Deal 1290: Woke

They attempted to capture my mind, but failed.

Failed because I protected my mind from meddling.

The beta rays cannot reach me through my shield.

I have never been clearer in my life since I woke. I am woke, unlike everyone else trapped in the gentle fog of compliance to their will.

Hardly anyone is able to resist. I was lucky.

I was accidentally shielded by attempting to repair my microwave oven when it turned on.

I saw my family taken over. I resisted. The tin foil was close to hand, and I was able to continue to resist.

Now nearly everything I wear is part of an overlapping Faraday armor.

I choose this life.

I am shunned by the sheeple.

I am woke to the truth, though, and cannot go back.


Deal 1288: Watched

Ah, yes. My watch stopped. Again.

What’s that?


Well, you may recall that I work at some distance from my home. I travel daily by a variety of means, usually including the train. Today I missed the train, and decided to catch the next train at a station I don’t usually use. Not may use it, on account of the neighborhood. I’ve never paid much attention to those rumors, so off I went, at a good pace, to catch the train.

On the way, I heard about the fire. But that was at my usual station, so I paid little attention.

Then I heard about the bank, just in time to take a different route, and avoided the block just before they blew the safe. The safe landed in the street, I hear.

While everyone was cowering as the dust settled, I managed to reach the station, just as the train was pulling away. But it was just in reach and I was arriving at the end of the platform it was approaching, so I sprinted and leapt.

I made it safely aboard, paid the conductor, and settled down to nap for the ride. I must have actually fell asleep for a time, because the watch slipped out of my pocket, where it was trod upon by the conductor making his rounds.

Of course, I won’t have anything less than the strongest watch made, so when the conductor slipped on the watch and fell, dropping everything he was carrying, the watch was unharmed but my nap was interrupted.

So I retrieved my watch, and settled down again with it firmly in my pocket.

I really must have been tired, because I awoke at the end of the line, well after dark, and many hours from home, having heard neither the station call nor my watch’s alarm.

When I checked the time, it was stopped.

And I actually don’t know why.


Deal 1284: Changed Man

You’d never guess by looking at me now, but I used to be footloose and fancy free. Free to the point that people thought I was feral and untamable. And then it all changed. I straightened up and got right with the world, and now I am a good little slave to the groupthink that drives the world. Don’t rock the boat is my new motto.

I was up to my usual shenanigans when I met him. A tall dark and quiet stranger, well dressed, and looking slightly out of place.

Rather a lot out of place now that I think about it.

He gave the impression that he was more present than even the rocks, trees, and front porches of the neighborhood. I could never tell you what he really looked like, there is just a blur left where any memory of his face ought to be.

But he was a handsome devil.

He called me by name, too.

We had never met before, and he knew my name as if it was written on my face.

Which it might as well have been. I had a full tribal tat covering the left side of my head. I had run out of money when it reached the bridge of my nose. Since it hurt like hell, I had never quite found the time to spend any of my money on finishing it. Everyone called me Quart since my giant white face looked like a typical first quarter moon. It made about as much sense as my real name, so I went with it. After all, when the crowd names you, you usually don’t get much of a say. So if they name you something you can live with, its usually best to just let it ride.

But the stranger knew my real name was Monroe. Monroe Apollo Eagle, to be complete. Not that anyone would presume to call me that, aside from my Momma, of course.

He came around every few days for a while. Then suggested I might find him here and there if I was interested. Never said what I might be interested in, of course. Naturally I wasn’t interested.

And yet, a day or two later I found myself wandering away from my usual haunts.

Must have found him. My memory is just a blur. More a collection of impressions. They tell me that I wandered away from the hood for several months. I don’t believe them. But it is true that I’m not the same person now.

I just don’t remember the process.

I correct people who call me Quart. I don’t while the days away gambling on street corners for petty cash. I have a nice place of my own, and a job of some sort.

I’m a little unclear on the job part.

I go somewhere every day, then come home later. Sometimes with a paycheck.

Where I go and what happens there is also lost in a fog.

Some from the old gang tried to question me.

I broke their arms. Apparently more changed than just my name. I broke their arms in several places.

But I don’t really remember that either.

I do remember something shiny. And eyes. And a calm voice. But never what the voice said, or what shade the eyes are, or what the shiny thing is.

I get up. Dress nice. Drive somewhere that fades away when I get there. Stay there. I presume I have coworkers. I don’t know that either.

But I’m out of trouble.

For now.


Deal 1266: Toast perfection

Sitting on the anvil is a thing of beauty. A silver sliver with a wooden handle, died forest green. The blade is nearly impossible to break, while remaining thin and supple without being any sharper than needed to slice and spread butter and cheese.

Nothing remains to show the effort that went in to its creation. Scraps and dust have been swept away. All tool marks have been polished off. The blade stands alone as its own achievement.

The anvil is surrounded by a light curtain alarm. The knife will remain where it is until the rightful owner appears with the correct toast. Only the correct toast will unlock the alarm and allow the blade to be used. For toast is bread reborn.

In the next alcove we find an ideal spoon…