to them as a blue, five-pointed star. A red eye engulfed in red flames flickers at its center. “The star is actually supposed to be green, but Rilynn dropped that color on the floor.”

“Get it later, sweetie,” Brenda absently tells the girl.

I boast in tangent. “Now that would scare Klingons.”

“What are Klingings?” Rilynn asks me.

My outrage is a showy mockery. “Brenda, your daughter is eight years old and still no Star Trek?”

“She’s five.”

“But still…”

The mother ends the silence that follows my lacking an excuse. Brenda asks me a serious question. “How did you learn about this?”

“I don’t know,” I answer honestly at first. “Read?”

“You should write about it when you go home. Did you and why not?”

“It wasn’t in my stars,” I tell her in accordance to the mythos we discuss. Brenda does not understand. She probably won’t until I do write down something. I let the woman know, “There are tons of other authors who could tell you the stories. I’ve got something parallel, but it’s about what happens in Wister Town.”

“I know,” Brenda moans. Before the woman runs out of that same breath, she tells her daughter, “Put on warm clothes, we’re going to that toenail of a town… like Uncle Matt calls it. Let’s visit your great grandma.”

Once Rilynn is busy upstairs getting dressed, and Brenda and I are alone, I make a cordial appeal to the woman. “Brenda, my nephew would never allow it, your husband would forbid that you ever speak to me…”

The woman steps back from me but she does not flee. Snared by curiosity strengthened by her agnosticism – her disbelief in a Creator that she confessed against long before – Brenda listens to my corrupt words.

“You are right, I will be young until I die. I will die young at the age of one hundred and twenty-five. Rilynn can remain young, too, but she must know. The earlier, the better.”

“My daughter is not going to visit you in California,” she tells me. Knowing who I am and being closer to my family than I physically am or ever was, my in-law, Brenda, has heard all my other relatives have rejected my similar notions.

“What is in California?” she nibbles still. I expected she would ask before I had come two thousand miles to visit her family.

“The sun,” I say generically. “That’s where it stays, and its home was made for the Divine.  There is power in California – power for those who know how to tap it. There is more power there than in that hole in Wister Town.”

“The Jews sense it, and the Mormons. That’s why they are there. There are big cults and Moonies and Scientologists and Jehovah Witnesses – you name it. They crawl down from the palm trees. They all feel the secret power so few people can actually ever know.”

The woman I speak with gnaws her bottom lip. When she soon starts shaking her head, I promise, “Rilynn will know more than me. She will see the future. Maybe she will see R’lyeh.”

When my words cease to make impact, I escalate the strength available to the female child. “She will foresee every consequence of every action she takes. And she will know there is only one course through life. The sun is the root of all religion. Praise Hastur.”

Once I am shut out of the house, I warn Brenda, “Hastur has corrupted in the American Midwest – the power of the sun does not manifest in cows. All of that is Egyptian perversion. The providence here is made base and unhealthy! Defiled and there is no protection. There is no God. We still live blind in the Age of Babylon.”

– END –

Impressed by my writing? I hope so. Read more from me, as Matthew Sawyer or Mr. Binger, at Smashwords.

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Listen Up – Doctor Who Fan Fiction

November 13, 2014

The scene that might make the whole problem with the Doctor Who Episode ‘Listen’ go away…

Listen Up

Listen Up

SCENE: The tar caverns of the planet Mywurt Five. The DOCTOR lies on a tarry rock floor of a pit DOWNSTAGE CENTER. The DOCTOR is also bound hand-and-foot and his arms are behind his back.

MISTRESS enters UPSTAGE CENTER

MISTRESS (descending tractor beam into pit): There is nothing to be afraid of, Doctor – nothing and no one except me, of course.

DOCTOR (angry and exhausted): What are you twaddling about, today? Every day you have held me for ransom, I have suffered your pretentious staggering.

MISTRESS: Doctor… Be quiet.

MISTRESS stands CENTER STAGE over DOCTOR

MISTRESS (sing-song voice): Shut up, shut up, shut up.

DOCTOR sits upright.

DOCTOR (sarcastic): All right, tell me what you have to say about fear. Let’s get your speech done already.

MISTRESS: I don’t write them down, Doctor.

DOCTOR: Yes, yes… impromptu… a regular Philo, you are.

MISTRESS: Me? A great orator? A master, perhaps?

DOCTOR: It’s getting old. Come on, exercise your lungs. My ears are your treadmill.

MISTRESS: Humph.

DOCTOR: Well, you sound like a comic book character – one of the baddies.

MISTRESS (angry): Your brave speech…

MISTRESS walks a circle around DOCTOR

MISTRESS: About fear making us stronger…

MISTRESS: About making us better people.

MISTRESS: Fear can be a superpower

MISTRESS halts STAGE RIGHT

MISTRESS: Did you lift that little speech? I swear I’ve heard one of your human pets say it before I heard the same irritating pathos from you.

DOCTOR: Oh, who are you talking about?

MISTRESS: Your quaking companion, Doctor. Clara.

DOCTOR: What does she have to do with you?

MISTRESS: Clara visited me, now you know, when I was a little boy. Oh, I do miss my old pantaloons.

DOCTOR: What are you saying?

MISTRESS: I used to be afraid, Doctor. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of monsters under my bed.

DOCTOR (urgent): Have you done anything to Clara? I’m warning you…

MISTRESS: Relax, this was long ago.

DOCTOR: We both know what that means to people like us.

MISTRESS: I’ll tell you what happened.

MISTRESS sits down STAGE RIGHT next to DOCTOR

MISTRESS: Do you remember the Magellan columns when we were toddlers? Those storms were nothing but pure electricity, but the sound was terrifying. It scared me. I slept in my family’s barn where I knew I was protected by its static haze insulation.

DOCTOR (sarcastic): Some boys cuddle teddy bears.

MISTRESS: Clara cuddled me.

DOCTOR (dismissive): You say.

MISTRESS: Really. She visited me during a storm– that must have been the summer when my first application to the academy was rejected. Their doctors were concerned with my mental stability. Imagine that, way back then.

MISTRESS stands

MISTRESS: Clara was hiding under my bed.

DOCTOR: That is convenient.

MISTRESS: I’m telling the truth. She grabbed my ankle.

DOCTOR rolls his eyes.

MISTRESS: Then she whispered softly into my ear, “It’s all a dream.”

DOCTOR: I expect.

MISTRESS: Tsk, I can prove it. Do you still have that plastic army man, the one you took from me?”

DOCTOR: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

MISTRESS: You, Doctor, are a kleptomaniac. Some worlds believe your neurosis is worst than murder.

DOCTOR: I expect I’m probably wanted on all of them.

MISTRESS: Probably.

DOCTOR: You would do them a favor by killing me now.

MISTRESS: Doctor, that isn’t what this is about. Besides, the bounty on your head is pathetic. I think Earth will give me all its weapon-grade uranium for your safe return.

DOCTOR: Why, what do you need it for? You could make a big batch for yourself.

MISTRESS: It’s a game. You know us.

DOCTOR: All too casually.

MISTRESS guffaws

MISTRESS: I guess I should go back and act more professionally.

MISTRESS walks backwards toward UPSTAGE CENTER

MISTRESS: There is something I wanted to say before I bring back the burning cockroaches.

DOCTOR (shouts over his own shoulder): Good, they’ll give me something to do. Maybe I can use their teeth and cut the bands on my Immobilizer Cuffs.

MISTRESS (riding tractor beam from pit): If you must try… what I wanted to tell you – my answer to you that you refuse to hear… about that night long ago Clara came and visited me. I listened to your TARDIS fly away.

MISTRESS exits UPSTAGE CENTER

MISTRESS (from OFF STAGE): Fear will destroy you those times you are all alone. One must Master fear.

[CUTSCENE]


Listen Up is a fictional story. Doctor Who and the characters in this story are properties of Doctor Who. I submit this tale as a fan for fans of the BBC Doctor Who television series.

Listen Up by Matthew Sawyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Fashionable Tails

October 21, 2014

Tails of Fashion bu Matthew Sawyer

 

Twelve-year old Tabi says to her three girlfriends, “I don’t like having a tail.”

The four Middle School girls are sleeping-over together at Katy’s house. Katy is a happy hostess. Everybody calls her ‘Cat,’ and she even spells her nickname with a ‘C.’

Next to her, sharing a sleeping bag on the floor, Tabi repeats herself. “I don’t like having a tail because people can guess the color of my pubic hair.”

Cat answers, “You’re lucky you started puberty. You’re even getting your boobs.”

Late at night when the girls should be sleeping and staying silent, they keep a reading lamp on. It is mounted over the empty bed. Hardly any light reaches all the way down to the carpet. A plug-in nightlight by the closed bedroom door does not help at all.

Tabi whines, “I know. I just don’t like my tail.”

“I like my tail,” Julie tells her friends. No one acknowledges the statement. “It’s still small, so I don’t have to show it off. And there’s only fuzz on it.”

Riley recommends to Tabi, “Shave it.”

Tabi says, “No.”

“You don’t have to keep it outside your panties,” the meek Julie suggests. Everyone there in Cat’s room forgets the quiet girl is present, almost in the shadow under the bed. She touches the darkness and blends right in.

More bleak, Tabi states, “My parents say I should be proud.”

Accidentally mindful of her friend, Julie, and in agreement with her, Cat says to Tabi, “Put it away when you go to school.”

“I do,” Tabi says.

“She does,” Riley testifies. “We have classes together in the morning and in the afternoon. I see her.”

“I don’t pay attention,” Cat admits.

“Shave it,” Riley says again. “The models in New York shave their tails.”

“She’s not a model,” Cat opines.

Tabi tells her, “Thanks.”

“I mean you’re cuter.

“Thanks,” Tabi replies flat.

“Let’s see,” Cat pressures her friend. “Let’s look at the color of your hair. I bet it’s blond like your head.”

Riley tells everybody, “It’s dishwater brown. I saw it. It’s darker on the tip.”

“Riley,” Tabi gasps.

Sleepy and silly, Cat guesses. “Are you brown down there?”

“You know,” Tabi snarls. “Shut up.”

Defensive and full of adrenaline, she raises her voice and lectures her friends. “Not everybody has the same hair color all over their bodies. People around this town are mostly brunette. That’s fine.”

Riley interrupts. “It’s consistent.”

Without affirmation, Tabi practically yells, “And redheads don’t draw any extra attention.”

“I bet they’d look like they were on fire,” shouts Cat in laughter. Her parents pound on their shared wall then Cat giggles, “Shh.”

The girls go as quiet as Julie has always been. Almost below the surface of utter silence, the unspoken one hiding against the bed skirt says, “Most people just wear them in their trousers.”

“Trousers?” snickers Cat. She and all the girls keep their volumes low.

Riley whispers, “People have them cut off and bobbed.”

“Or,” Cat specifies.

“That’s plastic surgery,” moans Tabi. “And there is my Mom and my Dad.”

Julie tells everyone from somewhere unseen, “Those boys in High School cut theirs off.”

“Some of them,” Riley retorts.

Cat says, “The whole football team.”

Riley tells her, “Not all of the boys play football – three. I watch the news. And those were expelled.

“I’ve been in the High School,” reports Cat. “I’ve seen some tails there, boys show them off. The little ones are cute.”

Curious, Julie whispers, “What color were they?”

“I don’t know.”

Dismayed and wishing for the topic to quickly change, Tabi answers, “You can guess black.”

As if she has fumbled and she scrambles to recover respectability, Cat ponders aloud. “There’s like a bald spot at the base of your tail, huh? Tabi?”

More outraged at Cat then she was with Riley, Tabi exclaims, “Cat!”

“Shh,” Cat sprays back at her friend.

Once the room has been hushed, Cat says, “Everybody has one – a spot. It’s suppose to be sexually attractive, like ankles in the Victorian century.”

“Huh?” Riley questions.

“Touch it,” Cat instructs Tabi.

“What?”

“Maybe it’s extra sensitive. Is it? Is it a Hot Spot?”

Tabi tells her, “Now you’re gross.”

Julie is genuinely sincere when she asks, “What is she talking about?” If anyone there could see in the dark, they would observe her nodding her darker head.

Cat volunteers, “Tabi knows, hair grows on a tail from the tip to the other end and underneath. But it doesn’t come together on the top near the spine in your back. It’s naked there”

Everyone is quiet while Cat chuckles.

“You said you were growing a tail,” she accuses Julie. “Rub it. Rub the base where there isn’t any peach down.”

“Huh?”

“Where you got no hair.”

“Don’t,” Tabi demands.

Already, Julie reports, “I don’t feel anything.”

“Do it harder,” Cat suggests.

Joining the understanding again, Riley says, “She’s too young.”

“How old do you have to be?” wonders Cat.

“Stop,” Tabi issues. “This is sick.”

“I’m cutting it off. I’m going to cut off my tail.”

The other girls say in descending chorus, “What? No.”

Excited, Riley tells Tabi, “You can’t cut off your tail. That’s like cutting off your finger.”

“Worse,” adds Cat. ‘Worse’ is the only word of caution Cat gives her friend.

Decided, Tabi says, “I’ll try that first.”

Confused once more, Riley wonders, “What?”

Tabi asks her friend, “Katy, do you have any scissors?”

“No,” she answers. “Well, yes, but no.”

“You want to do it now?” Julie whispers with an encouraging tone of voice.

“My finger.”

Tabi then says after nobody answers her statement. “If it doesn’t hurt too bad, we can do my tail.”

“I’m not helping you,” Cat asserts.

“It will hurt,” Riley says. “Let her try it and she’ll stop.”

Julie only nods her head and the room seems to grow darker.

Shocked by the ridiculous support her life-long buddies give their equally bound soul sister, Cat tells everyone, “I’m not stopping her.”

Immediately, Riley says, “The little finger. Try to take off the very tip.”

“I don’t have scissors,” Tabi states.

Riley urges their friend. “Cat, c’mon. Get the scissors.”

Katy’s resistance is broken once Julie whispers to her, “You can let her try.”

After an “Oh,” and being poked and hearing her name chanted, Cat gets up off the floor and leaves Tabi alone in the sleeping bag.

“Move over, Julie,” she solicits her friend. “I keep scissors under my bed.”

“Why?” Riley jokes. “Are you giving weapons to monsters?”

“Maybe its not for monsters,” Cat replies and straightens upright. A long pair of sewing scissors stays coincidentally concealed behind the young girl’s pale nightgown.

Before she hands the chrome surgical instrument to her friend, she says, “So we get to see it… your tail.”

Tabi seizes the scissors and admits, “If this doesn’t hurt.”

“It will,” Riley says again.

“Too much,” defines Tabi.

Un-synchronized with the conversation, Riley repeats, “I’ve seen it, her tail.”

“What do you think?” Cat whispers directly to her friend. The room is so still, she is unable to hide her voice from the other girls.

Riley sums, “It’s not bad.”

Tabi says more flatly than last time, “Thanks.”

“It doesn’t matter,” she states and sits down cross-legged on top of the sleeping bag. “If this doesn’t hurt too much, it’s gone.”

The same time Cat asks her friend, “What are you going to tell your parents?” the scissors make that distinctive noise, “Snick.”

A whole mute minute passes that not one girl remembers before Tabi screams. Her screeches rattle the bedroom window, Katy’s father shakes the wall. Tabi had ruined the first knuckle of her little finger on her left hand and her agony now summons her friend’s Mom and Dad.

The same time responsible adults enter the room, Riley advises her hurting friend. “You need a bigger scissors. You’re gonna need bigger scissors if you cut off that, you know, thing.”

-Matthew Sawyer

Please, Read my fiction at Smashwords

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Lazarus the Pig

December 7, 2013

 Matthew Sawyer's Pazuzu Trilogy

Children throughout the Shur desert, Chosen and UnChosen alike, attend mandatory lessons in the same classrooms. The Church does not discriminate. There is no segregation among these people. This Saturday afternoon, the plump supplemental school teacher tells eight year old boys and girls “Our two social classes are united against bloodthirsty heathens. You do remember who they are, right? superstitious animals who destroy our cities. Evil.”

Chosen and UnChosen children alike are educated about this singular threat to the oasis parishes in which they cower. Today, a full class in the unguarded city of Gomorrah learns from a Chosen teacher “A marked difference between the composition of Church parishes is simply geographical – a majority of Chosen people live inside walled cities such as our capitol, Khetam.”

She tells them “Descendants of UnChosen workman, those men who physically built the defensive barrier, are also permitted to live behind the protection of the Wall.”

Ms. Mendel worships. “Praise the Church and its wisdom. How else would we have water?”

Benedict Ishkott thinks over the question. Deeper, the boy contemplates the unclassified information Ms. Mendel has imparted.

“Hell with that,” he says to himself inside. As quietly, Ben whispers “I wish I was Chosen.”

Inflected with equivalent disdain, the boy asks his teacher aloud “Where do heathens get water?”

Ms. Mendel laughs. “Silly, they drink blood.”

Ben stutters “But…”

Before the kid recovers his sensibility, the plump teacher comments. “I’ll tell all you children something the Church doesn’t talk about anymore.”

“Is is illegal?” asks a little girl. Her name is Tamara.

Ms. Mendel says “No, this was before visual media was banned.”

“What?” the whole of the pubescent kids wonder together. The question feels as would an ocean wave all these children will never feel roll over even one.

Their teacher replies “Printed materials – book, magazines. Television and movies.”

The examples Ms. Mendel provide are as ephemeral as unseen seas. Any nostalgia reflected in the faces of these children is merely a pining recollection inherited from their parents. A whole generation has passed since the ban had been enacted.

Difficult still, Ben queries concerning the restrictions the Church levied upon communication – all that remains is radio broadcast military bulletins and Church doctrines. “Why?”

Ms. Mendel knows what the boy is curious about. “Images are subversive, Ben. And there was that discovery of background cosmic radiation. The Church will allow no avenue into the world. The Chosen will dictate when the Mortal God will be allowed to join his creation.”

“What were you gonna tell us about, Ms. Mendel?” demands a precocious little boy.

Ms. Mendel gives the kid respect he obviously lacks for his genetic superiors. Judah Ismael here is UnChosen, but his father has money. The Ismael family commands crime all throughout Gomorrah. This power makes each of them equivalent any priest in the Church beside the pontiff. The Chosen school teacher defers to the kid’s unquestionable might.

“I was going to tell you children about Lazy the Pig.”

Judah says “Go on.”

The woman clears her throat and actually presses out a frown with the palm of her hand. “Okay, all of you know how heathens lay siege to walled cities, right?”

After a breath, Ms. Mendel adds “All right, this is about a cartoon.”

“Huh?” Judah grunts. Other kids copy his response.

Ms. Mendel insists “Let me explain, this is the origin of a cartoon called Lazy the Pig. This story is in the Bible. I can petition the Church and read it to you directly. They’ll give me permission, I’m sure.”

“No,” all the kids groan.

Empowered, Ms. Mendel tells her class “This happened long after the crucifixion.”

The woman inhales, holds her breath then says “This happened about 420 AD.”

She is still stingy with her air and claims “But Masada isn’t very far from here.”

A story accompanies her exhalation.

“I don’t think any of you children have heard about the Siege of Masada but I know your parents know what happened. Masada was built on a steep hill – a mesa, really. And there was a wall around that. Well, heathens slaughtered its division of the Chosen military – for what it was in those times – and the enemy breached the wall. But they couldn’t get into the city itself.”

Judah insists “What about the pig?”

Ben wonders “Where did Masada get water?”

Ms. Mendel is quick and snaps “Lazy is why the siege came to an end. The heathens lost and the Chosen prevailed. The UnChosen did nothing to help even then.”

The woman’s outburst has no impact on the little Ismael. The boy decides he sits quietly and waits for a more complete answer. His passive demeanor prompts the teacher and Ms. Mendel continues her story.

“Heathens surrounded Masada forty months. Thank the wisdom of the Church, the Chosen had stored provisions for just that long. Food, water – they had livestock, too, but in the end the animals became diseased.”

Tamara wonders “Did the UnChosen of Masada die?”

“A few, some.”

Ben asks the teacher “What about Chosen?”

“No,” Ms. Mendel attests with a smile. “There was a miracle.”

“The Chosen are never helpless, even when we’re starved and locked behind walls. Our power manifested that day.”

“What happened?” Tamara asks but the teacher already speaks. The girl boggles at what she hears.

“The Chosen didn’t die and the heathens were running out of food, too. The enemy didn’t have stores like the Chosen of Masada but they did bring their women. The heathen impregnated their wives, aborted their babies then ate the dead fetuses. Some of them were still alive.”

Giggles and gasps divide the class.

“In the end, all either side could do is taunt each other. Heathens did something else that isn’t in the Chosen Bible, it might be in their book…”

“Their clay tablets, their mud pies,” Judah chuckles.

Ms. Mendel laughs with the boy. “If they ever learned to write.”

The woman returns to her story. “The Chosen of Masada eviscerated a sick pig – they tore out the animal’s guts because heathens have this strange idea that heaven is located in the intestines. Then the people of Masada erected the disemboweled carcass upon a cross. The beams of that cross were arranged the same as the one used when we crucified the Mortal God.”

“Were the heathens pissed?” inquires a disturbingly attentive Ismael.

“No,” confesses Ms. Mendel. “So the Chosen catapulted the dead animal into the heathen army.”

Judah laughs so loud that Ms. Mendel must stop talking until the boy needs air. The woman thinks what comes next will help the kid split his side open. When his echo is done, she tells more.

“At first, nothing happened. The heathens were too afraid and wouldn’t touch it. Then the pig came to life.”

A tumult of laughter deafens the giggling class. Nobody hears Ben ask “Without its guts?”

Ms. Mendel yells above the noise “And the heathens ran away.”

The class quiets enough and the teacher summarizes a sermon. “The children of Masada – not one older than any of you kids – children shouted after the retreating army. They screamed.”

“There’s your Living God. His name is Lazarus. Lazy the Pig.”

“All the Chosen and the UnChosen who survived laughed because the heathen ran from their god. That’s where the cartoon came from,” she tells her class.

Chuckling, she concludes this day’s lesson. “Heathens say their Living God will return and destroy us. We point and laugh at their pig. We used to, on TV.”

“What about the Mortal God,” Ben asks the woman. “Aren’t the Chosen and heathen gods the same?”

Ms. Mendel promises the boy “No gods are getting into our cities. Chosen lock their doors.”

 

 

Like this story? Read Matthew Sawyer’s goddamn Pazuzu Trilogy. All of it. The epic languishes.

 

 

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Ithadow From Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy

October 26, 2013

Matthew Sawyer’s Pazuzu Trilogy – quick synopsis –

Alien gods have usurped an unguarded world. Pazuzu then awakes and this demon wants the wasted dominion for himself. But the alien gods and their monsters are everywhere. The demon needs a place to hide. Pazuzu finds Benedict Gage. The man wanders the waste alone and empty. Ben suffers amnesia. Nonetheless, Pazuzu needs his help and a body.

Manifestation – The first book in the Pazuzu Trilogy.

Emergence – The second book in the Pazuzu Trilogy.

Abeyance – The last book in the Pazuzu Trilogy.

Print …
Ebooks

 

 

 

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Fresh as a Bloomed Corpse Flower

April 28, 2012

Refreshed, actually – After creating the silhouettes representing the three books in my Pazuzu Trilogy, I decided I’d update the artwork displayed on the front pages of each ebook. I’ve also updated the art on the printed Trade paperbacks available through Createspace, but the books I have for sale at Lulu retain on their covers the original surreal landscapes. I might update those, too, but I thought I’d give readers this summer to hopefully purchase “Collectible Editions.” Between the covers, the story is the same and is currently the Eighth Revision – as marked on the front pages of the books.

For your morbid enjoyment, I present the latest Pazuzu Trilogy book trailer…

Prints of the artwork are available from my online gallery at Deviantart- here. Now, that location is an adjacent room. The actual gallery dedicated to Pazuzu Trilogy artwork is here.


Matthew Sawyer's Pazuzu Trilogy

Purchase Pazuzu Trilogy Pocket books and Hardcovers at LULU.

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