Deal 973: Not dying

I’m generally pretty cheerful for someone who’s been to hell and back.

I don’t bite, and I try hard to avoid unreasonable fears.

So when they tried to poison me, I did my best to not be annoyed. But you don’t need to wake up to poisoned cereal very often before it begins to leave the impression that you aren’t wanted.

Still, I put it aside and continued on my assigned task.

Then the accidents began to happen.

The spiked shoes were, I’m certain, just an accident.

The large saw that got loose and nearly decapitated me was at least partly due to my own clumsiness.

The tree the fell the wrong way and landed on my tent had to be a freak wind gust at the critical moment when the tree was felled but hadn’t yet realized.

Then I examined the stump, and there were signs that it might have been dressed after the tree fell to adjust perception.

And that saw, well it had never done that before I arrived (or since, but I couldn’t know that then).

The message began to become clear to me. I can be pretty stubborn, but you only have to drop one tree on me to get my attention. Unfortunately you apparently do have to drop a tree before you get my attention.

Now that you have my attention, be very sure that you wanted it. Because I am stubborn this way too.

Now that I think about it, I must be the only one taking home poisoned breakfast cereal or there’s be a run on the doctor’s tent. Ditto for mechanical mishaps. That loose saw had scared many people around the camp, but had also made a clear run through camp without leveling a single tent or even coming close to injuring anyone. It might have got me if I hadn’t been shaving and seen the motion in the mirror.

I fear not for myself, but for the others.

One of these attempts is going to succeed, and I will regret the collateral damage that results. Or maybe the nearly unthinkable will happen and I will be killed. I’ve never been assured that I am immortal, after all. In point of fact, I’ve never been told anything. I’m just very hard to kill.


Deal 949: Spots

The lights went down, and the audience held their breath for a moment. When the single pin spot appeared picking out a man standing alone on the dark stage, they applauded.

He was dressed conservatively in greys, with a splash of bright color at one lapel. He wore a bowler in dove grey with a narrow brim, and a single bright feather tucked in the band, which he removed with a flourish. Reaching into the hat, he became very puzzled, and reached further. This continued until his entire right arm was inside the hat. Then he found what he was reaching for, and withdrew the arm to reveal a bouquet of flowers.

A second pin spot appeared, illuminating a side table holding a vase. He walked over and placed the flowers inside, leaving the center spot empty. The flowers in the vase were a completely different color and variety, which didn’t seem to be noticed.

He stepped back into the center spot and tossed his hat off to the side. A third spot lit up on a hat stand just before the hat landed neatly on its top peg.

There was a loud squawk from the hat when it landed.

He ran over to the hat stand, reached under the hat and produced a large green parrot, which looked to be larger than the hat. He moved the hat to a lower peg and set the parrot down on the peg vacated by the hat. Now there was a noise from the vase.

He ran across to the vase, and found that the flowers were missing and in their place stood a very large bullfrog, croaking.

Hypnotizing the frog, he picked up a large cloth from the table, and draped it over the whole table, frog and all.

The parrot squawked. The lights flashed. The frog croaked again.

The draped table began to move, unfolding and lifting, until the drape was just barely off the floor.

The parrot squawked.

The drape dropped. In the place of the table, frog, and flowers stood a beautiful girl holding a single bloom.

As she took a bow, the audience realized that there was nothing else on the stage, and only a single pin spot lit the darkness.

The spot went out.


Deal 928: Orange and pointy

The music was playing everywhere, often just quiet enough to hardly be heard. But it was there, and it was poison. Poison to our free will, I mean. It played calming messages in soothing tones and told us how great it was to just be a quiet cog in the great machine.

Truth was, as it usually is, that the cogs were seen as interchangeable, and as a resource to wear out and use up.

Revolution would be the logical next step, but the music was always there, soothing the savage impulses and keeping everyone calm.

The accident was a turning point.

It was one of those freak accidents that just happens sometimes, even in a perfectly organized and controlled universe. Sometimes things just happen. There I was, buried in a ton of vegetables. Carrots, to be specific.

I was lucky, I was merely in the pile. The guy five feet in front of me leaving the coffee shop took the full force of the cascade. As near as I can tell, a truck carrying a full load of freshly caught carrots had jackknifed on the ramp above us, spilling nearly its entire load onto the street and sidewalk below. I found myself swimming in pointy orangeness. Others were less lucky and were crushed or drowned.

That alone would have been strange enough, but by dumb luck two of those pointy bastards got lodged in my ears, and damaged my eardrums.

One minute, I’m walking down the street, thinking fondly of a cup of coffee, trying to stop hearing the music playing quietly from every storefront and traffic light.

The next minute, I’m deaf.

And as I came to terms with my new situation, I began to realize what had really happened.

I’m deaf.

I can’t hear the music any more. I am no longer directly under their control.

It is like awakening from a dream, into a silent world where I am free to think and feel what I actually think and feel.

Sure, I’m afraid. I’m afraid they will figure it out, and find a way to fix me. But I can live with that fear. I can reason my way out of that fear. Because for the first time I am actually free.

Free to begin the revolution.

Which is where you come in. My freedom does little good if I can’t share it with others, form a network of the deaf, and push those bastards out of power, and finally stop the music for everyone else. If you are as deaf as I believe you are, help me save the world. We can unite through the chat rooms and communities that the deaf keep for themselves.

We can save the world without anyone else getting impaled on carrots.